This Week’s Awards

They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems by David Bowles (Cinco Puntos Press) won a 2019 Whipporwill Award.

A Song for the River by Philip Connors (Cinco Puntos Press) and Retablos: Stories From a Life Lived Along the Border by Octavio Solis (City Lights Publishers) both won Border Regional Library Association’s Southwest Literary Awards.

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This Week’s Reviews

Honey, I Killed the Cats
Dorota Maslowska, trans. Benjamin Paloff | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920824 | October 2019

“Paloff deserves to be commended. His translation is as transparent as possible, literal without being wooden, lively yet not artificially so. Maslowska’s linguistic vigor communicates itself to English-language readers so readily that we are caught up in the quick current of her prose before we even know what the book is about.”—Reading in Translation

Mare Nostrum
Khaled Mattawa | Sarabande Books | 9781946448361 | Sarabande Books | August 2019
“This is a path to compassion without arrogance and mystery without indifference.”—World Literature Today

The Dinner Guest
Gabriela Ybarra, trans. Natasha Wimmer | Transit Books | 9781945492242 | May 2019
“Gabriela Ybarra grew up in death’s shadow. Before she was born, her grandfather was kidnapped and executed by Basque separatists . . . Ybarra explores this event as she learns about it years later, piecing together critical and often conflicting details from friends, family, and investigative research, to address not only her family’s experience of death, grief, and fear but also her own experience of absence, silence, and confusion. It is a narrative of conflicts, near-miracles, and ultimate tragedies that makes for an explosive and compelling read.”—World Literature Today

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This Week’s News

On January 13, Buzzfeed recommended Where You’re All Going by Joan Frank (Sarabande Books) and The OK End of Funny Town by Mark Polanzak (BOA Editions).

Literary Hub shared their list of most anticipated queer literature for 2020 on January 8, which included Fiebre Tropical by Juliana Delgado Lopera (The Feminist Press at CUNY), Apsara Engine by Bishakh Som (The Feminist Press at CUNY), Vanishing Monuments by John Elizabeth Stintzi (Arsenal Pulp Press), and We Had No Rules by Corinne Manning (Arsenal Pulp Press).

An excerpt from Four White Horses and Brass Band by Violet McNeal (Feral House) was published by Ravishly on January 14.

Paige Lewis, author of Space Struck (Sarabande Books), was interviewed by the Adroit Journal on January 9.

On January 2, Comics Beat recommended Constantly by gg (Koyama Press), Sports Is Hell by Ben Passmore (Koyama Press), and Inappropriate by Gabrielle Bell (Uncivilized Press).

Benjamin Myers’ The Gallows Pole (Third Man Books) was recommended by Literary Hub as a folk horror read on January 6.

Sarah Bowen appeared on Big Universe to talk about her new book, Spiritual Rebel (Monkfish Book Publishing).

The Malevolent Volume by National Book Award-winning poet Justin Phillip Reed was Poets & Writers’ GalleyCrush on January 10.

Two poems from Abdulla Pashew’s collection, Dictionary of Midnight (trans. Alana Marie Levinson-Labrosse, Phoneme Media), were published on Literary Hub on January 8.

CrimeReads shared their most anticipated books of 2020 list on January 9 and included The Summer of Kim Novak by Hakan Nesser (trans. Saskia Vogel, World Editions) and several titles published by Akashic Books: The Committee by Sterling Watson, The Schrödinger Girl by Laurel Brett (Kaylie Jones Books imprint), Nairobi Noir edited by Peter Kimani, Columbus Noir edited by Andrew Welsh-Huggins, and Berkeley Noir edited by Jerry Thompson and Owen Hill.

The Rumpus recommended Savage Conversations by LeAnne Howe (Coffee House Press) on January 10.

Abby Manzella recommended Animals Strike Curious Poses by Elena Passarello (Sarabande Books) in Literary Hub on January 6.

The Week’s list of books to read this year included 13th Balloon by Mark Bibbins (Copper Canyon Press), Sansei and Sensibility by Karen Tei Yamashita (Coffee House Press), and The Sprawl by Jason Diamond (Coffee House Press).

