Winter 2023 Catalogue

New Release Hood Vacations

Hood Vacations

by Michal ‘MJ’ Jones

Michal “MJ” Jones’ debut Hood Vacations is a rhythmic & quiet rumbling – an unflinching recollection of Blackness, queerness, gender, and violence through lenses of family lineage and confessional narrative. A nostalgia for an unreachable home permeates these poems: "We were mighty beautiful once, in golden dust." The speaker of Hood Vacations tells of magic: of praying mantises, bathtub octopuses, Black ghosts, & bringing back "rainbow soap colors". It is a book of passing – as, through, and on. Hop on in.

Publication Date: January 2023 Categories: Poetry Price: $16.95
Open Reading Selection Pre-Order North Country: A Pedagogical Almanac

North Country: A Pedagogical Almanac

by Carolyn Dekker

North Country: A Pedagogical Almanac is a memoir-in-essays about teaching and family life in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The book follows the cycle of seasons in this remote and beautiful place by the waters of Lake Superior during the years in which the author finds a place there. It's also a look at higher education on the razor's edge at a tiny and struggling liberal arts college. Above all, the memoir is about a life lived alongside books and what they might teach us about how to love, parent, mentor, and care for others.

Publication Date: February 2023 Categories: Non Fiction, Open Reading Period Selection Price: $19.95
Contest Winner Pre-Order In Life There Are Many Things

In Life There Are Many Things

by Lucy Wainger

In Life There Are Many Things is a portrait of adolescent mental illness after the end of history: “I have / this body— / residue—and I don’t know what / left it.” This chapbook's unmoored speakers seek, alternately, to root themselves more firmly in the world and to exit it entirely. Autobiography and allegory merge to track the inexplicable shapeshifting of the self as it ages, heals, dies, and lives again.

FROM In Life There Are Many Things

NEIGHBORHOOD

The sky is blue again and all the knees around me
bend. I look. A big red cut shaped like a fingernail,
a mouth starting to open. Litter on the sidewalks
glittering like candy. A big red mouth bleeding
cherry candy, dull gray smoke. Grown-up arms
wrap around me and grown-up legs start running
all in the same direction: away. We go all the way up
to the streets with the numbers on them. We move
all the way up to the streets with the numbers
on them. Then we move again, and again, and I get lice
so we cut off my hair and soak it in oil. Ugly gray
crayon I drag off the edge of the paper to show
the smoke, only that’s not really what it looked like.
I learn that Daddy didn’t wake up until the second
plane hit. He went into the living room and there weren’t
any windows, just different kinds of dust. He gives me
so much candy my mouth goes dull as a knife.
I get so hungry I have to eat until it hurts. I eat slabs
of dead things and look for the raw part, the softest
pink, my favorite color, but then I start dressing
like a boy. This is the kind of thing teachers call
a story: Daddy didn’t wake up until the second plane hit.
But he never wakes up when the sun is out, anyway.
He stays awake all night at his machine, its dull gray
glow. At night he cooks me dead things, cooks away
all the pink. When we finally get to move back home,
there are windows. The furniture is all blood orange
and cherry red. Across the street, instead of two big
buildings, there is one big hole, which they are covering
with metal, which is stupid. Sometimes I like it here.
How nobody knows where I live. I am a very small thing
and I am so good at slipping past fat pale crowds of people
with cameras. I am hard to surprise and easy to fool
because I know that so many things are normal.
My hair is long like a girl’s and my clothes are ugly
like a boy’s, so my body is just right. I can’t help it,
I have to pick the stupid scabs until they bleed cherry
candy, salty caramel. I sleep through the sun
and its dull gray glow, and my alarm goes off
but I don’t wake up. I can’t help it, I hate going
to the playground—I don’t know how to move my arms.
I don’t know how to move my legs, my open mouth.

Publication Date: February 2023 Categories: Chapbooks, Contest Winners, Poetry, The Black River Chapbook Competition Price: $7.95
Pre-Order But Now Am Found

But Now Am Found

by Patricia Horvath

What happens when one’s illusions unravel? This is the question that animates Patricia Horvath’s debut story collection, But Now Am Found. A young man experiences heartbreak for the first time when his girlfriend rejects him on religious grounds. One woman fixates on a crossword puzzle to avoid thinking about her missing daughter while another, in a deeply troubled marriage, gives birth. The characters in these stories struggle to make sense of upheaval in their lives. But Now Am Found is a compelling exploration of the human spirit confronted by abrupt and rending change.

Publication Date: February 2023 Categories: Fiction, Short Stories Price: $19.95