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Paterson Light and Shadow

Description Paterson Light and Shadow tells the stories in poetry and photography of Paterson, New Jersey, from one of the most gifted poets, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, and fine art photographer Mark Hillringhouse, who together have spent a lifetime living, growing up and working in and around one of America’s most important historic industrial cities. In her signature style, Gillan combines sublime moments with gritty detail when she writes about growing up as a working class Italian immigrant as in the lines from the poem In the Still Photograph, Paterson, New Jersey, Circa 1950: “The rough feel of a washcloth / and Lifebuoy soap against my face, / the stiff, starched feel of my blouse, / the streets of Paterson, old and cracked, / the houses leaning together / like crooked teeth…” Hillringhouse’s award-winning black and white Paterson photographs accompany each poem and resonate with the mood and feeling of Gillan’s writing in crushed velvety blacks and grayscale tones that evoke the moods of this city’s past and its urban decay. This collection contains over thirty poems and thirty photographs that together explore the hallowed precincts of this once great industrial city, envisioned by Alexander Hamilton as the birthplace of manufacturing in a new nation, a city now home to countless immigrants who still struggle to work and to build lives and survive. About the Authors Maria Mazziotti Gillan is a recipient of the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, and the 2008 American Book Award for her book, All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions). She is the founder/executive director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ, and editor of the Paterson Literary Review. She is also director of the Binghamton Center for Writers and the creative writing program, and professor of English at Binghamton University-SUNY. Read more…

Reaching Beyond the Saguaros

Description In Reaching Beyond the Saguaros, a book titled for its beginning roots in the Southwest, contributors write themselves around the globe, connecting pieces of their individual hometowns. Inspired by the seventeenth-century haibun’s concision, imagistic tendencies, and subtle interplay between poetry and prose, this contemporary travelogue features writing by Renée Ashley, Carol Fragale Brill, Letisia Cruz, Walter Cummins, Nina Foxx, R. G. Evans, Racquel Henry, H. L. Hix, Thomas E. Kennedy, Minna Zallman Proctor, and others. Excerpts “‘You were such a sweet little one,’ she says, clearly not remembering everything. I say nothing, as I’d rather remember this moment, not that one. It moves as you move. A new world map hangs on the wall. The winter son is bright. Son stands up, takes his own first steps.”           — Mariya Gusev (St. Petersburg, Russia) In snow, our rooftop (daughter dressing like mother) mimics the mountains.           — H.L. Hix (Laramie, Wyoming) “Being from Northern Utah: On a quick drive westward from Utah’s capitol, through beige desert ranges, we stopped at the Bonneville Salt Flats on the way to a little gambling town. (Possibly for my last time in a long time.) When the wind picked up, we could taste a desert sea blowing through the peaks, and almost see where the earth curves amongst rippling refractions off asphalt and salt. Images to imprint.”           — Ginger Lee Thomason (Layton, Utah) “Have you seen red leaves spin rising from the concrete? Bodies for our ghosts.”           — Tim Lindner (Woodbridge, New Jersey) “You could never figure out what the obsession was with a Starbucks and a Dunkin Donuts on the same corner, the same way you could never figure out the obsession with the ocean. It’s too big, too deep, too unknowable. It reminds you too much of yourself.”           — Amanda Ramirez (Massapequa, New York) About the Editor This year Heather Lang was voted Las Vegas’ Best Local Writer or Poet by the readers of KNPR’s Desert Companion. Heather serves as a World Literature Editor with The Literary Review, and she was recently awarded a Nevada Arts Council artist grant to curate Legs of Tumbleweeds, Wings of Lace: An Anthology of Literature by Nevada Women. Heather holds an MFA in Poetry and a graduate certificate in Literary Translation from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and her poetry and prose have been published by or are forthcoming with The Normal School, Pleiades, and Whiskey Island, among others. Read more…

