Chicken Scratch: The Red Hen Press Blog
Kim Dower’s Slice of Moon in O, The Oprah Magazine!
Kim Dower’s Slice of Moon was recently featured in O, The Oprah Magazine’s “Put It In Words” segment. Slice of Moon is included as one of “A dozen ways to say I get you,” and we couldn’t agree more! The magazine sings the collection’s praises, describing it as “Poetry set in the dressing room of Loehmann’s or inspired by a school cafeteria menu: unexpected and sublime.”
Winter Weather Sale: 40% Off Selected Titles
Summer is long gone yet we are still lamenting its loss. The blue skies and sunshine were swapped for clouds, rain, and an all-consuming grey tint. To lift ourselves from this seasonal melancholy, we thought we’d do something to brighten your day. Therefore, for the entire month of November you can receive 40% off all weather-related titles. Simply follow the links below, or enter “wintersale13″ at checkout on the Red Hen website. Some titles are as low as $4.77. Please peruse the titles below as you prepare for the winter weather.
A poetry collection by Kate Gale
A collection of poetry by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram
A collection of poetry by Margo Klass and Frank Soos
A collection of poetry by Jim Natal
A collection of poetry by Kim Dower
A collection of poetry by Carolyn Guinzio
Short stories by Robert Reid
A collection of poetry by Sarah Bein
A collection of poetry by Benjamin Saltman
A memoir by Mary Greene
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
Bidding is open for Red Hen’s online silent auction!
From today until November 7th, you can bid on any of the following items (and more):
Bidding on all items excluding the inscribed Edith Sitwell collection will continue at
Red Hen’s 19th Anniversary Champagne Luncheon in Pasadena.
Bidding for the Sitwell book will close on November 9th at midnight.
How to Bid:
Questions? Contact Chris Konish at email@example.com or (626) 356-4760 for more information.
All proceeds from this auction will support Red Hen Press and its 19th Anniversary Champagne Luncheon.
Judas and Jesus as Boys
Judas, bury me in the sand.
I don’t wanna.
Come on. I’ll let you use my glass shovel.
Leave me alone already.
Don’t make me make a miracle of you.
Put that dolly away and start digging.
It’s a Roman Guard with special Whip-Motion-Action.
It’s not a dolly.
You broke Pontius.
I didn’t touch it.
You didn’t have to. You broke it.
I hate you.
You don’t know the half of hating. Start digging.
-Nicelle Davis, Becoming Judas
Originally from Utah, Nicelle Davis now resides in Lancaster, California, with her son, J.J. Becoming Judas is her second book. Her first book, Circe, is available from Lowbrow Press. Her third collection, In the Circus of You, will be released by Rose Metal Press in 2014. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Beloit Poetry Journal, The New York Quarterly, PANK, SLAB Magazine, Two Review, and others. You can read her e-chapbooks at Gold Wake Press and Whale Sound. She is the director of the Living Poetry Project. She runs a free online poetry workshop at The Bees’ Knees Blog, is an assistant poetry editor for Connotation Press, and is Managing Editor of The Los Angeles Review. She has taught poetry at Youth for Positive Change, an organization that promotes success for youth in secondary schools, and with Volunteers of America in their Homeless Youth Center. She currently teaches at Antelope Valley College.
Dan Vera reading with Writer’s Center
Dan Vera is a writer, editor and literary historian living in Washington, DC. He is the author of the poetry collection The Space Between Our Danger and Delight (Beothuk Books, 2008), and the editor of the gay culture journal White Crane. His second collection, Speaking Wiri Wiri, was the inaugural winner of the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize. His poetry has appeared in various journals including Notre Dame Review, Beltway Poetry, Delaware Poetry Review, Cutthroat, Gargoyle, Little Patuxent Review, Naugatuck River, the anthologies Divining Divas, Full Moon On K Street: Poems About Washington, DC, and DC Poets Against the War. He’s the co-creator of the literary history site, DC Writers’ Homes, and on the board of Split This Rock Poetry.
Red Hen Responds: Kim Dower
Let’s have a chat with Kim Dower…
What projects are you working on now?
Putting together a third collection of poems.
