Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Of a Bed Frame

Of a Bed Frame
Accents Publishing
Winged Series

• Paperback: 24 pages
• Publisher: Accents Publishing (February 15, 2011)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0984411895
• ISBN-13: 978-0984411894

"From the coldness of the Nebraska winter to the heat of a lover's bed, Dan Nowak takes the reader on a compelling lyric journey. He shares intimate moments with his audience, crafting his words so that we feel the scratchiness of the seldom worn suit, the skinned knuckles from the loading bays, and the sweat of a lover's skin. There are poems here to savor and reread and then reread again." - P. Andrew Miller, Author of The Legend of The Turquoise Knight
Dan Nowak's first book, Recycle Suburbia, won the 2007 Quercus Review Poetry Series Award. He also has a chapbook, Burning the Arson Dictionary: Poems for Thomas McGrath published by RockSaw Press. Dan is co-founder and co-editor of Imaginary Friend Press and an editor for New Sins Press. Dan lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and enjoys that Lakefront Brewery is less than a mile from his home.

The poem “Dead Center” is full of vivid imagery and works hard to pull you in with potent words.
We drink down Nebraska
In giant starry cups. The dirt
Falls down our throats past
Our primes …
“I Come From Hands” is a list poem that will leave you breathless and raw.
… that refused guns in the house
that packed gunpowder in hungry cannons
that felt a limp and died
that believe more in cutting grass than Jesus …
Another poem that made me look at my life differently was “Worth,” will make you reexamine your life as a factory worker.
Sometimes I try to write something smart, something that sounds
Like I’m worth
The seventy thousand dollars my brain and bill collectors placed
My price tag at,

But then remember I’m a factory-rat sin. I belong in the stall,
next to the man …
This slim blook of outstanding poetry is a must read for anyone who loves poetry.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bee-Coursing Box

Bee-Coursing Box by Matthew Haughton
Accents Publishing
Winged Series - The Winged Series features selections from the Accents Poetry Chapbook contests

Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Accents Publishing
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984411863
ISB-13: 978-0984411860
"Matthew Haughton's debut collection honors and extends Kentucky's great literary heritage, which stretches from Greenup to Bowling Green, the 18th century to now. In poems that dare 'pray there's a heaven for snakes,' and dare see a man 'growing like a sycamore out of the untamed earth,' he adds his worthy voice to the chorus." - Frederick Smock, Author of Guest House

This is Matthew Haughton’s debut collection of poetry, written with honest and powerful poems. His well-crafted work is tight and straight from the heart.

The title poem “Bee-coursing Box” follows a man as he returns to a bee tree year after year. This could be an author returning to a piece of work again and again trying to get it right.

I mark the tree and return
Year after year
We grow old
Deep into his second life.

“Deer Tongue: A Conversation about Tobacco”reminds me of my times spent in the tobacco fields when I was young.

Crushed leaves
Make smoke,
The senses snap …

I also enjoy “Tracking Seeds” part ii Whirlybirds:

Little pink
spill from
the tree
limbs …

I can vividly see these little whirlybirds flying through the air during the early parts of summer, twirling and swirling.

Haughton writes honestly from nature’s backyard and this is a book worth reading for anyone who is serious about poetry.

Fading into Bolivia

Fading Into Bolivia
Richard Taylor
* Paperback: 30 pages
* Publisher: Accents Publishing
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1936628058
* ISBN-13: 978-1936628056

Richard Taylor is a professor of English and currently serves as Kenan Visiting Writer at Transylvania University. A former Kentucky poet laureate, he is the author of six collections of poetry, two novels, and several books of non-fiction, mostly relating to Kentucky history. A former dean and teacher in the Governor's Scholars Program, he was selected as Distinguished Professor at Kentucky State University in 1992. He has won two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Al Smith Creative Writing Award from the Kentucky Arts Council. He and his wife Lizz own Poor Richard's Books in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Dr. Richard Taylor has been a writing force in Kentucky for many years and his latest collection of poetry will also stand the strength of time. With minimal, but powerful words, Taylor weaves a poetic journey through a variety of lyrical and narrative poetry.

Writing Slump contains the title of this newest book of poetry:
"... In an act of unwitting collaboration
That describes her state and mine,
My mother calls to say, "Some days
I feel I'm fading into Bolivia."

