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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…

The Law of Falling Bodies

Fifteen-year-old Virgil Foggy is trying to survive on a failing dairy farm in Minnesota. Virgil’s mother is pregnant-an unwelcome addition to the family. Virgil’s older brother joins the army and goes to war, but warfare is also close to home, much of it between Virgil and his stepfather. The Law of Falling Bodies is a novel about the schizophrenic, ubiquitous, and cyclical nature of all wars within and between men, women, and nations. Read more…

A Vision of Neon

A Vision of Neon is a story of two friends—one who survives the complex years of adolescence and one who does not—and the unconditional love and commitment between these young girls. Wild, sharp-tongued red-head Kelsey embodies the confidence that her shy and quiet best friend, the story’s narrator, only dreams of. But as time passes, Kelsey’s seeming confidence and acts of teenage rebellion become overshadowed by day-long crying spells, invented stories of fictitious friends and thin slashes of scab that mark her skin. In high school, Kelsey descends into mental illness, while the narrator attempts to maintain a normal teenage life, despite continuing efforts to support her suicidal friend. However, both girls must ultimately face one difficult fact: regardless of their longings, Kelsey’s sickness has a debilitating stranglehold on them both. Read more…

Between Frames

Mark Hillinghouse’s Between Frames integrates poems previously published in many magazines with more than twenty striking black and white photographs. These black and white photographs and poems reveal the cultural geography of a vanishing America, using images of New Jersey that look back to a place in our collective memory: old state highways, greasy roadside diners, abandoned movie theaters, the vanishing Main Streets of Woolworth’s five and dimes and of post-industrial inner-cities. It is an unusual collection in that the photographer is also a poet who documents the beauty amid the desolation of rust-belt America. In both verbal and visual imagery, Hillringhouse gives us a shadowed world caught between elegy and silence and that moves us from vastness to intimacy. Between Frames weaves family history, personal guilt, feelings of loss with meditations on the strangeness of being in a world fraught with beauty and decay. Read more…

Winter Tales II: Women on the Art of Aging

29 women artists and writers explore aging through art, comics, poetry, photography, and essays. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes sublime, each entry adds insight into the many ways we learn to be women. Read more…