Category Archives: Active Blog Tours

Out of No Way by Rojé Augustin (Jan. – April 2022)

Join us for our Winter/Spring tour for Rojé Augustin’s Out of No Way: Madam C.J. Walker & A’Lelia Walker, a poetic drama published in May 2020.

Author, producer and emerging poet Rojé Augustin has written a groundbreaking debut collection of dramatic poems about hair care entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker and her daughter A’Lelia Walker. Out of No Way: Madam C.J. Walker & A’Lelia Walker, A Poetic Dramatracks Walker’s phenomenal rise from penniless orphan to America’s first self-made female millionaire in dramatic verse.

Born Sarah Breedlove to former Louisiana slaves in 1867, Madam C.J. Walker was orphaned at seven, married at 14, became a mother at 17, and was widowed at 20. After the death of her first husband, Sarah moved to St. Louis with her daughter where she earned $1.50 a day as a washerwoman. When her hair starting falling out she developed a remedy and sold her formula across the country. In the process she became the wealthiest Negro woman in America. Rojé’s highly original and accomplished poetry is written through the lens of the mother/daughter relationship via different poetic forms — from lyric poems to haikus, blackout poetry to narrative (one poem takes its inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’) — with each chapter addressing issues relevant to their lives at the time.

Written against the backdrop of the Jim Crow era, Out of No Way is ultimately an examination of what W.E.B Du Bois called “conflicting identities.” Sarah was a proud African American on the one hand and a woman seeking America’s acceptance on the other. She was a pauper who achieved the American Dream while denied the rights and protections of the American Constitution. She was a wife, mother, and businesswoman who juggled the demands of family with the demands of career. And she was an orphan who had to transcend a brutal childhood in order to be a loving mother to her child. As Du Bois stated at the time, “One ever feels a two-ness. An American, A Negro…Two warring ideals in one dark body.” Indeed Madam C.J. Walker/Sarah Breedlove was an American and a Negro, as was her daughter, A’Lelia Walker, both of whom likely viewed herself through their own conflicting identities. What did they see?

Out of No Way tells Walker’s remarkable rags-to-riches story by exploring thoughtful questions — What impact did Sarah’s busy work life have on A’Lelia? What was the bond between a mother orphaned so young and the daughter who might wait days or weeks for her return? Could the death of her parents when she was a child have compromised Sarah’s nurturing instincts? How did A’Lelia feel about their newfound wealth? What, if any, were the drawbacks of that wealth?

Check out this video reading of “Why Our Hair Is Not Straight” from the book:

Check out this video reading of “Elegy for my Mother”:

Video Reading of “The Lost Letters”:

“Graves & Thrones” video reading:

3 PSX Red Trench cropped patissier xtra surreal plus 002 film hi resAbout the Author:

Rojé Augustin is a native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her first novel, The Unraveling of Bebe Jones, won the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award in African American fiction. She wrote the novel while living in London and Sydney as a stay-at-home-mom. She established Breaknight Films shortly after her move to Sydney in 2009 to develop and produce television projects across a range of formats, including television, web, and audio. Her first Sydney based project was a podcast and visual web series called The Right Space, which explores the relationship between creatives and their workspace. Rojé continues to work as a television producer while also writing in her spare time. She is an Australian citizen who currently lives in Sydney with her Aussie husband and two daughters.

Add to GoodReads:

Out of No Way

Available on Amazon.

Blog Tour Schedule:

Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #OutofNoWay #MadamC.J.Walker #RojeAugustin

Passiflora by Kathy Davis (Spring 2021)

passifloraJoin us for our spring blog tour for Kathy Davis’s Passiflora, winner of the 2019 Cider Press Review Book Award and published by Cider Press Review in January 2021.

Advance Praise:

“In this gorgeous debut collection, Kathy Davis announces, ‘I’ve no illusions of control’—yet even as this book celebrates profusion, it manifests aesthetic control, unsentimental intelligence, and tightly leashed feeling. In fields of fleabane and wiregrass, women are taught to suppress their own wildness but burst out anyway in appetite and laughter. Cancer grows inside, jasmine tangles outside, yet this ecopoetic book cultivates restoration and consolation. Reading it is to imagine healing.” —Lesley Wheeler, author of The State She’s In

