Steven Dunn is the author of Potted Meat, co-winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. Steven was born and raised in West Virginia, and after 10 years in the Navy he earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from University of Denver. He is the Reviews & Interviews Editor for Horse Less Press, and currently lives in Denver.
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Navy veteran Steven Dunn’s second novel, water & power (Tarpaulin Sky Press 2018) plunges into military culture and engages with perceptions of heroism and terrorism, in a collage of voices, documents, and critical explorations that disrupt the usual frequency channels of military narratives. “Steven Dunn’s remarkable talent for storytelling collapses the boundaries between poetry and prose, memoir and fiction” (NIKKI WALLSCHLAEGER); “Complex and bold and conflicted and powerful and terrified and tough and human” (KHADIJAH QUEEN)
Rebecca Brown is a the author of a dozen books published in the US and abroad, including American Romances, The Last Time I Saw You, The Dogs, The Terrible Girls (all with City Lights Books), and The Gifts of the Body (HarperCollins). She been awarded The Boston Book Review Award, The Lambda Literary Award, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, two Washington State Book Awards, and a Stranger Genius Award, as well as grants to MacDowell, Yaddo, the Millay Colony, Hawthornden Castle, and The Breneman-Jaech Foundation.
Praise for Rebecca Brown: “Strange and wonderful…Brown strips language of convention to lay bare the ferocious rituals of love and need.” (THE NEW YORK TIMES) “Simply one of the best contemporary lesbian writers around.” (DOROTHY ALLISON) “Constantly pushes both her own boundaries and those of her readers.” (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE)”America’s only real rock ‘n’ roll schoolteacher.” (THURSTON MOORE, SONIC YOUTH)
Jennifer S. Cheng’s hybrid collection Moon: Letters, Maps, Poems, was chosen by Bhanu Kapil as co-winner of the 2017 Tarpaulin Sky Book Award. Cheng is also the author of House A, selected by Claudia Rankine as winner of the Omnidawn Poetry Book Prize.
“Cheng’s Moon bravely tests language and the beautiful boundaries of body and geography. A rich and deeply satisfying read.” (Aimee Nezhukumatathil) “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)
Piper J. Daniels is a Michigan native, queer intersectional feminist, and professional ghostwriter who holds a BA from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA from the University of Washington. She is the co-winner of the 2017 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize for her debut collection of essays, Ladies Lazarus. Her work appears in Hotel Amerika, The Rumpus, The Monarch Review, WomenArts Quarterly, and elsewhere. She lives in Washington State with her dog, Omar Little Daniels.
“Piper J. Daniels is going to rip the essay world apart. She’s the kind of writer who buries herself, lives among the dead, then comes to life again to levitate in the stormy air. 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).
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).
Dana Green is the author of Sometimes the Air in the Room Goes Missing, co-winner of the Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She received her MFA from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Denver. She lives and writes somewhere outside of Denver with her almost husband and cat.
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 is the author of the book-length essay/memoir, I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris (Tarpaulin Sky Press 2016). She lives on a crumbling bluff in San Pedro, California, is the author of the chapbook Two Essays (eohippus labs), and plays bass in the band Pine Family.
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… Bawdy and beautiful” (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…. You will learn and laugh and wonder why it took you so long to find this book” (SUZANNE SCANLON).
Amy King is the author of the poetry collection, The Missing Museum, co-winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. King also joins the ranks of Ann Patchett, Eleanor Roosevelt & Rachel Carson as the recipient of the 2015 Women’s National Book Association Award. She serves on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and is currently co-editing the anthologies Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change and Bettering American Poetry 2015.
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.
Kim Parko is the author of Cure All (Caketrain Press, 2010) and the novel The Grotesque Child, co-winner of the Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She lives with her husband, daughter, and the seen and unseen, in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she is an associate professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
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.
In addition to his Tarpaulin Sky Press titles The Sugar Book (2015), Haute Surveillance, (2013) and Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate (2011), Johannes Göransson has published three other books of his own writings— Dear Ra (A Story In Flinches), Pilot (Johann the Carousel Horse), and A New Quarantine Will Take My Place—and several books in translation, including Dark Matter and With Deer by Aase Berg, Ideals Clearance by Henry Parland, and Collobert Orbital by Johan Jönson. Together with his wife, Tarpaulin Sky author Joyelle McSweeney, Göransson co-edits Action Books and blogs at Montevidayo.
