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The Best of Bumpus

Description Fifteen stories and the sixth story collection by Jerry Bumpus, the unique and celebrated master of the short story form, and the author of the much acclaimed novel ANACONDA. Twenty-four of Bumpus’s 121 published stories have been anthologized and taught in colleges from New York to San Diego. His stories and novels model the weirdness of not just our species but all species of every sort, including giant spiders and flying pigs. If a critic had to pick a dominant theme that the author obsessively explores, that theme might be: life is absurd. This is the author as fans have come to know him: bedrock real one moment and shifting sands unreal on the page opposite. Some of his characters have one foot in here-and-now certainties, while the other foot toes the lunacies of a dream, revealing tenuous connections between bizarre behavior and pure accident and the oddities of unforeseen collisions between minds conventional and minds caught in a maelstrom. Bumpus is sui generis, inhabiting a class all his own. Prepare to be delighted. Prepared to be astonished. About the Author Jerry Bumpus is Professor Emeritus at San Diego State University. He holds a BA in English from the University of Missouri, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa. He has published 121 stories, 24 of which have been anthologized. He has also published five story collections and two novels. His third novel has been brewed and is in the final stages of polishing. His work has appeared in Esquire, The Paris Review, The Best American Short Stories (1974 and 1975), Tri-Quarterly, The Iowa Review, and dozens of other respected journals. Praise I think of Jerry Bumpus as a king of the underground writers. I treasure a rare copy of his novel Anaconda,and have taught the story collection, Things in Place, to graduate writing students. Jerry Bumpus has a following; of it I am a devoted member. —Vance Bourjally, author of Brill Among the Ruinswhich was nominated for the National Book Award We are chilled as we shift in and out of various hostile places—mental wards, forests; or that we may confront a vicious dog who finally outwits us. [Bumpus] is masterful at arousing laughter and then drawing us in with a shaft of unexpected power. Most of the stories are, finally, conundrums, in the way that Borges’ best fiction is. Read more…

Plutonium & Platinum Blonde

Description Las Vegas, NV— Gurlesque collides with The New York School of poetry in Angela M. Brommel’s debut chapbook, Plutonium & Platinum Blonde. Layered between works of desert love, Brommel‘s poems engage with an array of larger-than-life pop culture icons, including the reimagined 1950’s beauty queen, Miss Atomic. About the Author Angela M. Brommel, is a Nevada writer with Iowa roots. Her poetry has been featured in The Best American Poetry Blog, the North American Review, The Literary Review—TLR Share, and Sweet: A Literary Confection, among many other journals, anthologies, and art exhibitions. Angela is the Director of Arts & Culture and Advancement, as well as a part-time Humanities faculty member, at Nevada State College. She serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Citron Review. Praise “Brommel’s poems about Las Vegas are wonderful—she takes the glitz of the place and reduces the scale to human proportions. With a wicked, understated humor and a keen eye for detail, she creates a wildly entertaining original voice that’s more than up to the challenge of its subject matter.” —Jim Daniels, author of Rowing Inland (Wayne State University Press) “Brommel’s work has humor in it—wondrous juxtaposition of images, a certain flair for authenticity of voice, and a great ability to spot the absurd. She takes advantage of pop culture icons as well as film history, while at the same time locking into something very direct: ‘you heart thief’.” —Carol W. Read more…

