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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bloof at the New York City Poetry Festival this weekend: July 26 & 27

Bloof Books will be at The New York City Poetry Festival both days this weekend—Saturday, July 26 and Sunday, July 27.

Complete festival info & directions:

The festival is free & no tickets are required.


Sunday, July 27 at 2:10 p.m. on the White Horse Stage
Becca Klaver, Kirsten Kaschock, Sharon Mesmer, Shanna Compton & Justin Marks

Also don't miss these Bloof authors in these additional slots: 

Saturday, July 26 at 2:30 p.m. on the Algonquin Stage
Jackie Clark performs with Coldfront Magazine

Sunday, July 27 at 4:30 p.m. on Chumley's Stage
Natalie Eilbert performs with Coconut Poetry

BOOK FAIR: Come see us both days!

We'll have handmade chapbooks by Natalie Eilbert, Dawn Sueoka, Amanda Montei, Pattie McCarthy, & Kirsten Kaschock, plus our complete catalog of paperbacks including the our new release, Ultramegaprairieland by Elisabeth Workman. 

Also available: guidelines for our Open Chapbook Reading Period.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

This weekend/next week: Jennifer Tamayo, Jennifer L. Knox, Peter Davis

New York! Jennifer Tamayo is performing Friday, July 11 with Monica McClure & Lucas de Lima.

The Latina Gurlesque

Bureau of General Services-Queer Division
83A Hester Street
New York, NY
7:30 PM
Details here. 

Iowa! Jennifer L. Knox is reading Saturday, July 12 in Des Moines for new Laugh Child series/artist residency, with Jennifer Perrine, Lauren Haldeman & Caryl Pagel. 

The Des Moines Social Club
Viaduct Gallery
900 Mulberry Street
Des Moines
7 PM

Details here.

Wisconsin! Peter Davis is reading with Milo & Otis, Walking Easel & Hakim Bellamy for BONK! Hosted by Nick Demske.

316 6th Street 
6 PM

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Speaking of great reviews: Ultramegaprairieland

We tweeted and facebooked this one, but haven't yet posted it here.

Carrie Lorig's got the goods on Elisabeth Workman's superhawt post-Flarfy debut, Ultramegaprairieland, at Entropy Magazine:

I am such a sponge fisherman. I have so much pores. When you speak to me, I suck it in. It drifts around the insides of me like a box of jewels (Joe Brainard dreamed repeatedly of boxes of jewels and considered it a good omen). When you read around me / When you read a good part out loud / When you leave books around for me to pick up, I will suck it in. It drifts around the insides of me like a floralabundant hurricane / like a dangerous potentiality / like burning / like big petals of thunder the bees suck on. There has been so much Bernadette Mayer in the house lately. My pores are covered in all her dreams / her incredible, synesthetic relationship to sex and color. I’m reading Mayer’s Utopia and re -/ re- / re-reading Elisabeth Workman’s book, Ultramegaprairieland. I’ve been thinking about them so much together. 1) Because closeness, intuition, recommendation, and reading are most often how I work through / acquire a stack of literature / language. I tend to trust these things more than genres, schools, canon, etc. 2) Workman once gifted me a copy of Midwinter Day by Mayer. It took me over a year to read the book / realize what I had in my possession. What’s amazing now, being so accidentally and purposely immersed in Mayer, while simultaneously being so connected to Workman, is seeing how MUCH more naturally they overlap than I ever anticipated or understood. And isn’t this actually the most vivid thing about literature and language? / It’s re-configuring of time and distance in terms of how people need / find each other?
The titles, Utopia and Ultramegaprairieland, too, crack bootskins together. Both create flickering surfaces jokingly / seriously meant to be other names for Paradise. Both books, in their frothy, meaty layers, think intensely about what it means for a woman to speculate and imagine such an area / any area. It occurs to me that any writer / any woman writing any area / such an area / Paradise / ends up thinking a great deal about what / in the current space / is trying to kill them / or her. Thinking about Paradise means Touching Hell / Bouquets on Fire / means seeing how you, / like Paradise, / are unproven. / How you are imagining yourself / in reality / because reality doesn’t really / imagine you / at all.
“Year after year the toil
and the coitus. This would be
the real story told to earth people
in a voice more trusted
than the situation warranted.
What then? Maybe Malibu.
Maybe Beowulf.”
—“Maybe Malibu, Maybe Beowulf

Read the full piece (an event in itself!) here. Entropy also put Ultramegaprairieland on their Ultimate Summer Reading List.

