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 about Steel Toe Books, visit www.steeltoebooks.com.