“Kathy Davis’ poems may begin in the domestic, but almost invariably end in a place that is startling, unfamiliar, and quietly estranging. And, thanks to the exactitude of her style, these transformations never seem less than inevitable. Hers is a voice of unobtrusive confidence, whether she is fashioning wry character studies or stern self-reckonings. These are haunting, bittersweet, and slyly consoling poems. Passiflora is a debut collection of the very first order.” —David Wojahn, author of for the scribe, World Tree and Interrogation Palace

“Intelligence, in its best meanings. The radiant presence of an informed and informing sensibility. An authentic voice with plenty of attitude. We hunger for these characteristics in our engagements with all the arts and hope for nothing less in what we’re willing to call poetry. In Passiflora we encounter the attentive eye of a passionate naturalist in poems that bring light and color—along with ironies and pain—into realizations of human lives reflected and rooted in the eruptions of wild life: the seeds, plants, animals, and landscapes that are the foundations of survival and the potent wellsprings of wisdom and joy. Kathy Davis weaves the most sophisticated, intimate variety of braided poem, as in the consummately crafted ‘For My Son’s Birth Mother,’ an invitation to the vivid observations of a woman walking through a San Diego art exhibit in a poem that subtly yet poignantly reveals the inescapable undercurrent in her thoughts—the intensities of caring for an adopted child. Davis brings to her revelations a kind of taste and judgment that is not about regulation or limitation, but about courage and respect. In these devotional poems, the erotics of the human body are intertwined with the perfumes of flowers and healing herbs in a collection whose every page brings an awakening, an expansion of experience, acutely satisfying a yearning of which we had been unaware.” —Gregory Donovan, author of Torn from the Sun and Founding Editor, Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts.

kathy davisAbout the Author:

Kathy Davis is a poet and nonfiction writer from Richmond, VA. She is also the author of the chapbook Holding for the Farrier (Finishing Line Press). Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Barrow Street, Blackbird, The Hudson Review, Nashville Review, Oxford American, The Southern Review, storySouth and other journals. Davis holds a BA and MBA from Vanderbilt University and an MFA in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and been a finalist for Best of the Net and the Conger Beasley Jr. Award for Nonfiction.

Add to GoodReads:

Passiflora

Available at Cider Press Review and Amazon.

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 1: The Book Lover’s Boudoir (Review)

April 5: Emzi.reads (Review)

April 6: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)

April 12: Musings of a Bookish Kitty (Review)

April 20: Review Tales by Jeyran Main (Interview)

April 26: Impressions in Ink (Review)

April 28: Suko’s Notebook (Guest Post)

May 3: Anthony Avina’s blog (Guest Post)

May 5: Jorie Loves A Story (Interview)

May 10: Anthony Avina’s blog (Review)

May 11: The Book Connection (Review)

Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #Passiflora #KathyDavis @CiderPressRev @KathyDavispoet

Who’s Your Daddy by Arisa White (Oct.-April 2021)

Join us for our Fall 2020-Spring 2021 blog tour for Arisa White’s Who’s Your Daddy, a poetic memoir published in March 2021.

Arisa White - Cover w borderA lyrical, genre-bending coming-of-age tale featuring a queer, Black, Guyanese American woman who, while seeking to define her own place in the world, negotiates an estranged relationship with her father.

Advance Praise:

“Arisa White channels the ear of Zora Neal Hurston, the tongue of Toni Cade Bambara, and the eye of Alice Walker in the wondrous Who’s Your Daddy. She channels Guyanese proverbs, Shango dreams, games of hide and seek, and memories of an absentee father to shape the spiritual condition. What she makes is “a maze that bobs and weaves a new style whenever there’s a demand to love.” What she gives us are archives, allegories, and wholly new songs.” —Terrance Hayes

“In these crisply narrative poems, which unreel like heart-wrenching
fragments of film, Arisa White not only names that gaping chasm between
father and daughter, but graces it with its true and terrible face. Every
little colored girl who has craved the constant of her father’s gaze will
recognize this quest, which the poet undertakes with lyric that is tender
and unerring.” —Patricia Smith

“Somewhere nearing its end, Arisa White says of Who’s Your Daddy, it’s
“a portrait of absence and presence, a story, a tale, told in patchwork
fashion . . .” This exactly says what Who’s Your Daddy is, though it
doesn’t say all it takes to do justice to the mythic paradox an absent
parent guarantees a child, young or grown, or what it takes to live with
and undergo such birthright. There’s not only a father’s absence and
presence, there’s a mother who says “you raise your daughters, and love
your sons,” there are stepfathers, uncles, aunts, cousins, a grandmother,
brothers, lovers, all of whom leave their marks and give and take love.
Surrounding the whole book hovers the questions do I forgive him, and is
forgiveness possible? This beautifully, honestly conceived genius of a book
shook me to the core.” —Dara Wier

