A novel set in a decaying town in southern West Virginia, Potted Meat follows a young boy into adolescence as he struggles with abusive parents, poverty, alcohol addiction, and racial tensions. Using fragments as a narrative mode to highlight the terror of ellipses, Potted Meat explores the fear, power, and vulnerability of storytelling. “Steven Dunn’s Potted Meat is full of wonder and silence and beauty and strangeness and ugliness and sadness and truth and hope…. This book needs to be read” (LAIRD HUNT). “An extraordinary book. Here is an emerging voice that calls us to attention…. Like a visceral intervention across the surface of language, simultaneously cutting to its depths, to change the world” (SELAH SATERSTROM).
Co-winner, 2017 Tarpaulin Sky Press Book Awards
Paperback, 140 pp. Pub date: April 2018
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$14 includes shipping in the US
Equal parts séance, polemic, and love letter, Piper J. Daniels’ Ladies Lazarus examines evangelical upbringing, sexual trauma, queer identity, and mental illness with a raw intensity that moves between venom and grace.
Fueled by wanderlust, Daniels travels the country, unearthing the voices of forgotten women. Girls and ghosts speak freely, murdered women serve as mentors, and those who’ve languished in unmarked graves convert their names to psalms. At every turn, Daniels invites the reader to engage, not in the soothing narrative of healing, but in the literal and metaphorical dynamism of death and resurrection.
“Beautifully written collection of 11 lyric essays…. [Daniels] emerges as an empowering and noteworthy voice.” (Publishers Weekly); Piper J. Daniels is going to rip the essay world apart. Ladies Lazarus is the best debut I’ve read in a long time. Daniels has resurrected the personal essay and what it is and what it can do” (Jenny Boully); “An extremely intelligent, impressively understated, and achingly powerful work” (David Shields); “A siren song from planet woman, a love letter from the body, a resistance narrative against the dark” (Lidia Yuknavitch).
Chosen by Bhanu Kapil
for the Tarpaulin Sky Press Book Awards
Paperback, 140 pp. Pub date: May 2018
Cover art by Maude Tanswai
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$14 includes shipping in the US
Mixing fable and fact, extraordinary and ordinary, Jennifer S. Cheng’s hybrid collection, Moon: Letters, Maps, Poems, draws on various Chinese mythologies about women, particularly that of Chang’E (the Lady in the Moon), uncovering the shadow stories of our myths — with the belief that there is always an underbelly. Moon explores bewilderment and shelter, destruction and construction, unthreading as it rethreads, shedding as it collects.
“Exhilarating…An alt-epic for the 21st century…Visionary…Rich and glorious.” (Publishers Weekly Starred Review) “Everything that’s left behind. If reading is a form of pilgrimage, then Cheng gives us its charnel ground events, animal conversions, guiding figures and elemental life.” (Bhanu Kapil) “Each of the voices in Jennifer S. Cheng’s Moon speaks as if she’s ‘the last girl on earth.’ … With curiosity and attention, Moon shines its light on inquiry as art, asking as making. In the tradition of Fanny Howe’s poetics of bewilderment, Cheng gives us a poetics of possibility.” (Jennifer Tseng) “Cheng’s newest poetry collection bravely tests language and the beautiful boundaries of body and geography. This is a rare poet whose elegant poems create a lovely convergence of geometries and mythologies into something akin to ‘an ocean fever to break between…teeth.’ The assembly of ‘insect script’ in these worlds where ‘the sky becomes a chilled pomelo’ makes for a rich and deeply satisfying read.” (Aimee Nezhukumatathil)
In the mood for a blistering novel about race, poverty, and trauma in West Virginia — complete with ninjas and Bob Ross? We got that. Read Steven Dunn’s Potted Meat. You want a book-length essay that could make you orgasm in a library? Try Elizabeth Hall’s I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris. Are you craving bizarro fictions about weapons testing and sheep that can herd themselves into watercolors? Look no further than Dana Green’s Sometimes the Air in the Room Goes Missing. Want to get ALL CAPS RIOT with #LGBQT#NYC#POET whose least abstraction is brought to “brilliant, jagged life,” according to no less an authority than John Ashbery? Well then, allow us to steal away your brain to Amy King’s Missing Museum. Or perhaps you’re ready to eat a few mushrooms in your sacred space while waiting on the mothership and contemplating the weepy, goopy, bloody state of feminine being and trans-being? You’ll find no better companion on your trip than Kim Parko’s novel, The Grotesque Child. Buy all five titles above for $60 and save 25% off the cover prices — and get free shipping. (Yeah. You won’t beat that anywhere. But feel free to pay more at Amazon while supporting the Great Satan.) Read more about the authors and books, below, or just click the purchase button and get on with the joy.
Sometimes the Air in the Room Goes Missing explores how storytelling changes with each iteration, each explosion, each mutation. Told through multiple versions, these are stories of weapons testing, sheep that can herd themselves into watercolors, and a pregnant woman whose water breaks every day for nine months. “I love Dana Green’s wild mind” (NOY HOLLAND). “A tour de force of deeply destabilizing investigation into language and self” (LAIRD HUNT). “Dana Green’s bracing debut .. reminds us every ordinary moment, every ordinary sentence, is an impending emergency” (LANCE OLSEN).
Elizabeth Hall set out to find all that had been written about the clit past and present. As she soon discovered, the history of the clitoris is no ordinary tale; rather, its history is marked by the act of forgetting. “Marvelously researched and sculpted…. Bulleted points rat-tat-tatting the patriarchy, strobing with pleasure” (DODIE BELLAMY). “Freud, terra cotta cunts, hyenas, anatomists, and Acker, mixed with a certain slant of light on a windowsill and a leg thrown open invite us…” (WENDY C. ORTIZ). “Gorgeous little book about a gorgeous little organ… Mines discourses as varied as sexology, plastic surgery, literature and feminism to produce an eye-opening compendium…. The ‘tender button’ finally gets its due” (JANET SARBANES). “God this book is glorious….” (SUZANNE SCANLON).
Nothing that is complicated may ever be simplified, but rather catalogued, cherished, exposed. Amy King’s The Missing Museum spans art, physics & the spiritual, including poems that converse with the sublime and ethereal. The poems act through ekphrasis, apostrophe & alchemical conjuring. They amass, pile, and occasionally flatten as matter is beaten into text. Here is a kind of directory of the world as it rushes into extinction, in order to preserve and transform it at once.
The Grotesque Child is a story about being and being and being something else. It is about swallowing and regurgitating, conceiving and birthing. It is about orifices and orbs. It is about the viscous, weepy, goopy, mucousy, bloody state of feminine being and trans-being. It is about pain and various healers and torturers, soothers and inflictors. It is about what sleeps and hides in all the nooks and crannies of perceived existence and existence unperceived.
“Doubling down on his trademark misanthropic imagery amid a pageantry of the unpleasant” (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY); “Göransson is certainly of the Left, but his work is as savagely anti-idealist as Burroughs or Guyotat or Ballard.” (ENTROPY MAGAZINE); “Language smeared with bodily fluid and sex, language spackled with violence and death … inhabiting that glittering/grotesque duality of Kardashian Family and Manson Family” (AMERICAN MICROREVIEWS).