Porkbelly’s January News

(from our poets & authors—readings, happenings, reviews, books, and news)

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Rooted by Thirst (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Tina Mozelle Braziel

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My Heart in Aspic (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Sonya Vatomsky » @coolniceghost

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Dreamland for Keeps (Porkbelly Press, 2018) & How Darkness Enters a Body (Porkbelly Press, 2018) by Sarah Nichols » @onibaba37

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Feeding the Dead (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by M. Brett Gaffney « blog

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Found Footage (Porkbelly Press, 2018)
by Maggie Woodward

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Poems for Ivan (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Sara Adams » kartoshkaaaaa.com

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Pray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the Middle of the Night (Porkbelly Press, 2015) by E. Kristin Anderson » www.ekristinanderson.com

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Found Footage // Maggie Woodward

Found Footage is visceral little book of freckled skin, fox-bellies, and sparrow blood. There are erasures scribbled out in pen and secrets released into the night—girl stories, horror stories, love stories, a little bit of each one ominous.: “this is how the story goes: there was a girl & / there was a river.” They feel like confessions pulled from a diary stained around the edges in blood and darker things, each one “fanged  (but lovely).” (Porkbelly Press, 2018) » available from our shop »  more info

excerpt
ABOUT THE POET

maggie woodward is an mfa candidate in poetry at the university of mississippi, where she is senior editor of the yalobusha review & curates the trobar ric reading series. she is also a programmer for the oxford film festival. her work has appeared or is forthcoming from The Atlas Review, Devil’s Lake, Witch Craft Magazine, Cloud Rodeo, & New South Journal, among others.

How Darkness Enters a Body // Sarah Nichols

“In this darkness, desire is safe,” begins the title poem for Sarah Nichols’ How Darkness Enters a Body. In this darkness, desire is safe. There are secrets here, confessions. The poet brings us to the photos of Diane Arbus, inspecting contact sheets and images, mining poems from silver embedded in emulsion. Black and white photographs transformed into ekphrastic lines, light and shadow, poet leading reader to artist to begin a conversation. The speaker’s voice is sure, whispering to us in the way Arbus’ images do, pools of darkness unexpected and edged, like shadows thrown under an eclipse. Confront her or take her hand—these and more choices are yours:  “Here is your tongue, sister. / Let me share it.”  (Porkbelly Press, 2018) » available in our shop » more info

 

about the poet

Sarah Nichols lives and writes in Connecticut. She is the author of three chapbooks, including She May Be a Saint (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2016) and Edie (Whispering): Poems from Gray Gardens (Dancing Girl Press, 2015). She also co-edits Thank You for Swallowing, an online journal of feminist protest poetry. Her poetry and essays have also appeared and are forthcoming in Queen of Cups, The RS 500, Rogue Agent, and Ekphrastic Review.

excerpt

SOMETHING WAS THERE AND NO LONGER IS

After Inadvertent Double Exposure of a Self Portrait and Images of Times Square, NYC, 1957, by Diane Arbus

I haunt this place now. Under the
neon, I pass between worlds. The

spirit photograph no one wants to
believe.

I catch my subjects so easily: the
woman, poised before the next cigarette,

almost recognizes herself in the
snare of my lens. Or the crowd,

thinking themselves safe in the light
of the next dime show miracle.

I don’t dare to shut my eyes.

Apples or Pomegranates (Anita Olivia Koester)

Apples or Pomegranates is an intimate exploration of the spirit housed inside a body, the failings and the strength in each. Sometimes erotic and at other times full of another kind of wanting, this micro chapbook delves into the experience of living boldly, step by step along the path—”a tight-rope walking girl, a pit of lions beneath.” This is the route she takes on these pages, hand out, palm up, if you’ve courage enough to join her. (Porkbelly Press, 2017) » more info & excerpt » available in our shop

about the poet

Anita Olivia Koester is a Chicago poet and author of the chapbooks Marco Polo (Hermeneutic Chaos Press) and Arrow Songs which won Paper Nautilus’ Vella Chapbook Contest. Her poems have been nominated for Best New Poets and Pushcart Prizes, and won Midwestern Gothic’s 2016 Lake Prize in Poetry, So to Speak’s Annual Poetry Contest, and the Jo-Anne Hirshfield Memorial Poetry Award. She is currently the poetry editor for Duende. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Vinyl, CALYX Journal, Tahoma Literary Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Her work as been supported by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Vermont Studio Center, and Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA). Visit her online at www.anitaoliviakoester.com.

blurbs

In this collection, Koester gives us three central lessons. One, it is not always necessary to be loud to be ferocious. Two, there are unlimited ways to be naked, most of which happen clothed. Three, even longing that begins with nostalgia can blossom into something altogether and luminously new.