Miss Manners for War Criminals

Description Dean Troost is working on his master’s thesis in history and can’t seem—even though he realizes he must—to get beyond counting the war dead from the present war and innumerable past wars. The novel turns on the question of whether or not war is a crime itself, and whether the rationalizations offered for it are not dodges and deceptions to put a smiling face on an ugly truth. About the Author Jack Smith’s satirical novel Hog to Hog won the 2007 George Garrett Fiction Prize and was published by Texas Review Press in 2008. His novel Icon was published by Serving House Books in 2014. His novel Being was also published by Serving House Books, in 2015. He has published stories in a number of literary magazines, including Southern Review, North American Review, Texas Review, X-Connect, In Posse Review, and Night Train. His reviews have appeared widely in such publications as Ploughshares, Georgia Review, American Book Review, Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, Pleiades, the Missouri Review, and Environment magazine. He has published a few dozen articles in both Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market and The Writer magazine. His creative writing book, Write and Revise for Publication: A 6-Month Plan for Crafting an Exceptional Novel and Other Works of Fiction, was published in 2013 by Writer’s Digest Books. His coauthored nonfiction environmental book entitled Killing Me Softly was published by Monthly Review Press in 2002. Besides his writing, Smith was fiction editor of The Green Hills Literary Lantern, an online literary magazine published by Truman State University, for 25 years. Praise Miss Manners is a work of exuberant genius.  Jack Smith is fully in stride, from Dean’s decent and muddled voice, and his gropings of conscience, to the intellectual bite of his anti-war theme, to the wonderfully distinct voices of his crowd of characters. —DeWitt Henry, author of The Marriage of Anna Maye Potts and Safe Suicide Jack Smith has written a darkly comic novella, in equal measures poignant and surreal. The extended dialogue at his hellish family reunion reminds me of the opening scenes of The Graduate, with characters we may wish we didn’t recognize from our own lives: the overbearing uncles, the soldier who, returned from the war, is on the verge of a spontaneous combustion, the graduate student who can’t find a topic for his master’s thesis. Read more…

Sorrow Bread

Description In this collection, poems selected from a distinguished thirty-year career converse with each other across books and across time. Soulful, artful and yet accessible, these poems explore essential connections–one’s relationship to poetic tradition, the reader, the natural world, other lives, language itself. Cox renews strategies that have served poets across centuries and international borders: voice, rhythm, image, vision, myth, humor, shrewd architectonics whether “free” or not, a willingness to bring the reader decisively into the transaction. The poems often generate dense, shifting constellations of metaphor, and Cox’s voice carries a dreamlike power, yet he stays close to daily existence, mines it, giving especially clairvoyant attention to the difficult, beautiful life of families and the challenges of our mortality. In doing so, he reminds us of what’s important, of the emotional and psychological inscapes that sustain us. About the Author Mark Cox has previously published four volumes of poetry: Barbells of the Gods (Ampersand Press), Smoulder (David R. Godine), Thirty-Seven Years from the Stone, and Natural Causes (both in the Pitt Poetry Series). Readiness, a new book of prose poems, is slated for publication in 2018. Cox has a 30-year publication history in prominent magazines and has received a Whiting Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, and numerous fellowships for that work. He teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at University of North Carolina Wilmington and in the Vermont College MFA Program. Praise Cox essays a huge terrain of subject and feeling, from layered fury to astringent violence to lamentation, from guarded hopefulness to quiet, intensely stirring affirmation. A lesser poet might see all this fly apart; Cox establishes supple coherence through richly consistent artistic command and scrupulous honesty of vision and voice. Tony Hoagland has said Mark Cox is “a veteran of the deep water; there’s no one like him,” and Thomas Lux identified him as “one of the finest poets of his generation.” No one speaks more effectively of the vital and enduring syntaxes of common, even communal, life. —Richard Simpson In Sorrow Bread, Mark Cox is subtle—but never so much as to turn obscure; he is outspoken—but never so much as to turn didactic. His keen intellect shines all through the volume; but more important by my lights is the great heart that nourishes its every poem. Read more…

Jungle: Stories from The Sewanee Review

Description Among Gladys Swan’s many short story publications, a number of the most significant have appeared in The Sewanee Review, the oldest, continuously published literary magazine in America. Now they are collected for the first time, together with the prize-winning story, “Jungle.” About the Author Gladys Swan has published four novels—Carnival for the Gods (Vintage Contemporaries Series) and a trilogy set in New Mexico, where she grew up—A Dark Gamble; Ghost Dance: A Play of Voices (LSU Press) and Ancestors.  She has also published seven books of short fiction, including The Tiger’s Eye: New & Selected Stories. Her poetry and essays have appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies.  Though she has spent most of her career as a writer, she has spent much of her time during the last two decades to painting and exploring the creative process. Praise I have long thought that Gladys Swan is one of the best short story writers in the country, and this fabulous collection serves to confirm my belief.  Her stories are beautifully textured, infinitely mysterious and, above all, elegantly written.  The only thing more impressive than her prose may be her knowledge of the human heart. —Steve Yarborough, author of The Realm of Last Chances It’s a joyful gift to have this collection. Every year, my students savor “Carnival for the Gods,” the perfect introduction to how, throughout her long writing life, Swan has done what Chekhov asked, to “tirelessly apprentice yourself to your strongest narrative instincts.” Each of these splendid stories puts on high exhibit Gladys Swan’s devotion to that very thing. Read more…