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This Week’s Reviews

Love Drones
Noam Dorr | Sarabande Books | 9781946448385 | July 2019
“Com­plex and thick with won­der and curios­i­ty.”—Jewish Book Council
Love Drones makes us reconsider what we take for granted and reveals new networks of communication — geopolitical, emotional, and aesthetic.”—Full Stop

Acting Out!: Avoid Behavior Challenged with Active Learning Games and Activities
Rae Pica | Redleaf Press | 9781605546964 | November 2019

“Research based, insightful, and accessible, Rae Pica’s newest professional development book is essential for teachers who want to understand, practice, and share the principles behind active learning.”—Texas Child Care Quarterly

Action in the Orchards
Fred Schmalz | Nightboat Books | 9781937658984 | April 2019
“The strength of Schmalz works lays in his willingness to conceal or reveal the source material. This frees the poems from the sources while not always detaching them from a tether to meaning. He approaches ekphrasis with nimbleness that serves the work and the reader well.”— Your Impossible Voice

Beautiful Aliens
Steve Abbott, edit. Jamie Townsend | Nightboat Books | 9781643620152 | December 2019
“When Steve Abbott drove his VW bug over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco in the summer of 1974, there was a palpable queer energy, like a hot wire, running through the City by the Bay. . . . Beautiful Aliens is a selection of Abbott’s essays, fiction, poems, and poetry cartoons, illustrating Abbott’s creative range and versatility.”—The Gay & Lesbian Review

The Road to Urbino
Roma Tearne | Gallic Books/Aardvark Bureau | 9781910709481 | January 2020
The Road to Urbino is an original literary experience that begs consumption in moments of quiet relaxation in which it may fully cast its spell—and it will cast that spell.”—Foreword Reviews

Sketch Every Day
Simone Grünewald | 3DTotal Publishing | 9781909414907 | November 2019
“The text is clear, concise, easy to follow, and written in an engaging and accessible manner. I really enjoyed reading about her career, on how she started out, progress, develop her style and going into freelance. This is a great book for those who want to start drawing, or draw more consistently.”—Parka Blogs

Creating Characters for the Entertainment Industry
Keith Anderson | 3DTotal Publishing |
9781909414860 | August 2019
“[The tutorials are] a fascinating chance to look at what goes into designing the same character for different platforms and how these subtle changes help them to achieve unique goals. And as well as being useful artistically, these tutorials elegantly show how to tackle the various feedback hurdles you’re likely to encounter when working as a pro.”—ImagineFX Magazine

Rodrigo Márquez Tizano, trans. Thomas Bunstead | Coffee House Press 9781566895637 | November 2019
“A taut novel, with lyrical prose.”—World Literature Today

From the Shadows
Juan José Millás, trans. Thomas Bunstead and Daniel Hahn | Bellevue Literary Press | 9781942658665 | August 2019
“A seductive narrator, brisk dialogue, and a unique claustrophobic setting contribute to a distinctive blend of Kafka’s surrealism and Pirandello’s absurdism. The slim novel is a quick, riveting read.”—World Literature Today

Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River
Jung Young Moon, trans. Yewon Jung | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920855 | December 2019

“A free-floating thought experiment with loads of laughs.”—Cyn’s Workshop

Honey, I Killed the Cats
Dorota Maslowska, trans. Benjamin Paloff | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920824 | October 2019

“Masłowska is able to explore the psychological impact of living in the nightmarish hypercapitalist system she has created—a terrifying fun-house take on our own—with moving depth and precision.”—World Literature Today

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This Week’s News

The “mighty” Fat, Pretty, and Soon to be Old by Kimberly Dark was recommended by the Advocate on January 2.

Big Other published their most anticipated books of 2020 list on January 3. It included Your New Feeling Is the Artifact of a Bygone Era by Chad Bennett (Sarabande Books), Bit Tyrants by Rob Larson (Haymarket Books), A Nail the Evening Hangs On by Monica Sok (Copper Canyon Press), Pain Studies by Lisa Olstein (Bellevue Literary Press), Social Poetics by Mark Nowak (Coffee House Press), Repetition Nineteen by Monica de la Torre (Nightboat Books), The Malevolent Volume by Justin Phillip Reed (Coffee House Press), Rue by Kathryn Nuernberger (BOA Edition), DMZ Colony by Don Mee Choi (Wave), The Sky Contains the Plans by Matthew Rohrer (Wave Books), Obit by Victoria Chang (Copper Canyon Press), Apsara Engine by Bishakh Som (The Feminist Press at CUNY), Year of the Dog by Deborah Paredez (BOA Editions), Shrapnel Maps by Philip Metres (Copper Canyon Press).

