Paycock Press is a very small indie press interested in publishing fiction books in the 100–200 page range. That means manuscripts of 20,000–40,000 words. Shorter is fine, too.
For poetry volumes we prefer the standard 64-page book.
We’re not really interested in most genre fiction or mainstream lit.
We’re also interested in creating Ebook versions of o.p. indie books
Paycock Press was founded in 1976 to publish Gargoyle magazine, a DC-based international literary magazine. Named for Sean O’Casey’s play Juno and the Paycock, the press went into hibernation in 1990. When the magazine was revived in 1997, we began talking about starting to publish books once again.
Coming in March, 2023
“A minimalist tour de force. A sultry journey into a multi-faceted Spanish dream world. A mesmerizing read that can be finished in an evening but will linger for days.” –Kevin Downs, Writer-Filmmaker-Educator
“Malaga is enchanting. In sparse, poetic prose that shows what a novella does so powerfully, Lucinda Ebersole wrestles our relationship with history, death, and motion. Malaga is a journey I’m honored to travel and better for the adventure.” –Melissa Scholes Young, author of Flood and Hive
Have I Said Too MuchCarmen Delzell lives somewhere between Mexico City and Austin, Texas. She has lived in Saltillo, Coahuilla, and San Miguel de Allende since 1993 when she won a National Endowment grant and hit the road running.
Aridane AwakensIn Ariadne Awakens: Instructions for the Labyrinth Laura Costas asks in her introduction “What does it mean to live outside of the imprisoning metrics of ideology?” Read more….
Written in ArlingtonWritten in Arlington showcases contemporary poets from and poetry about Arlington, VA. Read more…..
Sex & Chocolate: Tasty Morsels for Mind and Bodyed. by Lucinda Ebersole & Richard PeabodyISBN 0-931181-21-6, ltd. to 1000cc, 343p
Alice Redux: New Stories of Alice, Lewis, and Wonderland, ed. by Richard Peabody ltd. to 1000ccISBN 0-931181-22-4 319pp(cover painting “Malice in Wonderland” by Julie Inman)
Grace and Gravity: Fiction by Washington Area Womened. Richard Peabody, ISBN: 0931181186 (2004)
31 Arlington Poets ed Richard Peabody, (Spoken word/music CD) (2004) ASIN: B0007G8RO8
Last of the Red Hot Magnetos Richard Peabody (poetry chapbook, 48 pages) ISBN: 093118116X 199pp. (2004)Chosen as a Sept-Oct Pick in the Small Magazine Review #132-133.
In Praise of What Persists Joyce Renwick (short fiction) (2004) ISBN: 0-931181-12-7
Blank Like MeHarrison Fisher(poetry)ISBN: 0-9602424-2-2. (1980)out of print
Jukebox Tina Fulker(Poetry) ISBN 0-9602424-4-9 (1980/2nd printing 1982) out of print
Alphabets Sublime: Contemporary Artists on Collage & Visual Literature George Myers Jr. ISBN: 0-931181-02-X (nonfiction) (1986) out of print
Natural History George Myers Jr. (fiction)ISBN 0-931181- 01-1 (1981/2nd edition 1985) out of print
Donya Currie AriasandHildie S. Block – Not What I Expected: The Unpredictable Road from Womanhood to Motherhood
Michael Brondoli – The Love Letter Hack (fiction) 0-9602424-7-3 (1979. Second edition with graphics by Mary Beath in 1982.) out of print
Geri DePaoli (Editor) – Elvis And Marilyn: 2X Immortal by Rizzoli
Lucinda Ebersole – Coming to Terms: A Literary Perspective on Abortion
Lucinda Ebersole – Death in Equality
Lucinda Ebersole and Richard Peabody – The Mondo Series
Tina Fulker – Tender Hooks (cassette) 1986
Carlo Parcelli – Fernparallelismus(poetry) ISBN 0-931181-00-3(1985) out of print
Richard Peabody (ed.) – D.C. Magazines: A Literary Retrospective ISBN 0-9602424-5-7 (anthology) (1981) out of print
Richard Peabody – I’m in Love with the Morton Salt Girl/Echt & Ersatz(poetry) ISBN 0-9602424-8-1 (1979/2nd edition 1985) out of print
Richard Peabody (ed.) Mavericks: nine independent publishers ISBN 0-9602424-9-X (1983) out of print
Richard Peabody – Open Joints on Bridge
Jesse Waters – So Let Me Get This Straight
Ed Cox – Collected Poems
Enhanced Gravity: More Fiction by Washington Area Women ISBN 0-931181-20-8400pp. ed. by Richard Peabody (due 6/17/2006)featuring: Stephanie Allen, Christina Bartolomeo, Kate Blackwell, Hildie S. Block, Lisa Boylan, Carole Burns, Susan Coll, Jennifer Cutting, Ramola D., J. H. Diehl, C. M. Dupré, Herta Feely, Robin Ferrier, Sara Fisher, Lee Fleming, Amy Fries, Dorothy Hickson, M.H. Johnson, Alma Katsu, Wendi Kaufman, Susan Land, E. J. Levy, Meena Arora Nayak, Vanessa Orlando, Michele Orwin, Sibbie O’Sullivan, Saideh Pakravan, Ginger Park, Colleen Pecorelli, Suzanne Picard, Judith Podell, Liz Poliner, Judy Pomeranz, Stephanie Siciarz, Rozanne Gooding Silverwood, Julia Slavin, Rose Solari, Sally Steenland, Venus Thrash, Julie Wakeman-Linn, Sarah Louise Williams, C. Jenise Wriston, and more. Cover art by Jody Mussoff.
“Enhanced Gravity is proof of the variety of talents and passions to be found in DC. With its takes on sex, death, birth, love, the pains of youth, the pains of old age, infidelity, abiding fidelity, this anthology has something for every mood, and reading the stories together provides a deepened sense of the interior and exterior contours of this city.”—Aurelie Sheehan, author of Jack Kerouac is Pregnant
What do women write? These stories shout, Everything, from as many points of view. Think potluck of pungent diversity. Think rough-edged visions, as opposed to neatly hemmed samplers from Culture, Inc. Enhanced Gravity surprises and entertains; it horrifies and hurts. And it enlightens, by modeling a rich, inclusive world.—Mollie Best Tinsely, author of Throwing Knives
This collection captures our many longings in vivid, gut-deep prose. The stories call to us, beckon us like Stephanie Allen’s “pile of coats, [their] riot of textures from silk linings to poplin serge to wool, waiting for us to dive in and roll around in them.”–Nicole Louise Reid, author of In the Breeze of Passing Things
Kiss the Sky: Fiction & Poetry Starring Jimi Hendrixltd. ed. 1000cc ISBN 0-931181-24-0 (due 3/21/2007)350pp (ed. by Richard Peabody)Featuring: Matt Agosta, Sherman Alexie, Brian Ames, Mark Ari, Bruce Bauman, Robert Bixby, Robert Cooperman, Barbara DeCesare, Matthew Dillon, Kevin Downs, Richard Flynn, Jessica Hagedorn, Reuben Jackson, George Kalamaras, L. A. Lantz, Nathaniel Mackey, Graham Masterton, Nancy Mercado, Steve Messner, Martin Millar, Matthew L. Moffett, Rick Moody, Michael Moorcock, Rebecca Motil, David Nicholson, James Norcliffe, Erik Orsenna, Gerry Gomez Pearlberg, W.T. Pfefferle, Meredith Pond, Doug Rice, Tim Seibles, Lewis Shiner, Rozanne Gooding Silverwood, John Sinclair, Michael Spann, Chris Stevens, D. E. Steward, Darrell D. Stover, Sara-Jayne Townsend, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Michael Ventura, Walter Williams, and more.
Electric Grace: Still More Fiction by Washington Area Womened. by Richard Peabody ISBN 0-931181-25-9 (Due fall 2007)Featuring: Teresa Bevin, Jody Brady, Michelle Brafman, Laura Brylawski-Miller, Brenda W. Clough, Merle Collins, Julie Corwin, Janet Crossen, Rosemarie Dempsey, Cynthia Folcarelli, Corrine Zappia Gormont, Tammy Greenwood-Stewart, Jamie Holland, Jennifer Howard, Eugenia Kim, Annette Curtis Klaus, Randi Kristensen, Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, Barbara Mujica, Jessica Neely, Sarah Pleydell, Vicki Popdan, Liz Roca, Jessie Seigel, Sheryl Stein, Amy Stolls, Mary L. Tabor, Julia Thomas, Sheila Walsh, Riggin Waugh, Mary-Sherman Willis, Robyn Kirby Wright, Hannanah Zaheer, Anna Ziegler, Christy Zink, and more to be added.
Daisy Buchanan’s Daughter
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Elvis And Marilyn: 2X Immortal by Rizzoli
Death in Equality
So Let Me Get This Straight
Open Joints on Bridge
Buoyancy and Other Myths
A Different Beat
Not Quite Ocean
Just Passing Through
The Love Letter Hack
Book Details Below
“Washington, D.C., is not a place most people associate with delicious literary fiction. But they should, and Peabody’s anthologies of fiction by D.C. area women are proof. Big, rich, and frothfully fabulous, Abundant Grace is the perfect title for this latest collection to savor—or devour!” — C. M. Mayo, author of Sky Over El Nido and Miraculous Air.“Having spent my life writing and reading in D.C., I’m thrilled at this collection of stories by some of Washington’s finest writers — women with strong voices and bold ways with the language. These stories take us both to new places and to our familiars. The unique characters on these pages are so vividly rendered, so full of surprises, we can’t help but to devour this book. You’ll find every kind of wanting, unexpected joys, difficult questions, and graceful answers.” — Anna March, Salon regular contributor.“Once again, Richard Peabody has gathered together an astounding range of talent from the Washington, D.C., area. For anyone who believes that D.C. is not a hotbed of daring, powerful writers, Abundant Grace again proves them wrong.” — Lucinda Ebersole, author of Death in Equality.
by Michael Brondoli (fiction) 0-9602424-7-3 (1979. Second edition with graphics by Mary Beath in 1982.)
Brondoli studied with Reynolds Price at Duke and hung out with the crowd around Keith & Rosmarie Waldrop in Providence and his first novella was published by McPherson & Co., as part of their Treacle Story series. We published his second novella. Our book was eventually incorporated into Brondoli’s North Point Press collection, Showdown. The style is “Providence Baroque.” Very influenced by Tom Ahern, the Waldrops, the Gizzi’s, and Jaimy Gordon. Nobody knows where Brondoli is now. Last I heard he was roaming the Outer Banks.“It’s a well written tale, with a nicely exotic flavor. He does indeed have a lot of talent. He also has a god sense of what a story is and how it ought to unfold.” -Guy Davenport
“Michael Brondoli is so at home in the Turkish bazaars that it’s hard to believe he’s a homegrown Virginian . . . Brondoli hacks his way through a plethora of no-account novels and novellas, and assures himself of a future-and presence-in American literature . . . .”-George Myers Jr., Abraxas
“A first book from this press, and a very fine beginning, indeed. A very touching and wryly humorous account of love and absence from home.” – Library Journal
“In Just Passing Through (Paycock Press, paper) M. Scott Douglass has elevated the two-stroke engine to the sublime. Here we do not need to worry about maintenance, for the poet’s sure hands guide us through that which is actually important, the trip itself, not the internal workings of the machine…”Jamie Brown.
