We’re thrilled to announce the release of JeFF Stumpo’s El Océano y la Serpiente / The Ocean and the Serpent, Number 7 in our ReBound Series. Originally published in 2004 by Zenane Independent Media and printed by Tabula Rasa Press, this new edition has been long in the works. Get your copy here.
We’re looking forward to reading your nominations for the ReBound Series, which showcases out-of-print chapbooks in snazzy, new editions in order to bring them to a wider readership. This series depends on you, Dear Readers, so please take a moment to browse your bookshelves and let us know which out-of-print chapbooks you think deserve new life! The fall reading period is August 1 through September 15, and you can find full guidelines here.
It’s February, and we are very open: calling all poets and readers of poetry to nominate your favorite out-of-print chapbooks for publication in fresh, new editions through the Seven Kitchens Press ReBound Series. This window closes on March 15, so click on over to the guidelines and send us your favorite chapbooks!
Entries are now being considered for the (revived!) ReBound Series. Have a cherished copy of an out-of-print chapbook? Would you like to see it back in print in a select new edition? Consider nominating it for the ReBound Series. Our fall reading period is open until October 15. Full guidelines are here.
(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.
We’re ringing in the new year with a belated announcement: the publication of Midwinter Fires by Jeffery Beam. Originally published by French Broad Press in 1990, this new edition features an introduction by Joe Donahue and is Number Six in our ReBound Series. Please join us in congratulating Jeffery & welcoming him to the Seven Kitchens family.
Official publication date: December 27, 2011 [125 copies]
14 pages; $ 7.00
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:
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.
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.