Blog Archives

Writing for Bliss by Diana Raab (Fall 2018)

Our latest tour this fall 2017 is for Writing for Bliss by Diana Raab, published by Loving Healing Press in September 2017.

writing4blissA personal narrative can truly have healing and transformative powers. In her inspirational new book, Writing for Bliss, Diana Raab, Ph.D., examines how life-changing experiences can inspire you to write a compelling narrative of your life. A how-to guide for anyone interested in growth and personal transformation, Writing for Bliss will take you on a unique journey of self-discovery, and guide you to your own personal bliss.

Geared for the emerging writer, the seasoned writer, and those in academia, this book leads spiritual seekers down the path of self-discovery through writing prompts, tools for journaling, and embodied and reflective writing techniques; and offers ways to find the best vehicle for profound self-expression.

Those who can benefit from writing a life narrative may have been exposed to early-life trauma, loss, or addiction. Writing your story is a way to reclaim your voice, reveal a family secret, or simply share your story with others. Journaling is a cathartic and safe way to work through your feelings and “direct your rage to the page.”

With the help of this indispensible guide to therapeutic writing, you’ll understand yourself better and be able to deal with various challenges in your life, such as depression, anxiety, addiction, loss of loved ones, diseases, and life transitions.

Offering step-by- step practical exercises for journaling your thoughts, emotions, and memories, along with techniques to jump-start your writing, Writing for Bliss will help you achieve the therapeutic results of writing for healing, and provides essential information for using this technique to transform your life in a meaningful way.

Advance Praise:

“Poet and memoirist Raab (Lust) credits her lifelong love of writing and its therapeutic effects with inspiring her to write this thoughtful and detailed primer that targets pretty much anyone interested in writing a memoir. Most compelling here is Raab’s willingness to share her intimate stories (e.g., the loss of a relative, ongoing struggles with cancer, a difficult relationship with her mother). Her revelations are encouraging to writers who feel they need ‘permission to take… a voyage of self-discovery.’ The book’s seven-step plan includes plenty of guidance, including on learning to ‘read like a writer,’ on practicing mindfulness meditation, and on addressing readers as if ‘seated across the table from [your] best friend.’ Raab covers big topics such as the ‘art and power of storytelling’ and small details such as choosing pens and notebooks that you enjoy using. She also helps readers with the important step of ‘finding your form’” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Writing for Bliss brims with the truths of Raab’s life, as well as that of other established and beloved authors and philosophers. Writing for Bliss is far more than a “how-to-manual”; it enlightens the creative process with wisdom and a delightful sense of adventure.  Bravo to Bliss!’   —LINDA GRAY SEXTON, author of Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back To My Mother, Anne Sexton and Bespotted: My Family’s Love Affair With Thirty-Eight Dalmatians

DR-Headshot_600x600_300dpi-300x300About the Author:

Diana Raab, MFA, PhD, is a memoirist, poet, blogger, speaker, thought leader, and award-winning author of nine books and more than 1,000 articles and poems. She holds a PhD in psychology—with a concentration in transpersonal psychology—and her research focus is on the healing and transformative powers of personal writing. Her educational background also encompasses health administration, nursing, and creative writing.

During her 40-year career, Dr. Raab has published thousands of articles and poems and is the editor of two anthologies: Writers and Their Notebooks and Writers on the Edge. Her two memoirs are Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal and Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey. She has also written four collections of poetry, her latest collection is called, Lust. As an advocate of personal writing, Dr. Raab facilitates workshops in writing for transformation and empowerment, focusing on journaling, poetry, and memoir writing. She believes in the importance of writing to achieve wholeness and interconnectedness, which encourages the ability to unleash the true voice of your inner self. Dr. Raab serves on the board of Poets & Writers (Magazine Committee), and Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Santa Monica, California. She is also a Trustee at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Visit her on Twitter and on Facebook.

Add to GoodReads:

Writing for Bliss

Also available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-Ups Are Closed.

