It was the very secretary I had gone to war with decades ago. The very one who had staple gunned me. Needless to say, we had an aggravatingly specific bond.
A look of disbelief shattered her. A look which didn’t match the perfectly rolled sleeves of her white collar shirt, or the devastatingly attractive slit up the side of her pencil skirt. No, she blinked through her thick-rimmed glasses, as if the very request urged her to slap some sense into me.
Book Type: Novel
Word Count: 66,993
Pages: 592 (5 x 7)
Science Fiction-influenced Diary/Journal, time stamped. Everyday life, mixed with unrequited love, day dreams, rapid imagination, and the questioning of clashing realities. Experimental writing which leaves the readers wondering, "What's truly real?"
Word Count: 42,242
Page Count: 408 (5 x 7)
"Chicana poet, activist, and witchy folk hero of the disenfranchised. . . . [McKibbens] creates these spaces of witness with her feral and boundary-pushing poems that speak unflinchingly of topics often swept under the rug: rape, domestic violence, body shaming, mental illness, prejudice."—Ploughshares
"McKibbens, a pioneer in the art of performance poetry, presents her audience [with] selfless honesty."—The Rumpus
"Rachel McKibbens . . . reminds us why poetry as testimony is so necessary." —Poetry Foundation
McKibbens's blud is a collection of dark, rhythmic poems interested in the ways in which inherited things—bloodlines, mental illnesses, trauma—affect their inheritors. Reveling in form and sound, McKibbens's writing takes back control, undaunted by the idea of sinking its teeth into the ugliest moments of life, while still believing—and looking for—the good underneath all the bruising.
From "untitled (lost love)":
To my daughters I need to say:
Go with the one who loves you biblically.
The one whose love lifts its head to you
despite its broken neck. Whose body
bursts sixteen arms electric
to carry you, gentle the way
old grief is gentle.
Love the love that is messy
in all its too much . . .
Rachel McKibbens is a poet, activist, playwright, essayist, and two-time New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellow. She is the author of four books and founder of The Pink Door, an annual writing retreat open exclusively to women of color. She lives in Rochester, New York.
For thirty-something years it’d been like watching a silent film. First her father’s plump face would redden, as if he were imploding. Meanwhile, as his eyes were popping out of his head, her mother would conduct an array of spectacular hand gestures, fraying her blond bob, while avoiding eye contact, the entire time. And when the two had circled like hawks, until they’d run themselves breathless, they would perch their hands on their hips, and glare at each other. Before pulling some random diagnosis out of their asses, which they had, somehow, telepathically agreed on.
“Morbidly Single.” They nodded in agreement. It was a firm diagnosis, by two serious professionals, who looked nothing alike, but behaved exactly the same.
Nature Poem follows Teebs—a young, queer, American Indian (or NDN) poet—who can’t bring himself to write a nature poem. For the reservation-born, urban-dwelling hipster, the exercise feels stereotypical, reductive, and boring. He hates nature. He prefers city lights to the night sky. He’d slap a tree across the face. He’d rather write a mountain of hashtag punchlines about death and give head in a pizza-parlor bathroom; he’d rather write odes to Aretha Franklin and Hole. While he’s adamant—bratty, even—about his distaste for the word “natural,” over the course of the book we see him confronting the assimilationist, historical, colonial-white ideas that collude NDN people with nature. The closer his people were identified with the “natural world,” he figures, the easier it was to mow them down like the underbrush. But Teebs gradually learns how to interpret constellations through his own lens, along with human nature, sexuality, language, music, and Twitter. Even while he reckons with manifest destiny and genocide and centuries of disenfranchisement, he learns how to have faith in his own voice.
Crouched in her white summer blouse and a pair of daisy dukes, Cora was petting a small black Labrador puppy. Her long brown hair, tied in a pony tail and slung over one shoulder, portrayed an air of beauty and essence, which slapped Jax around like a pinball in a machine of unrequited love.
“Beautiful. So terribly beautiful.” Jax mumbled to herself. A hazy daze of infatuation glazed across her eyes. She turned to her best friend, Brent, who was staring idly at a local newspaper his eyes were too tired to read, and trying his best to ignore her.
Volumes 1-14 as below:
April 3rd, April 9th, April 19th, April 21st 2:48 AM, April 21st 3AM, April 22nd 2:34 AM, April 27th, A Moment of Silence, Why Couldn't You?, April 28th, The Rest of April 2018, May 1st - May 7th, May 8 - May 27, June 2018.
