Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Book Launches + Upcoming April Readings with Four Way Books Authors!

We're excited to say that Four Way has a lot of great new books and author readings coming up to look out for! Be sure to attend these events if you're in the area.

4/3 Debra Spark at Colby College, 7pm

4/10 Patrick Donnelly with Eleanor Wilner at Kelly Writer's House, University of Pennsylvania

4/10 Patrick Ryan Frank at Brazos Bookstore, 7pm

4/12 Patrick Donnelly at Woodberry Poetry Room, Lamont Library, Harvard University, 5pm

4/12 Rigoberto Gonzalez w/ James Allen Hall and Eduardo C. Corral at the LGBT Center in NYC, 7pm

4/15 Rigoberto Gonzalez w/ Palabra at The Lounge at REDCAT, Los Angeles, 2pm

4/15 Patrick Donnelly and Stephen D. Miller on “The Poetry Show” KRFC 88.9 fm, Fort Collins, CO, 7pm

4/19 Joan Aleshire w/Arthur Bloom, Kristin Fogdall & Kerrin McCadden at the New England Review Middlebury Reading Series

4/26 Patrick Donnelly and Stephen D. Miller, presentation on translations at University Memorial Center, University of Colorado at Boulder, 4pm

4/26 Farrah Field at Late Night Library, South 4th Bar and Cafe, Brooklyn, 10pm

4/27 Patrick Ryan Frank at Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 6pm

4/28 Patrick Donnelly at Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Café, Boulder, CO, 3pm

4/29 Patrick Donnelly with Poetry West, and the Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Project, Colorado Springs, CO, 4pm

4/29 Four Way Books & Friends at Millbrook Free Library, Millbrook, NY: Patrick Ryan Frank, Lea Graham, and more, 2pm

Don't Forget! Intro Prize Deadline is Saturday!

Four Way Books' Intro Prize in Poetry Contest deadline is this Saturday, March 31st. If you haven't already mailed in or submitted your manuscript online, do it NOW!

Submission Dates: January 1 – March 31, 2012 (postmark or email deadline) by online submission manager or regular mail. Postmark deadline March 31 and email deadline (by 3 am EST April 1).

Awarding publication of a book-length collection and $1000.

Open to any poet writing in English who has not already published a book-length collection of poetry.

Submissions accepted on-line (preferred) and by mail.

Please read the following instructions carefully.

    • Fill out our online entry form and follow the directions for online credit card payment on our secure site.
    • You will be assigned an online entry number. You will then submit your manuscript through our online submissions program.

    • Submit a previously unpublished, full-length poetry manuscript by regular mail (USPS only).
    • Please include a completed Entry Form. Click here to download the Entry Form (PDF format). (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print the Entry Form.)
    • Include one cover page with the title of your work and all of your contact information, including your email address if you have one. Your name and contact information should not appear anywhere else in the manuscript.
    • You must include a second cover page with just the title of your work, no other contact info.
    • No more than one poem per page, please. More than one section of a poem can appear on a page, of course.
    • No page limit, but we recommend a length of between 48 and 80 pages of poetry. This page limit does not include your title page, notes, etc.
    • Do not include art work.
    • Please use a legible font of 12 point.
    • Include an entry fee of $28 with your submission, by check, made payable to Four Way Books. A stamped self-addressed postcard may be included to confirm receipt of manuscript. Multiple submissions may be mailed together. If you submit more than one manuscript, please supply contact info for both and an increased fee ($28 per submission).

Mail submission and entry fee to:
    Four Way Books
    POB 535 Village Station
    New York NY 10014

• Please let us know immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
• Material in your manuscript may have been published previously in a chapbook, magazines, journals or anthologies, but the work as a whole must be unpublished.
• Translations and previously self-published books are not eligible.
• There are no length requirements save that book-length collections of poetry usually run between 45 pages of text and 80 pages.

The winner will be notified by email or phone no later than Labor Day. Submitters will be notified by email only. The result will also be posted on our website by Labor Day.

We do not return manuscripts. We do not offer editorial feedback to submitters.

To learn about our reading policy and to go to our website for more information on this contest and others, click here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Breaking and Entering" on Dame Magazine's February's Best Books List

Dame Magazine has placed Eileen Pollack's Breaking and Entering on their February's Best Books list.

"Traumatized by the Red State/Blue State Divide? Pollack’s blistering novel follows a liberal Jewish/Christian couple whose world is turned upside down when they flee their San Francisco home after a tragedy to move to the Michigan countryside with their young daughter. This is a world where kids believe Satan creates homosexuals and adults insist America must be defended with guns. But are things really that black and white here in the heartland? A provocative look at the lines we draw in the sand and what happens when we stomp them."

