Category Archives: author updates

Kudos to our poets

Our hats are off to 7KP poet Christina Hutchins, whose full-length collection, The Stranger Dissolves, is a finalist for the Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award. Good luck, Christina!

And congrats to Catherine Staples, whose gorgeous chapbook, Never a Note Forfeit, has just gone into its fourth printing!

Louis McKee Memorial Event: Sunday, March 18

(Originally posted by Eileen D’Angelo)
 
A great light has gone out of the Philadelphia literary community, and for many of us who loved Philadelphia teacher and poet Louis McKee. There will be a celebration of his remarkable life on Sunday, March 18th at 1 pm at the Mansion Parlor and Gallery of Media Borough Hall, 301 North Jackson Street, Media, PA 19063.  Please join us that day.

Remembrances, stories and memories will be shared by his friends including Daniel Hoffman, WD Ehrhart, Joe Farley, Harry Humes, Paul Martin, Ray Greenblatt, Thomas Devaney, Elaine Terranova, Steve Delia, Peter Krok, Dan Maguire, Lynn Levin, Barb Crooker, Richard Bank, Mel Brake, Eileen D’Angelo and many others. Everyone is invited to come and take to the podium, or rise from their seats, Quaker-style, as the spirit moves them, to share one of your favorite poems written by Lou, or tell a story, an anecdote or share a fond memory of our dear friend and Northeast Philadelphia’s native son. Please come and help us celebrate his life. Feel free to copy and forward this message. With your help, we can make it a very special day to remember him.

Mourning a Loss: Louis McKee, 1951-2011

We’re terribly saddened to just hear of the passing of Lou McKee, who died yesterday  (the very day his chapbook, No Matter, was re-released). I’m passing along this announcement by Eileen D’Angelo:

Dear Friends,  
   With a sad and heavy heart, I am writing to let you know that our friend and Philadelphia poet, Louis McKee, died yesterday, November 21st.
   A dear friend of so many of us on the Philadelphia poetry scene, Lou was most definitely one of its greatest voices. His passing is a great personal loss, as I know it is a great loss to us all. It is an understatement to say that he will be missed by many.
   Plans for a memorial service are underway. I will send additional news ASAP.
   Sincerely, Eileen
  
Louis McKee (born July 31, 1951, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) has been a fixture of the Philadelphia poetry scene since the early 70s. He is the author of Schuylkill County (Wampeter, 1982), The True Speed of Things (Slash & Burn, 1984), and fourteen other collections. More recently, he has published River Architecture: Poems from Here & There 1973-1993 (Cynic, 1999), Loose Change (Marsh River Editions, 2001), and a volume in the Pudding House Greatest Hits series. Gerald Stern has called his work “heart-breaking” and “necessary,” while William Stafford has written, “Louis McKee makes me think of how much fun it was to put your hand out a car window and make the air carry you into quick adventures and curlicues. He is so adept at turning all kinds of sudden glimpses into good patterns.” Naomi Shihab Nye says, “Louis McKee is one of the truest hearts and voices in poetry we will ever be lucky to know.”
Near Occasions of Sin, a collection issued in 2006 by Cynic Press, has been praised by Brendan Kennelly: “I really admire, and like, deeply, Louis McKee’s poems. They have two qualities I love – clarity and candour. And they often tell stories even as they evoke mysteries of being. And they engage a great deal with people. “The Soldier,” for example, is stunning for its pure drama. Then, he is a moving, complex love-poet, at once passionate and reserved. McKee’s poems are like flashes of spirit rooted in the body. He never hides behind, or in, obscurity. Near Occasions of Sin is utterly unpretentious because his genius (I think he has that) is so real; “I am content with this,” he says at the end of “Failed Haiku,” and this readiness to be himself, in all his complexity and simplicity, is, I think, the basis of the appeal of this most unusual and attractive book. Sometimes, McKee talks to his reader and it is like talking to a next-door neighbor (that’s what I mean by candour in these poems). Also, they sound like songs at times-winged, humane, vulnerable.”
 
Philip Dacey, writing about McKee’s poetry in Schuylkill Valley Journal (#24, spring, 2007) says, “It is the essence of McKee’s work to be rich in artifice and craftsmanship and informed poetic strategies while at the same time consistently brave in its presentation of two confrontations: a person’s with himself and that person’s with the world outside himself. To read McKee is to witness drama and struggle; if the art is hard-won, the human victories are, too.”
 