“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).
Aaron Apps is the author of Intersex (Tarpaulin Sky Press 2015) and Dear Herculine, winner of the 2014 Sawtooth Poetry Prize from Ahsahta Press. He is currently a doctoral student in English Literature at Brown University where he studies poetry and poetics, sexual somatechnics, animacy, hybrid forms, and the history of intersex literature. His writing has appeared in numerous journals, including Pleiades, LIT, Washington Square Review, Puerto del Sol, Columbia Poetry Review, and Blackbird.
Intersex explores gender as it forms in concrete and unavoidable patterns in the material world. In this hybrid-genre memoir, intersexed author Aaron Apps adopts and upends historical descriptors of hermaphroditic bodies such as “freak of nature,” “hybrid,” “imposter,” “sexual pervert,” and “unfortunate monstrosity” in order to trace his own monstrous sex as it perversely intertwines with gender expectations and medical discourse. “Intersex is all feral prominence…. Necessarily vulnerable, brave and excessive…. Like the best kind of memoir … a book that bursts from its very frame” (BHANU KAPIL)
Claire Donato is the author of the novel, Burial, from Tarpaulin Sky Press, and the poetry chapbook, Someone Else’s Body, from Cannibal Books. Her fiction, poetry, and lyric essays have appeared or are forthcoming in the Boston Review, Encyclopedia, Evening Will Come, LIT, Octopus, and 1913: a journal of forms. She grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, holds an MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University, and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Set in the mind of a narrator who is grieving the loss of her father, who conflates her motel room with the morgue, and who encounters characters that may not exist, Claire Donato’s Burial is a little novel about an immeasurable black hole. “dark, multivalent, genre-bending … unrelenting, grotesque beauty” (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY “BEST SUMMER READS”) “Unforgettable” (HEATHER CHRISTLE); “Precise urn-like prose … with the poise of Woolf or Loy or Carson” (BLAKE BUTLER); “shimmers with pain and delight” (BRIAN EVENSON); “Donato’s assured and poetic debut augurs a promising career” (BENJAMIN MOSER).
Joyelle McSweeney is the author of two titles with Tarpaulin Sky Press: Nylund, the Sarcographer (2007) and Salamandrine: 8 Gothics (forthcoming, April 2013). She also author of four titles from Fence Books: Percussion Grenade, Flet, The Red Bird, and The Commandrine and Other Poems.
A collection of short stories by Joyelle McSweeney, refracting the dread and isolation of contemporary life through a series of formal/generic lenses, producing a distorted, attenuated, spasmatic experience of time, as accompanies motherhood; making impossible any thinking in terms of conventional temporalities or even causalities, let alone their narrative effects. “McSweeney’s breakneck prose harnesses the throbbing pulse of language itself.” (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY); “sexy teleological apocrypha of motherhood literature, a siren song for those mothers ‘with no soul to photograph'” (BROOKLYN RAIL); “These words ring and richochet like tinnitus in your ears” (QUARTERLY WEST); “One would not make love to a Salamandrine during a sandstorm” (ALEISTER CROWLEY)
david wolach is founding editor of Wheelhouse Magazine & Press and has been an active participant in Nonsite Collective. wolach is the author of Hospitalogy, from Tarpaulin Sky Press, as well as Occultations (Black Radish Books, 2010), Prefab Eulogies Volume 1: Nothings Houses (BlazeVox [books], 2010), and book alter(ed) (Ungovernable Press, 2009).
