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Katherine, Kathryn! What a beautiful cover!

Three covers with art by Kathryn Smith for a new poetry collection by Katherine Smith entitled Secret City. The image shows three covers side-by-side. One with a white background one more orange, and one blue.

Take our poll to tell us which cover you like best. It doesn’t mean we’ll change our minds about the one WE like, but it’s always fun to see what everyone thinks!

While Katherine Smith writes beautiful poetry, Kathryn also creates collages we can’t stop looking at.

The story begins with the Madville crew doing some online research about a new poet we had just signed, Katherine Smith. (Secret City, Madville, August 2022). Expect a preorder page to become available for this collection in May. You’ll find that on our homepage, https://madvillepublishing.com.

But back to the reason for the search in the first place, we were looking for inspiration for Katherine Smith’s book cover. We like to start by looking at an author’s previous covers, so we started by looking at Katherine’s Woman Alone on the Mountain (Iris Press, 2014). After that, our eyes were naturally drawn to the really striking collage art of Katheryn Smith, who turned up among our search results. We contacted her about her art before even realizing she is also a poet. Learn more about her at kathrynsmithpoetry.com

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Arthur Smith Poetry Prize – Winners

The Parting Glass by Lisa Parker

Winner of The 2021 Arthur Smith Poetry Prize
Look for it September 2022

Jesse Graves, the judge for the 2021 Arthur Smith Poetry Prize, said:

“… moving and memorable in terms of subject matter… accomplished in form and technique. The individual poems are brilliantly expressed, and they add up to sustained and coherent whole. The poet … captures the experiences living [in Appalachia] and moving away and the feelings about the language, beautifully.”

Lisa Parker is a native Virginian, a poet, musician, and photographer. Her book, This Gone Place, won the 2010 Appalachian Studies Association Weatherford Award and her work is widely published in literary journals and anthologies. Her photography has been on exhibit in NYC and published in several arts journals and anthologies.

Splinter by Susan O’Dell Underwood

Finalist for the 2022 Arthur Smith Poetry Prize
Look for it May 2023

Jesse Graves, the judge for the 2021 Arthur Smith Poetry Prize said:

“These poems are wise and generous throughout, and witty at times to provide a balance to the elegiac tone.”

Susan O'Dell Underwood is a native of East Tennessee, where she has lived most of her life. She's the director of creative writing at Carson-Newman University. Besides two chapbooks, she has one full-length collection of poetry, The Book of Awe (Iris, 2018). Her novel Genesis Road is forthcoming from Madville Publishing (June 2022). Her poems and fiction are published and forthcoming in a variety of journals and anthologies, including A Southern Poetry Anthology: Tennessee, Oxford American, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Still: The Journal.
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George Drew Poem for Brian Petkash

Author Brian Petkash signing books at AWP 2020

To fully appreciate this poem by George Drew for Brian Petkash, you may want to read Brian Petkash’s short story collection, Mistakes by the Lake. (Our authors find inspiration in each others’ work. That’s kind of cool, we think.)


Mistakes at the Table

                                  How now, Sir John?

(Again, for Brian Petkash)
 
First: I’m sitting at the table.
 
Second: I’m sitting at the table trying to think,
              but thoughts keep flitting away,
              like butterflies on fire turning to ashes.
 
Third: The butterflies are real. Or aren’t they?
 
Fourth: I’m eating at the table, crumbs
             littering the placemat dispossessed
             of any value, clumps of empty calories.
 
Fifth: I’m watching on the table ants crisscross
          its width and length like trolley cars        
          transporting crumbs on their last ride.
 
Sixth: The ants aren’t real. Or are they?
 
Seventh: I’m leaning on the table drinking coffee,
               and when I knock it over, it spills,
               turning the tablecloth’s pink purity muddy.
 
Eighth: I’m twitching at the table as the coffee
             spreads over the tablecloth
             like floodwater over a street, a yard, a field.
 
Ninth: I’m marking at the table how a lamp’s circle
           of light shimmers like a moon,
           fading outward into shade, shade into dark.
 
Tenth: I’m still sitting at the table.
 
                                                                 ---George Drew

George Drew is the author of eight poetry collections, with Pastoral Habits: New and Selected PoemsDown & Dirty and The View From Jackass Hill, winner of the 2010 X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, all from Texas Review Press. His eighth, Fancy’s Orphan, appeared in 2017 with Tiger Bark Press. Drumming Armageddon is his ninth collection. Recently George won the Knightville Poetry Contest, The New Guard, his poem appearing in the 2017 edition, and two other poems as Honorable Mention in the Steve Kowit Poetry Contest, appeared in the 2018 and 2019 San Diego Poetry Anthology. He was a recipient of the Bucks County Muse Award in 2016 for contributions to the Bucks County PA literary community. Recently, one of his poems from Fancy’s Orphan appeared in Verse Daily. George’s biography will appear in Mississippi Poets: A Literary Guide, University of Mississippi Press, edited by Catherine Savage Brosman.


