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Catching Up on Some Good Reviews

Fun Camp ebookAt The Baltimore Review, Seth Sawyers reviews Fun Camp by Gabe Durham. It’s always nice when a great review comes out a couple years after the book was published. It seems like the most authentic thing, to be moved to write about a book based on the enjoyment of reading it. What could be better than that? Sawyers writes:

Reading Gabe Durham’s Fun Camp is like listening to your smartest, funniest, cleverist (and sometimes weirdest) friends talk about, on top of, around, behind, inside of a single subject: a week-long summer camp for kids in their early teens. What tickles is Durham’s love of language, the playfulness of it, his love of its ability to pierce, to tease, to confound. It’s a very funny book. Durham seems like he’s probably a very funny person.

 

 


Quimba Nobody Dancing CoverAt The Quotidian Bee, read an excerpt from Cheryl Quimba’s poetry collection, Nobody Dancing, which came out this week. I love how elegant and invitingly this poem tells an ordinary story:

… Remember when Randy said you looked
like a Spaniel and you threw a tin can
at his head and he ducked but his ear got banged
anyway? You were

. . . . . . . so mad I thought your freckles
would burn off

but later
you laughed and I pinched your forearm
like a kiss that would bruise. …


Creative Loafing interviewed Jarod Roselló about The Well-Dressed Bear Will (Never) Be Found. Shae Kripinski provides a great summary of the graphic novel, saying (correctly) that it “can be a quick, easy read, or a dense, deeply philosophical and political statement.” In the conversation that follows, it’s amazing as ever to read Jarod’s thoughts on things like cultural displacement and literature and the act of creating:

I write and I draw for different reasons. The joy of writing for me is in using language to make sense of something, to interpret, and make meaning, even if those meanings are temporary and qualified. When I draw, though, I tend to disrupt, to break apart, to move outward from experience and into imaginary and impossible spaces. For me, writing is an act of empowerment, and drawing is an act of freedom.

 

 


At American Reviews & Microreviews, Megan Turner reviews Edward Mullany’s third book from PGP, The Three Sunrises, the final book in his apocalyptic trilogy. Turner writes:

… the book, which consists of the three parts—“Legion,” “The Book of Numbers,” and “The Three Sunrises”—is oftentimes apocalyptic, each novella following a seemingly incessant, maddening loop, taking the reader on a journey that often ends in a quite a similar place as where it started. Mullany’s novellas, which read as prose poems, point to the banality of life. The novellas are funny—surprisingly so—as they are often relentless in the same breath.

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Ebook Flights Review

Flight1At The Collagist, there is a thoughtful and thorough review of all the Ebook Flights from our fledgling ebook imprint. Huge thanks to James Yates for reading the books by Lily Hoang, Gabe Durham, and Bob Schofield and writing about them.

The concept of an e-book flight is, from a reading standpoint, brilliant: the pairing of novellas and story collections with similar themes is entertaining, but it makes a reader pay a special kind of attention to craft, ideas, and the overall atmosphere of the works at hand. This might seem obvious, since those details are essential to any reading, but with three books served in one package, there’s a lot of mental cross-referencing to consider.

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Sale! Publishing Genius’s Annual Crazy Eddie Joke

books

UPDATE: The sale has ended. Thanks for participating, and of course, stay tuned at our Twitter feed, @pubgen, for more sales announcements.

Thought we’d get in on the fun with Publishing Genius’s books, offer a crazy sale.

Today all books are 50% off with coupon code “THNAKS!

"Nobody Dancing" is on sale

Just use discount code THNAKS! at checkout, and we’ll cut the price in half. The discount is even added to sale prices, meaning you can get our brand new book, Nobody Dancing by Cheryl Quimba (the poet/critic, with Joe Hall, behind the “Movie Times” podcast), for less than five bucks.

What books are on sale? All of them.