If you do not know Dr. Richard Taylor, you will learn very quickly he is a college professor from his poem "Grading:"

"Reading term papers ...
I trudge an endless trail of print,
Switchbacking down and across"
Page after page after page."

In "For a Newfoundland Drowned in a Farm Pond," Taylor mourns the loss of a family pet:

"... Missed at feeding time ...
Three days later, I came upon her
Bloated in a siege of flies ...
The pond dried up ... the place
Where I buried Boo Boo."

Richard is a professor English and currently serves as Kenan Visiting Writer at Transylvania University. A former Kentucky Poet Laureate, he is the author of six collections of poetry, two novels, and several books of non-fiction, mostly relating to Kentucky history.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

How Swallowtails Became Dragons

How Swallowtails Become Dragons by Bianca Spriggs

Accents Publishing

Winged Series

• Paperback: 24 pages
• Publisher: Accents Publishing
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1936628015
• ISBN-13: 978-1936628018

How Swallowtails Become Dragons is one of the Accents Publishing Winged Series, featuring entries from the 2010 poetry chapbook competition. Pushcart Prize winner and National Book Award Finalist Patricia Smith calls Bianca's work "an aggressive signature that is deftly crafted, insightful and often achingly lyrical." Having lived most of her life in Kentucky, Bianca s poems reflect the trials and triumphs of growing up as a woman of color in a border state.

Bianca Spriggs has proved to be a major activest for Affrilchian poetry. She is a force of nature, carefully finding just the right words to talk to the heart.

Black Market reflects on one of America’s weakness from the past – slavery:
When I was sold this time
My new Massa don’t check to see
How many teeth been rotted out my mouth

This powerful poem sheds a new meaning on the debate of who is human and who is not. We are all human beings, cut from the same cloth, with the only difference being our color. I love my country, but it does make me sick to my stomach thing about the way slaves were treated. I feel ashamed at the atrocities slaves endured at their master’s hand.

In Werewolf, you can literally see the changing from man to beast:
At the climax of a lunar cycle
A poem stirs,
Dark tempest in my chest …
… It cracks my rips to get out
I can smell the blood, I can hear the creature devouring its pry, and see the teeth. The moon is high in the sky and the lunar cycle brings on a different kind of terror.

In the poem After Loving a Pretty Man, the line, “I’m not so easy to exchange for another,” lets the reader know a man must be cheating; but now she’s on her own two feet and won’t go down easily.

This collection of poems is brutally honest, shining the light on subjects most people we are not ready to admit to.

Bianca is an Affrilachian poet and a Cave Canem Fellow. She is a freelance instructor of composition, literature and creative writing. Her work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.

Numbered Bones

Numbered Bones by Bobby Steve Baker

Accents Publishing

Winged Series

• Paperback: 29 pages
• Publisher: Accents Publishing
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1936628007
• ISBN-13: 978-1936628001

Numbered Bones is Bobby Steve Bakers debut chapbook of poetry, and one of Accents Publishing's Winged Series, which features entries from the 2010 poetry chapbook contest.

Because of the subject matter of this think chapbook, I could relate to the medically filled poems. This may be Bobby’s first book of poetry, but I think we will soon be seeing more.

The poem, On Purpose, has a line that I love:
Distant, growling thunder wakes me
from the sleep of nothingness…
There is No Medicine for What I’ve Got is such a serious poem that it borderlines on the horrific side, but I had to read it again and again because it spoke to my heart.
Deep cuts, through deep cuts
bright red in the water of the bath …
… The deep swallow.

I also liked 747 Starboard Window:
… But I am high above the earth with sacred
soda, gin turned ceremonial with rind-thin twists of lime,
watching my sun un-set.
For a man who is a cosmetic surgeon, the chapbook made my numbered bones ache. Bobby made me squirm and hurt as the words hammered on. For a first collection of poetry, it was written with powerful words and painful truths. Excellent!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bloom on a Split Board

Bloom on a Split Board by Nana Lampton
Accents Publishing
Spalding Series

• Paperback
• Publisher: Accents Publishing
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0984411887
• ISBN-13: 978-0984411887

This is Nana Lampton's third book of poetry. It is part of the Accents Publishing Spalding Series, which features poetry chapbooks by graduates of the Spalding University MFA in writing program.

