A two year old mystery. A missing daughter. A cross country road trip. Chris, an aerospace engineer, is on a mission. He abandons his life in Savannah and drives west. Along the way, first in New Orleans and then in Austin, he picks up passengers. Julia, a Czech woman fleeing a boyfriend and business partner, and JC, the daughter of a Baptist minister, who on a manic whim joins them and leaves her life in Austin behind. Displaced, in flight from their respective pasts, with Chris planning a revenge he may not have the nerve or the opportunity to exact, the three form shifting alliances and friendships as they drive across Texas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. In Los Angeles, they rent a house in Venice Beach and explore the city—graveyards, art districts, the L.A. County Coroner's Office, Catalina Island, bars, boardwalks, promenades, tar pits, dances clubs, flight museums. On Christmas Eve in a Holmby Hills mansion, the story culminates in a confrontation with the man Chris believes to be partly responsible for the disappearance of his daughter.
Degenerate is a road trip novel out of Kerouac and Nabokov, a comedy of revenge and satire about Los Angeles that brings to mind Nathaniel West and a story of love and loss at turns lyrical, hilarious and heartbreaking.
Set over the course of one winter at a hospital in Washington, Across the River is a linked series of stories about the trials of the body and their meaning for the spirit. From the psychology of brain surgeons, to a suicide who has time to regret his act, to a college student's first encoun¬ter with blood, Across the River brings together separate voices telling the common tale of how thinking beings encounter their own mortality.
William Orem writes in multiple genres. His first collection of stories, Zombi, You My Love, won the GLCA New Writers Award, previously given to Sherman Alexie, Alice Munro, Louise Erdrich, and Richard Ford. Other stories and poems of his have appeared in over one hundred publications, including The Princeton Arts Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The New Formalist, and he has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in both genres. His plays have been performed in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Louisville, Buffalo and Boston.
The title poem, for Anthony Hecht "a truly great success in its knitting together of the modern scene, recent history, and Homeric myth," finds a wizened Penelope hawking embroidery to tourists. Another recalls the death of Marilyn Monroe—how it awakened the sexual consciousness of a boy for whom her spirit became the scent of cured tobacco. An odyssey whose settings range from the Carolinas to Crete, from the Romsdal Fjord to the Buffalo River, Penelope's Design also pays homage to such geniuses of place as Thomas Hardy and A. E. Housman, in whose Shropshire a 50-year-old literary pilgrim meets his own lightfoot ghost. Often elegiac, these richly allusive poems smile at the diminishing returns of aging and capture glimmers of a numinous Otherwhere.
David Havird grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, and studied at the University of South Carolina under James Dickey. He completed his graduate studies at the University of Virginia with a doctoral dissertation on Thomas Hardy. Not a prolific poet, still he has published for many years in major journals: Agni, The New Yorker, Poetry, the Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, Southwest Review, the Yale Review—not to mention the Texas Review—and online at Poetry Daily. He lives in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he teaches at Centenary College.
Lyrics for Old Lovers conjures up couples walking down a beach holding hands, smiling contentedly into the setting sun, but old love is not like one of those three-mast sailing ships in a bottle with no waves and no wind. Old love tests the heart.
These poems are about living a lifetime together, happy, funny, familiar years of growing old with the one you love, but they are also about tough years of caregiving and heartache, of loss and survival, of regrets and loneliness.
The poet has lived these poems, finally discovering a need in herself to accept life again and move on. Yes, life again, in the form of another love; and because love comes in all ages, she finds that old love "without the urgencies of youth" can be soft and sweet and easy on the heart.
As teenagers in Brookline, Massachusetts, Barry and Elliot were best friends, sharing their passions for sports, music, movies, and girls, as well as their dreams of literary fame.
Years later, when it appears Barry's mother will inherit over a million dollars, the friends start planning a literary magazine to jumpstart their careers, only to bitterly fight once the inheritance finally arrives. For six years they don't see or speak to each other.
When they finally reunite in New York, Elliot is a struggling writer with a dead-end teaching job in Philadelphia, and Barry is a millionaire offering Elliot a free apartment where his deceased mother used to live. The friends decide to finally do the magazine they planned and seem ready to conquer the literary world, but Barry has a terrible secret and a terrifying double life that threatens to destroy not only their magazine but the woman they both fall in love with.
At once a highly suspenseful psychological thriller and an ambitious literary work told from multiple points of view, Rivers Last Longer takes its turns, sometimes satirically, through the New York literary, art, and film worlds as it tells its story of friendship, ambition, murder, and love.
Texas Death Row: Reflections of a Different World
Edited by Jennifer Gauntt, Julia Guthrie, Trina Kowis, H. Dave Lewis, Shana Templeton, Robert Uren, and Linda Wetzel
Following on the heels of the highly successful Upon This Chessboard of Nights and Days: Voices from Texas Death Row, which enjoyed international exposure through a Voice of America piece that appeared on television, radio, and the Internet, this sequel introduces readers once again to the world of the inmates who sit on Texas Death Row, awaiting their date with death. The first book focused exclusively on nonfiction prose and art, whereas this second book presents an even greater range of their creative expressions through fiction, poetry, and art.
