The Ruin of Everything

THE RUIN OF EVERYTHING
Stories

LARA STAPLETON

ISBN: 9781734496550
Library of Congress Control Number: 2021932139
Pages: 123
Release Date: October 19, 2021
Distributors: Ingram, Paloma Press, Bookshop, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books Inc. & select book stores
Price: $18

PALOMA PRESS RELEASES THE RUIN OF EVERYTHING

San Mateo, October 19, 2021 — Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of The Ruin of Everything, a short story collection by Lara Stapleton, author of the critically acclaimed, The Lowest Blue Flame Before Nothing.

The Ruin of Everything tells tales of abandoned children living in adult bodies. Bastards, bi-racial half-siblings, and orphans raised by aunts, they lose their last best love through brokenness like “the impossible loop in a stress dream.” Racial ambiguity abounds and confounds US color lines. Tones stretch from lugubrious sorrow to wicked dramedy. Obstinately fluid in architecture and identity, stories range from slick Hollywood glam to essayistic musings, from traditional immigrant realism, to rehearsals of autofiction that grow more metatextual as the book goes along. Just as we think we’ve learned how to read Stapleton’s stories, they shapeshift. And yet, the pieces reflect each other, a sad-clown funhouse hall of mirrors. Through wanton experiments with character, The Ruin of Everything asks us what is important to a tale and what it means to be American in country and continents. Lovers of Clarice Lispector and Luisa Valenzuela will find much to admire here.

“An Anaïs Nin of late capitalism’s bohemia, Lara Stapleton writes like an oracle of an underworld—of miscegenated loves and translocated broken souls—of characters unaware or ruinously conscious—and she inscribes that world in us with lust and wit and always that deep joy that encompasses sorrows bred in the bone, the race, the colors of one’s skin, the heart, and of course the tongue: the word.”
Gina Apostol, author of Insurrecto

“With a keen eye for human ambitions and human frailties, Stapleton brings us the comic turmoil of characters steeped in the sorrows and absurdities of modern life; reaching for connection and erring, reaching for home and missing. Brimming with hard-edged loneliness, these stories reach into the underbellies of our deepest hopes and fears.”
Laurel Flores Fantauzzo, author of My Heart Underwater

“If you could read only one of the nine short stories, “New” makes the release of the entire book worthwhile. And “Flesh and Blood” also passed my key test as not just a reader but a writer: the story made me want to run to my own pen or keyboard to write. The stories are engaging but the writing is also a writer’s writer’s delight: the characterizations are not just deep but sumptuous, structures are not just innovative but fresh, and narratives are both finely detailed but interspersed with psychological caesuras for maximizing the reader’s inhabitance.”
Eileen Tabios, author of DoveLion

“Stapleton often eschews the traditional arc of storytelling. Some read like expanded character sketches, though the story is IN the characters. This is not to say the narratives lack emotions — they are embedded in each character, affirmed or denied by their respective coteries. After all, aren’t we the sum of all lives we touched and denied?”
Victor Velasco, poet & fiction writer

“Stapleton appears to have set out to navigate crisscrossing lives by simply allowing the characters, especially the I-persona, to adjudicate between everyday instances of hope and anguish… The navigation is skillfully conducted through shifting maps of loneliness, angst, and the occasional ruin of everything. The inherent intricacies develop a matrix of resultant debris that keeps the story-telling in the throes of deep engagement.”
Alfred Yuson, literary critic and author of The Music Child

“The real pleasure of this book lies in Stapleton’s irrepressible approach to narrative structure. Long, loose chains of events culminate in volta-like swerves…. these endings refashion early meanderings in thrilling flashes.”
The New York Times

About the author:

Lara photo by Renee Rogoff

LARA STAPLETON is the author of the short story collection, The Lowest Blue Flame Before Nothing (Aunt Lute), an Independent Booksellers’ Selection and a Pen Open Book Committee Selection. She is the recipient of a Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation Grant for Writers, a two-time winner of the University of Michigan’s Hopwood Award for Fiction and winner of the Columbia Journal Fiction Prize.

Virtual book release party, Oct 19 at 5pm PST/8pm EST. 

The Flesh and Blood book party, Oct 22, 7pm EST, 3 Bleecker St NYC. 

For more information, please email editor[at]palomapress.net.


Save the Date: 10/15-10/16

Paloma Press authors Lara Stapleton and Barbara Jane Reyes will be at the 6th Filipino American International Book Festival at the San Francisco Public Library on October 15-16, 2022! Please save the date. The theme this year is “HIRAYA/EMERGENCE: WRITING TOWARDS THE FUTURE.”

