January Book Releases

January Fiction Book Releases

The Memoirs of JonBenet by Kathy Acker


Author: Michael du Plessis Publication Date: December 3, 2012

Synopsis: 

Perhaps the first conceptualist novel for young adults. Jon Benet meets Kathy Acker in a rollicking coming-of-age tale set in the snow globe of Boulder, Colorado. With guest appearances by Little Lord Fauntleroy, H. P. Lovecraft, the Blue Fairy, a wind-up Walter Benjamin, a soft-toy Cthulhu, O (form The Story of O), and many more. Neither tribute nor pastiche, Memoirs investigates the “self” of very-late-capitalism in a collage of all that is right, and terribly wrong, in America.

The Memoirs of JonBenet by Kathy Acker is published as part of the TrenchArt: Surplus Series, with an introduction by Peggy Kamuf and visual art by Klaus Killisch.

Michael du Plessis teaches Comparative Literature and English at the University of Southern California, where he is also completing a masters degree in Professional Writing. du Plessis has written about a wide variety of subjects, from Goth culture to the French fin-de-siècle. He has also performed at Highways and at the MAK Center/Schindler House, amongst other venues.

Book Review:

http://htmlgiant.com/reviews/25-points-approaching-the-memoirs-of-jonbenet-by-kathy-acker-by-michael-du-plessis/

January Nonfiction Book Releases

Hiking to Siberia: Curious Tales of Travel and Travelers

Author: Lawrence Millman Publication Date: October 2, 2012

Synopsis: 

In Hiking to Siberia, Lawrence Millman follows the trail of a woman who once tried to walk (and row) from New York City to Siberia. He also gets a ride from an apparent ghost in Iceland and attends a feast in Micronesia where the pièce de résistance is fruit bat penis. This stylish, often very funny collection of essays affirms Millman’s place among the very best living travel writers.

Reviews: 

Lawrence Millman is one of our great story tellers. His accounts of out-of-the-way places can chill you or charm you or make you laugh out loud. Sometimes he can do all that in a single story. The man is a master. – Tim Cahill, author of Jaguars Ripped My Flesh and Hold the Enlightenment

In the grand tradition of adventurers like Marco Polo, Giacomo Casanova, Richard Burton, and Isabelle Eberhadt, Millman sets out on journeys of discovery that delight, frighten, and thrill. Millman s journeys of fancy and endurance are what literature and travel shared for the longest time, and have forgotten until he brought it back. – Andrei Codrescu, author ofWhatever Gets You through the Night: A Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Entertainments

Picture of Lawrence MillmanWriter-ethnographer-mycologist Lawrence Millman is the author of 15 books, including such titles as Last Places, An Evening Among Headhunters, Lost in the Arctic, and — most recently — Hiking to Siberia.   His articles have appeared in Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Outside, and dozens of other magazines.   He keeps a post office box in Cambridge, MA.

January Poetry Book Releases

A Penny Saved


Author: Arisa White Publication Date: November 1, 2012

Synopsis: 

The second volume of poetry from award-winning poet Arisa White, A Penny Saved, reimagines the true story of Polly Mitchell, who was held captive in her home for 10 years. Poetically/fictitiously reinvented, the book’s protagonist is renamed Penny. The collection is arranged in three sections. In each, Penny’s voice is juxtaposed with another: the house, her oldest daughter Elizabeth, and her imaginary friend Jewelie. The third section concludes with the husband’s voice, which is part apology and remorse. Each voice brings to the fore an intimate perspective of Penny’s captivity and abuse and the role of each character/voice within this violence.

While White, whose first book, Hurrah’s Nest, won the San Francisco Book Festival Award for poetry, acknowledges that she cannot know what Polly Mitchell endured, A Penny Saved reflects White’s attempt to turn over—in her mind and on the page—the interconnected tangle of complicity and abuse.

Polly Mitchell’s doors were literally bolted, her windows nailed shut. White uses Mitchell’s story as a way to investigate the parts we play in enabling violent situations around us and the things we think are necessary to secure our survival and the survival of the ones we love.