Tour Schedule:

Aug. 18: Modern Creative Life (Poem)
Sept. 5: Soapy Violinist (Review/Giveaway)
Sept. 5: Modern Creative Life (Guest Essay)
Sept. 15: Mia Sutton (Review)
Sept. 20: Diary of an Eccentric (Book Spotlight/Giveaway)
Oct. 3: Katherine & Books (Book Spotlight/Review)
Oct. 6: Life’s a Stage (Book Spotlight)
Oct. 10: The Reader’s Handbook (Review)
Oct. 13: Life’s a Stage (Review)

Follow the tour with the hashtag #WritingforBliss

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Kin Types by Luanne Castle (Fall 2017)

Our latest tour this fall is Kin Types by Luanne Castle, published by Finishing Line Press in July 2017.

Castle_Luanne_COVKin Types is based largely upon genealogy and a fascination with what comes to all of us from the past. A mix of poetry in the traditional sense and highly poetic prose pieces, the collection takes the reader on a journey into the lives of women and somewhat into the lives of men who must carry on alone once the women are gone. The journey of this collection is not a ramble into the past, but a slingshot into the here and now by way of these portrait tales.

Advance Praise:

Kin Types, where every piece, poem or prose, is a ghost –-but not the sort you can see through. You see, Castle’s ghosts have been resurrected through powerful emotion and startling detail, have been made suddenly solid and real again with a skill that brings to mind the work of Edgar Lee Masters. Herein we find all the heart and heartbreak of ordinary lives from the past finally valuated properly, given their own set of lines and stanzas, their own sentences and paragraphs, the attention and care of a gifted and sympathetic writer. Which is to say, you’re going to want to stick around for a while. Kin Types exists at the precise place where literature and history intersect to make something both beautiful and true.” –Justin Hamm, author of American Ephemeral, editor of the museum of americana

About the Poet:

Winner of the 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, Doll God, Luanne Castle‘s first collection of poetry, was published by Aldrich Press. Luanne’s poetry and prose have appeared in Grist, Copper Nickel, River Teeth, Glass Poetry Press, Barnstorm Journal, Six Hens, Lunch Ticket, The Review Review, and many other journals. Published by Finishing Line Press, Kin Types was a semi-finalist in the Concrete Wolf chapbook contest.

Luanne has been a Fellow at the Center for Ideas and Society at the University of California, Riverside. She studied English and creative writing at the University of California, Riverside (Ph.D.); Western Michigan University (MFA); and the Stanford University writing certificate program. Her scholarly work has been published in academic journals, and she contributed to Twice-Told Children’s Tales: The Influence of Childhood Reading on Writers for Adults, edited by Betty Greenway. For fifteen years, she taught college English. She divides her time between California and Arizona, where she shares land with a herd of javelina. Visit her website.

Add to GoodReads:

Kin Types

Available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-ups Are Closed.

Tour Schedule:

Sept. 12: Modern Creative Life (Typical Tuesday)
Sept. 26: Wall-to-Wall Books (Review)
Oct. 4: The Book Connection (Review)
Oct. 9: CelticLady’s Reviews (Book Spotlight)
Oct. 23: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
Oct. 27: Lost in Books (Review)
Nov. 6: Diary of an Eccentric (Review)
TBD: Jorie Loves A Story (Interview)
TBD: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
TBD: The Reader’s Handbook (Review)

Follow the tour with the hashtag #LuanneCastle.

Night Court by Erica Goss (Summer 2017)

NightCourtFinal2Our latest tour this summer 2017 is Night Court by Erica Goss, which was the winner of the 2016 Lyrebird Award and published by Glass Lyre Press in May 2017.

Advance Praise:

Night Court leaves us hungry for more of the poet’s open, probing, leaping intelligence, her ‘wild associations’ and surprises in the unexpected ‘shivering’ sweetness of a love story where ‘joy scrambles sadness.’ We hear ‘the clatter of souls entering bodies’ and experience ‘spring’s lizard stealth’ as sadness, longing and reluctance are transformed by breath-stopping beauty. Like a creature in the forest, the poet will ‘rub my cheek against the night.’ And she reminds us a prince waits, perhaps for centuries, until we wake.”
—Susan G. Wooldridge, author of poemcrazy: freeing your life with words

