Synopsis: A man. No plan. A hamburger commercial. A wild west town. A mess. Black Lawrence Press is proud to announce the winner of the inaugural Big Moose Prize. Tracy DeBrincat’s Hollywood Buckaroo takes place in the fictionalized world of Buckaroo, based on the real-life movie set location of Pioneertown, California. A story about a guy coping with his father’s death while living out a twisted version of his dream before returning to a life he dreads, Hollywood Buckaroo is also a love letter to the movies, the afterlife, the high desert, tiny towns and big cities, dysfunctional families, broken hearts, broken legs, the Siamese twins of ambition and humiliation, despair and delight, Hells Angels, celebrity, infamy, William Carlos Williams, the possibility of aliens, and the supreme satisfaction of a really great shower.
Reviews: “Tracy DeBrincat—whose name alone should seduce—is snappy, winning, lightly perverse.” —Padgett Powell
“If Kurt Vonnegut teamed up with J.D. Salinger to write a teaser for Six Feet Under and the Coen Brothers filmed it, you’d have a sense of the gorgeous, off-beat, poetic, deep, astonishingly hilarious, intimate, touching family of characters that Tracy DeBrincat has created in Hollywood Buckaroo. It is rare that a writer with such a flagrant original voice is at the same time so solid and accessible. You will find yourself clutching this book tightly to your body.” —Hal Ackerman
“Hollywood Buckaroo’s witty and engaging love-hate relationship with the industry it so vividly portrays is as entertaining as a trip to the movies itself.” —Ed Solomon
Tracy DeBrincat is the author of the prize-winning short story collection Moon Is Cotton & She Laugh All Night (Subito Press/University of Colorado, Boulder). A new prize-winning collection, Troglodyte, is due from Elixir Press in 2014. She has published short stories and poetry in literary reviews from Another Chicago Magazine to Zyzzyva. Although San Francisco is her hometown, she loves living in Los Angeles, where she is a freelance creative advertising consultant and authors the blog Bigfoot Lives! www.tracydebrincat.com
Author: David Ebenbach Publication Date: October 15, 2012
–Jesse Lee Kercheval
Author: Suzanne Scanlon Publication Date: October 9, 2012
Synopsis: A series of fragmentary tales tells the story of Lizzie, a young woman who, in her early twenties, unexpectedly embarks on a journey through psychiatric institutions, a journey that will end up lasting many years. With echoes of Sylvia Plath, and against a cultural backdrop that includes Shakespeare, Woody Allen, and Heathers, Suzanne Scanlon’s first novel is both a deeply moving account of a life of crisis and a brilliantly original work of art.
Reviews: “Suzanne Scanlon enters the inverted space of grief and near-madness with courage, intelligence, and wit—and with a small, sharp light for us to follow.”—Dawn Raffel
“About ten lives occur in this very short novel. One swiftly becomes the background of the next, then that one looms up fast and for a moment you think oh this is the life. And it is ending. I like the swift consciousness with which Suzanne Scanlon orchestrates all of it and even more I admire the true (and maneuvered) intimacy that holds me here on the page despite the fact that inside and out of this volume of PROMISING YOUNG WOMEN there are so many of us, lives, and women and female writers. You wonder if we matter at all and Suzanne Scanlon says in a multitude of quietly intelligent and felt ways that we do, helplessly, all of us do, no matter.”—Eileen Myles
“In pitch-perfect prose, Suzanne Scanlon has given us wonderful Lizzie—smart, brave, and, at the same time, so scared stiff by her young life that that she winds up on a psych ward run by Dr. Roger, whose specialty is ‘troubled, pretty girls.’ PROMISING YOUNG WOMEN digs deep and speaks to us all about how we compose our individual lives in the wilds of modern times.”—Elizabeth Evans
“If Scanlon had employed the strategies of conventional realism, these troubling but utterly convincing stories of life in and out of psych wards would be mere bathos. Written through the liveliest sort of formal invention, they acquire real force and authority. The reader is driven before the story like something driven before a wave. And that is a deeply pleasurable feeling.”—Curtis White
“The voice, or voices, in Suzanne Scanlon’s PROMISING YOUNG WOMEN are sly, tragic, knowing, wounded, and brave. This wholly original novel is a wonderfully refreshing addition to the many stories that tell us the news of women’s grief, rebuilding, coming to terms.”—Mary Gordon
Bio: Promising Young Women is Suzanne Scanlon’s first book. She lives in Chicago.
