“River, I Have Known Your Source”: Anvil Press Poetry, England

Self doesn’t remember how or why she bookmarked Anvil Press Poetry. She did it a couple of months ago, when she was traveling in Ireland and England. When she was meeting so many artists, so many people.

On the Anvil Press Poetry website, the “poem of the month” is by Nina Cassian. Self loves it:


River, I have known your source:
sparkling water crocheting quickly through
rock’s rigid garment. Yes, I knew,
river, I have known your source.

With my palm I touched your coolness
and beyond, a splendor not to miss,
the new grass was waiting for your kiss.
With my palm I touched your coolness.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

Founded in 1968 by Peter Jay and now based in Greenwich, southe-east London, Anvil Press is England’s longest-standing independent poetry publisher.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Linked Today, 4th Monday of September (2014)

Self decided to add a few new bookmarks, one of which is the home page of Red Hen Press.

Another add is Curbside Splendor E-zine. Self doesn’t know how she stumbled upon Curbside Splendor, but she finds herself reading all the way to the end of the featured essay, by Joey Pizzolato. This is a mighty rare occurrence, as self’s brain is usually darting in four directions at once.

She just wrote a Facebook post on Dear Departed Sister-in-Law Ying, which could be why she reads Pizzolato’s post (on what love is, or what it looks like) with great attention:

As writers and readers, we are drawn to love because we cannot precisely define it. Because, like the soul, or consciousness, we cannot pick it up or turn it over in our hand.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Containers 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

What a good idea, Red Hen Press!

They promoted Type O Negative, Joel Tan’s poetry collection, by handing out these chocolate candy bars at the AWP Book Fair, several years ago.

Candy Bar Wrapper (designed after the cover of Joel Tan's new poetry collection!)

candy bar wrapper (designed after the cover of Joel Tan’s new poetry collection!)

Containers # 2 is a fresh coconut:

In the Philippines, there are roadside stands selling fresh coconuts with straws so you can sip the juice.  This was somewhere near Sum-ag, near Bacolod City.

In the Philippines, there are roadside stands selling fresh coconuts with straws so you can sip the juice. Self took this picture on a beach in Sum-ag, just outside Bacolod City.

In January 2012, self went to India for the first time.  She flew from San Francisco to New Delhi, and spent the next two weeks traversing Himachal Pradesh.  She made it to Dharamsala.  It was freezing cold.  These hot braziers were brought into the dining room of the Colonel’s Resort in the village of Bir.

It was so cold, self's last two days in Bir, that the Colonel had a fire brought in.

It was so cold, self’s last two days in Bir, that the Colonel had a fire brought in.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Small Business/ Big Game Contest: Vagabondage Press Is a Semi-Finalist!

Please show your support for small press Vagabondage (publishers of self’s novella, JENALYN:  The press is based in Apollo Beach, Florida) by supporting them in the Small Business/ Big Game Contest!


Prizes are services to help small businesses like Vagabondage Press :  The GRAND PRIZE is a commercial spot during the Superbowl!

Please add your vote and help Vagabondage make the final 20.

DOESN’T COST A THING and is just ONE LITTLE CLICK.  You can even vote once a day, if you’d like.

Thanks for your support!  Help keep small presses like Vagabondage viable!


NYTBR 15 July 2012: Of Interest Therein

The front page has a graphic of the Union Jack.  Beneath the graphic, two side-by-side reviews:  one by Liesl Schillinger (one of The NYTBR’s regular contributors) and one by Jonathan Dee.

The book reviewed by Schillinger is published by W. W. Norton.

The book reviewed by Dee is published by Scribner.

Self thinks Norton is bigger than Scribner.  The book published by Norton is Capital, by John Lanchester.

The “Up Front” essay, a regular feature, is about Johnny Depp. Yup, you read right:  it’s about Johnny Depp the actor.  It is illustrated with a very cool drawing of Depp in semi-“Pirates” mode:  wool cap, Widow’s peak, moustache, and teensy goatee.  Depp was in the film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary.  Which must mean he is some kind of intellectual.

The “By the Book” interview is with Dave Eggers.  Ah, finally, a bona fide writer gets to dish.  Eggers loves ghost stories.  Eggers is reading a collection edited by Alfred Hitchcock:  Stories Not for the Nervous.  (Looove that title!)  Someone gave Eggers a book, several years ago, and now he is finally able to read it:  the book is Morning in Sierra Mattu:  A Nubian Ode, by Arif Gamal.

Other publishers with books reviewed in this issue of The NYTBR:  Farrar, Straus & Giroux (Yawn, so what else is new), Spiegel & Grau, and Two Dollar Radio.

Two Dollar Radio!

