March 24, 2015

BOA Editions at AWP 2015!

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BOA is excited to be participating again this year at the AWP Conference and Bookfair in Minneapolis!

Click here for our full schedule of events, panels, and signings featuring BOA authors throughout the conference. This year, BOA will be at bookfair tables 830 and 832. Stop by, say hello to BOA staff and authors, and browse our wide selection of exceptional and essential books, including our newest Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 titles!

BOA authors will be setting up at the BOA tables (830 and 832) to sign copies of their new Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 titles. Take this schedule with you to the Bookfair to meet BOA authors and have your favorite BOA books signed!

Thursday, April 9 

-Nin Andrews: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
(author of Why God Is a Woman and Sleeping with Houdini)

-John Gallaher: 1 – 2 p.m.
(author of In a Landscape and Your Father on the Train of Ghosts)

-G.C. Waldrep: 2 – 3 p.m.
(author of Testament, Your Father on the Train of Ghosts, and Disclamor)

Friday, April 10 

-Bruce Weigl: 11a.m. – 12 p.m.
(translator of The Secret of Hoa Sen)

-Nickole Brown: 1 – 2 p.m.
(author of Fanny Says)

-Devin Becker: 2 – 3 p.m.
(author of Shame | Shame)

Saturday, April 11 

-Robin McLean:11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
(author of Reptile House)

-Robert Thomas: 1 – 2 p.m.
(author of Bridge)

We’ll see you in Minneapolis!

March 24, 2015

Nin Andrews featured on NPR affiliate Prosody, WESA 90.5 FM

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This past weekend, BOA poet Nin Andrews was featured on-air for Prosody, a public radio show for NPR affiliate WESA 90.5 FM. In a fantastic interview, Andrews read from her forthcoming collection Why God Is a Woman.

Set on a magical island where women rule and men are the second sex, Why God Is a Woman is the story of a boy who, exiled from the island because he could not abide by its sexist laws, looks back with both nostalgia and bitterness and wonders: Why does God have to be a woman? Celebrated prose poet Nin Andrews creates a world both fantastic and familiar in which gender roles are turned upside-down, and where all myths, logic, and institutions support the dominance of women.

Prosody, which airs every Saturday morning on WESA 90.5 FM, is Western Pennsylvania’s only regularly scheduled radio program featuring contemporary poets and writers.

Click here to listen to the full episode, with poetry reading by Nin Andrews!

Why God Is a Woman is in stock now, only at the BOA Bookstore until its May publication date. Get your copy early!

SAVE THE DATE | ROCHESTER

BOA is glad to be collaborating with the Rochester Contemporary Art Center again this June 23, 2015, for our annual “Poetry Is Jazz” event, hosted at RoCo during its 6x6x2015 exhibition, and during the Rochester International Jazz Festival.

The event will feature a poetry reading and book signing by Nin Andrews, from her new book Why God Is a Woman, which will be accompanied by live jazz music and painting.

March 24, 2015

Erika Meitner discusses favorite books, poems

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In a fascinating Q&A with Please Excuse This Poem, BOA poet Erika Meitner discusses her “favorites,” including the first and favorite books she’s ever read.

Included among the first poems she has ever read and loved are Lucille Clifton’s “Admonitions” and “Roots,” both from a copy of Contemporary American Poetry, edited by the late BOA founder A. Poulin, Jr., which she bought  at a library sale when she was 15 years old.

Erika Meitner is most recently the author of Copia. This fourth book by Meitner grapples with the widespread implications of commercialism and over-consumption, particularly in exurban America. Documentary poems originally commissioned by Virginia Quarterly Review examine the now-bankrupt city of Detroit, once the thriving heart of the American Dream. Meitner probes the hulking ruins of office buildings, tract housing, superstores, construction sites, and freeways–exposing a vacuous world of decay and abandonment–while holding out hope for re-birth from ashes.

Click here for the full Q&A with Erika Meitner.

Copia is available now at the BOA Bookstore.

March 18, 2015

PW calls McLean’s REPTILE HOUSE ‘darkly poetic’

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According to a new fiction review from Publishers Weekly, Robin McLean’s May collection of short stories, Reptile House, ”moves seamlessly from adultery to kidnapping, from assassination plots to extreme geothermal events, all in a voice that is spare and darkly poetic.”

