Drawing from Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, Leaving the Base Camp at Dawn explores how a long relationship of love is like a spiritual practice, a challenge to live in true care and compassion with those to whom we are closest. Interspersed throughout this lyric and narrative sequence are 14 poems that travel cliffs, streams and dirt paths and envision climbing a mountain whose peak cannot be reached. This contemplation of the challenge of love makes us think deeply about finding grace and charity in the ordinary moments of our daily life. Sample poems can be read on the publisher’s website.
As a young boy, Otilio Quintero lived with his family in abject poverty in a labor camp in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Later, they moved to a housing project that exposed him to the madness of violence. Despite his difficult childhood, he managed to go to college. But more important to his development was a trip to Mexico in which he was taken in and taught by the Mayan Chol people. In his memoir, The Sign Catcher, Quintero writes he found his calling at an indigenous ceremony during The Longest Walk, a 3,000-mile march across the country—from Alcatraz Island in San Francisco to Washington, DC—in 1978 by Native Americans to protest federal attacks on their way of life. The marchers carried the sacred pipe to the nation’s capital and ultimately legislative bills detrimental to indigenous people were defeated. His life took a dramatic turn when he found himself in a maximum-security prison facing a possible 20-year sentence.
In his memoir Stay True, Hua Hsu explores identity through three different lenses: race/ethnicity, friendship, and music. Music is by far the dominant way Hsu defined himself when he was in college, the years he focuses on in this work. He uses his love of music partly to define himself as different than others—as a way to carve out an identity for himself—and to judge others—as a way to keep others at a distance. He becomes friends with Ken, a student unlike Hsu in almost every way, including musical tastes. Despite those differences, Ken becomes a friend who helps Hsu grow and change, slowly moving past his easy judgments about others. Ken and Hsu are both Asian Americans, but Ken is Japanese American. His family has been in the United States for generations, while Hsu is the son of Taiwanese immigrants, leading Hsu to feel less settled in his racial/ethnic identity. All of these strands help Hsu talk about who he was then and how that time has shaped him into who is, but the main concern of the memoir is a specific event in his relationship with Ken, one Hsu is still coming to terms with years afterward.
Stay True by Hua Hsu. Penguin Random House, September 2022.
Reviewer bio: Kevin Brown has published three books of poetry: Liturgical Calendar: Poems (Wipf and Stock); A Lexicon of Lost Words (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry, Snake Nation Press); and Exit Lines (Plain View Press). He also has a memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again, and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels. Twitter @kevinbrownwrite or kevinbrownwrites.weebly.com/.
Memorandum from the Iowa Cloud Appreciation Society Fiction by Joseph G. Peterson University of Iowa Press, November 2022
When his girlfriend, Rosemary, asks about his life, Jim Moore, a successful salesman whose territory covers the entire continental United States and parts of Canada, doesn’t think there is anything to say and so he tells her “nothing happened,” or maybe he doesn’t know how to put it all into words or maybe he doesn’t want to. Stuck in an airport because of blizzard conditions, and packed into a crowded terminal with other travelers, Moore has come to believe that his life is not worth reporting about because it has largely been a life lived without incident. However, chance encounters with a yoga instructor, a man traveling to bury his mother, and an enigmatic woodsman reawaken long dormant emotions about his father’s suicide and cause Jim to newly reflect on his own life and on a memorandum that he later discovered in his deceased father’s papers, which lists all the names of the clouds, and which Jim now, from time to time, recants as if it were his own private kaddish to memorialize his lost father.
LaDonna Humphrey gains a new ally in her effort to find justice in the 1994 unsolved murder case of Melissa Ann Witt when Alecia Lockhart reveals a dark and troubling secret from her past. Together, Humphrey and Lockhart must delve inside a dangerous and twisted world known as the “dark web” to unlock a series of mysteries, including Alecia’s haunting connection to Melissa Witt’s murder. Strangled is the shocking and suspenseful account of the war Humphrey and Lockhart wage on a warped and depraved online community set on destruction, murder and mayhem. The stakes are high. Their safety is compromised. Evil lurks with every click. Just how far are they willing to go to find the answers they need?
Deadline: December 31, 2022 The Tartt First Fiction Award from Livingston Press at the University of West Alabama is given annually to a collection of short stories written in English by an American citizen. Writers cannot have already published or be under contract to publish a fiction collection. Winner will receive $1000, plus standard royalty contract, which includes 60 copies of the book. Visit the Livingston Press website or view flyer to learn more.
In Defense of My People Hispanic Civil Rights Series By Alonso S. Perales, Trans. by Emilio Zamora Arte Publico Press, November 2021
Originally published in Spanish in 1936 and 1937, In Defense of My People contains articles, letters and speeches written by Alonso S. Perales, one of the most influential civil rights activists of the early twentieth century. When Mexican-American veterans of World War II were denied service in a South Texas pool hall, even while wearing their uniforms, Perales wrote about the incident for The San Antonio Express. He also exhorted his community to secure an education and participate in civic duties. His form letter, “How to Request School Facilities for Our Children,” helped parents secure schools “equal to those furnished children of Anglo-American descent.”
Deadline: March 31, 2023 The 17th annual National Indie Excellence® Awards (NIEA) are open to all English language printed books available for sale, including small presses, mid-sized independent publishers, university presses, and self-published authors. NIEA is proud to be a champion of self-publishing and independent presses. Monetary awards, sponsorships, and entry rules are described in detail on our website.
Madville Publishing is offering 20% off all sales on our website through December 16. We can’t trust the postman to get it to you by Christmas after that! We have some beautiful fall titles, something for everyone on your Christmas list. Scan the code or use TKSGVNG20 at checkout. View flyer or visit website.
Watchman, What of the Night Poems by W. Luther Jett CW Books, June 2022
W. Luther Jett’s newest collection, Watchman, What of the Night? bears witness to a world in turmoil, as tyrants rise with the warming seas, while entire generations are displaced by war and catastrophe. The poet asks, what centre can hold in this whirlwind night? Here are poems which speak of past calamities in order to hold up a lamp to pierce the present murk and fog in search of clarity. This book is an alarm-bell, a cry in the night, and above all else, a call to action. Visit the CW Books website to read a sample from the collection.