“An extraordinary work that takes us into the complex guts of the ‘hospital-hotel complex.’ Here the body rebels, redacts, pulls, and sings between patient and patient. wolach performs a radical somatics, procedural anatomic work, queer narrativity.'” (ERICA KAUFMAN); “The strange tearing apart held inside that holds you inside, singing static and shrapnel…. Dear ‘jesus of the pain.’ Welcome to david wolach’s beautiful corrosion.” (FRED MOTEN); “holds the space of the clinic we don’t yet have, the dark we need, the chronic we might dream rather than undergo.” (ELENI STECOPOULOS); “documents the soft rebellion of staying alive, articulating the transition from invisibility to indecipherability.” (FRANK SHERLOCK)
“[A] feverish and explicit set of images and ideas revolving around power, fetish, porn, media, violence, translation, punishment, performance, and aesthetics….. kind of like a novelization of a movie about the production of a play based on Abu Ghraib, though with way more starlets and cocaine and semen.” (BLAKE BUTLER, VICE); “part epic poem, part science fiction, part pornographic film, and all literature” (JOHN YAU, HYPERALLERGIC); “so filled with invention and wit and ferocity that I was compelled to read it, at times against my will, mesmerized, enthralled. (CAROLE MASO)
Kim Gek Lin Short is the author of two lyric novels from Tarpaulin Sky Press, China Cowboy and The Bugging Watch & Other Exhibits, in addition to the the cross-genre chapbooks The Residents (dancing girl press) and Run (Rope-a-Dope), a 2010 Golden Gloves winner.
Set in a technicolor timewarp called Hell, Hong Kong, Kim Gek Lin Short’s China Cowboy follows wannabe cowgirl La La, who is hellbent on realizing her dream to be a folk-singing sensation even as she tries to survive her kidnapper, Ren, who is just hellbent. Ren thinks he’ll win, but La La, dead or alive, always wins. “both devastating and uncomfortably enjoyable” (AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW); “a satanically intricate narrative with seemingly infinite vantage points in space, time and sympathy … a zone where elegance and grace can gambol with the just-plain-fucked-up” (HTML GIANT), “leaves one’s nerves exposed and moral fortitude shaken” (FACT-SIMILE). “Excruciatingly compelling, so infernal…in languages variously pornographic and desperately, radically tender…. A bold, imaginative, timely work from a courageous and complex thinker” (HEIDI LYNN STAPLES) “Grossly disturbing and excruciatingly seductive… Tales of fierce femme survival…. (JAI ARUN RAVINE)
Jenny Boully is the author of two Tarpaulin Sky titles, [one love affair] and not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them, as well as The Book of Beginnings and Endings (Sarabande Books), and The Body: An Essay (Essay Press, first published by Slope Editions).
In not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them, Jenny Boully presents us with a “deliciously creepy” swan song from Wendy Darling to Peter Pan. As in her previous book [one love affair]*, Boully reads between the lines of a text—in this case J. M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy—and emerges with the darker underside, with those sinister or subversive places merely echoed or hinted at. “[T]o delve into Boully’s work is to dive with faith from the plank — to jump, with hope and belief and a wish to see what the author has given us: a fresh, imaginative look at a tale as ageless as Peter himself.” (BOOKSLUT) “Simultaneously metaphysical and visceral, these addresses from Wendy to Peter in lyric prose are scary, sexual, and intellectually disarming.” (HUFFINGTON POST); “Jenny Boully is a deeply weird writer—in the best way.” (ANDER MONSON)
“I don’t know where else you could contract the plague in these words but by ten TVs at once. On the TVs play: Salo, the weather channel, 2x Fassbinder (any), Family Double Dare, ads for ground beef, blurry surgical recordings, porno, porno, Anger (all)…. You’ll need a machine gun and a body double…. Burroughs and Genet and ‘Pac are dead. Long live Goransson” (BLAKE BUTLER); “a discomfiting, filthy, hilarious, and ecstatic piece of literature that is cocked and ready” (BOOKSLUT); “Page after page begins to infect the reader, begins to parasite the reader as host, parasite the host’s inner child … before immolating the host, the reader” (PANK MAG); “a pile up of sequined things and fleshy things…. The audience is often implicated. After all, torture and interrogation is not borne out of individual will and action alone…. All aboard” (HTML GIANT)
Sarah Goldstein is the author of Fables, published by Tarpaulin Sky Press. Goldstein’s writing has appeared in Barrow Street, Bateau, Caketrain, Denver Quarterly, New South, Verse, and other journals, and her artwork has been shown in the US and Canada.