The fascinating characters in these nine short stories abandon families, plot assassinations, nurse vendettas, tease, taunt, and terrorize. They retaliate for bad marriages, derail their lives with desires and delusions, and wait decades for lovers. How far will we go to escape to a better dream? What consequences must we face for hope and fantasy? Probing the dark underbelly of human nature and want, Robin McLean’s stories are strange, often disturbing and funny, and as full of foolishness and ugliness as they are of the wisdom and beauty all around us.

McLean’s stories offer “strangely realistic glimpses into conflicts that are equal parts surreal and hyper-realistic, rendered by a voice that gracefully juxtaposes terse reportage and lyrical insight. The result is a taut volume that explores the fate of the dashed dreamer, offering charming insights into the untidy worlds of people who are not where they thought they’d be.”

Read the full review here. 

Newly printed copies of Reptile House are available now, only at the BOA Bookstore until its May publication date! Click here to get it early!

March 11, 2015

Poem from COPIA featured in NYT Magazine

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Erika Meitner’s poem “Outside the Abandoned Packard Plant,” from her recent BOA book Copia, was featured in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. The poem was selected by former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey as the newly relaunched magazine’s poem of the week.

According to the feature, “There is a driving rhythm in this poem — the industry of crickets, the forward motion of the lines — even as there is no man-made machinery at work in the defunct auto plant. The contrast between the two heightens the tension between what is lost and the image, in the last line, of a possible future.

Erika Meitner’s fourth book grapples with the widespread implications of commercialism and over-consumption, particularly in exurban America. Documentary poems originally commissioned by Virginia Quarterly Review examine the now-bankrupt city of Detroit, once the thriving heart of the American Dream. Meitner probes the hulking ruins of office buildings, tract housing, superstores, construction sites, and freeways–exposing a vacuous world of decay and abandonment–while holding out hope for re-birth from ashes.

Outside the Abandoned Packard Plant

By Erika Meitner

closed fifty-four years, the crickets
are like summer, are like night

in a field, but it is daytime. It is August.
There is no pastoral in sight — only

Albert Kahn’s stripped factory, acres
of busted and trembling brick facade

so vast there must be thousands
of crickets rubbing their wings

beneath makeshift thresholds of PVC
piping tangled in ghetto palm saplings

growing through a deflated mattress top
tossed over rusted industrial metal the shape

of an elephant dropped on its knees
dispensing invisible passengers into

moats of rubble dappled with what?
These crickets, their industrious wings

mimicking silence and song, lonely
background, until one beat-up maroon

Buick flies down Concord, accelerating
like the road just keeps going, like he’ll

actually get away with whatever he’s doing,
then two white cop cars, Doppler sirens

shrieking and braiding, but it is peaceful
other than that — you might think

you’re in the country as in not the city
as in wilderness under the bridge that used to say

MOTOR CITY INDUSTRIAL PARK
and now just punched out eyes and ARK

Click here to see the New York Times Magazine feature.

Erika Meitner’s Copia is available at the BOA Bookstore.

March 06, 2015

Aracelis Girmay wins prestigious 2015 Whiting Award

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We are pleased to announce that BOA poet Aracelis Girmay (Kingdom Animalia) has just won a 2015 Whiting Award for poetry!

2015 marks the 30th anniversary of these prestigious $50,000 awards given each year to ten exceptional emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, drama and poetry. In the case of Aracelis Girmay, the published work the judges read was Kingdom Animalia (BOA Editions, 2011). Santa Ana-born Girmay (who now splits her time between Amherst, Massachusetts, and New York) is one of the ten 2015 recipients, all of whom were honored on March 5, 2015 at a ceremony at the New York Historical Society in Manhattan with a keynote by award-winning author Andrew Solomon. Excerpts from the publications of each award recipient are available at The Paris Review.

A new collection by Girmay, The Black Maria, is forthcoming from BOA Editions in April 2016.

According to the Whiting Award judges: “[Girmay’s] project seems to be our deep and ongoing subjectivity, our vulnerability to history, to one another, to desire, and to the belief in something large and lasting that we might belong to. There’s empathy, play, and fearlessness here, and both formal and emotional range. The beauty of these poems is always married to a deep, implacable pang. Their consolation is always rooted in the unifying force of remembered loss.”

