Tag Archives: Pictures of Houses with Water Damage

An All Around Fascinating Entity

In his recent review of Michael Hemmingson’s Pictures of Houses with Water Damage, Grady Harp praised not only the book, but the publisher. Here are some of our favorite sections from the review:

Pictures of Houses with Water Damage, is not only a zinger of a title for a collection of short stories, but the packaging includes a fine book design by Steven Seighman and points to Black Lawrence Press as a leader in the contemporary publishing business, making this new book an all around fascinating entity.

Some of these stories may be as short as two pages in length but everyone of them carries a punch, a hurt, a bruise, and a feeling that there are a lot of other people in the world who have moments of not fitting in as we do. Hemmingson understands human behavior and pours it into his stew pot until it comes out both strange and real. These are some of the finest vignettes about the human condition available today!

We’re blushing! Order your copy of Pictures of Houses With Water Damage today.

BLP Expands Its List

If you’ve been following the BLP blog, then you know of a few recent additions to the BLP family. In January, we announced that we’d accepted Killing the Murnion Dogs by Joe Wilkins and Instructions for Killing the Jackal by Erica Wright, two new collections of poetry due out in August and September of next year, respectively. In February, we announced that Carol Guess had become a part of our crew of poets; her collection Doll Studies: Forensics will be out in the beginning of 2012. Also in February we announced the acceptance of the novel/novel-in-stories/memoir/we don’t know what we’re calling it yet other than “rad” Pulled from the River by Jon Chopan.

There’s been lots of action since February and we are very pleased to announce that we’ve added a few more authors to the BLP family and also have new titles forthcoming from authors who have published with us in the past. Next fall we will publish Marginalia for a Natural History, a collection of poems by Keith Taylor.

We’ve also accepted two new books by Marcel Jolley, winner of the inaugural St. Lawrence Book Award and author of Neither Here Nor There. His short story collection, Priors, will come out in the spring of 2012, to be followed by his novel Milk Run in the spring of 2013. We’ve also got some new blood in our stable of fiction writers. Loving You the Way I Do, short stories by Ron Savage will be published in the summer of 2012.

We’re also very pleased to announce that our translation list is expanding as well. Daniele Pantano, author of the poetry collection The Oldest Hands In The World and the translation The Possible is Monstrous has two more translations coming out from BLP in the next few years: Oppressive Light: Selected Poems by Robert Walser (Spring, 2012) and The Complete Works of Georg Trakl (Spring, 2014). We’ve also got Dream Weed, a translation of Yvan Goll poems, by Nan Watkins coming out in July, 2012.

Those of you who are fans of T.J. Beitelman (Pilgrims: A Love Story) and David Rigsbee (winner of the Spring, 2009 Black River Chapbook Competition) will be happy to know that we have full-length collections from both poets coming out in mid-2012.

And, just so you know what you have to look forward to, BLP will release the following titles before the end of 2010: Every Bitter Thing by Hardy Jones, Perishables by Tina Egnoski, Pictures of Houses with Water Damage by Michael Hemmingson, The Consequence of Skating by Steven Gillis, Triggermoon Triggermoon by JuliaCohen, Speech Acts by Laura McCullough, and The Pilot House by David Rigsbee.

We’ve currently closed submissions until August 15th while we catch up on submissions. We’re hoping to have more good news by the end of the summer once we read all of the manuscripts in our queue. As always, thanks for reading!

-Diane Goettel
Executive Editor, Black Lawrence Press

P.S. Don’t forget that the deadline for the St. Lawrence Book Award is August 31st!

National Poetry Month Spotlight: Michael Hemmingson


When we drove from the Phoenix airport
and saw the first of the red rocks
and Bell Mountain standing like
an icon, a temple, from a different time,
I wanted to tell you that I had
been here before,
in a different time,
a life lost in my cells but on the edge
of my tongue. These things
are always hard to explain, you know.
I’d tell you later,
as you told me that at one of
the vortices you had a vision
of the past, American-Indians
peacefully gathering and
harvesting the land,
while my perception reached further
back: dinosaurs, slow and heavy,
devouring vegetation.
We were very happy at
that vortex, huddled together
in an alcove on a hill,
as a thin man with little
hair stood on top of
a high pile of rocks,
played a flute for a while,
and then moved his body
about—a dance, a meditation,
whatever he was doing
it was very interesting;
and I thought how neat it would be
to have a flute and play
it out here at the vortex, opening doors to
other dimensions, to lives
forgotten in the cells.
That night, in the motel room, you deeply
slept, but I was in and out of sleep,
I was in and out of memory;
I was visited by a group of people
I knew in some other time,
and they said to me welcome back,
we’re so glad you’re here, welcome back.
This was in 1997. I have gone back since,
alone, without you. You should have been
there with me. I hope you’ve gone
back. Next time I return to Sedona,
to a home I can never
call home, you won’t be there,
but you’ll be in
my cells, like always,
like everything else.

Q: Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on the day you wrote the above poem?

A: I don’t remember what I was doing the exact day, but it was a period of poetry writing in the spring of 2003, and I was thinking of places I had been, or wanted to return to, and Sedona was one. I don’t write poetry too often — two or three a year, my main focus is fiction and journalism. I think someday I will move to Sedona.

Q: What is the last book you’ve read that made you want to grab a pen and write?

A: Every book I read makes me want to write — but I’d say the last ones were Don Delillio’s Point Omega (Scriber, 2010) and Sharon Olds’ Strike Sparks: Selected Poems 1980-2002 (Knopf, 2004). And every time I pick up and read Carolyn Forché’s The Country Between Us (Harper and Row, 1981) I want to compose poems.

Q: What is the most sublime meal you’ve ever eaten?

A: Filet mignon at a restaurant in the Grand Canyon.

Michael Hemminsgon’s poetry collection Ourselves or Nothing was recently published by Olympia Press. His short story collection Pictures of Houses with Water Damage is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press this summer.