Friday, August 02, 2019

Nava’s Poems (from Rilke)

enchanted / in

Last November, by the time we started the open reading period for this year’s “season,” we’d already agreed to publish a chapbook by Nava Fader—a collection of poems loosely tied to the work of Rainer Maria Rilke.  I found her poems to be hypnotic and engrossing and definitely a voice separate from Rilke’s.  (Admittedly, I had limited experience with Rilke’s poetry.)  At the time of accepting her work, I let Nava know we’d schedule its publication once we got through the manuscripts in the open reading and made our selections.  Her chapbook was scheduled to come out toward the end of the “open reading season” chapbooks, rather than before. And here we are.

Nava uses lines from Rilke’s work as starting places for some of her poems.  Other poems are “false translations” of his.  I was drawn by the way the poems flow and the way simple words are combined to make new, unique compound words (like “vapormist,” “armsweep,” and “suntimes”) in several of the pieces.  There’s not an identifiable narrative thread running through the poems, but they are tied together by an exploration of language that weaves a story of its own.

From “Love Song (a false translation)”

“We are one halt
soul here, served neither
dinner nor rubles. Unrelenting
soul, grooved—so to speak—ditched
among ravenous animals girded

for riding, molting variously, and we call them

You can (and should!) pick up a copy at the Titles page. Hell, pick up two copies.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

July/August 2019 Update

We’re just a couple/few short days away from our next chapbook—enchanted / in by Nava Fader.  This one’s been a long time coming, and we (Nava, my saddle-stapler, and I) are really excited to share it with you.

The next chapbook on the schedule is from Jessie Janeshek, who has a full-length collection coming out in a couple months.  To avoid competing publication dates, we (Jessie and I) decided to delay her chapbook to be the first one of 2020.

So, the next event on the schedule is our open reading period (still slated to start around Halloween), although we (well, just me) are looking at a few off-cycle manuscripts.

Come back in a couple days for some more awesome poetry!

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Ft. Lauderdale

The next GBP chapbook is “local” for our Florida-based press in a way that no other collection has been since our entrée into this market in 2009 (10 years . . . we should celebrate that or something). Fort Lauderdale by Brendan Walsh—-also based in South Florida—-imagines that part of the Sunshine State suffering all sorts of apocalyptic environmental peril.  At times it’s touching and harrowing and funny.  It’s a win / no-win situation, speaking to the truth that, most of the time, the Earth doesn’t appreciate us any more than we do the Earth.

From “poem about puddles while standing outside during a tropical storm”:

“about gray-water puddles
widening w/ rain
puddles as ocean spittle,
sea-phlegm, tide-piss

poem that
the lawns will be seagrass again
the dirt, sand again
the puddles, oh-oh-ocean again”

Pick up a copy from the Titles page.


Turns out the Summer Solstice was June 21, and our promised chapbook from Brendan Walsh (titled “Ft. Lauderdale”) will be out early this coming week, so look out for that.  You really don’t want to miss it.

Following that, we’re still set with chapbooks from Nava Fader (August 1) and Jessie Janeshek (Fall).  I don’t think that there will be another release before the end of the year, but we’re keeping things open.  Speaking of . . . we’ll be having another open reading, probably (once again) starting at midnight on Halloween. 

See you in a couple/few days!


What It Is

The title of this post is taken from the latest chapbook from Howie Good (What It Is and How to Use It) . . . one of many great titles in its pages.  (Others include “A Hazy Shade of Postcolonial Melancholia,” “There’s Gonna be Dust,” and “The Rain Side of the Rain-Snow Line.”)  Howie’s poems are at once fun to read and depressing, almost a dark magical realism where an image of dead cow becomes a bear becomes a half-naked man shooting up a Waffle House.  (Yes, real life creeps in, as well.)  It’s like a series of vignettes that you can visit, get lost in for a while, and eventually leave; for many of characters therein . . . much less chance of escape.  The cover photo above is one of two totally different designs available.  The photos for both covers were taken by Belgian photographer Tom Christiaens, and they really capture essence of these pieces.

From “Pronounced Tendancies”:

“As someone who grew up around here, I have a magnifying glass for examining things that people bring in or that I find on the street. One day it might be the bloated carcass of a dog; another, a teddy bear like the one my sister had when she was little. Today an older couple came in with the alphabet prowling around them. The noise in the room was overwhelming, but I thought I heard him say modern homes burn 8x faster. Then I glanced out the window, and there were so many fires I couldn’t even see the sky.”

Pick up your copy today!


Funny story:  Right before the start of the 2018 open reading period (last November), I accepted a chapbook manuscript for publication from Nava Fader, figuring I’d be working it into the schedule when the open-reading chapbooks were selected.  Well, that didn’t happen as planned, but we have now added it to the schedule on August 1,  Before that, around June 22 or 23 (when is the Summer Solstice this year?), we’ll have a chapbook from Brendan Walsh.  And before that, NEXT WEEK, is our next chapbook, from Howie Good. We also have another chapbook from Jessie Janeshek coming this Fall.  Things are happening!

See you in a few days!