We are excited and proud to release what started out as a chapbook, but has turned into a magnicifent collection by Chris Viner. Chris Viner was born in Poole, England in 1987. He recently finished his MSt in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford, where he won the F H Pasby prize in 2015. He has had poems published in several journals, including Ash and Graffiti. He has lived in Bristol, London, Oxford and Paris. Currently he resides in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.
"Lemniscate" is a poetry collection that tackles the emotional trauma created by a sudden attack. Chris Viner looks at life after living in Paris; they pivot on the attacks of November 2015. They aim to explore questions of loss, love and redemption in a world if conflicting senses of history, religion and morality.
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Sandy Coomer is a poet, mixed media artist and endurance athlete. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and anthologies including Hypertrophic Literary, Qu Literary Magazine, Now and Then - The Appalachian Magazine, Big Muddy, and Chautauqua. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Continuum (Finishing Line Press), and The Presence of Absence (Winner of the 2014 Janice Keck Literary Award for Poetry). Sandy is a poetry mentor in the AWP Writer to Writer Mentorship Program and the founding editor of the online poetry journal Rockvale Review. She lives in Brentwood, TN.
Sandy Coomer’s, Rivers Within Us, is a collection of poems that allows readers to reevaluate and question the way in which they move through life on a daily basis. What does it mean to live and die? What should we expect in life? How can dreams come true and, still, we are faced with disappointment? This movement is portrayed in settings that are saturated with images of nature and, in particular, the river; symbolic of the life force that carries us all. Coomer further creates movement and illustrates mastery over her craft through purposeful stanza breaks and rhythmic lines that plunges readers into each poem. Experiences and notions, such as love and synesthesia, become tangible through concrete images derived from nature and abstraction; ants are no longer just ants but are a device to belittle and inspire awe, praise and religion are brought together to create something almost physical, and dreams showcase vulnerabilities we would rather hide but cannot. Notions about life are torn apart and rearranged again through similes and metaphors that become more real than the very thing itself. All of these elements culminate into a collection that tries to make sense of life, death, and love through the swift and crushing movement of our passions that move like a river. Coomer speaks to all of this in just three words, Rivers Within Us.
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Rebecca Watkins earned an M.F.A. in Poetry from the City College of New York and has been teaching writing and English as a Second Language at the college level for eight years in the Greater New York area. She has created and led poetry workshops in the public schools as well as smaller writing workshops for adults, and she is currently an editor for River River Literary Journal. In 2015, she was awarded a writing residency in Honduras and taught poetry at an orphanage and bilingual school. Rebecca has been published in The Promethean, The Red Mesa Review, Poetry and Performance, Anderbo and the SNReview among other literary journals. Currently, she is earning a Master’s of Science degree in English Education from Lehman College. Besides her background in education and writing, she has also lived and worked on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico, became a certified yoga instructor in Colorado, and worked on organic farms in Ohio and Georgia. Rebecca’s first full-length poetry book Sometimes, in These Places will be released by Unsolicited Press in September 2017.
About the Collection
What happens when poetry, “rises off the cracked surface of grief?” Rebecca Watkins explores both the grief and what rises in her newest collection, SOMETIMES, IN THESE PLACES. Through her thematic exploration of drug addiction, poverty, reticent religion, loneliness, and family, there is, throughout this collection, a frank dialogue that deftly puts us in the dirt, without letting us get grimy. The smooth motion and gentle imagery feels both deeply personal and wildly relatable, tackling dark concepts with sophistication and grace.
Jerrod E. Bohn has an MFA in poetry from Colorado State University. His work has appeared or is soon forthcoming in Phoebe, The Montreal Review, alice blue, FRiGG,Cleaver, SPECS, Word For/Word, smoking glue gun, Watershed Review and elsewhere. A full-length poetry book, Animal Histories, is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press. He currently lives in Fort Collins, teaching yoga and community college writing courses.
Find his book on our site or via major retailers.
Catch a Glimpse
Art Zilleruelo’s "The Last Map" explores language’s role as the mediator between humanity and nature. Combining a deep reverence for the power of language with profound anxieties about language’s tendency to contaminate that which it represents, these poems reside between the impulse to succumb to the seductive qualities of words and the drive to penetrate through words into the unmediated world. Narrative modes ranging from history to mythology, from folklore to family legends, and from cosmology to apocalyptic eschatology are simultaneously exploited for their aesthetic potency and subjected to skeptical internal critique. Each poem engages ongoing human efforts to manage and articulate encounters with the radical otherness and uncanny familiarity of the natural world. The interpenetration of humanity and nature is revealed as both exhilarating and terrifying, and, as the cumulative effects of these encounters proliferate, the contact between these two worlds becomes increasingly fraught with complications for both. As the personae that populate these poems struggle with nature within and nature without, they come to question conventional ways of understanding themselves, their relationships, and their values. They consequently begin to perceive a new world ripe with strange possibilities, a world that all of their maps, both literal and figurative, seem ill-equipped to describe. Zilleruelo's poems display a deep commitment to pursuing poetry’s aesthetic dimensions. His disciplined, musical free verse reminds readers that poems are more than mere ideas meant to be interpreted--they are also aesthetic artifacts intended to be experienced.
