Author: Katy Haas

  • NewPages Book Stand – May 2020

    We have a new Book Stand at NewPages. This month, find new and forthcoming book titles, including five featured books at our website.

    Audubon’s Sparrow: A Biography-in-Poems by Juditha Dowd  is an indelible portrait of an American Woman in need of rediscovery. The biography-in-poems focuses on Lucy Blackwell and John James Audubon.

    Gerry LaFemina’s Baby Steps in Doomsday Prepping pauses time, letting us examine the world with love and intelligence.

    Back to the Wine Jug: A Comic Novel in Verse by Joe Taylor is a cross-genre title following Hades as he teleports to Birmingham, Alabama.

    Frank Paino’s Obscura sheds light on the most obscure corners of history and human nature, a hagiography of unorthodox saints.

    You’ve Got Something Coming by Jonathan Starke is the winner of the Black Heron Press Award for Social Fiction and follows a down-and-outer and his young daughter across the country.

    You can learn more about each of these New & Noteworthy books at our website. Our featured titles can also be found at our our affiliate Bookshop.org. You can find out how to place your book in our New & Noteworthy section here: https://npofficespace.com/classified-advertising/new-title-issue-ad-reservation/.

  • Sponsor Spotlight: RHINO

    RHINO publishes some of the best and most innovative poetry, short shorts, and translations in their annual issues. For their 2020 issue, the editors have organized an ongoing virtual reading event for the month of May. You still have some time to join in the fun, and you can learn more about these virtual readings here.

    To learn more about the annual journal, visit their sponsored listing at NewPages.

  • Modern Espionage in Ancient Rome

    Guest Post by Bill Cushing

    Pulitzer Prize winner John Hersey is probably best known for his books dealing with China, where his father served as a missionary, but in The Conspiracy, he takes readers back to the first century AD and Nero’s imperial and mainly insanity-tinged reign.

    Like the works of Robert Graves or Leon Uris, Hersey uses a historical backdrop to present a political thriller of the first order. Employing two main characters—Tigellinus, co-consul of the Praetorian guard, and Paenus, tribune of the Roman secret police, along with a series of memos, assorted notes, intercepted letters, and interrogation transcripts—the two members of Nero’s intelligence community try chasing leads concerning a potential assassination attempt against their emperor.

    The primary suspects involved in this plan?

    The philosopher Seneca and a cadre of poets, artists that Nero had earlier supported and entertained, are surveilled, bringing up images from the Oscar-winning film The Lives of Others.

    However, as the layers of the plot open, it begins to reveal Nero’s descent into madness.

    Soon, the reader begins to wonder if this is an actual investigation or a means to create a paper trail pointing to others in order to establish scapegoats while the members of Nero’s own security people become the real perpetrators.

    One interesting aspect of this book is that it was released in 1972, when news and revelations of the Watergate incident dominated worldwide media and occupied American minds. Hersey’s story produced numerous parallels between the subterfuge and hidden messages of the novel with the events of those days. If readers want to make those connections or draw any parallels with current events is their choice, of course, but the fact that it’s possible only verifies what a relevant story Hersey concocted in any age when he conceived and delivered The Conspiracy.


    The Conspiracy by John Hersey. 1972.

    Reviewer bio: Bill Cushing writes and facilitates a writing group for 9 Bridges. His poetry collection, A Former Life, was released last year by Finishing Line Press.

  • Zone 3 – Spring 2020

    The issue of Zone 3 includes poetry by Darius Atefat-Peckham, Colin Bailes, Brian Bender, Daniel Biegelson, Christopher Citro, Lynn Domina, Alexandria Hall, Lauren Hilger, Angie Macri, Martha McCollough, A. Molotkov, Kell Nelson, Amy Seifried, Pui Ying Wong, and more; fiction by James Braun, Janice Deal, Tammy Delatorre, Maura Stanton, and Terry Thomas; nonfiction by Rebecca McClanahan, Katherine Schaefer, and William Thompson, and art by Khari Turner.

  • The Chattahoochee Review – Spring 2020

    In this issue, poetry by Ruth Bardon, Mirande Bissell, Darren Demaree, Eli Eliahu, Stuart Gunter, Marlon Hacla, Ted Kooser, Len Krisak, Komal Mathew, and more; stories by Margherita Arco, Erin Flanagan, and more; essays by George Choundas, and others; and art by Deedee Cheriel. This issue also features the 2020 Lamar York Prize Winners: Lisa Nikolidakis in Fiction & Rachel Toliver in Nonfiction.