Read more inThe Broadkill Review.
You can read the review by Richard Allen Taylor of Not Quite Ocean: Selected Poems of John Elsberg by visiting The Pedestal Magazine.
“Writing is—on the professional level—an assault upon those sacred gatekeepers of agents, publishers, and editors. What Could Possibly Go Wrong? is a memorable testament to what occurs when an author is fortunate enough to finally exult in an even more terrifying experience: to meet the public you think you’re writing for.”–John King, author of Guy Psycho and the Ziggurat of Shame and host of The Drunken Odyssey: A Podcast About the Writing Life.
36 Poets & Writers Spill Their Worst Reading Experiences.Featuring: Brett Axel, Mark Baechtel, Abby Bardi, Linda Blaskey, Jim Bourey, Jamie Brown, Nancy Naomi Carlson, Joan Colby, Pete Dantinne, Barbara Esstman, Abby Frucht, Meredith Davies Hadaway, Lola Haskins, Alma Katsu, Randi Gray Kristensen, Gerry LaFemina, Sara Levy, Jo McDougall, Dinty W. Moore, Miles David Moore, Meredith Pond, Charles Rammelkamp, Paisley Rekdal, Melissa Scholes Young, Amber Shockley, Rose Solari, Ed Southern, Amber Sparks, Marilyn Stablein, Sharon Suzuki-Martinez, Susan Tepper, Lee Upton, Michael Waters, Tim Wendel, Katherine E. Young, and Ed Zahniser.
A new Paycock Press Book
ISBN: 978-0-931181-69-6 ($10) Paycock Press
3819 13th St. N. Arlington, VA 22201
Alice Redux: New Stories of Alice, Lewis, and Wonderland
“Alice Redux is a potent and heady brew; conveying a surreal and intense array of atmospheres and phantasmagorical takes on the original tale, this is a collection by some of the finest and most imaginative writers around. Alice proves to be a Muse in hairband and pinafore; this collection of Alice in Wonderland inspired stories should most definitely be labelled Drink Me.” — Joolz Denby, author of Billie Morgan “Alice–the hippest girl in Victorian England, the first postmodern heroine–is back, reflected in the looking-glasses of some of the most imaginative writers of our day. Many of my favorites are here–Carter, Coover, Ducornet, Olsen, Sheehan–as well as some intriguing strangers. (And Nancy Taylor’s photographs had me fainting in coils.) The literary Alice exerts the same fascination on the contributors that Alice Liddell did on Lewis Carroll, liberating the imagination, loosening the tongue. This is a superb anthology, a Wonderland of fiction wild and new.” –Steven Moore, editor and critic “Drawing their inspiration from the imaginative feast that is Alice in Wonderland, these stories are by turns funny, moving, and best of all, startling; each surprises in its own way, and each allows us to inhabit, for a little while longer, a world we didn’t even realize we missed.” – Carolyn Parkhurst, author of The Dogs of Babel
Alice Redux: New Stories of Alice, Lewis, and Wonderland ed. by Richard Peabody “> ltd. to 1000ccISBN 0-931181-22-4 250pp $15.95 featuring: Donya Currie Arias, Beth Bachmann, Bruce Bauman, Jeffrey M. Bockman, Angela Carter, Robert Coover, Ann Downer, Kevin Downs, Rikki Ducornet, CM Dupre, Alison Habens, Susan Hankla, Ann Harries, Dorothy Hickson, Alice Johnson, Steven Millhauser, Miles David Moore, Dave Morice, Jeff Noon, Lance Olsen, Victoria Popdan, Doug Rice, Katie Roiphe, Lorraine Schein, Martin Seay, Aurelie Sheehan, Suzan Sherman, David R. Slavitt, MaryAnn Suehle, Ross Taylor, Tom Whalen, and photos by Nancy Taylor. Review in LA City Beat Review in Endicott Studio for Mythic Arts Review in Lively Arts
“I’m pretty well blown away by these stories. The voices here are powerful – wickedly ironic and smart – and I love the way they aggregate, and loop back upon themselves. Truly great work!”T.C. Boyle.
“Think of Jesse Waters as the Charles Darwin of story speciation. The fictions culled here in this remote atoll of the imagination, So Let Me Get This Straight, represent a whole new Linnaean Kingdom of the written word. Waters is not just on the cutting edge of edginess; he has forged a whole new display case of sharpened instruments. These are dispatches that dispatch with gleeful precision.”Michael MartoneAuthor of Four for a Quarter and Michael Martone
“This intelligent, inventive book strikes the reader’s mind as a total pleasure. It is a joyride through this world and the next and back again, through the fields of religion and psychology, human folly and high spirits. I loved every sentence.”Rebecca LeeBobcat and Other Stories
Not What I Expected: The Road from Womanhood to Motherhood
ed. by Donya Currie and Hildie S. Block ISBN 0-931181-26-7 Due Fall 2006An anthology of poetry, fiction, essays and artwork by Jody Bolz, Carole Burns, Grace Cavalieri, Christina Daub, Mary Doroshenk, Patricia Gray, Clarinda Harriss, Anne Hasselbrack, Jacqueline Jules, Mary Ann Larkin, Lyn Lifshin, Hilary Tham, Donna Vitucci, Mary-Sherman Willis, and tons more.
This book, full of pathos and humor, explores every aspect of motherhood. The writers in this anthology take you on a ride to many unexpected places: from the terrifying terrain of losing a baby to the exaltation of a successful pregnancy against the odds. Here you’ll find the blood and sweat and grit of parenthood, all the real secrets that nobody tells you before your baby is born.–Jennifer Margulis, author of “Why Babies Do That” and “Toddler: Real-Life Stories of Those Fickle, Irrational, Urgent, Tiny People We Love”
Amazing Graces: Yet Another Collection of Fiction by Washington Area Women $18.95 464 ppISBN 9780931181351Cover art by Sheep Jones “Cover image: “Copper Head,” by Sheep Jones “There is nothing parochial here in Amazing Graces: Yet Another Collection of Fiction by by Washington Area Women. Not in terms of place nor of gender. This is quite simply a remarkable collection of contemporary fiction dense with real life and more. Dive in!!!!”—Frances Driscoll, author of Talk to Me and The Rape Poems “Amazing Graces is absolutely consuming. I was transported by the worries of a teenage girl in a tough inner-city school, a woman desperate to break up with her therapist, someone who loses his sight and makes sense of the world. These stories are raw and inviting, painful enough to read, yet often endearingly funny. A mother in ‘Floating’ says, ‘You know, honey, there’s something I want to tell you, but I don’t want to upset you. Do you think you’ll be upset?’ It’s a question I might ask the reader of this collection. You are going to go to a wig shop in these pages; you are going to walk into a room of Kennedy lookalikes, and people wearing Sarah Palin masks. Take nothing for granted and get ready to be surprised.”—Marti Leimbach, author of Dying Young and The Man From Saigon “In this amazing anthology, you will find depth and range in stories taking place from Brazil to New Orleans, London to New York to L.A., from Maryland’s Eastern Shore to the other side of the grave – and, of course, Washington. You will find humor, irony, rage, sorrow, ghost stories and love stories. You will find kids who rebel and grow, and kids who don’t. You will find women who face pregnancies, abortions and adoptions; mothers who love their children and mothers who drive them crazy; wives who cope with adultery, and wives who confess it. Mostly, you will find real people made of flesh and blood, bone and heart. What you will not find is politics, or politicians (except for a fantasized Dick Cheney in retirement). Thus, this is a guide to the real capital, stretching far beyond the Capitol dome into the real world and beautifully rendered by gifted Washington women with art, intelligence – and grace.”—Joanna Biggar, author of That Paris Year Amazing Graces features:Julie Vosburgh Agnone—Snake StickJonetta Rose Barras—MartynaPatricia Bartlett—One of a KindCatherine Bell—WitnessArielle Bernstein—Things Poor People EatEmily Bliss—FloatingLaura Bogart—Your Name is NoRae Bryant—SkinEllen Campbell—Peripheral VisionCeleste Crenshaw—from “After the Dance”Caitlin Cushman—After WordsMeghan Dombrink-Green—BlurryMichelle Dove—A Well-Made WigVerlyn Flieger—Igrayne After TintagelBeth Frerking—Watching the DeadAlessandra Gelmi—from Who’s Afraid of RedJennifer Howard—Mercury RisingEsther Iverem—“The Sidewalk” (from a novel in progress)Beth Konkoski—MercyBettina Lanyi—BurrowTara Laskowski—Every Now and ThenSusan Lennon—Chicken Foot LeakPatricia Morningstar—A Little Monkey BusinessDonna Moss—Jockey DaysTeresa Burns Murphy—Halloween GiftJennifer L. Napolitano—A Recipe for Banana BreadPriscilla Nemeth—Three Hundred DollarsLorine Kritzer Pergament—Smell the Roses on Your Own TimeDenise V. Powers—The Best YearsEman Quotah—London FogColleen Kearney Rich—The Five of CupsKim Roberts—The Worst ItchGabriela Romeri—Raining MenCharlotte Safavi—Aphrodite’s EggsBarbara Scheiber—DiagnosisSusan Sharpe—White DaysKatherine R. Smith—FrostAmber Sparks—As They Always AreEugenia Tsutsumi—Of Chicken and LoveLinden von Eichel—HavocWanda Warner—Help WantedGina Welch—Dick at HomeKathleen Wheaton—AliensConstance Witherspoon—PimpingPamela Woolford—Pleasant People
• Amazing Graces, the fifth collection of fiction by Washington, DC-area women in the Grace & Gravity series from Paycock Press, is garnering great blurbs! Click here for details.
The Amazing Graces launch party, held on Sunday, January 8, at the renowned DC bookstore Politics & Prose, was a smash success! We sold 200 copies of our newest book and enjoyed insights about its development from an eight-author panel moderated by Bethanne Patrick. Panelists Rae Bryant, Celeste Crenshaw, Beth Frerking, Jennifer Howard, Esther Iverem, Priscilla Nemeth, Wanda Warner and Kathleen Wheaton each read from her piece in the new anthology (it worked like a collage) and then fielded questions from the audience and the moderator. “The event was truly a celebration, not a marathon,” said editor Richard Peabody, owner of Paycock Press. Alumni from the first four volumes in the series and writers who are penciled in for a sixth volume were invited to the event. For more details, go to the Politics & Prose site: http://www.politics-prose.com/event/book/richard-peabody-ed-amazing-graces Our thanks to Pam Risdon, www.risdonfoto.com, for these great photos of the event.