The Miscreant: Selected Stories 1949-2016

Description Having lived under and outlasted two globe-girdling empires, the Portuguese and the British, Victor Rangel-Ribeiro considers himself to be a pre-postcolonial writer, one of the last survivors of a dying breed. His new volume of short fiction includes 15 stories plucked from a long and illustrious career that began in the early 1940s, and is still ongoing. Seven stories deal with life in India; seven with the immigrant experience in New York. The fifteenth, “Dear J.C.,” takes us back twenty one centuries, to a Roman colony at the time of Cesar Augustus and Herod the Great. The collection thus spans continents and lifestyles as well as centuries. Although several stories share a common thread, no two stories are alike. Love features in some—from lust to self-delusion to poignant loss in the novella, “Loving Ayesha.” Other stories contrast the innocence of youth with the problems of old age. A number are very funny. In this collection, Victor Rangel-Ribeiro embraces a unique range of subjects, moods, and emotions, a diversity that reveals a master of story telling. About the Author Victor Rangel-Ribeiro was born in Goa, India, in 1925, when it was still a Portuguese colony, but he moved to Bombay in British India to complete his university studies, before moving to the United States in 1956 and becoming an American citizen. Having outlived two empires, the Portuguese and the British, at age 91 he now claims to be one of a vanishing breed of pre-postcolonial writers: His earliest stories appeared in print in colonial Bombay in the 1940s; he is still writing today, often far into the night. Rangel-Ribeiro’s short fiction has appeared in such prestigious literary magazines as the Iowa Review, the North American Review, and The Literary Review, and also in his native India. His debut novel, Tivolem, set in Goa in 1933, won Milkweed’s National Fiction Prize and was declared by Booklist to be one of the twenty best first novels of 1997-98. Loving Ayesha, a short story collection, was published by Harper Collins (India) in 2003. Both Tivolem and Loving Ayesha made that country’s best seller list. Rangel-Ribeiro writes with equal facility of life in colonial times in India, and life in the United States from the immigrant point of view. Read more…

The Fifth Eye: A Collection of Fiction and Creative Nonfiction

Description This debut story collection depicts a wide range of compelling characters and their worlds: a hermaphrodite falling in love, a veteran Marine’s “piercing” attempt to cope with PTSD, preparations for the anticipated destruction of a hurricane, aging and the aftermath of breast cancer, immigrants fleeing famine, a mother’s worst fear, and the mystifications of love versus simple desire. As a tone painting, as well as an artwork painted with words, the final story “Galatea” offers a mind-bending, multimedia experience of the complex relationship between two artists and the workings of their minds. The book is not a linked story collection, yet some settings, subjects, phrases, styles, and themes weave throughout the collection, bringing to each stand-alone story a broad resonance and perspective. About the Author Roisin McLean writes fiction and creative nonfiction. She received her B.A. in English (both Writing & Editing, and Language & Literature) from The Pennsylvania State University, and received her MFA in Creative Writing, Fiction, from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She has been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize and was a semifinalist for The Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction (Nimrod/Hardman). McLean’s fiction (under various pen names) appears in or has been accepted for publication by Perigee: Publication for the Arts, Fiction Week Literary Review, Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts, Pithead Chapel, and the FDU MFA Alumni Anthology, Inaugural Issue (forthcoming). Her creative nonfiction appears in Winter Tales II: Women on the Art of Aging, in OH SANDY! A Humorous Anthology with a Serious Purpose (all profits of which benefit survivors of Hurricane Sandy), and in Runnin’ Around: The Serving House Book of Infidelity.  Her interviews with ex-pat author Thomas E. Kennedy appear in The McNeese Review and Ecotone. McLean worked as Managing Editor for Macmillan Publishing Company and in hands-on book production for other publishing houses, both on staff and freelance, for over thirty years. She currently writes, revises, updates homes, and serves as Associate Editor for Serving House Books. Praise “Roisin McLean’s The Fifth Eye [is] an illuminating story collection displaying a dazzling, virtuoso style of writing full of unique images and observations that are at times not only gorgeously humorous but also ironically crushing.” —Duff Brenna, author of Too Cool and  The Holy Book of the Beard “Compassionate portrayals of a wide range of characters … All are frail. Read more…