A new review of Brink

(There's a terrific new review of Shanna Compton's Brink in the current issue of the Yale Review, by Stephen Burt. We don't have the actual issue in hand, but pulled the PDF from the library and can quote a bit for you here. The full essay is definitely worth a read! )

Compton – based in Princeton and in Brooklyn – writes the eclectic, distractible poetry of people just a few years younger than I am, or the same age as, but more plugged in than I am, people who grew up with electronics in everything, pursued by glowing screens. (Her first book was an edited collection about the pleasures of video games.) Though her poems of Brink belong to venerable genres – the aubade, the erotic sonnet, the sequence about a breakup, the ‘‘Panoramic View’’ – their delights lie in the verbal swerves and sparks that belong only to our time, or else to a time just ahead of ours. Her lines are a millefeuille of generational markers, coming of age between the advent of the Internet and the first season of Girls, in or near a New York of toxic assets, multiple piercings, collapsing finance:

We’re still in the skinflint sheets 
of a place we’d rather not be, 
languid among no-account debris . . . 
I’ll pretend to miss the day we met 
if you can try not so much to mind 
the piercing when we go wrong, 
foaming in the evening, toxic refraction, 
to baffle this diminishing sun 
into peach-rust-gold derivatives.     
[Sometime  I'll Perfect My Adoration]
There is nothing quite like this exuberance, on the edge of paraphrasable sense but not over it, among Compton’s contemporaries, though many of them have tried. It can remind me at once of Frank O’Hara and of Edna St. Vincent Millay (as with Millay, we can fear it will seem dated later, or just enjoy the way it sounds now). Compton rakes in diction that has not turned up much in serious poetry before – if it is not the lingo of today’s teens, then it belongs instead to her own youth: ‘‘He gave me a nonsarcastic thumbs up in the parking lot.’’ ‘‘A neon / ring above an extincted / window showcasing something / formerly fabulous now kinda / poignantly disappeared.’’ When Compton is off her game, her poems can edge past the hyper-contemporary into the ridiculous, the quasi-sarcastic, the perhaps deliberately bad: ‘‘I celebrate the tanginess of your gruntly curves.’’ It is, perhaps, the kind of risk that any writer willing to be explicit about eroticism must take.

Compton sounds as if she knew that her ‘‘tendril-like projections / of youthful slang’’ have not often made it into poetry before, but that her topics – urban disillusion, political snafus, falling in and out of love – certainly have. ‘‘Timetables & Humble Pie’’ translates, into its twenty-first-century screen-driven lingo, Shakespeare’s sonnet 129, with its ‘‘waste of shame’’: ‘‘Alas, the day is wasted. Toss the scrapped commodity / in a pile like snipped stockings, admired / in the morning but soured by noon.’’ Compton, like Shakespeare, asks whether ‘‘love’’ names a commodity, though for her it is a commodity newly on sale: ‘‘What will we do,’’ she inquires, ‘‘if affection / is discovered to be . . . something we inhabit / like a hoodie from H&M, hot yellow / and scored at a deep discount?’’ She speaks to her heart, as Philip Sidney spoke to his, but she speaks in the era of biodegradables, of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch:
Preening heart I have tended 
like a weak flame on the beach, 
do you have a box or bag 
(the tearing aside for a moment) 
to pursue our decay? . . . 
Perhaps, my precious clutter, let us recast 
our likeness in plastic and endure as timeless litter.       
[One More Favor]
‘‘Timeless litter,’’ both ephemeral and perdurable, eternal and apparently without use: there are worse figures for poetry. Brink is a good book to come upon last in a stack, or last in a year: rather than complaining about how bland and frustrating everything is, in the city or in the country, Compton takes it upon herself to make everything interesting, to make daily life spark and fizz. So do the friends she imagines alongside her poems: ‘‘We shout in marquees. We stud the clamoring / traffic in our brightest, most orange cones.’’ Two sequences about couples, in love and at loggerheads (parts two and four of this four-part book), cannot retain the power in Compton’s always accelerating stand-alone poems, because their construction requires them to slow down or to look back. Even the sequences, though, can succeed in making the familiar strange: after a quarrel,
Each sentence held back an ache to crack 
the domesticated shell. It’s as if 
an illustrator has come through with a fine- 
nib pen, to hatch and crosshatch everything.         
[The Deeps]