Art, Sex, Politics

Description In a new, provocative collection of essays, William Eaton, the author of Surviving the Twenty-First Century, shares the pleasures of a life full of questions, tastes, reading and more visual arts. “That we are animals, that is as sure as ever. How savagely we behave toward one another and toward other species and inorganic others. How we rub affectionately up against one another and—however desperately—make love.” About the Author In between drawings, William Eaton has been an award-winning journalist, novelist, writer of erotic fiction, intellectual essays, and dialogues. Surviving the Twenty-First Century, a collection of his essays from Montaigbakhtinian.com, was published by Serving House in 2015. One of Eaton’s dialogues, The Professor of Ignorance Condemns the Airplane, was staged in New York in 2014. He is the Editor of Zeteo: The Journal of Interdisciplinary Writing. He holds graduate degrees from Columbia and the City University of New York, and a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley. Praise Engaged, non-doctrinaire, well-read, independent-minded, Eaton shows us that in an age of media distraction and academic specialization a thinking person can still make a path. – Sven Birkerts, Editor of Agni and author of The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age Beautiful and wise and moving book! – Amy Friedman, author of Desperado’s Wife: A Memoir and Nothing Sacred· A Conversation with Feminism A delicacy full of surprises and pleasures. Entertaining, yet packs a quiet intellectual wallop. – Claire Stewart, author of As Long as we Both Shall Eat: A History of Wedding Food and Feasts Full of insights and speculations, and very enjoyable to read. In the Eaton world linkages are everywhere. – Nahid Rachlin, author of Persian Girls (memoir), Foreigner, and Jumping Over Fire (novels) William Eaton finds arresting themes in unusual places. The writing is masterful and wonderfully absorbing .” – Edward F. Mooney, author of On Soren Kierkegaard· Dialogue, Polemics, Lost Intimacy and Time William Eaton never doesn’t think. You may not always (or ever) agree with him. But I don’t always agree with Montaigne either. For the price of a sandw ich plus tax, Eaton’s little book could start you thinking about your own life, perhaps in ways you never before considered. – Nina Mishkin, writer and lawyer So thought-provoking and so poetic that I didn’t want it to end. It makes the reader want to respond in some way. Read more…

Confessions of an Accidental Professor

Description Confessions of an Accidental Professor reveals ten years of teaching college freshman through the prism of an adjunct professor. In this hybrid memoir, essays are interspersed with anonymous student evaluations, emails, and chair observations. The issues range from serious (rape and sexual assault of college students) to silly (being contacted by a twenty-five-year-old former student who sent photos of himself stripped to the waist and asked for a date.) The relationships between students and teacher reveal the challenges and satisfactions of an underpaid adjunct professor with humor, drama and immediacy. About the Author Lisa del Rosso originally trained as a classical singer and completed a post-graduate program at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), living and performing in London before moving to New York City. Her plays Clare’s Room and Samaritan, have been performed off-Broadway and had public readings, respectively, while St. John, her third play, was a semi-finalist for the 2011 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Barking Sycamores, Neurodivergent Literature, Razor’s Edge Literary Magazine, The Literary Traveler, Serving House Journal, VietnamWarPoetry, Young Minds Magazine (London/UK), Time Out New York, The Huffington Post, The Neue Rundschau (Germany), Jetlag Café (Germany), and One Magazine (London/UK), for whom she writes theater reviews. She teaches writing at New York University. Praise As an account of the contemporary academic adjunct catastrophe, del Rosso’s book should be required reading for full-time professors and their administrative bosses who are charged with maintaining the integrity of their institutions—of course, they’ll likely flinch in the face of the reality that defines the life of the adjunct professor and that seems beyond redeeming and out of their control.  It’s not, and that’s an important part of this story. However, what makes this rollicking, painful, smart, hilarious, and honest memoir required reading for all of us is its enormous heart: in adversity, del Rosso upholds and celebrates her students and her life—it is, in the end, a triumphant embrace. —David Daniel, Co-founder and former president of the Affiliated Faculty of Emerson College; Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Read more…