Warren Woessner, in the American Book Review (Jan/Feb 2007, Vol 28, No. 2), writes that McKee’s poems have a “surprising honesty…. In this era of superconfessional hubris, we are told that no topic is off-limits, but, if this is so, why are so many of these poems startling? Picasso said, “art is not truth,” and I know that to be true, but it is important to the force of these poems that I can believe that the poet is giving us his stories straight up.”
 
McKee was a longtime editor of the Painted Bride Quarterly. During his tenure, he edited three special issues, celebrating the work of Etheridge Knight and John Logan, as well as a retrospective, 20th-anniversary volume of the PBQ. He operated Banshee Press and edited the magazine One Trick Pony until its demise in 2007.

Kudos

Our congratulations to three more Seven Kitchens authors on their wonderful accomplishments:

Please share the word and support these fine writers by reading their work!

Author news

Please join us in congratulating our authors on the forthcoming publication of their first full-length collections:

Catherine Staples’ collection, The Rattling Window, will be published by Ashland Poetry Press. Catherine is the author of Never a Note Forfeit, co-winner of the 2010 Keystone Chapbook Prize. In other news, Catherine’s poem “Red Rover” won the Guy Owen Prize from the Southern Poetry Review.

Matthew Hittinger’s collection, Skin Shift, will be published in June 2012 by Sibling Rivalry Press. Matthew is the author of Platos de Sal, #2 in our Editor’s Series.

We also have word that Steven Riel’s first full-length collection has found a publisher–more word on that as soon as we hear. Steven is the author of Postcard from P-town, #2 in our Robin Becker Chapbook Series.

And please check out a new blog from Steve Turtell, Adventures of a Working Stiff: 50 Jobs in 50 Years: fascinating narratives about some of the many jobs Steve has held. Steve is the author of Letter to Frank O’Hara, #3 in our ReBound Series.

Update: Becker Prize status, new 2012 Editor’s Series titles

Hi, folks. Just a quick update today to let you know that the manuscripts have been narrowed down to twelve finalists for the Robin Becker Prize; we expect to name the co-winners sometime in October. (Yes, we’re running late this year, but things have been hopping around here.) All the finalists have been contacted as of Sept 20 and we’re just about to update the online manuscript log to reflect that status. Thanks again to everyone who supported this series for another year. Once the co-winners are selected, we’ll be e-mailing you to find out which title you’d like to receive.

Our thanks to everyone who ordered copies of Catherine Staples’ Never a Note Forfeit: the response was so overwhelming that we are still catching up with orders. Catherine’s chapbook went into a second printing on the day it was released, and a third printing the same month (July)! If you’ve not yet received your copy, please know that we’re working on it. And thanks so much for your patience and support.

We’re currently reading through the Keystone Chapbook entries and will post an update in the next couple of weeks.

Finally, we’re pretty much over the moon about two chapbooks we’ve just contracted to publish next fall in the Editor’s Series, both by poets in the Seven Kitchens family: The Vanishing of Camille Claudel by Erin M. Bertram, and Mistakes with Strangers by Jeff Oaks. Please join us in congratulating Erin and Jeff!

Over. The. Moon.

Preorder Days of Dark Miracles by Daniel Nathan Terry

We’ve been looking forward to this title since last summer, and now we can finally say that it’s time to pre-order your copy of Daniel Nathan Terry’s brilliant, harrowing Days of Dark Miracles, with gorgeous original cover art by Benjamin Billingsley. Number 13 in our Editor’s Series. 29 pages. You know you want one.

Mary Meriam: Summer Kitchen #4, and Collin Kelley reading

A bit behind schedule, we’re delighted to bring out Mary Meriam’s exquisite The Poet’s Zodiac tomorrow, August 19, as Number 4 in our hot, hot Summer Kitchen Series. Please join us in congratulating Mary!

And if you’re in the Atlanta area, please come celebrate the reissue of Collin Kelley’s Slow to Burn, Number 4 in our visionary ReBound Series. Collin will read from StB, as well as new work, on Saturday, August 20th, 3pm at Bound to Be Read Books. Congratulations, Collin!

Scavenge hits third printing

Please join us in congratulating RJ Gibson, whose chapbook, Scavenge, is now in its third printing! Co-winner of the 2009 Robin Becker Prize, this title is one of our best sellers and absolutely deserves its ever-widening readership. We can’t wait till RJ has a full-length book, but till then, we wholeheartedly recommend this collection: 24 pages of smart, sharply observant poems whose titles alone–from “Coming from a Farm” and “Earthly Delights” to “Erotics” to “Ontology: Britney Spears”–let you know you’re in for an original treat. Congrats, RJ!