The Yale Review 
Volume 102Issue 3 
pages 152–166, July 2014


Abstract    Order

The Two Yvonnes: Poems, by Jessica Greenbaum (Princeton University Press, 80 pp., $29.95 cloth; $12.95 paper)
Almanac: Poems, by Austin Smith (Princeton University Press, 96 pp., $35, cloth; $12.95 paper)
A Glossary of Chickens: Poems, by Gary J. Whitehead (Princeton University Press, 72 pp., $29.95 cloth; $14.95 paper)
Brink, by Shanna Compton (Bloof Books, 86 pp., $15 paper)
Lobster  Palaces, by Ann Kim (Flood Editions, 96 pp., $14.95 paper)
3 Sections: Poems, by Vijay Seshadri (Graywolf, 64 pp., $22 cloth)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer Break: July 11–21

Bloof will close July 11–21. We're aiming to have all orders filled by the 10th. Place them now if you need something before the end of the month!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Open Reading Period: Not yet, but soon

We are not open for submissions at this time.

It's true that we were open in June the past two years. But this summer is extraordinarily busy and we want to finish a few important things before we open again.

Please subscribe to the newsletter to be notified when the reading period is open. Details will be in the July newsletter. 
The signup form is in upper righthand sidebar of this blog. ↗ 

As usual, this Open Reading Period will be for poetry chapbooks only. (We are full for longer books through 2015 and not yet ready to think of 2016.) 


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

PREORDER! Conversation with the Stone Wife by Natalie Eilbert

Here's the cover concept for Natalie Eilbert's amazing Conversation with the Stone Wife

We've been having a ton of fun (and making a huge mess) working on the "artifact" concept, which involves natural earth pigments like red and yellow ochre, plus local river valley dirt from the creek a few blocks from Bloof Headquarters in NJ.

These are in progress and could start shipping as soon as next week. The rest of the paper should be here in a day or two.
More info and preorder buttons here:
Limited to 100 handmade copies. Only $8.
Because the covers are hand-rubbed with the pigments, no two will be alike!

 There are approximately 25 copies remaining as of 6/18/14. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Natural History Rape Museum reviewed by Joyelle McSweeney*

Natural History Rape Museum
Danielle Pafunda
Review by Joyelle McSweeney

Danielle Pafunda’s fifth book shows her at the top of her hilarious, furious game. One must reach for the oldest stories to describe the particular clawed, fanged, winged, and always female bodies of these texts: fury, harpy, Medusa, Baba Yaga, the killer sphinx at her least composed moments. Pafunda’s poetry is always a spiky sonic treat, punching a tracheostomy in the throat of lyric convention so that the noise of erased, extinguished, and strangled women can come out. Yet  for all their uncanny, violent verbal fluency, each of her volumes feels not so much voiced as somehow pressed through a body, through the particular body of the text. Her always alert language spurts through the pores, orifices and wounds of these poems.
This new volume finds Pafunda full of trick moves and self-snaring complications, like a cutter-girl-Houdini or a lady knife thrower with her self roped to the target.  Lyrics are pierced with lacerating text boxes, or compressed into tableaux and forced to host italicized narration. The book presents an antagonist—a male-pronouned figure referred to as "the fuckwad." The fuckwad or other man appears in these poems and donates a certain aggravating grain, in response to which a she figure produces an iridescent mucoid substance, a sticky, toxic emulsion that hardens into the pearl of the poetry. See example A:
Example A, from Danielle Pafunda's Natural History Rape Museum

In this rankly attractive and illustrative tissue sample, the gross lustre of Pafunda’s strategy is apparent.  The "punky loam vista" with its hidden color, pink, calls up the uterine/gestational imagery which the book is pleased to host.  The grit of the textbox with its life-sentence of conjugal servitude also encapsulates the gestational process—the man’s exorcism of his "fink" will produce a baby, an "it" that "wails" unless the derailment of miscarriage (also a theme in this book) can veto this logic. The presence of the alien text box causes the language to dense up around it, the mother-of-pearl that is Pafunda’s fecund word horde lavishing the grit with synesthesia, sound that is also a mouthed, gritty texture, esses and chaw-chaws and gushes of sonority. The effect is both luscious and cosseting, like the pet names (sunshine, sweetheart) which convert to sexually vulnerable positions and epithets (supine, peep cheater) in the second half of the couplet. The couplet here is a kind of snare.

