Humanities Tennessee presents The 34rd annual Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word℠! The Festival is among the oldest literary festivals in the country, annually welcoming approximately 200 authors and 25,000 visitors each October. The Festival is free, and includes performance stages, food trucks, and more than 60 publishers and booksellers. After two years of virtual programming, we look forward to seeing you on The Plaza.
And Madville is proud to share that we have not one, but THREE TITLES FEATURED in 2022.
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.
Poetry Collections by Two Award-Winning Poets in Fall 2019
Have we told you about the the outstanding poetry collections we have leading off our Fall 2019-Spring 2020 offerings?
A Clearing Space in the Middle of Being, by Jeff Hardin
978-1-948692-18-2 paper 16.95
978-1-948692-19-9 ebook 9.99
6×9, 72 pp.
If the taste of the eternal “is increasingly absent in our words,” then Jeff Hardin’s sixth collection, A Clearing Space in the Middle of Being, attempts to behold language anew, to listen in on its “preview of eternity.” Aware of ambiguities that plague our lives and given to swerves of logic and dislocations, to echoes and reverberations “too numerous to see in some totality,” his poems nonetheless speak openly to existence, to the mind’s “attempts/to console itself,” and to the “intoxication of incoherence” existence so often feels like. Here in a postmodern world, is it still possible to step boldly into certainty, into clarity, to find a sacred and shared space where “all moments blaze up with a speaking/voice”? Hardin listens intently, discovering more and more how “wanderingly vast” enchantment still might be. In the presence of so many options for understanding, he chooses to believe “a new/parable unfolding, still instructive,” pointing him toward a fellowship with others who likewise “lean toward thinking some healing is already/underway.”
Jeff Hardin is the author of five previous collections of poetry, most recently Small Revolution and No Other Kind of World. His work has been honored with the Nicholas Roerich Prize, the Donald Justice Poetry Prize, and the X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Hudson Review, North American Review, Gettysburg Review, Southern Poetry Review, and many others. He is a professor of English at Columbia State Community College in Tennessee. Visit his website at www.jeffhardin.weebly.com.
One House Down, by Gianna Russo
978-1-948692-20-5 paper 16.95
978-1-948692-21-2 ebook 9.99
6×9, 72 pp.
The candid poems in Gianna Russo’s One House Down are grounded in experiences of ambivalence and oneness, not unlike those we sometimes find in true love. Russo ruminates on the past and scrutinizes the present in her hometown of Tampa with honest affection, concern, anger and delight. She asks an essential question: How can we treasure a place whose history and values have sometimes supported injustice? And if those wrongs are still evident today—then what? With family roots in Tampa that go back over a century, Russo skillfully pursues an answer in these inventive, surprising poems.
Gianna Russo is a Tampa native and third generation Floridian. She is the author of Moonflower, winner of the Florida Book Award Bronze and Florida Publishers Association Silver awards. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has had publications in Green Mountains Review,The Sun,Poet Lore, The MacGuffin, Tampa Review, Valparaiso, Ekphrasis,Crab Orchard Review, Florida Review, Florida Humanities Council Forum, Water Stone, Karamu,The Bloomsbury Review, and Calyx, among others. She is founding editor of the Florida poetry chapbook publisher YellowJacket Press (www.yellowjacketpress.org). She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Tampa. She is Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Saint Leo University where she directs the Sandhill Writers Retreat.
If you\’ve been following us for a while, you will have seen our calls for submissions to the Dancehall Poetry Anthology.We are happy to announce that it has gone to press, and we hope to have copies available at AWP! Editor Janet Lowery named the collection By the Light of a Neon Moonand Jacqui Davis created this eye-catching cover for it. We are humbled by the quality of the poetry we received, and we cannot wait to share it with everyone. The contributors are already discussing the fact that the launch party should include a dance. We aren\’t sure how we\’ll pull that off, but we love the idea!
We had several poets laureate contribute to the collection as well as many other award-winning poets from around the country. Have a look at the Table of Contents.
Introductionby Janet Lowery
Beloved, After These Thingsby Alan Birkelbach Like People in Loveby Kimberly Parish Davis A Thing About Rhumbaby Gianna Russo Pretty Womanby Luanne Smith Not That Sallyby George Drew Dear Will’s Pubby Pj Metz Rose-Coloredby Janet Lowery Old Flameby Winston Derden Music for Arms Like Oursby Mike Schneider Oh, That Buckskinby Christine Cock Dancing Foolby John Grey Always Openby Karen Head Words from My Fatherby karla k. morton One Way Trafficby Alan Birkelbach Dancing at Dirty Frank’sby Lisa Naomi Konigsberg
The Bull Riderby Katherine Hoerth The Archaeologist Dreams of Sleepby Kimberly Parish Davis Chevy Pick-Up, Loadedby Ed Ruzicka Integration 1964by Dave Parsons Dallianceby Ruth I. Healy Triple-Two at the Danceby Janet Lowery Prickly Pearby Katherine Hoerth Partnerby Sarah Cortez You Ain’t the First Singed Hash Browns on My Plateby R. Gerry Fabian Just Believe Her!by Alan Birkelbach Rodeo Exchangeby karla k. morton Backby Juleigh Howard-Hobson I May Not Be Drunk, But I’ll Get Thereby Herman Sutter Your Dancing Lessons Didn’t Pay Offby J. J. Steinfeld Little Hereticby Gerry LaFemina Waiting for Resurrectionby Leah Mueller Alwaysby Anusha VR The Way We Danced Before I Became Another Ex in Texasby Laurie Kolp Dancing with a Cue Stickby George Drew Death at the Dancehallby Janet Lowery Two Dogs Howling at the Moonby Dave Parsons Resurrection Maryby Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda
Standing on the Edge of the Roadhouse Charybdisby Alan Birkelbach Dancing Beforeby Lesley Clinton Zydeco Shindigby Dolores Comeaux Friday’s Danceby Mike Schneider Road House on the Way to Cheyenneby Rick Campbell Guitar and Mandolinby Gerry LaFemina Dress Code at the Dance Hallby Alan Birkelbach Here at Ransom’s Saloonby George Drew Hard Woodby Jerry Bradley Bootstrapby Winston Derden 6 a.m. Outside the Dance Hallby John Grey Empties by Gerry LaFemina