Eat, Knucklehead! is on saleCheck out Eat, Knucklehead!the coolest cookbook to come out all year.

It is an epistolary novel by Craig Griffin and a cookbook all in one. And it makes a great gift for people who are just starting out in the kitchen. There are about 100 mostly vegetarian recipes among these funny and heartfelt chapters.

Or how about The Well-Dressed Bear Will (Never) Be Found, a graphic novel?

This comic book by Jarod Roselló is a beautifully drawn, totally engaging story about a bear who keeps getting misdialed calls to his house, prompting him to feel even more alone and misplaced in a city where he seems to be the only bear, and people are increasingly mean to him. What’ll happen?

The deal applies to all our backlist, too. Check out groundbreaking books by Melissa Broder, Madeline ffitch, Rachel B. Glaser, and Michael Kimball—and tons more people—in our shop.

Best of What's Left of Heaven - on sale!

What about The Best of (What’s Left of) Heaven, the very varied, 200+ page poetry collection by Mairéad Byrne from which we took our coupon code?

(It’s from a poem called “How to Say Thank You When You Really Mean It But Don’t Have Time Right Now.”)

Mix and match ’em. Clear out our shelves, why don’tcha? We’re like Crazy Eddie—make us regret it.

 

 

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Announcing the Winner of the Chris Toll Prize

tollToday is Chris Toll’s birthday, so it is especially nice to announce the winner of the third annual Chris Toll Prize.

This year the prize committee read about 70 anonymous manuscripts, many of which were wonderfully suited to a prize honoring our dear, beautiful, tattooed friend.

After much deliberation, we are pleased to announce the selection of Hygiene in Reading, a taut collection of prose poems by Patrick Williams. The winning chapbook should be available for order this month.

Here’s a sample poem from the chapbook:

Williams_Poem


About Patrick Williams

Patrick Williams is a poet and academic librarian living in Central New York. Recent work appears in publications including Prelude, BORT Quarterly, NO INFINITE, and Heavy Feather Review. He is the editor of Really System, a journal of poetry and extensible poetics. Find him at patrickwilliamsintext.com and on Twitter @activitystory.

About The Chris Toll Prize

Chris Toll was a beloved and respected member of the Baltimore literary community for 40 years. During that time, he wrote and published many poems, including the volumes The Pilgrim’s Process (Shattered Wig), The Disinformation Phase (Publishing Genius), and Life On Earth (Fell Swoop). He was also mentor, teacher, and friend to many poets and writers of that community, known for his gentle encouragement, sharp poetic eye, and fearless honesty.

The Chris Toll Memorial Writing Prize is for an unpublished chapbook. It honors one poet each year whose work indicates the belief that poetry is the best of all callings, who carries poetry through life like a grim, hard, and happy duty, who knows, as Chris did, the finest expanse we might measure is for the love behind the word. The Prize thus honors the memory of Chris Toll and the bright, brittle artifacts—the poems—he left behind.

Previous Winners

2014: Barrett Warner, My Friend Ken Harvey

2013: Kyle Flak, What Hank Said on the Bus

More about The Chris Toll Prize

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Review of VRtH by Jen Hinst-White at The Common

Short stories! Available now!
Short stories! Available now!

The Common is a beautiful print and online journal from Amherst, Mass. Their superslick website featured a great review of Madeline ffitch’s short story collection Valparaiso Round the Horn (March 2015). Its scope is deep and wide, exploring the Madeline’s prose style and how the stories work and what they mean, and it’s the sort of review that added to my own appreciation of the book. Jen Hinst-White concludes the review:

Whether your home base is rural, like ffitch’s, or you dwell in the city or in the suburbs, as I do, finding a potent book like this frees up the imagination—resets the moral compass—not through moralizing, but by jarring us. I read this book aloud, story by story, to my husband on our commute, and each time, it jolted me out of routine. It made me feel alive.

