Tag Archives: Publishing Genius Press

Steak Night By Melissa Broder (Poem-Video at Moving Poems)

23 Apr

Another stellar poem-video at Moving Poems, this one based on the poem “Steak Night” by Melissa Broder, created by Daniel Lichtenberg, with original music by Diana Salier and Rob Justesen, and poem read by Edward Carden. The poem is from Broder’s collection, Meat Heart, from Publishing Genius Press. That book was one of my favorite poetry collections of 2012, wild with several layers of ripped open energy.

SSR #5 of 15: Falcons on the Floor

7 Jul

Falcons on the Floor
by Justin Sirois
Publishing Genius
300 pgs, $12

This is a pilgrimage, not just a book;  prepare to be taken under siege- parched and exhausted.

Everyday Genius Goes Print in June

30 May

Everyday Genius, one of my favorite online journals perhaps of all time, is releasing a special print issue for June 2012. It looks like this, which is a cover designed by Jimmy Chen, who’s a pr’ kewl guy.

I think it’s to celebrate or commemorate something or other, but all in all, it just looks awesome, and has an incredible line up of contributors (Aaron Burch, Stephanie Barber, Michael Kimball, Catherine Lacey, Joseph Young, et al), and this is all just to say you should go here and purchase the damn thing (it’s only $11 after shipping), and you should probably do that before June 1st, because then you could win a Publishing Genius prize pack, which includes a bunch of incredible books from PGP and a PGP tote to carry them in and a PGP coozy to keep your beer coozed, or if you’re a recovering alcoholic, to keep your soda pop coozed.

New Feature: Vouched Visitors

25 Apr

We’re excited to announce the launch of a new feature here, Vouched Visitors, starting in May. Essentially, there are a bunch of people we wish we could have on the team here vouching their favorite work online, reviewing their favorite small press books, talking shop about why they love reading, etc. but these people are as busy if not busier than we are, and being a regular contributor at Vouched just isn’t in the cards.

So, we’ve decided to start asking these people to visit Vouched for just a month and do just that. Every month we’ll have a new Visitor talking up some of their favorite small press goodness.

Starting things off in May will be the ever awesome Adam Robinson of Publishing Genius Press. It’s only fitting that Adam would kick this off, as he and PGP have been supporting Vouched from the very beginning. Adam is also the author of two collections of poetry: Say, Poem and Adam Robison and Other Poems by Adam Robinson. I highly suggest you check out both of these collections, as well as hop over to Publishing Genius and taking in all the amazing work he’s been putting out for the past 6 years.

Publishing Genius Needs a New Tagline!

3 Jan

One of my all-time favorite small presses, Publishing Genius, is in need of a new tagline, and editor Adam Robinson has turned to crowdsourcing with a Twitter contest. Here are the details:

Publishing Genius needs a new tagline. “Short, massive books since 2006” doesn’t work anymore. For instance, Justin Sirois’s novel, Falcons on the Floor, is 300 pages long. So we’re introducing the #TagPGP contest – rewrite our slogan and win a Nook Simple Touch (which you can use to read our new forthcoming series, the “eBook Minis”). But even better than the gadget are the bragging rights, because your words will appear in our masthead online, as well as in our books.

So Tweet your idea with the hashtag #TagPGP by January 6, and you’ll be entered to win automatically. The contest is being judged by Creative-Director-type-genius Jamie Gaughran-Perez, the brain behind the Zombie Haiku.

The winning slogan will be announced on January 7.

Bag it, tag it, sell it to the butcher in the store!

Pre-order Falcons On the Floor today. Do it. Do it now.

1 Dec

It’s no secret.

I’ve been a huge supporter of all the awesome things Justin Sirois and Haneen Alshujairy have cooked up over the past few years. MLKNG SCKLS was one of the first books on the Vouched table, and continues to hold a place there today. I pushed as hard as I could to support the Understanding Campaign in its fledgling state as a blog, and then later for their huge Kickstarter undertaking.

And now, I’m so stoked to have gotten this email from Publishing Genius Press today about the launch of pre-orders for Falcons on the Floor, a book I’ve been anticipating for a long, long time:

I’m excited to announce that Justin Sirois’s much anticipated novel, Falcons on the Floor, is up for pre-order today! This one means a lot to me because of the scope of the book. It’s about Salim and Khalil, two young friends escaping Fallujah, Iraq, at the height of the war. Carefully researched with Haneen Alshujairy, herself an Iraqi refugee, Falcons on the Floor was praised by Dahr Jamail for its “deep understanding of what occupation does, to civilians and soldiers alike.”