“’No more / mindless syrup blunting / raw edges, // no more disguising things / with bland counterparts.’ The poems in Night Court are often starkly rendered, tough yet sensitive. Deeply imaginative, the poems describe a feral world also experienced by children, a world of hungry ghosts, magic, beasts and violence. ‘There’s a crack at the edge / of the world where the dark // and comic leak through’ Goss takes us to this illuminating place.”
— Robert S. Pesich, President, Poetry Center San Jose

About the Poet:

Erica Goss is a poet and freelance writer. She served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, CA from 2013-2016. She is the author of Night Court, winner of the 2016 Lyrebird Award, Wild Place and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets. Recent work appears in Lake Effect, Atticus Review, Contrary, Eclectica, The Red Wheelbarrow, Main Street Rag, Pearl, Rattle, Wild Violet, and Comstock Review, among others. She is co-founder of Media Poetry Studio, a poetry-and-film camp for teen girls: . Please visit her website, Facebook page, LinkedIn, and Vimeo.

Available on Amazon.

Add to GoodReads:

Night Court

Tour Sign-ups Are Closed.

Tour Schedule:

July 25: Modern Creative Life (Typical Tuesday)
Aug. 2: Reading Writings (Book Spotlight)
Aug. 3: Reading Writings (Guest Post)
Aug. 15: Reading Writings (Review)
Aug. 16: The Book Connection (Interview)
Aug. 28: Modern Creative Life (Studio Tour)
Aug. 28: Diary of an Eccentric (Video Poem)
Aug. 29: True Book Addict (Review)
Aug. 30: Wall-to-Wall Books (Review)
Aug. 31: Reading Writings (Interview)
Sept. 6: Celticlady’s Reviews (Book Spotlight)
Sept. 9: The Paperback Princess (Book Spotlight)
Sept. 12 Readaholic Zone (Review)
Sept. 27: Lost in Books (Review)
TBD: Amy’s Bookish Life (Book Spotlight)

Follow the tour with the hashtag #EricaGoss

Poetry and Ponderings by Diamante Lavendar (Summer 2017)

PoetryLavendarOur latest tour this summer 2017 is Poetry and Ponderings: A Journey of Abuse and Healing Through Poetry by Diamante Lavendar published by Written Dreams Publishing in April 2017.

From Award-winning author of Breaking the Silence, Poetry and Ponderings: A Journey of Abuse and Healing Through Poetry by Diamante Lavendar

A Journey of Abuse and Healing Through Poetry

A raw collection of religious poetry and prose based on one Christian woman’s experiences of being abused, and how she healed herself with God’s love in order to move past the assaults.

In this rare collection of nonfiction Christian poetry and prose based on real life experiences, Diamante Lavendar, a victim of abuse, shows the reader the raw emotions of pain, hate, and denial that occur before a victim of abuse can find a way to heal from the pains of assault. Knowing herself the very difficult journey of being a victim, Diamante was abused as a child, and turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. Many years later, she started to heal under God’s watchful eyes and was able to find love in her life again. She shares these truly inspiring, religious poems in the hopes that it may help other victims heal their hurts, as she did while writing the poetry collection.

Advance Praise:

Poetry and Ponderings is the most loving and beautiful dedication to Diamante Lavendar’s daughter. Anybody who has gone through a grieving time needs to read this classic expression of love and devotion. I tip my hat to the author for this marvelous collection of wisdom, insight and truth.”
-Mel Novak, Actor, Best known for his role in Bruce Lee’s Game Of Death.

“Tragedy turned triumph. Poetry and Ponderings beautifully leads the reader from gut wrenching pain to glorious freedom and healing. A must read for survivors and those who love them.”
-Sarah Boes, Founder of More Precious Than Rubies, reaching victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

“Diamante’s Poetry and Ponderings are an affirmation, and flow to the close of her book with the summation of her awakening. She has, in each poem, walked us through to her understanding and acceptance; we are the creation of God’s breath, as souls to live life to the fullest, and with forgiveness … ‘Writing is her way of leaving her mark: one poem, one story at a time.’ This book achieves this endeavor.”
-Sam Eastwood, International Poet

About the Poet:

Diamante Lavendar has been in love with reading since she was a child. Diamante believes that everyone should try to leave their own positive mark on the world, and to make it a better place for all. Writing is her way of leaving her mark—one story at a time. She began writing in college and has published poetry in anthologies over the years. Most of her writing is very personal and stems from her own experiences, and those of her family and friends. She writes to encourage hope and possibility to those who read her stories. To learn more about Diamante Lavendar and her books, please visit her website.

