Erica Hoffmeister's Lived in Bars is an exquisite road trip across America's still-feral landscapes and people. The poems are a woman's experience in lostness and finding: brutal and benevolent, in crisis and of tremendous grit.
Think of the World as a Mirror Maze is a ruthless foray into the hazards of family life, from being a child to having a child and the devastating love in between. Vance approaches the familiar with curveball imagery, uncommon language, and devastating honesty, leaving the reader astonished at the new visions of shared familial experience.
"Caitlin Vance’s Think of the World as a Mirror Maze is the antidote to the apocryphal stories about women the culture wants us to believe. No sugar and spice, no Miss Manners, no cleaving unto a man. Instead, on these pages, Vance paints vivid, sometimes bloody, and always mesmerizing images of a striving toward a truer, fiercer sense of the feminine, or at times, more pointedly, images of how that fierceness is contained and repressed: “My mother’s skin is stretched on the hunter’s wall/like a canvas left to dry.” The speakers in Vance’s poems make clear they are not going to end up stretched across someone’s wall. They may just be the hunter and not the hunted. Their smiles are: “made of small, sharp bones/meant to rip/the flesh of a dumber animal.” As the speaker in the final poem says, “The sun can do whatever it wants/and, I realize suddenly, so can I.” And in this book, Vance does whatever she wants, bravely and without regard for what anyone thinks she should do."
—Christopher Kennedy, Author of
Clues from the Animal Kingdom
This full-color poetry book by Rebecca Schumejda features a single long-form poem about the incarceration of her brother and its rippling effects across their family. Includes artworks by Hosho McCreesh.
"How do you forgive the unforgivable? This is the question Rebecca Schumejda wrestles with, on a grand scale, in this emotionally taut, tightly structured, intensely personal poem. Using a slow reveal, the poet dispenses morsels of information, with regard to the nature of the crime, and her struggles with coping with her love for her brother who committed it and, finally, the heinous nature of what he did, until we learn, as well, what happened. She asks, among the many effective refrains, “What if you had died that night?” Somehow life could have been easier if he had. Maybe. I know how she feels. I’ve been there: different relative, similar crime. Something Like Forgiveness is not simply a must read, it is an experience."
—Alan Catlin, poet, editor
"Maiurro spills his mind onto the page with fervent energy, chasing after each notion through a series of rabbit holes as though it may never run its course. In his characteristic narrative prose style, he brings together a seemingly paradoxical combination of grim confessionalism and romantic idealism while inhabiting a surrealist world—a recognizable-yet-dreamlike corner booth of Denver, Colorado, where canaries swallow fire and poets swallow cities, where cities are moving, breathing characters comprised of the people who reside in them, and where people can make their blood stand still if they follow his directions...Through all of this abstraction, metacommentary, and philosophical curiosity, Maiurro remains a poet of the people, never straying into academic or literary pretense. Instead, he speaks onto the page like a punk-themed poetry night microphone for anyone willing to listen. All told, these poems make for an imaginative and readable collection by a storyteller who captivates readers whether they consider themselves fans of poetry or not."
-Tim Becker, Author of Sorrow Birds and New York City Bones
Macey Webb writes a potent and poignant poetic memoir of the loss of Webb's partner to cancer from diagnosis to death and then the aftermath of those left behind. This genuine and intimate experience of grief is raw without dramatics, devastating while resilient, and manages to keep the sense of humor that shows our deepest humanity.
Crying at Walls chronicles the passing of a life and a life changed by that passing. Grief is encapsulated in moments by time, although “chronoclock time isn’t a good measure of life” and the grand spirit of Jessica Elise could never be fully expressed in a single day of elegy. The monodies written by Macey Webb “cobble together a whole religion/ called i love you & you are sacred” and after reading these poems I, too, am left a believer.
—Huascar Medina,Poet Laureate of Kansas
Rikki Santer has worked as a journalist, a magazine and book editor, co-founder and managing editor of an alternative city newspaper in Cleveland , and a poet-in-the schools. She earned a M.A. degree in journalism from Kent State University and a M.F.A. degree in creative writing from The Ohio State University. Her work has won honors from The Poetry Forum (the William Redding Memorial Contest), Black Lawrence Press (the St. Lawrence Book Award Competition), the Ohio Poetry Association, the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, the Best of Ohio Writer Contest sponsored by the Poets' & Writers' League of Greater Cleveland, as well as two Pushcart and Ohioana Book Award nominations, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. You can contact her through her website: www.rikkisanter.com
Editor in Abetting: JP is a working class queer artist and non-binary in person and politically. Their poetry explores where habits and assumptions are born from and how to excavate the inner self from the pressures of fitting into society. Having worked with numerous presses over the years on everything from acquisitions, cover design, marketing and editing, Stubborn Mule is the press where JP finally takes the lead.
@novel_cliche on instagram
Editor in Absentia: Jason Ryberg
This river rat and publishing beast puts out way more books than JP, but has been doing it for two decades and is responsible for bringing to the press some of the wonderful heavy hitters and life-long poetry heads that we are so proud to be publishing. Find his primary press at Spartan Press.
Cover Editor: Elim J. Sidus
Trans guy born and raised in KC, a denim gremlin of a human being living as a visual artist and part time poet between hoarding fall leaves and people watching or learning fictional languages.
Cover Photographer: Jon Lee Grafton
We are so lucky to have the astonishing photography of Jon Lee Grafton for many of our covers! check out his work @thegraftongallery
You could be a penpal to a rooster and it would be better than television. Just try and break our necks.