Here's the rest of the list. A lot of great reads! Don't forget to order your copy of Breaking and Entering on our website.

Alex Dimitrov, Future Four Way Books Author, Published in The Yale Review

Four Way Books is so excited for Alex Dimitrov's first book with us, Begging for It. In other good news, Dimitrov's poem, Bloodletting was featured in The Yale Review.

Alex Dimitrov

The gods have no choice
but to let us live a little—

they would die for comedy.
You and I today, we're like bad actors

in a black and white Fellini movie.
If you can't show red, why bother filming?

The scene where the boys undress
and color the river with sex

is useless, like bloodletting.
And the pistons of the heart, the heart—

aren't pumping fast enough
to let us feel this thrashing.

Be sure to keep your eyes open for Begging for It and check our website so you can get your copy!

The Kenyon Review Interviews Kevin Prufer

Four Way Books author, Kevin Prufer was interviewed by The Kenyon Review about his writing in general, his poem Elegy and Comfort published in The Kenyon Review's Spring 2012 edition and more.

"When I was fifteen, I had a teacher at Western Reserve Academy (a little boarding school in Ohio) who made us memorize a poem a week. Each Monday, Mr. Demong would give us a poem that each Friday we would have to write out on a piece of notebook paper. Any error – even a missing comma – resulted in a full grade deduction. And each new poem was longer than the previous week’s poem.

Of course, we all complained about this, but it was an incredibly valuable exercise for all kinds of reasons. Most simply, I learned basic punctuation this way. It was, after all, impossible to memorize the placement of every comma and semicolon in “My Last Duchess” (or any of the even longer poems he assigned us). It was easier simply to know the rules that dictated where commas and semicolons ought to be.

More broadly, memorizing poems by Frost, Dickinson, Marvell, and Browning helped me understand the poems deeply. That is, I learned to listen to the nuances of rhythm and meter, gained a sense for how rhyme worked, and, in many cases, forged a personal connection with the speakers of the poems. Rereading those poems, I feel those same connections today."

Click here to read more of the interview and visit us online to get your copy of Prufer's most recent book, A Beautiful Country and to look at our other books and future events coming up (like our annual benefit!).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rigoberto Gonzalez Judge for the 2012 Shelley Memorial Award by Poetry Society of America

Four Way author, Rigoberto Gonzalez was appointed by the Poetry Society of America to be one of the judges for this year's Shelley Memorial Award. He also won this prize recently. Follow this link to learn more about the prize and who won this year! And don't forget to visit us online to look at Gonzalez' Black Blossoms.

The Daily Cougar Announces Kevin Prufer as Co-Curator of Visiting Writers Series for the University of Houston and Rice University

Four Way Books author, Kevin Prufer is one of the curators for the Visiting Writers Series for the University of Houston and Rice University.

“We generally meet once a semester to talk about writers whose works seems particularly exciting, writers we’ve heard read, writers who might be of special interest to our students and the general public,” Prufer said.

“We try to go for a range of sensibilities.”

The readings do not take place on either of the campuses, but somewhere in between that is accessible to both schools.

The Jung Center has been a favorite spot while future readings are set to take place at the Brazos Bookstore and the Menil Museum.

“The idea is to embrace chaos a little, to hold readings in a variety of places,” Prufer said. “We love The Jung Center and it is often our first choice. We’ve had about one showcase a month, but much depends on funding and various authors’ schedules.”

Authors each give a reading from their work and occasionally talk about the art of writing.

Some of the authors that have participated already are Timothy Donnelly, Mark Halliday, J. Allyn Rosser, Susan Stewart and, most recently, James Richardson."

To read more of the article, click here. Be sure to visit Four Way Books to see the great poetry books Kevin Prufer has produced.

OC Weekly Blogger Praises Collier Nogues

In the OC Bookly section of the OC Weekly blog, there's a post titled Poems to an Imaginary Friend: On Collier Nogues and David Hernandez. In the post, the writer praises Four Way Books author, Collier Nogues and her writing style in On The Other Side, Blue.

"So it's nice when poetry comes to you, or at least to me, at work, with a celebrated poet sitting right there in a teachers staff meeting or walking the arborial showplace that is the UC Irvinecampus, or observed cheerfully meeting students for office hours at a table in the terrarium-like commons, with its pleasant din of intellectual labor.

