Apples or Pomegranates (cover art: 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.
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.
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.
MEXICAMERICANA by Eloisa Amezcua (cover artwork: Sharmon Davidson)
Eloisa Amezcua’s Mexicamericana becomes both a demarcation and blurring of the line between states, identities, culture, and selves. This meeting-place is investigated in mother/daughter, English/Spanish, citizen/citizen—how these things are seen from outside as separate, but are quite entangled—how a woman finds her way walking with both, whatever the two may be, “furious and alive.” The river does not separate places—it touches both and nourishes both. This collection borrows its epigraph from Alberto Ríos: “The border is a line that birds cannot see.” (Porkbelly Press, 2017) » more info & excerpt
about the poet
Eloisa Amezcua is an Arizona native. She is the author of the chapbooks On Not Screaming (Horse Less Press) and Symptoms of Teething, winner of the 2016 Vella Chapbook Prize from Paper Nautilus Press. Eloisa is the founder/editor of The Shallow Ends: A Journal of Poetry. You can find her at www.eloisaamezcua.com.
Sharmon Davidson » sharmondavidson.com
My Own Strange Beast by Melissa Atkinson Mercer (cover art by Danial Powers)
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.
artist » Danial Powers
portfolio » Empress Dragon Arts
The Girl by Donna Vorreyer (cover image: Alexandra Eldridge)
Vorreyer’s The Girl is sharp and clear from the dedication: “To all the girls I have taught. To all the girls we once were.” These small prose poems are strung together like a chain of dolls cut from steel, each stronger for her connection to the other, but capable of claiming her own ground—each poem is a portrait of a girl, nameless. Each girl moves beyond that designation, none are just a girl, and their anonymity does not strip identity or agency. These are girls who stand where they will, treat their own wounds, heal broken things, fear little or nothing, persist in spite of, because of—”If she cries, she opens a window, knows her ghosts need a means of escape.” (Porkbelly Press, 2017) » available in our shop » more & excerpt
About the Poet
Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as seven chapbooks, most recently Encantado, a collaboration with artist Matt Kish from Redbird Chapbooks and Tinder, Smolder, Bones, and Snow forthcoming from dancing girl press. She serves as the reviews editor for Stirring: A Literary Collection and teaches middle school in the suburbs of Chicago.
artist » Alexandra Eldridge
portfolio » alexandraeldridge.com
a detail of a cover with end-papers
covers drying on the table
Sugared Water‘s fifth issue is bound in a hand-pulled print cover, this time a combination of screenprinting and letterpress. SW005 contains poetry & creative nonfiction essays. 80 pages, $12. Limited to an edition of 100. » more about this issue
Design, printing & binding by printmaker Nicci Mechler.
E. Kristin Anderson, Catherine Arra, Tammy Bendetti, Alyse Bensel, Sheila Black, Ariella Carmell, Susana H. Case, Su Cho, A.E. Clark, James Croteau, Carlina Duan, Patrick James Errington, Wren Hanks, Sonja Johanson, Eve Kenneally, Michal Leibowitz, Minadora Macheret, Laura K. McRae, Natalia Mujadzik, Tanya Muzumdar, JoDean Nicolette, Susan Rich, Thadra Sheridan, Shakeema Smalls, and Amanda Stovicek.
A Map of the Farm Three Miles from the End of Happy Hollow Road by Amorak Huey (cover image: Alexandra Eldridge)
Huey’s A MAP OF THE FARM THREE MILES FROM THE END OF HAPPY HOLLOW ROAD investigates place and the things that memory and reflection have made of it. Poems are titled after locations specific to a farm where the speaker played as a child. It becomes a landscape of vivid details coalescing into a map of the self, an ever deepening investigation of recollection & the things we carry with us. (Porkbelly Press, 2016) » excerpt & more
about the poet
Amorak Huey is author of the poetry collection Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress, 2015) and the chapbook The Insomniac Circus (Hyacinth Girl, 2014). After more than a decade as a newspaper journalist, he teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. His writing has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2012, The Cincinnati Review, The Collagist, Menacing Hedge, Brevity, and many other journals.
about the cover art & artist
Alexandra Eldridge » http://alexandraeldridge.com
“The Field Opens” (mixed media, 24 x 24 inches)
Alexandra Eldridge, born of artist parents, received her BA in Art and literature at Ohio University. She co-founded an establishment for the arts, Golgonooza, based upon the philosophies of William Blake. She has had over 40 solo shows, and has participated in many group shows throughout the U.S. as well as many international exhibitions.
Haunting the Last House on Holland Island, Fallen into the Bay (Porkbelly Press, 2016) by Sarah Ann Winn (cover: Angie Reed Garner)
This is a dream landscape and it is underwater, all the house-things, human-things curled in between blades of red seaweed and pearl-filled oyster. It is a shimmer of sunlight filtering through from the surface, the glimmer of something faceted buried in silt. This micro chapbook is exploration and memory, the way we risk ourselves to look deep in search of some half-forgotten treasure, something we’ll always go back for, no matter how far down. (Porkbelly Press, 2016) | available in our shop | excerpt
About the Poet
Sarah Ann Winn’s writing has appeared or is upcoming in Five Points, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Little Patuxent Review, Massachusetts Review, and Passages North, among others. Her chapbooks include Field Guide to Alma Avenue and Frew Drive (Essay Press, 2016), and Portage (Sundress Publications, 2015). She holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing Poetry from George Mason University, as well as a Masters in Library Science from Catholic University of America. She teaches creative writing workshops and dispenses book recommendations as a free-range librarian in Manassas, Virginia, where she lives with her husband, two lovely beagle/lab mixed dogs, and one bad cat. Visit her at bluebirdwords.com or follow her @blueaisling.
The cover is inkjet printed on premium matte paper. It’s trimmed down to just under 6 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches and bound by hand with heavy thread.
cover artist » Angie Reed Garner
portfolio » angiereedgarner.com