Category Books

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

New Book :: Without Goodbyes

Without Goodbyes: From Puritan Deerfield to Mohawk Kahnawake Poetry by Ginny Lowe Connors book cover image

Without Goodbyes: From Puritan Deerfield to Mohawk Kahnawake
Poetry by Ginny Lowe Connors
Turning Point, December 2021

Without Goodbyes by Ginny Lowe Connors is a collection of poems based on a historical event: the infamous 1704 raid on the village of Deerfield, Massachusetts. More than 100 Deerfield residents: men, women, and children, were captured. Then they began the 300-mile trek to New France, the French colony, in Quebec. The poems, which trace a narrative but are lyrical in nature, focus on Joanna Kellogg, an eleven-year-old girl, and two of her siblings. They were adopted into Mohawk families in the village of Kahnawake, a Mohawk community centered around a Jesuit mission. The physical journey Joanna and her siblings took to reach Kahnawake was grueling; of even greater interest is the journey she took to truly become a member of the Mohawk community. Read sample poems here.

Book Review :: More or Less by Susannah Q. Pratt

More or Less by Susannah Q. Pratt book cover image

Guest Post by Kevin Brown

The premise of Susannah Q. Pratt’s collection of essays is in her subtitle: Essays from a Year of No Buying. After becoming overwhelmed by how much she and her family owned, she convinced her husband and three teenage boys—through her use of a PowerPoint—to go one year without buying anything other than what was necessary. Her project raises questions about what is necessary, what we actually need to live meaningful lives in the twenty-first century, and the importance we attach to what we buy, both in healthy and unhealthy ways. At her best, Pratt’s essays explore important questions of gender, class, and privilege, examining the ways aspects of our identities impact what we’re able to buy and own. While Pratt credits an essay by Ann Patchett in 2017 on a similar subject, I was surprised she didn’t mention Judith Levine’s 2007 book Not Buying It, in which Levine takes on the same project. Pratt’s essays are a solid update to Levine, given how the world has changed in fifteen years, especially as the rise of online shopping has made buying unnecessary items even easier, but interacting with one who came before would make her work even stronger.

More or Less: Essays from a Year of No Buying by Susannah Q. Pratt. Eastover Press, February 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/.

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Contest :: Driftwood Press Extends Deadline of 2022 Adrift Contests

2022 Adrift Contests deadline extended

That’s right! Driftwood Press has announced a deadline extension for its 2022 Adrift Contests. This means you now have until July 31 to submit unpublished poetry collections to the Adrift Chapbook Contest and or unpublished fiction to the Adrift Short Story Contest. Stop by their ad in the NewPages Classifieds to learn more.

Book Review :: Contain by Cynthia Hogue

Contain poetry chapbook by Cynthia Hogue published by Tram Editions book cover image

Guest Post by Jami Macarty

In her chapbook Contain, poet Cynthia Hogue responds to artist Morgan O’Hara’s mandala-like series “Nineteen Forms of Containment.” O’Hara made her drawings on the back of The New York Times articles that she read during the height of the pandemic, and Hogue continues that recto-verso interactive throughout her chapbook. The poems on the recto side respond to O’Hara’s drawings and those on the verso side to The Times articles. The correspondences are non-interpretative, various, and layered. In some cases, news stories have been directly quoted to make cento-like poems, and given that the poems stay within the eight- to twelve-line range, the rondeau, triolet, and sonnet forms loom. The variety of poetic containers might be thought of as an analog for the various ways and by what means we each were contained during lockdown—by the coronavirus pandemic—and by social justice-related realities of the “circle wherein we live.” Hogue calls particular attention to first responders, long-haul truckers, food banks, racially motivated murders, and the climate crisis as “a way / of putting word to something / for which there are no words.” By “inward- / turning,” acknowledging the anxiety and isolation of our lives, these tender and humble poems explore the “global operation of containment”—what and who holds us. Which is captivity and which embrace. Beautiful! Hurrah new chapbook publisher, Tram Editions!


Contain by Cynthia Hogue. Tram Editions, June 2022.

Reviewer bio: Jami Macarty is the author of The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020), winner of the 2020 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award – Poetry Arizona, and three chapbooks, including Mind of Spring (Vallum, 2017), winner of the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award. Jami’s writing has been honored by financial support from Arizona Commission on the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, and by editors at magazines such as The Capilano Review, Concision Poetry Journal, Interim, Redivider, Vallum, and Volt, where Jami’s poems are forthcoming.

If you are interested in contributing a Guest Post to “What I’m Reading,” please click this link: NewPages.com Reviewer Guidelines.

New Book :: Slight Return

Slight Return poetry by Rebecca Wolff book cover image

Slight Return
Poetry by Rebecca Wolff
Wave Books, October 2022

In her new collection, renowned publisher and poet Rebecca Wolff voyages in the myopia of American consumer consciousness—erotic regard, spiritual FOMO, gentrification, branding—without destination. Labyrinthine in their paradoxical musings and incisive in their witty recriminations, these poems grapple with the hubris and dysmorphia of the soul. Wolff is a poet that is unafraid to be a querent, not only of sages (“I only hang out with people / who are psychic / anything else is a / waste of precious / continuity”) but of language itself (“How else is one to know how to proceed / How is one to make a motion against— / electric word life”) In Slight Return, the journey is infinite and elusive—aspiring in the best way toward a point of diminishing returns and withholding any promise of a comfortable landing.