Nana Lampton has produced a lovely chapbook of nature poetry. With her vivid descriptions and lyrical rhythm pull you right into the poem. An excellent example of this is in her poem, “Rosa Multa Flora:”
Wild roses drape the fence in May,
blooming as they climb …
Also in Dark Energy:
Your inner light,
burning stars from midnight-black
eyelets shining through
One of my favorite poems is Sycamore:
… Hollowed out, its mottled tower leans
Over the river’s rapids and quiet pools.
These poems ring true and resonate the natural tones of the earth. Nana’s other works are: Snowy Owl Gathers in Her Trove and Moon with Sun in Her Eye .

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Original Ruse

Original Ruse

Barbara Sabol


Publisher: Accents Publishing
Language: English

ISBN-10: 0984411879

ISBN-13: 978-0984411870

Part of the Winged Series

Barbara Sabol's poetry and prose has appeared in Public-Republic, Blood Lotus, Poets 350, the Tupelo Press Poetry Project, Tributaries, and on the Akron Art Museum's website. She has an MFA from Spalding University. Barbara is a long-practicing speech therapist, living in northeastern Ohio with her partner and dogs.

This small chapbook of poetry is excellently executed with vivid powerful words. Until I read "Original Ruse," I had never heard of Barbara Sabol, but I will be on the lookout for more of her work.

To give you an example, “Winter” is one of my favorite poems in the book. She has used such rich words to describe how the coldness of winter seeps into your bones.

“Winter is a country

That settles

In your limbs, stir

The joints …”

Just reading this, I can feel the cold of winter stiffening my joints. The imagery is perfect.

“Hula Girls” is another favorite that made me laugh out loud.

“The saleswoman assured me it was fashionable revealing

Just a hint of thigh, white as twice-whipped potatoes …”

Her words are prodigious and stout and her lyrical and narrative approach to poems can’t help but make you thing about the world around you. "Original Ruse" was printed and released by Accents Publishing, “…an independent press for brilliant voices.”

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Blurb on World News

From the World News website:
"Soon to be released from Arcadia Publishing is Images of America: Harrodsburg, written by Harrodsburg’s Bobbi Dawn Rightmyer (writer) and Anna Armstrong.(photography). The book will be released the week of August 8th, but is already up for pre-order on several different websites: Amazon Barnes and Noble Arcadia
As of this moment, we are not sure when the book launch and signing will be, but we will keep you up-to-date. The book will also be for sell in several local
business, as well as Lexington and surrounding areas."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Featured in Danville Advocate

I would like to give a big shout out to Jennifer Brummett at the Danville Advocate for doing such a nice job with the release of our new book. All information in this article is copyright Danville Advocate and Jennifer Brummett.

Bobbi Dawn Rightmyer and Anna Armstrong traveled a circuitous route to get to the publication of their first book together, “Images of America: Harrodsburg.” The pictorial history of Harrodsburg will be released Monday from Arcadia Publishing, which is based out of Mount Pleasant, S.C., outside of Charleston.

Rightmyer’s daughter was friends with the acquisitions editor for Arcadia Publishing, who approached Rightmyer for a book about Owen County. Rightmyer said she didn’t know anything about Owen County but she knew Harrodsburg. That started her on the path to developing a book about Harrodsburg.

Rightmyer said she’d known Armstrong all her life and was aware of her extensive collection of photos of Harrodsburg that date from the 1930s, with some older ones, as well. She sent an e-mail to Armstrong — an e-mail Armstrong never received. So Rightmyer went ahead and signed a contract with Arcadia to do the historical book, figuring she’d get photos from the local historical society. “I signed the contract with no idea of how to write a history book,” Rightmyer explained. In the meantime, Armstrong had been in contact with Arcadia about a postcard she was interested in creating.

“I have a huge archive of photos from my father (Andrew Armstrong), my aunt (Jesta Bell Armstrong Matherly, who also was an artist) and my work,” Armstrong said. She found out about Rightmyer’s work on a book about Harrodsburg, and wondered what she was using for the photographic element, since her own collection of Harrodsburg photos is unparalleled. Rightmyer said she was thrilled when Armstrong called, and the two got together to discuss the book, which was when they figured out Rightmyer’s e-mail hadn’t made it to its recipient.

“I decided to offer the photographs in order for the book to happen,” Armstrong said. She also had experience with writing historical descriptions, as she’d provided the text for a number of historical markers. Rightmyer said she found that experience invaluable, as she considers herself to be more of a “long writer,” focusing more on essays and longer written works.

