Monthly Archives: January 2020

This Week’s News

An excerpt from The Book of Householder Koans by Eve Myonen Marko and Wendy Egyoku Nakao (Monkfish Book Publishing) will appear in the March issue of Lion’s Roar.

Words without Borders published interviews with author of Die My Love (trans. Sarah Moses and Carolina Orloff, Charco Press) Ariana Harwicz and Charco Press publisher Carolina Orloff on January 22.

An essay from Sarah Ruhl’s 44 poems for you (Copper Canyon Press) was in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers.

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This Week’s Reviews

The Walrus and the Caribou
Maika Harper, illus. Marcus Cutler | Inhabit Media | 9781772272567 | April 2020
“The illustrations provided by Marcus Cutler show a wide range of emotions in Guk, the walrus, and the caribou… I think this leads the story to be read aloud with a great deal of emotion and animation which I believe is the original intent of Inuit storytelling.”—Youth Services Book Review

Un Poco Perdido
Chris Haughton | NubeOcho | 9788417673130 | October 2019

Un Poco Perdido will be a hit and one that kids will return to again and again.”—Kids’ BookBuzz

Taxi: Stories from the Back Seat
Aimée de Jongh | Conundrum Press | 9781772620399 | September 2019
“This is a simple, somewhat indirect and brilliant memoir. De Jongh’s art is, as always, stunning.”—Library Comic

Cesare
Jerome Charyn | Bellevue Literary Press | 9781942658504 | January 2020
“Often shocking and occasionally confounding, this darkly resonant novel is a dystopian rendering of World War II Germany on the cusp of its slow slide into defeat.”—Comics Grinder

Tender Points
Amy Berkowitz | Nightboat Books | 9781643620282 | October 2019
“[Berkowitz] demonstrates incisive wit and a tight control of language. Culturally wide-ranging, she draws on Freud, fiction writer Richard Brautigan, Sarah Winchester, the Riot Grrl punk-music movement, and Sex and The City, to texture and color [her work].”—Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine

Possess the Air: Love, Heroism, and the Battle for the Soul of Mussolini’s Rome
Taras Grescoe | Biblioasis | 9781771963237 | March 2020
“Artful and detailed. . . . Set in Mussolini’s Rome, which lives and breathes thanks to Grescoe’s storytelling. . . . Alarming parallels emerge to the contemporary rise of populism, autocracy, and racial and religious intolerance. In this regard, Possess the Air is, just like de Bosis’s leaflets were as they drifted down on the streets of Rome, an inspirational message for all of those who love democracy.”—Foreword Reviews

The Spinster Diaries
Gina Fattore | Prospect Park Books | 9781945551734 | April 2020
“Paying homage to women who self-actualize through their art, The Spinster Diaries focuses on two women separated by time who live out their beliefs. . . . Gina’s story develops in tandem with Fanny’s. Both adopt The Spinster Way, prioritizing writing over the typical feminine protocol of marriage and children. Their relationships with their sisters highlight the importance of women’s friendships, while their resilience and humor are dominant and infectious. Fanny inspires Gina to maintain hope in the face of death, even as she herself outlives everyone she loves. The ending is unexpected and delightful.” Foreword Reviews

The Unseen
Roy Jacobsen, trans. Don Shaw and Don Bartlett | Biblioasis | 9781771963190 | April 2020
“A pearlescent tribute to the alchemy of the sea. . . . The Unseen works toward an end that’s as much a beginning—a tight-woven net cast into the unknown.”—Foreword Reviews

Beautiful Aliens
Steve Abbott, edit. Jamie Townsend | Nightboat Books | 9781643620152 | December 2019
“Upon opening Beautiful Aliens, it becomes quickly apparent that Abbott’s most abundant talent was in making connections. Abbott edited his own little mag (the influential and vaunted Soup), wrote reviews for Poetry Flash and a variety of gay newspapers, and continued to labor over his own creative pieces, all while having an active love life and raising a daughter as a solo parent during a period when such domestic arrangements were virtually unheard of. It is a testament to his rare talent, then, that so much of his writing is of such a high caliber.”—Full Stop
“Abbott’s work through this collection, much of it widely available for the first time, has a wonderful and wild energy to it, moving in multiple directions simultaneously, and jumping from project to project. The book itself is a curious collage of styles and experiments, as Abbott’s literary shifts echoed very clearly the shifts in his own interests and concerns, all with an urgency that moves back and forth from wildly energized to desperate.”—rob mclennan’s blog

Above Us the Milky WayFowzia Karmi | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781646050024 | April 2020
“A legend, the text walks the borderlands of what exists for Karimi, what might have existed, and what exists within us all as we project its pages into the strange afterlife of imagination.”—Foreword Reviews

Girls Lost
Jessica Schiefauer, trans. Saskia Vogel | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920954 | March 2020

Girls Lost is captivating as its three leads explore the universal challenges of teenage angst, conflicts between perception and reality, and the power of another’s gaze to free or entrap you.”—Foreword Reviews

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This Week’s Reviews

Time
Etel Adan | Nightboat Books | 9781643620046 | June 2019

“Adnan poetically navigates the currents of desperation and hope with a clarity placed on the page in short stanzas that we can pick up and roll over in our minds again and again… They can be worked over with a different temporality as we return to them for multiple readings, as we explore how they interact with the preceding or following ones, and as we observe how they take on new shapes.”—Asymptote Journal

Dictionary of Midnight
Abdulla Pashew, trans. Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse | Phoneme Media | 9781944700805 | December 2018
“Dictionary of Midnight shows the lasting haunt of exile, but also the evocative powers of writing as testament to personal strife and a people’s lifelong yearning for home.”–Asymptote Journal

The Spinster Diaries
Gina Fattore | Prospect Park Books | 9781945551734 | April 2020
“The ending is unexpected and delightful. Paying homage to women who self-actualize through their art, The Spinster Diaries focuses on two women separated by time who live out their beliefs.”—Foreword Reviews

All Its Charms
Keetje Kuipers | BOA Editions | 9781942683766 | April 2019
All Its Charms explores motherhood narratives by way of single parenthood by choice, in vitro fertilization, new romance and marriage after parenthood, and the inability to conceive again. Though these topics are relatively new in poetry, this territory feels less taboo in some ways than Kuipers’s entry into the world of sentiment. . . . Kuipers speaks things a poet is not supposed to say: professions of unabashed love.”—Georgia Review

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This Week’s News

A recipe from Charles Phoenix’s Holiday Jubilee (Prospect Park Books) was shared by the Niagara Gazette on January 20.

An excerpt from Animal Sutras by Stephen Levine (Monkfish Publishing) appeared in the January issue of Spirit Seeker Magazine.

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This Week’s Awards

Believer Magazine’s longlist for their annual book awards included Permission by Saskia Vogel (Coach House Books), Soft Science by Franny Choi (Alice James Books), The Problem of the Many by Timothy Donnelly (Wave Books), Safe Houses I Have Known by Steve Healey (Coffee House Press), Soft Targets by Deborah Landau (Copper Canyon Press), HULL by Xandria Phillips (Nightboat Books) and Socialist Realism by Trisha Low (Coffee House Press)

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This Week’s Awards

They Call Me Guero cover

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

book cover

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

Jakarta
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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