For Krysten Hill’s poetry chapbook, How Her Spirit Got Out:

“A fist held up, black and beautiful… This is a collection to be carried along, yes, and spoken aloud.”

— Janice Worthen, Small Press Distribution, SPD Staff Picks

“In Krysten Hill’s poetry, spirit is ghost, breath, language and life… The result is a voice that is beautiful and raw, intimate yet public, both confident and vulnerable.”

Joyce Peseroff

“What struck me most were poems from Krysten Hill’s How Her Spirit Got Out: whether she’s recording a sister’s reaction to the shooting of her 12-year-old brother or the wreckage of a sweet potato pie, her words are fierce and fearless. Hill confronts us with the dangerous reality of the lives of black women, who may “go missing” because “they knew if they didn’t leave, they’d kill / what they couldn’t afford to nurture” or go missing in another way when they hear a writing workshop leader ask “Is there any way / you can write this poem/ from his perspective?” Hill’s words are precise and potent, and each time you read them, her poems mean more.”

— Sara Backer, Judge for the 2017 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize from New England Poetry Club

For Susan McCarty’s short story collection, 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.”

Publishers Weekly

“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.”

— Matt Patches, Esquire

“A promising debut collection…[from] a gifted purveyor of American short fiction.”

Kirkus Reviews

“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.”

— Katy Haas, NewPages

For Dolan Morgan’s short story collection, That’s When the Knives Come Down:

“Morgan debuts his refreshing talent in a collection of 12 short stories that are as bizarre as they are brilliant. Germanely punctuated by Robin E. Mork’s playful graphite drawings, the collection is driven by an idiosyncratic and absurd mind… ‘Experimental’ would be a misleading term for this one-of-a-kind book.”

— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Dolan Morgan’s That’s When the Knives Come Down is a collection of short stories that seems to have missed almost everyone’s ‘Best of 2014′ list. This is a shame because its true place is at the top of these lists for its passion to discover new territories. Morgan is a brash talent not interested in running over ground already covered by Lorrie Moore, Lydia Davis, George Saunders and other luminaries with experimental flair. Morgan seeks something different, something along the lines of a lost continent to name after himself.”

— William Lessard, Entropy

“This is a book full of strangeness, and strange books can come apart pretty easily if they’re not coming from an author with a careful control of his subject matter. That’s When the Knives Comes Down doesn’t come apart; instead, it takes an obverse, often thrilling tack in its defiance of what we normally think fiction is supposed to do.”

— Zach VandeZande, American Microreviews

 For Michael Lynch’s poetry collection, Underlife and Portico, winner of the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize:

“Sensual and visceral…disorienting and disquieting…a loneliness akin to the loneliness that haunts many of Hopper’s paintings and Cheever’s stories suffuses Lynch’s poems.”

— Jordan Sanderson, Heavy Feather Review

“Lynch displays a fantastic eye for detail, constantly throwing out quirky yet effective descriptions which surprise both with their use of language and their wonderful solidity… It’s a wonderfully smart collection, where not only are the individual poems insightful and well-constructed, but the collection as a whole is itself an elegant model of mundanity and the underlife that lies beneath.”

— Christopher Frost, Neon

For Gillian Devereux’s poetry collection, They Used to Dance on Saturday Nights:

“I love it when a writer can take something extraordinary and special and put it in simple words. I also love it when a writer can take something simple and make it extraordinary and special. Gillian Devereux does both… When I finished this collection I could practically taste the pale pink sugar of the carnival cotton candy machine. I wanted to lick my sticky-sweet fingers clean.”

— Leesa Cross-Smith, Sundog Lit

“…nothing in this chapbook has a time stamp. There’s no talk of technology, and the chapbook is absent of modern slang. Nevertheless, it feels modern. It feels modern in the way authors of previous centuries are still read because their perceptions and observations still apply. The sorts of people and personalities around today have probably been around since the beginning of humanity. By consistently keeping us at the carnival, Devereux manages to maintain the wonderment and lift the curtain simultaneously.”

— Gretchen Hodgin, JMWW

“Devereux’s text is most admirable as a metaphor for illness and survival. Many of her characters are examinations of Plath’s ‘magician’s girl who does not flinch’, professionals geared to stoicism and efficiency that is nothing like the seemingly effortless magic perceived by their audience…Certainly this slim volume has something to teach us about magic and control, how indistinguishable the two often are from each other.”

— Lisa A. Flowers, TheThe Poetry

“This small collection of poetry carries a spark of imagination in its throat…reading the language is reminiscent of grit and fire igniting the page….the fantastical tone carries you to a Tom Waits style of readability, that grabs your hair and makes you watch the story unfold. Nobody but him has made the carnival so sexy, raw, or appealing until now.”

— Zach Fishel, Girls with Insurance

For apt:

apt showcases a range of talents in this ‘Surveillance Issue.’ Writers eschew traditional forms successfully; the reader constantly considers truths among intriguing points of view, inventive structures, reason propped up against fractured skylines. Unlike other postmodern efforts, where the oddity and ambiguity may permit dodging the meaningful and the political, the writers ofapt experiment, yes, but with a careful and brilliant purpose…. Per their introductory note, the editors have historically shied away from themes, but this collection is unified subtly, with that characteristic purpose we see in its pages.”

— Mary Florio on our fourth print annual, NewPages

“[apt] has great breadth of voice and style.  This issue soars.”

— Tripp Reade on our third print annual, The Review Review

“The contributors to apt: Issue 3 are wise, delivering questions, not answers. Each piece is fresh and inventive. There are sentences and stanzas to savor and thematic patterns to contemplate. Thoughtfully arranged as they are by the editors, the reader is treated to a singular experience.”

— Susan Rukeyser, Sundog Lit

“The collection is filled from cover to cover with strong, daring pieces, which makes it hard to pick any favorites. I call them ‘pieces’ because the editors of the issue have been intentional to blur the lines between prose and poetry. Though it’s hard to be quite sure which you’re reading at a given time, it doesn’t matter. Nearly every piece is filled with fierce narratives and clever surprises. There’s not a single selection in the issue that fades into the background.”

— Sarah Carson on our second print annual, NewPages

“Being bent on doing things their own way may just be the fuel behind their success.”

— Jennifer Vande Zande on our inaugural print issue, NewPages

“With the breadth and caliber of the writing showcased in its inaugural print issue, apt promises to become a valuable contributor to the restless and ever-evolving literary scene of today.”

— Michelle Bailat-Jones, Necessary Fiction

For Literary Firsts:

“[Carissa Halston] has spiced up the typical format for an evening of readings”

— Jan Gardner, The Boston Globe

“For the deep-thoughted Wallaces and Austers of the Moleskine-set…one of the most popular reading events in the city… Thank god for these people. We’ve been trying to convince people that literature is sexy for YEARS NOW.”

The Weekly Dig

“While some literary readings can tend a bit on the quieter side, you shouldn’t expect that from a Literary Firsts event.”

The Feast