Posts tagged ‘Floodgate Poetry Series’

Two fathers use poems to teach their kids about growing up black in America

Psyched to see PBS Newshour featuring Floodgate poets Geffrey Davis and F. Douglas Brown’s “What I Mean When I Say Harmony“!

13 February 2017

Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 3

“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.”
                                                         —PBS Newshour

 

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Released 15 November 2016

floodgate3-printcover

 

About this book:

Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 3 collects three chapbooks in a single volume: brothers Anders and Kai Carlson-Wee’s Northern Corn invites us on a trip across an America of dust, trains, poverty, dignity, and dreams; Begotten, co-written by Cave Canem fellows F. Douglas Brown and Geffrey Davis, bravely and tenderly explores fatherhood in the era of Black Lives Matter; and Enid Shomer’s Driving through the Animal lovingly moves between unflinching witness of destruction and hope for the future.

It’s the third volume in the Floodgate Poetry Series, edited by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum. Chapbooks—short books under 40 pages—arose when printed books became affordable in the 16th century. The series is in the tradition of 18th and 19th century British and American literary annuals, and the Penguin Modern Poets Series of the 1960s and ’70s.

 

Anders Carlson-Wee is a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow and the author of Dynamite, winner of the 2015 Frost Place Chapbook Competition (Bull City Press). His work has appeared in Ploughshares, New England Review, Narrative Magazine, AGNI, Poetry Daily, The Missouri Review, The Southern Review, Best New Poets, The Best American Nonrequired Reading series, and many other journals. The recipient of Ninth Letter‘s Poetry Award and New Delta Review‘s Editors’ Choice Prize, he was named runner up for the 2016 Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize. Anders lives in Minneapolis, where he is a 2016 McKnight Foundation Creative Writing Fellow.

Kai Carlson-Wee is the author of RAIL, forthcoming from BOA Editions. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and his work has appeared in Narrative, Best New Poets, Blackbird, Crazyhorse, and The Missouri Review, which selected his poems for the 2013 Editor’s Prize. His photography has been featured in Narrative Magazine and his co-directed poetry film, Riding the Highline, received jury awards at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival and the 2016 Arizona International Film Festival. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, he lives in San Francisco and teaches poetry at Stanford University.

Together, they have coauthored two other chapbooks: Mercy Songs (Diode Editions) and Two-Headed Boy (Organic Weapon Arts), winner of the 2015 David Blair Memorial Chapbook Prize.

F. Douglas Brown is the author of Zero to Three (University of Georgia Press 2014), recipient of the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, selected by Tracy K. Smith. Brown holds an MA in Literature and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, and is both a Cave Canem and Kundiman fellow. His poems have been published by The Academy of American Poets, The Chicago Quarterly (CQR), The Virginia Quarterly (VQR), The Sugar House Review, Cura Magazine, Vinyl Poetry and Prose Magazine, and Muzzle Magazine. Brown was featured in Poets & Writers Magazine as one of their Debut Poets of 2014 (Jan/Feb 2015).

He has been an educator for over twenty years, and teaches English at Loyola High School of Los Angeles, an all-boys Jesuit school. When he is not teaching, writing or with his two children, Isaiah and Olivia, he is busy DJing in the greater Los Angeles area.

Geffrey Davis is the author of Revising the Storm (BOA Editions 2014), winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Finalist. His honors include fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and the Vermont Studio Center, the Anne Halley Poetry Prize, the Dogwood Prize in Poetry, the Wabash Prize for Poetry, the Leonard Steinberg Memorial/Academy of American Poets Prize, and nominations for the Pushcart Prize. His poems have been published by The Academy of American Poets, Crazyhorse, The Greensboro Review, The Massachusetts Review, Mississippi Review, The New York Times Magazine, Nimrod, and Sycamore Review, among other places. Davis grew up in Tacoma, Washington—though he was raised by much more of the Pacific Northwest—and he teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Enid Shomer is the author of four previous books of poetry, two chapbooks, and three prize-winning books of fiction, most recently The Twelve Rooms of the Nile (Simon & Schuster, 2012). Her work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Poetry, Paris Review, Parnassus, Boulevard, and many other magazines as well as more than sixty anthologies and textbooks. In 2013 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Writing from the Florida Humanities Council. Among her many poetry prizes are the Eunice Tietjens Memorial Prize from Poetry, the Celia B. Wagner Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize. She has twice been the subject of feature interviews on National Public Radio—on “All Things Considered” and “Sunday Edition.” A Visiting Writer at many colleges and universities, Shomer lives in Tampa, Florida. Her new full-length book of poetry, Shoreless, won the Vachel Lindsay Prize and is forthcoming in 2017 from Twelve Winters Press.

