Bettering American Poetry 2016 Nominations

Porkbelly Press’ Nominees from 2016

Shakeema Smalls for “rût.” First printed in Sugared Water #005, December 2016.

Michal Leibowitz for “In Sderot.” First printed in Persephone’s Daughters inaugural issue, reprinted in Sugared Water #005, December 2016.

James A. H. White for “Okaasan [Mother].” First printed in chapbook hiku [pull] (Porkbelly Press, 2016).

Congratulations & good luck to all nominees! It’s been our pleasure to nominate this work for such an outstanding project.

From Bettering American Poetry’s nominations page

We want work that is unafraid to look, to shake shit up, to speak. We are interested in poems that challenge patriarchal and white supremacist power structures. We love poems that burn misogynist, homophobic, ableist, transphobic, racist, xenophobic attitudes and behaviors at the core. Poems that critique the dominant culture and flummox the status quo, that speak with voices historically misrepresented, underrepresented, censored, and silenced make us sit up and listen hard. | more

Related Reading

» Bettering American Poetry‘s website
» An interview series with poets in Bettering American Poetry‘s 2015 anthology via VIDA

Sugared Water 005

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.

contributors

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.

Pushcart Prize Nominations

We’re very pleased to announce our Pushcart Prize nominations for 2016. Congratulations to the nominees, and thank you so much for sharing in your poetic journey with us. (All of our nominations this year are poems.) We’ve pulled works from our micros, chaps, lit mag, and anthos:

from our chapbooks & micros

“from her mouth” from bindweed & crow poison: small poems of stray girls, fierce women (Porkbelly Press, 2016) by Robin Turner

“Sawaruna [“Do Not Touch”]” from hiku [pull] (Porkbelly Press, 2016) by James A. H. White

“The Pond in the Corner of the Yard” from A Map of the Farm Three Miles from the End of Happy Hollow Road (Porkbelly Press, 2016) by Amorak Huey

from our lit mag, Sugared Water, #005

“When I Grieve” by Wren Hanks : also appears in slightly different from in Ghost Skin (Porkbelly Press, 2016)

“According to My Father Peaches Ward Off Spirits” by Su Cho

from our anthology SKY+SEA

“Love Letter to Galileo: Axis” by Stacey Balkun

Myth+Magic Anthology

Myth+Magic is a collection of modern takes on old myth, fable, and fairy tale. Nothing is quite what it seems to be. Discover it with us? Limited edition (125), bound by hand. This handbound booklet includes poetry & fiction curated by the joint efforts of Porkbelly & Sugared Water staff. | $10

contributors

Suzanna Anderson
Leah Browning
Andrea Blythe
Laura Bylenok
M. Brett Gaffney
Lisa Megraw
Lucas Olson
Marlana Patton
Monica Rico
Sarah Ann Winn

from the editors

Myth+Magic is a special edition outside of the regular submission period & subscription. We asked for updates of classics—new takes on old tales—and original work. Nothing here is quite what it seems to be. There is always more, and we welcome the deepening of the shadows on the path. All the best forests have them.

Included in this edition you’ll find short works inspired folk tale, fable, fairy tale, gods, monsters, myth, magic, tricksters, divination, witchcraft, and herbalism.

Prepare to be enchanted.

Very affectionately yours,

Sugared Water & Porkbelly Press

about the press

Porkbelly Press creates chapbooks in handbound, small editions. Launched in 2014, PP seeks works with a strong sense of voice, place, and just a touch of fabulism, folklore, or magic. We make our home on the banks of the Ohio River, in a little town called Cincinnati, where pigs fly. // porkbellypress.wordpress.com

colophon

40 pages, 5×7 inches, handbound & trimmed. 24lb bright white paper guts & Epson matte cover (inkjet printed). Garamond is our font of choice. Printed in August 2015.

cover artist

Our cover features a painting by Kentucky-born painter Angie Reed Garner. Garner is a second-generation narrative painter from Kentucky. The piece is “under water” (oil paint, 28×22 inches).

excerpts

from “Hunters” by M. Brett Gaffney:

After supper she pulls on boots,
prepares her heart.