Add to GoodReads:

Poetry and Ponderings

Available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-ups Are Closed.

Tour Schedule:

July 11: Impressions in Ink, and here and here. (Review)
July 13: Wall-to-Wall Books (Review)
July 13: Reading Writings (Book Spotlight)
July 16: Katherine & Books (Interview)
July 19: Reading Writings (Review)
July 20: Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf (Review)
July 25: Mia Sutton (Review)
July 25: Readers Handbook (Book Spotlight)
July 27: Soapy Violinist (Review)
Aug. 2: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
Aug. 15: the bookworm (Guest Post)
Sept. 3 The Book Connection (Review)
Sept. 3: An Imperfect Christian Mom (Review)

Follow the tour with the hashtag #DiamanteLavendar</

WTF by Laura Foley (Spring 2017)

Our latest tour this spring will be for WTF by Laura Foley, published by CW Books in February 2017.

WTFFoleyLaura Foley’s “WTF” refers to her father’s initials and, slyly, to the abbreviated colloquial exclamation, in a pun that laughs and cuts, in this reckoning with a fraught father-daughter relationship. These spare poems communicate more like snapshots than narrative lyrics, beginning with sympathy and gratitude, moving through disappointment, anger and resentment, without ever losing compassion, as Foley examines her father’s formative WWII experiences and, consequently, how he shaped her experience and character, ending with a positive recognition of her father in herself.

Read some sample poems here: https://www.readcwbooks.com/foley_poems.html

Advance Praise:

“I liked ‘The Long View’ (in the collection ‘WTF’) for its abundance of precise and effective details: an exact location, many poignant indicators of the subject’s confined and increasingly lonely life. The tone is restrained (no pleading for sympathy) but the lines move urgently, and the pity grows with them. Many years and much sadness in the spacious apartment are made palpable in the confines of verse.”-David Constantine

Laura Foley, a master of memory as poem, brings us a portrait of tragedy, loss and longing. For those of us whose fathers were strangers, Foley‘s ‘WTF’ provides a perfect commiseration through the ‘survivor’s eyes’ in her beautifully understated language.”-John O’Connor

About the Poet:

Laura Foley is an internationally published, award-winning LauraBeachpoet, author of six collections. She won the Common Goods Poetry Contest, judged by Garrison Keillor; and the National Outermost Poetry Prize, judged by Marge Piercy. Her poetry collections include: WTF, Night Ringing, The Glass Tree and Joy Street. The Glass Tree won a Foreword Book of the Year Award; Joy Street won the Bisexual-Writer’s Award. Her poems have appeared on The Writer’s Almanac, in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Lavender Review, The Mom Egg Review, in the British Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology, and many other journals.

A certified Yoga Instructor and creative arts facilitator in hospitals, she is the mother of three grown children, grandmother to two granddaughters. She and her partner Clara Gimenez live among the hills of Vermont with their three big dogs.

Follow her on GoodReads, Facebook, and Twitter.

Add to GoodReads:

WTF

Available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-ups Are Closed.

Tour Schedule:

March 28: The Modern Creative Life (Guest Post)
April 5: Wall-to-Wall Books (Review)
April 12: the bookworm (Review)
April 13: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
April 18: Celticlady’s Reviews (Book Spotlight)
April 25: Soapy Violinist (Review)
May 4: The Book Connection (Interview)
May 11: Musings of a Bookish Kitty (Review)
May 15: Katherine & Books (Review)
May 19: Margie’s Must Reads (Review)
May 24: Suko’s Notebook (Review)
June 1: Readaholic Zone (Review)
June 12: Patricia’s Wisdom (Review)

Follow the tour with the hashtag #LauraFoley

Essential Readings & Study Guide by K.V. Dominic (January 2017)

Our latest tour this November/December 2016 will be for Essential Readings and Study Guide: Poems about Social Justice, Women’s Rights, and the Environment by K.V. Dominic, published by Modern History Press in September 2016.

essentialreadings“K. V. Dominic Essential Readings” gathers for the first time the three most important works of poetry from this shining new light of contemporary Indian verse in English: “Winged Reason,” “Write Son, Write” and “Multicultural Symphony.” A fourth collection of 22 previously unpublished poems round out a complete look at the first 12 years of Dominic’s prolific and profound verse. Each poem includes unique Study Guide questions suitable for South Asian studies curricula.