Order it in the next few days for just $12 and you’ll get a signed copy bundled with a unique art print (see it below). Plus you’ll be entered to win a bonus hardcover version (very limited edition). More information is at www.FalconsontheFloor.com. The book should ship in December, but it’s not out officially till March.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s very existence means the world is and can be a better place.

Another reaction to If I Falter at the Gallows by Edward Mullany

31 Oct

If I Falter at the Gallows
Edward Mullany
Publishing Genius Press, 83 pages, $12

Christopher wrote a wonderful personal response to If I Falter at the Gallows by Edward Mullany last week, a wonderful book of poems released by Publishing Genius recently. So much has been said around the web recently about this book, I thought I’d sift through my own thoughts on the book as a way to add to the conversation:

1. An entry point? The epigraph. Charles Simic: “Who put canned laughter/into my crucifixion scene?” The pseudo-humor, a mark of ha-ha entertainment, slapped against the tragic, the personal tragedy, someone’s personal tragedy.

2. If I had to tell someone about these poems, I’d say something like “They’re short poems with lots of head space to roam, like a dot-to-dot picture that could be either a horse with flames coming out of his eyes or an old person serving soup to the homeless on the day he/she dies.”

3. We find that sinkhole brevity over and over, a little picture, a bearded man pushing another bearded man down a dune (“Comic Relief”) or retreating soldiers who aren’t supposed to be retreating getting killed anyway (“Either/Or”), and it’s kind of funny like in that AH THAT SUCKS way, but then in all that white space we stumble into questions like “WHY WAR?” or “WHY THE SHOVE?”

4. Why does anyone need to be crucified in the first place?

5. I guess I’m yet another reviewer person responding to what Mullany said about his poems in NANO fiction:

I don’t aim to write funny poems, but neither do I aim to write sad poems. I try to describe reality through the voices of people so stunned by their experience of reality that they see with a kind of insane clarity.

6. Insane clarity! I like that. It reaches out for something that I think the clarity-driven, plain-spoken writing that I encounter sometimes misses: a sincere interest in the craziness around us.

7. I’m taking it way out of context, but I’m reminded of this quote from Ways of Seeing by John Berger:

To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognized for oneself. A naked body has to be seen as an object to become a nude.

8. A naked poem can be cool I guess, where someone’s like look at this and it’s disturbing or funny, but what Mullany does, maybe a more accurate word is gives, what Mullany gives is an object, a nude object, transformed into this lovely other.

9. “To The Woman Who Jumped In Front Of A Train” is a poem from the book that exemplifies this point:

I am wearing a yellow
dress, and I am walking

with you towards a gate above
which is a sign only

one of us
can read.

10. Is this funny? Maybe, but also it is tragic and these two things slapped together are startling. This is obvious, but a good piece of art is not just the means of dealing with experience, but the place for such dealing.

11. I’m reminded of what Adam Robinson, lead man of Publishing Genius, said about his own poem “I am going to have sex with these people” from his book “Adam Robison and Other Poems” in an interviewer for Issue 1 of Beecher’s Magazine. The interviewer said that “the language of the poem is the language of you trying to figure out what the poem is.” And Adam responded:

Mairead Byrne said a similar thing on her jacket review for the book, that “somewhat skeptically” the book “marks out a testing ground for poetry.” I’m really happy about that. It wasn’t something I was doing intentionally in the language, but it’s always on my mind, more than in a “is this a good poem” way. Because I think Poetry (capital P) has a lot of vitality. Even good poems can be lame, can be who cares? So my objective with the bro-sona language is to move the process right onto the surface of the poem. Rather than have the reader cut through the craftiness, my intention was to start them off with, uh, crappiness and filter through that for the “poem.”

12. Maybe in a little different way than Adam meant for his own poems, but definitely with the same core, Mullany starts and ends with the “crappiness” of life, the peculiarity of living, the tragedy of a bunch of humans being together on this stupid earth.

13. The reader, if patient, can walk around on the surface and slowly sink in, instead of sinking in from the beginning.

14. Like “Either/Or,” “Ode To The Bayoneted Soldier” meanders within one of the suckiest parts of human conflict, war:

In the woods beside the snowy
field, the footprints

15. Christopher, in his response to the book earlier here at Vouched, mentioned that overwhelming feeling of “what does anything matter,” and did a great job of exemplifying how Mullany’s poems connected to him and this question.

