August 26, 2015

BOA’s 18th annual Dine & Rhyme – TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE

11x17poster final_blog2015_DNR_Invite_LR2_Part2_blog22015_DNR_Invite_LR2_Part2_blog

For tickets to this year’s highly-anticipated Dine & Rhyme, contact Melissa Hall via telephone: 585.546.3410 ext. 11 or email:

August 18, 2015

San Francisco Chronicle spotlights FANNY SAYS


San Francisco Chronicle‘s Stephen Burt praises the depth of characterization in Nickole Brown’s Fanny Says in his new poetry spotlight.

Calling Fanny “a character in every sense of the word,” Burt praises Brown’s collection, which includes “plenty of Fanny’s speech, Fanny’s recipes, Fanny’s monologues about how to be a lady,” all of which reveal “Fanny’s notions of dignity, along with the limits of her social world.”

“The prose poems, spoken entirely by Fanny, suggest oral histories like Studs Terkel’s, if Terkel were rewritten by Loretta Lynn and Lucille Ball. Brown’s verse — which makes up most of the volume — is even better: In it the grown-up lesbian Southern poet celebrates Fanny’s quirks and Fanny’s endurance, laments Fanny’s limited options in ‘such a different time,’ and considers Fanny’s — and her own — white privilege.”

The review particularly notes Brown’s skill with linguistics: “Brown’s interest in Kentucky speech sounds, and the many speeds in her free verse — from rapid fire to syrupy-slow — fit the unfolding of Fanny’s life. She’s especially good on sex and bodies: As for your private parts, Fanny advised, ‘soap up daily and watch / like a spectacled hawk.’ What would already be a neat set of ‘way-back stories / hard as the lichen-green apples / of Kentucky,’ told only in Nickole’s or Fanny’s voice, gets depth from the way that we hear both together: Brown neither whitewashes nor condescends, but shows us ‘how/ hard she worked/ to become/ who she was.’”

Click here for the full review from Stephen Burt.

Fanny Says is available at the BOA Bookstore.

August 18, 2015

NewPages calls TESTAMENT ‘ambitious and athletic, ‘ever-climbing’


In a glowing new review, NewPages calls G.C. Waldrep’s Testament “ambitious and athletic, ever-climbing toward a breakthrough.”

“We see right away what sort of virtuosity—one hundred and thirty pages of it—lies before us: the precision of image, the sonority of language, the diversity of tone and approach. And good god that lexicon.”

Reviewer Ryo Yamaguchi says: “…this is, to me, pure Waldrep, a distillate of his finest maneuvers, and in many ways the most ambitious of his meditational efforts. To that end, this is a rangy poem, shifting and cycling back on itself, plumbing and measuring and reassessing in a long stream of discursions separated into five parts and, dividing those, regular intervals of glyphs. What has always impressed me about Waldrep is the high quality of his images, which always seem to glow with a perfect balance of scientific precision and emotional resonance.”

Yamaguchi’s conclusion? “Testament is the sort of poem you have to wander through. . . . The results can be messy, and not everything here fully arrests, but the endurance of attention has great rewards, and the poem promises lasting power and new insights with each reread.”

Click here to read the full NewPages review.

Testament is available now at the BOA Bookstore.

August 11, 2015

Lannan issues generous $40k challenge grant to BOA Editions


BOA is pleased to announce that the Lannan Foundation of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has issued a generous dollar-for-dollar challenge grant in the amount of $40,000 to support BOA’s 40th anniversary Major Gifts Campaign and endowment fund.

Founded on July 4, 1976, BOA will mark 40 years as a publisher of contemporary poetry and literary fiction in 2016. Over these 40 years, BOA has earned an esteemed reputation as one of the nation’s premier independent presses, publishing the works of such renowned, award-winning authors as Lucille Clifton, Li-Young Lee, and Naomi Shihab Nye. In recent years, BOA authors have continued to garner numerous prestigious awards, including the 2013 James Laughlin Award for Jillian Weise and the 2015 Whiting Award for Aracelis Girmay.

“An anniversary often triggers reflections on the past as well as preparations for the future,” says BOA Board Chair Jack Langerak. “Our Board of Directors has been planning a number of ways for our organization to do both. In thinking about BOA’s future, we are kicking off a year-long Major Gifts Campaign through July 4, 2016. Called ‘40 for 40,’ the goal of this campaign is to raise $40,000 to match the generous challenge grant issued by the Lannan Foundation.

“A total of $80,000, this goal will provide $40,000 as a celebration of BOA’s amazing 40-year history, and $40,000 to help assure our financial stability as we step into the next 40 years.”