Written in free verse, each of his poems makes the reader contemplate on intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, political, and social issues of the present world. Themes range from multiculturalism, environmental issues, social mafia, caste-ism, exploitation of women and children, poverty, and corruption to purely introspective matters. From the observation of neighborhood life to international events, and everyday forgotten tragedies of India, nothing escapes the grasp of Dominic’s keen sense of the fragility of life and morality in the modern world.

Advance Praise:

“K. V. Dominic is one of the most vibrant Indian English poets whose intense passion for the burning social and national ailments makes him a disciple of Ezekielean School of poetry. His poetic passion for the natural beauty keeps him besides the Romanticists.” — Dr. A. K. Choudhary, English poet, critic and editor, Professor of English, Assam, India

“K. V. Dominic’s poems are important additions to the growing global movement to bring about positive change and equality for all individuals. The injustices he confronts in his poems are the arrows and thorns that pierce his heart every day and the gushing blood that runs through his pen to paper.” — Rob Harle, poet and critic, Nimbin, Australia

“K. V. Dominic is a poet of the suffering masses and oppressed sections of the society. He tries to dissect corruption at all levels, political or religious, social or academic and presents it in its true colours with all the ugliness and monstrous greed.” –Prof. T. V. Reddy, reputed English poet, writer and critic, Emeritus Professor of English from Andhra Pradesh, India

k_v_dominic-250x300About the Author:

Internationally acclaimed poet Prof. K. V. Dominic (Kerala, India) is the author of three major volumes of poetry about the natural world as well as social and political commentary: Winged Reason, Multicultural Symphony, and Write, Son, Write.

Add to GoodReads:

Essential Readings and Study Guide

Available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-ups Are Closed.

Tour Schedule:

Jan. 5: Readaholic Zone (Q&A)
Jan. 12: Jorie Loves A Story (Interview)
Jan. 18: Wall to Wall Books (Review)
Jan. 24: The Graduated Bookworm (Review)
Jan. 26: Katherine & Books (Q&A)
Jan. 27: Eva Lucia’s Reviews (Review)
Jan. 30: Eva Lucia’s Reviews (Interview)

Follow the blog tour with hashtag #KVDominic

Among the Lost by Seth Steinzor (January 2017)

Our latest tour this January 2017 will be for Among the Lost (In Dante’s Wake) by Seth Steinzor, published by Fomite in November 2016.

amongthelost

Among the Lost, set in the modern American rust belt, is a meditation drawn from Dante’s Purgatorio. To Dante, Purgatory was the mountain where souls not damned went after death to cleanse themselves of sin in preparation for entering Paradise. What, Steinzor asks, are we preparing ourselves for, having lost the fear of hell and the hope of heaven, in the course of our daily urban existence? And whatever that is, how do we go about preparing for it?.

Advance Praise:

“What a magnificent ascension Seth Steinzor is achieving. Having embarked on a latter-day retelling of the Divine Comedy, he has already descended into the Inferno and has now risen to the peak of Mount Purgatory, regaling us along the way with apt parallels to Dante’s infernal and purgatorial people, places, and purposes. We are indeed fortunate to have Steinzor following Dante’s footsteps.” —Rennie McQuilkin, Connecticut Poet Laureate

About the Author:

Seth Steinzor protested the Vietnam War during his high school years near Buffalo, New York, and his years at Middlebury College, advocated Native American causes after law school, and has made a career as a civil rights attorney, criminal prosecutor, and welfare attorney for the State of Vermont. Throughout he has written poetry. In early 1980s Boston he edited a small literary journal. His first, highly praised book, To Join the Lost, was published in 2010.