Listen to Arisa read from Who’s Your Daddy:

Arisa White-Small photo by Nye Lyn ThoAbout the Author:

Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow and an assistant professor of creative writing at Colby College. She is the author of four books, including the poetry collection You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, and coauthor of Biddy Mason Speaks Up, winner of the Maine Literary Book Award for Young People’s Literature and the Nautilus Book Award Gold Medal for Middle-Grade Nonfiction. She serves on the board of directors for Foglifter and Nomadic Press. Find her at arisawhite.com. Photo Credit: Nye’ Lyn Tho

Add to GoodReads:

Who's Your Daddy

Pre-Orders Available at Augury Books and Amazon.

Blog Tour Schedule:

Oct. 12: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)

Oct. 21: Review Tales by Jeyran Main (Review)

Nov. 20: CelticLady’s Reviews (Interview)

Nov. 23: Unconventional Quirky Bibliophile (Review)

Jan. 19: Allonge and emzi_reads (Review)

Feb. 23: Luanne Castle’s Writer Site (Review)

March 18: The Coffee and a Book Chick (Review)

March 25: Anthony Avina Blog (Guest Post)

March 25: Anthony Avina Blog (Review)

April 21: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)

April 27: True Book Addict (Review)

TBD: Everything Distils Into Reading (Review)

Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #WhosYourDaddyMemoir #ArisaWhite

Phoenix: Transformation Poems by Jessica Goody (Spring 2019)

Jessica Goody Phoenix CoverJoin us for our Spring 2019 tour of Jessica Goody’s poetry collection, Phoenix: Transformation Poems, published by CW Books in March 2019.

The sideways glance, the quick turn of the head, the sudden look up: these provide Jessica Goody’s angle of vision into the fleeting experience of the world that is captured and rendered in her lines. Phoenix: Transformation Poems consists of 70 poems, a mixture of free verse, sonnets, and haiku. They cover a wide variety of subject matter, but the main theme is transformation–the triumph over pain and trauma and the resilience of the human spirit.

Advance praise:

“Through language and emotion, Phoenix: Transformation Poems connects the soul of the poet to the soul of the reader and takes it on a wondrous journey through the rich intricacies of the mind and heart. Jessica Goody paints with a brilliant palette of words that fills the senses and emotions with vibrant images of her special universe of joy, pain, love, mystery, and fulfillment. Phoenix is a rich triumph and marks its author, once again, as an artist whose work should be followed closely by those interested in the forces shaping the future of American poetry.” -Harvey Trabb, co-author of September 19

Jessica Goody Author PortraitAbout the Poet:

Jessica Goody is the award-winning author of Defense Mechanisms: Poems on Life, Love, and Loss (Phosphene Publishing, 2016) and Phoenix: Transformation Poems (CW Books, 2019). Goody’s writing has appeared in over three dozen publications, including The Wallace Stevens Journal, Reader’s Digest, Event Horizon, The Seventh Wave, Third Wednesday, The MacGuffin, Harbinger Asylum and The Maine Review. Jessica is a columnist for SunSations Magazine and the winner of the 2016 Magnets and Ladders Poetry Prize. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Add to GoodReads:

Buy on Amazon.

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 19: The Bookworm (Guest Post)
April 23: The Book Lover’s Boudoir (Review)
April 24: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
April 29: The Book Connection (Review)
April 30: Peeking Between the Pages (Review)
May 11: Celtic Lady’s Reviews (Guest Post)
May 15: Book Dilettante (Review)
June 30: Rose City Reader (Review)

Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #PhoenixTransformation #JessicaGoody

Insomniatic by Valerie Fox (Spring 2018)

FoxInsomniaticCoverOur latest spring 2018 tour is for Insomniatic by Valerie Fox, published by PS Books in October 2017.

Insomniatic is the newest poetry chapbook from Valerie Fox, author of The Roschach Factory and The Glass Book. These poems haunt and question, dream and wander, asking the reader to question what is a dream state and what does it mean to be awake.

“Insomniatic” (poems) asks the question: Who are we when we dream?

