Monday, September 30, 2019

new from above/ground press: G U E S T [a journal of guest editors] #6, edited by Sarah Mangold

edited by Sarah Mangold

the sixth issue features new work by:

Rae Armantrout
Jeannine Hall Gailey
Stefania Heim
Anna Maria Hong
Carrie Hunter
Michael Leong
erica lewis
Melanie Noel
Bronka Nowicka
Meredith Stricker
Katarzyna Szuster
Mark Tardi
Elizabeth Clark Wessel
Angela Veronica Wong

5 + postage / + $1 for Canadian orders; + $2 for US; + $6 outside of North America

Canadian/American/International rates (including shipping

Author biographies:

Rae Armantrout’s most recent books, Versed, Money Shot, Just Saying, Itself, Partly: New and Selected Poems, Entanglements, (a chapbook selection of poems in conversation with physics), and Wobble were published by Wesleyan University Press. Wobble, a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award, was selected by Library Journal as one of the seven best poetry books of 2018. In 2010 her book Versed won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and The National Book Critics Circle Award. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies and journals including Poetry, Conjunctions, Lana Turner, The Nation, The New Yorker, Bomb, Harper’s, The Paris Review, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology, The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine, etc.   She is recently retired from UC San Diego where she was professor of poetry and poetics. She lives in the Seattle area.

Jeannine Hall Gailey served as the second Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington. She's the author of five books of poetry: Becoming the VillainessShe Returns to the Floating WorldUnexplained FeversThe Robot Scientist’s Daughter, and Field Guide to the End of the World, winner of the Moon City Press Book Prize and the SFPA's Elgin Award. Her work appeared in journals such as American Poetry ReviewNotre Dame Review and Prairie Schooner. Her web site is Twitter and Instagram: @webbish6.

Stefania Heim is author of the poetry collections HOUR BOOK (Ahsahta Press, 2019) and A Table That Goes On for Miles (Switchback Books, 2014). The recipient of a 2019 NEA Translation Fellowship, her book of translations of metaphysical artist Giorgio de Chirico's Italian poems, Geometry of Shadows, is forthcoming with A Public Space Books. She teaches at Western Washington University.

Anna Maria Hong is the author of the novella H & G (Sidebrow Books), winner of the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Clarissa Dalloway Prize, and Age of Glass, winner of Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s First Book Poetry Competition and the Poetry Society of America’s 2019 Norma Farber First Book Award. Her second poetry collection, Fablesque, won Tupelo Press’s Berkshire Prize and is forthcoming in June 2020. A former Bunting Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, she has published work in The Nation, The Iowa Review, Ecotone, amberflora, jubilat, Fence, New Delta Review, Jet Fuel Review, Jacket2, American Book Review, Poetry Daily, The Best American Poetry, and many other publications.

Carrie Hunter received her MFA/MA in the Poetics program at New College of California, is on the editorial board of Black Radish Books, and edited the chapbook press, ypolita press, for 11 years. She has two books out with Black Radish Books, The Incompossible and Orphan Machines, and has published around 15 chapbooks, the most recent, Series out of Sequence, from above/ground press. Her third full length book, Vibratory Milieu, is forthcoming from Nightboat Books in 2020. She lives in San Francisco and teaches ESL.

Michael Leong teaches in the School of Critical Studies at CalArts. His most recent books are Who Unfolded My Origami Brain? (Fence Digital, 2017) and Words on Edge (Black Square Editions, 2018).

erica lewis lives in San Francisco. In addition to mary wants to be a superwoman, her books include the precipice of jupitercamera obscura (both collaborations with artist Mark Stephen Finein), murmur in the inventorydaryl hall is my boyfriend, and mary wants to be a superwoman. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Melanie Noel is the author of The Monarchs (Stockport Flats, 2013) and a Ringing (Goodmorning Menagerie, 2019). Her poems have also appeared in THERMOS, Weekday, La Norda Especialo, Seattle Review of Books, and The Arcadia Project.

Bronka Nowicka is a Polish theatre and TV director, screenwriter, poet and interdisciplinary artist. She is a graduate of the National Film School in Lodz, Poland, and the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts. Her literary debut, Nakarmic kamien [To Feed the Stone] was awarded the 2016 Nike Literary Award and the Zloty Srodek Poezji Award [“Golden Mean of Poetry”]. In 2017, she was a laureate of the New Voices from Europe project. The English-language debut of To Feed The Stone is forthcoming from Dalkey Archive Press in 2020.

Meredith Stricker is a visual artist and poet working in cross-genre media. She is the author of Our Animal, Omnidawn Open Book Prize; Tenderness Shore which received the National Poetry Series Award; Alphabet Theater, mixed-media performance poetry from Wesleyan University Press; Mistake, Caketrain Chapbook Award and anemochore selected for the Gloria Anzaldúa chapbook prize, Newfound Press. She was short-listed for the Four Quartets Prize from the Poetry Society of America and the T.S. Eliot Foundation for anemochore. Her work will appear in the 2019 Best American Experimental Writing anthology from Wesleyan. She co-directs visual poetry studio, a collaborative that focuses on architecture in Big Sur, California and projects to bring together artists, writers, musicians and experimental forms.