The girl is small but carries the gun
like she would a baby, twig fingers light
on its tongue of a trigger.

Her father hoists his rifle, heavy with ammo,
the glint of his knife like teeth in the fading light.

They hunt at twilight, when wild things stumble
onto the roads like drowsy children,
thickets busy with thorns.

from “How to Fold a Dream” by Sarah Ann Winn:

You have to think first of the breakables.
The four mockingbirds growing smaller
on receding fence posts
must be stacked one inside the other
like nesting dolls. Wrap their song in a cyan silk scarf.
Place it in the smallest.
It must be tucked in carefully.

Take down Venus.
Pack it separately – it’s wish laden, fragile.

Reviews

Myth+Magic: A Review – via Christopher Morgan & Alien Mouth.

Sugared Water issue 003

The third issue of our lit. mag. Sugared Water is fresh off the binding table (a fancy term for the side of Nicci’s desk next to a box of thread & needles). This, like our other issues, is 56 pages long and features a handprinted cover (screen print) with two colors on 100% recycled, 20% PCW stock, most between 80# and 105#. Jonathan Rountree provided the drawing for the cover, inspired by a piece from the guts. The edition is limited to 100.

You’ll find work by 25 contributors, poetry-heavy with the inclusion of a couple of pieces of delightful short fiction. For a full list of contributors, please see Sugared Water‘s blog post on the issue release, or hop over to our Etsy shop. | $10

Epistolary, the Art of Letters (Anthology)

Epistolary is a 60 page anthology in limited edition (125). The cover art is a collage of gouache, tissue, ink, and paper. The binding is sewn by hand with heavy thread. | $9.50

the special edition anthology: a sweet treat

Epistolary is a special edition outside of the regular submission period & subscription. We asked for the “intimate and specific, letters full of evocative language, short, funny notes, or passionate remembrances,” fictional or poetic, unsent or scrawled on a postcard, inspired by a submission to Sugared Water that we just couldn’t refuse (see: “Morocco Mon Amour”).

Some of the snippets you’ll read are true, some invented, but all are intended for some kind of audience. It’s a little bit like sneaking a look inside someone’s journal, or wandering through a garden of secrets.

The art of letter writing is one that’s fallen out of fashion, and it’s with a nod to just this sort of archaic (or nostalgic!) practice that we bind by hand and produce our magazine in limited edition. We adore the physicality of a book you can hold in your hands, hand to a stranger, or gift to a loved one. We want you to secret us away or post us across an ocean—carry us. This edition is our fond epistle to you, dear reader.

XO,

Sugared Water
& Porkbelly Press

Contributors

Lori Brack, Marilyn Cavicchia, Emily Rose Cole, Kelly DuMar, Ruth Foley, Karen George, Mary Hammerbeck, Barbara Harroun, Joy KMT, Ross Losapio, Fayroze Lutta, Sarah McCartt-Jackson, Meredith McDonough, Lisa Megraw, P. Andrew Miller, Joe Nicholas, Julia Park Tracey (& Doris), Jonathan Travelstead, & Meg Tuite.

A Sampling of Poetry, Fiction, & CNF from Porkbelly Press

These are our most delicious offerings with hand-screened covers (left to right):

Sugared Water (lit mag, various authors & poets) | $10

l’appel du vide (Christina Cooke) | $10

Skeleton Keys (Laura Garrison) | $10

Vein of Stone (Sarah McCartt-Jackson) | $10

Bodies in Water (P. Andrew Miller) | $10

We’ll be tabling at Imaginarium (Louisville) in September, and we’re offering a limited number of these sets this month: all five of these titles for $38. The press is raising a little cash to pay for travel & table & stay. You can also use a $5 off coupon code IMAGINE on any order over $30 (on chapbooks, gift subscriptions, or even sketchbooks & journals).