Lannan Foundation is a family foundation dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity, and creativity through projects which support exceptional contemporary artists and writers. The Foundation recognizes the profound and often unquantifiable value of the creative process and is willing to take risks and make substantial investments in ambitious and experimental thinking. The Foundation supports this mission by making grants to nonprofit organizations in the areas of contemporary visual art, literature, indigenous communities, and cultural freedom.

BOA Editions, Ltd. is a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning not-for-profit publisher based in Rochester, New York. Founded in 1976 by the late poet, editor, and translator A. Poulin, Jr. to provide a venue for both new and established poets to be published, BOA has released more than 300 titles, including more than two dozen books of poetry-in-translation through the Lannan Translations Selection Series.

August 10, 2015

Nikola Madzirov wins prestigious 2016 DAAD Writer’s Fellowship

Nikola Madzirov

We are proud to announce that BOA author Nikola Madzirov (Remnants of Another Age, 2011) has won the prestigious DAAD Writer’s Fellowship for 2016-2017!

Selected for the award by an international nomination committee, Madzirov has been invited to Berlin for a 12-month stay in 2016 by the Artists-in-Berlin Program of the German Academic Exchange Service to Berlin, in order to develop or finish a new book, and to actively participate in the artistic and cultural life of Berlin throughout Germany and Europe.

Dating back to 1963, previous winners of the fellowship award include W.H. Auden, Zbigniew Herbert, Margaret Atwood, Susan Sontag, Adam Zagajewski, Bei Dao, Taduesz Rózewicz, Tomaž Šalamun, Ingeborg Bachman, Inger Christensen, Carlos Fuentes, Witold Gombrowicz, Gennadiy Aygi, and Nobel Prize-winners Mario Vargas Llosa and Imre Kertész.

Born in 1973 to a family of Balkan Wars refugees, Madzirov’s poetry has already been translated into forty languages and published in collections and anthologies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. A regular participant in international literary festivals, he has also received several international awards. Translated from the Macedonian, Remnants of Another Age is his first full-length U.S. publication, and carries a Foreword by Carolyn Forche, who writes: “Nikola Madzirov’s Remnants of Another Age is aptly titled, as these poems seem to spring from elsewhere in time, reflective of a preternaturally wise and attentive sensibility. As we read these poems, they begin to inhabit us, and we are the better for having opened ourselves to them. Madzirov is a rare soul and a true poet.”

Madzirov plans to live and write in Berlin from May 2016 to May 2017.

We offer our utmost congratulations to Nikola Madzirov on this wonderful achievement!

August 06, 2015

Zach Powers wins fifth annual BOA Editions Short Fiction Prize


We are pleased to announce that Zach Powers is the winner of the fifth annual BOA Editions Short Fiction Prize for his collection, Gravity Changes. The collection was selected from nearly 200 submissions by BOA Publisher Peter Conners. Powers will receive a $1,000 honorarium and book publication by BOA Editions, Ltd. within the American Reader Series in spring 2017.

Of the collection, Peter Conners says: “Zach Powers wields a unique talent for creating strange and surreal worlds that, somehow, illuminate true human emotion more realistically than the realest realist. His characters defy gravity, sprout siblings from their shoulders, shrink universes with performance art, and tap into well-hidden, magical corners of the quotidian world. It is an honor to award him the fifth annual BOA Short Fiction Prize.”

Five runners-up were also selected: Just Pretend This Never Happened by Ryan Habermeyer; A Good Thing by Aimee LaBrie; These Are Our Demands by Matthew Pitt; The Owl that Carries Us Away by Doug Ramspeck; and Suffering Fools by Glori Simmons.

Zach Powers’ work appears widely in such places as the Black Warrior Review, Forklift, Ohio, The Conium Review, Caketrain, and elsewhere. The co-founder of the literary arts not-for-profit Seersucker Live, he also leads the writers’ workshop at the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home, where he served on the board of directors. His writing for television won an Emmy, and he is a columnist for Savannah Morning News. He lives and writes in Savannah, Georgia.

BOA Editions will accept manuscripts for the sixth annual BOA Short Fiction Prize between April 1 and May 31, 2016. An entry form and a $25 fee are required. Complete guidelines for the 2016 BOA Short Fiction Prize are available on the prize submissions page.

Congratulations, Zach, and welcome to the BOA family!

August 06, 2015

BOA anniversary celebration at AWP 2016 in Los Angeles


BOA is thrilled to announce that its event, the BOA Editions 40th Anniversary Celebration, has been accepted for AWP 2016 in Los Angeles!

Of the 1,781 event proposals submitted this year, the most in the conference’s history, and 493 more than they have ever received before, AWP accepted 523 events involving more than 2,000 panelists for 2016.

