New release: 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.


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”

The Free Lance-Star reviews TRoE

Nicholas Addison Thomas of The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg reviews Lara Stapleton’s The Ruin of Everything: “It’s easy to see why Lara Stapleton has won several awards for her writing. Few authors can explore the human condition with such force that it raises eyebrows and stirs the soul simultaneously. “Find out for yourself by readingContinue reading “The Free Lance-Star reviews TRoE”

TRoE in The News International

Lara Stapleton’s The Ruin of Everything is reviewed in The News International, Pakistan’s largest English language newspaper! Gratitude to author and book critic Moazzam Sheikh. “In Lara Stapleton’s The Ruin of Everything, stories dealt with issues of bifurcated identities and self-confidence or the lack thereof in the lives of Filipino Americans and how they negotiateContinue reading “TRoE in The News International”

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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, or purchase directly from the publisher, editor@palomapress.net

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

ostermanJeanne-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”

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.

Writers Live: Everett Poetry Night with Steve K. Bertrand & Jeanne-Marie Osterman

Join the Everett Public Library for a celebration of poetry on April 20 at 5pm Pacific. Everett Poetry Night will feature two poets whose work is inspired by their lives and experiences in Everett.  Steve K. Bertrand and Jeanne-Marie Osterman will talk about poetry and each will read a selection of their Everett-inspired poems. SteveContinue reading “Writers Live: Everett Poetry Night with Steve K. Bertrand & Jeanne-Marie Osterman”

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Marcelina

Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of its 20th book, MARCELINA: A meditation on the murder of Cecilia “Celing” Navarro, by Dr. Jean Vengua.

ISBN: 978-1-7344965-0-5
Official Release Date: September 2020
Pages: 34
Price: $16
Available now on Amazon.

*Jean Vengua reads from Marcelina here.

ADVANCE WORDS

You must sit down to read Jean Vengua’s “Marcelina”—an epic poem for our times. Bringing to light the lived experience of a young Filipina American immigrant woman in the 1920s and 1930s Central California, she captures a powerful event that can no longer remain buried. Vengua’s passionate writing braids history, geography, gender, ethnicity and race to illumine why we must now dig up those discarded in the levees of our past. The silencing forces of history are undone by Jean Vengua’s writing. Through her, we can finally know about and feel Celine Navarro’s life.
Celine Parreñas Shimizu, director of THE CELINE ARCHIVE (2020)

It is an honor to revisit Jean Vengua’s long poem, “Marcelina,” two decades after it was first published in the anthology Babaylan. “Marcelina” is jarring in its quiet, meditative moments, contrasted against voices and acts of historical violence. Vengua asks us to join her, to unearth our buried history and herstory, look hard at the violences we have inflicted upon our own. Vengua resists the insularity, the suffocation of that history, pays back this violence with witness, with gentle words. She pays respect to the woman, Marcelina, by honoring the earth in which she was interred.
Barbara Jane Reyes, author of Invocation to Daughters and Letters to a Young Brown Girl

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jean Vengua is a Filipinx American poet and visual artist, author of Corporeal (Black Radish Books), Prau (Meritage Press), and The Aching Vicinities (Otoliths Press. Chapbook). With Mark Young, Vengua co-edited the First Hay(na)ku Anthology, and The Hay(na)ku Anthology Vol. II. As co-publisher of Tulitos Press with Elizabeth H. Pisares, she published/edited the Debut: The Making of a Filipino American Film by Gene Cajayon and John Manal Castro, and The Flipside, by Rod Pulido. Jean was born in San Francisco, raised in Santa Cruz, and lives in Monterey, CA. Her art and writing can be viewed at jeanvengua.com

ABOUT PALOMA PRESS
Established in 2016, Paloma Press is a San Francisco Bay Area-based independent literary press publishing poetry, prose, and limited edition books. Paloma Press believes in the power of the literary arts, how it can create empathy, bridge divides, change the world. We actively engage in “bayanihan”—a term which encompasses community strengthening and cooperation, and nourishing connections and shared identities. To this end, we have released fundraising chapbooks such as MARAWI, in support of relief efforts in the Southern Philippines; and AFTER IRMA AFTER HARVEY, in support of hurricane-displaced animals in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. As part of the San Francisco Litquake Festival, we proudly curated the wildly successful literary reading, “THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND,” and raised money for the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund. In 2018, the fundraising anthology, HUMANITY, was released in support of UNICEF’s Emergency Relief campaigns on the borders of the United States and in Syria. Paloma Press continues to donate a portion of its proceeds to non-profits committed to working for racial justice, animal rights, marginalized communities, and climate change.


