Affectionate, dynamic, and uncommonly observant, this collection mines the richness of history to create a map of identity and influence. In the South, “lard sizzles a sermon from the stove”; in Chicago, we feast on an “opera of peppers and pimento”—and between the two lies a wealth of family stories and portraits.
Parneshia Jones is the author of Vessel, chosen as “One of 12 Books to Savor” by Oprah Magazine. A member of the Affrilachian Poets, she serves on the board of Cave Canem and Global Writers. Jones currently holds positions as Sales and Subsidiary Rights Manager and Poetry Editor at Northwestern University Press.
Calli has two loving moms, a good-looking boyfriend, and a best friend who’s always been there for her, but her charmed life takes a turn when Cherish, her new foster sister, comes into the family picture. Cherish lies, steals, and antagonizes Calli, but what Calli does in revenge brings her face-to-face with her guilt, and into a real world of consequences.
Trudy’s parents are older than other kids’ parents; they’re so old, in fact, that most people mistake them for her grandparents. When Trudy and Ma notice that Pop is acting funny—he forgets to pick Trudy up from school and starts to put groceries away in the bathroom—they embark on a quest to find out what is wrong.
Manz is sure of one thing: he lives on the wrong side of the tracks in dusty Rockhill, Texas. Life is tough for everyone, but especially for Manz, the mixed-race son of migrant apple pickers. When the summer heat sets in, Manz takes a job outside town—but there his bright and questioning mind begins to give in to its own claustrophobic temptations.
Bringing together a wide range of perspectives—industry veterans and provocateurs, writers, editors, and digital mavericks—this collection reflects on the current situation of literary publishing, and provides a road map for the shifting geography of its future.
Kevin Prufer is co-editor of Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century and the author of six collections of poems. He teaches creative writing at the University of Houston and in the low-residency MFA program at Lesley University, serves as Editor-at-Large for Pleiades, and co-curates the Pleiades Press Unsung Masters Series with Wayne Miller.
Wayne Miller is the author of four collections of poems, including Post- and The City, Our City. He is also a cotranslator of two books from the Albanian poet Moikom Zeqo, and a coeditor of three anthologies, including Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century and New European Poets. Miller is a professor of English at the University of Colorado Denver, where he edits Copper Nickel.
Travis Kurowski is co-editor of Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century as well as Paper Dreams: Writers and Editors on the American Literary Magazine. He is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at York College of Pennsylvania, and editor of Story.