Katarzyna Szuster earned her MA in English studies from the University of Lodz, Poland and was a lecturer at the Department of Foreign Languages, University of Nizwa in Oman. She has translated various Polish poets into English, such as Miron Białoszewski, Justyna Bargielska, and Bronka Nowicka. Her translations have been published in Aufgabe, Free Over Blood, Moria, Biweekly, Words without Borders, diode, Toad Press and Tripwire. Her translation of Bronka Nowicka’s To Feed The Stone is forthcoming from Dalkey Archive Press in 2020.

Mark Tardi is originally from Chicago and earned his MFA from Brown University. His publications include the books The Circus of Trust, Airport music, and Euclid Shudders. He has guest-curated a selection of contemporary Polish poetry for the international journals Aufgabe and Berlin Quarterly, and recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Notre Dame Review, The Continental Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, Jet Fuel Review, textsound and Tammy. He has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, Millay Colony for the Arts, the Djerassi Foundation, and Brown University. A former Fulbright scholar, he now lives with his family and two dogs in a village in central Poland and is on faculty at the University of Łódź.

Elizabeth Clark Wessel is the author of four chapbooks of poetry, a founding editor at Argos Book, and the translator of numerous novels from the Swedish, including most recently What We Owe by Golnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde. Originally from rural Nebraska, she spent many years living in New York and Connecticut, and these days calls Stockholm, Sweden home. She has translated a chapbook of poems called Seeking an Older, Well-Educated Gentleman by Kristina Lugn that is forthcoming from Bloof in 2019.

Angela Veronica Wong is a writer, artist, and educator living in New York City. She is the author of Elsa: An Unauthorized Autobiography (Black Radish Books, 2017), the full-length How to Survive a Hotel Fire (Coconut Books) and the chapbook Dear Johnny, In Your Last Letter, a winner of the Poetry Society of America New York Fellowship. Her poetry has been anthologized in The Best American Poetry (with Amy Lawless) and Please Excuse This Poem.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Fucking Poetry : guest edited by rob mclennan,

The British e-newsletter Fucking Poetry solicited me as a guest-editor recently, and I thought it would be interesting to include, as my issue, poems from five recent above/ground press titles: Natalie Lyalin's Short Cloud (2019), Alice Burdick's A Holiday for Molecules (2019), Jane Virginia Rohrer's Fake Floating (2019), Stuart Ross' 10 TINY POEMS (2019) and John Newlove's THE TASMANIAN DEVIL and other poems: Twentieth Anniversary Edition (2019). You can find a web version of the issue here, with the five poems, as well as an excerpt of my needlessly-long introduction, which I include in full, below (why would you include that? ugh):

Given my chapbook press, above/ground press, recently celebrated twenty-six years, I thought it would be interesting to select five poems from titles that have appeared with the press throughout this year. This was tricky, given I’ve already produced some three dozen titles or more since January. For the length and breadth of the press, it has run entirely around my enthusiasms as a reader, with new titles appearing as often as my energies and cash-flow might allow. I produce works that excite me, so I can then distribute them to others, in the hopes that they, too, will become excited.

2018, the press’ twenty-fifth year, saw the publication of sixty-seven chapbooks, as well as four issues of the quarterly Touch the Donkey [a small poetry journal], an issue of The Peter F. Yacht Club, and the debut issue of G U E S T [a journal of guest editors] (a new issue of which appears every two months), as well as further bits of ephemera. With the press some three dozen titles away from an accumulated one thousand titles, I would offer that my enthusiasms are more than most, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to produce numerous first chapbooks by now well-known writers, as well as new publications by an array of established poets, with half the titles any given year by Canadian authors, and the remaining by American authors (with the occasional further-flung poet appearing as well).

In 2019, alone, I’ve felt incredibly fortunate to be able to produce chapbooks by poets such as Natalie Lyalin, Zane Koss, Michael Dennis, Jane Virginia Rohrer, Pearl Pirie, Stuart Ross, Marilyn Irwin, Conyer Clayton, Michael Sikkema, Julia Polyck-O'Neill, Gary Barwin, Kate Siklosi, Mairéad Byrne, Kimberly Campanello, Stephen Cain, Kyle Kinaschuk, Paul Perry, Gregory Betts, Gil McElroy, Renée Sarojini Saklikar, Stephanie Gray, Billy Mavreas, Alice Burdick, Heather Sweeney, Franco Cortese, Dale Smith, Virginia Konchan and Laura Farina, with forthcoming titles soon by John Newlove, Jessica Smith, Ben Robinson, N.W. Lea, Lydia Unsworth, Allyson Paty, Guy Birchard, Simina Banu, Hawad (trans. Jake Syersak), Susanne Dyckman, Dennis Cooley, Ben Meyerson, Isabel Sobral Campos, Mary Kasimor, Amanda Earl and Andrew K Peterson.