Freud’s Mistress by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman. It took me into the beautiful world of Vienna and right inside Freud’s complicated and juicy study.
What is your secret talent?
Impersonating Leslie Gore singing, “You Don’t Own Me.”
Favorite fictional character?
Madame Bovary - a romantic, passionate mess with whom I completely identify.
First book you read and loved?
The Cat in the Hat. My hero for life. An inspiration. My first “grown up” book – The Red Pony. Cried for days.
Moleskin, legal pad, spiral notebook, or __________________?
Black & White composition book – like the ones from 3rd grade.
Who is your favorite Red Hen author?
When’s the last time you went to a poetry reading for fun?
Favorite punctuation marks?
My favorite is a colon: an equal sign, a beginning.
Cats or dogs?
Dogs. Cats if they love me.
Least favorite drink and why?
Gin. Makes me want to drive off a cliff.
Favorite adaption of book to movie?
Lolita and Gone with the Wind.
What is your spirit animal?
I didn’t know what this question meant, so I just took an online quiz and it turns out my spirit animal is a wolf. Who knew? Thanks for asking.
Bowling or ping pong?
I’m a ping pong champion. Even in heels.
Do you ever look back at your work and feel that it no longer represents you as an artist?
Depends on the day. Depends on the “work.” Yes, no, never, always.
How has your work changed over time and why?
My work grew up with me.
Crush on writer, alive or dead?
What is your favorite type of chicken (and why)?
Roast chicken like my nana used to make.
What’s your usual coffee order?
Regular coffee with milk.
If you could only read one more book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Emily Dickinson’s Collected Works so I maybe I could finally understand her poems and love them more than I already love them.
If you could meet one person (alive), who would it be?
Bob Dylan – the only song writer whose lyrics stand alone as poetry.
Favorite food to cook?
scrambled eggs – easy and always comes out perfectly – and you can eat them when you’re sick!
What does independent literature mean to you?
I have no idea.
If you could go anywhere (real or imagined) for a day, where would you choose to go and why?
A secluded beach on an Island in the South Seas so I could float under clouds in warm, blue water and hear sounds I’ve never heard.
What pushed you to become an author, and what drives your art?
Nothing pushed me. Writing just happened and nothing I do has ever felt any better. A little bird inside my head drives my art.
What mythological creature would you choose as a pet and what would you do with it?
Mythological creatures scare me and I don’t want to have one. If an angel is a mythological creature, then I’ll take one of those and keep him close by to protect me.
Who do you write for and who are you aiming to reach with your works?
I write for the person inside me, inside my head and guts who pulls the words from an unknown place and makes me write them down. I write for love. I want to reach everyone I can.
Kim (Freilich) Dower grew up in New York City and received a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, where she also taught creative writing. Her first collection, Air Kissing on Mars was published by Red Hen Press in 2010 and appeared on the Poetry Foundation’s Contemporary Best-Sellers list. The book was described by the Los Angeles Times as, “sensual and evocative . . . seamlessly combining humor and heartache.” Kim teaches in the BA Program at Antioch University Los Angeles, and is the owner of a literary publicity company called Kim-from-L.A. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Seneca Review, Rattle, Barrow Street, Eclipse, and Two Hawks Quarterly. Two of the poems in Slice of Moon were finalists for the Rattle Poetry Prize. She lives with her family in West Hollywood, California.
*For more Kim Dower, join her at the WeHo Book Fair on Sunday Sept. 29th. She’ll be performing in the Poetry Corner at 11am.
To purchase her latest poetry collection, Slice of Moon, click here.
Parnucklian For Chocolate
–A novel by B.H. James
A dark comedy about what it is to grow up an alien in your own family and your own life.-
“Josiah looked down at the area of the kitchen table upon which Josiah’s mother had placed toast and cereal and milk and juice with a look of confusion. Noticing his look of confusion, Josiah’s mother said to Josiah, ‘Josiah, from this day forward, we will not be eating chocolate. When I say that we will not be eating chocolate, I mean that we, meaning you, will no longer eat nothing but chocolate. Some chocolate some of the time is fine, but as for the rest of the time, we need to start eating like normal people. Most, or I should say all, of your life, we, meaning I, have not treated you like a normal person. This is because you are not a normal person. You are special. But now I realize that I have possibly treated you too special, and now we have problems. So, from now on, we, meaning you, are going to be doing more normal things, like eating foods other than chocolate. But you mustn’t think that this means that you are normal, like everyone else. You are not. You must never forget that you are special. You are more than other people. You are part-Parnucklian, which is a wonderful thing. We, or I should say, I, simply feel that it would be good for you to do normal things for the time being. So sit down and have some breakfast.’”