One such poet is Collier Nogues. Here she is, smiling. It's a lovely, generous smile perhaps because Nogues has a lot to be happy about, and yet unhappy, too. Happy because her collection, On the Other Sid​e, Blue is a remarkable book and because she is so blue, by which we mean so thoughtfully, carefully, whimsically and syntactically immersed in the color and apprehension and purposeful noticing of experience. The work here is whatever the opposite of introspective is, perhaps outrospective? Which is to say that the place of the line in her short, intense poems is a place to linger, to go back to after reading the poem the first time. In poems recalling, summoning her dead mother to considering broken and tender love, it is in the short line arranged nearly as epigram, as caption of scenes, with the killer line:

"Once a plane goes down, the cause is something else, No matter how rough the flight was"
"Nothing is a warning sign because there is nothing coming requiring
Short, fragmented story-poems with dialog and scene, rendered so economically as to suggest dictionary word usage examples, here about lovers and the vulnerability and embarrassment of love, family genealogy,episodes of memory reconsidered. One of the shortest and most powerful finds Nogues interrupting herself, knowing something so immediate that saying it is impossibly both useless and necessary, just to get through:

"Widow ---
Echo ---
There is no proper name
For the daughter left without a mother."

To read more of the post, click here. Visit Four Way Books online to learn more about Nogues and get a copy of On The Other Side, Blue.

Poets & Writers Asked Sarah Gorham For Writing Tips

Poets & Writers has a wonderful section called Writers Recommend where writers give suggestions to other writers on how to deal with "writer's block". Four Way Books author, Sarah Gorham gave her tips.

“A common statement, I know, but the best stimulant for writing is reading. When it's prose, I'll turn to rich sentences from Nabokov or F. Scott Fitzgerald. If poetry, I start with the Eastern Europeans (especially Zbigniew Herbert). Otherwise, I often begin with a simple exercise I call ‘negative inversions.’ Find a one-page poem with relatively short lines. In the right-hand margin, invert each line to its opposite. I stumbled down a kudzu-choked ravine becomes I picked my way over the talislope to higher ground. Or: They bloom and loom in cities and no one notices becomesIt shrivels and cowers under the tiniest shrub and somehow everyone knows. A half-dozen lines in, the poem takes off on its own and you can abandon the exercise.”

To hear what other writers have said, click here. If you're curious what Gorham's tips have done for her writing, visit us online and check out her books.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ann Arbor.com Journalist Speaks With Eileen Pollack About "Breaking and Entering"

Jenn McKee, Entertainment Journalist for Ann Arbor.com spoke with Four Way Books author, Eileen Pollack about her latest book, Breaking and Entering.

"To get at one of the themes explored by University of Michigan professor Eileen Pollack’s engrossing new novel, “Breaking and Entering,” you need only imagine what it would be like if Rick Santorum lived next door to Barney Frank.

“Strangely enough, they’d probably take out each other’s trash,” said Pollack.

“Breaking”—which has been getting strong reviews, including one in The New York Times—focuses on a couple, Louise and Richard Shapiro, who relocate from northern California to rural Michigan after one of Richard’s patients commits suicide, and Richard accidentally starts a small forest fire.

Seemingly depressed, Richard takes a job in Michigan as a prison psychiatrist and pulls away from Louise and their young daughter, Molly, while feeling more and more drawn to a neighbor’s militia group. (This is particularly relevant because shortly after the couple moves to Michigan, the Oklahoma City bombing happens and draws attention to Michigan-based militia groups.)

Louise, for her part, tries to land a job as a school counselor, but the highly conservative school’s principal disdains Louise’s more liberal views; and after meeting an attractive Unitarian minister, Louise, feeling abandoned by Richard, begins an intense affair.

“I’m very interested in passion in all its forms: political passion, religious passion, and romantic passion, and the way in which passion is, on the one hand, something that is devoutly to be wished—a life without passion would just, I think, be very dull, and you wouldn’t know what to do with yourself, because a passion determines what you do with your life,” said Pollack. “We think of political passion as a good thing, or religious passion, and surely passion for another person. But passion is also very destructive. It’s a longing for what we can’t have.”

To continue reading the article, click here. For a copy of Breaking and Entering and to learn more about Pollack's writing, visit us online.

Rain Taxi Review of Sarah Gorham's "Bad Daughter"

Rain Taxi has published a review of Sarah Gorham's Bad Daughter (Four Way Books) by reviewer Nick DePascal.