Mistakes by the Lake cover

Mistakes by the Lake

by Brian Petkash

Set in Cleveland, Ohio, from its earliest beginnings as a forested frontier to the urban blight of modern times, Mistakes by the Lake is a collection of ten thematically-linked stories spanning the many faces of the city’s history: A motorman navigates his 1920’s back-and-forth trolley until he snaps; A stockyards knocker encounters the Virgin Mary during the 1954 World Series; A wannabe wrestles his unruly mind along the flammable 1960’s Cuyahoga River; In a reinvention of Henry IV, a young man must either stick with his bumbling criminal crew or uncover legit ways to support his mother and transgender Gramps.

978-1-948692-32-8 paper 19.95
978-1-948692-33-5 ebook 9.99
5½x8½ , 204 pp.
Short Fiction
May 2020
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Madville Welcomes Linda Parsons as Poetry Editor

We are proud to announce that we asked Linda Parsons if she’d consider being our Poetry Editor, and she said yes!

You may be interested to read Linda’s latest poetry collection, Candescent.

Linda Parsons is a poet, playwright, and editor. In addition to being poetry editor for Madville Publishing, she coordinates WordStream, WDVX-FM’s weekly reading/performance series, with Stellasue Lee. Her poetry has appeared in The Georgia ReviewIowa ReviewPrairie SchoonerSouthern Poetry Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Baltimore Review, and Shenandoah, among others. Candescent is her fifth poetry collection (Iris Press, 2019). Linda is the reviews editor for Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel and the copy editor for Chapter 16, the literary website of Humanities Tennessee. Her most recent play is SuffRAGE: To Give Voice, written with Jeannette Brown, for Flying Anvil Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee.

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Congratulations Gianna Russo!

Gianna Russo reads from One House Down

Congratulations, Gianna Russo on a successful book launch!

It was a huge success, and we couldn’t be happier for her. Last night, she officially launched her One House Down. There were about 100 people there and they gave her a standing ovation, an encore call, and then bought every single book!

She read at the beautiful University of Tampa, where we well be attending the Other Words Conference with her in just a few short weeks. It was the perfect venue for this collection of poetry focusing on Tampa, and Gianna is the perfect person to tell the stories of this, her hometown.

So, again we say, congratulations, Gianna Russo! You deserve it.

Here are just a few of the comments from early readers:

“…happiness is a snow globe, our house glued inside…: This is what I feel when reading One House Down, this fantasy in verse, this beauty contained in sprawling lines and stanzas. Each poem, a song. Each song, a swoon. Russo’s newest collection is both a love song and an indictment of a place she knows so well, a Florida without palms and sun, a Florida that is grit, a Florida that represents our world-one which breaks the heart and heals it in the same beat.

—Ira Sukrungruang, author of In Thailand It Is Night

One House Down is filled with story-poems from the unsung American South, where natural beauty butts up against strip malls and human ugliness. Tracing her family’s history in Tampa, a city many readers will be surprised to visit, Russo documents with terrific detail a diverse and fascinating culture in this original exploration of a very particular place.

—Heather Sellers, author of You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know:
a True Story of Family, Face-Blindness and Forgiveness

Get ready. You’ve read the tour-de-force of an opening sentence, a poem hurdling you into the world of One House Down. Now watch Gianna Russo illuminate histories so electric and elegiac, and shadows of shame so persistent, they’re writ in our bones. Yes, this is a book very much about place; but, more importantly, this wonderful collection examines the emotional spaces we occupy as we strive for satisfaction, safety, and meaning. As Russo writes, “Flash at sunset like the luck I never spied.”

—Erica Dawson, author of When Rap Spoke Straight to God

 From front porches to the places where we live, work, and love, to the highways that lead us both out of the city and back home again, One House Down takes us on a precise and lovingly rendered tour of the rhythms, movements, and loves of a city and its people. Gianna Russo’s poems, expansive yet intimate, make a case that perhaps poetry, rather than the evening news, is the true first draft of our collective history.

—Steve Kistulentz, author of Panorama and Little Black Daydream

When it comes to one’s place of origin, the tides are strong—the pull to hold on, and the push to let go. In this luminous, thoughtful collection, Gianna Russo explores the bittersweet legacies of old Florida. One House Down is rooted rooted deeply in place, whether Nebraska Avenue and Central Avenue, cultural seats such as the Fun-Lan Drive-In and the Sanwa market, or the ripe specificity of “Faedo’s Bakery [as] men roll loaves / of Cuban bread, turnovers of guava paste.” I appreciate Russo’s musicality and her formal agility, as she experiments with ekphrasis, ghazal, pantoum, and pecha kucha. Whether the stubborn advice of the Methodist Women’s Society Cookbook, or the dark chuckle of a plaster cat on a funeral home’s roof, these are poems we need.

—Sandra Beasley, author of Count the Waves