Category Books

Discover news from independent publishers and university presses including new titles, events, and more.

New Book :: Taxonomies

Taxonomies Poetry by Erin Murphy book cover image

Taxonomies
Poetry by Erin Murphy
Word Poetry, April 2022

The demi-sonnets in Erin Murphy’s Taxonomies categorize elements of the human experience that defy simple classification. In this form of her own invention, Murphy holds a magnifying glass to issues of gender, aging, relationships, and social justice. Erin Murphy is the author or editor of thirteen books and has received numerous awards. In April 2022, she was named Poet Laureate of Blair County, Pennsylvania. She received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is Professor of English and creative writing at the Pennsylvania State University, Altoona College. Read sample poems here.

New Book :: My Aunt’s Abortion

My Aunt's Abortion poetry and narrative memoir by Jane Rosenberg LaForge published by BlazeVOX book cover image

My Aunt’s Abortion
Poetry / Narrative Memoir by Jane Rosenberg LaForge
BlazeVOX, February 2023

My Aunt’s Abortion is a series of poems and two essays that detail the effects of an illegal abortion the author’s aunt underwent in 1960’s California. Part cautionary tale and part retrospective, the essays recall family life before and after the abortion; the poems provide the perspective of the young girl who witnessed her aunt’s recovery from a mysterious disease and the disintegration of her parents’ marriage. Together, the poems and essays evoke a period of loss and shame that will likely return with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Sample pages can be read on the publisher’s website. Jane Rosenberg LaForge is the author of three previous collections of poetry; four chapbooks; a memoir; and two novels. Her 2018 novel, The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War (Amberjack Publishing), was a finalist in two categories in the Eric Hoffer awards. Her 2021 novel, Sisterhood of the Infamous (New Meridian Arts Press), was a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards in regional fiction (west). A reviewer for American Book Review, she reads poetry for COUNTERCLOCK literary magazine and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net.

New Book :: Triptychs

Triptychs poetry by Sandra Simonds book cover image

Triptychs
Poetry by Sandra Simonds
Wave Books, November 2022

Sandra Simonds’s Triptychs is a brilliant intersection of poetic form and the passage of time. Initially crafted in handwritten strips on rolls of receipt paper obtained at a dollar store, then assembled into three textual columns that sit side-by-side on the page, these triptychs are joined or disjoined in several ways—through diction, through the special relation of words (evoking intimacy, touch, or, in contrast, alienation), and through thematic similarities or dissimilarities. As a result, the poems energize the confines of this writing space as they invite readers to recall painterly constructions and news headlines, wherein each pillar is in conversation with another, sequentially and simultaneously. With the same lyric attention found in all of Simonds’s poetry, the poems here mark an innovative shift in poetics that is both polyvocal and singular.

Books Received August 2022

NewPages receives many wonderful titles each month to share with our readers. You can read more about some of these titles by clicking on the “New Books” tag under “Popular Topics.” If you are a publisher or author looking to be listed here or featured on our blog and social media, please contact us!

Poetry

American Bitch, Rae Hoffman Jager, Kelsay Books
Blood Snow, dg nanouk okpic, Wave Books
the Colored page, Matthew E. Henry, Sundress Publications
Creature Feature, Noel Sloboda, Main Street Rag Publishing
In Our Now, Valyntina Grenier, Finishing Line Press
Intimacies in Borrowed Light, Darius Stewart, EastOver Press
Optic Subwoof, Douglas Kearney, Wave Books
Pacific Light, David Mason, Red Hen Press
possessions, Alan Botsford, Cyberwit.net
Slight Return, Rebecca Wolff, Wave Books
Steeple at Sunrise, Burt Kimmelman, Marsh Hawk Press
Triptychs, Sandra Simonds, Wave Books
What Follows, H.R. Webster, Black Lawrence Press
Whistling to Trick the Wind, Bart Edelman, Meadowlark Books

Fiction

Against the Wall, Alberto Roblest, Arte Público Press
Breathing Lake Superior, Ron Rindo, Brick Mantel Books
Chronicles of a Luchador, Ray Villareal, Arte Público Press
The Displaced, Rodrigo Ribera d’Ebre, Arte Público Press
Hayley and the Hot Flashes, Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, Small Town Girl Publishing
The Meadow and the Misread, Max Halper, Threadsuns Press
Midstream: A Novel, Lynn Sloan, Fomite Press
Prize for the Fire, Rilla Askew, The University of Oklahoma Press

Nonfiction

Eating Up Route 66, T. Lindsay Baker, University of Oaklahoma Press
Making Your Mark, Peter Davidson, Sweet Memories Publishing
The Plea, Patricia L. Bryan & Thomas Wolf, University of Iowa Press
Ships in the Desert, Jeff Frearnside, Santa Fe Writers Project
These Dark Skies, Arianne Zwartjes, University of Iowa Press
Warrior Spirit, Herman J. Viola, University of Oklahoma Press

New Book :: the Colored page

The Colored Page poems by Matthew E. Henry published by Sundress Publications

the Colored page
Poetry by Matthew E. Henry
Sundress Publications, July 2022

From the author of Teaching While Black (Main Street Rag), the Colored page by Michael E. Henry (MEH) is a visceral meditation on the multi-layered experience of a Black body in educational spaces. Sprawling with metaphors and allusions to both the contemporary and the historic, Henry brings readers an intense narrative chronicle of the speaker’s life as student, educator, and finally as a writer. At the center, there is a reckoning with the racism written into the pages of America, and Henry leads us from the microaggressions of educational oversight to the horror of blatant dehumanization. In pieces that directly call out those responsible—educators, institutions, and peers alike—the speaker moves via Henry’s generously vivid poems through open letters, vignettes, and poetic narratives that uncover the realities of an educator’s life’s work in the “United” States today. In a world that so often seeks to minimize Black experiences, the Colored page does not inflate, but neither does it look away. Yet, too, there is joy in these pages. Henry invites us to love, but please don’t touch, the beauty of Black hair, of Black lives, and of our Black students. Henry asks us to look at the vile and call it out, but then we are tasked to shift our focus to the glory that is the student who triumphs. Henry invites us, ultimately, to a celebration.

