The last month of last year was a busy time for the press. So much time was spent printing, binding, and shipping books, that I didn’t have a chance to announce the December publication of these four new chapbooks. But now that I’ve sort of caught up, it seems time to let more people know about these new additions to the Red Dragonfly Press list.
We’re pleased to announce the winner of the 2013 David Martinson – Meadowhawk Prize: Patches of Light by Chad Hanson.
Patches of Light, a collection of prose poems, covers a lot of ground, thematically and literally, with poems that move at ease across the High Plains, touching on subjects as various as the function of bird’s ears, an escaped lion, and listening to James Brown…a little bit of everything for everyone. Look for Patches of Light early next year.
Chad Hanson serves as Chairman of the Department of Sociology and Social Work at Casper College in Casper, Wyoming. His creative nonfiction titles include Swimming with Trout (University of New Mexico Press, 2007) and Trout Streams of the Heart (Truman State University Press, 2013).
Thanks to all the poets that submitted manuscripts this year; the number of superb submissions, made the reading enjoyable, yet made the choosing a difficult task. Thanks also to the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council for supporting this project.
Submissions for the 2014 David Martinson – Meadowhawk Prize will be accepted beginning March, 2014.
The books in The Voice of the Poet Series are intended as introductions to the work and voice of important midwest poets. Each book includes a select number of poems chosen to span or represent the poet’s range of work. Audio recordings of the poets reading these selections were made, and then embedded into the e-book format. Each book will also include an introductory essay and bibliography.
The first four books feature the poetry of Joyce Sutphen, Robert Hedin, Edith Rylander and Floyce Alexander. Expected release date for the first title, The Grand Piano by Floyce Alexander (introduction by Christopher Howell and afterword by Bill Tremblay) is November, 2013.
Here’s a little taste of what’s to come. Edith Rylander reading ‘The Circle’ from her book Dancing Back The Cranes (North Star Press, 1993):
We’re pleased to announce the winner of the 2013 Emergence Chapbook Series Prize: Empty-handed by Scott Lowery of Rollingstone, Minnesota. We received a number of very good submissions; Lowery’s chapbook was chosen for its voice and for its reverent treatment of place and labor.
A second manuscript was also accepted for publication, apart from the Emergence Series: The World Is Not Altogether Bad by Mike Hazard. This chapbook, a collection of poem portraits of interesting people by an arch-filmmaker, was simply too good to pass up.
Lastly, we want to extend a special thank you to everyone who submitted chapbooks and to the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council for supporting this project. We were amazed at the range and accomplishment of the entries; the future looks promising for Minnesota poetry. And, speaking of the future, we will begin accepting new manuscripts for the 2014 Emergence Chapbook Series Prize in March.
This large collection of narrative poems, 300 pages, has been many years in the making and draws on the oral history work undertaken by poet Joe Paddock in his home town of Litchfield, Minnesota. “By sticking fast where [he was], like an axis of earth,” to use a venerable line of Emerson’s, Joe Paddock has created a midwestern masterwork.
Praise for Circle of Stones:
Joe, I’d glanced through “Circle of Stones” before, and read a few poems, but yesterday afternoon I sat down and read it all the way through. I hadn’t planned it that way; I thought I’d just read a few poems, because the continuous screaming of the wind through the dry woods outside was getting on my nerves, and I wanted something to settle me. But once I was into the book, I was hooked, I could not put it down.
I laughed inordinately. A couple of times I wept. Occasionally I was even jealous.
This is just a magnificent book, Joe. I admire the ambition of it, the willingness to speak of grand things. So many poets have taken the idea of “write about what you know” far too literally.
And just when you think the poet is getting a little too grand, maybe even pompous, the reader is back with the pigs and dogs and small-town humor of Meeker County.
The earlier poems which you’ve embedded shine even more grandly (and sometimes take on more resonance) in a new frame.
I’m struck by how free you were as a child (as I was, as John was, as our children were) to wander and explore. Hardly any children have that freedom today. The terror of stranger abduction has made jailors out of parents.
And reading about the plane ride with “Whiskey Jack” reminded me of all those afternoons when I was eleven or so, and my father was working on getting his commercial pilot’s license. He would be going out to practice aerobatics in the Piper J-3 we then co-owned. (Named “Betsy”, as I recall.) Daddy would say, “Edie, do you want to be my sandbag?” Meaning that, flying from the front seat of a tandem two-seater, he would want either weight or a passenger in the back seat.
– Edith Rylander, poet and author
This is a fan letter. I have read Circle of Stones and was thoroughly caught up in it. It’s moving, amusing, evocative, inspiring— Well, the adjectives flow on. Brought tears, laughter and memories along with new insights and ways of looking at people, places and things. Reading it does a person good.
– Carole Wendt, retired writer for NBC
I read right through Circle of Stones, a few poems every night. Wonderful stories. You’ve done mythic service for your hometown–and the rest of us.
– Bart Sutter, poet and author
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To purchase a copy at the Red Dragonfly Press website click here
To purchase a copy at Small Press Distribution click here