We recently did an interview with Erica Charis-Molling of Mass Poetry, in which we talk about publishing, editing, and all of the wonderful and difficult parts of running a small press. You can read the full interview on Mass Poetry’s site.
We’re just three days from Greater Boston Writers Resist, and it’s impossible to overemphasize the need for free press right now. I hope you’ll consider attending on Saturday. If you need another reason, the kind crew at DigBoston ran an excerpt from Sam Cha’s American Carnage to plug the event, so check out a bit of the opening below and read the rest at DigBoston—or if you’re in town, it’s also in the print edition!—and be sure to come to the BPL in Copley Square on Saturday to hear Sam kick off Writers Resist. Let’s get together and recommit to writing our way through this administration, and making ourselves heard among all the noise.
“I looked down at the thing inside the case, nestled in black foam rubber.
Oh, I said.
Here, said Mat. You wanna hold it?
It was the damnedest thing.
I didn’t, but I did.”
— Sam Cha, from “How We Came to America (1)”
A note: if you’re far from Boston but still want to support our work, you can donate to us directly, and if you want to support an organization that’s keeping us all informed of the difficult details in the news right now, we’re especially reliant on ProPublica these days, and we’d love to keep them in business.
We’re humbled and excited to be featured in The Writer‘s round-up of Literary Power Couples, a.k.a. couples who run literary magazines and presses. We’re in the esteemed company of Leesa-Cross Smith and Loran Smith of WhiskeyPaper Press and Donna Talarico and Kevin Beerman of Hippocampus Magazine and Books.
Many thanks to Melissa Hart for asking us to take part in the article—be sure to read up on Hippocampus and WhiskeyPaper, and if you’re looking to start a literary journal, or even a press or a conference, etc., definitely look through the article. Working in publishing takes commitment from everyone involved, and longevity in publishing takes work—just like any solid relationship.
Joyce Peseroff, author of five books of poetry, most recently Know Thyself (Carnegie Mellon, 2016), wrote a knockout review of How Her Spirit Got Out. Here’s a peek at the beginning, and then a bit from the end:
Krysten Hill’s chapbook is as fresh as today’s headlines. It calls out a culture where women continually risk abuse, invisibility, and soul-killing erasures, and where black women are particularly threatened….
Hill’s poems include allusions to foremothers like Audre Lorde, Sylvia Plath, and Zora Neale Hurston. Like Lorde, she responds to sexism, racism, and injustice with passion and perception. From Plath, she’s learned to figure the details of her life in images that are fierce and arresting. Hill understands the power of narrative and savor of vernacular speech, both loved by Hurston. The result is a voice that is beautiful and raw, intimate yet public, both confident and vulnerable.
We couldn’t agree more, and there’s no time like the present to head over to the Aforementioned shop and pick up your copy of How Her Spirit Got Out.
For those of you who couldn’t be in Iowa City, Susan McCarty’s reading at Prairie Lights is now online! She reads “Indirect Object,” a story we loved so much, we published it in apt.
Speaking of love, the admiration for Anatomies keeps rolling in!
First, an interview in The Iowa Gazette with Rob Cline, who says the collection “is filled with striking stories told in a variety of forms.”
And an excerpt from a review by Brenda Peynado at Wellesley Magazine: “The book, itself a work of art, asks, ‘Where is the soul located?’ The stories point back to ourselves, our hearts, our stomachs, and respond, ‘Everywhere.'”
“Adeptness is a quality clearly valued by both apt and the writers whose words appear on their pages…these stories are long, but their language is spare, with no word wasted. The disorderly plots need the space to sort themselves out; or to conclude in an even more thought-provokingly entangled manner than they began….In apt, the length of each story has function—the slow building of action and intimate acquainting with character are essential to the sense of dislocation you’ll feel as a reader once the story has ended. Because the experience of reading apt is cerebral, it is visceral, and you will live inside these stories.”
Susan McCarty’s Anatomies has received glowing praise from NewPages! The first and last paragraphs from Katy Haas’s review:
“If bodies are temples, Susan McCarty is an expert demolitionist. In Anatomies, McCarty breaks these temples down, rips through drywall and flesh, tears sexuality and humanity from their hinges, and leaves behind the barebones, the nervous system, the warm, buzzing electrical impulses buried beneath the exteriors of the temples housing her characters.
Anatomies is not a collection for the reader who doesn’t want to get their hands dirty. McCarty invites us to pick up a sledgehammer alongside her and give it a swing—to break down the walls of her characters while tunneling through our own deconstructed temples where we might find the things we’ve hidden or forgotten in ourselves. So go get your hands dirty, reader. Break your temple down.”
Publishers Weekly on Susan McCarty’s Anatomies:
“McCarty’s characters often show poor judgment and make bad decisions, but her affection and sympathy for them is never in doubt….McCarty’s deft blend of drama and humor always rings true; there’s not an out-of-place moment in this resonant collection.”
Susan McCarty’s debut collection received a glowing write-up in Esquire!
“Judging from the wry observations in McCarty’s first short story collection, the author seems like the type of person who would laugh at a funeral–which is a compliment. As McCarty reveals, what’s funny is funny, what’s sad is sad, and personal moments that pang are often both.”