 

Reviews:

Begotten turns a poetic lens on fatherhood, examining how fathers and sons thrive, how they falter, how they learn.

—Christi Craig, Conversations in Poetry, Lessons in Life: Q&A (& Giveaway) with F. Douglas Brown and Geffrey Davis

When poets Geffrey Davis and F. Douglas Brown first met at a poetry retreat in 2012, they instantly connected in discussing fatherhood and the poetry that sprang from that experience. Over time, that relationship grew, and they began writing poetry that came directly out of their conversations. Soon, they were even borrowing each other’s lines or writing stanzas or whole poems back and forth, as a kind of call and response. . . .

“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

Northern Corn invites us into a dream America is having about itself, wherein the voices are both the road and the kicked-up gravel dust, memory and the occasion for memory, the flame and its shadow. An entrancing investigation of place and self and other, a spell one never wants broken.

—Michael McGriff, on Northern Corn by Anders Carlson-Wee & Kai Carlson-Wee

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, on Northern Corn by Anders Carlson-Wee & Kai Carlson-Wee

The imagined and the unsaid collide head on with specifics so sensory they burn, they freeze, they illuminate, and they turn off the lights at once, leave you in a darkness where everything is at its brightest. These voices have kidnapped me.

—Laura Kasischke, on Northern Corn by Anders Carlson-Wee & Kai Carlson-Wee

Begotten captures the bliss, consternation and heart-thumping ruckus of being both parent and child. A wild and tender ride.

—Tracy K. Smith, on Begotten by F. Douglas Brown & Geffrey Davis

Brown and Davis riff off each other’s work, while embodying in their virtuoso poems a rich chorus of familial voices. Raw, tender, headlong, and scared, these poems about fathers and sons walk the knife’s edge of being a parent in the era of black lives matter. Complexity abounds—’the many sounds that can break a thought/into still sharper shards of thinking’—and despite the generational wounds, the single constant expressed so variously and valiantly in these musical poems is love. Begotten portrays fatherhood with dazzling originality. Don’t miss this book.

—Barbara Ras, on Begotten by F. Douglas Brown & Geffrey Davis

“Have I done anything right” ends one poem in this tough, concentrated collection of tender lyric and formal exploration, but the anxiety runs throughout. Brown and Davis trade flows like an Old School hip-hop duo even as the speakers here trade subjectivities—a son to a father, a father to a son. But that very fluidity rhymes with slipperiness—how precarious the inheritance of father to child when to be someone’s spitting image is to risk being worth the same as saliva on a street. How do dads of sons dance in their twin bodies with and for each other, mothers and daughters, wives and beautiful boys? In Begotten, the poets do the steps and missteps again and again to a rich music that buzzes with pops’s fragile cassette tapes, an old-timey tune cut to a fray of light on loop, the blood-blue pulse of sex, and a live feed from cell- and dash-cams. Make no mistake, these are love poems, maybe because they are fatherhood poems, but likely because the poets want desperately to get fatherhood right(ed) despite their own unstable footing.

—Douglas Kearney, on Begotten by F. Douglas Brown & Geffrey Davis

In Driving through the Animal, Enid Shomer writes of her landscape the way a lover describes the body of their beloved; attention to each freckle, cleft, and scar. With crisp formalism and exquisite detail that calls to mind the sea-worn odes of Seamus Heaney and bodily-fluid-soaked lyric of Kim Addonizio, Enid has crafted an erotic and sobering love song for our dying world, one that asks us to glimpse “the perfume hoarded all day by bees” and insists, “through radiance and filth, through blubbering grief and parabolas of rage,” that we not look away.