B.H. James was born and raised an only child in Galt, California. He attended Catholic schools and had a dog named Pepsi. He went to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where he majored in Sociology, which was slightly useless as he mostly took creative writing courses. He took too long to graduate, mostly due to his preoccupation with pursuing a career in amateur rodeo. Somewhere in his late twenties, he got tired of driving to and fro throughout the country catching steers, so he took a job teaching high school English in the International Baccalaureate program in Stockton, California, finding there his two loves: teaching and his wife, Liz, a fellow English teacher. B.H. holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska. It was there that Parnucklian for Chocolate, B.H.’s first novel, began to take shape. B.H. currently lives in Lodi, California with his wife and their cat named Rooster.
For more Parnucklian, click here.
Spoke & Dark Book Trailer
Check out this book trailer for Carolyn Guinzio’s poetry collection Spoke & Dark, a Poetry Foundation best-seller!
For more information about Carolyn Guinzio or to buy Spoke & Dark, click here.
VidPo Killed the VisPo Star
You’ve probably heard of Visual Poetry, or VisPo, as it is usually known. But Video Poetry, or VidPo, as it will most likely come to be called. You can probably guess the gist: Video Poetry presents poems through short film–often using a combination of visual animation, sound, and the text of the poem itself. Here at Red Hen, we’re excited about video poetry. One of our authors, Nicelle Davis, has collaborated with digital motion artist Cheryl Gross, to create “Becoming Judas” —a video poem which contains 4 poems from her newly released book, Becoming Judas.
This summer, Nicelle and Cheryl were featured in The Third Form, with Erica Goss, a column on Connotation Press dedicated to video poetry. Goss spent much of her July column talking about the collaboration between Nicelle and Cheryl and what happens when two different artists come together to create something new. Goss raves about this pair, claiming they “furthered artistic possibilities.” She goes on to talk specifically about the video poem saying, ”there’s so much going on here to notice: Cheryl’s elaborate, edgy, detailed animations, Nicelle’s innocent, girl-next-door voice, and the poetry, with topics that range from the shooting of John Lennon outside the Dakota in 1980 to accidentally observing one’s parents in the act of sex.”
“Becoming Judas” was selected for 2013′s The Body Electric poetry film festival, A Colorado festival dedicated to showcasing video poems. The Vidpo has also received attention in this month’s Atticus Review as “[transcending] into New Media.”
Suffice to say, you need to watch “Becoming Judas.” We promise it’ll be the best decision you make all day.
Boomerangs in the Living Room
Rex Wilder’s second collection introduces the world to a new form: the boomerang, a four-line nouveau haiku, an anti-Tweet that aims for permanence in an evanescent world. Boomerang–or, in the words of Richard Wilbur, who advised the author on their shape, “admirable throwaways”–must rhyme the first word or syllable with the last. The opening salvo must suggest a coda, the bullet must return to its chamber. In the process, the poem moves like a boomerang: according to Wilbur, “a thrown boomerang has three phases: it flies to first base (as it were), then travels over to third and rises, then swoops home.” Boomerangs in the Living Room catches in its sweep literature’s classic themes: love, death, family, sex. The poems that come swooping back are seductive, destructive, endlessly quotable, and heartbreakingly beautiful.
is not gorgeous, which is
why I’m holding his
come! I have spent my life
trying to reattach
Home from the beach, an argument
we thought the surf
Join Rex Wilder, along with Dana Gioia and Jenny Factor, for a reading this Monday 9/9 at the Annenberg Community Beach House.
To purchase your own copy of Boomerangs in the Living Room, click here.