New Book :: Intimacies in Borrowed Light

Intimacies in Borrowed Light poetry by Darius Stewart published by EastOver Press book cover image

Intimacies in Borrowed Light
Poetry by Darius Stewart
EastOver Press, July 2022

Intimacies in Borrowed Light is Stewart’s first book-length collection of poems, bringing together works from his three previous chapbooks—The Terribly Beautiful, Sotto Voce, and The Ghost the Night Becomes—in addition to new poems. The result is a book that is more than the sum of its parts, but one that coalesces around themes of love, addiction, violence, sexual identity, and the corporeal body to betray the intimate moments that illuminate, especially, Black gay male experiences. Stewart received an MFA in poetry from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin (2007) and an MFA from the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa (2020). In 2021, the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame honored him with the inaugural Emerging Writer Award. He is currently a Lulu “Merle” Johnson Doctoral Fellow in English Literary Studies at the University of Iowa.

New Book :: Whistling to Trick the Wind

Whistling to Trick the Wind poems by Bart Edelman published by Meadowlark Books book cover image

Whistling to Trick the Wind
Poetry by Bart Edelman
Meadowlark Books, November 2021

What does it mean to live a full life as the countdown is nearing its end? The variety of narrators and characters in this poetry collection provide answers in these snapshots of impactful moments. Fifty-four poems, divided into four sections–Yellow, Red, Black, and White–balance humor and seriousness, the savored and the fleeting, the makeup of human experience. Bart Edelman was born in Paterson, New Jersey, and spent his childhood in Teaneck. He earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Hofstra University and spent decades teaching at various colleges and universities, most notably Glendale College, where he edited the literary journal Eclipse. In addition to being one of the coolest dudes ever, Bart has had numerous roles in the literary community, published lots, and continues to live an amazing life that he shares through his poetry. If you don’t already know him, you should.

Contest :: The St. Lawrence Book Award for Debut Poetry and Prose

Black Lawrence Press logo

Every year Black Lawrence Press awards The St. Lawrence Book Award to an unpublished first collection of poetry or prose. This award is open to any writer who has not published a full-length manuscript in any genre. The winner receives $1,000, book publication, and ten copies of the winning book. Deadline to enter is August 31, 2022. Find out more by stopping the NewPages Classifieds.

Book Review :: A Judge’s Odyssey

A Judge's Odyssey by Dean B. Pineles published by Rootstock Publishing book cover image

Guest Post by Kimberly Cheney

Judge Dean B. Pineles’ memoir is a journey through a dangerous forest of uncertain trails and trials, searching for that pinnacle of democracy: the rule of law. It includes a near career-ending event when, as the Vermont governor’s legal counsel, Pineles recommended taking into custody the children of a secretive religious community based on allegations of mental and physical abuse, an event etched into Vermont’s legal and cultural history. Pineles divulges how he subsequently survived a very contentious judicial confirmation process and became a respected Vermont trial judge, inoculated with the wisdom and humility that came from this intense personal ordeal.

Twenty-one years later, after a successful judicial career, Judge Pineles shares how he began another career as an international rule of law adviser in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Georgia. He details how, after rigorous screening by the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, he was selected to be an international criminal judge, helping to improve justice in that tortured land. He finds it a maelstrom of complex social, international, cultural, ethnic, and political forces. He recounts many of his cases, including his meticulous fact-finding, and by ignoring these perilous forces he demonstrates how the rule of law should be implemented. Nevertheless, some of these cases have bizarre outcomes which undermine his best efforts. These are compelling accounts that demonstrate a vigorous mind bringing to life important events. Readers seeking an understanding of the frailty of democracy mediated by thoughtful judicial process will find Pineles’ journey intriguing.

Publishers note: Judge Pineles will donate 100% of his net profits to international and domestic refugee relief organizations.


A Judge’s Odyssey: From Vermont to Russia, Kazakhstan, and Georgia, Then on to War Crimes and Organ Trafficking in Kosovo by Dean B. Pineles. Rootstock Publishing, July 2022.

Reviewer bio: Kimberly Cheney is a former Vermont Attorney General and author.

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New Book :: Breathing Lake Superior

Breathing Lake Superior a novel by Ron Rindo published by Brick Mantel Books book cover image

Breathing Lake Superior
Fiction by Ron Rindo
Brick Mantel Books, October 2022

Overcome with grief following the death of his youngest child, Cal Franklin uproots his wife and teenaged children to a ramshackle subsistence farm in far northern Wisconsin. Withdrawn and estranged from all they know, JJ and her stepbrother, John, struggle to adapt to life off the grid and to Cal’s increasingly erratic behavior. Without electricity or even running water, the family suffers a series of calamities until Cal feels a call to preach. He builds a small log church on the property, and his unconventional message soon attracts a following. When elderly locals profess to be healed by the touch of Cal’s hands, word spreads, and desperate people descend on the church from across the country. Though overwhelmed and doubtful of his powers, in a final act of love and faith, Cal seeks to raise his young son from the dead. Narrated by Cal’s stepson, John—named for “the chronicler of Christ’s miracles”—Breathing Lake Superior is an exploration of the mystic borderland where the mental strain of overwhelming grief becomes entangled with the promise and hope of ecstatic faith.