—Kendra DeColo, on Driving through the Animal by Enid Shomer

In Enid Shomer’s Driving through the Animal, she is, as she states, a “clear daughter of the tides,” which perhaps explains why her mind moves so deftly between inner and outer concerns, between music and silence, between plenty and scarcity, and between a hope for the future and a reckoning with death. Though her landscapes offer a “visual blessing,” they also wrestle with a frightening diminishment, sometimes ecological and sometimes personal. “It’s hard work to ponder one’s moral/failings,” she confesses; yet, like plovers burying eggs in beach sand—too often “reduced by the smallest foot to a yellow stain”—Shomer nudges her poems into place, trying to offer “a pure voice,” never more endangered than now.

—Jeff Hardin, on Driving through the Animal by Enid Shomer

Enid Shomer’s striking new chapbook, Driving through the Animal, takes the reader into timeless natural kingdoms and on to the immediacy of human relationship with the fluidity of water—back and forth, up and down we go. She gracefully exploits what language can accomplish and the way in which it bridges seemingly permanent distances. Many of these poems hang on the cusp of the temporal as in “a spangled globule on the oily feather of a bird.” Such exactly seen miniscule imagery holds ephemera in space thus extending and slowing the reader’s perceptive field. Delight in Enid Shomer as the record keeper of varied and shifting coastlines—those of vital literal and figurative substance.

—Katherine Soniat, on Driving through the Animal by Enid Shomer

2 comments 15 November 2016

Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 2

This is a great American poem.
                                                         —Adrienne Rich

 

Buy print (978-1-937794-38-5):



 
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Go to: About | Goodreads | Reviews
Released 17 November 2015

floodgate_coverart_no2_2015_6x9_front

 

About this book:

This is the second volume in the Floodgate Poetry Series, an annual series of books collecting three chapbooks by three poets in a single volume, edited by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum. Chapbooks—short books under 40 pages—arose when printed books became affordable in the 16th century. The series is in the tradition of 18th and 19th century British and American literary annuals, and the Penguin Modern Poets Series of the 1960s and ’70s.

Kallie Falandays‘ debut collection of poetry, 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, telltellpoetry.com, 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.

 

Reviews:

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.

—Marissa Lingen, “Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 2, by Judy Jordan, Kallie Falandays, and Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs,” Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway, 29 September 2015

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. It’s the twin of our cosmos, separated from ours at the Big Bang—and happily, Ms. Falandays has reunited them.

—Albert Goldbarth, on Kallie Falandays’ Tiny Openings Everywhere

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. In this stillness you can hear “the purr of locusts” and “dusk, quiet / as a coat on a hook.” But as you travel deeper into this stunning collection to where “the map is lost / inside the act of folding”—you see, of course, that the poems are wild themselves.

—Maggie Smith, on Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs’s Score for a Burning Bridge

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, on Judy Jordan’s Hunger

1 comment 17 November 2015

“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

Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 1

Volume I of the Floodgate Poetry Series does not disappoint. 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

 

Buy print (978-1-937794-35-4):



 
Buy ebook (978-1-937794-34-7 mobi; 978-1-937794-36-1 epub):


 
Go to: About | Goodreads | Reviews
Released 17 November 2014

floodgate_vol1_front

 

About this book:

This is the first volume in the Floodgate Poetry Series, an annual series of books collecting three chapbooks by three poets in a single volume, edited by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum. Chapbooks—short books under 40 pages—arose when printed books became affordable in the 16th century. The series is in the tradition of 18th and 19th century British and American literary annuals, and the Penguin Modern Poets Series of the 1960s and ’70s.

Campbell McGrath’s Picasso/Mao is a short collection of poems told from the point of view of the two historical figures, spanning seventy-five years of history. McGrath is the author of twelve collections of poetry, and has been awarded Guggenheim and MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships. He is the Philip and Patricia Frost Professor of Creative Writing at Florida International University.