Jean Vengua in HALO-HALO

What is your most recent book? Marcelina: A meditation on the murder of Cecilia “Celing” Navarro. This is a slightly revised reprint, in chapbook form, of the long poem first published in 2000, in Babaylan: An Anthology of Filipina and Filipina American Writers, and co-edited by Nick Carbo and Eileen Tabios. Continue reading here.

Maileen Hamto reviews MARCELINA

From THE HALO-HALO REVIEW: Whispers of hauntings always bring back stories of near-forgotten suffering, trauma buried deep into a community’s collective memory. Jean Vengua’s chapbook, Marcelina: A Meditation on the Murder of Cecilia “Celing” Navarro,” is the vessel of remembering for a new generation of Filipino-Americans to revisit an agonizing chapter in our history. ContinueContinue reading “Maileen Hamto reviews MARCELINA”

Pushcart Prize Nominees

We’re very pleased to announce our 2021 PUSHCART PRIZE nominees! MARCELINAFrom Marcelina by Jean Vengua (September 2020) WHILE YOU RESTFrom Shield the Joyous by Christopher X. Shade (April 2020) THE LAWNMOWERFrom Shield the Joyous by Christopher X. Shade (April 2020) IN THE ALABAMA TOWN WHERE I GREW UP, THE TOWN SQUARE WASN’T A SQUARE. From Shield theContinue reading “Pushcart Prize Nominees”

PAGPAG: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora

PAGPAG: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora
Short Stories

EILEEN R. TABIOS

ISBN-13: 978-1-7323025-4-9
LOC No.: 2020930702
Pages: 104
Release Date: March 16, 2020
Distributors: Paloma Press, Bookshop, Amazon.com, among others
Price: $16 (special price thru September 1 on Amazon and other online retailers); $11.20 (through the end of March, if ordered directly from publisher or author)

ANTI-COVID-19 INITIATIVE


Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of Eileen R. Tabios’ short story collection, PAGPAG: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora. Normally priced at $18.00, this short story collection is now available for order for $16 through Amazon.

Alternatively, if you wish a signed copy, you also can order one for $11.20 through March 31 direct from the author; contact Eileen Tabios at Galateaten@gmail.com. If you order two or more copies from the author, shipping will be free within the U.S.

PUBLISHER’S DESCRIPTION

“Pagpag” is the practice of scavenging through trash heaps for discarded food that the poor then attempts to clean and re-cook for new meals. Pagpag heart-wrenchingly symbolizes the effects of a corrupt government unable to take care of—indeed, abusing—its people. PAGPAG’s stories, while not overtly addressing this radical torture of cuisine, relate to what lurks within the stew created by a dictator’s actions. The aftermath is not always obvious like the imprisoned, the tortured, or the salvaged (murdered); the aftermath goes deep to affect even future generations in a diaspora facilitated by corruption, incompetence, and venality.

Eileen R. Tabios wrote “protest stories” from 1995-2001 against Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law in the Philippines, including “Tapey” which was read for Hawai’i Public Radio. These stories, except for a 2019 story written as a coda, form her new short story collection, PAGPAG. As indicated by its subtitle The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora, the collection presents stories from the points of view of children brought out of the Philippines by their parents (or other adults) in response to the Marcos dictatorship—children who grew up watching and listening to adults remember the homeland they left behind and who, as adults, can more fully articulate the effect of their histories.

ADVANCE WORDS

“Pagpag” is a Tagalog word I used growing up to dust off a pillow or a blanket. Now it is used to refer to garbage food scavenged, recooked and resold to poor people. In her short story collection, Eileen Tabios uses both contexts to bridge her personal history with Martial Law and add texture to our already failed historical memory. These stories matter to us more than ever, as many Filipinos struggle under the tight grip of another populist, and as many more have forgotten that we have seen this before, and time is eating its own tail. Tabios begins her poignant collection with a “mamau” (ghost) and reminds us the historical past is not a ghost but a reality we carry with us if we can only see it as such.
Bino A. Realuyo, author of The Umbrella Country and The Gods We Worship Live Next Door