16. Looking at “Important,” which was the first poem Christopher singled out, I’d say that Mullany’s poems again and again, for this reader at least, point out that what matters depends on the person, but some things (should?) matter to nearly everyone, like art or war or death.

17. The poems in If I Falter At The Gallows snips the most affecting bits from these BIG THINGS and spreads them out where the reader can roam around.

18. Realization is beautiful.

If I Falter at the Gallows by Edward Mullany

25 Oct

If I Falter at the Gallows
Edward Mullany
Publishing Genius Press, 83 pages, $12

The first book I ever read from Publishing Genius Press was Easter Rabbit by Joseph Young, a book of sparse, tight microfiction. I read the book in a single sitting. It wasn’t just for the contest. I remember distinctly the feeling of language bending. One of my favorite things about Publishing Genius is how often their books force me to reimagine and rearrange my ideas of what language can and should be, what language can and should do.

I sat down to read Edward Mullany’s If I Falter at the Gallows at 11:15 last night. At 12:04, I finished. My cat was asleep against my leg. The house was quiet and dim. A feeling of futility wrestled at my arms and chest. I wanted to read Ecclesiastes, but I didn’t want to wake my cat. I wanted to do a lot of things, but didn’t want to wake my cat. Against all the futility I felt, there was something purposeful in its slow, plodding breath.

I keep saying futility. Let me explain.

Mullany’s poems are as equally sparse as Young’s Easter Rabbit, but there is a futility in Mullany’s lines that brought to my chest a feeling I’ve been wrestling with the past few months, a “what does anything matter” question that is perhaps as cliche’ as it is historic, that’s perhaps best exemplified in the poem “Important”:

The newspaper said a painter who is dead and whose
paintings are exhibited in museums in the country
he spent most of his life in, as well as in museums in
other countries, would have been one hundred today.

I read that poem over at least 5 times last night, I thought of the painter’s life, I thought of my life. I laughed. My cat stirred. I laughed more quietly.

I went back and reread previous poems, the dark and quiet irony of “Important” coloring everything now.

I read “A Suicide in the Family,” and understood the how useless words can be:

The doorbell rings. Or a mountain
speaks to a mountain

in a language only
mountains understand.

I read “The Birthday Present Analogy”, and finally got the joke:

Inside the box, you
find another

box. And so
on. It is only

a joke if
there is a first

and a final

After I stopped laughing, I sent an email. I picked up my cat, cradled her in my arms. I carried her in to bed and rested her next to my wife. I took off my glasses, plugged my phone in to charge, set my alarm for the morning.

I have plenty to do before I find the final box. And so do you. You have this book to read at least. Whatever you do after that, do it well, and take care.

Single-Sentence Review: Fog Gorgeous Stag by Sean Lovelace

3 Aug

Fog Gorgeous Stag by Sean Lovelace

Publishing Genius, 70 pages, 2011

A really awesome review of FGS over at Book Punch Reviews

Yes, this book stumbles through itself, in search of itself, learning to bend and snap, discovering the depths and directions of its voice and at the end pops out this layered clump, like a rubberband ball with a pulse, that bounces around us and stretches thoughtshapes in and out and back again and we get all smiley, not really knowing what to say or think.


208 Words On The 208 Pages of Poems Called The Best Of (What’s Left Of) Heaven by Mairéad Byrne

22 Nov

I can look at most pages of this book and feel nice. These poems are short, quirky, clever, yet some calming. I flip randomly and prove what I’m saying: “Our Colds.”

could be flu
cat allergies
or carbon monoxide poisoning

but probably not
all three

And this is what I’m saying. Reading it in my room right now, this poem cleaned me up a little, this snapshot of Byrne’s life and thoughts, but also perhaps mine. I feel better than I did before.

Byrne’s poems stretch beyond their small word count, being big with emotional stuff, positive or negative.  Maybe emotional isn’t the right word, more like living stuff or thinking stuff, yes, these poems are like snapshot thoughts on the page. Even in the section called “war,” Byrne does things with lists, bold, newspaper headlines, which seems playful and comfortable.

This book works for me as a reminder that poems don’t have to be all long and rambly. I forget that sometimes. Also, this is a book that you can call someone and be like listen to this poem, it doesn’t suck. My call-up-somebody-to-read-them-a-poem poem is “Heaven.” This is a small-ish book and the small-ish poems with the super thinking moments and they are good life companions.

Buy the book from Publishing Genius.