Jenna Bazzell’s Homeland describes a troubled family life, beginning with a drug deal gone bad, redeemed by time and the pleasures of the natural world. Bazzell won the 2010 AWP Intro Journal Award and an Honorable Mention from the Academy of American Poets Prize for poems included in the collection.

Martin Anthony Call’s The Fermi Sea explores a near future of urban decay, nanobots and holograms against a backdrop of lost love. Call earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2008.

 

Reviews:

I’m struck by the distinct differences in each collection, and yet how the volume somehow holds together as a piece in itself. Overarching themes of history (both personal and political) woven through with glimpses of the future run through the collection. . . Volume I of the Floodgate Poetry Series does not disappoint. 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, “What I’m Reading: Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. I: Bazzell, Call, McGrath,” Myself the only Kangaroo among the Beauty, 22 November 2014

This collection of chapbooks offers the reader a startling variety. Bazzell’s Homeland is a compelling blend of narrative coherence and lyric lift. The opening poem, “Bubba Pub,” offers us the DNA of her entire chapbook: poems anchored in place and relationship. The poem describes a drug deal the speaker goes on with her mother, and a line like “the long O of a gun barrel tunnels back to the torso of a man” both shows the horror of being robbed during the interaction and “how suddenly night takes on strangeness.” It has been said that literature should either make the familiar strange or the strange familiar; Homeland does both with alacrity. The Fermi Sea, by Call, explores a distinctly 21st-century theology, one where the Holy Ghost is turned holographically into the Hologhost. And Call makes use of poetic puns throughout his chapbook, all of which are charmingly and even philosophically attractive. And, finally, in Picasso/Mao, McGrath opens up history, art, and politics to the purview of poetry. The unlikely pairing of these two figures allows for many unexpected and exciting overlaps and divergences. Campbell offers us entry into the minds of his poetic subjects in persona poems that delight with their ambition. Floodgate brings together three poets of stunning range and ability.

—Okla Elliott, author of The Cartographer’s Ink and From the Crooked Timber

The poems in Jenna Bazzell’s Homeland read with the mournful longing of prayers we know will not be answered. In their lyrical cataloguing of the living abundance of the land, the hope that the lost will be found again rises out of grief again and again with a powerful—because forever unsatisfied—poignancy. Whitman advised us to look for him under our bootsoles. Bazzell searches everywhere for the rebirth of the missing, patiently testing the face of the owl or the water that stands in the ditch for the solace of the familiar, the untamed astonishment of “[t]he brown fields. The unseen sky. The need to believe.”

—Lisa Lewis, author of Burned House with Swimming Pool and Story Box

Moved to praise Jenna Bazzell’s poems, one could say they transcend the subject of a family relationship. But what the poems really work so ardently to do is stay—rooted in their rich Southern landscape, and true to the woman they remember. Continually uncovering new angles for approaching her lyric narrative sequence, Bazzell closes each poem with such well-crafted care that, turning a page, the reader is both surprised that more could follow and drawn further into material so deeply felt it will never be finished.

—Rose McLarney, author of The Always Broken Plates of Mountains and Its Day Being Gone, winner of the National Poetry Series award

Martin Anthony Call’s character sketches in The Fermi Sea call to mind a dystopian Spoon River Anthology set somewhere mid-twenty-first century on the West Coast. Filled with nanotechnology, all-digital media, walled cities, holograms, and air cabs, these poems project a gritty disillusionment about the power of both humans and machines. (Think more Blade Runner than Star Trek.) With deft poetic strokes, Call introduces the reader to a host of characters whose trials have only just begun.

—Sandy Longhorn, author of The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths and The Alchemy of My Mortal Form, winner of the 2014 Louise Bogan Award

Martin Anthony Call pairs a dystopian vision with formal craftsmanship and narrative intricacy. Fusing the old world with the next world, The Fermi Sea is an elegy for the present, a portrait of perception in which the real is always a step ahead and certainty is a rumor that no one cares to repeat. Haunting and urgent, Call has found a line and a music as arresting as it is gratifying. A remarkable collection!

