Category Archives: chapbooks

Upcoming Reading: Charlotte Pence

Pence Front CoverThe Nantucket Book Festival sounds like a pretty dreamy way to spend a summer weekend, especially since poet Charlotte Pence will be there! Her prizewinning chapbook THE BRANCHES, THE AXE, THE MISSING is one of our favorites, and she’ll talk about poetry and song and participate in a reading, all on Saturday, June 22 starting at 11:45am. Details here (and buy a copy of BRANCHES here.)

Two Poems by Russel Swensen

Swensen Front CoverPANK Magazine features two stellar poems by Russel Swensen this month: “Tourism is Important” and “Danielle.” Read them, make your day awesome. (And it should be noted that buying Russel’s prizewinning chapbook, Santa Ana, will also make you smarter and more fun.)

Lisa Fay Coutley on Verse Daily

Coutley_CoverA lovely Monday perk: Lisa Fay Coutley–author of the prizewinning poetry chap In the Carnival of Breathing–is Verse Daily’s Web Weekly feature poet. Enjoy. (And buy Carnival here.)


Pence Front CoverDiagram has lovely things to say about Charlotte Pence’s prizewinning poetry chapbook: “Like the early humans conjured in The Branches, the Axe, the Missing, Pence crafts a subtly intricate world with ‘just’ branches, fire, darkness, memory, and the sharp scythe of questions. No doubt, her poems will continue to evolve, too. This is a wise and brave little book, and we’ll soon have a chance to see more; her first full-length collection of poetry is due out from Black Lawrence Press in 2014.” That’s right–more Pence is on the way, and we can’t wait. For now, slake your thirst for “wise and brave” poetry here.

Katie Rauk Poem in 2012 Best of the Net Anthology

Rauk CoverKatie Rauk’s gorgeous poem “Casida of the Weeping,” originally published in Pebble Lake Review, was selected for publication in the 2012 Best of the Net Anthology. Listen to her stirring reading here (and buy a copy of her equally lovely chapbook, Basil, here.)

Congrats, Katie!

Helen Marie Casey: Double Winner

Casey BostonWe’re so pleased to share that Helen Marie Casey, author of the brilliant poetry chapbook Inconsiderate Madness and the gorgeous nonfiction title My Dear Girl: The Art of Florence Hosmer, has won the 2012 Barbara Bradley Award from the New England Poetry Club and also the Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest from Artists in Action international, which recognizes writing for its relevance to human rights. Congrats, Helen! Buy her books here.

We have a winner! Fall 2012 Black River Chapbook Competition

We’re so excited to announce the winner — congratulations to Simone Muench, whose manuscript Trace has won the Fall 2012 Black River Chapbook Competition!

We’re also pleased to announce that Black Lawrence Press will be publishing two chaps from among our finalists: The New Sorrow Is Less Than the Old Sorrow by Jenny Drai and Oh My Darling by Cate Stevens-Davis.

A complete listing of our finalists and semi-finalists can be found on our blog.

Big thanks to all who entered, and welcome to the BLP family, Simone, Jenny, and Cate!

Fall 2012 Black River Chapbook Competition Finalists & Semi-Finalists

Here they are: the finalists & semi-finalists for the Fall 2012 Black River Chapbook Competition! Now that we have a short list to focus on, we’ll be announcing a winner from among the finalists in the next week or so. Many thanks to all who sent manuscripts our way; we were blown away by the submissions this time around!


 In the Village That Is Not Burning Down by Travis Brown
The Polychrome Clinic by Caroline Crew
A Necessary Erosion by Caleb Curtiss
The New Sorrow Is Less Than the Old Sorrow by Jenny Drai
Length of Fetch by Jesse Lichtenstein
Speak and Let the Serpent Crawl Out by Matthew Minicucci
Trace by Simone Muench
Canopy by Barbara Tomash


Dizzy Bridge Stories by Kevin Carey
Neverending Journey by Angela Jane Fountas
Two Stories by Otis Haschemyer
The Aquarium by Jen Knox
Oh My Darling by Cate Stevens-Davis
Another Demon Lober by Robley Wilson


Field Recordings by Brian Barker
machine gun villa by Lillian Bertram
The Oar by Sara Gelston
200 Moons by Charles Hood
Best Poems by Mike Krutel
Facts, and Other Things by Joel Lee
Songs of the Immortals by M. B. McLatchey
The Hollow More Than Shape Is Certain by Jill Osier


The Method by Aaron Apps
Klaus And Jill by John Colasacco
Thirteen Ways of Looking at Love, Flowers, and the Statue of Liberty by Dale Edmonds
Carter’s Orchard and Into the Big Smoke by Matt Hobson
The Secret Garden by James Musgrave
Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone by Sequoia Nagamatsu
Alone by Kathryn Shaver

New Review of PURGATORY

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has wonderful things to say about Amelia Martens’ prizewinning chapbook: “Amelia Martens has resurrected the idea of purgatory in her volume of poetry by the same name: Purgatory. And it is hella good stuff. …Not only is Martens a constructive genius, she’s a talented writer. Some of her descriptions are better than good or great. They approach awesome. Like this one: ‘Across the field, you can hear bees warming up their wings, the hive vibrating as a thousand tiny tongues lick dry mouths.’ That’s visceral writing, which takes talent and, let’s be honest, a certain knack. And Martens has both in copious quantities.” Read the entire review here, and buy a copy of this fantastic chap here.



Corduroy Books recently reviewed Charlotte Pence’s prizewinning chapbook, and writes “Ms Pence’s weirdly intriguing, come-backly-tugging book is fixated on is this light/heat source we’re drawn toward and, simultaneously, whatever we traded for the clarity or shine of fire-light. Period. It’s ultimately a book of rigorous measurement, a thin chapbook attempting in its way to consider something like transaction—wildness or elemental aspects for the ordered clarity that comes with taming chaos, the ambiguous could-be of the unknown for the fenced-in boundariness of definition. It’s a weirdly masterful little book.” Read the entire review here, and buy The Branches… here.