Required Reading: Chapbook Edition

Here are some truly delightful chapbooks that I’ve been carrying around town in my purse this month:

Parker’s Band by Seth Landman

I am loving this collection of poems that allude to the journey of the SS Seth Parker, a four-mast schooner that sailed around the Galapagos in the 1930s and was captained by a radio broadcaster. But mostly you get pure, unadulterated Seth Landman in poems that deal with themes of voyage, communication, and loss with heartfelt humor. “I’m making promises I can’t keep and it’s giving/ me a headache. In a fragment of conversation/ in a crowded room, girls are like the moon.” Published with either a yellow or oatmeal-colored cover by Laminated Cats, email Ben Kopel (laminatedcats@gmail.com) to buy a copy.

Building Castles in Spain, Getting Married by Amanda Nadelberg

Ben Estes (the bestes) recently launched Song Cave, a small press that publishes chapbooks of long poems. Here Amanda Nadelberg tells the story of an impending wedding through elegantly broken fragments. “Notice. I want to be a/ houswife. Before a window/ she can do anything, young lady,/ anything.” After enjoying the nicely-contained name poems in Isa the Truck Named Isadore, it’s great to see Nadelberg expand into a longer form of small vignettes that all float around the central axis of love and what it means to travel for and witness it. Buy it online here.

For the H in Ghost by Julia Cohen

This book is a perfect example of form complimenting content. Firstly, Cohen’s poems are haunting and gorgeous; she spaces them out on the page in a way that incorporates white-space into language. Secondly, Emily Goodale at Brave Men did a fantastic job designing and printing the book. I love that the cover illustration is a gray so-pale-it’s-almost-white letter press print that shifts with the light, complimenting the way in which Cohen’s words shiver all over the page. “somewhere I am a goldenchild/ where I speak for the poem/ now beat      back against what you made”. This is part-book, part-beautiful-little-object—you feel like you’re holding a ghost between your fingers. Order it online from Brave Men Press today.

Green Street Cafe Reading

Just a reminder that Christopher Cheney & I are reading at Green Street Cafe in Northampton tomorrow @ 7:30pm.

I am going to read poems about hats. Chris is going to read poems that are amazing, like this one:

Love Poem

I like it when old women call their breasts puppies

I like puppies too

I watch a cloud I watch a trash-can steam

My girlfriend goes to work

I notice a subtle change in the sky

I think I know why a breast is like a puppy

I think I know why money is like a bone

Tonight I drink beer with the guys by a cellar

The moon appears like a great abundance of cleavage

The forest becomes abundantly clear

I’d like to hold a breast right now, I say

The guys think of what I’ve said

Our backs stick to the chairs

They answer, 

Me too me too

(previously published by notnostrums)

Upcoming Readings

As promised, there are a lot of exciting readings on the horizon:

This Thursday, January 21 *** Northampton *** Rachel Glaser & Mike Young read at Green Street Cafe @ 7:30pm.

This Friday, January 22 *** New York City *** Francesca Chabrier & Christopher Cheney read at the Poetry Project/St. Marks Church @ 10pm.

Next Wednesday, January 27 *** Northampton *** Christopher Cheney & yours truly read at Green Street Cafe @ 7:30pm.

Next Thursday, January 28 *** Amherst *** Visiting Writers Series: Jedediah Berry & Lily Hoang read at Memorial Hall, UMass @ 8pm.

Next Friday, January 29 *** Hadley *** Deep Moat Reading Series: Julie Carr, Brenda Iijima, & Matt Gagnon read at Grey Matter Books @ 7pm.

Next Saturday, January 30 *** Cambridge *** Deep Moat Reading Series: Julie Carr, Elizabeth Marie Young, & Jessica Bozek read at the Pierre Menard Gallery @ 5pm.

Faded From The Winter

Well friends, the holidays have come and gone and now we find ourselves smack-dab in the middle of January. Cruel cold! Evil wind! Impossible mornings! To quote Christy, “If we were bears we’d be in some sweet cave right now.” Part of my hibernation process has involved staying off-line as much as possible. When not putting the finishing touches on my thesis (I’m defending in 3 weeks!) I’ve been reading THIS, knitting THIS, eating THIS, and watching THIS & THIS.

That said, there are lots of exciting events on the horizon that are worth putting on your coat and boots for. I will do my best to keep you updated on all the good goings-on. In the meantime, here’s The XX to keep you warm:

Early Bird Special

An important message from your good friends at Black Lawrence Press:

Black Lawrence Press is now accepting submissions for the 2010 Hudson Prize, an annual award that is given for an unpublished collection of short stories or poems. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes are awarded on publication.

The entry fee for the prize is $25 and the deadline is March 31, 2010.

Because we know that many writers have been hit especially hard by the economic downturn, we are offering a fantastic early bird special. If you submit your manuscript to The Hudson Prize before February 1, 2010, we will only charge you the price of one of our titles. The choice is yours. Most of our titles are priced between $14 and $18. (And we carry great chapbooks that are only $9!) Shipping charges are included!

Here’s how it works:
1) Go to www.blacklawrencepress.com
2) Click on the “Books” button on the left side of the page.
3) Order a title that interests you.
4) Shortly after placing your order, you will receive an email from Paypal with your receipt. Keep that for your records. Don’t worry about forwarding it to us; we can cross-check everything on our end.
5) Send your cover letter and manuscript to editors@blacklawrencepress.com before February 1, 2010. In your cover letter, note the title that you purchased.
6) That’s it!