At this event, join five BOA authors whose poetry spans the 40 year history of one of America’s true independent literary treasures. Li-Young Lee, Aracelis Girmay, Jillian Weise, Nikola Madzirov, and Michael Waters will read from their BOA titles and share a few words about BOA’s place in the past, present, and future of our literary landscape.

Founded in 1976 by the late poet, editor, and translator A. Poulin, Jr., BOA Editions has published more than 300 books of American poetry, poetry-in-translation, and short fiction. From Michael Waters’ 1979 publication of Not Just Any Death to Aracelis Girmay’s 2016 publication of The Black Maria, this historic lineup of five poets reading their work in honor of BOA’s 40th anniversary spans the history of the press and points out the direction of its future.

We look forward to seeing you at #AWP16!

July 23, 2015

BOA Editions featured on WXXI Connections radio show


To celebrate WXXI Rochester Public Radio‘s “Summer Book Week,” BOA Editions was invited to the “Connections” show with guest host Scott Fybush and two other Rochester-based independent publishers, Open Letter Books and RIT Press, to discuss the current and future states of book publishing.

In a fascinating hour-long discussion on the literary scene in Rochester, as well as the importance of mission-driven independent publishing, BOA Publisher Peter Conners had some fun things to say about Rochester as a city of readers:

“Rochester is really a sexy city in a lot of ways because people who read are sexy,” he says. “They’re interesting, they have things to say … If you really want to be sexy, if you really want to be interesting, take an hour less at the gym and go read a book.”

“There are a lot of sexy people in Rochester who are reading, who have really interesting, intelligent thoughts, and BOA helps make them sexier.”

Audio of the entire conversation, a thoroughly entertaining and important listen, is now available online.

Visit for more about BOA Editions.

July 23, 2015

Starred Kirkus review calls EDUCATION a ‘winning hand’


Kirkus Reviews has only rave things to say about James McManus’ new collection of linked stories, The Education of a Poker Player.

In a new *starred* review, Kirkus offers a thorough account of the new book and its merits: “McManus’ writing is deceptively artless: mundane details related in Vince’s slowly maturing voice track the unexceptional life of a middle-class Irish-American Catholic family in a Chicago suburb, with the obligatory JFK portrait on the wall and the obliging production of numerous offspring. Yet the author gradually forms these common facets of simple people into a sharp, intimate portrait of an intelligent, inquiring mind embracing, then questioning, and inevitably pulling away from the beliefs and strictures of home life.”

The review continues, “McManus, a novelist and nonfiction writer, has played poker for high stakes in Las Vegas, and in Positively Fifth Street (2003), he wrote a classic about the game with riveting descriptions of poker hands. He achieves that again here in two sessions that have Vince facing very different opponents and challenges.”

“With this plainspoken, highly readable coming-of-age story, McManus adds another winning hand to a growing body of work on the hearts and souls lost to the game of poker.”

Click here to read the rave new Kirkus review.

The Education of a Poker Player is available for pre-order at the BOA Bookstore. Order it here to get it before the release date!

July 14, 2015

Robin McLean interviews on-air for NHPR and Late Night Library


Robin McLean is taking the country by storm with her “Sidewind Across America” tour for her new BOA book Reptile House. The national reading community has welcomed her with open arms, which is demonstrated by her most recent interviews with New Hampshire Public Radio and Late Night Library.

For The Bookshelf, NHPR’s series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State, All Things Considered host Peter Biello interviewed McLean on elements of her new book, her personal inspirations, and her life before becoming an award-winning author, comparing her distinctive voice to that of Flannery O’Connor. First a lawyer and then a potter for 15 years in the woods of Alaska, McLean discusses how both crafts led her to, and now shape, her writing.

“The thing about the law is, the precision of language is very important,” says McLean. “What courts argue about a lot of the time is the meaning of a line, the meaning of a sentence, the meaning of a clause. I’m sure that it made me very aware of ambiguity in language, and I really love to play with ambiguity. . . . And then with pottery: you have to make a pot and you repeat over and over and over again a shape. . . . You definitely learn through long stretches of time and enormous amounts of error and failure and success and things falling on the ground, and you just learn to keep going and keep trying and that style and technique changes with time and repetition, and that is definitely the case with writing.”

In a new Late Night Library interview, Anne Rasmussen speaks with McLean about her darker writing, as well as her developed understanding of dialogue, meticulous editing process, and overwhelmingly successful national book tour.

Click here to take a listen to McLean’s Bookshelf conversation with All Things Considered host Peter Biello.

Click here for McLean’s full Late Night Library interview with Anne Rasmussen.

Reptile House is available now at the BOA Bookstore.