More Author Pictures here
31 Arlington Poets
ASIN: B0007G8RO8 $10 Spoken Word CD featuring 78 minutes and 70 cuts by:
Karren L. AlenierCicely AngeltonMel BelinRei BerroraLaura Brylawski-MillerCarole BurnsCheryl CrockettMichael DavisJohn ElsbergAndy FogleJim FrainPatricia GarfinkelBernadette K.GeyerRobert L. GironTod IbrahimDan JohnsonJacqueline JulesNandinee KuttyPerry LindstromAndrew LundwallMark MansfieldMiles David MooreNeelam PatelRichard PeabodyKim RobertsMartha Sanchez-LoweryM. A. SchaffnerJeannie SmithHilary ThamNaomi ThiersJill Tunick
Available from editor Richard Peabody. Email him: email@example.com
Sex & Chocolate: Tasty Morsels for Mind and Body ed. by Lucinda Ebersole & Richard Peabody
ISBN 0-931181-21-6ltd. to 1000cc, 348pp (forthcoming 2/14/2006)
Featuring: Ann Androla, R. R. Angell, Robert Bixby, Jodi Bloom, Jane Bradley, Mary Ann Cain, Nick Carbo, Patrick Chapman, Rikki Ducornet, Denise Duhamel, Moira Egan, Enid Futterman, Laurence Gonzales, Ivy Goodman, Jaimy Gordon, Richard Grayson, Joanne Harris, Shelley Jackson, Kevin Killian, Nancy Ludmerer, Deirdra McAfee, John McNally, Susan Smith Nash, Anthony Oldknow, Leslie Pietrzyk, Nani Power, Christy Sheffield Sanford, Lynda Schor, Gregg Shapiro, Eugene Stein, Cheryl A. Townsend, Lee Upton, and more.
Learn about other forthcoming titles from Paycock. Advance subscriptions for the 3-title series: Alice Redux; Sex & Chocolate; Kiss the Sky are as follows:
$20 for any one volume$30 for any two volumes$50 for all three volumes
Make checks out to Richard Peabody and mail to:
3819 North 13th StreetArlington, Virginia 22201
“Chocolate is the song of Eros as Eros is the song of God, It’s all about surrender. Use this book as a hymnal.” — Lily Pond, Editor of Yellow Silk
“Mix: Equal portions candy, carnal delight, excellent prose. Result: a delicious book box of stories whose pleasures are complicated, sweet, and lasting.” —Elizabeth Benedictauthor of The Joy of Writing Sex, Almost, & The Practice of Deceit
“The only hobby I enjoy as much as sex and chocolate is reading. Thanks to this lusty and luscious collection of diverse stories, for the first time I can do all three at once, multi-tasking like crazy to my Type A heart’s content.”—Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of A Little Change of Face
Coming to Terms
The New Press ISBN 1-56584-188-3 Edited by Lucinda Ebersole & Richard Peabody
While it is not unusual for abortion to be considered in political and social terms, rarely is it thought of as a source of literary inspiration. But in fact dozens of leading literary figures have been moved to write about “coming to terms” with unexpected or unwanted pregnancies, and in so doing they have written some of their most inspired fiction. In this original and important book, Lucinda Ebersole and Richard peabody, the creative anthologizers who brought us Mondo Barbie and Mondo Elvis, have gathered together over a dozen short stories and fiction excerpts that remind us what is most important in this hotly contested “civil war”-the people and circumstances behind the headlines. In “Cora Unashamed,” Langston Hughes writes of the Sturdevant’s maid, Cora, who loses her livelihood but not her honor when she publicly decries the abortion the family forces upon their “shamed” daughter. In Amy Hempel’s very contemporary story, “Beg Sl, Tog, Inc, Cont, Rep,” a woman deals with her recent abortion by knitting piles of baby sweaters. The broad scope of literary talent-the contributors come from all over the world and from a variety of political perspectives-coupled with a topic that elicits heated ebate make Coming to Terms a must-read for anyone interested in this, our must publicly debated, yet extremely private, issue. Nonpartisan in its focus, this collection transcends the political polarities that limit most discussions of abortion and confirms literature’s ability to empower, comfort, and transform more effectively than any rhetoric that has yet to grace our opinion or editorial pages. Contributors include: Richard Brautigan, Babs H. Deal, Joan Didion, Zoe Fairbains, William Faulkner, Ellen Gilchrist, Amy Hempel, Langston Hughes, Audre Lorde, Gloria Naylor, Fyodor Sologub, Kathleen Spivack, Caroline Thompson, and Alice Walker. “Dozens of short story and fiction excerpts provide a literary response to abortion, going beyond the usual medical focus to gather the varied literary reflections of such notable writers as Langston Hughes, Richard Brautigan and Gloria Naylor.” –Midwest Book Review
“[Coming to Terms] makes the abortion issue very personal, and also shows the variety of feelings we all experience on this issue.”-Feminist Bookstore News
“One of the great virtues of this collection is that none of the writers take a political or moral stance on the issue. But they do graphically write about the stark and painful realities surrounding abortions, both then and now. . . giving the reader a new perspective, both historical and personal.”-The Improper Bostonian
“Timely and useful.”-Tonic
“The emotional consequences of abortion are poignantly portrayed.”-Book Report
“These poignant stories won’t end the abortion controversy, but they might prompt deeper reflection from all participants.”-Philadelphia Inquirer
by Harrison Fisher
(poetry) ISBN 0-9602424-2-2 (1980)
Harrison was one of the best DC poets of the late 70’s, bar none. He wrote some lyrics for local band Tru Fax and the Insaniacs. This was his 6th book in a matter of 3 years. He wrote a couple more after this one, then moved to Albany, NY.
Lots of language play. Harrison was also connected to the Providence scene. (Tom Ahern designed the cover.) This book is divided into two parts–“Immunization & Society” and “White Zombie”. The latter makes use of B movie horror titles. I haven’t really seen anybody else who possessed his sardonic wit save maybe Susan Smith Nash.
by Ed CoxPoetry/Gay StudiesISBN: 0-931181-10-0$13.95 152pp. Trim Size 6 x 9
Ed Cox (1946-1992) was a native Washingtonian who spent all but four of his 46 years here in the area. A vibrant part of the local literary scene, he was also an important member of Washington’s gay community, and his poems, so strongly influenced by gay liberation, are also classics of gay literature. Ed Cox was many things: Irish, a Navy veteran, a political activist, and a teacher who led classes at senior centers, homes for battered women, and other unorthodox places. He edited two books of his students’ writing: Seeds and Leaves(1977) and Some Lives(1984).
Review in Oyster Bay Review
Article in Beltway: A Poetry Quarterly
Ed’s poems appeared in Calvert Review, December, Diana’s Bi-Monthly, Fag Rag, Gargoyle, Gay People’s News, Gay Sunshine, Hanging Loose, Interchange, Mass Transit, Painted Bride Quarterly, Pellet, Phoebe, Salt Lick, Sewanee Review, Takoma, the Washington Post, Washington Review, Washout Quarterly, and Writer’s Digest, and in the anthologies: Angels of the Lyre: A Gay Poetry Anthology; None of the Above, and Orgasms of Light: The Gay Sunshine Anthology.
In 1989 Ed was awarded the Lyndhurst Prize, a sustaining grant that supported his work through 1991. His early death in 1992 before publication of his magnum opus, Part of was tragedy on a grand scale. This volume reprints Ed’s two published books, Blocks (1972) and Waking(1977), includes “These Two” a long poem about his parents, and finally puts the unpublished manuscript he spent so many years assembling into print.
“When a true poet sees and names man’s inhumanity to man, he or she also must name the unlimited love, the compassion for others, which can and must be awakened to right this fallen world. This is no mean task, and Ed Cox knew it. His work, founded in the resonant particulars of his own experience, elates and empowers, provides hope and solace, while naming the demons that attempt to ruin us. His poems are among the most humane — American in their generosity of spirit; universal in their wisdom.” — Jeffery Beam
“In the poetry of Ed Cox we are double blessed; the truth of art meets the truth of the heart. How rare it is, in the age of rarefied poets and their academic exercises, to meet face to face an artist who is in love! Whose poetry, to paraphrase the song, is the celebration of his love. Whose work, in consequence, is more than a job. So much more. We are left to admire those the poet admires. And thereby we are ennobled; and enabled even — to celebrate, to learn the gentle uses of love in a loveless time.”— Daniel Berrigan, S.J.
“Ed Cox is interested in Making a Difference, through act and through poetry (which for him, is act). His work clarifies for us much that is opaque and dizzying in this most complex of times. — Gwendolyn Brooks
“The poetry of Ed Cox invites the reader to share with him a literary horizon of complex relationships perceived with kindly precision and, at the same time, locked into a virtually cubistic unity.” — Rudd Fleming, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland
“There was no voice in 20th Century American poetry like that of Ed Cox. It’s deceptively familiar, but look closer: it is unique. He died too young, but the quiet flame at the heart of his work still burns.” — Michael Lally
“For years I’ve loved Ed Cox’s honest, clear-eyed poems for the hard, stark lyricism that is their considerable beauty. These poems, collected now nine years after his death, evidence a remarkable, lasting achievement. Who else could speak as Ed Cox does, in a way that’s at once so wounded and rejoicing? Who else could see the world with such deep love, while regarding it so unsparingly?” — Richard McCann
“I miss Ed. This book restores my faith in the power of language. Is it possible my friend is still across the street writing? Dear God, I am grateful these poems continue to breathe.” — E. Ethelbert Miller, Director, Afro-American Resource Center, Howard University
“Ed Cox writes with such particularity about himself and what he feels that many of us will be startled to recognize the myths of our own lives among these poems.” — Ron Schreiber
“Ed Cox’s poems are spare and unpretentious. That is not to say they are not deeply powerful and accomplished works. The poems are lean, taut, emotional, as was he. They are direct, mundane, yet full of mystery. Ed Cox is a very urban poet, but his poems are also rich in attentiveness to the natural world. He is always in perfect technical control of the language and rhythm of his work. His unexpected, untimely death at age 46 in 1992 silenced one of the literary world’s unique voices. This first edition of Cox’s collected works helps restore the hidden music he heard so clearly.” — Terence Winch
by Richard Peabody.ISBN 093118116X (2004) $5.95 BUY IT!
“Richard Peabody is one of the key poetic dissidents of this tragic American moment–a Chomsky of passionate tropes. Peabody’s poems–political and personal–navigate satire’s hot zones, driven by a panache for justice, his only allies wit, purpose and le mot juste. This is the last book you’d ever find in the White House, and therefore, it is up to you, dear reader, to put it there.” — Todd Swift, editor Short Fuse: The Global Anthology of New Fushion Poetry.
Chosen as a Sept-OctPick in the Small Magazine Review #132-133″Peabody is a master of obliqueness, complexity, word- and meaning-games. You don’t just read him, the same way you don’t just read the Koran.” –Hugh Fox, Small Press Review
Read a review of it in Vallum
Cover by Nancy Taylor
Teenage City/Rainbow Boy 2:37Outdoor Girl 2:46Cosmic City 2:31We Have Danced Together,& Now We Dance Alone 3:42Snow Storm 3:00
Throwaway Lines 3:23Snow Storm II 2:59Gash 4:52
John Ramo – guitarsZenon Slawinski – keyboardsJohn Mogayzel – drums
Recorded at Sonic Images in March 1984Released in 1986
“Tight and innovative musical backing melds superbly with Tina’s sharp British articulation of her subtly brutal poetry.” — Bart Solarczyk, Bogg
“Tina’s images are gritty . . . she’s the cerebral street poet of the new wave generation.”— Mark Reeve, Baltimore Music Review
“Introspective (but pleasant) and often more musical than narrative . . . she is very pretty.”— Robin James, Sound Choice
“A professional looking and sounding package . . . the Poet has a pleasant, clear voice, and along with the musicians represented, gives us something worth listening to.”— Alison Meyers, Factsheet Five
D.C. Magazines: A Literary RetrospectivePaycock PressISBN 0-9602424-5-7
This anthology is the first work to collect poetry, prose, and graphics originally published in three major post-World War II Washington magazines: Cresse Crosby’s Portfolio (1945-48), William F. Claire’s Voyages (1967-73), and Merrill Leffler and Neil Lehrman’s Dryad (1967-78).
