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Runnin’ Around: The Serving House Book of Infidelity

Infidelity anyone? Vicariously enjoy the unfaithfulness of twenty-four writers in this anthology, Runnin’ Around, subtitled The Serving House Book of Infidelity. The cover is a black- and-white Mark Hillringhouse photograph of an appropriately seedy motel advertising day-rates. However, the content is not seedy at all, including Pulitzer Prize winning poet Stephen Dunn, who leads off with a poem that originally appeared in the New Yorker, inspiring editors Kennedy and Cummins to solicit eleven poets, two essayists, and eleven fiction writers to take a turn at telling a tale of infidelity, be it carnal or spiritual or somewhere in between. Included is the work of poets Dunn, Jack Ridl, H. L. Hix, Laura McCullough, Rick Mulkey, Steve Davenport, Renée Ashley, Dan Turèll, Elisabeth Murawski, Flower Conroy, and Mark Hillringhouse, essays by Rebecca Chace and Minna Proctor, and short stories by Timmy Waldron, Per Smidl, Duff Brenna, Roisin McLean, Victor Rangel-Ribeiro, Greg Herriges, Susan Tekulve, Dennis F. Bormann and Kennedy and Cummins as well. Read more…

Local Music

A man who can’t bring himself to return to the apartment of his failing marriage, a woman spied on by a neighbor, a father terrified by the four-year- old next door, a boy living in a house haunted by his mother’s madness, a mother whose children are freezing in a heatless bedroom–the characters in the Stories of Local Music are unsettled in their own homes, their lives dissonant and discordant. Read more…

Sympathetic People

Both the beauty and frailty of human connections are seen in the thirteen stories collected in Sympathetic People. Here are women and men struggling to find love, meaning, happiness in marriage, adulterous affairs, art, meditation, and even the passage from life to death. Longing generated by loss is everywhere–in the death of a son, the end of a marriage, the slide from hope ignited by Neil Armstrong’s moon walk to hopelessness after President Kennedy’s death.In “Hindsight,” Jessie, a hippie in Lawrence, Kansas, opts for what she assumes is stability in a world of change, only to be brought up short years later when her life veers off its predicted path. “The Secrets of Snakes” reveals the early ruptures in a marriage and a wife’s futile attempts to stop them even as she tries to care for her son’s pet racer. In “The Jewel Box,” a grandmother promises to let her granddaughter know what Heaven is like after she passes and if, in fact, it looks like the Art Deco greenhouse built in St. Louis during the 1904 World’s Fair. And in “Versions,” a newlywed in Plano, Texas, entertains her sometimes angry husband’s first wife and realizes too late what she has given up in choosing him. Read more…

Wagon 537 Christiania

Frivolity, joy and self discovery are the things which, Les Stein, the protagonist of Wagon 537 Christiania, arrives at in his two-year sojourn in the freetown of Christiania. Fleeing from a world of angst and stress, longing for the woman who left him, and frustrated with the stale facets of modern life such as his university studies Stein develops a new understanding of love, independence and self realization. Read more…

Hidden Lives: My Three Grandmothers

Hidden Lives presents compelling true stories of three New York City immigrant families—one Jewish, one German, and one Italian—set in three tenement neighborhoods—the Lower East Side, the South Bronx, and Hell’s Kitchen—during the first decades of the twentieth century. In each of these narratives, the central character is a woman without power and without voice. Their stories, compassionately told, bring to life statistics that record the city’s stunning population growth between 1880 and 1910. The three women are Rogers’s grandmothers, their stories kept secret for almost a century. She has chosen to break the silence that surrounded their lives and pay tribute to women too long hidden from view. Hidden Lives is also the story of her search for her families’ past. Read more…

Streethearts

John Spector is a seasoned high school teacher with 22 years in the trenches of a ghetto school filled with struggling teenagers, gangs, apathetic students— but also students “who make an indelible impression, kids with souls and hearts as big as the world.” We get the whole spectrum from Spector, a brave and decent soul, a soft touch, too nice, too caring perhaps. Herriges spent many years as a high school teacher. He brings substance and legitimacy to Streethearts. The authenticity of his narrative comes across in every line of every page, many of them packed with witty and sparkling dialogue, at times genuinely humorous, occasionally grim or even horrific, but always candid, always down-to-earth, always reliable. Read more…

It Must Give Pleasure

It Must Give Pleasure is both a memoir and a deeply imaginative treatise on poetry, literature, art and life. And since Roberta Bienvenu’s life has been rich in friendship and fortunate in mentors, we also meet men and women whose ideas and art helped define the culture of the last century. Read more…

By Cunning & Craft: Practical Wisdom for Fiction Writers

Writing successful fiction is a balance between trusting one’s own instincts and making the right conscious choices. In By Cunning & Craft, award-winning novelist and short-story writer Peter Selgin shows you how to combine the instinctive process of creation with sound technical ingenuity. With precise instruction and examples from classic and best-selling works, this authoritative guide helps you master all the essential fiction-wiring elements. Whether you’re facing the blank pages of a first draft or trying to revise a completed manuscript, By Cunning & Craft provides you with the guidance you need to outfox common writing pitfalls and make sure your work isn’t wanting in wit—or perfection. Read more…

Locals: A Collection of Prose Poems

Claire Bateman’s Locals is a narrative atlas of prose poems as intimate as they are unpredictable, each a keyhole glimpse into the life of a different realm where our normal logic doesn’t apply. Are we beholding magic? No, but through observing these strangers, we’re confronted by the extraordinary paradoxes within our own hearts. Read more…

Lost Transmissions

The poems in David Memmott’s poetry collection Lost Transmissions speak to the need we have to explore the depths of our own psyches, a need so insistent that many of us would sell our souls to unearth the answers to what motivates our lives—what motivates our actions. The poems express as well the power of verse, how it can help us rise above those experiences that might otherwise be crippling—war, death, brutality, loss of love, loss of voice and creativity, the soul’s variable value, the insecure body and mind never knowing where the doors to understanding are, nor how many dimensions surround us unexplored. Read more…