Dust and sheetrock smothered oversized sweatpants, fitted over a pair of black jeans. And a wool sweater with large moth holes guarded her only black v neck shirt. Her dark wavy brown hair was tied in a bun and cast beneath a black beanie. And her work boots were caked with paint and dust. Like always, she’d borrowed some beat- up clothes from an employer, and threw them over the only clothes she had. This was the life she chose, to be a writer. A traveling vagabond with a knack for carpentry. She flipped buildings for shelter, and some pay, if pay could be given. As long as she had time to write, and the carpentry didn’t get too far in the way, she was content. But let’s be honest, anything that’s not writing, is in the way. And content isn’t the same as happy.
Vince, a burly blonde man, peeled his safety glasses off, and nodded to Tommy, who about the same age, was also graying to the point, where although they were completely different people, they looked like brothers. Brothers in ripped jeans and sweaters, with dabs of paint everywhere. Layers and layers of clothing, and beanies with bits of ceiling and sawdust.
“You see that?!” Vince laughed, gesturing in Mikaela’s direction.
“Yup!” Tommy shouted past a set of ear protectors. “96 pounds of badass!” He’d gone to war with the cement floor in the basement, and had just finished with the jackhammer, when he walked into the living room to see Mikaela tackling the last of the floor.
She scrawled through the streets, raising the side of her leather hood to shelter her eyes from the wind as best possible. It were nearly as windy as Chicago. Most certainly as cold, if not more. For some reason, wind made the world feel colder. Maybe it was because it threatened to sweep her away.
The edges of Spring could been seen overheard. A sort of false hope towards new beginnings. And as direly as she wished for her luck in life to take a sudden shift to her advantage, she also didn’t want to feel things, knowing they would likely never come.
Her memories of Griesel were hers, and hers alone. Who knows? Maybe they weren’t real? Maybe dreams and visions are past lives. Maybe they’re figments of imagination that rip hearts and souls out, simply because some portion of our brains can manage that. Why be cruel to someone else, when we can be cruel to ourselves?
Book Type: Novel
Word Count: 79,920
Pages: 705 (5 x 7)
Vivek Shraya is a writer, musician, and filmmaker whose previous books include God Loves Hair and She of the Mountains. She lives in Toronto.
A flurry of red hair erupted, as Megan ducked below her desk. Taking a foundation mirror from her purse, she slipped it around the edge so she could see Megaphone Man’s reflection.
Women’s sexuality is often used as a weapon against them. In this powerful debut, Britteney Black Rose Kapri lends her unmistakable voice to fraught questions of identity, sexuality, reclamation, and power, in a world that refuses Black Queer women permission to define their own lives and boundaries.
Britteney Black Rose Kapri is a Chicago performance poet and playwright. Currently she is an alumna turned Teaching Artist Fellow at Young Chicago Authors. Her work has been featured in Poetry Magazine, Button Poetry, Seven Scribes, and many other outlets, and anthologized in The BreakBeat Poets and The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic. She is a contributor to Black Nerd Problems, a Pink Door Retreat Fellow, and a 2015 Rona Jaffe Writers Award Recipient.
Even as she imagined the denim shirt, she knew it would be soft without yield, crisp with comfort, and sharp but shielding. Everything a rough and rugged cancer the crab would want.
Mikaela wished to impress, in her own way. Not with the styles that others delegated. She wanted to wear leather shoulder pads, and high collared gowns. Walk around with leather suspenders over black v neck shirts. Wear ties with denim shirts, and long rimmed hats. She wanted more than what women were offered. Why did it always seem women were offered less than their male counterparts? Who could go anywhere and do anything they pleased?
Well now Mikaela was sponsored. Alister, an Art Patron had plucked her from a deep, dark, and depressing alley, and flung her into a two-story loft with an attic. They worked more than a hundred twenty hours a week together. Piecing together a publication, like sewing one of Frankenstein’s monsters. Obsessed, compassionate, and deeply devoured, by an essence unknown to man. Whatever this thing that inspired artists was made of, and wherever it came from, it’d both saved and wrecked the lives of Mikaela and Alister. And they were on this ship, together, sailing for whatever destination they were destined to reach.