Pagpag is a provocation, connoting both debris and creative refashioning of memory fragments from the Marcos dictatorship—a legacy that, in the words of Philippine nationalist historian Renato Constantino, remains ruefully “a continuing past,” especially in today’s Duterteland. Here, the remains of the regime, like rescued reminiscences of an era preferred forgotten but not lost are gathered anew in a compelling telling, this time from the lens of a diasporic exile. In this volume, Eileen Tabios captures in scintillating prose the sights, smells, sounds, and ghostly hauntings of that era and offers back to the homeland, as in the gift of a proverbial balikbayan box, her reflections both heartfelt and wrenching.”
S. Lily Mendoza, Executive Director, Center for Babaylan Studies, Associate Professor in Culture and Communication, Oakland University, and author of Between the Homeland and the Diaspora: The Politics of Theorizing Filipino and Filipino American Identities

In these stories Eileen Tabios explores the ways in which the collective experience of Filipinos echoes through generations, following us even if—or when—we drift worlds away from the archipelago. What is the legacy of government cruelty and greed, of poverty, struggle, unwanted uprooting? In the first story (“Negros”), the abject hunger of an ancestor reaches through time to shape the mind and body of a young boy. In the last story (“On Imitating a Rhinoceros”), a daughter watches helplessly as her old father clings to a wavering belief that leaving his homeland was the right thing to do. I recognize myself and my family in these pieces; I am seen and heard. Moving and necessary, this collection invites the reader to grapple with truths in all their difficult, complex beauty.
Veronica Montes, author of Benedicta Takes Wing and Other Stories and The Conquered Sits at the Bus Stop, Waiting

In this collection of short fiction, author Eileen Tabios contemplates the terrible distances (emotional as well as physical) imposed on Philippine citizens by the country’s colonial governments and postcolonial dictators, abetted by global capitalism. In protest, the central metaphor of Pagpag, “scavenging through trash heaps for discarded food that the poor then attempt to clean and re-cook for new meals,” speaks to various forms of hunger as well as desire for transformation. Brilliantly weaving comedy, satire and elegy, the stories echo tricksterish folk tales, but with a contemporary, introspective edge. Don’t be fooled by seemingly nostalgic peeks into the Philippines’ archipelagic culture: this book cuts deep into long-held illusions, exposing painful truth.
Jean Vengua, author of Prau and CORPOREAL, and editor of Local Nomad

Available Samples Online:
An abbreviated version of “My City of Baguio” is at Positively Filipino, Jan. 22, 2020. An earlier version of the same story is at Otoliths, 2006.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eileen R. Tabios has released about 60 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in ten countries and cyberspace. PAGPAG: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora is her third fiction collection. She also recently finished her first long-form novel, DoveLion. Her wide-ranging body of work includes invention of the hay(na)ku, a 21st century diasporic poetic form (whose 15-year anniversary in 2018 was celebrated in the U.S. with exhibitions, a new anthology, and readings at the San Francisco and St. Helena Public Libraries) as well as a first poetry book, Beyond Life Sentences, which received the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry. Translated into ten languages, she has edited, co-edited or conceptualized 15 anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays. Her writing and editing works have received recognition through awards, grants and residencies. More information is available at http://eileenrtabios.com


Maileen Hamto reviews PAGPAG

From THE HALO-HALO REVIEW: It’s an unfortunate and ugly reality that many people in the homeland are so destitute, so poor, that they make a necessary living out of garbage. The practice of “pagpag” involves going through mountains of trash to salvage food and anything else than can be saved to be resold, reused, orContinue reading “Maileen Hamto reviews PAGPAG”

“PAGPAG” Book Launch

In the Dictator’s Aftermath: Conversation and Book Launch for PAGPAG by Eileen R. Tabios “Pagpag” is the practice of scavenging through trash heaps for discarded food that the poor then attempts to clean and re-cook for new meals. Pagpag heart-wrenchingly symbolizes the effects of a corrupt government unable to take care of—indeed, abusing—its people. PAGPAG’sContinue reading ““PAGPAG” Book Launch”

Barnard’s Millie’s List recommends Eileen Tabios’ PAGPAG

Barnard College’s “Millie’s List” recommends Eileen Tabios’ new short story collection, PAGPAG! “Pagpag” is the practice of scavenging through trash heaps for discarded food that the poor then attempts to clean and re-cook for new meals. Pagpag heart-wrenchingly symbolizes the effects of a corrupt government unable to take care of—indeed, abusing—its people. PAGPAG’s stories, whileContinue reading “Barnard’s Millie’s List recommends Eileen Tabios’ PAGPAG”