ValerieFoxPhoto copyAbout the Poet:

Valerie Fox’s books of poetry include The Rorschach Factory (2006, Straw Gate Books) and The Glass Book (2010, Texture Press). She co-wrote Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets with Lynn Levin. Bundles of Letters Including A, V and Epsilon (2011, Texture Press) is a collaborative book with Arlene Ang. “Scarecrow Lists of Failures and Grocery Items” (a collaboration with Ang) may be found here, at Thrush.

Her work has appeared in many journals, including Thrush, Painted Bride Quarterly, Hanging Loose, Apiary, West Branch, Sentence, and Qarrtsiluni. Originally from central Pennsylvania, she has traveled and lived throughout the world, and has taught writing and literature at numerous universities including Sophia University (in Tokyo) and currently at Drexel University (in Philadelphia).

Add to GoodReads:

Insomniatic

Available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-Ups Are Closed.

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 27: The Soapy Violinist (Review)
April 30: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
May 4: Mia Sutton (Review)
May 7: Wall-to-Wall Books (Review)
May 15: Readaholic Zone (Review)
May 17: Impressions in Ink (Review)
May 24: True Book Addict (Review)
May 26: Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews (Review)

Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #Insomniatic and #ValerieFox

Kinship of Clover by Ellen Meeropol (April 2017)

Our latest tour this April will be for Kinship of Clover by Ellen Meeropol, published by Red Hen Press in April 2017.

kinshipcloverHe was nine when the vines first wrapped themselves around him and burrowed into his skin. Now a college botany major, Jeremy is desperately looking for a way to listen to the plants and stave off their extinction. But when the grip of the vines becomes too intense and Health Services starts asking questions, he flees to Brooklyn, where fate puts him face to face with a group of climate-justice activists who assure him they have a plan to save the planet, and his plants.

As the group readies itself to make a big Earth Day splash, Jeremy soon realizes these eco-terrorists devotion to activism might have him and those closest to him tangled up in more trouble than he was prepared to face. With the help of a determined, differently abled flame from his childhood, Zoe; her deteriorating, once rabble-rousing grandmother; and some shocking and illuminating revelations from the past, Jeremy must weigh completing his mission to save the plants against protecting the ones he loves, and confront the most critical question of all: how do you stay true to the people you care about while trying to change the world?

Advance Praise:

“Ellen Meeropol has an uncanny knack for examining the big topics of our contemporary world and putting a human face on them. In Kinship of Clover, she does this with intelligence and a big generous heart. An important book by a unique writer, it’s a must read.” —Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle

“Midway through this wonderful novel, you will find a woman dancing in her wheelchair. That scene is one of many memorable moments in a story about young people organizing for a sustainable future, even as their once-radical elders try to hold on to a gradually disappearing past. This is a book about time and love, politics and family, and it is sharply observant and deeply compassionate.” —Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love

“Ellen Meeropol brings her keen political sense and psychological understanding to this story of family secrets and family trauma. Kinship of Clover is compelling and the characters stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.” —Nancy Felton, co-owner, Broadside Bookshop (Northampton, MA)

About the Author:

Ellen Meeropol is fascinated by characters on the fault lines of political upheaval. Previous work includes a dramatic script telling the story of the Rosenberg Fund for Children which has been produced in four U.S cities, most recently in Boston. Elli is the wife of Robert Meeropol, youngest son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Elli is a former nurse and independent bookstore event coordinator and the author of two previous novels, House Arrest and On Hurricane Island. She is a founding member of Straw Dog Writers Guild. Short fiction and essays have appeared in Bridges, DoveTales, Pedestal, Rumpus, Portland Magazine, and the Writer’s Chronicle.  Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads.

Add to GoodReads:

Kinship of Clover

Available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-ups Are Closed.

Tour Schedule:

April 3: CelticLady’s Reviews (Spotlight)
April 4: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
April 6: Lovely Bookshelf (Review)
April 7: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen (Guest Post)
April 7: Samw00w (Review)
April 13: Angel M. B. Chadwick (Interview)
April 18: Bookfan (Guest Post)
April 18: The Book Connection (Interview)
April 20: A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
April 21: Book-ilicious (Review)
April 26: Readaholic Zone (Review)
May 4: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
May 23: True Book Addict (Review)
TBD: Sportochick’s Musings (Review)
TBD: Everything Distils Into Reading (Review)

Follow the blog tour with hashtag #KinshipofClover