Reviews:

“White’s . . . nearly Olympian approach to Penny’s gradually forming voice proves that there are still modes of poetic expression, finely tuned strings, capable of reaching both despair and love in a single pluck or utterance. The range of emotional incision in A Penny Saved cuts open many of our ugliest and most hidden domestic veins, patriarchal abuse. This book is the good lyric hurt that triumphs!” —Thomas Sayers Ellis, author of Skin, Inc.

From A Penny Saved:

 

This night, in sprint speed, I head

straight for his velvet-lined mouth,

through the quartet of years between us.

 

My chance to test if our bodies confetti,

he tells me, You can never leave me;

I tell him, I won’t.

Picture of Arisa WhiteARISA WHITE is a Cave Canem fellow and an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her debut collection, Hurrah’s Nest, was published by Virtual Artists Collective and is the 2012 winner of the San Francisco Book Festival Award for poetry. A Penny Saved is her second collection, released by Willow Books. An editor for HER KIND (herkind.org), the official blog of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and the editorial manager for Dance Studio Life magazine. Arisa has received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, Rose O’Neill Literary House, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2005, her poetry has been widely published and is featured on the recording WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet. arisawhite.com

Other Book Publications:

Hurrah’s Nest


Sympathy from the Devil

Author: Kyle McCord Publication Date: January 1, 2013

Reviews: 

In Kyle McCord’s mercurial and visionary new book, Sympathy from the Devil, we see a bold refiguring of the moral imagination that, like a Dante without a Beatrice, wanders hell bereft of the traditional compass that would clarify the archetypes. Here the eye opens wide its compassion in the dark. Play transgresses and so, in opposition to the self-servitude of sublimity and rapture, sheds light on cruelties and exclusions suffered in the name of the ideal. Everywhere we look in this book, we find the generosity and precision of paradox. The pleasure of absurdity may distance heartbreak, but it likewise binds us to it, such that the poet’s lightness of touch and ranginess of sensibility becomes indistinguishable from his vision, the sense that one half of sympathy is always the embrace, the other the letting go. A stunning collection. –Bruce Bond, Author of The Visible
In Kyle McCord’s new book Gabriel empathizes, the Devil sympathizes, and an exhausted God watches a televangelist. Moving, imaginative and full of surprising turns, McCord’s poems are alive with both the world and the dead who “have no word for intimate, and a thousand words for blind.” I love the abundance of these poems, their humor, the music that made my ears howl and purr. When I dream about McCord’s poems dreaming of me, I ride an aging mechanical bull, werewolves take over the city, Abraham Lincoln begs to rip off my blouse, God’s love vanishes into my body like bread. I wake up hungry, afraid, laughing. –Traci Brimhall, Author of Our Lady of the Ruins
“What do you want from any of us, reader?” asks the first poem in Kyle McCord’s Sympathy from the Devil, bristling a bit, cocking its chin, letting us know that what follows will never be exactly what we expect. The book brims with wily intelligence and unsettling humor that challenge and surprise and thrill and move us so that in the end what we want is everything this terrific book has to give. – Corey Marks, Author of The Radio Tree
Picture of Kyle McCordKyle McCord is the author of three books of poetry: Galley of the Beloved in Torment (Dream Horse Press 2009), a co-written book of epistolary poems entitled Informal Invitations to a Traveler (Gold Wake Press 2011) and Sympathy from the Devil forthcoming from Gold Wake Press in 2013.  He has work featured in Boston ReviewColumbia Poetry JournalCatch-UpGulf Coast, Volt and elsewhere.  His critical work has appeared in Diode, Rattle, and Pleiades where he is a regular reviewer.  He’s received grants or awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Iowa Poetry Association.  He’s the 2012 recipient of the Baltic Writing Residency.  Along with Wendy Xu, he is a co-founder of the Younger American Poets Reading Series and co-edits iO: A Journal of New American Poetry.  He is a teaching fellow in the PhD program in Creative Writing at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX.

Other Book Publications:

Galley of the Beloved in Torment

Informal Invitation to a Traveler: Letters between J.R. & Miss Kim