School Library Journal recommended Comics: Easy as ABC by Ivan Brunetti (TOON Books/TOON Graphics) in a December 27 roundup of nonfiction picture books. It also recommended The White Snake by Ben Nadler (TOON Books/TOON Graphics) in two roundups of fairytales, folktales, and religious tales on December 14 and unconventional children books on December 25.

An excerpt from Ways to Go Beyond and Why They Work by Rupert Sheldrake (Monkfish Book Publishing) and an article by Tirzah Firestone (Wounds into Wisdom, Monkfish Book Publishing) appeared in the December/February Edition of Common Ground Magazine. Firestone was also interviewed on the Dr. Pat Show on January 6.

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This Week’s Reviews

The Cursed Hermit
Kris Bertin, Alexander Forbes | Conundrum Press | 9781772620306 | December 2019
“Bertin and Forbes play their influences deftly, incorporating them into a work that feels wholly original.”—Portland Mercury
“Every page pays off and the story is still gripping.”—Toronto Star

What I Knew
Eleni Sikelianos | Nightboat Books | 9781937658991 | May 2019

What I Knew is a long poem of the glocal. Entangling the personal with worlding language, this book explores the dreamy, private, and mysterious shelters of poetry from public bombardments, search engine algorithms, violent news headlines, and mass media.”—Jacket2

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This Week’s News

If you still need a gift for someone this season, Rupture Magazine shared a holiday gift guide in its December issue that included The Breakbeat Poets Volume 3 edited by Fatimah Asghar and Safia Elhillo, Build Yourself a Boat by Camonghne Felix (Haymarket Books), Feast Day of the Cannibals by Norman Lock (Bellevue Literary Press), Make/Shift by Joe Sacksteder (Sarabande Books), Monsters I Have Been by Kenji C. Liu (Alice James Books), and This Wicked Tongue by Elise Levine (Biblioasis).

Trisha Low, author of Socialist Realism, and Myriam Gurba, author of Mean (both Coffee House Press), recommended books for Vogue Magazine on December 23.

On December 18, Asymptote Journal talked to Denise Newman about her work translating When Death Takes Something from You, Take it Back by Naja Marie Aidt (Coffee House Press).

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This Week’s News

Gar Anthony Haywood, author of Good Man Gone Bad (Prospect Park Books), wrote an essay for CrimeReads on December 11. Alison Moore, author of He Wants (Biblioasis), also contributed an essay on December 16.

An excerpt from Rough Road to the North by Jim Christy, reiussed by Feral House this year, was published in Literary Hub on December 13. 

A poem by Hai-Deng Phan, “Initial Encounter with Locals,” from her collection Reenactments (Sarabande Books) was feautred on Tracy K. Smith’s The Slowdown Show on December 12.

A new poem by Dorothea Lasky, author of Animal (Wave Books) was published in the New Yorker on December 12.

Charles Phoenix, author of Holiday Jubilee (Prospect Park Books), was on Cincinnati Public Radio WVXU on December 13.

Caroline Bergvall, author of Alisoun Sings (Nightboat Books) was interviewed in BOMB Magazine on December 13.

Bluets by Maggie Nelson (Wave Books) was recommended in a W Magazine shopping guide on December 6 celebrating the Pantone Color of the Year, Classic Blue.

The LAist included two Prospect Park Books cookbooks, L.A. Mexicano by Bill Esparza with photographs by Staci Valentine, and The Urban Forager by Elisa Callow with photographs by Ann Elliott Cutting in a list of essential L.A. cookbooks on December 11.

Jillian Weise, author of Cyborg Detective (BOA Editions), was interviewed in the December-January issue of Brooklyn Rail.

Milwaukee Noir edited by Tim Hennessy (Akashic Books) was recommended in a list of Boswell Book Company’s best gift tiles for the holidays from WUWM 89.7 Milwaukee, WI.

The January issue of Spirit Seeker Magazine will run an excerpt from The Book of Householder Koans by Eve Myonen Marko and Wendy Egyoku Nakao (Monkfish Book Publishing).