ELSEWHEN

ELSEWHEN
Robert Cowan

ISBN: 978-1-7323025-6-3
Release Date: June 15, 2019
Pages: 94
Price: $16.00
Distributors: Bookshop, Amazon, B&N, Ingram, Paloma Press

Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of Elsewhen: pieces by Robert Cowan, an illustrated hybrid collection that blurs the boundaries between poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Replacement for Words

Boredom used to be disallowed;
it was for the unimaginative,
for the existentially challenged
for the febrile.
Now I am saturated
with eating, dressing, periodicals,

masturbation, design, weather, peoples
obsessions with ethnic anxieties,
American nostalgia for old versions of Europe,

with purple, and containers.
Let us not have a dog,
not know our history,

nor recognize any influences,
be compelled to disemploy words,
move toward the all-water: inhumanity

—past Germanics, beyond Inuits—
like that creature
with that word: distance.

We could replace even him
with spaces,
stillness,

movement.
We can fill
even the idea

of replacement
itself
with ice.

ADVANCE WORDS:

“At the heart of Rob Cowan’s hybrid new book Elsewhen is the void, which functions—in the deadpan tongue-in-cheek tone that animates this collection—as a kind of simultaneous self portrait and ars poetica. Cowan’s meditations arise out of an almost jovial irony and despair as the speaker in these poems leaps between raunch and high abstraction, sampling logos, allegory, politics, wordplay, philosophy, and history. These poems destabilize convention as they carry us down unexpected detours, from the Belt Parkway to a collection of bardos and other liminal states.” —Catherine Barnett

“Robert Cowan’s collection Elsewhen is a delight of culture, sharpness and emotions. A patchwork of scenes, places and peoples, a transparency of history and histories, Elsewhen is a refreshing and necessary read, bathed in the warm light of a long-awaited humanistic sunrise.” —Sébastien Doubinsky

“If the poetry of wit were ever to make a comeback in our age of winsome elegy and compulsory subversion, Robert Cowan would be its maestro. Not here the sex and flowers sopping up the poetic page or the “something kinda bad happened to me once” that earned James Tate’s contempt. Cowan steps up in his second collection with poems that are fresh and wide-ranging, ever-attentive to the world around him and executed in a quick-stepping idiom he owns. Here you will find poems that vibrate with spot-on observation and natural sophistication that pay readers the compliment of recognizing their own acuity and amplifying their imaginations.” —David Rigsbee

About the Author

ROBERT COWAN is a professor and dean at the City University of New York, and a volunteer instructor at Rikers Island Correctional Facility. He is the author of two hybrid-genre collections—Elsewhen (Paloma Press, 2019) and Close Apart (Paloma Press, 2018), and two monographs—Teaching Double Negatives (Peter Lang, 2018) and The Indo-German Identification (Camden House, 2010). His poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and scholarship have appeared in various journals and anthologies.

About the Illustrator

ADA COWAN is a Brooklyn-based artist and photographer whose work has appeared in National Public Radio’s The Salt, Sierra, The Washington Post, and books by Paloma Press and Peter Lang. Currently a student at the NYC iSchool, Ada has studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Frick Collection, the Museum of Modern Art, Pratt Institute, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her work has been selected for Arts Connection exhibits three times and profiled in Time Out New York Kids.


Paloma Press’ 2020 Pushcart Prize Nominees

Congratulations! DIASPORA: VOLUME L BY IVY ALVAREZ “Lalabasan” ELSEWHEN BY ROBERT COWAN “Advice for Ninjas” THE GOOD MOTHER OF MARSEILLE BY CHRISTOPHER X. SHADE “The Two Men of Rue Saint-Ferréol” “The Stationer” GLIMPSES BY LENY STROBEL “#62” “#1,155”

ELSEWHEN Book Launch

Please come to the launch for Robert Cowan’s second poetry collection, Elsewhen, illustrated by Ada Cowan, and published by Paloma Press at Spoonbill Bushwick, 218 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn NY!

HUMANITY, Volume 1

HUMANITY, Volume 1
An Anthology edited by Eileen R. Tabios

Published by Paloma Press
ISBN: 978-1732302518
Release Date: August 15, 2018
Pages: 212
Price: $18
Available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, & select bookshops
Contact: editor@palomapress.net

PALOMA PRESS RELEASES 11TH BOOK, HUMANITY, A FUNDRAISER FOR MIGRANT AND REFUGEE CHILDREN

San Francisco, 15 August 2018 — Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of its 11th book, HUMANITY, a fundraising anthology in support of UNICEF USA’s emergency relief campaigns on the borders of the United States and in Syria.

