Posts filed under ‘News’

“Poetry is hard, let’s…read more poetry.”

So I’m working today to get Floodgate Poetry Series​ Vol. 2 promo set up, and I search on Floodgate because I am looking for something else and up pops this really thoughtful review by Marissa Lingen​ that I missed when she published it, probably because I was packing for Kenya and so tremendously distracted by all of that—anyway, these particular chapbooks aren’t 100% her thing, but I am loving how thoughtful she is in her examination of this (“I think it was less ‘these are bad poems’ and more ‘these are not mostly the poems for me.'”) and I love what she has to say about Judy Jordan​’s chapbook:

Judy Jordan’s “Hunger” section was the one that struck deepest for me. It was keenly observed lack, hunger but also bills and illness, and yet not in a way that became a drumbeat of woe. It started with my favorite of the section, “These First Mornings Living in the Greenhouse,” and the entire section had the feel of a latter-day imperial fall in real daily terms–not what we imagine an imperial fall would be like, but what it actually was, dragged out, small, particular, personal ways. The greenhouse in the cold is vivid and rich and particular, and Jordan goes on from there to all the other particulars of a fall (not an autumn, a fall), the bulldozers, the algae-clogged ponds.

Thank you, Marissa. And everybody: go read her reviews! Not just of our books but all of her reviews, because they are always thoughtful and well-expressed, and we need this kind of literary conversation.

14 November 2015

Goodreads Giveaway of Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 2

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 2 by Judy Jordan

Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 2

by Judy Jordan

Giveaway ends November 17, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

10 November 2015

Contributor news!

It’s been a pretty long time—nine months!—since I’ve shared contributor news, so I have a long list of stuff for you to read and enjoy below.

Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days contributors:

Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good contributors:


How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens contributors:


The Museum of All Things Awesome and That Go Boom (which will be released next year) contributors:

Soles Series contributors:

The Twelfth Planet book Letters to Tiptree includes many talented writers, including URB authors Rose Lemberg, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Sarah Pinsker, Cat Rambo, Nisi Shawl, Lucy Sussex, Rachel Swirsky, and Bogi Takács.

And, finally, Flight 505: A Novella‘s author Leslie Bohem has a TV series with Hulu involving psychics and organized crime that’s going to be awesome.

31 October 2015

Goodreads Giveaway of Flight 505

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Flight 505 by Leslie Bohem

Flight 505

by Leslie Bohem

Giveaway ends September 27, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

20 September 2015

Press release: Flight 505 takes off


Flight 505 takes off

Los Angeles writer Leslie Bohem releases an explosive new novel about the rock and roll life.

Nashville, TN – Upper Rubber Boot Books announces the release of the Leslie Bohem’s book Flight 505, a rock and roll road trip thriller. The story follows three former bandmates, one a mega-star, one a heroin junkie, and one living a quiet suburban life, and chronicles the killer consequences of their reunion.

“I am tremendously excited about Les’ book,” said Joanne Merriam, the Publisher. “We are incredibly proud to publish the work of such a passionate and exciting new talent.”

Legendary post-punk rocker Johnette Napolitano called the book “a great read,” and said, “if you weren’t in L.A. back in the ’80s… well, this is what it was like.”

Leslie Bohem was part of the early 1980s Los Angeles music scene. His band, Gleaming Spires, had a cult hit with their single, “Are You Ready For the Sex Girls,” which appeared in Revenge of the Nerds. He was also the bass player of Sparks. His songs have been recorded by Emmylou Harris, Randy Travis, Misty Martinez, and others. His new album, Moved to Duarte, will be released soon.

He is also a screenwriter, and wrote and executive produced (with Steven Spielberg) the mini-series Taken, for which he won an Emmy award. He also wrote A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 5, Dante’s Peak, and many others. Twenty Bucks, which he wrote based on a 1935 script by his dad, Endre Bohem, earned an Independent Spirit Award.

Upper Rubber Boot Books is a small press based in Nashville, Tennessee, specializing in poetry books, novellas, and anthologies.

For more information about Flight 505, please visit, or contact Joanne Merriam at

Expanded book information:


4 September 2015

Kickstarter for Floodgate 2

We’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign for Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 2.

This is the second in an annual series of books collecting three chapbooks by three poets in a single volume: in this volume, Kallie Falandays, Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs, and Judy Jordan.



