January 1, 2013
Results of Our September/October Open Reading Period
Happy New Year! We hope your celebrations have been safe and your football teams have been victorious. Steel Toe Books is having a great start to 2013, our tenth year in business, which we expect to be our lucky year. Not only is Gabriel Welsch’s book, The Four Horsepersons of a Disappointing Apocalypse, at the printer and nearly ready for you to buy (with Romeo Bones by Ron Salutsky soon to follow), but we have just made a verbal agreement with Charles Rafferty to publish The Unleashable Dog, our selection from 156 manuscripts submitted during our September/October 2012 open reading period. Mr. Rafferty will be receiving a standard royalties contract including a $500 advance for this marvelous book, due to be published in early 2014. Rafferty reminds us of Billy Collins in his ability to imagine and develop quirky tropes; he reminds us of Andre Breton in the way he manages to make us believe in the impossible. The Unleashable Dog is a carefully, cohesively arranged manuscript. The poems are philosophical, intimate, artful, and at once clear and mysterious. Some of them have previously been published in fine journals such as The New Yorker, The Southern Review, Connecticut Review, and Poems & Plays.
We wish to make honorable mention of the following manuscripts that made it to the final round of readings:
Water Turning Red by Elizabeth Murawski
The Appropriation of Jane by Rita Martinez
Just Drive by Robert Cooperman
Stay by Kathleen McGookey
Dog Under Yucca by Cody Lumpkin
Sorry Motel by Amy Miller
This Hospitable Midst by Mark Simpson
This Sounds Like My Head Feels by Curtis Crisler
Broom by Joelle Biele
We could not have successfully waded through all of the submissions without the help of this year’s editorial board: Andrew Marlowe Bergman, Elizabeth Burke, Brittany Lee Cheak, Haley Edwards, Amy Lindsey, Joshua Johnston, Kristin Ryan, and Seanna Wilhelm. Thanks to them for performing a task that often feels thankless.