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 chapbooks such as Marawi, in support of relief efforts in the Southern Philippines; and After Irma After Harvey, in support of hurricane-displaced animals in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. HUMANITY is PALOMA’s 11th book and 3rd fundraiser.

In HUMANITY, one is presented with humanity’s explorations, often struggles, with itself in a variety of contexts. From the anthology’s contributors—poets, environmental advocates, an ethnomusicologist, a physician, an ethnoecologist, a music minister, a clergywoman, a fictionist, and multiculturalists—one glimpses an overall picture of strength and fragility, of empathy, and myriad hopes. #humanitytheanthology #humanity

“The writings in Humanity are global in scope; but rather than explicating or attempting to impose a global system or authoritarian state upon the reader, these works run on thoughtful exploration of human feeling, experience, and action. Here you will find encounters between profoundly different cultures, the authors working their way through threads of humanity or animality and mythology like fibers twisted in varied textures and hues throughout a shawl. Here you will find views into personal experiences that have shaped each writer, sometimes causing pain, grief, anger, or wonder. In a world where humans are increasingly becoming aware of their own destructive impulses, a sense of urgency, though sometimes subtle, lies behind the lines. What, in this human condition, is worthwhile? The writers burrow deeply into memories, some following clues toward connection and empathy—others seeking clarity of thought and action—because if anything is clearer now than ever before, it’s that consequences can and will happen, and change is required; resistance cannot be shallow, but depends on both openness and carefully thought-out acts that will carry us forward with awareness of “history and all its complex entanglements,” as well as its possible futures.” —Jean Vengua, author of Prau and Corporeal

HUMANITY is available now through Ingram Book Group’s distribution partners: Bookshop, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo (Canada), Waterstones (UK), Booktopia (Australia and New Zealand), and other select bookshops. The anthology’s release price is USD18.00. To donate directly to UNICEF, click here. For more information, email editor@palomapress.net.

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS:

Of French, Swiss and Filipino descent, Christine Amour-Levar is a Social Entrepreneur, Environmental Advocate, Marketing Consultant and Author currently based in Singapore, where she lives with her husband and four children. Through Women On A Mission, the non-profit organisation she co-founded in 2012, she has led teams on challenging expeditions to the Arctic, the Middle East, Africa and the Himalayas to raise awareness and funds for women survivors of war and to empower and support women who have been subjected to violence and abuse. An avid believer in women as Gamechangers with unique knowledge and solutions to move the needle on sustainability, Christine recently launched #HERplanetearth, a global women’s advocacy movement that promotes gender equality and the integrity of the environment.

Daniel Atkinson received his PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2011. His research focus is on Afro-American vernacular expression and its interaction with the global landscape. His dissertation research was conducted at the former slave plantation turned world’s largest prison, Angola State Penitentiary in Louisiana. The research was designed to serve as a platform to discuss issues of economic disparity and institutional racism as products of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution as well as to preserve some of the remaining a cappella gospel tradition at the prison. That research is now featured at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. He is currently working on the first historical biography of Vaudevillian and founding father of the Harlem Renaissance, George W. “Nash” Walker (1872-1911), and is the curator of the Global Rhythms concert series at Town Hall, Seattle.

Aaron Beasley currently lives in Salt Lake City. He studies in the English department at the University of Utah, and interns for the Eclipse digital archive for small-press writing (eclipsearchive.org). He is co-author with artist Jeremy Kennedy of NOTE TO SEA (Rebel Hands Press 2017).

J. A. Bernstein’s forthcoming novel, RACHEL’S TOMB (New Issues, 2019), won the AWP Award Series, Hackney, and Knut House Prizes. His forthcoming story collection, STICK-LIGHT (Eyewear, 2018), was a finalist for the Robert C. Jones and Beverly Prizes. His work has appeared in Shenandoah, Kenyon Review Online,Tampa Review, Tin House (web), World Literature Today, and other journals. A Chicago-native, he studied Middle Eastern History and Arabic at Brown University and in Jordan on a Fulbright Scholarship. He later completed a Ph.D. in the Creative Writing & Literature Program at the University of Southern California, where he held the Middleton Fellowship. A husband and father of three, he teaches at the University of Southern Mississippi and is the fiction editor of Tikkun.