What People Are Saying....
The Last Map is a spiritual journey that transcends our own minuscule limitations. Imagine putting on the lenses by which the poet Zilleruelo sees the world, and the reader finds a place full of unexpected treasure. While not afraid of the darkness, this collection makes a “livable fiction” of light, and the “long liquid fibers” a movable path for the eye and the spirit, a confirmation of magic—dragons and vines and worms. With a generosity sometimes rare in poetry, Zilleruelo invites us to traverse the darkness of the human spirit unafraid, often expressing what we’ve all desired: “light enough to lead us in through the verge… where the good kindling hid.” This is not a denial of evil, but rather a calm acceptance that where there is shadow, there can also be spark. Each new reading has rendered a new discovery in this landscape, another acknowledgement of this painful duality. And as seasons shift and change, so do the shadows shift. May we all be such fertile ground where we “bleed new greens into the grass.”
--- April Pameticky
What sticks with me when reading The Last Map is Zilleruelo's bridging of the natural world to what I'd call some kind of transcendental or spiritual realm, where one finds an appreciation for those things tangible and real. Poems like "Vines" and "Other Fires" stick out for their measured language and their invitations to readers to investigate not only the world around them but the soul within all things. Elsewhere, Zilleruelo reflects on the burdens of generations in the masterful centerpiece, "The Pipe-Tree," a poem of great depth and honesty, and amongst a great many stunning lines, he concludes the collection with some of my favorite:
Have you ever felt
your heart match the second hand?
They breathe together a moment,
If my breath is the first to break,
I’ll wait for you at the lake,
and meet you where the leaves put down their stain.
Kinnell once wrote: "I long for the mantle/of the great wanderers, who lighted/ their steps by the lamp/ of pure hunger and pure thirst,/ and whichever way they lurched was the way."
With the The Last Map, Zilleruelo embarks on a similar quest, and the results are frequently stunning and always inspiring.
Chris Ludovici has published articles in The Princeton Packet and online at Cinedelphia and Cleaver. In 2009, he won the Judith Stark awards in fiction and drama. His short story "Daisy" was published in the 2013 issue of Peregrine, the print journal of the University of Pennsylvania Creative Writing Program and in Cleaver Magazine. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, son, and too many cats.
Writing has always been a part of my life. It was the first art form I explored, and it remains the most poignant. I also enjoy pen and ink, yoyos, video games, classic literature. I am a denizen of the Southwest, originating in New Mexico. Take a stroll through my website: www.brianlooney.com.
Brian Looney's collection Alcoholic Murmurs is divided into two part: in the first part, we see the speaker struggling with an addiction to alcohol. We are invited to see the interior of an alcoholic's mind through AA meetings, relationships with loneliness and love, and the decision to quit drinking. In the second half of the collection, the speaker has new struggles...the battle to defeat addiction, and the mindset that comes along with the decision to stop drinking.
Having (mis)spent his youth in the halls of academia, Mr. Mann-Bertrand eventually abandoned towers of ivory in favor of variegated artistic pursuits, peripatetic adventures, and repeated attempts to be officially recognized as a “Renaissance Man” by all 193 Member States of the United Nations. Obsessed with the fields of theatre, film, and television, the author has devoted considerable energies to deepening his involvement in these interconnected artistic disciplines, all while attempting to fight the forces of evil (well, boredom) by exploring the four corners of our great globe. Spoonfeeding Casanova is his novelistic debut, a strong expository effort on behalf of the author to become a serious and upstanding adult; it is possible he may have failed. In unsubstantiated rumors, it is claimed that if writer Mann-Bertrand owned a hat, it would currently be hanging somewhere in British Columbia.
You can find information about his book, here.
Alison Hicks is the author of full-length poetry collection Kiss (PS Books, 2011), chapbook Falling Dreams (Finishing Line Press, 2006), novella Love: A Story of Images (AWA Press, 2004), and an anthology, Prompted (PS Books, 2010). Her work has appeared in Eclipse, Fifth Wednesday, Gargoyle, Licking River Review, The Ledge, Louisville Review, Passager, Permafrost, Sanskrit, Whiskey Island, and other journals. Her poem “Color” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Green Hills Literary Lantern. Awards include the 2011 Philadelphia City Paper Poetry Prize and two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowships. She is founder of Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio, which offers community-based writing workshops. She lives with her husband and son in Havertown, Pennsylvania.
Her book You Who Took the Boat Out can be found here.
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Gemma Cooper-Novack is a writer, arts educator, and writing coach. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in more than twenty journals, including Ballard Street Poetry Journal (Pushcart Prize nomination), Bellevue Literary Review (Pushcart Prize nomination), Cider Press Review, Hanging Loose, Santa Fe Writers Project, and Printer’s Devil Review. Gemma’s plays have been produced in Chicago, Boston, and New York, and she diablogs on sinnerscreek.com. She has been awarded multiple artist’s residencies from Catalonia to Virginia and a grant from the Barbara Deming Fund, and enjoys baking cookies and walking on stilts in her spare time. Her debut poetry collection We Might As Well Be Underwater will be published by Unsolicited Press in 2017.