—James Kimbrell, winner of the Academy of American Poets Prize, and author of The Gatehouse Heaven and My Psychic

In Picasso/Mao Campbell McGrath perfects the persona in a series of historical poems that span seventy-five years. While the founder of Cubism decries “the idiocy of war,” the founder of the Red Army draws an egg, failing a class in life drawing. 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, author of Blowout and Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems, and guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2013

Campbell McGrath brings music to his epistolary poems centered on Mao and Picasso, their deeply lyrical voices a resistance to “the sugar-coated bullets of bourgeois entitlement,” their obsessions revealed by each “owning nothing, [but] having staked everything.” These poems are divergent elegies to lost loves, Mao to his war, Picasso to his art, and McGrath is the expert historian, translator, creator of “art [that] is not documentation, but transformation.” I was transformed by these poems, and transfixed, twisted, torn asunder, rebuilt, reformed, and awe-struck. You will be too. And Mao? McGrath teaches him to sing like a poet from his “Hall of the Wealth of Books.” And Picasso? McGrath paints him, “to stave off death.” And fearsome, the knowledge that McGrath just continues getting better.

—Seth Brady Tucker, author of Mormon Boy and We Deserve the Gods We Ask For, winner of the 2013 Gival Press Poetry Award

17 November 2014

Press release: Campbell McGrath in new Floodgate Poetry Series

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
15 NOVEMBER 2014

Campbell McGrath in new Floodgate Poetry Series

Campbell McGrath’s Picasso/Mao appears in Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 1, along with short collections by Jenna Bazzell and Martin Anthony Call. The book will be released November 17 in ebook and softcover editions.

Each Floodgate volume will combine the work of newer writers with established poets. This new book is the first in the series.

“I’m so excited to work with such excellent poets,” said Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum, the series editor. “Bringing together debut collections by Jenna Bazzell and Martin Call with McGrath’s fourteenth book displays the broad range of poetry being written today. That’s what Floodgate is all about.”

Campbell McGrath’s Picasso/Mao is a short collection of poems told from the point of view of the two historical figures, spanning seventy-five years of history. McGrath is the author of twelve collections of poetry, and has been awarded Guggenheim and MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships. He is the Philip and Patricia Frost Professor of Creative Writing at Florida International University. Celebrated poet and novelist Denise Duhamel, who guest edited The Best American Poetry 2013, called his collection “dazzling, and elegantly crafted.”

Jenna Bazzell’s Homeland describes a troubled family life, beginning with a drug deal gone bad, redeemed by time and the pleasures of the natural world. Bazzell won the 2010 AWP Intro Journal Award and has received two Honorable Mentions from the Academy of American Poets Prize, for poems included in the collection.

Martin Anthony Call’s The Fermi Sea explores a near future of urban decay, nanobots and holograms against a backdrop of lost love. Call earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2008.

The Floodgate Poetry Series is in the tradition of 18th and 19th century British and American literary annuals, and the Penguin Modern Poets Series of the 1960s and ’70s.

Upper Rubber Boot Books is publishing the series. “Upper Rubber Boot” is Nova Scotian slang for a remote, possibly unhip, probably insignificant place. URB Books was founded in 2011 to give a voice to writers working from a (metaphorically) remote place, and to that end publishes primarily poetry, short story collections, and other books which would have a difficult place finding a home in the publishing world.

 

Contact:

Joanne Merriam, Publisher
Upper Rubber Boot Books
PO Box 41232, Nashville TN 37204
joanne@upperrubberboot.com

15 November 2014

Floodgate

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.

More | Buy
floodgate3-printcover

 

  • 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 60¢ Coffee and a Quarter to Dance.

More | Buy
floodgate_coverart_no2_2015_6x9_front

 

  • 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.

More | Buy
floodgate_coverart_no1_2014_6x9_2592x3888

 

  • 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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