Add to GoodReads:

Among the Lost

Available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-ups Are Closed.

Tour Schedule:

Jan. 10: the bookworm (Review)
Jan. 12: Wall-to-Wall Books (Review)
Jan. 18: The Indextrious Reader (Review)
Jan. 19: Everything Distils Into Reading (Review)
Jan. 20: Eva Lucia Reviews (Review)
Jan. 21: Readaholic Zone (Review)
Jan. 24: Book Nerd Demigod (Guest Post)
Jan. 24: Eva Lucia Reviews (Interview)
Jan. 25: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
Jan. 26: Nerdy Talks Books (Review)
Jan. 30: Necromancy Never Pays (Review)

Follow the blog tour with hashtag #AmongtheLost

Essential Readings & Study Guide by K.V. Dominic (Fall 2016)

Our latest tour this November/December 2016 will be for Essential Readings and Study Guide: Poems about Social Justice, Women’s Rights, and the Environment by K.V. Dominic, published by Modern History Press in September 2016.

essentialreadings“K. V. Dominic Essential Readings” gathers for the first time the three most important works of poetry from this shining new light of contemporary Indian verse in English: “Winged Reason,” “Write Son, Write” and “Multicultural Symphony.” A fourth collection of 22 previously unpublished poems round out a complete look at the first 12 years of Dominic’s prolific and profound verse. Each poem includes unique Study Guide questions suitable for South Asian studies curricula.

Written in free verse, each of his poems makes the reader contemplate on intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, political, and social issues of the present world. Themes range from multiculturalism, environmental issues, social mafia, caste-ism, exploitation of women and children, poverty, and corruption to purely introspective matters. From the observation of neighborhood life to international events, and everyday forgotten tragedies of India, nothing escapes the grasp of Dominic’s keen sense of the fragility of life and morality in the modern world.

Advance Praise:

“K. V. Dominic is one of the most vibrant Indian English poets whose intense passion for the burning social and national ailments makes him a disciple of Ezekielean School of poetry. His poetic passion for the natural beauty keeps him besides the Romanticists.” — Dr. A. K. Choudhary, English poet, critic and editor, Professor of English, Assam, India

“K. V. Dominic’s poems are important additions to the growing global movement to bring about positive change and equality for all individuals. The injustices he confronts in his poems are the arrows and thorns that pierce his heart every day and the gushing blood that runs through his pen to paper.” — Rob Harle, poet and critic, Nimbin, Australia

“K. V. Dominic is a poet of the suffering masses and oppressed sections of the society. He tries to dissect corruption at all levels, political or religious, social or academic and presents it in its true colours with all the ugliness and monstrous greed.” –Prof. T. V. Reddy, reputed English poet, writer and critic, Emeritus Professor of English from Andhra Pradesh, India

k_v_dominic-250x300About the Author:

Internationally acclaimed poet Prof. K. V. Dominic (Kerala, India) is the author of three major volumes of poetry about the natural world as well as social and political commentary: Winged Reason, Multicultural Symphony, and Write, Son, Write.

Add to GoodReads:

Essential Readings and Study Guide

Available on Amazon.

Tour Sign-ups Are Closed.

Tour Schedule:

Nov. 2: Jorie Loves A Story
Nov. 14: Diary of an Eccentric
Nov. 15: Nerdy Talks Book Blog
Nov. 17: Everything Distils Into Reading

Follow the blog tour with hashtag #KVDominic

Dear Almost by Matthew Thorburn Blog Tour (Fall 2016)

Hello everyone, we’ve got a new tour filling up for Oct./Nov. 2016: Dear Almost by Matthew Thorburn, published by Louisiana State University Press on Sept. 1, 2016.

Front Cover

Dear Almost is a book-length poem addressed to an unborn child lost in miscarriage. Beginning with the hope and promise of springtime, the poet traces the course of a year with sections set in each of the four seasons. Part book of days, part meditative prayer, part travelogue, the poem details a would-be father’s wanderings through the figurative landscapes of memory and imagination as well as the literal landscapes of the Bronx, Shanghai, suburban New Jersey, and the Japanese island of Miyajima.

