poetry collections...

January 1, 2015

Results of Fall 2014 Open Reading Period

I am pleased to announce that Steel Toe Books has acquired rights to publish Marci Rae Johnson’s second full-length collection, Basic Disaster Supplies Kit. Congratulations to Marci, whose book will be published in 2016. (STB also offered a contract to Allison Campbell for her manuscript, Encyclopedie of the Common & Encompassing, but we lost a protracted bidding war with another publisher. Congratulations to Allison. I look forward to seeing her book in print.)

Steel Toe Books received 142 manuscripts during this open reading period, many of them amazing. STB would like to make honorable mention of the following manuscripts, all of which made it to the third and final round of screening:

Dark Specter by Neil Carpathios

In the Brittle Body by Susan Cohen

Sad Math by Sarah Freligh

God Appears as a Weeping Beech Tree by Frannie Lindsay

One Good Blow by Robert Lunday

Breaking News by Nicole Santalucia

Threads by Peter Serchuk

A Terrible Monster by Laura Madeline Wiseman

I would like to thank the many volunteer screeners who helped out this year. They turned what could have been a monumental task into a manageable one. This year’s first round screeners were David Carter, Mar’nitka Coleman, Noah Frederick, Kaycee Hill, Eryn Karmiller, David Langdon, Matthew Langston, Kyle Marshall, David Price, Kalyn Stewart, Anthony Thon, Marissa Tompkins, Matthew Wiley, and Katie Zdunek. Second round screeners this time were Ralaina Hunley, Dori Norman, Addison James, and Amanda Vickous.

It took a bit longer to sift through the manuscripts than normal. Sorry about that. My day job has been very hectic. Western Kentucky University is starting a new residential two calendar year MFA program in Creative Writing, with the first class entering in Fall 2015. Also, WKU is hiring two new tenure-eligible creative writing faculty members: a fiction writer and a scriptwriter. Working on the MFA proposal and chairing the two search committees has kept me pretty busy. While you’re waiting for Basic Disaster Supplies Kit by Marci Rae Johnson, be sure to pick up a copy of The Maintenance of the Shimmy-Shammy by Christopher Citro, due out in March 2015.

October 30, 2017

We are pleased to announce Steel Toe Books' most recent release, Street Calligraphy by Jim Daniels. Steel Toe Books acquired this title for publication in 2016.

Jim Daniels is the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor of English at Caregie Mellon University, where he has been teaching creative writing since 1981. He is the author of seventeen books of poetry as well as numerous short stories and screenplays and the editor of multiple anthologies of poetry. His work has been featured in The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor, Poetry 180 with Billy Collins, and the American Life in Poetry series.

Street Calligraphy is, as poet Afaa M. Weaver says, "an honest and well-honed collection that will bring light to the lives it celebrates, our own." Aimee Nezhukumatathil calls these poems "moving and unflinching poems--brutal and brave." Daniels, a Detroit native, explores the city of the American Midwest, its concrete, factories, and graffiti: nostalgic, but not sentimental. "We never saw stars/above Detroit," he writes, "so why even look up?"

Street Calligraphy, will be available for purchase November 1, 2017, through Steel Toe Books (place an order here) and Amazon. For more information about Street Calligraphy or other Steel Toe releases, please view our titles here.

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