The contributors include major literary figures from across the nation, such as Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, Gwendolyn Brooks, Pablo Picasso, Robert Lax, Jorge Luis Borges, Thomas Merton, Pablo Neruda, Mark Van Doren, Theodore Roethke, Joyce Carol Oates, Josephine Miles, Wilfredo Lam, and many others. Also featured are interviews with the editors and an historical bibliography of Washington area literary magazines.
“I’m a DC native,” Peabody said. “As a result of publishing my own magazine, Gargoyle, I wanted to learn more about Washington’s literary traditions. This book is the culmination of three years of intensive research. I feel all the work in putting together this anthology was justified because it documents our city’s recent literary history.”
“The Washington literary scene has long been regarded as this city’s bastard son. With the modus operandi here being the reading and writing of memoranda, precious little time gets spent in the pursuit of literature. However, literature has managed to survive over the years and enjoy periods of prosperity as it is doing these days. This is all the more delightful because as genuine interest in things literary has increased there has been a relative decrease in interest in the fabled Washington Novel.
“This literary renaissance has answered one nagging question. Do Washington writers and publications have to concern themselves primarily with government, power, and-God help us-intrigue in order to survive? Surely not. And the proof is in Richard Peabody’s handsome retrospective of three of Washington’s best literary magazines. Offering a fine overview of the local literary scene, D.C. Magazines: A Literary Retrospective is intended as the first of a multi-volume series dealing with this neglected topic. . . . He has done his native city a tremendous favor by culling material from the three magazines “that were the most international in scope and longest running of the lot-Portfolio, Voyages, and Dryad” and appended to it indices for each, a capsule biography of the contributors (ranging from Henry Miller to Joyce Carol Oates), as well as a compendium of DC papers and magazines dating back to 1784.
“The diversity of the short stories, poetry, essays, interviews, and art work will surprise the skeptic, and its high quality will make fools of those who still insist that Washington is a literary backwater.” -Howard Smead, Washington Book Review
Out of Print
Grace and Gravity
Electric Grace: Still More Fiction by Washington Area Womened. by Richard Peabody ISBN 0-931181-25-9 “> Featuring: Teresa Bevin, Jody Lannen Brady, Michelle Brafman, Laura Brylawski-Miller, Maxine Clair, Brenda W. Clough, Merle Collins, Julie Corwin, Janet Crossen, Rosemarie Dempsey, Mary Doroshenk, Cynthia Folcarelli, Barbara Goldberg, Corrine Zappia Gormont, T. Greenwood, Catherine Harnett, Jamie Holland, Susan Kellam, Eugenia SunHee Kim, Randi Gray Kristensen, Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, Sarah Grace McCandless, Faye Moskowitz, Barbara Mujica, Jessica Neely, Sarah Pleydell, Vicki Popdan, Joy Reges, Jessie Seigel, Debra Sequeira, Sheryl Stein, Amy Stolls, Mary L. Tabor, Julia Thomas, Sheila Walsh, Riggin Waugh, N.C. Weil, Mary-Sherman Willis, Robyn Kirby Wright, Hananah Zaheer, Anna Ziegler, and Christy J. Zink. And the reviewers say: “Electric Grace is a marvel, a glorious humming party-line of voices. Bend your ear to the wire and have a listen. You won’t be disappointed.” — Ann Downer, author of Hatching Magic and The Spellkey Trilogy “The unique voices in this collection, with a winning combo of freshness and maturity, perfectly capture the impact of the everyday in the way that only the best fiction can…Revealing how certain moments, both great and small, can disturb us all the way back to ourselves—our true selves.” —Cara Haycak, author of Red Palms “Although some purists could possibly be upset that it took a man to introduce women writers of the district to the world, Richard Peabody is no ordinary man … it might even make sense that Peabody–who is married with two daughters–would possess the familiarity of and distance from the female perspective to produce a volume of enchanting, thrilling work by DC-area women.“At any rate, Peabody has pulled it off not once, but three times. Electric Grace: Still More Fiction by Washington Area Women is the third volume from Gargoyle imprint Paycock Press … It seems improbable that, in less than four years, 1206 pages of writing by 117 different women could be published and even more improbable that so much of it would be so good.“Yet, if the third volume is any indication of the first, I’d have to say Peabody exceeded beyond his wildest expectations. …”— Jen Michalski, author of Close Encounters and Cross Sections, and editor of City Sages: Baltimore The full review is here: http://jmww.150m.com/Peabodyrev.html
“They may all be from Washington, but they fling their fiction far, imagining medieval torture – how like love! – cocktails in dog parks, old flames, gangsters, pregnant wives – the many possibilities of female life. “This is a rich and varied anthology – in tone, in pace, in setting.” Martha Tod Dudman, author of Augusta, Gone and the forthcoming novel, Black Olives
“In this exciting anthology, a broad spectrum of stories illuminate the depth, breadth, and variety of women writers in the D.C. area. Kudos to Richard Peabody of Gargoyle for providing a stellar venue in a neighborhood where female literary artists aren’t heard from nearly enough, and for giving story lovers everywhere a chance to discover the voices gathered here.” —Randy Sue Coburn
“A striking anthology of new stories that shows the range of women writing for a new century—compelling and original.” —Elizabeth Hand
“The stories in Grace and Gravity map diverse emotional and geographic territories—young lovers in Kampala discovering the boundaries of sexual joy; a young wife, transplanted to Florida, tricked into a threesome; Kurt Cobain’s imaginary twin narrating from the womb—it’s no accident these stories are part of a lively anthology by Washington area women. In a time when the mention of Washington consistently evokes political polarization, it’s a pleasure to find this gathering of sharp-eyed perceptions by writers of substance and wit.” —Elizabeth Oness
See The Entire “Grace and Gravity” Series here!
By Joyce Renwick (short fiction) ISBN: 0-931181-12-7 (due in November, 2003)
A collection of 12 short stories by the late Joyce Renwick, Washington area writer/teacher, Bread Loaf nurse/scholar, University of Iowa student/teacher. The completed volume is a mix of her nursing stories and her other fiction, the first collection of Joyce’s stories to appear in print.
Read a 1995 interview with Joyce.
“Joyce Renwick lets us into the hearts, minds and souls of so many different characters. It is like having her back among us to read these moving and luminous stories. Thanks to Paycock Press, we have what persists now that she is gone, the stories that bear witness to the mystery and beauty and sorrow of being alive. Every page breathes with that wonder. In praise!” —Julia Alvarez
Joyce Renwick: A Biographical Note
“I’ve invented three spirit guides. Muses. They help me center myself, focus my energy when I begin to write, escape the world of traffic and newspapers and television to the world where I can write.”
Joyce Louise Titus (1942-1995) was born in Woodbury, New Jersey. Before she was able to read, Joyce was fascinated with words on a printed page—as a child she lay on the hallway floor copying newspaper headlines word for word. At the age of twelve she started writing poetry and short stories in a daily journal, which she kept until her death on August 14, 1995. She first published at the age of thirteen having won first place in a poetry contest.
Following the example of a favorite aunt, Joyce trained to be a nurse at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1963 she married Jack Arthur Renwick and had her first child, Lynne Robin, in 1964 and her second child, Susan Mary, in 1966. Due to her husband’s career with the Naval Investigative Service and later the Secret Service, Joyce moved six times in six years. She was divorced in 1975.
Deep down Joyce knew she was a writer disguised as a nurse. Her turning point came in the late sixties when Joyce was working in a nursing home. She met a woman who told her, “I cleaned my house for fifty years, was gone one week and it was dirty. What good was my life?” When asked about this in an interview Joyce said “I realized life is very short, that entire lifetimes pass quickly, that I had to do something now if I wanted to be a writer.” Joyce enrolled at the University of Virginia in 1970, transferring to George Mason University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Individualized Study, which encompassed Nursing and English.
Joyce studied for a Masters in English at Middlebury College in Vermont and attended Bread Loaf Writing Conference for seven summers. To pay for her tuition she was on call twenty-four hours a day as the school nurse and lived in the infirmary. Joyce met her mentor, John Gardner, while studying at Bread Loaf. He taught her to “Just Tell The Story.” She had this motto hanging above her computer, typeset, and in bright yellow. She used to say this gave her such freedom, such permission to write. John Gardner was an inspiration to Joyce and, while at Bread Loaf, she interviewed him and many of the other writers (including John Irving) for a collection of interviews she called the Bread Loaf Dialogues. The Gardner interview was bought by NPR and broadcast nationwide.
Joyce received her MFA from the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop. She moved to Maryland in 1985 where she taught Creative Writing and English at the University of Maryland, the U. S. Naval Academy, the Writers’ Center in Bethesda Maryland, and American University. While teaching, she wrote and published. Her short stories, interviews and reviews appeared in such publications as The Southern Review, Sewanee Review, The Crescent Review, The Mid-American Review, Newsday, The Houston Chronicle and Best American Short Stories and many more. Joyce was also very active in arts groups, woman’s groups and writer’s workshops. While in Maryland, she and her companion, poet Paul Grant, started the New River Readings to bring artists together. She began her own Writing Consultant Business at this time.
In 1991, after the D.C. area proved too crowded and noisy for her, Joyce moved back to Iowa, which she had always loved. Looking for beauty in everything, she seemed to find it in abundance in Iowa. Joyce continued her writing consultant business. She taught classes at the University of Iowa occasionally because she enjoyed it. She was active in the artist community and was a contributing editor to Mediphors, a Literary Journal of the Health Professions. Joyce did, however, bury her nursing shoes in her backyard in a ritual of farewell.
Involved with personal exploration and discovery, Joyce reached the point where she could expose her true feelings, in her living and in her writing. Through meditation, she entered a magical nourishing world, which encouraged new and rewarding directions. In an interview “The Beautiful and the Disturbing” by Joan Peternel (Writer’s Digest) Joyce explained, “I’ve invented three spirit guides. Muses. They help me center myself, focus my energy when I begin to write, escape the world of traffic and newspapers and television to the world where I can write. The Peach Lady is a kind of cartoon-like fairy godmother with rosy cheeks and a frilly hat and apron. She gives me peaches, mason jars, and jars of canned peaches. She’s at the entrance of the pit. She’s the messenger who takes me to the bottom of the pit, to the sun lioness, a powerful medusa-like character with great primitive powers. She’s fearsome, but I needed her when I wrote the horror in the nurse stories. I’ll need her for the novel, too. When I write of beauty or need comfort, though, I go to Alexis. She’s motherly, quiet. Her house has music and flowers, soft couches, a view on to the water.” A fourth Muse, Titus, emerged but Joyce never disclosed her characteristics. This spirit guide was inspiring Joyce to write her last work, which was autobiographical with some aspects fictionalized. Joyce’s Muses were facets of her personality, her higher self.