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Leela Corman’s Praise for “The Well-Dressed Bear”

Corman, from her website

Jarod Roselló sent The Well-Dressed Bear Will (Never) Be Found to Leela Corman, author of the graphic novel Unterzakhn as well as an illustrator, radio host, and dancer. She responded with this blurb:

“A line-drawn tragedy of dual identity, code-switching, and hiding in plain sight. Rosello’s story made my heart break a little bit.”

The three elements that she pulls from the book really resonate. “Dual identity” and “hiding in plain sight” were clear to me the first time I read it, but I never would have thought of the term code-switching, which is something that happens when a speaker uses two languages in one context. Now I’m thinking about all the ways that applies to the Well-Dressed Bear, who is constantly so displaced.

wdb-front-picI think a fundamental question about the book is whether questions of the bear’s identity come from the outside—the woman who calls him on the phone and insists that he is someone named Jonathan, the neighbors who follow him around and want him gone—or from within himself. Probably both things are there.

Anyway, I ramble. You can find out more about Leela Corman at her website.

In other WDB-related news, we’ve got two events planned for the book: a release party in Tampa on October 2, and then on October 15 Jarod will be here in Atlanta to have a joint launch party with Matt Bell and his new novel, Scrapper.

And if you haven’t yet, don’t forget to read this interview with Jarod that we just posted.

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Writing makes me feel powerful, drawing makes me feel free: A Comics Interview with Jarod Roselló

 

Well-Dressed_Bear_FullCover

The latest from Publishing Genius is Jarod Roselló’s The Well-Dressed Bear Will (Never) Be Found, our second full-length comic book (after Activities by John Dermot Woods) and the second book title to feature parentheses (after The Best of (What’s Left of) Heaven by Mairéad Byrne).

Released last week, The Well-Dressed Bear is a book about a young bear who, in spite of his constantly mis-dialed phone, faces alienation and anxiety in a city that is increasingly becoming destroyed, and he’s increasingly threatened by his neighbors. You can read early reviews of the book at Enclave and The Small Press Book Review where the reviewer, Melissa Reddish, meaningfully finds parallels between Roselló’s comic and police mobs, Trayvon Martin, and the kind of stereotyping that Claudia Rankine explores in Citizen.

Jarod Roselló is a Cuban-American cartoonist who lives in Florida, where he also teaches creative writing. And since we began this interview, his second child was born. In fact, his book and his baby were practically born on the same day. Jarod talks about the relationship between drawing and parenting, as well as drawing and writing, and lots more. But let’s start at the beginning. Continue reading Writing makes me feel powerful, drawing makes me feel free: A Comics Interview with Jarod Roselló

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Stephanie Barber Talks with Laura Van den Berg

Over at BOMB Magazine, Laura Van den Berg interviewed Stephanie Barber about her new book, All the People (Ink Press 2015), which is a collection of short, prosey portraits of dozens of fictitious-but-real humans. It’s a beautifully produced book—the cover is nicely printed onto cereal boxes and the binding is hand-sewn  In the interview, Laura prompts Stephanie to talk about the thinking behind her varied types of work like writing a haiku everyday on Facebook, or the time she installed her studio for a month inside the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Stephanie Barber talks about the what:

But also, as regards media, I feel very strongly that I am simply making pieces of art. I don’t think a painting is a poem, or a film is a song, but I do think they can be received and created and considered as simply emotional or philosophical offerings made somehow sensorially manifest. I like the Buddhist word ayatana, which includes the mind as a sense organ.

and also how that works in her new book, specifically:

I’m also interested in using a sort of generic vernacular, particularly when what I am writing about is potentially too precious or heavy. There’s a desire to balance the depth of the concept with a light—or degraded?—handling. Mostly I was thinking about how something is being said as “the portrait,” not what is being said.

Read that interview here. Also check out Stephanie’s brilliant photo essays at Art21—and right here you can buy her DVD of films or her sensational YouTube book, Night Moves.