As the speaker navigates his days, he attempts to show his unborn daughter “what life is like / here where you ought to be / with us, but aren’t.” His experiences recall other deaths and uncover the different ways we remember and forget. Grief forces him to consider a question he never imagined asking: how do you mourn for someone you loved but never truly knew, never met or saw? In candid, meditative verse, Dear Almost seeks to resolve this painful question, honoring the memory of a child who both was and wasn’t there.

Advance Praise:

“Like a modern-day Basho, Matthew Thorburn travels on a year-long journey through grief over the ‘almost girl’ he and his wife lose to miscarriage. Here, in artful, haibun-like free verse, the timely and timeless merge: geese are sucked into an Airbus engine, forcing an emergency landing; the poet contemplates the moon as he carries out a bag of garbage in the Bronx. The result is clear, mysterious, original, and ultimately hope-filled. Dear Almost might be the truest poem about miscarriage I’ve ever read.” —Katrina Vandenberg, author of The Alphabet Not Unlike the World

“Matthew Thorburn’s Dear Almost is a meditation on our lives and their impermanence, the miracle that we exist at all. The ghost of an unborn child hovers like a breath over these supple lines, but Thorburn finds room for food and prayer, for work and love, for keen observation of the twin worlds we inhabit, the one inside us and the one where our daily lives take place. I am glad to have Dear Almost in both of these worlds.” —Al Maginnes, author of Music from Small Towns

“One poem written across seasons, Matthew Thorburn’s Dear Almost is an elegy for an unborn child written out of love, kindness, and ultimately hope. There is sadness everywhere here that lives among the dailiness of our lives at home, around the world, and at work. What a capacious gift this poet has for perception, keen observation, and the written word, but even more so, a great gift for understanding all of the tangled cross-stitching of the human heart.” —Victoria Chang, author of The Boss

DA_Author_Photo_Low_ResAbout the Poet:

Matthew Thorburn is the author of six collections of poetry, including the book-length poem Dear Almost (Louisiana State University Press, 2016) and the chapbook A Green River in Spring (Autumn House Press, 2015), winner of the Coal Hill Review chapbook competition. His previous collections include This Time Tomorrow (Waywiser Press, 2013), Every Possible Blue (CW Books, 2012), Subject to Change, and an earlier chapbook, the long poem Disappears in the Rain (Parlor City Press, 2009). His work has been recognized with a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, as well as fellowships from the Bronx Council on the Arts and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. His interviews with writers appear on the Ploughshares blog as a monthly feature. He lives in New York City, where he works in corporate communications.

Add to GoodReads:

Dear Almost

Available on Amazon.

Sign-ups are closed.

Tour Schedule:

Oct. 6: Nerdy Talks Book Blog (Review)
Oct. 13: Stacy’s Books (Review)
Oct. 18: Necromancy Never Pays (Review)
Oct. 25: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
Oct. 25: Bookgirl’s Nightstand (Guest Post & Giveaway)
Nov. 2: Peeking Between the Pages (Review)
Nov. 3: Peeking Between the Pages (Guest Post & Giveaway)
Nov. 4: Readaholic Zone (Review)
Nov. 8: True Book Addict (Guest Post & Giveaway)
Nov. 15: 5 Minutes for Books (Review)
Nov. 30: Savvy Verse & Wit (Guest Post & Giveaway)

Follow the blog tour with hashtag #DearAlmost

You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened by Arisa White (Oct. 2016)

Hello everyone, we’ve got a new tour filling up for Oct. 1-31, 2016: You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened by Arisa White, published by Augury Books in October.
YTMBTTH_cover_final

Angular, smart, and fearless, Arisa White’s newest collection takes its titles from words used internationally as hate speech against gays and lesbians, reworking, re-envisioning, and re-embodying language as a conduit for art, love, and understanding. “To live freely, observantly as a politically astute, sensually perceptive Queer Black woman is to be risk taker, at risk, a perceived danger to others and even dangerous to/as oneself,” writes poet Tracie Morris. “White’s attentive word substitutions and range of organized forms, lithe anecdotes, and disturbed resonances put us in the middle of living a realized, intelligent life of the senses.” You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened works through intersectional encounters with gender, identity, and human barbarism, landing deftly and defiantly in beauty.