Your First Page

Description Your First Page is unlike any other craft book on writing. It is based on the premise that almost everything that can go right or wrong in a work of fiction or memoir goes wrong or right on the first page. The book grew out of an experiment for which writers submitted nearly one hundred anonymous first pages of works-in-progress for analysis. The experiment proved two things: that first pages function like canaries in coalmines, forecasting success or predicting trouble. They establish the crucial bond between writer and reader, setting us off on a path toward the heart or climax of a story, or they fail to do so. The experiment also demonstrated that from first pages we stand to learn most of what we need to know to succeed as authors. About the Author Peter Selgin is the author of Drowning Lessons, winner of the 2007 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. He has written a novel, two other books on the writer’s craft, an essay collection, and several children’s books. His recent memoir, The Inventors, was named one of the best memoirs of 2016 by Library Journal. Of it the reviewer wrote, “It is a book destined to become a modern classic.” His stories and essays have appeared in The Missouri Review, Gettysburg Review, Colorado Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Poets & Writers, and other journals, and have been featured in Best American Essays and Best American Travel Writing. His plays have been published and produced nationally. A visual artist as well as a writer, his work has been featured in The New Yorker and other publications. He is an affiliate faculty member of Antioch University’s low-residency MFA writing program in Los Angeles and an Associate Professor of English at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, where he serves as nonfiction editor and art director of Arts & Letters. Praise “The straightforward premise of Peter Selgin’s Your First Page — your story or novel is as good as its first page—is ingenious, seductive and bracingly pragmatic. A boon for teachers of writing, this charming, immensely readable handbook on writing is destined to appear in countless libraries and classrooms and be given treasured space on the bookshelves of seasoned and aspiring writers alike. Read more…

Small Wonder

Description In this second novel of Gladys Swan’s The Carnival Quintet, Curran—the small wonder of the title, at four feet one inch—receives a troubling letter from Elise, a woman he had adored long ago. Although he hadn’t heard from her in years, he is compelled to find and protect her. And thereby an adventure begins with a long trip to a carnival near a ruined city in Mexico, encountering a seductress and a wealthy bandit along the way. His real quest turns out to be finding Elise’s strange son and bringing him back through a forbidding landscape while avoiding treacherous rivals. Despite his diminutive size, Curran is a wonder. About the Author Gladys Swan has published three novels, Carnival for the Gods, (Vintage Contemporaries Series), Ghost Dance: A Play of Voices, (LSU Press, nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award), and A Dark Gamble, as well as seven collections of short fiction. Her poetry and essays, and short stories have appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies. Much of her work is set in New Mexico, where she grew up. Though she has spent most of her career as a writer, she has devoted much of her time during the last two decades to painting and exploring the creative process. She was the first writer since the inception of the Vermont Studio Center to receive a fellowship for a residency in painting. She also received a fellowship from the Lilly Endowment for a year’s study of Inuit art and mythology and a Fulbright Award as a writer-in-residence in Yugoslavia. Her paintings have appeared as the cover art for various literary magazines and books, including the most recently published, The Tiger’s Eye: New & Selected Stories. She has twice been a Guest Writer at the Vermont Studio Center and has held residencies at Yaddo, the Chateau de Lavigny in Switzerland. the Fimdacion Valparaiso in Spain and others. She has taught literature and creative writing at various colleges and universities, notably, in the MFA Program at the Vermont College of the Arts and at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Western New Mexico University and gave the commencement address. The Carnival Quintet, an outgrowth of her first novel, is being published by Serving House Books. The first volume, Carnival for the Gods, appeared in September, 2014. She has done the cover paintings for the series. Read more…

From Pantyhose to Spandex: Writers on the Job Redux

The authors of From Pantyhose to Spandex: Writers on the Job Redux take you on a tour through a single night in a taxi in Copenhagen while listening to Mahler’s Ninth, through the “Melancholy House” of a maximum-security prison and assigning juvenile delinquents as their sentence to do the sentences of an essay, through a woman’s decision to sell her eggs for five thousand dollars, through why the legendary jewelry store is called “Tiffany” rather than “Tiffany’s,” and on to a beach where forty-eight thousand pounds of lobster wait to be packed, moonlighting (a teacher’s necessity), the sleepless nights of a veterinary assistant, working as a babysitter/envelope-stuffer/carhop/Christmas ball saleswoman/gas-pumpattendant/and so much more, a day job as a bookseller, a translator, and even more ways of putting food on the table to feed the muses. Read more…

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 sun 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…