Armstrong described “Images of America: Harrodsburg” as a “show-andtell” type of a book. The co-authors indicated such a work was needed in Harrodsburg, since the city lacked a recent, updated history-type book. Armstrong said the tome will be a good companion for people who are touring the city.

“It’s one of the first things I look for (when visiting a new place),” Rightmyer added. “It gives me an idea of where I’m at and what I’m doing.”

She added she hopes “Images of America: Harrodsburg” will inspire others “to get this history out there.”

Armstrong said the postcard pictorial history of Harrodsburg and Mercer County should be released about this time next year. The vintage postcards she will use will date through the 1960s.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Taming Clancy by Dori

Taming Clancy by Dori

Perfect Paperback, Kindle and Nook
Publisher: Weisiger PublishingLanguage: English
ISBN-10: 0615399215
ISBN-13: 978-0615399218

This debut novel by Dori validates her as an up and coming part of the next generation of new authors from Kentucky. Although many of us remember the awkwardness of our adolescent years, Dori gives us an exquisite look at youth and its explosive passions.

"Taming Clancy" takes place in Bethlehem, Kentucky in 1979. Hollison Hope Fairchild is haunted by the memories of her mother and the misunderstandings of why her mother did not love her. During the winter of 1979, in her hometown of Bethlehem, Kentucky, Holly lives through her 17th year with sheer determination and the help of best friends, Fern, and her twin brother, Alex Troublefield.

Thomas, her father and an expert gardener, was becoming more withdrawn after the death of his wife, Susanna, Holly’s mother. Worried about the emotional state of his only child, he invites Caleb (Jay-Jay), Susanna’s brother, to come and stay with them over Christmas holiday. Holly is upset because she doesn’t know who this person is and she certainly doesn’t want him invading their lives during the holidays.

Caleb and Holly get along like quarreling siblings vying for all the attention. He picks on her endlessly and Holly hates every minute of it. Already in a major depressive state, agony and fear over her mother fill her up and begins to spew out on her family and friends, making everyone miserable.

Abigail, Fern and Alex’s cousin, is the little scene stealer in this book. Her independence and innocence bubble off the page. Her only problem is a monster living in her closet, a girl monster named Clancy who scares Abby at night on a regular basis. Holly seems to do the best job and she loves the child with her whole heart.

It is when Holly discovers a journal written by her mother that the story takes a different turn. Reading and learning about her mother gave her a sense of peace and sadness, especially when she learns her mother lived with a life-threatening illness all her life.

This book is a beautiful work of literature, even though marketed as a Young Adult novel. Dori’s style of writing pulls you into the story and holds you on a bumpy ride until you reach the end. Although I didn’t understand the title of the book, even with all the mentions of Clancy, all is revealed in the end.

I am looking forward to more work by this inspiring young writer. She lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky and attends a university in Virginia.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blood Red Road (Dustlands #1)

Blood Red Road (Dustlands #1)

Moira Young

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442429984
ISBN-13: 978-1442429987

Nancy Farmer, author of The House of the Scorpion:
“I absolutely loved Blood Red Road. What a great read! Moira Young goes over the top with a most engaging heroine. Saba is a crusty, foul-tempered warrior woman who must be covered in scar tissue by the end of the book, but men still follow her around like starving wolves. The dialogue is fast and often humorous, the pace never lets up. No situation is so bad that it can't get worse in the next couple of pages. I especially liked the awakening of the hellwurms as they emerge to feed. Well done, Ms. Young!”

This dystopian novel, by Moira Young, is her first novel and she hits the ball out of the park. The pace of this book is intense. It has a lyrical, minimalist style of writing, with no quotation marks throughout the book. The book is written in first person from Saba’s point of view and the lack of quotations marks is very easy to get adjusted to. The book is full of violent action and an epic love story.

Saba and her twin brother Lugh have spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland subjected to constant sandstorms. Along with the twins are a younger sister, Emmi, and their father. A tsunami sandstorm arrives in Silverlake along with four cloaked horsemen. Their father was killed in the raid and Lugh was captured for, as yet unknown reason.

Saba sets out on an epic quest to get him back. After leaving Emmi with a friend three days ride from their home, Saba must backtrack and then head out alone on her quest. She is introduced to the unpleasantness of the desolate world outside of Silverlake.

