poetry collections...

March 3, 2009

Steel Toe Books Flies Kites in March

Bowling Green, KY--Steel Toe Books has selected My Father’s Kites by Allison Joseph from fifty-six manuscripts submitted during the press’s most recent open reading period.  This will be the sixth full-length collection of poems by Joseph, whose accolades include the John C. Zacharis First Book Prize, sponsored by Ploughshares; the Word Press Poetry Prize; and fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, Breadloaf, and the Sewanee Writers Conference.  She directs the MFA program at Southern Illinois University, serves as Editor and Poetry Editor of Crab Orchard Review, and maintains the CRWROPPS-B listserv, an invaluable resource for writers.  At the core of My Father’s Kites is a sequence of thirty-four sonnets about the poet’s late father – his life, his death, the burial arrangements, a daughter’s grief.  Here’s a sample:

In The Funeral Parlour

The silent woman at my father’s wake
avoids my gaze, as if she is not here.
there isn’t anything that she should fear—
I won’t approach to share in her heartache,
or tell her that my father’s great mistake
was living with a heart grown so severe
his daughters lost all hope they might endear
themselves to him.  So thin, she might just break
under the weight of what we won’t discuss.
No word seems right for her—she’s not his friend,
so sad and plain, she’s no petite mistress.
She’s just another woman he could bend,
manipulate with widower’s distress.
For both our sakes, I’m glad this is the end.

We would like to make honorable mention of the following manuscripts:  Where I Stood Stranded by Sally Wen Mao; In Thailand It Is Night by Ira Sukrungruang; My Earthbound Eye by Alejandro Escudé; The Ghost of Cesar Chavez by David Dominguez; There, There by George Higgins; Indian Blues by Sanka Roy; Automedon Struggles by D.N. Muranaka; and Cyrillic Letters by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer.

We will select our next two titles through a contest.  There will be a judge’s choice, selected by Denise Duhamel, as well as an editor’s choice.  Both winning poets will receive $500 and a publication contract.  The entry fee will be $24, and all entrants will receive copies of both winning books.  The postmark deadline will be June 30.

For more information, contact Tom C. Hunley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


For more information about Steel Toe Books, visit www.steeltoebooks.com.

October 30, 2017

We are pleased to announce Steel Toe Books' most recent release, Street Calligraphy by Jim Daniels. Steel Toe Books acquired this title for publication in 2016.

Jim Daniels is the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor of English at Caregie Mellon University, where he has been teaching creative writing since 1981. He is the author of seventeen books of poetry as well as numerous short stories and screenplays and the editor of multiple anthologies of poetry. His work has been featured in The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor, Poetry 180 with Billy Collins, and the American Life in Poetry series.

Street Calligraphy is, as poet Afaa M. Weaver says, "an honest and well-honed collection that will bring light to the lives it celebrates, our own." Aimee Nezhukumatathil calls these poems "moving and unflinching poems--brutal and brave." Daniels, a Detroit native, explores the city of the American Midwest, its concrete, factories, and graffiti: nostalgic, but not sentimental. "We never saw stars/above Detroit," he writes, "so why even look up?"

Street Calligraphy, will be available for purchase November 1, 2017, through Steel Toe Books (place an order here) and Amazon. For more information about Street Calligraphy or other Steel Toe releases, please view our titles here.

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