Get to know our forthcoming titles!
From the winners of the 2013 Literary Awards Program to the definitive collection of Richard Peabody’s prose and poetry, from heartbreaking memoir, to cutting-edge fiction, to powerful cultural essays, to a quiet obsession with the Morton Salt Girl — our spring 2015 season has a little something for everyone! Preorder now direct from SFWP!
The Poor Children
by April L. Ford
Debut author April L. Ford bursts onto the literary scene with this edgy, stunning collection that deftly examines the underbelly of the human condition through a cross-section of fascinating characters—a correctional officer fixated on a juvenile offender, a Goth teenager and her werewolf boyfriend, a pyromaniac by happenstance, a set of twins haunted by an unconfirmed death.
Pushing beyond the norms of daily life and into the sometimes morally lawless worlds of her characters, Ford explores the eccentric, the perverse, the disenfranchised, and the darkly comic possibilities at play in us all.
Grand prize-winner of the 2013 SFWP Literary Awards Program in fiction, and shortlisted for SALT Publishing’s international Scott Prize, April is also a finalist for the 2014 Molly Ivors Prize for Fiction and is Managing Editor of Digital Americana Magazine. She teaches creative writing at State University of New York College at Oneonta. Find her online!
“From the amazing first sentence of April L. Ford’s debut collection, THE POOR CHILDREN, I was hooked. This is a rarity: a compellingly original voice and vision.”
— David Morrell, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author
“These are smart, sad, funny, reckless, all-over-the-emotional-map stories that never lose their focus nor their grip on the reader. A harrowing and outstanding collection.”
— Fred Leebron author of SIX FIGURES
“April L. Ford’s prose is a sort of nimbus about darkness. She deals with painful subject matter in an unflinching manner reminiscent of some of Cormac McCarthy’s early books. THE POOR CHILDREN is a compelling, brave, and original debut.”
— Naeem Murr, author of THE PERFECT MAN
“April Ford’s stories are a scorching corrective to kneejerk sentiment; they remind us that youth, while it has its pleasures, is essentially a battleground. A memorable debut.”
— Jonathan Dee, author of THE PRIVILEGES
by Stephen G. Eoannou
The stories in Muscle Cars explore the unique and sometimes flawed relationships between men, their families, and their friends. Featuring a diverse cast of inarticulate misfits—including a compulsive body builder obsessed by the death of his brother; a former boxer forced to sell his prized 1946 New York Yankees autographed baseball; and two boyhood friends who plan to steal Ted Williams’ scientifically frozen head—this stand-out debut from Pushcart-nominated Eoannou is a powerful journey through the humor, darkness, and neuroses of the modern American Everyman…
2013 Literary Awards Program runner-up Stephen G. Eoannou holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and an MA from Miami University. His work has been nominated for two Pushcart Awards, awarded an Honor Certificate from The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and was honored with the Best Short Screenplay Award at the 36th Starz Denver Film Festival. He lives and writes in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, the setting and inspiration for much of his work. Find him online!
The stories in Stephen G. Eoannou’s collection are, as the title suggests, very much like muscle cars—lean, powerful, fast, and gorgeous. Eoannou evokes, in seventeen richly textured and often hilarious visions of Buffalo life, what it means to be male—son, brother, father, spouse, lover, half-baked friend, sports fanatic, neighbor—in the 21st century. These stories will transport you. Enjoy the ride.
–K. L. Cook, Author of Love Songs for the Quarantined and Last Call
In his collection, Stephen G. Eoannou proves masterful at revealing that razor’s edge inside everyday American man, where the power of role and the power of raw emotion almost balance out. He throws light on the mysterious interiors of husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, soldiers, compatriots, these streets of Buffalo past and present–all the while keeping track of the darker currents that run beneath the surface. And no matter how sympathetic, how human his storytellers are, there always seems to come a moment when you have to decide if this guy–the one with the plot to steal a frozen head or auction a baseball or shave his weightlifter legs–is brilliant or insane. Muscle Cars is a magnificent debut.
–Ashley Warlick, author of Seek The Living and The Summer After June
Part Richard Russo, part Bruce Springsteen, part OTB parlors and Cutlass Supremes, Eoannou’s debut collection, Muscle Cars, is all—all—heart. These are tough, ruminative, cunning and tough—did I say tough?—stories of people trying to make it, one way and another, for better and worse. A fine first collection, and I look forward to the next.
–Brett Lott, author of Jewel, an Oprah Book Club Selection.
The Richard Peabody Reader
edited by Lucinda Ebersole
From our sister company, ASP, comes The Richard Peabody Reader, a wide-ranging selection of this great writer’s poetry and prose, filling an important gap in the literary world. As a publisher, Peabody’s steadfast dedication to that which is new, challenging, innovative and dynamic has won him a wide reputation among writers whose work he has championed. This volume demonstrates those same values, embodied in nearly four decades of fiercely smart, sophisticated, and often very funny writing. From his first collection of poems, I’m in Love With the Morton Salt Girl, to his most recent collection of short stories, Blue Suburban Skies, Peabody has established and developed a thoroughly unique voice, both warm and piercing, to deliver content that ranges from the hilarious, as in the short story “Flea Wars,” to the bittersweet, as in the poem “The Other Man is Always French,” to the elegiac, as in the poem in “Civil War Pieta,” to the absurd, as in the rollicking farce of the short story, “Bad Day at Ikea.”
Peabody’s aesthetic is all-embracing – strands of punk, beat, experimental, feminist, and political protest literary influences blend with the purely romantic to create a body of work that is both profound and pleasing. A writer who never plays it safe, Peabody writes with the urgency of one who thinks that any day might be his last, and with the insights of a life fully lived. Whether addressing fatherhood or unjust wars, unrequited love or suburban malaise, Peabody delivers, with both freshness and gravitas, important information about life as we live it now.