In the last two years of her life, Joyce began to paint. Instead of using canvas, she painted chairs to remind her of the people she loved. She would start with an idea then let go as a whimsical thread emerged, finding inspiration for new stories by the time she was finished. For Joyce “other things bring me joyfully back to writing.”
Joyce lived her art. As a teacher and writer, she shared her love of beauty, honesty, and language with many.
(poetry) ISBN 0-931181-00-3 (1985)
A long poem by Carlo Parcelli, owner of DC’s Alphaville Book Shop, experimental poet in the Poundian tradition, founder of Flashpoint magazine. Really a chapbook.
“Lucinda Ebersole has a gift for fusing twisted comedy with unblinking tragedy; this passionate interweaving of tales accrues a surprising sumulative power.”–Jennifer Egan
Death in Equality. Perhaps the first postmodern Southern novel, Death in Equality is a narrative tour-de-force — an autoerotic pieta — a moving account of one woman’s life, death, and dreams — a reminder of what is lost when an artist dies young.
“Lucinda Ebersole writes like Janis Joplin sings: sassy, sensual, strong, and Southern. Like Joplin, her voice is truly original, one we’ll be listening to, and savoring, for a long, long time.”–Janice Eidus
“If you have a flair for writing Southern Gothic stories, but are smart enough to know that that literary cottonfield has been picked clean, what do you do? If you’re as smart as Lucinda Ebersole, you construct a metafictional structure that will allow you to have your grits and eat them too.”–Steven Moore, Rain Taxi
“Relentlessly, Ebersole introduces one character after another and then snatches them all away….They remind us that death is the great leveler: it brings everyone, whether young, old, white or black, into that mythical state of equality.”–Susann Cokal, Review of Contemporary Fiction
Features Lucinda’s Article: The Goddess of the Written Word
“Richard Peabody’s spare, poignant, understated prose cuts clean–and right to the bone. With sharp humor, he casts a wonderfully fresh, irreverent eye on Washington, D.C., making it seem downright exotic, writing not of the bloated politicos and media hacks we usually associate with that city, but instead of people we care about: struggling artists, musicians, and filmmakers; hardcore teenagers who love baseball, shopping and James Bond; and working people of all ages.”– Janice Eidus, author of The Celibacy Club
“Not since baseball’s Senators left Washington has a collection of quirky, hapless losers demanded our attention and loyalty the way Peabody’s team of characters does. Their attempts to score in the bottom of the ninth get thwarted at every turn by treacherous artists, flea infestations, bad acid trips, Matt Dillon lookalikes, fetching lynx wraps and sodden divorce parties. In these swift, funny, sexy stories, Peabody evokes the rueful obsessions of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers in pre-millennial, post-modern America.”– Richard Grayson, author of I Survived Caracas Traffic
A tribute selected and edited by Richard Peabody
A Bogg free-for-postage pamphlet (32pp)Bogg Publications 1995cover photo by David Minckler
TINA FULKER(b. 3 July 1954, London-d. 10 July 1992, London)
I first encountered Tina’s poems in Bogg, and it was John Elsberg who was responsible for my eventual correspondence with her. I printed some of her poems in Gargoyle and looked for her in every British publication I encountered. John had known her for years, having first corresponded with her back in 1972 when she was a teenager editing Moonshine. And looking back at her involvement in the small press scene even at that young age, you can already spot the name poets and writers who were drawn to her–Paul Berry, George Cairncross, Andy Darlington, John Elsberg, Pete Faulkner, Paul Lamprill, Steve Sneyd, and Dave Wright.
In November 1980 I published a collection of her poems entitled Jukebox (a number of those poems are included in this chapbook). She’d had a couple of chapbooks out previously–Skylight and Mascara–but nothing really substantial, so the need was there. Our first meeting took place in May 1981 in front of the Virgin record shop at Marble Arch in London. Tina came to the U.S. in March 1984, did a mini reading tour in the Washington area, including gigs at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland (where she read with Bill Holland and Arthur and Kit Knight), at the Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore (where she read with Leslie F. Miller and Jean McGarry), in Brad Strahan’s Visions series at the Art Barn (where she read with George Myers Jr., Rick Wilson, and Greg Nelson), and at Irene Rouse’s book shop in Alexandria, Virginia.
She won over everybody she met, stayed with, or read with, and we managed to drag her into the Sonic Images recording studio to do an interview and to put some of her poems down on tape, with instrumental backing by Zenon Slawinski, John Ramo, and John Mogayzel. David Minckler filmed the entire session. We released the result, a half-hour audio cassette–Tender Hooks–in 1986. The planned video was never completed because we were always hoping to get Tina to come back to this side of the pond but sadly never got the chance. However, people in Ohio saw part of the video in 1986 on “Wordsworth,” a public TV show.
Tina was interviewed by Grace Cavalieri for her “Poet and the Poem” radio show, and left a lasting impression. Another interview appeared in a short-lived local magazine called Alph-Null. The transcript of the video interview was printed in Gargoyle #27.
For a long time it appeared that Peter Townshend, the Who’s guitar genius who’d become an editor at the British publisher Faber & Faber, might publish a collection of Tina’s prose, but it never happened. In recent years, Tina worked as a part-time children’s librarian, read stories to school classes, and took courses in Contemporary Studies at London University. The last letter I received from her, in March 1992, mentioned her hope for a possible return trip to the States that would include visits to San Francisco and D.C. in September of that year.By the time I learned from my London editor and friend Maja Prausnitz that Tina was in the hospital, she’d already passed. She died at 6:45 a.m. on 10 July 1992. Her sister Moira took Tina’s ashes home to Tipperary, and she was buried with her grandmother. She was of English/Irish descent.On 9 November 1992 a tribute reading was held in Tina’s memory at the Poetry Society, Covent Garden, London. Most of her friends in the U.S. couldn’t make that event, but we will always miss her vibrant personality, her easy laughter, and moving poems. We wanted to do something to pay tribute, and this chapbook is our effort, however limited, to try to capture at least some of her indomitable spirit. We wanted to print some of her prose pieces here as none exist in either of her two books. We also decided not to duplicate anything from Gash! (published by John Harvey’s Slow Dancer Press in April 1992) in the hope that people would seek that volume out for themselves.
We miss you Tina. We always will.Richard Peabody
This untitled poem was published as a broadside by the Turret Bookshop a few days before Tina’s death. It’s the last poem in the pamphlet.
I am a river that’s overfloweda door that’s trying to push itself opena room that’s too small, trying to find some spacethe litter on the street that’s not collecteda city that’s overpopulateda stranger that’s trying to get to know someoneI am all the trains that have been cancelleda station where no trains stopa slow car in a fast lanea driver without a licensea high-rise skylinea crowd that’s pushed and shovedI am a money making systeman overdraft that’s trying to clear itselfa debt that’s trying to get into credita breakdown in economy, rising costsI am the additives in everything we eatthe pollution in the aira disposable product that can’t be disposed ofan empty bottle of Coca-Cola from a Warhol printthe blood from the cut on my daughter’s handa pennywhistle stand, that’s gone out of tuneI am the first in the queue, last in the linea school without any teachersa hospital without any bedsa sea that’s lost its beacha country that’s lost its landa sky at night without any stars
If you wish to obtain a copy try:
Bogg Publicatons422 N. Cleveland SDt.Arlington, VA 22201 USA
Or31 Belle Vue St.FileyN. YorkshireYO14 9HUEngland
“Many people argue that books are different from pliers or hammers. Well, sometimes I think a good hammer is better than a bad book.” – George Braziller
Mavericks explores the world of nine mid-range publishers, those whose presses exist between the small-press world and the conglomerate-run NY publishing houses. Featured here are: George Braziller, Maurice Girodias, David Godine, James Laughlin, John Martin, James Boyer May, Barney Rosset, Alan Swallow, and Noel Young. These nine independent publishers (some living and some long dead) offer their often controversial opinions on the publishing world. There are lots of surprises. The material has been gathered from many different sources, both large and small, and is reprinted here for the first time. Mavericks could be considered a primer on independent publishing. These men are truly mavericks in every sense of the word and their legacy remains. “Free speech and free press are all that we can base our future upon. I distrust all political systems and class struggles because of the threats they pose to freedom.” -Maurice Girodias
Mood VertigoArgonne Hotel Press, 1999ISBN 1-887641-39-4
“In resisting the grand gesture, the significant detail, and Yeats’‘passionate syntax,’ Richard Peabody reminds us that the pleasures of poetrydo not necessarily depend upon intellectual rigor, literary device, andlinguistic muscle. The love-child of Marcel Duchamp and Frank O’Hara (but raised by Little Richard), he insists again and again upon the post-modern pleasures of cultural mayhem and pop-trash worship tempered with traditional Yankee humor and invention. Who among us, then, could resist this sharp and sexy book?”
–Michael Waters, author ofGreen Ash, Red Maple, Black Gum
We are gazing at Polaroidsof a nude in a black felt hatpheasant featherscurling over one ear.
So much for hormones.My strongest desireis to try outthat hat.
To wear somethingthat might make mefeel beautiful.
Waiting for the Popeye Effect
No amount of spinachdoes the trick
cartoons lie to meon a daily basis
“I look forward to more of Peabody’s work. He’s fun to read, a quality not enough poets these days possess; and he produces zaps–often enough to let you know he’s alive and you’re alive. Some authentic verse runs from his pen, flows from his strong salt-box.”–Robert Peters
Peabody’s first two books complete in one volume a/la the old Ace paperback Science Fiction series.
I’m in love with the Morton salt girl.I want to pour salt in her hair and watchher dance. I want to walk her through thesalt rain and pretend that it is water. I want toget lost in the Washington Cathedral and follow hersalt trail to freedom.
I want to discover her salt lick in the forests of Virginia.I want to stand in line for hours to see her walk on inthe middle of a movie only to have the film break and watch saltpour out and flood the aisles. I want to sit in an empty theaterup to my eyeballs in salt and dream of her.
When I go home she will be waiting for me in her white dressand I will drink salt water and lose my bad dreams.I will seek the blindness of salt, salt down my wounds,hang like a side of ham over the curtain rod in the bathroomand let her pour salt directly on my body.
When she is done I will lick her salty lips with my tongueand walk her down the stairs into the rain, wishing that Icould grow gills and bathe in her vast salt seas.
There’s a tangerine rotting on my desk.I should probably throw it away,but I’ve grown accustomed to the shape sitting there.Besides, I like the way it smells.