Author: Albert Flynn DeSilver Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Synopsis: Filled with a luminous cast of characters, and told with searing honesty and ironic wit, Beamish Boy is a redemptive story of survival and letting go, as we follow Albert from one zany adventure and near-death experience to the next. He is run over by his best friend after blacking out in a driveway, contracts malaria in east Africa, and joins a psychedelic “therapy” cult, until he miraculously finds himself, through photography, poetry, and a hilarious awakening at a meditation retreat center, realizing finally, what it means to be fully alive and to truly love.
Beamish Boy charts a compelling spiritual journey, from violence and self-annihilation to creativity and self-realization. Not your typical addiction memoir, Beamish Boy reads more like a witty and poetic novel, offering a profound window into the human condition, complete with its tragedies and ecstasies—illuminating one man’s quest for lasting wisdom.
Reviews: “. . .A beautifully written memoir. . .poignant and inspirational, comical and terrifying!” —Kirkus
“. . .a fascinating, poetic memoir. . .”—ForeWord Reviews
“Albert Flynn DeSilver’s extraordinary story of second chances is about cultivating a creative life of joy and generosity out of the ashes of fear, doubt, and trauma.” —Marci Shimoff, New York Times bestselling author, Love for No Reason and Happy for No Reason
“I was raised in a clock tower with bats in the belfry.” So begins, Beamish Boy, the harrowing account of Albert Flynn DeSilver’s inspirational journey from suicidal alcoholic to Poet Laureate and beyond. Though growing up in material privilege in suburban
Connecticut in the 1970’s and 80’s, Albert finds himself whirling through an emotional wasteland void of love, complicated by his mostly absent alcoholic mother, while being raised by a violent Swiss-German governess. A dramatic downgrade in lifestyle right at adolescence inspires a hasty attraction to alcohol, drugs, and a series of increasingly shocking adventures.
Albert Flynn DeSilver is an internationally published poet, author, artist, teacher, speaker, and writing coach. He served as the first Poet Laureate of Marin County, California from 2008-2010. Albert is the author of “Beamish Boy: A Memoir,” and several books of poetry including Letters to Early Street, and Walking Tooth & Cloud, and his work has appeared in dozens of literary journals and anthologies worldwide. He presents at literary conferences nationally, directs a homecare agency, and teaches in the Teen and Family program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center near his home in Woodacre, California.
Synopsis: The mysterious death of a high-profile defense lawyer propels his daughter into an investigation of the underhanded deals and characters that led to his disbarment. This searing, detective memoir with shades of L.A. noir paints a vivid portrait of a Greek American family caught up in the scandal-obsessed, drug-addicted culture of California.
Reviews: This look back at a family divided by divorce, geography, and grief crackles with tension, but also locates humor in their excesses and drama. The narrative is flecked with several gathered quotes from family, clients, and others under the heading, “What They Told Me After He Died,” and the quotes are as dark and funny as the story itself…meeting the author’s family is an illuminating and sometimes disturbing journey the reader won’t forget. – ForeWord Magazine (Fall Issue)
The Shyster’s Daughter is a fascinating, quick and wonderful read. Similar to Jeanette Walls’s The Glass Castle, Paula provides her readers with a very well-written take of her coming-of-age and adulthood occurring in the shadow of all her father’s and family’s immoral acts. – Literary Hoarders book blog
In The Shyster’s Daughter Priamos has plied the best attributes of his trade to reveal the mysterious and intriguing personality that was her dad.” – Women’s Memoir
Priamos’s ambitious and successful effort to meld two stories happens in a book called The Shyster’s Daughter, where she performs the big leap over timidity and skepticism to make her own life story a bigger one indeed…a self-described noir detective memoir, something evoking Nathaneal West or Joan Didion. – O.C. Weekly
Paula Priamos’ writing was featured in the anthology Naming the World: And Other Exercises for the Creative Writer. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post Magazine. An excerpt of her memoir has been published in ZYZZYVA. She teaches English and Creative Writing at California State University and lives in Southern California with her husband. This is her first book.