Readers will be amazed to discover the level of talent that resides among these forgotten members of society who do, indeed, live in another world.
The editors of Texas Death Row: Reflections of a Different World were members of the Fall 2009 graduate Editing and Publishing Practicum taught by Paul Ruffin at Sam Houston State University. All are pursuing masters of arts degrees from SHSU.
These are poems that range in subject and setting from the profane to the sacred.
Rooted in the life and culture of the South and Southwest and employing a variety of forms and voices, they address the mysteries of the past, personal and collective, and survey the possibilities and liabilities of the present.
Whether conversational or incantatory, each strives to approximate music, in keeping with the author's insistence that dancer and dance be one.
William Bedford Clark is a native Oklahoman who lived in Louisiana, Connecticut, and North Carolina prior to settling in Texas in 1977. A professor of English at Texas A&M University, he has published widely in the field of American literature and is general editor of the Robert Penn Warren Correspondence Project.
Maker of Shadows finds regions on the map–Mumbai, Cape Cod, the Midwest, the Middle East–and in the mind where violence alternates with laughter, and despair gives way to desire. Tropical islands soon to be submerged plead for tourists, and Sun Belt cities beckon those who would deny death. Yet these poems find humor and solace in daily life, from irreverent looks at banks, dogs, and gods, to glimpses into the inner lives of a rat exterminator and a father bathing his child.
Joshua Coben was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He spent two years in France before moving to Boston, where he lives with his wife and three children and teaches in an elementary school. His poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, College English, The Evansville Review, Pleiades, Poet Lore, and other journals, as well as in Arguing through Literature (McGraw-Hill, 2005).
"This is one of my favorite collections of poetry so far—poetry pulled from the heart; poetry of life and love; a rebirth of spirit, of all the magic in life we thought we had lost along the way. This is a discovery of the beauty that lays in wait all around us—in every moment, in every being, in every living thing. This is poetry to open us back up; to give us permission to feel again; emotions deep and real and tangible, whether we name them or not."-Karla K. Morton, 2010 Texas Poet Laureate
Karla K. Morton, the 2010 Texas Poet Laureate, is a graduate of Texas A&M University and a Board Member of the Greater Denton Arts Council. A Betsy Colquitt Award Winner and North Texas Books Awards Finalist, she has been widely published in literary journals, and is the author of Wee Cowrin' Timorous Beastie (a 17th Century Scottish Epic book/CD), Redefining Beauty (Dos Gatos Press), and Becoming Superman (Rogers Publishing/Wheeler Press). Her upcoming books include Stirring Goldfish (a Sufi poetry book by Finishing Line Press), and the TCU Texas Poets Laureate Series (TCU Press). A native Texan, she has trekked hundreds of miles in her Little Town, Texas Tour, bringing poetry and the arts into schools and communities across her beloved state.
Journeys is a collection of essays in which Sam Pickering mulls traveling. He travels to Nova Scotia and New Zealand. He wanders the South and makes speeches in the Mid-West. He haunts libraries in hopes of stumbling across intriguing oddity.
As he meanders he ponders teaching and the natural world, especially the green minutiae of this last. In several essays he explores the classroom. In others he explores matters medical, in them finding the staff of life and humor.
Family and age are his closest companions, both bruising him at times but both making him smile. As he ages he wonders about his changing perception of Time, his thoughts bringing delight, however, not melancholy, as befits someone constitutionally happy.
Sam Pickering is a native Tennessean who has spent most of his life in New England. He is also an inveterate wanderer, having spent years in the Mid-East, Britain, Canada, and most recently in Australia and New Zealand. He teaches English at the University of Connecticut and has written more than twenty books and two hundred articles. Years ago a reviewer said that reading Pickering was like "taking a walk with your oldest, wittiest friend."
A noir novella set in Depression-era Southern Colorado. Following his release from jail for robbery, the novella's unnamed narrator drives into Trinidad, Colorado, looking for Ida Rose, the woman who stole the money from him that he had originally stolen.
All he wants is his share of the loot, nothing more. For the past few years, he has thought of little besides that money. Like a man at the bottom of a well looking at the light above, that money has been all he could see. He'll lie and fight for it; he's willing to kill for it, and he may die because of it.
What he wants in life, however, is not what he needs, and his desire for the money may prevent him from finding what he truly needs.
Daniel Robinson studied in the writing program at the University of Denver. He has published stories in numerous reviews and magazines, and his first novel, After the Fire, was published by The Lyons Press in 2003. That novel was based on first career—fighting wildfires. He lives with his wife and daughter in Fort Collins, Colorado.