The collection was edited by Lucinda Ebersole, a writer and scholar who has worked with Peabody on several anthologies as well as many issues of Gargoyle, and who applied a deep knowledge the author’s writing and career to the task. A substantive introduction by Michael Dirda, a Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic, puts Peabody in his rightful place as a great and influential American man of letters, while an accompanying timeline provides important information about Peabody’s life and accomplishments in literature. Find Peabody online!
Smoking Cigarettes, Eating Glass
by Dr. Annita Perez Sawyer
9781939650269 | $17.95| May, 2015 | Distributed by IPG
What would lead a lively, high-achieving teenager to shrivel into a dark, inaudible wraith dedicated to her own destruction? How would she survive? How might healing happen?
Dr. Annita Sawyer’s memoir is a harrowing, heroic, and redeeming story of her battle with mental illness, and her triumph in overcoming it. In 1960, as a suicidal teenager, Sawyer was institutionalized, misdiagnosed, and suffered through 89 electroshock treatments before being transferred, labelled as “unimproved.” The damage done has haunted her life. Discharged in 1966, after finally receiving proper psychiatric care, Sawyer kept her past secret and moved on to graduate from Yale, raise two children, and become a respected psychotherapist . . . until 2001, when she reviewed her hospital records and began to remember a broken childhood and the even more broken mental health system of the 50s and 60s,
Revisiting scenes from her childhood, and assembling the pieces of a lost puzzle, Smoking Cigarettes, Eating Glass is a cautionary tale of careless psychiatric diagnosis and treatment, both 50 years ago and today. It is an informative story about understanding PTSD and making emotional sense of events that can lead a soul to darkness. Most of all, it’s a story of perseverance – of pain, acceptance, healing, hope, and success; a unique voice for this generation, shedding light on an often misunderstood illness.
A memoir that reads with the dramatic thrust of fiction — spotlighting historically careless fads in psychiatric diagnosis and treatment, illustrating real, lifelong effects of childhood trauma, and demonstrating how psychotherapy heals. Ultimately, it’s the journey of a young woman through a broken system, a woman who later learns how to fix herself and then works to improve how others are treated.
Annita Sawyer grew up in White Plains, N.Y. She has spent most of her adult life in Connecticut, where she has had a psychology practice for over thirty years. She’s a member of the clinical faculty at Yale. Annita’s essays have won prizes and been included among Notables in Best American Essays. Her memoir was selected by Lee Gutkind for the 2013 Santa Fe Writers Project Grand Prize for nonfiction. Annita speaks to mental health clinicians and consumers around the country, using her own story to reinforce her message: pay attention. She’s a Quaker, a grandmother, and a Scottish Country Dancer. She has sung in the New Haven Chorale for close to 40 years.
This utterly gripping, sharply written memoir pulls no punches. With cauterizing honesty and a blessed sense of perspective, Annita Perez Sawyer takes you into and through her dark experience to the shores of wisdom.
–Phillip Lopate, author of Being With Children
How to mend a psyche shattered by personal trauma? Annita Sawyer seeks answers to that question, first for her patients and then for herself. In prose without a hint of self-pity, yet rich in sensory details and professional insight, she draws a dark history into the light. The degree of healing she achieves is a testament to her imagination as well as her courage, for in her hands writing itself proves to be a powerful medicine.
–Scott Russell Sanders, author of Divine Animal: A Novel
Annita Sawyer writes candidly — and gracefully — of her vulnerabilities and her persistence as she details her harrowing experience with a misdiagnosis, the hard-won life she forges in its wake, and her ultimate reconciliation with her buried past. Smoking Cigarettes, Eating Glass is a brave, compassionate, memorable book.
–Jane Brox, author of Five Thousand Days Like This One and Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light
by Allen Gee
In the first collection of essays by a Chinese-American male to be published in over a decade, Allen Gee writes about aspects of Asian-American life in a detailed, eloquent manner, looking at how Asian-Americans view themselves in light of America’s insensitivities, stereotypes, and expectations. My Chinese-America speaks on masculinity, identity, and topics ranging from Jeremy Lin to immigration to profiling to Asian silences.
This not-to-be-missed collection from SFWP Awards Program winner Gee has an intimacy that transcends cultural boundaries, and casts light on a vital part of American culture that surrounds and influences all of us.
Dr. Allen Gee is a graduate of The University of New Hampshire, The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and The University of Houston. He is an associate professor of English at Georgia College, where he teaches in the M.F.A. program and edits for the journal Arts & Letters.
“This is truth-telling, which is harder to do in a highly diverse cultural context like
America. My Chinese-America depicts how Asian-Americans view themselves
compared to the insensitivities of the nation. Each essay has its own identity, eloquently defining what makes us human. Vital sensibilities are here, not eroded by Western beliefs, and these moral values should be greatly appreciated.”
–James Alan McPherson
“This collection presents a part of American culture that most readers are not particularly familiar with, shedding light into a world that has been in the shadows. These essays are told slowly and meticulously with a subtle style that engages and entices the reader—a very difficult undertaking that succeeds admirably. There are messages and astute reflections here, that kept me and will keep others captivated.”
— Lee Gutkind
“Intimate and wide-ranging, these probing essays complicate our picture of both Asian Americans and America. I will be thinking about all Gee so ably describes for a long time.”
“All Asian-American men have experiences we’ve ignored, dismissed and written off. Allen Gee’s essays are an excavation of the fossilized layers of our souls and hearts. Thanks to Gee’s articulate and thoughtful voice, we are made wiser and whole.”
— Ed Lin