Departing from the Brothers Grimm to approach our own economically and socially fractured present, Fables constructs a world defined by small betrayals, transformations, and brutality amid its animal and human inhabitants. Goldstein weaves together familiar and contemporary allegories creating a series of vibrant, and vital, tales for our time. “Goldstein’s vision and approach is wholly new. Her work in this collection is more than translation and transcription: Fables contains poems that whisper tradition but fully stand on their own.” (THE IOWA REVIEW); “Horrifying and humbling in their imaginative precision” (THE RUMPUS); “In the meadow of fairy tale, Goldstein unrolls ribbons of story that fly gamely and snap with brilliance.” (DEB OLIN UNFERTH)
Shelly Taylor is the author of Black-Eyed Heifer (Tarpaulin Sky Press) and Dirt City Lions (Horse Less Press), as well as two poetry chapbooks, Peaches the Yes-Girl (Portable Press of Yo-Yo Labs) & Land Wide to Get a Hold Lost In (Dancing Girl Press).
Shelly Taylor’s debut collection of poems is a “mosaic of form and language, childhood and adulthood, the American South, horses, gravel roads, and light. It is a riptide pulling its readers out into the deep, powerful currents of nostalgia. It is unrelenting” (TRIQUARTERLY); “Radically innovative use of language” (JIM HARRISON); “Language you haven’t heard before but know, right away, to be urgent…. Hell-bent, mad-cap adventures whose diction & syntax defy category.” (JANE MILLER); “A mighty anthem to down home local culture … the feisty, sustaining rhythm that saturates the land…. Abundant vitality and wide-eyed beauty” (BRENDA IIJIMA)
Joanna Ruocco is the author of Man’s Companions, published by Tarpaulin Sky Press, as well as A Compendium of Domestic Incidents (Noemi Press) and the novel The Mothering Coven (Ellipsis Press). Winner of the Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize, judged by Ben Marcus, Joanna’s forthcoming book from FC2 is Another Governess/The Least Blacksmith-A Diptych. Joanna co-edits Birkensnake, a fiction journal. She currently resides in Denver, Colorado.
The Bugging Watch & Other Exhibits is the prose elegy of a boy who wants to be a bug in order to save by symbiosis the dead girl he loves. Enacted in prose poems and cross-referenced datebooks, the inseparable lovers eternally rehearse for a real life together, repeating in that instant between being and nonbeing, the loss into which their love escaped. “beguiling and entirely enthralling” (ART + CULTURE); “An opiate trip . . . terrifying, ungraspable . . . sad and beautiful” (NEW PAGES); “Irresistible!” (NORMA COLE); “Do not read this book at night” (BHANU KAPIL); “This small unsettling book . . . both conceals and reveals its morbidity, its twisted thirsts” (JOYELLE MCSWEENEY); “Valentines . . . cut from thick, mealy-colored childhood stock. Here is language as enchantment” (SELAH SATERSTROM)
Joanna Ruocco’s first short-fiction collection, Man’s Companions, from Tarpaulin Sky Press: “Find yourself warped from one world to another, transported by the flight of her words between languages” (THE NATION); “Ruocco’s understated humor and irony have a playful, experimental appeal” (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY); “Early Lydia Davis seems not unfairly applicable, as does Amy Hempel” (ART + CULTURE); “Ruocco is consistently inventive. She tilts the world as we know it, challenging our senses” (TRIQUARTERLY)
Traci O Connor is the author of Recipes for Endangered Species from Tarpaulin Sky Press (2010), and has published fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in journals such as Barrow Street, Fourteen Hills, Gargoyle, Margie, Mid-American Review, LIT, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere.
Traci O Connor’s debut collection of short fictions, Recipes for Endangered Species (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2010): “These stories constitute some tender, aching love stories. Connor’s characters are curious specimens who don’t quite fit in, but have rich inner lives…. Creepy, Hitchcockian….. Juxtaposes vivid descriptions of flowers with excerpts from the painter’s late asylum notebooks to evoke the chilling stream-of-consciousness of a troubled narrator….. A kind of nut job’s notebook, full of Lolita-like obsession (including photographs). Cocktail recipes conclude each of the stories in this varied and occasionally unnerving debut collection.” (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY)
Ana Bozicevic is the author of Stars of the Night Commute (Tarpaulin Sky Press; a 2010 Lambda Award Finalist for Lesbian Poetry), Rise in the Fall (Birds, LLC 2013) and five chapbooks of poetry, most recently War on a Lunchbreak (Belladonna*, 2011). With Željko Mitić, she is the editor of The Day Lady Gaga Died: an Anthology of NYC Poetry of the 21st Century (in Serbian, Peti talas/The Fifth Wave, 2011).