Book Review :: Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo

Sankofa a novel by Chibundu Onuzo published by Catapult Press book cover image

Guest Post by Kevin Brown

Chibundu Onuzo’s novel Sankofa follows Anna Graham—a middle-aged British woman who goes to Bamana, a fictional African country, to find her father—as she tries to understand her mixed-race heritage. Raised by her single white mother, Anna always struggled with her identity, as she knew almost nothing of her Bamanian father. Anna lived a sheltered life with a husband (from whom she is now separated because of his recent affair) who took care of everything for her, so he and their daughter are surprised when she travels to Bamana alone. I have two minor complaints: first, the ending is a bit too neatly tied together in terms of Anna’s understanding of her identity; second, some plot developments similarly seemed too easy to predict, though Anna’s naivete prevents her from seeing what has happened. However, Anna’s grappling with her identity is a useful metaphor for a postcolonial Africa still coming to terms with the multiple strands of cultural history that make the countries what they have become. The novel serves as a healthy reminder to Americans and Europeans that African countries’ histories are more complex than they seem to those on the outside.

Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo. Catapult, October 2021.

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/.

If you are interested in contributing a Guest Post to “What I’m Reading,” please click this link: NewPages.com Reviewer Guidelines.

Book Review :: Time/Tempo by Laura Cesarco Eglin

Time/Tempo: The Idea of Breath poetry chapbook by Laura Cesarco Eglin published by Spoonfuls Chapbooks book cover image

Guest Post by Jami Macarty

In her chapbook Time/Tempo: The Idea of Breath, Laura Cesarco Eglin gives her poetic attention to a “tension of simultaneity,” tracking temporal interruptions, disruptions, and variations, and how those time-based movements affect breath within a particular life that withstands a cancer diagnosis and recovery, illnesses and deaths of beloved family members, and “knowing languages” by undertaking writing and translation. These are poems that want “to keep track of leaving”: the departures of words on breaths and “the hours that come and those that stay, those that leave.” Time unfolds “no matter what.” Yet, there is the recognition that “nothing is lost.” That acknowledgment makes room for inquiry: “What is left of me after I’ve left a place, after it has left me.” One response to that query might be: These poems! The impressions and residues left with this reader—“a scar / of what’s no longer.”


Time/Tempo: The Idea of Breath by Laura Cesarco Eglin. Spoonfuls Chapbooks, April 2022.

Reviewer bio: Jami Macarty is the author of The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020), winner of the 2020 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award – Poetry Arizona, and three chapbooks, including Mind of Spring (Vallum, 2017), winner of the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award. Jami’s writing has been honored by financial support from Arizona Commission on the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, and by editors at magazines such as The Capilano Review, Concision Poetry Journal, Interim, Redivider, Vallum, and Volt, where Jami’s poems are forthcoming.

If you are interested in contributing a Guest Post to “What I’m Reading,” please click this link: NewPages.com Reviewer Guidelines.

New Book :: The Displaced

The Displaced a novel by Rodrigo Ribera d'Ebre book cover image

The Displaced
Fiction by Rodrigo Ribera d’Ebre
Arte Público Press, June 2022

Mikey and Lurch are worlds apart, even if they’re from the same Mexican neighborhood in West Los Angeles. Mikey just graduated from UCLA and is determined to get out. Lurch, the leader of the Culver City gang, loves the hood—its projects, beat-up apartments, and crackheads—more than his own life. They hook up with a doctor, who is from the same area. He put himself through medical school selling dope and now is back, running a clinic across from the Mar Vista Gardens housing project. All three notice changes. Suddenly there are outsiders everywhere: white people with beards, wearing V-neck sweaters and plaid shirts, running in jogging outfits or riding bikes with helmets, oblivious to the gangbangers. They’re artists, students, developers and entrepreneurs; a plague, pushing people out of their homes. Old people on fixed incomes start getting evicted or foreclosed on and the residents of the projects are being relocated, but some of the locals aren’t going to sit by without a fight. Soon they are fortifying the housing projects and stockpiling assault weapons! This absorbing novel follows a group of people who are determined to save their homes and neighborhood from gentrification, even if it means turning to violence.

July 2022 eLitPak :: Get These Summer 2022 Titles from Livingston Press

Screenshot of Summer 2022 Titles from Livingston Press flyer for the June 2022 eLitPak
click image to open PDF

New from Livingston Press! Aftershock by George H. Wolfe is a novel about GI’s returning from WWII to about-face and enter colleges under the GI Bill. Zero to Ten: Nursing on the Floor by Patricia Taylor is a story collection about nursing, its joys, frustrations, and heartbreak. See flyer for more details or visit website.

Not a NewPages Newsletter subscriber yet? View the full July 2022 eLitPak here.

July 2022 eLitPak :: 2023 Off the Grid Poetry Prize

Grid Books 2023 Off the Grid Poetry Prize Flyer

Deadline: August 31, 2022
The Off the Grid Poetry Prize recognizes the work of older poets, highlighting important contemporary voices in American poetry. Each year a winner is awarded $1,000 and publication. Contest runs through August 31, 2022. Garrett Hongo will judge. Find full guidelines here or view flyer for more information.

Not a NewPages Newsletter subscriber yet? View the full July 2022 eLitPak here.