There is an incredible amount of great writing that exists out there in the world. Is it any wonder I’m enthused?

Thursday, September 26, 2019

new from above/ground press: and so, a vineyard, by Andrew K. Peterson

and so, a vineyard
Andrew K. Peterson

Brighton Nights
For Joanne Kyger

my mother is a screaming beatles girl
aunt gail’s for the rougher stones
cedar    eucalyptus
                soy     wax     amber
& cold toned clovers, crimson 
and still i go    still getting down to
the thirties overnight     better
throw another blanket on       thin
city tree keeps hinting at a renaissance
sunflower rosemary beeswax to my lips

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
September 2019
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Andrew K. Peterson
is the author of three full-length poetry books, most recently Anonymous Bouquet (Spuyten Duyvil, 2015). His 2017 chapbook The Big Game Is Every Night was mailed to the White House alongside other publications from Moria Books’ politically-based Locofo Chaps series. His chap bonjour meriwether and the rabid maps (Fact-Simile, 2011) was featured in an exhibition on poets’ maps at the Univ. of Arizona’s Poetry Center. Anthologies: Emergency Index (Ugly Duckling Presse); The Earth Archive at RISD Museum (curated by Danielle Vogel); and 4000 WORDS 4000 DEAD, a collaborative performance project (curated by Jennifer Karmin, released by Sona Press). He co-founded and edits the lit journal summer stock, and lives in Boston.

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at at rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Ian McCulloch (April 18, 1957 – September 23, 2019)

Sad news just now from Gil McElroy, that poet Ian McCulloch has died, very suddenly. He was not only a poet I admired, but we had been talking for over a year about producing chapbooks, and even recently finalized the manuscripts for what would be two titles through above/ground press, the first mere days away from heading to the printer (his last email to me was on Friday, when he sent an updated author biography, and saying he'd be out of reach for the week, given they were going camping).

Gil sent along this short obituary:
We are heartbroken to announce that IAN PHILIP MCCULLOCH, husband, father, brother, son and dear friend to many, has Passed into Mystery, suddenly, at age sixty-two, while camping in Algonquin Park. Ian was a quiet but vital presence in the North Bay cultural community, being a founding member of the “Conspiracy of 3,” now in its thirty-first  year. He was the author of three books of poetry—The Moon of Hunger (1982), The Efficiency of Killers (1988) and Parables and Rain (1993)—and one novel, Childforever (1996). He was also the proud parents of Matthew (Skyler), Elena and Bobbie-Ann. Ian loved nature, canoeing, camping, hiking, reading, writing, music and the sport of Ringette. As well as his children, he leaves behind his “True Companion,” Laurie Kruk-McCulloch, writer and professor. A Celebration of Ian’s Life is planned for Sunday September 29th, 1-4 at Club 183 (183 First Avenue West, North Bay). Memories, stories and poems are encouraged. Donations to the Heart and Stroke Fund, or World Wildlife Fund, Canada, are welcomed by the family. “Keep Me in Your Heart for a While”—Warren Zevon 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

“poem” broadside #348 : “Four poems for Word on the Street” by rob mclennan


A Sunday morning at Harbourfront Centre
in September. An atmosphere

at a glance: these fruit

the size of demons. Book bins, booths
and gift bags. Costumed, Clifford

the Big Red Dog reduced
to Clifford

the Man-Sized Dog. Out of this wildness,
an urban discourse, burghal;

abundant, and strangely benevolent.


Canadian casual, based
on systematic practice: authors, authors,

publicists, booksellers. The inquisition
of our limits.

Our northern backdrop: sailboats breeze,
and airplanes alternately lower, rise

from man-made islands, stenciled across
a bickering of contrails.


Harbourfront Centre: an organization
three days older

than my eldest daughter. Now,
these literary market stalls, steeped

on decades

of deliberate fill. The foot
of Lower Simcoe

extending three or four blocks
from original shoreline, lands

that long housed

industrial patter, planning, port.
Today, the printed word

on paper: a human object as obscure
as shadow play, or silver stain

on medieval glass.


You are the universe, pretending

to be a great lake   ; a calm

of blizzard blue, cerulean,

across this glacial basin.

Four poems for Word on the Street
by rob mclennan
above/ground press broadside #348

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa, where he is home full-time with the two wee girls he shares with Christine McNair. The author of more than thirty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, his most recent poetry titles include A halt, which is empty (Mansfield Press, 2019) and Life sentence, (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019). An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, seventeen seconds: a journal of poetry and poetics (, Touch the Donkey ( and the Ottawa poetry pdf annual ottawater ( He is “Interviews Editor” at Queen Mob’s Teahouse, editor of my (small press) writing day, and an editor/managing editor of many gendered mothers. He egularly posts reviews, essays, interviews and other notices at