We're ringing in the new year with a belated announcement: the publication of Midwinter Fires by Jeffery Beam. Originally published by French Broad Press in 1990, this new edition features an introduction by Joe Donahue and is Number Six in our ReBound Series. Please join us in congratulating Jeffery & welcoming him to the Seven Kitchens family.
Official publication date: December 27, 2011 [125 copies]
14 pages; $ 7.00
Today we'd like to congratulate Grant Clauser, whose manuscript, "The Art of Gazing," was a finalist for last year's Keystone Chapbook Prize. Grant has a new collection, The Trouble with Rivers, just out from FootHills Press–you can order it here.
Congratulations to Sheila Squillante, whose manuscript, "Women Who Pawn Their Jewelry," a finalist for this year's Keystone Chapbook Prize, has been selected for publication by Finishing Line Press. Sheila also has a fresh, new chapbook, A Woman Traces the Shoreline, just released from Dancing Girl Press.
Please join us in congratulating the co-winners of the 2011 Keystone Chapbook Prize: Dave Bonta and William Woolfitt. This year's guest judge, Sascha Feinstein, selected Bonta's Breakdown: Banjo Poems as the winning manuscript among poets with previous book or chapbook publication. Of the manuscripts by new writers (no previous book or chapbook publication), Feinstein selected Woolfitt's The Salvager's Arts.
Breakdown: Banjo Poems will be published in May of 2012 as #9 in the Keystone Chapbook Series. The Salvager's Arts will be published in June as #10 in the series. Each writer will receive fifty copies of his chapbook.
Our thanks to everyone who supported the series again this year, and special thanks to Sascha for judging. The reading period for next year's Keystone Chapbook Prize will be July 1 through August 15.
We're terribly saddened to just hear of the passing of Lou McKee, who died yesterday (the very day his chapbook, No Matter, was re-released). I'm passing along this announcement by Eileen D'Angelo:
With a sad and heavy heart, I am writing to let you know that our friend and Philadelphia poet, Louis McKee, died yesterday, November 21st.
A dear friend of so many of us on the Philadelphia poetry scene, Lou was most definitely one of its greatest voices. His passing is a great personal loss, as I know it is a great loss to us all. It is an understatement to say that he will be missed by many.
Plans for a memorial service are underway. I will send additional news ASAP.
Louis McKee (born July 31, 1951, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) has been a fixture of the Philadelphia poetry scene since the early 70s. He is the author of Schuylkill County (Wampeter, 1982), The True Speed of Things (Slash & Burn, 1984), and fourteen other collections. More recently, he has published River Architecture: Poems from Here & There 1973-1993 (Cynic, 1999), Loose Change (Marsh River Editions, 2001), and a volume in the Pudding House Greatest Hits series. Gerald Stern has called his work "heart-breaking" and "necessary," while William Stafford has written, "Louis McKee makes me think of how much fun it was to put your hand out a car window and make the air carry you into quick adventures and curlicues. He is so adept at turning all kinds of sudden glimpses into good patterns." Naomi Shihab Nye says, "Louis McKee is one of the truest hearts and voices in poetry we will ever be lucky to know."
Near Occasions of Sin, a collection issued in 2006 by Cynic Press, has been praised by Brendan Kennelly: "I really admire, and like, deeply, Louis McKee's poems. They have two qualities I love – clarity and candour. And they often tell stories even as they evoke mysteries of being. And they engage a great deal with people. "The Soldier," for example, is stunning for its pure drama. Then, he is a moving, complex love-poet, at once passionate and reserved. McKee's poems are like flashes of spirit rooted in the body. He never hides behind, or in, obscurity. Near Occasions of Sin is utterly unpretentious because his genius (I think he has that) is so real; "I am content with this," he says at the end of "Failed Haiku," and this readiness to be himself, in all his complexity and simplicity, is, I think, the basis of the appeal of this most unusual and attractive book. Sometimes, McKee talks to his reader and it is like talking to a next-door neighbor (that's what I mean by candour in these poems). Also, they sound like songs at times-winged, humane, vulnerable."
Philip Dacey, writing about McKee's poetry in Schuylkill Valley Journal (#24, spring, 2007) says, "It is the essence of McKee's work to be rich in artifice and craftsmanship and informed poetic strategies while at the same time consistently brave in its presentation of two confrontations: a person's with himself and that person's with the world outside himself. To read McKee is to witness drama and struggle; if the art is hard-won, the human victories are, too."
Warren Woessner, in the American Book Review (Jan/Feb 2007, Vol 28, No. 2), writes that McKee's poems have a "surprising honesty…. In this era of superconfessional hubris, we are told that no topic is off-limits, but, if this is so, why are so many of these poems startling? Picasso said, "art is not truth," and I know that to be true, but it is important to the force of these poems that I can believe that the poet is giving us his stories straight up."
McKee was a longtime editor of the Painted Bride Quarterly. During his tenure, he edited three special issues, celebrating the work of Etheridge Knight and John Logan, as well as a retrospective, 20th-anniversary volume of the PBQ. He operated Banshee Press and edited the magazine One Trick Pony until its demise in 2007.
Our congratulations to three more Seven Kitchens authors on their wonderful accomplishments:
Please share the word and support these fine writers by reading their work!
We're proud to announce the forthcoming publication of No Matter by Louis McKee. Originally published by Pig in a Poke Press in 1987, this new edition features an introduction by Joseph Farley and is Number Five in our ReBound Series. Please join us in congratulation Lou & welcoming him to the Seven Kitchens family.
Official publication date: November 21, 2011 [125 copies]
27 pages; $ 7.00
Following up on our teaser, we're delighted to announce the lineup for next year's Summer Kitchen Series: another set of five chapbooks published in limited edition print runs of 49 copies apiece. They are:
We're also happy to announce that we'll publish JeFF Stumpo's El Oceano y la Serpiente/The Ocean and the Serpent as Number 7 in our ReBound Series on May 1, 2012.
Finally, we're looking ahead to 2013 with the March 21 publication of David Eye's Rain Leaping Up When a Cab Goes Past as Number 7 in Volume Two of our Editor's Series.
Look for news about this year's Keystone winners in December. And that will pretty much set the calendar for 2012! Thanks to you all for your continuing support.
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