An irony of Pafunda’s body of work, including the poems in this volume, is that the response-production of antigens and nacre is so intense that "poor" fuckwad hardly stands a chance. The poems are allergic to fuckwad, but they need him to stage the emergency response that is the poem. Once he sets the poem in motion with his irritating comments or action, the poem hardly needs him at all, and if he re-enters the poems it seems to be on the poem’s own terms. See example B: 
Example B, from Danielle Pafunda's Natural History Rape Musem

In this excerpt, the fuckwad certainly gets things in motion, "placing"our lady "in the room with the knife." Remembering that stanza is Italian for room, we can imagine this stanza as the carceral/theatrical room in which we may now admire Pafunda’s resourceful knifework. The spectacularly inventive diction is burlesque and acrobatic, violent, yes, but the violence seems to indicate a kind of contraction in the muscle of the syntax, pushing the female pronouns along. This time the text box seems to be less the irritant that produces the poem than an out-of-body observation about the poem itself, a traumatic extra-space, self-consciousness that rises up and looks down. 
Pafunda’s books continually and valiantly return to the scenes of gendered crimes, to the rape, the violation both historical and personal, the trauma of birth and of miscarriage and of objectification (the book begins, “When they called me vagina.”) which women are somehow expected to swallow down and survive.  At the same time, each new book instants a furled and fishy banner under which an entirely nonvirgin, mutant nonqueen rides into battle.  This queen must be doomed, as she must always take her lance (and lancet) back up, and never finish off fuckwad. But her ingenuity, her intensity, her brilliant, decaying armament is so radiant that each new volume by Pafunda seems to  configure a new strategy of survival—however dubious such a goal as survival might be under current and foreeable conditions.  In which case, as another queen-slash-fuckwad once so gamely blazoned: Viva Hate. 

*originally appeared in the Poetry Project Newsletter No. 239 (April/May 2014)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ultramegaprairieland giveaway winners!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New! ULTRAMEGAPRAIRIELAND by Elisabeth Workman

Elisabeth Workman

May 2014
Trade Paper Original
ISBN-13: 978-0-9826587-6-5
100 pages


Once upon a time, ancient glaciers oozed light through the general living room of America, scraping the terrain into the sweeping prairies of the Midwest, a superlatively grassy expanse in which American bison cavorted with dangerous electric fish-goats and no one got hurt. That was a long time ago. Then one day we woke up and it was everywhere: ULTRAMEGAPRAIRELAND.

Referentially crammed and brimming with cultural bling, the poems in ULTRAMEGAPRAIRIELAND range from forlorn to flipped out, citing and subverting far-flung sources high, holy, and WTF. 

"I wrote all of the poems after moving back to the Midwest from the Middle East," explains Workman. "They are all somehow symptomatic of my inability to adjust, not to the Midwest per se, but just in general. Surviving the Midwest is all about juxtaposition."

• Landscape with Porn Stars
• Yeti with Nihilists by a Fountain
• Probably the Song of the Unemployed Sith Lord
• Empathetic Jellyfish
• Bullets Built by Dad
• Other Cute Animals of the Big Prairies
• The Canadian Tuxedo in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
…and many more!

Elisabeth Workman was born and raised in the pharmaceutical suburbs of Philadelphia and has since lived in Boston, rural Pennsylvania, the Netherlands, Qatar, on/around the Standing Rock Nation of the Dakotas, and now in Minneapolis, where she lives with the designer/typographer Erik Brandt, their daughter, and two cats of the tuxedo variety. She is the author of numerous chapbooks, including Opolis (Dusie), with Michael Sikkema Terrorsim Is What Whale (Grey Book Press), and ANY RIP A THRESHOLD (Shirt Pocket Press). This is her first book-length collection.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Note about our new email newsletter

If you've…

• purchased a book or chapbook from our site or via Square
• submitted a chapbook to our open reading period
• published a book or chapbook with Bloof
• asked to be added

…then you're being added to our new email newsletter list via Mailchimp.

This email newsletter is only for major announcements like new releases, exclusive discounts, big event invitations (not every single reading), and news re: our annual OPEN CHAPBOOK READING PERIOD.

Newsletters will go out once a month (or less) and you may opt out at any time.

This is in response to requests at the bookfairs (thanks!) and the changes to Facebook that have hobbled our Page there to near oblivion unless we pay to show you our news.

Thank you for your ongoing enthusiasm and support!


PS: If you don't get the first newsletter later this week, you're not on the list. Send us a note at info (at) bloofbooks (dot) com to request it, or sign up in the sidebar over there (upper right) ------------>