Cynthia Buiza is the Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center. She moved to the United States 13 years ago and is now based in Los Angeles, California. Prior to that, she worked with various international organizations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Open Society Institute-Burma Education Project in Thailand, and the Jesuit Refugee Service. She earned a Masters in International Affairs from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, with a concentration on human security studies. Her poetry and prose have appeared in various anthologies in the Philippines and the U.S. She is also the co-author of Anywhere But War, about the armed conflict and internal displacement in the Indonesian Province of Aceh.

John Bloomberg-Rissman is a left coast mashup ethnographer and editor, responsible for what has become a life-work, Zeitgeist Spam. The first three sections (No Sounds of My Own Making; Flux, Clot & Froth; In the House of the Hangman) have been published, and the fourth, With the Noose Around My Neck, begun the day of Trump’s election, is well underway. Among the books he has edited or is in process of editing are (with Jerome Rothenberg) Barbaric Vast & Wild: A Gathering of Outside & Subterranean Poetry from Origins to Present: Poems for the Millennium 5, and (with Richard Lopez and T.C. Marshall) The End of the World Project. He posts stuff at http://www.johnbr.com.

Renato Redentor Constantino manages the Constantino Foundation and the Manila-based international group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, which published the award-winning Agam: Filipino Narratives on Climate Change and Uncertainty, composed of 26 images and 24 narratives in verse and prose written in eight languages. His bicycle is named Wyatt Earp.

Rio Constantino is a Filipino high school student who wants to be a biologist someday. Like many others his age, he constantly searches for sleep, alcohol, and an internet connection, in that order.

Robert Cowan is a literature professor and dean at the City University of New York. He’s also the author of The Indo-German Identification: Reconciling South Asian Origins and European Destinies, 1765-1885 (Camden House, 2010) and Teaching Double Negatives: Disadvantage and Dissent at Community College (Peter Lang, 2018).

Melinda Luisa de Jesús is Chair and Associate Professor of Diversity Studies at California College of the Arts. She writes and teaches about Filipinx/American cultural production, girl culture, monsters, and race/ethnicity in the United States. She edited Pinay Power: Peminist Critical Theory, the first anthology of Filipina/American Feminisms (Routledge 2005). Her writing has appeared in Mothering in East Asian Communities: Politics and Practices; Completely Mixed Up: Mixed Heritage Asian North American Writing and Art; Approaches to Teaching Multicultural Comics; Ethnic Literary Traditions in Children’s Literature; Challenging Homophobia; Radical Teacher; The Lion and the Unicorn; Ano Ba Magazine; Rigorous; Konch Magazine; Rabbit and Rose; MELUS; Meridians; The Journal of Asian American Studies, and Delinquents and Debutantes: Twentieth-Century American Girls’ Cultures. She is also a poet and her chapbooks, Humpty Drumpfty and Other Poems, Petty Poetry for SCROTUS Girls’ with poems for Elizabeth Warren and Michelle Obama,Defying Trumplandia, Adios Trumplandia, James Brown’s Wig and Other Poems, and Vagenda of Manicide and Other Poems were published by Locofo Chaps/Moria Poetry in 2017. Her first collection of poetry, peminology, was recently published by Paloma Press (March 2018). She is a mezzo-soprano, a mom, an Aquarian, and admits an obsession with Hello Kitty. More info: http://peminist.com

Gabriela Igloria is a Filipino-American poet. She is currently the editor-in-chief of Granby High School’s literature & arts magazine, The Cupola, and is a student at the Muse Writers Center. She has been published in Rattle’s Young Poet’s Anthology and in Whurk Magazine.

S. Lily Mendoza is a native of San Fernando, Pampanga in Central Luzon, Philippines and is a fluent speaker of Kapampangan and Tagalog. She is Associate Professor of Culture and Communication at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.  She is the author of Between the Homeland and the Diaspora: Theorizing Filipino and Filipino American Identities (Routledge, 2002; Philippine revised edition by University of Santo Tomas Publishing, 2006) and lead editor of Back from the Crocodile’s Belly: Philippine Babaylan Studies and the Struggle for Indigenous Memory (Center for Babaylan Studies, 2013; Philippine edition by UST, 2015).  She has published widely around questions of identity and belonging, cultural politics in national, post- and trans- national contexts, discourses of indigenization, race and ethnicity, and, more recently, modernity and industrial civilization and what it means to be a human being in the face of climate change and eco-systems collapse. She is currently the Director of the Center for Babaylan Studies.