Aracelis Girmay holds a B.A. from Connecticut College and an M.F.A. from New York University. She is the author of? two poetry collections, Teeth (Curbstone, 2007) and Kingdom Animalia (BOA Editions, 2011),  for which she won the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award and which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her collection The Black Maria is forthcoming from BOA Editions in April 2016. In 2011 she ?was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Girmay has received fellowships from Cave Canem, The Jerome Foundation, the Watson Foundation, and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. She currently teaches poetry as an assistant professor at Hampshire College. Originally from Santa Ana, California, she splits her time between New York and Amherst, Massachusetts.

March 05, 2015

BOA and Poetry Out Loud: For the love of poetry

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This week, BOA Publisher Peter Conners served as a judge for the regional Poetry Out Loud competition held at SUNY Brockport.

The competition winners were Demetria Hale of The Harley School and Nichola Metzger of Brighton High School. They were awarded with BOA books and advanced to the state finals, to take place March 9 in Syracuse, New York.

The Poetry Out Loud program encourages and enables the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation.

BOA gives three cheers for all of these brave and talented teens and applauds their love of poetry!

March 05, 2015

BRIDGE keeps readers ‘on edge even beyond the last page’

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Politics and Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse recently selected Robert ThomasBridge as its “staff pick,” calling it a book bound to keep “the reader on edge even beyond the last page.”

Bridge explores “‘infinite what ifs’” through the eyes of protagonist Alice. According to the review, “If you’re not stunned by the language of this poet’s novel, you will be by the plot, a monologue of suspense and grief; or by the narrator, the painfully smart and self-aware Alice.”

Click here to see the full piece by Politics and Prose.

Robert Thomas’ Bridge is available at the BOA Bookstore.

February 19, 2015

RALPH review: Erika Meitner ‘has what it takes’

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A recent review from RALPH [The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities] explores the difference between “poets” and “Poets” while reflecting on Erika Meitner‘s ability to connect poetry to readers. According to the review, “poet poets write lines that end-stop, occasionally use rhyme and rhythm and symmetry and a weird wrong metaphor to convey their stuff. But it is stuff (and nonsense) and you know they Just Don’t Have It.”

“You want stuff that talks the life out of you into you, the salt-mine we call life which ain’t out there, it’s in here. Where we’ve been all this time–trying to get out, not able to get out, only get used to it. The Poets help us do that.”

Such is the case with “Poet” Erika Meitner and her new book Copia: “She has what it takes … The key to the work and worth of a Meitner is that it feels right. She can throw in an aside that will resonate with all of us…”

There is no lowercase P for Meitner: “She can write about cell phones and spray paint and ‘The Latin root of mercy’ and her Yiddish grandmother who came from Yiddishland … She can write about love in anonymity and love of anonymity … She can cram a whole experience into two lines … Meitner likes playing with and at and around the edge.”

Click here to read the full RALPH review.

Erika Meitner’s poetry collection Copia is available at the BOA Bookstore.

February 09, 2015

Connotation finds two BOA titles speak a ‘shared’ language

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A Connotation Press review lauds two Spring 2014 BOA titles, Revising the Storm by Geffrey Davis and The Keys to the Jail by Keetje Kuipers, for “speaking some kind of shared, or at least complementary, language,” and being “engaged in a very real, if coincidental, dialogue.”

Reviewer Julia Bouwsma writes, “Both Davis and Kuipers excel at rendering the physical worlds in which their poems were born.” A defining characteristic pervasive in both of the poets’ worlds is the language of shame. The review explores this theme, which connects the works of Davis and Kuipers: “I find myself wanting to study not just the similarities and differences in how these books view shame, but the process by which shame becomes poetic craft—how emotion manifests into words that crawl up the spine in secret, that spread across the cheeks in waves of damp, blushing heat.”

Davis and Kuipers profoundly express the complexities and problems of such an emotion: “Shame obscures our perceptions, impairing our ability to clearly see either the self or what we have left behind.” According to the review, Revising the Storm and The Keys to the Jail both provide a way to break “the spell of shame.”

Click here to read the full Connotation Press review.

Revising the Storm and The Keys to the Jail are available at the BOA Bookstore.