"Sarah Gorham's fourth collection of poetry, Bad Daughter, is a varied and dynamic meditation on the many manifestations of family life, from husbands and wives, to sisters, and especially mothers and daughters. Gorham's poems consider these relationships from a multitude of viewpoints, including prayers, deconstructed sonnets and more, all the while working in a lyric style. Gorham has an ear for music and many of the poems have a pleasing sonic quality to them, though at times the lyrical qualities of certain poems take precedence over sense, and the reader can occasionally get lost....

Despite these occasional moments, Gorham's skill in controlling and manipulating voice and tone makes for a number of wholly original and enjoyable poems. Bad Daughter is ultimately a pleasure to read for its sharp imagery, unabashed lyricism, and its deft portraiture of the vagaries of family life."

To read more of the review (including close reading of a couple poems), click here. If you want to order a copy of Bad Daughter, visit us online. And while you're on our site, take a look around at other books (there are more books by Sarah Gorham!)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Patrick Donnelly Reading at Smith College on March 13th

Tuesday, March 13th beginning at 7:30pm, Four Way Books author Patrick Donnelly will be at Smith College for a reading and book launch. It will be in the Stoddard Hall Auditorium, free and open to the public.

"Donnelly’s poems, as described by The Boxcar Poetry Review, “shine a light in the darkest corners, and are infused with humor, humanity, and steely passion.” His ambitious first book, “The Charge,” is a nuanced and deeply affecting exploration of love, sexuality and grief in the age of AIDS.

This reading celebrates the publication of Donnelly's long-awaited second collection, "Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin," which is even more urgent and satisfying. Poet Chase Twitchell describes the new book as "an ambitious, winged re-imagining of the possibilities of voice ... taking a large and adventurous leap -- linguistically, emotionally, imaginatively."

"Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin" includes translations from the 1,000-year-old Japanese imperial anthologies of poetry, which Donnelly translated with Stephen D. Miller. More translations will appear in "The Wind from Vulture Peak: The Buddhification of Japanese Waka in the Heian Period," a scholarly history and analysis forthcoming from Cornell East Asia Series."

If you are near the college on that Tuesday, be sure to stop by. After the reading there will be a book signing and sale. To learn more about the event and Patrick Donnelly, click here. Be sure to keep checking our site to get your copy of "Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin" and to learn more about Donnelly's writing as well as the writing of our other authors.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Video of Sydney Lea Reading For New England Review Vermont Reading Series

Vermont Poet Laureate and Four Way Books author Sydney Lea read some of his poetry at Carol's Hungry Mind Cafe in Middlebury, Vermont for the New England Review Vermont Reading Series. Here is a link to a great YouTube video of his reading. Enjoy!

To get a copy of his book Young of the Year, visit us online.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sydney Lea On Poetry For Burlington Free Press

Sydney Lea, a Four Way Books author and the Vermont Poet Laureate wrote an article for the Burlington Free Press on poetry and writing poetry.

"Too many would-be writers have been (mis)educated into believing that literature’s aims are abstract, intellectual or philosophic; thus their greatest block is (quote) “I couldn’t come up with an idea.” But as my late friend William Matthews, a marvelously inventive poet, once remarked: “Poetry is not criticism in reverse.” The writer, that is, does not begin with a concept, then bury it under a lot of lavish language that the reader is obliged to clear away in order to get back to the originating concept. If that’s all poetry were, we could just write a prose rendition of the “idea” and go home.

I believe that many of us write to discover our own current obsessions, which may and likely should – prior to putting words on paper — remain obscure even to us. We need the thrill of discovery, and if we don’t have it, it’s a sure bet the reader won’t either. My response to students’ complaints about their lack of ideas, then, was – Well, good! Notions formed in advance will rob writing of its potential vigor."

Finish the article here. To learn more about Lea and his writing, visit us at Four Way Books.

Interview With C. Dale Young For The American Literary Review On Friends of Writers Blog

Alumn Justin Bigos interviewed Four Way Books author and Warren Wilson faculty member C. Dale Young for The American Literary Review.

"As a physician, I am keenly aware of the words that come out of my mouth. I never lie to a patient, but always I must be aware that how I phrase something can have a remarkable impact on the person in front of me. To me, the poet has a responsibility to the poem. I don’t believe getting the draft down on paper is writing. To me, that is just getting the raw materials in front of you. The real work of writing is in what many call revision. I feel my responsibility is to sit with the draft and be open to possibilities. Many times, I want to just get the poem done. But poems are never really finished. And that desire to get it done quickly often forecloses greater possibilities for the poem. The only responsibility I feel as a poet is to sitting and being open, to really look and look again, which is exactly what revision means…"

To read more of the Friends of Writers blog, click here. To look at and buy a copy of Young's latest book Torn, visit Four Way Books.