We know that Saba is strong in the beginning of the book, but she is always in the shadow of her brother. The twins have an unusually strong bond, which gives Saba the strength to go rescue her brother. Saba is stubborn and hard headed, making her the quintessence heroine in this series of books. She faces everything head-on with the same strength and stubbornness, but she learns and grows because of the other people she meets along her journey.

It goes without saying that Saba is an unbeatable survivor, a ferocious fighter and had the power to take down a corrupt society trying to rule what is left of the world. She teams up with a daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl rebels called the Free Hawks, in order to help change the course of her own civilization.

I will give no spoilers to the end of this book because it is much too good not to read yourself. At 450 pages, this book is the first in the Dustlands series and I think it will keep young adults – and even adults like me – eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

Monday, August 1, 2011

UFO: Unidentified Feathered Object

UFO: Unidentified Feathered Object
Marie Mitchell and Mason Smith
Ryan Lanigan (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: The Clark Group
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983263930
ISBN-13: 978-0983263937

Product Description:
Tim Dixon wants to be home playing video games like most teens. Instead, he's paddling a boat, through the swamp, at night, searching for a bird that's been extinct for years. Tim's cousin, Abby, insists they prove that a Cape May Woodpecker is still alive, and living in their small Kentucky county. Felix Wilson recently spotted the distinctive bird-right where a road is to be built. But Felix has also witnessed UFOs: the flying saucer kind. Still, the publicity has attracted a shady businessman, bizarre birdwatchers, and a whacky weatherman, not to mention a scary Bog Monster-and aliens. Surrounded by such chaos, can the cousins locate the cagey bird before bulldozers level its home?

I think the concept for this book makes it a fun read, but also educational. Children will enjoy reading or hearing about the Cape May bird, but it will make them think about the extinction of animals in their own areas.

Tim Dixon and his cousin, Abby Thomas, have lived next-door to each other all their lives. Their mothers were sisters and they didn’t want to be split up, so Tim and Abby grew up more like brother and sister instead of cousins, especially being the same age.

Felix Wilson an amateur bird watcher, but the town people think he is crazy because he believes in UFO – like in alien - outer space life. Felix comes back from a boating adventure in the Slough yelling about his sighting of the Cap May Woodpecker. The problem with this statement was the Cape May had been extinct since 1937, but that didn’t stop hundreds of bird watchers from running to Buckner County, Kentucky. All these birders had one thing in common – adding the Cape May Woodpecker to their live-list of birds seen and identified.

The Cape May Woodpecker is a very large woodpecker with a red topknot, nearly all white wings, black tail feathers and a long black bill. Before extinction it was considered the largest woodpecker at 20 inches long. It has a distinct call – kik-kik-kik-kik. In order to confirm the sighting, Dr. Goldie Finch, the State Ornithologist (bird expert) is sent to Buckner County, but unfortunately she cannot confirm the presence of the Cap May with only one sighting from an unstable man.

The race is on to find evidence of the Cap May before a road is built through the Slough, completely destroying the bird’s habitat. It all comes down the Tim and Abby’s grandmother, who has suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for one year. She was an avid sketcher and would sketch anything in sight. The children find a sketch of the Cap May and shorthand notes describing what the grandmother saw.
Will this be enough to halt construction on the road? Or will the supposedly extinct Cape May be lost again, never to come back?

UFO – Unidentified Feathered Object is a fast read and very educational when it comes to teaching extinction to middle school students. I will be anxious to read the next book in the series and I plan on finding the first books of the series. According to the authors: "This is the newest book in the series. Teachers will find the "green" aspects of the book provide many teaching moments. The book discusses loss of wetland habitat, species loss and extinction, and some of the techniques of birding."

Info about authors:
"Marie Mitchell of Richmond, Kentucky, has two series of books available for young readers of middle school age. The first series currently has three books: "The Lost Dispatch" about a Civil War re-enactment in Perryville, KY; "48 Hours," about a family that takes part in the national "48-Hour Film Project," and finally, "UFO: Unidentified Feathered Object," about a long-extinct bird spotted in Kentucky. These were written with her husband, Mason Smith. The second series both are historical novels for young readers set at the Shaker Village in Kentucky in the 1830s, "The Road to Pleasant Hill," and "'Tis A Gift." These were written with her sister Rebecca Mitchell Turney."