Some early praise:

“This is what I’m talking about. The fierce truth, the gorgeous loneliness, the late-night bravery and the tender, tender heart. It’s the poetry of Arisa White and it’s divine in every sense. Let’s all talk about it.” – Daniel Handler, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

“Swiss army knives, scuttling crabs, pinball machines, HIV/AIDS, the West Side Highway, daisy breasts, racial slurs, kitchen sink scorch marks, and mustangs running through veins: through all the kaleidescoping nouns of White’s new collection, the starring roles are played by lust and roving hands and lovers and beloveds. These poems are nearly unblurbable: delicate yet tough, visceral and cerebral, innocent yet experienced, loving and longing, grotesque and hopeful: “…I drag our placenta behind us. Together/ can be restored with a blink.” Come for the lyrical mastery, stay for the god-level Eros. The third full-length collection by one of America’s most promising poets, You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened is required reading for anyone who’s ever loved, been loved, or forgotten how.” – Amy King, The Missing Museum

“Arisa White’s You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened is a book whose true engine is love, and whose every poem, in all kinds of ways, reaches toward love. That in itself is astonishing, and to be praised. But add the formal playfulness, the rich music, the storytelling, and, perhaps especially, the sense of justice and humanity, and you’ll realize you’re holding a truly beautiful book in your hands.” – Ross Gay, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude

“Arisa White sharpens her words against this unpredictable world we live in, with the poems in You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened. In verse that is exhilarating and unexpected, White writes of race, of women loving women, of these all too human bodies we wear, of cities, of landscape. You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened is an assured and memorable book of poetry, one that provokes thought as much as it provokes a depth of feeling.” – Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist

“Whether remembering a neglected friend or experiencing a sensual touch, Arisa White’s poems will take your breath away. They nestle into rich language then burst up and out like birds taking flight; so close you feel their heat and wings inside you. She traverses many landscapes, both physical and emotional, sometimes evoking a melancholy longing, at other times an eager passion. In either case, these are exquisite, finely crafted poems that are irresistible.” – Jewelle Gomez, The Gilda Stories: Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition

“Arisa White’s You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened makes us sweat, reflect, cry, and discover. With a deft utilization of prose poetry, lyric essay, and verse, White delivers a guide to learning our freedoms. You will probably have to reconfigure your definition of beauty after you read this book.” – Willie Perdomo, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon

“There are not enough books like or near Arisa White’s new collection, You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, addressing what it is to be young, Lesbian and Queer and Black and tender and unapologetic and erotic. In these poems, I hear Pat Parker’s wit and challenge, and the insistence of Audre Lorde demanding that we look, listen, celebrate and change.” – Pamela Sneed, Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery

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You're the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened

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Photo Credit: Nye’ Lyn Tho

About the Poet:

Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow, Sarah Lawrence College alumna, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of the poetry chapbooks Disposition for Shininess, Post Pardon, and Black Pearl. She was selected by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the 2010 Hot Pink List and is a member of the PlayGround writers’ pool; her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of Play Ground Festival. Recipient of the inaugural Rose O’Neill Literary House summer residency at Washington College in Maryland, Arisa has also received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from Juniper Summer Writing Institute, Headlands Center for the Arts, Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in 2005 and 2014, her poetry has been published widely and is featured on the recording WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet.

Tour Stops:

Oct. 4: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
Oct. 8: Everything Distils Into Reading (Review)
Oct. 14: The Chronicles of Chaos (Review)
Oct. 20: Suko’s Notebook (Interview)
Oct. 24: Melissa Firman (Review)
Oct. 26: True Book Addict (Guest Post)
Oct. 28: Peeking Between the Pages (Review & Giveaway)
Oct. 28: True Book Addict (Review)
Oct. 29: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
Nov. 3: Emma Eden Ramos at Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Review)

TBD: Eccentric Everything (Review)

Follow the blog tour with hashtag #YouretheMostBeautifulThing