Kallie Falandays‘ debut collection of collection, Tiny Openings Everywhere, distorts reality and the many ways we perceive it with a raucous, almost violent brand of play in poems more interested in questioning reality than nailing it down. At times breathtaking, others delightfully perplexing, these verses are as quixotic and witty as they are essential and damning. Falandays received her MFA from Wichita State University in 2015. She writes copy by day and runs a small editing business,, by night from her home in Philadelphia.

Score for a Burning Bridge, Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs‘ debut collection of poems, examines politics, loneliness, and doubt in poems that startle the intellect and imagination. In these intimate meditations, Jorgensen-Briggs explores the modern world and searches (as so many of us do) for his place in it with a singular voice and vision. Jorgensen-Briggs received his MFA from New York University in 2007, spent two months in Palestine working with the International Solidarity Movement, and currently works with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and live in the Des Moines Catholic Worker Community.

Judy Jordan‘s Hunger chronicles Jordan’s time living in a greenhouse in Virginia that continues (and nearly concludes) the story she started in her first two books, Carolina Ghost Woods and 60¢ Coffee and a Quarter to Dance. Hunger cements Jordan’s status as an expert of the vertical narrative in lyrical style and is the first collection she’s published in eleven years. Jordan teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale where she lives off the grid in the heart of the Shenandoah National Forest in an eco-friendly, earthbag house she built by hand. Adrienne Rich said of Hunger, “This is a great American poem.”

Donate here for a copy of the book!

26 August 2015

URB $10 summer sale!

This is a pretty great deal, you guys. Why is it a great deal? Well, normally these books sell for $13 to $16 (depending on the title)—plus shipping, so a total of around $17-20. But since I’m selling them directly to you, I can afford to lower the price and eat the shipping costs (and sales tax, if applicable). Please help me clear out some space in my library!


Titles available:

$10/anthology via PayPal to joanne-at-upperrubberboot-dot-com (specify the book you want and your mailing address; includes shipping via media mail only; U. S. residents only).

5 August 2015

Doing an AMA!

I’m over at Reddit right now doing an AMA – come ask me questions!

14 March 2015

Imbolc update.

Just learned that today is Imbolc, a Gaelic festival for the beginning of spring! So, happy Imbolc, and here’s some news about our Spring 2015 catalogue:

  • Our Kickstarter campaign for How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens closed with $3,488 pledged, which, after we pay Kickstarter and Amazon (for credit card fulfillment) and contributor royalties, netted us about $2,500, allowing us to order a very small print run of the anthology, and pay for some promotional materials (business cards, flyers, etc.) for the AWP conference in Minneapolis in April. Look for us at Table 1919.


Also, as always, there’s new reading out from, and news for, Upper Rubber Boot authors since our last round-up at New Year’s!

Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days contributor Brian Evenson has translated Incidents in the Night Book 2, by French artist David B.

His fellow contributor Kelly Link has a new collection of short stories: Get in Trouble, which has been reviewed quite favourably.

hustler-kneeland Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good contributor Andrea Kneeland‘s How to Pose for Hustler is out in a month and is already getting rave reviews from Roxane Gay (“Kneeland’s remarkable, razor sharp short fictions”) and Lindsay Hunter (“It’s a how-to for people trying to be people, trying to figure out how to live despite the darkness and confused desires that are too often mistaken for light. This book is a headlamp, and it is also the darkness. I could not put it down.”).

How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens contributor Ken Liu (who had a very, very short story in 140 And Counting) has a translation of “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang in Uncanny. io9 recently discussed his translation of Cixin Liu’s The Three Body Problem.

His fellow contributor Daniel José Older‘s new book Half-Resurrection Blues was called “fresh and richly envisioned” in Publishers’ Weekly.

Finally, Sarah Pinsker‘s “Beauty and the Baby Beast” was in Daily Science Fiction.

1 February 2015

“a period or something ;)”

Still ecstatic about the support received through the Kickstarter campaign for HOW TO LIVE ON OTHER PLANETS. At the end of each campaign, you send a survey out to the people who donated to get whatever information you need in order to provide them with their rewards.

Got some heart-warming and some hilarious responses to the open-ended survey question, “Questions? Special instructions? Kickstarter forces backers to answer all questions, so if you’ve got nothing, just put a period or something in the space.” Here are some of the best:

“You guys rock.”

“N/A, Congratulations on a well run campaign! I can’t wait to see what else you may offer in future campaigns! Can’t wait to read the stories!”

“Give yourselves a pat on the back – you deserve it!”

“I’m sorry we didn’t meet the stretch goal. May this book be a bestseller when it comes out.”

“rock on”


“This space not left blank.”

“bloop bloop”


16 January 2015

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