Self’s heart feels like it’s about to explode.

Is that —  no, it can’t be!  But it is!  A small press!  Kudos to publicist at Two-Dollar Radio!  The book reviewed (by Deb Olin Unferth, in a very witty review) is Radio Iris, a novel by Anne-Marie Kinney.

Let’s give a big hand to Miss Kinney, for this is her first novel.

The end paper essay is “co-written,” which self thinks is kind of a cheat.  Self means, why make Depp share print space with another writer?  Couldn’t he have kept the whole space for himself?  This is the man who appeared in the movie adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary, after all!

It turns out Brinkley is collaborating with Depp in editing the only unpublished novel by (TA-RA) American folk legend Woody Guthrie.  Who knew, dear blog readers, that Guthrie has the exact same birthday as self?

YES!  Self discovers in paragraph 1 of the essay, “This Land Was His Land,” that Guthrie “would have been 100 years old on July 14.”  For that alone, self promises she will get to House of Earth (what co-writers Brinkley and Depp call “his only fully realized, but yet unpublished, novel”) and might even take a crack at his two “quasi-fictional memoirs,” Bound for Glory and Seeds of Man. (Self wouldn’t hold Guthrie accountable for the two latter books’ trés grandiose titles).  There’s no mention in the essay of who is publishing Guthrie’s novel.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Forget the Pulitzer! Here’s the Orange Prize Shortlist

The mighty Pulitzer declined to award a prize to any of the novels on the 2012 shortlist, which then made — according to a headline in the Arts section of the Wednesday 18 April 2012 issue of  The New York Times — the publishers of the shortlisted books “cranky.”

Who cares?  The Pulitzer is so yesterday.  Let’s turn our attention to more important things, such as who is going to win The Orange Prize, “an annual prize in Britain that is awarded to a novel written by a women in English” (which is how the “Arts, Briefly” section of the Wednesday 18 April 2012 Times described it)

Here are the novels that made the Orange Prize for Fiction shortlist.  Self browsed the web and found that “Four Northern Americans, including Booker-Prize winner Anne Enright, made the list” and that Georgina Harding is “the only one” of “six nominated authors” who is British (quoting from THE WEEK)

  • Canadian Esi Edugyan’s Half Blood Blues
  • Dublin writer Anne Enright’s The Forgotten Waltz:  (Self doesn’t know why the Times article abbreviated the title of Enright’s novel to The Forgotten)
  • Georgina Harding’s Painter of Silence:  Self thinks this title is pretty fab.
  • American Madeline Miller’s debut novel, Song of Achilles
  • American Cynthia Ozick’s Foreign Bodies (Ozick’s seventh:  According to the British paper The Guardian, Ozick is “the favourite” to win the Orange Prize)
  • Previous Orange Prize winner (10 years ago, for Bel Canto) Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder

The winner, says the Times, will receive “a bronze statue and about $48,000.”

BTW, three of the shortlisted share the same publisher:  Bloomsbury.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Latest Book Deals (Courtesy of PUBLISHERS LUNCH WEEKLY 20 March 2012)

Latest e-letter from Publishers Weekly has announcement of the following deals:

Fiction Debuts:

  • Rachel Urquhart’s The Visionist, the story of “a 15-year-old girl who sets fire to her family farm, killing her abusive father, and finds refuge —  as long as she can guard her dark secrets — in an 1840s Shaker settlement,” to Reagan Arthur Books, in a pre-empt, by Dorian Karchmar at William Morris Endeavor
  • Jillian Cantor’s Margot, “reimagining Anne Frank’s sister’s experience in post-war America as Anne’s growing status as a cultural icon dramatically upends Margot’s own new identity, love, and life,” to Riverhead by Jessica Regel at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency


  • A. J. Hartley’s Tears of the Jaguar, “bringing back protagonist Deborah Miller from The Mask of Atreus who has to connect four remarkable events or die trying:  the most famous witch trial in English history; the discovery of an underground Mayan tomb in the Mexican jungle; the disappearance of the original English crown jewels in 1649; and a string of murders perpetrated by an arms dealer in pursuit of a high tech weapon,” to Thomas Mercer for publication in Fall 2012

General/ Other

  • Roboticist and New York Times bestselling author Daniel H. Wilson and anthologist John Joseph Adams, eds.’s, Robot Uprisings, an anthology of stories, to Vintage, by Laurie Fox at Linda Chester Literary Agency and Joe Monti at Barry Goldblatt Literary

There were other deal announcements, such as the memoir by Amanda Knox’s former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, Presumed Guilty:  My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox, written with Andrew Gumbel, which describes Sollecito’s “first meeting with Amanda” and “his arrest, prison time, and subsequent release,” but the rain which fell all morning has finally ceased and self does not want to miss an opportunity to go moseying around Lacson Street.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Latest Book Deals (Courtesy of PUBLISHERS LUNCH WEEKLY 28 February 2012)

