Lamar University Press

 

New Books

A Shared Voice edited by Tom Mack and Andrew Geyer

A Shared Voice is a conversation in narrative by twenty-four of the finest fiction writers in America.  A total of twenty-four tales, each linked to another by at least one literary element such as character or setting or theme, make up this first-of-its-kind anthology by writers from Texas and the Carolinas.  The individual short stories in A Shared Voice include twelve anchor tales—six by writers from Texas and six by writers from the Carolinas—and twelve original works of fiction written in response to the anchor narratives.  The result is a rich and varicolored tapestry of narrative voices by writers who have spent their lives weaving tales.  

       For more about the book plus special ordering
                information:
click here
Read a review
check the website for A Shared Voice 
Cover painting by Eric Beverly http://ericbeverly.com/
See the entire painting

  A Shared Voice was named by ForeWord Magazine as a 2013 finalist for best book of the year in the category Short Stories
  "Gethsemane," by Clay Reynolds, the opening story in the collection, has been named a finalist for the Spur Award for Best Short Fiction from the Western Writers of America.

 Gerald Duff, Memphis Mojo 

In another of his excellent novels, Gerald Duff has written a gritty crime novel that will appeal to readers of crime fiction as well as those who appreciate literary art.
                       Press Release 
"There is no time to relax in this story; events morph into conflicts, then crises on several fronts and seemingly isolated pathways in the novel begin to converge unexpectedly in a swelling suspense. Then comes the surprise ending." 

              Harold Raley, author of Louisiana Rogue

Jeffrey DeLotto's impressive new collection is aptly named as the poet gives voice to characters both historical and personal.  From Geronimo—who curses his captors and his captivity—to the hapless sailor in "The Whistle Buoy"—who cannot make it to shore before sunset—DeLotto's narrators, like all of us, contemplate their mortality, "the deep mystery of the dark" to which they return again and again.  And there is something timeless in the way the poet captures experiences of ephemeral simplicity—rounding up crabs boiled out of a stock pot, studying spiders inhabiting a sailboat, watching rain turn to snow.  These poems haunt us with their challenging familiarity.  —Jerry Hamby, author of Letters Drawn in Water   More 
     read a review


Mimi Ferebee, Wildfires and Atmospheric Memories

Ferebee has published poetry in numerous journals, including Contemporary World Literature, Decanto Magazine (UK), Both Sides Now, Houston Literary Review, Obsidian: Literature of African Diaspora, Pirene's Fountain, Reverie: Midwest African American Literature, Bewildering Stories and Black Magnolias Literary Journal. She serves as editor-in-chief of Red Ochre LiT. 
              More about Mimi Ferebee

Check the website for Wildfires and . . . 

 Michelle Hartman, Disenchanted and Disgruntled

Michelle Hartman, who has published poetry in journals in the USA as well as magazines in Ireland, Germany and Australia, is editor of Red River Review; hers is a well-known and important voice in Texas letters. 
     read a review
     another review   and another  and another
     see a video of Michelle reading from this book


Gretchen Johnson understands small towns are big stages. In The Joy of Deception she shows us in well-crafted short stories the odd, the bored, and the trapped. As one of her characters says about a mop that absorbs all the water in a swimming pool, they “wish for that kind of magic” in their lives, and they wait for another life to begin, hoping renewal stands in the wings. Their moments of truth, great beauty and disappointment seep from the pages. —Jennifer Ravey, ThePickyGirl.com
                       More on Gretchen Johnson

Dave Oliphant, The Pilgrimage, Selected Poems: 1962-2012 
     In the tradition of literary pilgrimages, the one in this book is both physical and spiritual. Dave Oliphant moves us around West, Central, and East Texas in poems named after towns: Wink, Denton, Houston, Honey Island. 
     These poems find the spiritual in the ordinary and share such insights through sight and sound—especially the many sounds of  music. Read the poems aloud and listen; you will hear music through the entire collection. The first poem starts the book’s pilgrimage with a psalm of daily life, and the final poem offers a magnificent chorus of folk songs, symphonies, yodels, pop music, and more. 
     Lovers of poetry will return often to this book, always finding lines to ponder and treasure.  
                        More on Dr. Oliphant
read a review  and another in Texas Books in Review

This wonderfully entertaining picaresque novel by Harold Raley falls in the tradition of rogue literature established by Tom Jones and other early novels. Set in the nineteenth century, Louisiana Rogue will take you on a wild, fast-paced romp through all levels of  Cajun society in the 1830s. The title page says the book promises to tell             
    
The Life and Times of Pierre Prospère-Tourmoulin, Picket-pocket, Thief, Gambler, Fugitive, Undertaker, Barber, Doctor, Priest, Prisoner, Bandit, and Count; Latterly penned in his hand for the gentle reader of leisure, Spanning the years 1831-1839   and claims to be translated by Peter Tourmoulin. 

This book tells a story you will not want to miss.

                 for book club discussion questions, click here

Named a Writers' League of Texas Finalist in the fiction category for 2012

   
Jan Seale's Appearances 
is a collection of remarkable short stories by a master story-teller who is also a well-known poet. She is the Texas Poet Laureate for 2012. 
    Cover Art by Irene Hardwicke Olivieri

     "Jan Seale writes stories with the insight, economy and impact of poetry. They are narrative, of course, with plots of simple things, the history and glory in a stained candlewick bedspread, the recovered joy of a favorite machine even when it is operated by another, the simple but rewarding and joyous life of someone unlike yourself, the folly of men trying to impress women. All ending in epiphany."  —Robert Flynn, author of Jade: The Law 
     More about Jan Seale

 David Bowles, Flower, Song, Dance 
                         Aztec and Mayan Poetry

David Bowles has produced a new translation of selected lyrical poems from the Aztec and Mayan civilizations. The book contains an informative and insightful introduction and a helpful glossary of terms. But most of all this volume is a collection of poems that are well worth reading.
     The book contains color illustrations in the form of first-rate paintings by talented artist Nicole Bowles. Reno
wned artist Noé Vela painted the cover art. 

