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Portland Mercury: stories in EDUCATION make 'a winning hand'

Weekly Portland newspaper The Portland Mercury just published a wonderful and thoughtful review of James McManus' The Education of a Poker Player. According to reviewer Ned Lannamann, "James McManus' new book doesn't have the narrative arc of a novel, but it has the soul of one. "McManus' real theme is [protagonist] Vince's Catholicism and his struggle with the burdens of religion in his formative years. More specifically, as Vince enters adolescence, the notion of staying celibate becomes less and less appealing, not to mention logical." Education's greatest triumph, the review claims, is McManus' deft exploration of the parallels between Catholicism and poker....

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Booklist praises the zesty prose of McManus' EDUCATION

Booklist reviewer Bill Ott is praising the "zesty prose" of James McManus' new collection of linked stories, The Education of a Poker Player. "Despite its title," says the review, "this is not another poker memoir by the author of Positively Fifth Street; rather, it is a collection of seven McManus short stories about the coming-of-age of Vincent Killeen, a Catholic altar boy whose path to the priesthood in the late 1950s and early ’60s is derailed by sex and poker. What John R. Powers did for Catholic boys on the South Side of Chicago in his classic memoir Do Black...

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McManus' EDUCATION captures the legacy of the American 20th century

Wilmott Magazine's Aaron Brown has high praise for The Education of a Poker Player, the new collection of linked stories from James McManus. In his thorough review of McManus' work, Brown examines closely "the legacy of three books whose honesty transcends factual truth," comparing McManus' Education with Herbert O. Yardley's The Education of a Poker Player and Henry Adams' The Education of Henry Adams. As Brown notes, these books share more than similar titles: "Taken together, these three The Education of books are an excellent way to understand the American 20th century from the people who lived it." While McManus' Education explores the...

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SHAME | SHAME 'recasts the prose poem as a selfie, diary entry, or Tweet'

In a thorough review of Devin Becker's recent collection Shame | Shame, Nano Fiction's Sarah Katz notes the poet's ability to "[recast] the prose poem as a selfie, diary entry, or Tweet," while exploring "the contractions and expansions of narrative, and ultimately, [challenging] us to reflect on the impulse to narrate our lives." Much of the review focuses on the collection's complicated, evolving speaker: "As one continues to read Shame | Shame, the bevy of cursory remarks expose a narrator trapped in a cycle of self-immolation in his battle to preserve a fixed notion of the self ... it’s these desultory...

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BOA Editions celebrates 40 years in 2016

BOA Editions, one of the nation’s leading independent publishers of poetry, literary fiction, and poetry-in-translation, is pleased to announce that 2016 will mark its 40th year bringing high quality literature to the public. The Rochester-based not-for-profit press will celebrate the occasion with a yearlong series of developments and activities, including: a new commemorative logo; a re-launched website and online bookstore; a global video and social media campaign; a celebratory kickoff at AWP 2016 in Los Angeles, among other celebrations around the country; a permanent home for the last decade of its archives; and a Major Gifts Campaign carrying a generous...

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