(first edition) (second edition) Buy it! I’m in Love with the Morton Salt Girl/Echt & Ersatz Paycock Press ISBN 0-9602424-8-1 $5 “I look forward to more of Peabody’s work. He’s fun to read, a quality not enough poets these days possess; and he produces zaps–often enough to let you know he’s alive and you’re alive. Some authentic verse runs from his pen, flows from his strong salt-box.” –Robert Peters Peabody’s first two books complete in one volume a/la the old Ace paperback Science Fiction series. I’m in Love with the Morton Salt Girl I’m in love with the Morton salt girl. I want to pour salt in her hair and watch her dance. I want to walk her through the salt rain and pretend that it is water. I want to get lost in the Washington Cathedral and follow her salt trail to freedom. I want to discover her salt lick in the forests of Virginia. I want to stand in line for hours to see her walk on in the middle of a movie only to have the film break and watch salt pour out and flood the aisles. I want to sit in an empty theater up to my eyeballs in salt and dream of her. When I go home she will be waiting for me in her white dress and I will drink salt water and lose my bad dreams. I will seek the blindness of salt, salt down my wounds, hang like a side of ham over the curtain rod in the bathroom and let her pour salt directly on my body. When she is done I will lick her salty lips with my tongue and walk her down the stairs into the rain, wishing that I could grow gills and bathe in her vast salt seas. Attachments There’s a tangerine rotting on my desk. I should probably throw it away, but I’ve grown accustomed to the shape sitting there. Besides, I like the way it smells. “Most of Peabody’s poems are wryly humorous. He’s not a mean-spirited poet, even when attacking those he doesn’t care for. In an age when the cruel lampoon has taken a firm hold, Peabody’s compassion for human frailty is especially endearing.” –Kevin Bezner “. . . fresh, spritely, and enviably energetic . . . It all looks so effortless.” — Guy Davenport ” ‘The poetry that’s shot from guns’ . . . Rick is best in homey, heart-felt descriptions that read like conversation.” –Gail Saunders, Hard Crabs “Discipline, craft, and wit make I’m in Love with the Morton Salt Girl one of the finest poetry chapbooks of the year.” Eric Baizer, Literary Monitor “The voice is impassioned, yet controlled . . . A nice collection for a first book.” — Robert Flanagan, Phoebe
“Sequential, chatty, and strictly twentieth century in subject and era, these stories revolve around the life of the artist in a world of popular culture; Brian Eno, punk rock groups, and the literary Romantic are the deus ex machina of his machine-age prose . . . Although the never-decreasing gap between family members and loved ones remains a strong theme in Peabody’s work, his primary topic is of what’s lost when zeal and zest come of age in a malevolent world.”
– George Myers Jr.
Paraffin Days is Richard Peabody’s first U. S. collection of short fiction. The book collects short stories written from 1977 to 1987 into two parts. Part one features twelve stories that deal with everything from sperm tests to Larry McMurtry, and feature universal stuff like radio stations, tree stumps, DC’s 9:30 club, recording studios, guitar thrash, sexual atrophy, eels, video murders, Moby Dick, and Amsterdam along the way. Part two features a revised reprinting of Monaural, a small booklet of five stories, originally printed in Cornwall, England in 1980 by Colin David Webb’s Kawabata Press.
“Peabody’s the sort of poet who makes you want to drop names: he is to poetry what Raymond Carver and Fielding Dawson are to fiction; he captures moments of character as well as Louise Erdrich, reveals epiphanies of love-comprehension and loss like Barry Gifford at his best. His imagery and language are original, as is his humor. Peabody’s poetry makes me drop words like antidote, love goon, comic sorcery, candy kisses of pain.”— James Bertolino
Another Stupid Haircut
You wish just this oncethe mirror would lie.What was the barberthinking about?You felt ridiculous enoughcarrying a Peter Gabrielalbum into the shop–visual aids never help.You clip away withnail scissorsamd soon it looks even worse.Conservative, square,totally hopeless,as though the oneswho cut hair werereally Martians withonly a rudimentaryidea of what humansare supposed to look like.Hair like topographic maps,tv antenna, invertedumbrellas, poodle dogs . . .or else the great hairdisaster of Krakatoa–poking out inso many directionsthat only theend of the worldwill make you feelat all fashionable.
The Fourth Stooge
When I was five I wanted to be the fourth stooge.I wanted to be on television and hit Moe with a pie.I wanted to say nyuk, nyuk, nyukand spin around in circles on the floor.Anything was better than walking to school.
Tommy Cutler and I used to dream about throwing piesoff the top of the Empire State building,Once, when I was older, I actually hit a kid with a pie.He tossed me across a table. So I gave uptelevision and became a poet instead.
Now my every word is a soft projectile
“Reading Rick Peabody’s Sad Fashions is like observing a juggler. One is amazed at his skill, curious as to how he keeps things in the air. There is some ‘slick’ humor in this book. In Sad Fashions Peabody reminds us of our youth and that time of innocence which created the Americans we are today. Peabody’s poetry is evidence instead of rumor, revealing the secret that a few of our important editors and publishers are good writers.”— E. Ethelbert Miller
click to download MSWord excerpt
“O Youth, O Age in this Peter-Pan-grunge, walking-’60s-wounded, slacker-nostalgia novel about latterday Bohemia keeping the only faith it has, which is to say the belief that music, art, sex, drugs, brand-names and dancing will save it from . . . whatever. The joys, despairs and fatalism of endless basement-apartment hedonism are collected here like fireflies in a jar.”— Henry Allen, Washington Post staff writer and author of Fool’s Mercy
Sugar Mountain is a novella, a triptych, and Richard Peabody’s first extended fiction to find its way into print. The book is a semi-experimental look at three generations featuring Hal and his ex-wife Mona, and their daughter Taylor. Each is presented a different way. We meet Taylor through the pages of her journal, Mona through phone monologues, and Hal in third person. There are three minor characters-Sealy, Taylor’s best friend, who is also sleeping with Hal; Zodiac, the rave dj who’s sleeping with Taylor; plus an unnammed guitarist. Imagine American Beauty combined with Wonder Boys combined with High Fidelity as written by George Pelecanos (for all the DC local color) and you’ve got the basic mix. There’s also lots of stuff in here about crows, Neil Young, Bethany Beach, raves, sex, drugs and forgotten DC history.
“Sugar Mountain is a gripping post-modern study of the disintegration of the soul in a world where personal mythology is shaped by icons of popular culture, where we define each other and ourselves by impersonal references: the bars, the restaurants, the music, the art, the movie stars and Kama Sutra positions we prefer. Using multiple points of view and disruptive asides, Rick Peabody conveys a world of alienation and loss in our nation’s capital, a place where three lives play out the inevitable betrayals of body and soul. It’s a dark and comic look at how hungry we are for connection and how we can become innocently and ignorantly lost.”– Jane Bradley, author of Living Doll and Power Lines
“Buoyancy is Richard Peabody’s finest work to date. Whether he is writing about himself, his family, a lover, or the world at large, he writes with directness and honesty. His poems balance humor and sadness–he sees the humor in this ridiculous world, but it’s often tinged with sadness that comes from thinking maybe the world could be a better place if only . . . “
— Jim Daniels
There’s still honey in your voicewhen you answer her unpredictablelate night phonecalls.
A sympathetic counterpointto her breathy whispers.
She has always been ableto make you quiver.
And don’t thinkyour new loverhasn’t noticed.
If a voice could give lifeperhaps this is the wavelengthit might choose.
Burnished sweet as clover honey–the split-second hesitationbefore sliding over the lipof the jar–folding back ontoitself in golden ribbons.
The other woman can bea blonde or a redheadbut the other manis always French.
He dresses betterthan I ever will.
He can picnicand strollwith a wineglassin one upraised hand.
Munch pate,drink espresso,and tempt withashy kisses.
He hangs outat Dupont Circlebecuase the treesremind him of Paris.
Did I mention sex?
Face it–he’s had centuriesof practice.
I’m an American.What do I know?
He drives a fast car,and can brood likenobody’s business,while I sit homewatching ESPN.
He’s tall andchats about art–I don’t even wantto dicuss that accent.
My fantasy is to callthe State Departmentand have him deported.
Only he’ll probablyconvince you to marry himfor a green card.
No way I’m going to win–the other man isalways more aggressive,always more attentive.
The other manis just too Frenchfor words.
From now onI’m going outwith statuesque German women
so next time we runinto each otherthey can kick his buttfor me.
“Richard Peabody takes a hard look at himself and the contemporary world and comes up with poems alternately funny, sad, and tender. These poems remember childhood and sing of love–both lost and requited. Buoyancy has charm and insight in equal parts.”— Miriam Sagan
In his fourth full-length collection of poems, Buoyancy and Other Myths, DC native Richard Peabody writes some of his most revealing and autobiographical material to date. Topics range from his father’s death to the Gulf War, from the American dream to the death of love. And as he has in previous volumes, Peabody examines the flotsam and jetsam of pop culture–from comic book seductress Vampirella to a doll bonfire that includes Barbie and her ilk. These poems juggle the duality’s of comedy and tragedy, love and hate, gain and loss, life and death, illusion and reality. Stanzas that critic Tracey O’Shaughnessey described as “at once angry and loving; foaming with wrath and quivering with an aching, desperate love.” We often laugh when reading these cyclical poems but are never really sure why exactly it is that we’re laughing. Perhaps, as Hugh Fox has said, it’s because “Peabody is two sensibilities in one starved frame: PopSchlockist and Meistersinger.” Consider this book then, an attempt to keep the spirit afloat in a physical world of pain and disappointment.
By Tom Carson ISBN-10: 0931181348, Publisher: Paycock Press; First edition (June 22, 2011)
She was born during the Jazz Age and grew up in Paris and the American Midwest after her father’s death on the polo field and her mother’s later suicide. As a young war reporter, she waded ashore on Omaha Beach and witnessed the liberation of Dachau. She spent the 1950s hobnobbing in Hollywood with Marlene Dietrich and Gene Kelly. She went to West Africa as an Ambassador’s wife as Jack Kennedy’s Camelot dawned. She comforted a distraught LBJ in Washington, DC, as the Vietnam war turned into a quagmire. And today? Today, it’s June 6, 2006: Pamela Buchanan Murphy Gerson Cadwaller’s 86th birthday. With some asperity, she’s waiting for a congratulatory phone call from the President of the United States. Brother, is he ever going to get a piece of her mind.“Who could have predicted the daughter of Tom and Daisy Buchanan would find herself, at the age of 86, a crotchety, irreverent, foul-mouthed blogger living in Washington, DC, nursing an obsession for Kirstin Dunst? Or that her life would intersect, scandalously, with Lyndon Baines Johnson? Or that Nick Carraway would find religion? By the time you finish reading this trippy, hilarious, brilliant meta-memoir of a novel, you may need a refresher in 20th Century history to parse fact from fiction.” Susan Coll, author of Beach Week, Acceptance and Rockville PikeThere beyond the groves of West Egg, in a secret corner of Gatsby s mansion, is an unmarked door onto the loony American century of this dazzling novel. Once again Tom Carson commits an extravagant act of imagination — magnificently written, and as seditious and blindingly smart as it is irresistible and laugh-out-loud fun. Steve Erickson, author of Zeroville and Our Ecstatic Days” ‘Daisy Buchanan’s Daughter’ is an acute, hilarious and moving vision of the 20th century as refracted through two unique sensibilities: that of its indefatigable narrator, and that of the supremely witty, deeply wise, and endlessly playful writer who dreamed her up.” –Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies/Some Came RunningTake a skippy, dizzy, dazzling joyride with a chick who cracks the East and West Eggs wide open. The old lady holding the gun and the keyboard may be Daisy Buchanan s daughter, but she s the stylish stepchild of Nabokov, blogging about what happened after Fitzgerald set down his pen. Her own wild adventures literary, sexual, historical anticipate a fateful phone call from one of the great villains of recent years. Pammie is the dame-iest of dames, and this is the rompiest of reads. Huzzah! Susann Cokal, author of Mirabilis and Breath and Bones“In this inventive and masterful novel, Tom Carson takes us inside the privileged post-Gatsby world of the iconic Buchanans, bringing to bear his exquisite and confident imagination as he presents the world of Daisy Buchanan’s daughter–a world no less fraught and socially dangerous than the one in which Fitzgerald s characters roamed. Carson’s skill with multiple voices brilliantly illuminates the kaleidoscopic sense of identity one invariably finds in a brittle milieu. The reader will be captivated.” Thaisa Frank, author of Heidegger’s Glasses and A Brief History of Camouflage“She is the first great literary character of the new millennium, and her all-encompassing story is some sort of crazy masterpiece.” James Hynes, author of Next and The Lecturer’s Tale“Tom Carson s unforgettable heroine escapes from The Great Gatsby to take us on a tour-de-force guided tour of the past century, from flipped-out flappers to Dubya s dream of the orgastic future.” John Powers, Critic at Large for NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross
“…a mature anthology documenting the life of women in the Beat Generation with humour, irony and even tenderness.” — The List
Here are the forgotten women who marched to A Different Beat. They are women who revolted against conventional femininity–women who broke the rules. Their poetry and stories speak to post-feminist women of the ’90s in ways that the travels and exploits of the male-dominated Beat counterculture can never hope to.
