Archive for 21 October 2013


I’m struck by the distinct differences in each collection, and yet how the volume somehow holds together as a piece in itself. . . . It offers all of the advantages of the chapbook with the added spark of three voices placed side by side, so that the poems of one poet linger and influence the reading of the next. —Sandy Longhorn


Chapbooks—short books under 40 pages—arose when printed books became affordable in the 16th century. In the tradition of 18th and 19th century British and American literary annuals and the Penguin Modern Poets Series of the ’60s and ’70s, Floodgate Poetry Series: Three Chapbooks in a Single Volume houses emerging and established poets in innovative and attractive editions.

Floodgate is edited by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum and is published annually in autumn. Submissions to Floodgate are currently by invitation only.


Books in the series

Released 15 November 2016, Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 3 comprises: brothers Anders and Kai Carlson-Wee‘s Northern Corn, a train trip across an America of dust and dignity; Begotten, co-written by Cave Canem fellows F. Douglas Brown and Geffrey Davis, which explores fatherhood in the era of Black Lives Matter; and Enid Shomer‘s environmental tour-de-force Driving through the Animal.

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  • The argument Northern Corn makes in poem after beautiful poem—the eyes are connected to the mouth is connected to the heart—is one I am glad is in the world. —Ross Gay
  • “We like to say that we kind of beg, borrow and steal,” said Brown. “We beg one another to become better fathers, through the work and our conversations. We borrow from the things we are reading, and other people who are working with the same themes. And we steal from one another.” —Elizabeth Flock, “Two fathers use poems to teach their kids about growing up black in America,” PBS Newshour Poetry, February 13, 2017
  • Delight in Enid Shomer as the record keeper of varied and shifting coastlines—those of vital literal and figurative substance. —Katherine Soniat


Released on 17 November 2015, Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 2 comprises: Kallie Falandays‘ violently playful Tiny Openings Everywhere; Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs‘ intimate and meditative Score for a Burning Bridge; and Hunger, Judy Jordan‘s chronicle of her time living in a Virginia greenhouse that continues (and nearly concludes) the story she started in her first two books, Carolina Ghost Woods and 60ยข Coffee and a Quarter to Dance.

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  • Welcome to the Kallieverse, which shares the everyday pleasures and perils of our world, but seems to obey slightly different laws of physics and tilts its language in new intriguing ways. —Albert Goldbarth
  • There is a stillness and attentiveness in Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs’s Score for a Burning Bridge, an abiding quiet, as if the poems are trying not to scare something wild nearby. —Maggie Smith
  • This is a great American poem. Jordan tells the truth of a life as split open by the world—by life on this earth with other kinds of beings, human and other, with dreams and ghosts, machinery, between the visible and invisible. The language is thick, allusive, rich, dense. She turns scalding materials into gorgeous art. —Adrienne Rich


Released on 17 November 2014, Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 1 comprises: Jenna Bazzell‘s profoundly centered Homeland; Martin Anthony Call‘s The Fermi Sea, lost love in a near future of nanobots, holograms, and urban decay; and Picasso/Mao, Campbell McGrath‘s persona poems in the voice of the two historical figures.

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  • It has been said that literature should either make the familiar strange or the strange familiar; Homeland does both with alacrity. —Okla Elliott
  • Haunting and urgent, Call has found a line and a music as arresting as it is gratifying. A remarkable collection! —James Kimbrell
  • Ample, dazzling, and elegantly crafted, these poems demonstrate a great mind enacting other great minds. Oscar Wilde once wrote, “A mask tells us more than a face.” These McGrath poems tell us much more than biography—they demonstrate cultural shifts and perception, a sophisticated and compassionate worldview, the poet’s intellect shining through. —Denise Duhamel

21 October 2013


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