Congratulations, Lara Stapleton!

Congratulations to Lara Stapleton who has just been accepted to La Chispa’s International Artist in Residency Program in Medellin! LARA STAPLETON is the author of the short story collection, The Lowest Blue Flame Before Nothing (Aunt Lute), an Independent Booksellers’ Selection and a Pen Open Book Committee Selection. She is the recipient of a Ludwig Vogelstein FoundationContinue reading “Congratulations, Lara Stapleton!”

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Shellback

SHELLBACK
poems

JEANNE-MARIE OSTERMAN

ISBN 978-1-7344965-3-6
Library of Congress Control Number: 2020935102
Pages: 82
Price: $16.00
Distributors: Ingram (wholesale), Bookshop, Barnes & Noble, and other select bookstores

Thank you so much to everyone who already bought a copy of Shellback! Please consider posting a review here and here.


Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s second poetry collection, Shellback.

“Courageous, insightful, and unsettling poems about war and family ties.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A not-untroubled tribute and a difficult elegy, Shellback traces the attachment of a daughter to her father from her childhood days of trying “to be his boy” to the grown-up’s task to be his caregiver in his last years. Including horrific details from the father’s WWII Navy service in the Pacific, which the poet memorializes in blunt, terse lines, alongside the harrowing specifics of his decline, Osterman limns a portrait of a complex relationship. Marked by candor and clear-sightedness, these poems resist soothing resolutions and easy solace, which is why they are sure to ring true to readers.”
—Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Letters from Limbo

Shellback is an elegy for a man who taught his youngest daughter how to “stretch a buck, drive a truck, / anchor a screw, win at gin rummy.” Jeanne-Marie Osterman toggles between nightmarish scenes her father witnessed during World War II and the smaller but no less affecting traumas of his final months in a nursing home. Her language is spare and colloquial, with moments of irony and deadpan wit that illuminate every detail. The arduous work of losing and grieving is beautifully preserved in these poems, which in their vividness function like a series of photographs. Or a time capsule. Or amber—something tough, primordial, and nearly clear. Osterman conveys, impeccably and with unflappable grace, the hard-earned knowledge that “no one is only / their sins.”
—Mark Bibbins, 13th Balloon

The beautifully sequenced poems in Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s Shellback yield a searing portrait of the poet’s father as a Depression-era boy and a Navy World War II veteran, given to emotional coldness and barely repressed anger. Their poignancy resides in the poet’s filial devotion, her wish to understand him and care for him in his old age. As Osterman writes in “Forgive:” “I let memories I can’t erase / rest in peace, / knowing no one is only their sins.” With often haunting imagery and carefully clipped lines, she memorably portrays a man, his era, and a daughter’s unstinting love.
—Gardner McFall, On the Line

osterman

Jeanne-Marie Osterman is the author of There’s a Hum (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have appeared in Borderlands, Cathexis Northwest, 45th Parallel Magazine, The Madison Review, and elsewhere. A finalist for the 2018 Joy Harjo Poetry Award and 2017 Levis Prize in Poetry, she is poetry editor for Cagibi, a journal of prose and poetry.


Renowned Poet Visits NCCC

The Niagara County Community College, as part of its Poetry on the Edge Series, successfully hosted a reading featuring Jeanne-Marie Osterman on April 21 in the Dolce Valvo Art Gallery at the Sanborn Campus. Ms. Osterman read from her books Shellback (Kirkus Top 100 Indie Books of 2021) and All Animals Want the Same ThingContinue reading “Renowned Poet Visits NCCC”

Paloma books in libraries

You can check these out today! Library of CongressClose Apart by Robert Cowan (poetry)Shellback by Jeanne-Marie Osterman (poetry)*Seven Skirts by Jacki Rigoni (poetry)The Good Mother of Marseille by Christopher X. Shade (novel)Shield the Joyous by Christopher X. Shade (poetry)The Ruin of Everything by Lara Stapleton (short stories)Pagpag: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora by EileenContinue reading “Paloma books in libraries”

Shellback is Kirkus’ #8!

Courageous, insightful, and unsettling poems about war and family ties. Kirkus Reviews Check out Kirkus’ Best Books of 2021, SHELLBACK is #8! Congratulations, Jeanne-Marie Osterman!

