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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Strangest Sea by Ariana D. Den Bleyker

Strangest Sea intrigued us at the epigraph, which features lines from Emily Dickinson’s poem: “Hope is a thing with feathers / That perches in the soul, / And sings the tune without the words, / And never stops at all…” What follows is a series of linked prose poems packed with lyric moments, vivid capsules of blooming image, and a journey of the I in struggle/concert with Hope, “she is a body of barbed wire and dandelions, synapse and tendon, elegant architecture, a red handkerchief of bones, a throat filled with God.”  | open edition | $6

An excerpt from “HOPE wasn’t always like this:”

//HOPE wasn’t always like this—stuck to the hollows of my chest, my ribs, distinct as fish gills. She taught me how to swim, roping her fragile arms around my neck and squealing as I dove into the wide blue sea. But now, she emerges like night with its thick white tablecloth, where I eat before the pang strikes, the ache that calls forth the white room whose door I can’t seem to shut.—Now I wade into the water, allow the water to rise over the hills of my body, my breasts, finally breathing, finally, underwater—//

Open Edition Cover

The cover image (“Floating on Aubergine” by Nicci Mechler) is printed on both lignin & acid free cardstock and Epson premium matte professional paper (some laser, some inkjet). The micro chapbook is handbound & each is trimmed by hand. Hand-cut flags, typed old school, are affixed to the verso. As they are handmade, no two are exactly alike.

About the Poet

Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in Upstate New York, a wife, mother of two, a writer and an editor. When she’s not editing or writing, she’s spending time with her family and every once in a while sleeps. She is the author of several poetry chapbooks and collections, a novelette, a novella and an experimental memoir. Ariana is the Founder of ELJ Publications, a small press specializing in the author, featuring a number of serials, series and contests, including Emerge Literary Journal, scissors & spackle, Amethyst Arsenic, and The J.J. Outré Review. She can be found at:

www.arianaddenbleyker.com

What others are saying about Strangest Sea:

Ariana D. Den Bleyker masterfully gives Emily Dickinson’s ‘thing with feathers that perches in the soul’ – Hope – a second life as a ‘lovely, strange and cold’ lover who wants to be tongue kissed and cut open. The reader will know this familiar lover even in the dark, her body made of barbed wire and dandelions, her ‘throat … filled with God.’ This lush and haunting chapbook-length prose poem is a love letter to the self, to what longings inhabit the body. There’s a sense that no matter how rough the world has become, Hope is there, her ‘sweet slips of song cutting the first gray hints of light.’ This is not to say Hope doesn’t cause chaos, roughly unlocking the body and sticking her beak between ribs. But she is a very ‘real red thing,’ living in each of our bodies. This poem is a true testament to our resilience.” ~ Nicole Rollender, author of Bone of My Bone and Little Deaths

Strangest Sea is more than strange, it is brave. Ariana D. Den Bleyker’s voice “leans in” and divides the self into halves, making the reader as rapacious and hungry as she is in the search to know hope on a deeper level. Her intense clarity of thought and highly acute degree of sensory awareness coupled with her rich and vivid imagery makes it clear even discomfort has a place in hope’s fickle hands. Whether human, bird, or fish, above all — female, Den Bleyker communes with hope on different levels. Each movement of the poem is self-referential, and, taken as a whole, a kind of meta-narrative that is incredibly smart. We are just lucky to witness such courageous vulnerability, such stunning use of the metaphor, all of which serves as the “beautiful architecture” for each poetic movement. ~ Katherine MacCue, author of No Timid Electra

Call for Submission: Micro Chapbooks

Porkbelly Press seeks samplings of poems and micro fictions from poets & writers around the world. We’re reading poetical offerings of 8 to 10 pages (multiple pieces or a one or two long poems), or 8 to 10 pages of micro-prose (no more than 75 words each). Pieces should be linked in some way (theme, voice, image, place, etc).

Submission period: now through September 1.

We look for evocative work loaded with vivid image or sound, voices full of fierce attitude or lyric quality. We prefer free verse poems, love prose poems, and will consider both lyric and narrative. We’d be delighted to see some modern American haiku as well.

We’ll produce each chapbook in a handbound open edition. We may also release a special edition with hand altered covers, but the exact format will be determined at press time. (We’re also toying with the idea of sculptural covers.) For samples of our work, please see the current catalog: Porkbelly Press at Wicked Little Heart.

In addition to our regular size chaps, we’d like to offer these small works to introduce readers to a variety of poets and writers—a little something to give folks a taste of your voice.

We prefer that a piece or two be unpublished, but do not require it.

Requirements for Submission

  • 8-10 pages of poetry, prose poetry, micro fiction, or micro creative nonfiction. .doc, .docx, and .rtf accepted.
  • Short bio including blog or website link (if applicable) and any books or chaps currently available.
  • Dedication & acknowledgements do not count against page total. Table of contents is not necessary.

We read via Submittable and you can find us at Duotrope, should you wish to report your submission.

Payment for Accepted Works

10 copies of your micro chapbook (paper covers) or 3 if we do a sculptural cover. (We’ve got bookbinders & artists on staff, and we like to leave ourselves open to inspiration.) 30% discount on additional author copies.