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Monday, July 28, 2014

Now available for preorder: Dawn Sueoka's Little Uglies

Dawn Sueoka

PREORDER: August 2014
Handmade | 4 x 6 inches
Various shades of blue/violet cover stock & ink. Linocut print.
32 pp. | $8.00

Bloof Books Chapbook Series
Vol. 2: Issue 4
ISSN: 2373-163x

To purchase by check or money order, or to calculate shipping outside the US & Canada, please email us.


Yellow skin banana with dark spots on it 
Sometimes I space out a little.
I let my body go completely limp.
The sky becomes false to me.
Everything is gross to me.
Ten times a day the sun rises and ten times a day the sun sinks.
I shut one eye and it is still there.
Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise:
Dog bites kid, and the world moves savagely on.
In the next century, I hope to be savage as Paul Verlaine.
I dip my fingers into a lake
that is only a rumor of a lake.
I throw fistfuls of petals into the
heart of the moon.
I shut one eye, shedding tears of red and blue.
Sometimes I space out a little.

The linocut design concept is inspired by the author's close attention to small moments and details and her use of "nightmarish and crude" imagery and diction, including received phrases wedged into new and unexpected contexts, whereby the everyday strikes strange. The handprinted covers vary among a selection of blue, violet, and green shades, with inks ranging from silver and turquoise to lilac and deep indigo. The interiors are laser printed on bright white acid-free, archival-quality paper. Handsewn in natural twine.

Litte Uglies is the fourth chapbook in the 2014 series from Bloof Books. Each chapbook in the series will be released in a limited edition of one hundred numbered copies, followed by a digital release.

Dawn Sueoka’s work appears or is forthcoming in West Wind Review, Shampoo, smoking glue gun, Pinwheel, Birds of Lace 30 x Lace, and Coconut, among others. An essay on John Cage appears in Jacket2. She lives and works in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. Little Uglies is her first chapbook.

Sample poems from Little Uglies:

"We owe you nothing but love" & "Preludes and nocturnes" at Coconut

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Open Reading Period: 2015 Chapbook Series

Open Reading Period 

Yes, it's happening. 

Please do not send a manuscript before August 1. We are not looking at longer MS right now and are full though 2016 for longer books.
The guidelines are pretty much the same as the previous two years, but please note that the manuscript's max length has been shortened to 25 pages.

Little Uglies by Dawn Sueoka (August 2014)
Bloof will open the month of August for manuscript submissions of poetry chapbooks. All manuscripts must adhere to the guidelines below, and be submitted electronically between August 1 and August 31, 2014.  
This is not a contest. There are no fees, no judges, no bullshit. This is an open reading period. 
We will choose at least ONE but as many as SIX chapbooks to publish in 2015. (Both previous times we have chosen six.)  
If your chapbook is chosen, you will hear from us via email. If not, you will be notified of the selections when we make the public announcement in October (via this newsletter, our social media accounts, and blog). 
Books will be produced in a limited handmade run of 100 copies, then released electronically thereafter. Chapbooks will be sold through our website, at select bookstores, and at various events. 
All Bloof collective members are invited to read and discuss submissions, per their availability. 
Natalie Eilbert's Conversation with the Stone Wife (July 2014)

How to prepare your manuscript: 
1. Read a couple of our books and chapbooks, or at least look up the poets and read some of their work available online. (And see below for free ebook versions of our previous chapbooks.)  
While we are theoretically open to reading any style of poetry, we certainly have preferences and even biases. Familiarity with the books we have already published should help you decide whether your work is a good fit. That's different than saying we are only looking for work that looks just like what we have already done. (As if.) 
2. Bloof is a collective press. What does that mean? Read this post about "The Way We Work." Basically it means if you publish with us, you become part of the collective and will be expected to actively participate in the press, including activities beyond the scope of your own book. Do not submit to Bloof is you don't think that sounds like a whole lot of fun. That post also explains how you will be paid, if you publish with Bloof. (For chapbooks, authors receive 20 copies + 12% royalty on the rest of the print run. They may also order additional copies at a discount.) 
3. Manuscripts should be typed, in English, consist of up to 25 pages of poetry, and be formatted in a reasonable, easy-to-read manner. The work should be unpublished in chapbook or book form, as a whole, though individual poems may have appeared in magazines, etc. Please include a list of acknowledgments, if any.  
4. Collaborations are acceptable, with the participation of all collaborators. We are not looking for translated work at this time 
5. Include a cover sheet with name, manuscript title, mailing address, and email address. It is unnecessary to include this information anywhere else, like page headers or footers.  
6. Number the pages in the manuscript.  
7. Cover letters are OK (since we are not reading without names attached), but we'd actually prefer to consider Chapbook Proposals. How do you imagine this chapbook will look? Do you have any design or artistic skills you'd like to incorporate? Would you enjoy helping with the assembly? Are you interested in particular materials?

The final design will be a collaboration between Bloof and the author—and obviously we are constrained by budget considerations—but for the proposal, if you have a vision, describe it to us. Maybe we can make it work.

It is optional for you to bring your own design or illustrative skills into play here. If that's something you'd like to do, explain. If you have other ideas beyond these few examples, about how to distribute or promote the book, or whatever, explain those. You can submit just a manuscript…or a manuscript plus these sorts of ideas in a concept/proposal. 
8. Manuscripts must be saved as a PDF and submitted electronically to this email address: info [at] bloofbooks [dot] com. Save the file with your last name and title (or partial title if it is long) as the document name, separated by an underscore: Knox_Mystery.pdf 
9. Simultaneous submissions are your right. We ask only that you promptly let us know if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.  
10. Any submissions that do not follow these guidelines will be automatically deleted. It's fine to ask a question (same email address) if something is unclear, but if we can tell you haven't read the guidelines completely, we probably won't answer. We're very busy…and about to get a whole lot busier. 

Previously in the series: 

Packing, Hailey Higdon (sold out, ebook coming soon)
This Is What It Is Like to Be Loved by Me, Jared White (sold out, free ebook available)
Nonstop Pop, Becca Klaver (sold out, free ebook available)
Poems Are the Only Real Bodies, Jennifer Tamayo (sold out, free ebook available)
scenes from the lives of my parents, Pattie McCarthy (almost gone)
Windowboxing: A Dance with Saints in Three Acts, Kirsten Kaschock (almost gone)
Odalisque, Ben Fama (sold out, free ebook available)
The Failure Age, Amanda Montei (almost gone)
Conversation with the Stone Wife, Natalie Eilbert (selling out fast!)
Little Uglies, Dawn Sueoka (forthcoming)
Bedtime Stories for the End of the World!, Daniel Borzutzky (forthcoming)
Sympathetic Nervous System, Jackie Clark (forthcoming)

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!