Author: Kathleen Rooney Publication Date: October 23, 2012
Reviews: “Meet Robinson, the protagonist of Kathleen Rooney’s brilliant novel-in-poems ROBINSON ALONE. Conjured up by Weldon Kees and set loose in an urban landscape, Robinson reflects and refracts mid-century American kitsch, optimism, and despair. ‘What do you / think the post-war world will be like?’ he asks, via Rooney’s revisions and erasures of Kees’ own letters. Lyrical and detailed, precise and ornate, Rooney’s genre-bending text showcases an obsession with literary history. At once repulsed by Midwestern provincialism and fearful of urban excess, ‘There’s still as much of yesterday / as there is of tomorrow in all he does today.'”—Carol Guess
“Kathleen Rooney is one of the best writers of her still youthful generation. Whether working in memoir, essay, fiction, or verse, she writes in a style that is strikingly original and immediately recognizable for the high-spirited energy of its surface and an undertow of emotion that is sometimes elegiac. Even when part of the art in this book is that of the ventriloquist, both of these qualities can be found in Rooney’s Robinson poems, a sustained work based on her long engagement with the poetry of Weldon Kees. Kees was for a long time a poet’s poet for a generation now itself growing old, so it is a fine thing to have his signature character examined and re-animated by a young poet as good as Rooney is.”—John Matthias
“Kathleen Rooney’s ROBINSON ALONE is a blood brother to the historical novel. She reminds us that epic stories started with the poem, and she does the tradition proud with her formal flexibility and attention to detail. Her poems ‘photograph the obscure,’ uncovering a lost treasure in Weldon Kees, who apparently is alive and well, living between these pages.”—A. Van Jordan
Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a nonprofit publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a three-person team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. She is the author of six books of poetry and nonfiction including, most recently, the just-released novel in poems Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press), based on the life and work of Weldon Kees, the essay collection For You, For You I Am Trilling These Songs (Counterpoint, 2010), and the art modeling memoir Live Nude Girl: My Life as an Object (University of Arkansas Press, 2009). Her first book is Reading with Oprah: The Book Club That Changed America (University of Arkansas Press, 2005), and her first poetry collection, Oneiromance (an epithalamion) won the 2007 Gatewood Prize from the feminist publisher Switchback Books. With Elisa Gabbert, she is the author of That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness (Otoliths, 2008) and the forthcoming chapbook The Kind of Beauty That Has Nowhere to Go (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). She lives in Chicago with her husband, the writer Martin Seay, and works as a Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at DePaul and a Visiting Writer at Roosevelt University.
Other Book Publications:
For You, For You I Am Trilling These Songs
Author: Mark Wagenaar Publication Date: March 26, 2012
Synopsis: In this debut collection, Voodoo Inverso, Mark Wagenaar composes a startling mystical imagism and sets it to music, using self-portraits to explore differing physical and spiritual landscapes. He uses a variety of personae—a victim of sex trafficking in Amsterdam, a fichera dancer, a portrait haunted by Dante, a carillonneur of starlight, an elephant in pink slippers remembering its beloved—to silhouette the intricacies and frailties of the body and the world. In a series of “gospels” and “histories”—such as the poems “History of Ecstasy” and “Moth Hour Gospel”—he shines a light on the possibilities of transcendence and transfiguration, weaving together memory and loss with desire and hope.
Reviews: “Mark Wagenaar’s Voodoo Inverso (University of Wisconsin Press, 2012) reads like far more than a single book. A breviary of talismanic mojo, it ripples with series and meta series—references to fragments and missing leaves from a tome called The Book of the Missing, for instance, make mysterious appearances and, by implication, disappearances throughout the collection. Its formal tropes—gospels, nocturnes, self-portraits, portraits of artists, gacelas—and poetic forms (blank verse, sonnets, sestets, proems, dropped lines, Q & A) are manifold and inventive. The collection is a cosmos, and each of its poems shimmers in at least two realms. On their scripturalsurfaces, these dense, intensely musical pieces foreground the minutely attended details of the physical world. Coursing in the background are oneiric depths of loss, allusion, erotic and spiritual yearning, and an obsession with what vanishes and what abides. Wagenaar’s gift resides in his ability to hold these two planes, of attention and affect, in volatile equipoise, allowing them, at ecstatic moments, to exchange the secrets of their sensuous textures and their metaphysical, analogic soundings, “as a well waits / for the once-a-day brilliance of high noon.” – Lisa Russ Spaar