Pushcart & Best of the Net Nominees

Congratulations to this year’s Pushcart & Best of the Net nominees! Jeanne-Marie Osterman, Jacki Rigoni, Lara Stapleton (Paloma Press) Cole Eubanks, Eugene Gloria, Veronica Kornberg, Jenna Le, Esteban Rodriguez, James J. Siegel (MiGoZine, Pushcart) Tamiko Beyer, Karla Brundage, Clara Hsu, Hilary King, Mia Ayumi Malhotra, Timothy Liu (MiGoZine, Best of the Net)

More accolades for Osterman’s Shellback!

After earning the coveted Kirkus star, Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s SHELLBACK is a Staff Pick at the New York Public Library! Congratulations, Jeanne-Marie! Fresh from the success of SHELLBACK, Osterman won the 2021 Slipstream Press Chapbook Competition and her most recent work appears in New Ohio Review.

Osterman reads Tabios!

More information about Eileen R. Tabios’ short story collection, Pagpag, here. More information about Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s poetry collection, Shellback, here.

10th Annual New York City Poetry Festival

Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s Shellback & Christopher X. Shade’s Shield the Joyous will be available at the 10th Annual New York City Poetry Festival, July 24 & 25, at Colonel’s Row, Governors Island, New York, New York. Check back for more info.

A KIRKUS STAR FOR SHELLBACK!

Not only is Jeanne-Marie Osterman‘s Shellback chosen by Kirkus‘ Indie Editors to be featured in Kirkus Reviews (June 15 issue), it also gets a Kirkus Star (only 2% of books reviewed get a star)! Huge congratulations, Jeanne-Marie! The Kirkus Star One of the most coveted designations in the book industry, the Kirkus Star marks booksContinue reading “A KIRKUS STAR FOR SHELLBACK!”

SHELLBACK, a Kirkus top indie press book!

Courageous, insightful, and unsettling poems about war and family ties. KIRKUS Kirkus reviews SHELLBACK by Jeanne-Marie Osterman, one of this year’s top indie press books! Read the full review here.

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Shield the Joyous

SHIELD THE JOYOUS
poems

CHRISTOPHER X. SHADE

ISBN 978-1-7323025-9-4
Library of Congress Control Number: 2020930703

Release Date: April 2, 2020
Pages: 80
Price: $16.00
Distributors: Bookshop, Amazon, B&N, Ingram (wholesale)

PALOMA PRESS RELEASES SHIELD THE JOYOUS

San Mateo, 2 April 2020 — Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of Shield the Joyous, a first poetry collection by Christopher X. Shade, author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Good Mother of Marseille.

Established in 2016, PALOMA PRESS is a San Francisco Bay Area-based independent literary press publishing poetry, prose, and limited edition books. Paloma believes in the power of the literary arts, how it can create empathy, bridge divides, change the world. To this end, Paloma has released fundraising books such as Marawi, After Irma After Harvey, and Humanity.

A portion of the proceeds from Shield the Joyous will go to a nonprofit residential treatment program at a women’s center in Pomona, California, called Prototypes. The program aids and supports women, and single moms with their children, in recovery from addiction. It is a lifeline to women who are struggling with addiction and other serious issues.

On Christmas Day in 2017, author Christopher X. Shade’s younger brother was found nonresponsive in rural Alabama, and died that night. With this book of poems, Shade’s journey to better understand addiction and the loss of loved ones draws from both the world of his imagination and, in poignant poetic memoir, from his Alabama roots. This follows his 2019 debut novel The Good Mother of Marseille, its search for belonging through turbulent Marseille streets to a better understanding of ourselves. Shield the Joyous is deeply touching in its vulnerability and often entertaining. Mary and Joseph give 5-year-old Jesus an enormous pair of eyeglasses. Rice Krispies speak of death and resurrection. In North Alabama bottomlands, tall grasses long to protect ducks from hunters. And while paramedics wait in their parked ambulance for the next call, they try on each other’s sunglasses. The book continues the thread of coming to understand ourselves by working to understand others. And a strong message of love and hope transcends what is happening in our families where the disease of addiction pulls us apart and kills our loved ones.