Laura Mullen is the author of eight books: Complicated Grief, Enduring Freedom: A Little Book of Mechanical Brides, The Surface, After I Was Dead, Subject, Dark Archive, The Tales of Horror, and Murmur. Recognitions for her poetry include Ironwood’s Stanford Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Rona Jaffe Award. Her work has been widely anthologized, and recent poems have been published in The Nation, Conjunctions, and Lana Turner. Her translation of Veronique Pittolo’s Hero is forthcoming from Black Square in 2018.

Mary Pan is a writer and family medicine physician with training in global health and narrative medicine. Her work has been published in several print and online publications including Intima, Blood and Thunder, Hektoen International and Pulse, among others. She lives in Seattle with her husband and three young children. More at marypanwriter.com

Jeanine Pfeiffer is an ethnoecologist exploring biocultural diversity: the connections between nature and culture. A Fulbright scholar, University of California Pacific Rim researcher, and National Science Foundation/National Institutes of Health grantee, Dr. Pfeiffer has worked in over thirty countries. Based in Northern California, she teaches environmental studies at San José State University. Her scientific articles are curated on ResearchGate.net and Academia.edu and her Pushcart-nominated prose can be found in the Bellevue Literary Review, Proximity, Hippocampus, Lowestoft Chronicles, Langscape, Between the Lines, and Nowhere. More at http://www.jeaninepfeiffer.com

Marthe Reed is the author of Nights Reading (Lavender Ink, 2014); Pleth, with j hastain (Unlikely Books, 2013); (em)bodied bliss (Moria Books, 2013); Gaze (Black Radish Books, 2010); and Tender Box, A Wunderkammer (Lavender Ink, 2007). A sixth collection, ARK HIVE, will be published by The Operating System (2019). Her poetry has been published in BAX2014, New American Writing, Golden Handcuffs Review, Entropy, New Orleans Review, Jacket@, Fairy Tale Review, Exquisite Corpse, The Volta, and The Offending Adam, among others. Counter-Desecration: A Glossary for Writing in the Anthropocene, co-edited with Linda Russo, will be published by Wesleyan University Press in 2018. Reed was co-publisher and managing editor for Black Radish Books and lived in Syracuse, NY.

Karen Bryant Shipp is a singer, organist, and choral director who works as Minister of Music at Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, GA, a progressive Baptist church where she is given the freedom to explore not only all kinds of music, but other religions and ideas. Karen was ordained at Oakhurst in November 2010.

Murzban F. Shroff has published his stories with over 60 literary journals in the U.S. and UK. His fiction has appeared in journals like The Gettysburg Review, The Minnesota Review, The Saturday Evening Post, Chicago Tribune, and World Literature Today. His non-fiction has appeared in India Abroad, The New Engagement, and The American Scholar. Shroff is the winner of the John Gilgun Fiction Award and has garnered six Pushcart Prize nominations, the highest award for the short story in the U.S. His short story collection, Breathless in Bombay, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in the best debut category from Europe and South Asia, and rated by the Guardian as among the ten best Mumbai books. His novel, Waiting For Jonathan Koshy, was a finalist for the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize. Shroff represented Mumbai at the London Short Story Festival and was invited to speak about his work at the Gandhi Memorial Center in Maryland, University of California Los Angeles, California State University Monterey Bay, the Institute for South Asia Studies at UC Berkeley, and the Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism at the University of Southern California. He can be contacted at murzbanfshroff@gmail.com.

Leny Mendoza Strobel is Professor of American Multicultural Studies at Sonoma State University. She is also one of the Founding Directors of the Center for Babaylan Studies. Her books, journal articles, online media presence reflects her decades-long study and reflections on the process of decolonization and healing of colonial trauma through the lens of indigenous perspectives. She is a grandmother to Noah and she tends a garden and chickens with Cal in Northern California.

Rodrigo Toscano’s newest book of poetry is Explosion Rocks Springfield (Fence Books, 2016). Previous books include Deck of Deeds, Collapsible Poetics Theater (a National Poetry Series selection), To Leveling Swerve, Platform, Partisans, and The Disparities. He works for the Labor Institute in conjunction with the United Steelworkers, the National Institute for Environmental Health Science, Communication Workers of America, and National Day Laborers Organizing Network, working on educational / training projects that involve environmental and labor justice, health & safety culture transformation, and immigrant worker rights.