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This Week’s Reviews

Bush Runner: The Adventures of Pierre-Esprit Radisson
Mark Bourrie | Biblioasis | 9781771962377 | June 2019

“An incredible, head-spinning tale. . . . An engaging biography of this ‘eager hustler with no known scruples.”—Star Tribune

Rodrigo Márquez Tizano, trans. Thomas Bunstead | Coffee House Press | 9781566895637 | November 2019
“The rewards that come from reading Jakarta are manifold. . . . This is Tizano’s first novel, ably translated by Thomas Bunstead, but he has the boldness of someone who’s been at it for decades. It’s the beginning of a promising literary career. ”—Star Tribune

Reading Quirks
Andrés de la Casa Huertas and Javier García del Moral, illus. Laura Pacheco | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920893 | December 2019
“A lighthearted collection of cartoons about the kinds of strange little habits common among those who love to read.”—Dallas Morning News

The Fourth String: A Memoir of Sensei and Me
Janet Pocorobba | Stone Bridge Press | 9781611720464 | March 2019
“Sometimes Janet and Sensei argue, sometimes Sensei favors other students over Janet, but each encounter offers a little more insight into music, Japanese culture, and into Janet herself.”—Education About Asia

The Aosawa Murders
Riku Onda, trans. Alison Watts | Bitter Lemon Press | 9781912242245 | February 2020 
“Author Onda’s masterpiece  is so filled with observations on the human condition that smitten readers might be tempted to tear out and frame certain pages —or at least copy them down.”—Mystery Scene Magazine

Mare Nostrum
Khaled Mattawa | Sarabande Books | 9781946448361 | August 2019
“There would be easy ways to categorize this book and the poems in it. We could try political poetry or the poetry of witness. Those are fine, of course, but it is more than enough to simply think of these poems as memorable reminders of the horrors that we allow to stay on the periphery of our experience. Mattawa does not let us forget.”—Rupture Magazine

Space Struck
Paige Lewis | Sarabande Books | 9781946448446 | October 2019
“Embracing both humor and prayer, Lewis breaks barriers between nature and humanity—bringing nature into our homes, onto our front porches—while examining how every-day life is changing and what we stand to lose in a time defined by climate change.”—The Arkansas International

The Remainder
Alia Trabucco Zerán, trans. Sophie Hughes | Coffee House Press | 9781566895507 | August 2019

“Trabucco Zerán urges readers to value subtext just as much as the official narrative. . . . A smart, vivid, and richly layered story.”—Adroit Journal

The Girl Who Lost Her Shadow
Emily Ilett | Floris Books/Kelpies | 9781782506072 | February 2020
“There’s a pleasing lyricism to this Scottish import, its quietly lovely prose and magical realist elements supporting Gail’s emotional journey as she rediscovers and honors the bond between sisters.”–The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Socialist Realism
Trisha Low | Coffee House Press | 9781566895514 | August 2019
“Like a transgressive Binx Bolling . . . she takes away equally cathartic feelings from the experimental films of Chantal Ackerman as she does from a documentary about One Direction.”—Rupture Magazine

Spiritual Rebel
Sarah Bowen | Monkfish Book Publishing | 9781948626040 | June 2019
“A spiritual guidebook for the modern-day seeker. Bowen takes the reader on a journey of finding and redefining their beliefs.”­—Reedsy

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This Week’s News

Ben Okri talked about his upcoming novel, The Freedom Artist (Akashic Books), in Publisher’s Weekly on December 6.

BookBub’s December 5 roundup of new crime novels included Gar Anthony Haywood’s Good Man Gone Bad (Prospect Park Books).

Ways to Go Beyond and Why They Work by Rupert Sheldrake (Monkfish Book Publishing) was recommended by the Edge on December 1.

Richard Powers, author of The Overstory, recommended C.D. Wright’s Casting Deep Shade (Copper Canyon Press) at on November 29.

Lucy Ellmann, author of Ducks, Newburyport (Biblioasis), was interviewed by the Adroit Journal on December 4. Denise Newman, translator of When Death Takes Something from You Give it Back (Coffee House Press) by Naja Marie Aidt, was also interviewed on December 9.

An excerpt from And the Bride Closed the Door (Ronit Matalon, trans. Jessica Cohen, New Vessel Press) was shared in Tablet Magazine on December 9.

Zoom Street’s Holiday roundup on December 8 included C’est la Vie by Pascal Garnier (Gallic Books), Baby by Annaleese Jochems (Scribe), and Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime edited by Joyce Carol Oates (Akashic Books).

Curdella Forbes, author of A Tall History of Sugar (Akashic Books), put together a playlist for Largehearted Boy on December 3.

Wounds into Wisdom by Tirzah Firestone was the cover feature for the December issue of Oracle 20/20 Magazine.

Animation Magazine announced on September 25 that Graham Roumieu’s In Me Own Words: The Autobiography of Bigfoot (Manic D Press) is being exclusively animated for MONDO. The trailer is available on YouTube.

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