The Pleasures of Language: From Acropox to Word Clay

Description A provisional title for this collection was “Fifty Stabs at the Truth of Language,” which despite its weight, I remain fond of because of its nod to Montaigne’s Essais, which the French master thought of as stabs at the truth of his experience. In some ways, that title is a better description of the book you are holding than “The Pleasures of Language,” for the subject is so huge and complex all anyone can do is to take a stab at it in an attempt to unpeel the slippery onion of our tongue. Whatever I choose to call it, this is a book for the general reader who still consults a hardback dictionary and does an occasional crossword. Having never been a glib speaker, despite forty-two years in the English classroom, I turned to the written word long ago. Schopenhauer thought most of us spend forty years preparing the text and thirty on the commentary; with me it’s been more of a sixty-ten split. But I come to the commentary phase well prepared. Laying out the text for me largely consisted of taking notes on 3×5 cards and filing them away for the final phase if I was fortunate enough to last that long. Hart Crane wrote that he needed to be “drenched in words…” in order “to have the right ones form themselves into the proper patterns at the right moment.” With me, before writing short essays like these ranging from pornography to prayer and concision to tautologies, I immerse myself in the ideas summarized on my cards. Then I try to teach myself something I didn’t know before. I trust, gentle verb-adores, I have a few things to teach you as well. About the Author Born December 12, 1941 at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC, Skip Eisiminger is the son of Dorothy and Sterling Eisiminger. In 1959, he graduated from Mt. Vernon HS (his tenth school in twelve years). In 1963 while serving three and a half years in the Army Security Agency, he married Ingrid Barmwater of Helmstedt, West Germany. With her committed assistance, he graduated from Auburn University in 1967 (BS) and 1968 (MA). The same year, he settled his family in Clemson, SC after taking a job teaching English and interdisciplinary humanities at Clemson University. Read more…

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The ABCs of Enlightenment

Description In these rich and incisive essays, Robert Day reveals how his “learning” as a student defined his “teaching” at Washington College, the University of Kansas, the Iowa Writers Workshop and other colleges and universities. He learned because his best teachers included him into their intellectual lives, and it seemed natural for him to do the same for his students. The first part of this collection contains tributes to his  teachers, and the second part tells how he followed their examples in his own teaching. About the Author Robert Day’s novel The Last Cattle Drive was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. His short fiction has won a number of awards and citations, including two Seaton Prizes, a Pen/Faulkner NEA prize, and Best American Short Story and Pushcart citations. His fiction has been published by Tri-Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, Kansas Quarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, Summerset Review, and New Letters among other belles-lettres magazines. He is the author of two novellas, In My Stead, and The Four Wheel Drive Quartet, as well as three collections of short fiction: Speaking French in Kansas, Where I Am Now, and The Billion Dollar Dream. His nonfiction has been published in the Washington Post Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes FYI, Modern Maturity, World Literature Today, American Scholar, and Numero Cinq. As a member of the Prairie Writers Circle, his essays have been reprinted in numerous newspapers and journals nationwide, and on such internet sites as Counterpunch and Arts and Letters Daily. Recent book publications include We Should Have Come By Water (poems), The Committee to Save the World (literary non-fiction), Chance Encounters of a Literary Kind (memoirs), and Let Us Imagine Lost Love (a novel). Among his awards and fellowships are a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, Yaddo and McDowell fellowships, a Maryland Arts Council Award, and the Edgar Wolfe Award for distinguished fiction. His teaching positions include The Iowa Writers Workshop; The University of Kansas; and the Graduate Faculty at Montaigne College, The University of Bordeaux. He is past Acting President of the Associated Writing Programs; the founder and former Director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House; and founder and Publisher of the Literary House Press at Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland. Praise To say Bob was an enthusiastic, engaged teacher would be accurate but insufficient. Read more…

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Road to the Sea

Description In this poignant story of new found love and love discarded, reminiscent of some of Graham Greene’s novels, Tim Schell takes us to Central Africa where a young American, an African prostitute and the seventeen-year-old daughter of American Baptist missionaries are on the run from the police and other threats. The American, Jack Burke, has stabbed to death a Frenchman in the act of raping Mari, the prostitute and Jack’s former lover. She is the one arrested, but Jack confesses, then flees because of extreme fear of confinement, the result of childhood trauma. The daughter, Faith, joins their flight in her love for Jack. While the novel dramatizes a suspenseful adventure of danger, escape and death, the intense action engages questions of love, loyalty and belief. About the Author Tim Schell is the winner of the 2004 Mammoth Book Award for Prose for his novel The Drums of Africa which was published in the fall of 2007. In 2010, Tim’s novel The Memoir of Jake Weedsong was The Finalist in the AWP novel competition, and in 2011 it was published by Serving House Books. Tim is the co-author of Mooring Against the Tide: Writing Fiction and Poetry (Prentice Hall, 2nd edition, 2006) and the co-editor of the anthology A Writer’s Country (Prentice Hall, 2001). Currently, he is the Chair of the Writing, Literature and Foreign Language Department at Columbia Gorge Community College in Hood River, Oregon. Praise Sometimes a book just comes along and knocks down the door and grabs your sleeve with its big story and you read breathlessly for a couple of days, miss work, hide your phone, honest to god, to find out what happened.  Road to the Sea is one of those books; I am thrilled at its appearance.  Seriously: thrilled.  Tim Schell is a sure-footed, fine writer, and this is his best. Just a warning to my friends: a book is coming to your house. —R Ron Carlson, author of Five Skies Road to the Sea, Tim Schell’s latest novel, though set in the Dark Continent, is not a journey into the heart of darkness but into the human spirit to endure and rise. Read more…