This collection contains work by 27 women who are the missing link to the riot grrrls, angry women, and Thelma and Louise. Now is the time to rescue this rich history from neglect and give the women of the literary renaissance called “Beat” a spotlight, a forum to sound a call to arms, a place to beat their own drums. They have been standing in the shadows long enough.
Learn more about Sheri Martinelli. She was one of the two mysteries of the book. I wish I’d talked to Steven Moore before I put the anthology together. See his article and more info about this Vogue model, Beat poet, Ezra Pound disciple, and her incredible life.
“In theory, I love the Beat writers, but in reality their unrelenting sexism and poor treatment of women gets to me. That’s why I am so glad HighRisk has given us this great sampling of writing by women of the Beat Generation.” –Bust Magazine
“Heroic Rick Peabody helps rescue the women of the Beat Generation from the neglect accorded them as being, in Joyce Johnson’s words, Minor Charaters. Hardly surprising considering the position of women through the ages. Yet, the women are there, responding to and adding special qualities to ‘the call’….The writings are provocative in themselves; they are indispensible for a full sense of the significance of the Beats in a world of men and women.”–Ted Wilentz
“It is as if we were archaeologists encountering the long lost tomb of the Beat Women of the 1950s, covered with the desert dust of misogyny, business interests and indifference. But polish off the dust of male convention and what have you and the words are beaming out strong.”–Kevin Ring, Beat Scene
“This well-balanced anthology, which should focus more attention on Beat women, is recommended for all literature collections.”–Library Journal
“But A Different Beat reveals an alternative history of Beat literature, and is a time of enormous change for women in America; Challenging the norms of their day, with painful, sometimes tragic consequences.”–The Herald (Glasgow)
“A Different Beat reveals an alternative history of Beat literature, and is a welcome insight and long-awaited addition to the Beat Canon.”–The Word
“A refreshing look at the contribution of women writers to the beat generation genre so often represented by Mr. Kerouac and his boozy boys club….this collection provides an informative link in feminist history as well as being a powerful collection of work in its own right.”–Tour
“There are some surprising treasures here.”–Publishers Weekly
“A Different Beat is a fine anthology of writing by outcasts from a previous boys’ club, the Fifties beats.”–GQ Magazine
“The timing is perfect. Women seemed missing from official collections of Beat writing. The women I heard in Greenwich Village seemed rebels–daring, mysterious, strong, able with magical images to say what I hadn’t heard women say….Present Tense writing by young women writing passionately from within, who insist women ‘trust yourself’ and refuse to be stereotyped, emerging award, conscious and engaged.”–Lyn Lifshin
“A Different Beat celebrates the voices of the women who participated in this important literary movement. Their work is essential in helping us understand the social and cultural context of their times.”–Ann Charters.
by George Myers, Jr.
ISBN 0-931181- 01-1 (1981/2nd edition 1985)
A collection of Myers’ collages and experimental short fictions. A few embarrassing typos (mea culpa) but still a dynamite collection of work by one of the unsung talents of the 80’s, and one that hasn’t written much outside of mainstream reporting in more than a decade. The second edition added a foreword.
“Myers, with his sometimes discordant, sometimes, mellifluous syntax, revises the notions of our history, of the words that are used to represent things, of memories, dreams and images.” –Washington Review
“Wonderfully illustrated . . . He imitates the deadly serious voice of a schoolmaster possessed by weird objects.” – Andrei Codrescu, Baltimore City Paper
“Recommended.” –American Book Review
” . . . stands as a challenge to the definitions of testament . . . [Myers] works over the calibrations of the brow with a command of elite and popular letters.”
–The Review of Contemporary Fiction
“Absurdism at its best.” –Krax
” . . . full of charm and experiment . . . a successful example of book art, experimental short prose, and, most important, as an expression of, vision, feeling and wit..”–Small Press Review
“Is he moving toward a technique that mocks the rest of us, the Artaud-voice speaking its madnesses with all the solemnity of the Encyclopedia B.?” –Pulpsmith
“It’s belletristic as all get out–but with pretensions at poetry swept away, it comes across fast and sharp and beautiful.” –Columbia Road Review
What’s being said about Open Country:
“Jeff Richards draws on the moments of intimate happenstance that so marked this peculiar war, in which whole histories shifted in quiet entanglements in thickets and creek beds, and a single line of a banjo tune might speak simultaneously of a loved one both arriving and departing.” —Steve Amick, Nothing But a Smile
“It would be tempting to discuss Open Country purely in terms of it being a Civil War novel. But to substitute the setting for the ideas and the emotional truths would not do justice to Jeff Richards’ book. That would be too easy. Instead, Open Country strips the circumstances of the war down to its most human level. It is about people trying to make sense of a world suddenly turned inside out. It is about having to make choices in which all decisions may be wrong. It is a place and time where loyalty and trust no longer follow convention. And, most of all, the novel is about the need to find hope when it’s hard to believe hope can still exist. Yes, Jeff Richards’ Open Country may take place during the Civil War, but at its heart the novel shares the drama of human experience as though it is taking place right outside your door. It could be you. It could be me.” —Adam Braver, Mr. Lincoln’s Wars
“In the tradition of Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalryand Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, Jeff Richards’ Open Country is a powerful, brutal, beautiful book of stories linked by war and the soldiers struggling to survive amidst its horrors. We follow Blues and Grays, wives and widows, worried mothers and grieving fathers, the doomed and the redeemed, the victorious and the condemned. This extraordinary book about the American Civil War offers both the concision of the well-made story and the sweep of the epic. A remarkable achievement.” —Porter Shreve, The End of the Book
“The true value of a good novel, especially one written in another place and time, is whether or not it makes you believe you are there. As in great dramatic acting in film or theatre, do you empathize with the characters and are they authentic? Jeff Richards accomplishes that in his short, but epic novel, Open Country. Artfully written and musical in its cadence, I could hear the soundtrack as I read. Stark and tragic and as rustic as the hardtack and whiskey in its story, Open Country is a must read, lest we forget.” —Jimmy Thackery of Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers, Wide Open (CD)
“The Civil War was America’s bitterest family quarrel, and Jeff Richards’s stories gracefully place the huge events of the war into human context. Anyone who loves the American story will treasure these stories as well.” —Garrett Epps, The Shad Treatment
“Open Country is a meticulously researched novel about the Civil War and its harrowing effects on families. Here are nineteen stories of Rebel ‘butternuts’ and Yankee ‘bluebellies’ who, despite being on opposing sides of battle, are also cousins, fathers and sons, brothers. Jeff Richards has written a moving meditation on the ways we can be made to ignore the humanity of those we see as enemies. As one character says, ‘Sad thing when two old comrades come to blows.’
“The moral complexities of duty to a cause versus family ties are vividly revealed thanks to the book’s authentic recreation of language, weaponry, dress, food, and mores of the time. Any Civil War buff will find this a fascinating read.” —Donna Baier Stein, author of Sympathetic People
“With unflinching honesty, Jeff Richards leads us through the horror and fervor of the Civil War, giving us both Confederate and Yankee perspectives. We join ranks with young soldiers and their loved ones as they experience the stunned sorrow of loss, the loyalty of friendship, and the gentle grasp of love. Richards lulls yet agitates the heart as the war shapes each character.” — Melanie S. Hatter, author of The Color of My Soul
David Nicholson978-0931181450, $12.95.
David Nicholson‘s recent book launch, June 2015.
Flying Home author David Nicholson speaking and signing books on June 28 at Upshur Street Books in Washington, DC:
You can “Flying Home” here, in Camille Acker’s October 5th 2018 review of “7 Essential Washington, D.C., Books (That Aren’t About Politics)”:
“Nicholson recognizes D.C.’s shrouded identity in the title of his short story collection. Centered in and around LeDroit Park in NW D.C., Nicholson’s is a pre-gentrification version of a neighborhood once home to DC’s most storied black citizens. In the book’s pages, a drive becomes a vehicle for memory and pain, and trouble can be found easily on the street but so can grace and redemption.”
Another recent review is at Washington City Paper:
Jonetta Rose Barras provided the first review of Flying Home:
“DAVID Nicholson’s Flying Home, features cinematic storytelling, rich in lyrical, descriptive language and filled with authentic African-American characters. This debut fiction collection by a former editor of the Washington Post Book World Washington and founder of Black Film Review magazine, reminds us of people and African-American communities we may have forgotten, as the old die and neighborhoods become more racially and economically diversified.
“But his powerful stories do not smother us in a nostalgic rendition of all things black. Rather they take us to parts of present day Washington, D.C., behind the monuments, the museums and the enclave of federal office buildings. We travel past commercial corridors, like U St. NW and H. St. NE. made popular by journalists who refuse to travel to the city’s bountiful and beautiful interior.
“A native Washingtonian, Nicholson does not place readers in any specific neighborhood, except Chevy Chase, which is predominantly white. His African-American characters refer to the street and the avenue, although a student of the city’s history and geography would probably assume the latter might be Rhode Island Ave. But the landmarks Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and the Howard Theater, for example and the book’s cover leave little doubt the stories whisper about the lives of folks in the nation’s capital who are not often discussed, except perhaps when sociologists seek to conjure pathologies.
“‘Living on the street is like walking into the Sylvan after the picture’s started,’ says the narrator of Getting On the Good Foot. Neville knows he’ll never really understand what he’s watching because he missed all the important stuff.
“The recently arrived to the District of Columbia may have missed much of its development but Nicholson clues them into the good, the remarkable and the extraordinary in the ordinary. He portrays tough boys, like Big Boy Bullock and his crew, who are mostly harmless but with whom young Neville and Wilson do not wish to tangle.