Latest e-letter from Publishers Weekly has announcement of the following deals:

Fiction by First-Time Novelists:

  • Kim Church’s BYRD, about a woman who bears and surrenders a son, her only child, without telling his father, little imagining how the secret will shape their lives, to Dzanc Books, by Emma Patterson at the Wendy Weil Agency
  • Nicholas Mennuti’s debut EXILE, written with SAFE HOUSE screenwriter David Guggenheim (originally announced by publisher as Guggenheim’s book written with Mennuti), a fast-paced, Hitchcock-esque thriller about an American businessman living in exile in Cambodia who gets mistaken for a mysterious government operative, to Mulholland Books for publication in 2013

General/ Other

  • Pushcart nominee and MFA grad Lisa Lisa VanAuken’s WOOLGATHERERS OF TAPPAN SQUARE, which “brings together three estranged sisters in their mission to save their beloved yarn shop and also protect their rumored magical ability to weave the most ardent of wishes into the scarves, mittens and fibers of those most worthy, brimming with magic, legends, folklore, and knitting, a novel about second chances … ” to Ballantine Bantam Dell, in a two-book deal
  • Author of the CONFESSIONS OF MAX TIVOLI, Andrew Sean Greer’s MANY WORLDS, “in which a young woman living in 1985 receives electroconvulsive therapy for her depression and, as a result travels through time to parallel worlds where she is forced to confront the uncertainties of love and the unpredictable consequences of even the most carefully considered choices,” to Ecco for publication in 2013.

There were other deal announcements, such as National Review’s Deputy Managing Editor Kevin Williamson’s THE END OF POLITICS:  The Retreat of Government in Our iPhone World, “a look at how the hidden economics and secret politics of failed government are prohibiting innovation and market-based solutions to our most pressing national problems,” but, alas, it is time to clear the sink of the dinner dishes.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Perusing the Economist Best Books of 2011: Short List

Books self is interested in reading after perusing The Economist’s “Best Books of 2011” list:

Biography and Memoir


  • Jerusalem:  The Biography, by Simon Sebag Montefiore.  “After his acclaimed biographies of Stalin, Catherine the Great and her lover, Potemkin, Simon Sebag Montefiore has finally turned to the book he was born to write.”

Culture, Society and Travel

  • People Who Eat Darkness:  The Fate of Lucie Blackman, by Richard Lloyd Parry.  “A page-turning, if horrifying, read about the murder of a young Englishwoman in Japan and the dubious workings of the Japanese criminal-justice system.”


  • Train Dreams, by Denis Johnson.  The Economist calls it a “dense, mesmerising novella about a labourer in the American West … ” (Wonder what that is:  a “labourer” in the American West.  Not a cowboy, not a ranch hand, not a homesteader.  A labourer.  Can’t wait to read the book and find out)

Incidentally, all but three of the above books are published by Knopf (Two are published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, one by Penguin Press).  Self is suitably impressed.

Stay tuned.

Latest Book Deals (Courtesy of PUBLISHERS LUNCH WEEKLY 1 Nov 2011)

Latest e-letter from Publishers Weekly has announcement of the following deals:


  • IMPAC Dublin Award Winner and Spanish bestselling author Javier Marias’ latest novel, The Infatuations, “a story about love and how it can justify almost anything:  noble and selfless actions as well as the worst outrages and the most despicable of acts,” to Sonny Mehta at Knopf, at auction
  • Charlie Lovett’s The First Folio, “the contemporary story of a young widower who becomes entangled in the fate of a rare manuscript dating from the time of Shakespeare that will change his life forever, to Viking, for publication in summer 2013
  • Cathy Marie Buchanan’s The Van Goethem Sisters, set in 19th-century Paris and based on historical events and characters, the story of teenage sisters whose father’s death sets one on a trajectory to the Paris Opera Ballet . . . and the other into the stage adaptation of Emile Zola’s novel L’Assommoir and into the arms of a dangerous young man,” to Riverhead

History/Politics/Current Affairs

  • Lindsey Hilsom’s Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution, “a chronicle of the Gaddafi endgame, a marriage of reportage and storytelling”, to Penguin Press in a pre-empt, for publication “in early 2012”

There were other deal announcements, such as Laura Snyder’s Eye of the Beholder:  Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and the Reinvention of Seeing, “an intertwined biography of the great scientist and artist of the 17th century, and the revolution in perception that their work brought about,” but, alas, the time has come to give the furiously panting Bella her dinner.

Stay tuned.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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