The National Book Foundation has announced the National Book Award longlists in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature. The poetry judges, Mary Jo Bang, Ken Chen, Elise Paschen, Danez Smith, and Stephen Sparks, selected the following poets/books:

  • Rae Armantrout, Wobble (Wesleyan University Press)
  • Jos Charles, feeld (Milkweed Editions)
  • Forrest Gander, Be With (New Directions)
  • Terrance Hayes, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin Books / Penguin Random House)
  • J. Michael Martinez, Museum of the Americas (Penguin Books / Penguin Random House)
  • Diana Khoi Nguyen, Ghost Of (Omnidawn Publishing)
  • Justin Phillip Reed, Indecency (Coffee House Press)
  • Raquel Salas Rivera, lo terciario / the tertiary (Timeless, Infinite Light)
  • Natasha Trethewey, Monument: Poems New and Selected (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Jenny Xie, Eye Level (Graywolf Press)

The finalists will be announced on October 10 and the Sixty-Ninth National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner will be held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, and will also be live-streamed online in its entirety.


poetry for sale

September 8, 2018

While you were busy writing poems, the world of poetry-for-sale went crazy. See for yourself: visit Etsy and search for poetry book. Among today’s 11,065 Results are numerous current books, zines, and journals, as well as a variety of writing/editing services, antique and vintage books for sale, book jewelry and bookmarks, assorted book-ish gifts, and even “vintage colorful poetry books” suggested as décor for attractive home staging.

And that doesn’t even include the general category poetry, or poetry journal, or poetry posters, art, broadsides, etc.

more awards

August 15, 2018

The Washington Center for the Book (a partnership of The Seattle Public Library and Washington State Library) has announced the finalists for the 2018 Washington State Book Awards. Categories include poetry, fiction, biography/memoir, history/general nonfiction, and several categories of youth books.

The finalists in poetry are:

  • Thresholds by Glenna Cook (MoonPath Press)
  • Killing Marias: A Poem for Multiple Voices by Claudia Castro Luna (Two Sylvias Press)
  • Timber Curtain by Frances McCue (Chin Music Press)
  • Mary’s Dust by Melinda Mueller (Entre Rios Books)
  • Trazas de mapa, trazas de sangre / Map Traces, Blood Traces by Eugenia Toledo, translated by Carolyne Wright (Mayapple Press)
  • Water & Salt by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha (Red Hen Press)

See the complete list of finalists on the WCB website and mark your calendar for the awards celebration on Saturday, October 13, 2018, at the Seattle Public Library. Congratulations to Washington’s terrific writers.


August 14, 2018

It’s pretty exciting when there are names you know on lists of winners, and that’s the news today as Bellingham’s own Rena Priest is named an American Book Award winner for her book Patriarchy Blues (MoonPath Press). Congratulations to Rena and all of The 2018 American Book Award Winners!

let’s read, my friend

August 10, 2018

In case you missed this bit of good news, SUNY Buffalo professor Melanie Green, PhD, has found that getting lost in a book is good for you. “Stories allow us to feel connected with others and part of something bigger than ourselves,” Green said in a recent interview with NBC News. Rather than being a solitary and isolating experience, reading has significant social benefits. More on this story in Electric Lit.

This is a guest post by Carey Taylor.

You write poems. You workshop poems. You submit poems to literary journals and some get accepted. Finally, you have a collection for a book and a small press publishes it. Then, just before it is scheduled for release you realize you have no promotion plan and you start to panic.

Don’t. Just order Jeannine Hall Gailey’s book, PR for Poets – A Guidebook to Publicity and Marketing (Two Sylvias Press, 2018) and start reading. You will find you can breathe again, and you will have hope that if you follow her advice someone might actually read your poems.

PR for Poets is a book stuffed with ideas and practical strategies to begin either a dive into the deep end or a wade into the kiddie pool of promoting your work, with assurances from Gailey that starting at either place, or anywhere in between, is just fine.

After years as a successful author, Gailey shares from her own experience tips and detailed examples of how to get your poems out into the world. While there are too many tips to share here, I have included four suggestions from PR for Poets I myself have found helpful.

  1. Set up a website. I did this when I first started writing poems. I am glad I did as I would be overwhelmed doing this with a new book release. It also allows you to slowly build a community of followers.
  2. Order business cards. This seems basic, but it is a great way to promote your book/work and have all your contact/social media information easily available when people ask for it.
  3. Set up a Facebook “page” separate from your personal account. This allows you to build a poetry-only community, to both share your work and to support other poets.
  4. Plan a launch party. As Gailey says: many people aren’t excited about poetry readings, but no one hates a party! Frankly, writing a book is a lot of work, and if you have done that, you deserve some cake and bubbly.

Reading PR for Poets is like having coffee with a best friend who shares all their hard earned secrets with you because they want you to be successful too. I highly recommend this book for all poets serious about promoting their work.

. . . . .

Carey Taylor is a poet from Portland, Oregon. Her poetry has appeared in Cirque, Clover: A Literary Rag, Off the Coast, Snapdragon, Dodging the Rain (Ireland) and others. She is the author of The Lure of Impermanence (Cirque Press, 2018) and when not worrying about earthquakes she enjoys hiking, traveling and a good scotch whisky. You can find her at or on Facebook @Cascadia.Poet. You can also hear Carey Taylor read from The Lure of Impermanence on Friday, August 17, 2018, 7:00pm, Tsuga Gallery, Bothell, WA, and Tuesday, August 28, 7:00pm, at the Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham, WA.

Thursday in Seattle

May 16, 2018

Poet and essayist Ocean Vuong is the author of the best-selling poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon Press), which is A New York Times Top 10 Book of 2016, WINNER of the T.S. Eliot Prize, WINNER of the Whiting Award, WINNER of the Forward Prize, WINNER of the Thom Gunn Award, finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. It was also named a Best Book of the Year at The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Huffington Post, NPR, Publishers Weekly, Sunday Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, The Telegraph, Irish Times, Library Journal, Buzzfeed, Bustle, Entropy Magazine, and BookThug.

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 17, 2018, Ocean Vuong will give his first public reading from the book in Seattle, starting at 7:00pm at Canvas Event Space. This is a ticketed event, though no one will be turned away.

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