Audrey Ward is an author (Hidden Biscuits, Wipf & Stock, 2015), writer and poet; an ordained clergywoman in the United Methodist Church, and the mother of two daughters and a son, grandmother of four granddaughters and two grandsons. However, the importance of the above roles are, here, in reverse: She considers the last, that of parent and grandparent to be her number one all-pervasive education and worthwhile endeavor of her lifetime, a source of great pride and exasperation.

ABOUT THE EDITOR:

Eileen R. Tabios loves books and has released over 50  collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in nine countries and cyberspace. Publications include three Selected Poems projects, YOUR FATHER IS BALD: Selected Hay(na)ku PoemsINVENT(ST)ORY: Selected Catalog Poems & New 1996-2015 and THE THORN ROSARY: Selected Prose Poems & New 1998-2010; the first book-length haybun collection, 147 MILLION ORPHANS (MMXI-MML); a collected novel, SILK EGG; an experimental autobiography AGAINST MISANTHROPY; two  bilingual editions, the English/Romanian I FORGOT ARS POETICA / AM UITAT ARTA POETICA and the English/Spanish ONE, TWO, THREE: Hay(na)ku / UNO DOS TRES: Hay(na)ku. Her award-winning body of work includes invention of the hay(na)ku poetic form (whose 15th year anniversary is celebrated in 2018 with exhibitions, readings and a book launch at the San Francisco Public Library) as well as a first poetry book, BEYOND LIFE SENTENCES (1998), which received the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry (Manila Critics Circle). Her poems have been translated into eight languages as well as computer-generated hybrid languages, paintings, video, drawings, visual poetry, mixed media collages, Kali martial arts, music, modern dance, sculpture and a sweat shirt. Additionally, she has edited or conceptualized 14 anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays; founded and edits the online journals GALATEA RESURRECTS (A Poetry Engagement) and The Halo-Halo Review; founded and manages the literary arts press Meritage Press; and has exhibited visual art and visual poetry in the United States and Asia. More information at https://eileenrtabios.com


Review of Humanity in Tambara

Tabios, Eileen (ed). 2018. Humanity: An anthology Vol.1. California: Paloma Press. 210 pages. “Of sheer necessity, books with huge titles often beg for ways of qualifying their high purpose, and this anthology offers that frame in the editor’s introduction…” Marjorie Evasco reviews Humanity in TAMBARA: A JOURNAL ON THE HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES, Volume 35, Issue No.1Continue reading “Review of Humanity in Tambara”

Humanity (free to read)

In 2018, we released the anthology, Humanity, which featured 22 authors who are also professionals from various disciplines. In light of the current pandemic, we are making Humanity available to read online for free. Click here to start reading. In HUMANITY, one is presented with humanity’s explorations, often struggles, with itself in a variety ofContinue reading “Humanity (free to read)”

Marjorie Evasco reviews Humanity

Of sheer necessity, books with huge titles often beg for ways of qualifying its high purpose, and this anthology offers that frame in the editor’s introduction… continue reading. (Read Eileen Tabios’ Introduction to Humanity)

A Conversation on Humanity

This Sunday at Bird & Beckett Books! “What, in this human condition, is worthwhile?” A reading and conversation with St. Helena-based author Eileen Tabios, Mumbai-based author Murzban Shroff, and New York-based author Robert Cowan. 10/20 at 2pm, 653 Chenery St SF This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments and wine willContinue reading “A Conversation on Humanity”

Book review: Humanity

“As I write this review more than a million school children all over the world, following the example set by the Swedish schoolgirl, Greta Thunberg, are staging protests to call for urgent action to combat climate change…” Read the full review here.

Save the Date for HUMANITY

Sunday, October 20, 2019, 2pm Please save the date for HUMANITY, a reading and conversation featuring Eileen Tabios (St. Helena-based author most recently of “Witness in the Convex Mirror”), Murzban Shroff (Mumbai-based author most recently of “Fasttrack Fiction”), & Robert Cowan (New York-based author most recently of “Elsewhen”), hosted by San Mateo County Poet LaureateContinue reading “Save the Date for HUMANITY”

Be a Humanitarian

A rare feat, HUMANITY gathers scholars, writers, ministers, and cultural and environmental activists in a seminal work that explores the human condition. HUMANITY, the anthology, supports UNICEF USA’s Emergency Relief campaigns on the borders of the United States and in Syria. As an action call, Paloma Press will send a copy of the anthology to theContinue reading “Be a Humanitarian”