“Nicholson takes readers inside the barbershop, a cultural center, where black males and some females have gathered for more years than I have been on this earth. The barbershop men in A Few Good Men, including proprietor Lamarr Jenkins, womanizer Speed, and Hubble tell tall and tender tales. Lloyd Carver, for example, loved a woman so deep and hard, she sent him to the poorhouse and an early grave. As the men close out an evening of cutting heads, shaving faces, and sharing stories, it s the one relayed by Hubble that leaves everyone in the shop puzzled, and this reader saddened.
“We are allowed to eavesdrop on the quiet evening conversations of maturing black women without men; they counsel each other not to become victims. There are couples, like Daisy and Odis Renfro; he tries to teach his son the definition of manhood, only to be treated to his own refresher course.
“The husbands and wives, married for years, are still learning each other, the depth of their commitment and the strength of their love to each other, which gets them through the turbulence of life as working class people. In Seasons, Nicholson exposes us to the renewal of love and admiration between Tyson and his wife Garnet, who works for a white family in Chevy Chase. A former pitcher with the Dixie Dukes of Washington, D.C. a Negro baseball team that mimics the Washington Homestead Grays Tyson has been telling a story about striking out Babe Ruth. Did it happen as he spun the tale to Jesse, the son of Garnet’s employer? The answer comes when the young boy shows up at Tyson and Garnet’s front door …
“Folks interested in knowing the real DC—the one that continues to exist, despite tales of its demise—may want to pick up a copy of this wonderful collection.”
“David Nicholson’s Flying Home, a debut collection of seven stories, is simply astonishing. Nicholson probes deeply into black lives, and lives of the poor—and the professional—and shows us that they matter and how. Dialogue and dialect are spot on, the weather tangible, sentences as taut and vibrant as guitar strings, characters so real a reader feels enriched by and even responsible for their situations (we are all our brothers’ keepers). I recommend this as a book to read, to lend, to teach, and to return to; it is beautifully written.” —Kelly Cherry, author of A Kind of Dream: Stories
“In Flying Home, David Nicholson, the dauntless founder of Black Film Review, gives us a series of absorbing stories, captured for the reader in a linguistical version of CinemaScope, along with a most playful riff on Ralph Ellison’s narrative style. Intimate yet wide-angled, imaginative and probing, Nicholson’s collection is, as its last tale reveals, full of the inspiration and longing that come with having seen Hendrix perform live on the grandest of stages when music and society were on the edge of revolution.” —Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University
“David Nicholson’s collection of stories is powerful, lyrical, and poignant—they slide into your soul and stay there. These stories spoke to my heart, and haven’t quite left me.” —Sara J. Henry, award-winning author of A Cold and Lonely Place
“David Nicholson is such a gifted, assured storyteller that I read Flying Home in a single sitting, pulled from one beautifully written, wise, and moving story to the next, so enchanted by the lives he explores in the ‘secret city,’ and by his skill, that I was unaware of the passage of time. This is superbly crafted, memorable writing that will leave readers hungering for more.” —Charles Johnson, National Book Award-winning author of Middle Passage
“Sad, wise, funny, and forty other things, reading any one of David’s stories is like watching a crystal form in front of your eyes: all the elements are there at once but the way they find each other, the connections made and the meanings forged, is genuinely impressive.” —Mike Lankford, author of Life in Double Time: Confessions of an American Drummer
“David Nicholson, and all those people I mentioned to you: You should talk to them. Really, go talk to them. Get a book out about them. Find a way to cultivate a larger audience for them.” —James Alan McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Elbow Room
“Flying Home is a collection of wonderful short stories. Nicholson writes like an elder watching a city change and knowing the difference between life and death. There is sweet goodness in these tales. Wisdom can be found in this book too. ‘Seasons’ is a baseball story I fell in love with. ‘Flying Home’ made me want to hug my daughter again—like it was fifteen years ago. As Washington slow dances with gentrification it’s good to know a way of life has not been erased. Yes, the barbershop is open and friends still give rides to those who no longer know how to fly.” —E. Ethelbert Miller, poet
“David Nicholson, like his literary ancestors Ralph Ellison, James Alan McPherson, and Bernard Malamud, illuminates the mythic in the everyday lives of Americans whose stories are all too rarely deemed worthy of art… In Flying Home, David Nicholson shines his compassion and wisdom on them all.” —Eileen Pollack, author of In the Mouth and Breaking and Entering
“David Nicholson writes with subtle insight, vividly rendered, into the human condition. Flying Home is an accomplished book of stories that take us behind the curtains of race and class that separate us and often hide our common humanity.” —Arnold Rampersad, author of Ralph Ellison: A Biography
“Flying Home is not elegiac, for there’s too much love and humor and landscape in this fine collection about the often-hidden heart of the city. The people are real, and the place is vivid.” —Susan Straight, author of A Million Nightingales and Highwire Moon, a finalist for the National Book Award
“David Nicholson, in Flying Home, his evocative and potent fiction debut, tells stories so grounded in specifics as to seem folkloric, delivering folklore on pavement. He writes in unhurried and assured prose, with sentences that can, when called for, become flowing, full of eddies and swirls. Dizzy Gillespie once said that it took him a lifetime to learn what not to play, and I believe Nicholson heard him and has also done that very thing.” —Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone and The Maid’s Version
The Mondo Series
“Outside of dildos and Tupperware, pieces of molded plastic have rarely been known to trigger such intense brain activity.”— San Francisco Sentinel
Barbie is a problem for many…A deep problem.
Barbie is an American icon: the product of an adult’s fantasy of a girlchild’s toy. Or is Barbie the adult’s toy and the child’s fantasy?
What happens when the adult fantasy collides with the child’s fantasy? Sparks fly, as you will see from these stories and poems — some from Barbie’s point of view, some about Barbie’s impact on specific characters. All that misplaced Barbie angst of your youth, all the childhood conditioning, is revealed at last in Mondo Barbie.
“One of childhood’s more sobering initiations comes with the discovery that Barbie’s head pops off, she’ll never wear flats, and her boyfriend is a eunuch. A collection of poems and stories, Mondo Barbie dramatizes the lasting impression this Lilliputian bombshell has made on post-boom generations. In A.M. Homes’ sidesplitting ‘A Real Doll,’ a boy lusts after his sister’s fully animated Barbie; John Varley’s ‘The Barbie Murders’ features a futuristic colony of ghoulish Barbie look-alikes; Rebecca Brown outs Barbie; and Gregg Shapiro dresses like her. Considering its plastic catalyst, this is an imaginative and curioulsy touching anthology. A-” –Margot Mifflin, Entertainment Weekly In 1991 Lucinda and Richard were looking for a collaborative project. They were going to readings and one day, they saw A.M. Homes read her story, “A Real Doll.” They were touched by the tender way the brother fell in love with his sister’s Barbie doll and more touched with the way he put Barbie’s head in his mouth. When he found his sister chewing on Barbie’s feet, he was appalled. So was Richard! He thought it was disgusting but as he looked around, he saw all the women nodding. Chewing Barbie feet was a common denominator among most girls. A year later, in the same reading room at American University, Lucinda and Richard saw Denise Duhamel read from her chapbook, It’s My Body. The chapbook was filled with Barbie poems. Richard looked at Lucinda and said the magic word, “Barbie. ” An idea was born. Barbie was followed by Elvis was followed by Marilyn was followed by James Dean. They even did a literary survey of abortion. Rumor has it there will even be a Barbie II! But for now…
“Have you heard the news? There’s good reading tonight! If you’re an Elvis fan, you need this, you’ll love this…an anthology fit for the King.”— Lewis Shiner
Elvis is, and always will be, The King. Even as he (probably) lies in his grave at Graceland, he lives on in his music, his movies, on the Vegas stage, through the U. S. Mail, and on these pages. Mondo Elvis is a compilation of Elvis dreams, Elvis desires, and Elvis Nightmares. This collection of stories and poems track the Elvis legend from beginning to end. They depict Elvis the man, as well as the myth, they reflect on the life that was, and ponder the life that might have been.
Elvis will never die. We can’t let him. We need him too much.
Featuring works by: Ai, Rafael Alvarez, Elizabeth Ash, Nick Cave, Samuel Charters, Mark Childress, Eleanor Earle Crockett, Cornelius Eady, Janice Eidus, Brian Gilmore, Cathryn Hankla, William McCranor Henderson, Laura Kalpakian, Pagan Kennedy, Lynne McMahon, Eri Makino, Greil Marcus, Susie Mee, Rachael Salazar, Judy Vernon, Diane Wakoski, Howard Waldrop, Michael Wilkerson, MarkWinegardner, and David Wojahn.
“…a clever romp through the legend’s life and death.”— Publishers Weekly.
James Dean. The very mention of his name elicits a tiny sigh. Hollywood’s little lost boy. The fair-haired rebel whom everyone made their cause.
James Dean was twenty-four in a silver Porsche 500 Spyder, customized with racing stripes and the words LITTLE BASTARD painted across the tail end. He was dead. It would be another two months before Rebel Without a Cause filled movie screens. The 1955 film would change the lives of a generation and make James Dean the ultimate icon of alienated American youth. This bittersweet book resurrects James Dean. It is a guidebook for disciples, for new initiates, for romantics, for wanna-bes — for everyone who has ever wanted to live fast, die young, and leave behind a good-looking corpse.
Featuring works by: Ai, James Finney Boylan, Edwin Corley, Janice Eidus, Louisa Ermelino, Ed Graczyk, Jack C. Halderman II, Stephanie Hart, Michael Hemmingson, Hilary Howard, Ruben Jackson, Bentley Little, Michael Martone, David Plumb, Robert Ready, Miranda Schwartz, Lewis Shiner, Sparrow, D. E. Steward, Chuck Taylor, Tino Villanueva, and Terence Winch.
“Demented as always, the Mondo series is really much more fun than Silas Marner. Even Marilyn would have read it!”— Rita Mae Brown
Marilyn. The very name inspires a variety of images. Marilyn with her skirt billowing above her waist on the subway grating, or singing “Happy Birthday” to President Kennedy in that breathy voice that still makes men squirm, or posing naked against the red satin background, bouncing and jiggling, or pursing her lips on a Warhol canvas, or finally, desperately, once again nude, but this time found dead next to an empty bottle of pills.
Marilyn. Innocence, raw sexuality, beauty, and tragedy all rolled up into one. She was the quintessential sex-kitten and movie star — America’s sacrifice on the sexual altar.
Featuring works by: J.G. Ballard, Clive Barker, Jeanne Beaumont, Charles Bukowski, Phyllis Burke, Susan Compo, Eleanor Earle Crockett, Julia P. Dubner, Judy Grahn, Nanci Griffith, Doris Grumbach, Michael Hemmingson, Hilary Johnson, Michael Lally, L.A.Lantz, Lyn Lifshin, Beth Meacham, Taylor Mead, Bill Morris, Sharon Olds, Robert Peters, Leslie Pietrzyk, John Rechy, Gregg Shapiro, Rosanne Daryl Thomas, Lynne Tillman, Sam Toperoff, David Trinidad, Rita Valencia, and Tom Whalen.