     To see samples of Nicole's paintings, click here.
Read a review from Pleiades

In A Garden on the Brazos Dominique Inge shares her considerable gardening expertise in a series of astute observations about the joys and trials of Texas gardening. The book contains both carefully researched scientific information and insightful musings in prose so well wrought and charming that you will read for the pleasure of reading as well as for the book’s practical guidance in gardening.

 Carol Coffee Reposa, Underground Musicians

In Underground Musicians  Carol Coffee Reposa hypnotizes us with the music of languages other than our own—and the magic of locale. Using history, landmarks, or even mundane events as central pieces, in both free verse and structured forms, she shows us that each place, each moment can be extraordinary. A keen observer, she finds meaning in details and landscape that would escape most casual travelers. She points out the truth in objects—by simply describing those objects. Like in the exquisite poem ‘Fire-Gilding St. Isaac's’ this manuscript is gold and mercury melded together.

read a review 
another review


 Alan Berecka, With Our Baggage

The range of subjects here is vast, from baseball heroes to the failures of fathers, from being a poet to being Polish in South Texas, from God’s radio to American machismo. But the real subject here is the human animal, in all its glorious strivings and bumbling failures. The result is my favorite kind of book, firmly rooted in a world I thought I knew, until this irresistible writer showed me that it’s an even stranger, funnier, more beautiful place to live than I thought it was. I guarantee that after you read With Our Baggage you will want to sit down over beers with Alan Berecka and just talk things over. George Bilgere

Jean Andrews, High Tides, Low Tidesthe Story of Leroy Colombo

The subject of this remarkable biography is Leroy Columbo, a superior athlete who happened to be deaf. He is famous in Galveston, Texas, for saving thousands of people in his long career as lifeguard in the Galveston waters. 

Jean Andrews is a professor of deaf education at Lamar University.

 Melvin Sterne, The Number You Have Reached 

     "Melvin Sterne’s stories are remarkable in the range and depth of the settings, the characters, and the universal longings that roil within them. They command a reader in the way fine writing sometimes can, from a sensibility that has experienced widely and knows much.  The Number You Have Reached is a splendid collection from a brilliant new voice."               
   —Robert Olen Butler, author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
     
 more about Melvin Sterne

Janet McCann, The Crone at the Casino
    Janet McCann uses her gift of lyrical language to share her visions and her many loves—of people, great literature, the taste of fine food, art, cats—all the while reminding us of mutability, of time-wrought change, of the inevitability of growing old. All stories progress, she reminds us, however much we might want to end them with happily ever after. McCann invites us to look at “Old Cinderella” who advises her granddaughter to “marry a carpenter” while her own
     arthritic fingers fasten the diamond tiara                        (That glass slipper in a case, backlit)
     Prince long gone in a drunken duel  
     Over someone’s daughter
   There is also renewal and joy in the movement of time that McCann celebrates in well-wrought lines leading the reader to share epiphanies.

 Ken Hada, Margaritas and Redfish 
Hada’s  award-winning books include  

  The Way of the Wind
  Spare Parts 
  The River White: A Confluence of Brush & Quill 
    The poems in Margaritas and Redfish are sensual delights. Hada experiences the world (especially nature) with intensity, and in words that delight and surprise,  he loans us his visions, his understandings.

read a review                                    press release

 Jan Seale, The Parkinson Poems 

     Parkinson’s disease and poetry square off in this volume written from the perspectives of a caregiver and her husband. With grit, humor, and compassion, Jan Seale spells out the vicissitudes of dealing with this so-far incurable neurological condition affecting seven million people worldwide.
      From onset through progression and treatment to final simple toleration, the poems testify to the mysteries and vagaries of the disease. Seeing faces in everything, lacking the ability to smile, stalling in doorways, obsessing on creativity—these and other peculiar symptoms of the brain syndrome are explored in accessible poetry from the desk of a Texas poet laureate.
read a review from The Monitor
read a review by Jazz Jaeschke

 Erin Murphy, Ancilla 

"Mother of Invention," a poem in Ancilla, recently won the Fermoy International Poetry Festival competition. The award included a trip to County Cork, Ireland, in early August where Murphy attended the awards ceremony and read her poetry in various venues, including an Irish Pub.

Jim Sanderson, Trashy Behavior

"Bankers," one of the stories in this collection, won the Kay Cattrulla Award for Short Fiction presented by the Texas Institute of Letters. Among Sanderson's award-winning books are 
   Semi-Private Rooms, the Kenneth Patchen Prize for fiction 
   El Camino del Rio, the Frank Waters Prize 
   Safe Delivery, the Violet Crown Award 
   Faded Love, finalist for the 2010 Texas Institute of Letters' Jesse Jones Award 
        more about Jim Sanderson

Jerry Bradley, Crownfeathers and Effigies

     Bradley, considered by many to be among the best contemporary poets, has written another outstanding volume of poetry. His other books include Simple Versions of Disaster and The Importance of Elsewhere. Dr. Bradley, an active member of the Texas Institute of Letters, is currently a professor of English at Lamar University. More about Dr. Bradley

Press Release

The 2013-14 issue of Writing Texas contains fiction, poetry, and nonfiction presented at the annual meeting of the Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers.

   For more information go to
         www.writingtexas.org