“Meditative as the monastery he temporarily yet frequently inhabited in the writing of this book, Christopher X. Shade’s Shield the Joyous contemplates not only the loss of a brother through addiction but the search for deeper understanding. These poems mourn. They engage in magical thinking, exuding wonderment toward death. They traverse the gulf of detachment to find solace and wisdom in the earth. Eventually the poet is ‘led … to the I, to that inner self to which [he’d] been working [his] way toward all along’.”
Joseph O. Legaspi, cofounder of Kundiman, and author of Threshold

Shield the Joyous is a work of great wonderment and love, amidst “the ghostly whirl” of the author’s own grief and loss. His baby brother has died of addiction and there is much to think about — so into the deep quiet of a monastery he goes, where the gloom and majesty of memory and trouble surge and mix alongside the Hudson River and the swirl is able to illuminate, settle, calm. “I was elsewhere \ when my brother died” — but the writer is fully present now, to honor his sibling with rich care and tender thinking and writing that will help anyone who has ever lost anyone, now and forever, amen.”
Naomi Shihab Nye, the Young People’s Poet Laureate, and author or editor of over 30 volumes, most recently The Tiny Journalist

Shield the Joyous is a powerful memoir of a man’s journey in coming to terms with his brother’s drug addiction and subsequent death. It is a deeply spiritual book, conceived in a monastery where the author goes on retreats to recover from loss and save himself. It is also a survival guide, lifting us all out of despair. In the sublime manner of W. H. Auden, Shade builds his work on the canonical hours, beautifully combining prose and poetry to express intense emotion.”
Grace Schulman, author most recently Without a Claim

Christopher X. Shade by Beowulf Sheehan

Christopher X. Shade is author of the novel The Good Mother of Marseille. His stories, poems, and book reviews have appeared widely. He is also co-founder and co-editor of Cagibi, a journal of poetry and prose at cagibilit.com. He teaches poetry and prose writing at The Writers Studio. Raised in the South, he now lives and works in New York City. (Photo by Beowulf Sheehan)

Shield the Joyous is available now through Ingram Book Group’s distribution partners: Bookshop, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and wherever books are sold.


peminology

PEMINOLOGY
by Melinda Luisa de Jesús

Published by Paloma Press
Release Date: March 2018
Pages: 80, full-color
Price: $27 (before discount; eBook, $5)
Distributor: Paloma Press

In honor of International Women’s Day, Paloma Press is proud to announce the release of PEMINOLOGY, a first poetry collection by Melinda Luisa de Jesús, a feminist of color who teaches and writes about critical race theory, girlhood and monsters, and believes, “as did the ancients, that a poem can change the world.”

Excerpt:

Jealousy

1.
Wanting to be blonde-haired, blue-eyed,
small-boned and delicate

ivory-complexioned, sweet and ladylike
a fairy princess,

or green-eyed and red-haired
like a mermaid

Anything but brown-skinned
brown-eyed

black-haired
loud

big
fat

different.

2.
I love your poems

I hate your poems
I want to lick them,

chew the paper they’re on
savor each line

then
swallow them whole

make them mine.

3.
Wishing I felt more connection

Planted in American soil
wilting

bleached
I long to be coconut, carabao brown.

Advance words:
“Melinda Luisa de Jesús’s debut collection of poems comes from a space of longing, rebellion, grief, love, poetics and politics. Bold, unafraid and uncompromising, peminology carves out a space for de Jesús’ vision and her generation of Filipinas in immigrant America. She speaks in multiple voices and registers, as a daughter, to a daughter, as a mother, to a mother, as a storyteller, drudging up a past and confronting fiercely the present. peminology is poetic auto ethnography. It must be read. It must be heard. It must be listened to. This is Asian-America. This is post-Trump’s America. This is the America we live in.”
—Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt, author of The Postcolonial Citizen: The Intellectual Migrant

peminology is bold, raw, and honest. Weaving between past and present, de Jesús creates a narrative of traumas that connect girlhood to womanhood. Charting the intersections of racial and feminist awakenings, these poems offer avenues for shame and rage to become strength and resistance. “The Tractor,” “Patriarchy,” and “Imagine That” are but a few examples of the timely critiques—anthems, even—that de Jesús situates amidst her chronology of oppression and opposition. Her experimentation with form, including the hay(na)ku, the hay(na)ku sentence, and the pantoum, interrupts Western poetic conventions as much as the language and imagery itself. The stand out poem—“Bellies”— followed by “Pantoum for Eloisa,” explores the heartbreaking complexities of brown women negotiating motherhood and white imperialism. This collection will leave you simultaneously heartbroken and empowered, ready to rise out of your seat to demand recognition, and sit down with your child to nurture self-love. A must-read for 2018.” —Linda Pierce Allen, co-editor of Global Crossroads: A World Literature Reader and Questions of Identity: Complicating Race in American Literary History

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Melinda Luisa de Jesús is Chair and Associate Professor of Diversity Studies at California College of the Arts. She writes and teaches about Asian American cultural production, girl culture, monsters, and race/ethnicity in the United States.