  • The Bitter Oleander – Spring 2020

    The Spring 2020 issue of The Bitter Oleander features the contemporary Arizona poet David Chorlton, interviewed by our editor and including a generous selection of poems from his forthcoming book, Speech Scrolls. The issue also presents translations from the fiction of Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen (Portugal); and poetry in translation by Paula Abramo (Mexico), Alberto Blanco (Mexico), Maritza Cino (Ecuador), Andre du Bouchet (France), and Elaine Vilar Madruga (Cuba).

  • AGNI – No 91

    With AGNI #91 we welcome a roster of new editors. Collectively chosen work explores impending crises as well as acts of mitigating goodness; elegies marking losses sit side by side with expressions flashing pure surprise. Cover and portfolio artist Christopher Cozier captures the sly globalized vectors of use and misuse, tracing a long history forward to now. Poems by Sandra McPherson, Steven Sanchez, Emily Mohn-Slate, Colin Channer, and others offer the sensory grab of the immediate, as do stories by Shauna Mackay, David Crouse, and Aurko Maitra and essays by Debra Nystrom, Jiaming Tang, and Ann Hood.

  • AGNI Offers Something Special

    AGNI is currently offering something really special for readers: the Virtual Launch of AGNI 91.

    Here, the editors present videos from their contributors from all over the world and invite readers (or viewers!) to join the audience. All the pieces from the new Spring 2020 issue are available online, most of which have an accompanying video of the writer reading their work.

    This is great not only for people who might not be able to spare extra cash to get their own copy (though if you can, please do consider it), but it’s also great for those of us who are having a hard time sitting down and concentrating on reading while we’re social distancing, and those who currently miss attending readings in person.

    You can also learn more about the editors who have put this fantastic project together at the AGNI website.

    I for one can’t wait to hit “play” and start hearing quality reading in my own home.

  • Visual Poetry by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

    Magazine Review by Katy Haas

    The Fall 2019 issue of Seneca Review includes four pieces by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram. These visual pieces draw in the eye with text boxes layered over one another, reminding me of a house of cards that’s fallen, the cards now strewn in overlapping angles. They’re all titled “World Map:” with a different year following the colon.

    In these pieces, Bertram speaks about race and sexuality. The exploration of these themes comes in snippets that repeat and fade away like memories that resurface repeatedly: instant messenger conversations, conversations with her mother, antagonization on the basketball court.

    Bertram uses the visuals in an inventive way that helps the poetry move along and creates a bigger impact for the message. I read the four pieces over and over, fully admiring the way in which they were presented.

  • A Call to Artful Rebellion

    Guest Post by Erin H. Davis

    A Measure of Belonging: Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South, edited by Filipino-American author Cinelle Barnes, showcases some of the brightest and most poignant work of southern writers of color. Published by Hub City Press located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, this anthology features authors from various backgrounds and ethnicities who, in the joyful spirit of Southern America, explain the idea of a “new” south, an ever-evolving triumph against traditional stereotypes and racial discrimination.

    Barnes, anthology editor and author of memoir Monsoon Mansion and Malaya: Essays on Freedom states, “I decided that every one of my projects . . . would be an invitation for other people of color to come, to be visible, and to thrive here [The American South].” Her anthology certainly does just that, and she’s not afraid to let traditionally taboo subjects rise to the surface, bleed through the page, and strike the heart of the reader—independent of race or class.

    For example, Soniah Kamal in “Face” explores her personal grief and the collective spirit of women of color as they experience the horrors of miscarriage and the social stigmas attached to the female body. In a similar vein, Devi S. Laskar’s “Duos” dives into the idea of living a dual life between dominant white culture and the culture of the home. She writes, in stunning prose, “Often, I smiled. I learned later that is what primates do when threatened: grin.”

    A Measure of Belonging is a stark reminder that, behind the draping magnolias and weeping willows, the south has a loaded history, the effects of which still ripple through today’s society. Cinelle Barnes’ anthology is but one call to awareness, a call to artful rebellion.


    A Measure of Belonging: Writers of Color on the New American South Edited by Cinelle Barnes. Hub City Press, October 2020.

    Erin H. Davis is an MFA (fiction) graduate student at the College of Charleston. She was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina.

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