—Marty McConnell

Apples and Pomegranates unravels and interrogates a universe set on its denial of the body feminine. Artistic canon, the expectations and consequences of relationships, biology itself, and even language (its translation or mistranslation) are called into light by Koester’s words. “Travelling the fallopian tubes of the Milky Way” is a tender prospect in every sense of the word. Koester’s command of passion and utterance is that kind of double-edged wonder.

—Keith S. Wilson

Anita is also the cover artist for her chapbook.

October’s Bacony Goodness

Good news, interviews, happenings, & pubs from our Porkbelly family.

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The Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Donna Vorreyer » donnavorreyer.com

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A Map of the Farm Three Miles from the End of Happy Hollow Road (Porkbelly Press, 2016) by Amorak Huey » amorakhuey.net

Have you watched a skilled butcher break down a side of beef? Such precision, such devastation, the way the final product is not recognizably related to the slab of meat we started with—this teaches us something important about art. About hunger.

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Dreamland for Keeps (Porkbelly Press, 2018) & How Darkness Enters a Body (Porkbelly Press, 2018) by Sarah Nichols » @onibaba37

  • She May Be a Saint (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, 2016) was part of the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange!
  • Four poems up at Anti-Heroin Chic: “Are You Pregnant?,” “Skyfall,” “This is Not a Redemption Story, Part One,” and “This is Not a Redemption Story, Part Two.”

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Apples or Pomegranates (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Anita Olivia Koester » anitaoliviakoester.com

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My Heart in Aspic (Porkbelly Press, 2015)
by Sonya Vatomsky » www.sonyavatomsky.com

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Daughter Shaman Sings Blood Anthem (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by Kristi Carter » @kristixcarter

  • Kristi’s book Cosmovore (Aqueduct Press, 2017) is available!

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Dry Spell (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
by Patrick Kindig »

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Feeding the Dead (Porkbelly Press, 2017)
by M. Brett Gaffney « blog

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Melissa Atkinson Mercer’s My Own Strange Beast

Mercer’s My Own Strange Beast is a cluster of short poems, most under twenty lines, packed with evocative language, lush image, and the dichotomy of the delicate and the sharp. There’s a lingering darkness here, a follower, something haunting this speaker through dreams, the smell of lotus, candles, and salted bones. They feel mythic, these women (mother/daughter, aunt/niece) in these poems, carrying baskets of dead fish, sitting in the glow of a brick oven, surviving together, searching together: “Your heart like a thin-throated flower,” she writes, “the small lamp of your face beside me.” (Porkbelly Press, 2017) » more & excerpt

about the poet

Melissa Atkinson Mercer is the author of Saint of the Partial Apology (Five Oaks Press) and five poetry chapbooks, including Star-Blind in the Family of Fortune Keepers (Hermeneutic Chaos), After the Miracle Season (Seven Kitchens Press), and ghost exhibit (Glass Poetry Press). Her work has recently appeared in Ruminate, Zone 3, Blue Earth Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and others and has been nominated for Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize. She has an MFA from West Virginia University, where she won the Russell MacDonald Creative Writing Award in Poetry.

cover art

artist » Danial Powers
portfolio » Empress Dragon Arts

Feeding the Dead // M. Brett Gaffney

 

These poems are the knife edge, the hot blood, the wolf’s howl, and the fang of the girl who hunts him down. This book holds the haunted-house-horror and everything real underneath, the costume, the bruise after, the smoke curling in the heart of a hellhound. “After supper she pulls on boots, prepares her heart” and goes out to collect his “sharpest fang.” These poems are demons and strawberries and bones, and teeth, and agency, self, girl-power, woman-power—assertive figures preoccupied with agency, not beauty—not prettiness for the observer. This chapbook of poems is the bone-yard, the skeleton, the strength. “I am here to stay / … / I am just as real as anything else.” (Porkbelly Press, 2017) » more info & excerpt

about the poet

M. Brett Gaffney, originally from Houston, Texas, holds an MFA in Poetry from Southern Illinois University and is the art editor for Gingerbread House. Her poems have appeared inExit 7, Rust+Moth, Permafrost, Devilfish Review, museum of americana, BlazeVOXRogue AgentApex Magazine,and Zone 3, among others. She currently works as a library associate in northern Kentucky and lives in Cincinnati with her partner and their dog, Ava.

Cover artist: Mary Chiaramonte »  www.merrysee.com
Cover art: “The Fables,” acrylic on wood, 24 x 36 inches.
Title typeface: Brain Flower by Denise Bentulan.