Ana Bozicevic’s debut poetry collection,
Gordon Massman is the author of The Essential Numbers 1991 – 2008, from Tarpaulin Sky Press. He divides his time between Medford, MA, and the island of Frenchboro, ME. Poems from The Essential Numbers have appeared in The Numbers (Pavement Saw Press) as well as in Exquisite Corpse, The Harvard Review, The New York Quarterly, Pleiades, Tarpaulin Sky, and elsewhere.
Gordon Massman’s The Essential Numbers 1991-2008, from Tarpaulin Sky Press: “Unyielding monoliths of spit and tongue…. Fucked and ready to fuck your head…. Where so much ‘poetry’ can be yadda, these are words saying something hard and loud, and meaning it…. This is the kind of book you can’t ask for until you have it.” (BLAKE BUTLER, HTML GIANT); “Gordon Massman is the kind of writer that guts you, revolts you” (SHELLY TAYLOR); “timid people be damned” (BRANDON SHIMODA)
Andrew Zornoza is the author of the novel Where I Stay, from Tarpaulin Sky Press. His short fiction and essays have been featured at The Poetry Foundation, BOMB, Gastronomica, Confrontation, CapGun, and Matter Magazine, among many others. He teaches in the Design & Technology MFA program at Parsons in New York City and is a contributing editor to the arts journal HOW.
Andrew Zornoza’s debut, Where I Stay (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2009) walks the highways and dirt roads of a landscape filled with characters in transition: squatters, survivalists, prostitutes, drug runners, skinheads, border guards and con-men. A meditation on desperation, identity, geography, memory, and love, Where I Stay is a story about endurance, about the empty spaces in ourselves, about the new possibilities we find only after we have lost everything: “Refreshing, pitch-perfect kind of steering that is innovative not only for the genre it might get called into, but for experiential and language-focused texts of every stripe…. Meditative and rhythmic in the mind of Mary Robison mashed with William Vollmann…. Unforgettable.” (BLAKE BUTLER, HTML GIANT); “Squarely situated between the ethos of Jack Kerouac and Walker Evans” (REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY FICTION); “With a languorous but precise lyricism…. [Zornoza] is a cartographer of loneliness, doubt, and fear, one that fearlessly delineates the stark realms of disappointment, unrequited love, and unfulfilled dreams” (RAIN TAXI); “a gifted journey through borderlands between text and image” (LANCE OLSEN); “As haunting as it is gritty…. I hesitate to simply call it a book; its ambitions, beautifully realized, make it a hybrid of textual and visual arts” (SMALL PRESS REVIEWS); “expert” (NEWPAGES)
Mark Cunningham lives in central Missouri and is the author of Body Language, from Tarpaulin Sky Press. He is also the author of 80 Beetles (Otoliths) and several ebooks: 10 specimens (Gold Wake Press), 71 Leaves (BlazeVox), Nachträglichkeit (Beard of Bees), Second Story (Right Hand Pointing), and nightlightnight, with photographs by Mel Nichols, also from Right Hand Pointing.
Mark Cunningham’s first full-length collection of prose poems, Body Language (TSky Press, 2008): “Cunningham tests what allusions, anecdotes, punch lines you know, be they liturgical, canonical, numerical, numerological, historical, mystical, magical, simple, or other…. It’s funny, sad and serious. Ultimately, reflective…. Impressive…. Body Language is a great choose-your-own adventure. There’s something for us all. And that’s fun.” (THE ADIRONDACK REVIEW); “Always thought-provoking, always enjoyable and unexpected, the combination of topics of math, language and symbolism via the alphabet and the body as a complex system, turns out to be an appropriate, engaging compendium.” (PRICK OF THE SPINDLE)