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Fantastic Imaginary Creatures

Fantastic Imaginary Creatures: An Anthology of Contemporary Prose Poems edited by Gerry LaFemina. Cover shows a clay figure painted in bright red and green. The creature has wings and pointy spikes that look like pens coming out of his head, and a big toothy grin.

An Anthology of Contemporary Prose Poems edited by Gerry LaFemina

2023 Acceptances Announced

Anthology publication planned for  Spring 2024.

This is the call Gerry LaFemina put out for this anthology: 

The prose poem is the literary sphinx, the literary chimera, minotaur, gryphon–part one thing, part another and at their best, they’re magical, mythical. Fantastic Imaginary Creatures seeks to collect the best contemporary prose poems that demonstrate the potentiality and plasticity the form allows, previously published or brand spanking new. We’re not looking for short short stories, but rather work that explores the liminal space between story and lyric, the luminous spark of possibility in the form.

And of the many fine poets who answered Gerry’s call, these are the poets and the poems Gerry selected:

Valerie Bacharach“Momento Mori”

Ujjvala Bagal-Rahn

“Just Enough House”
Ned Balbo “O Christmas Tree,” and “That Which We Discard We Also Cherish”
Madeleine Barnes “Key Rock,” and “Self Portrait in My Mother’s Closing Lines”
Michelle Boczek Evory “Absolution,” and “Dislocation”
Rick Campbell “Parable of the Forest Pygmy,” and “Forgetting the Nicene Creed”
Joseph Capista “Room for Error,” “Myth,” and “Song”
Gary Ciocco “Being and Becoming”
TS Coody “Mimesis”
Jim Daniels “With Apologies to the Tom Tom Club,” and “At Last”
Anthony DiMatteo “Every Time”
gary fincke “The Hands”
Jeff Friedman “Giver of Gifts,” “Terrorists,” and “Lost Memory”
Molly Fuller “Home Again, Home Again,” and “Tale of the Flopsy Bunny”
Joy Gaines-Friedler “Daffodils,” “Act 20:14,” “Traveling with the Band,” and “The Children’s Ward”
George Guida “Trip Wire,” and “The story of a Life”
Luke Hankins “A Voice out of the Ruins”
Gretchen Heyer“Pasiphae Answers Questions,” “Missionaries Breakfasted on the Word of God,” and “Jute, Two Inches in Diameter”
Tom Hunley “My Chili Recipe (An Ars Poetica)” and “Questions for Further Study”
Anna Jacobson “This is to That”
Peter Johnson “Vaccination, in the Broadest Sense of the Term,” “Crickets,” and “Nice Socks”
Richard Jordan “Jesus in the Café,” “With Feathers,” and “Mackerel Day”
Elizabeth Kerlikowske “At 45th Parallel, Halfway Between the Equator and the North Pole,” and “Tabula Rasa”
Nina Kossman “Kharkiv”
Gerry LaFemina “Fantastic Imaginary Creatures,” “Happy Pigs,” and “Bad Medicine”
Joseph Lerner “The Black Egret”
Geri Lipschultz “Aphrodite in Manhattan”
Lorette C. Luzajic “Feathers,” and “January River”
Gary McDowell “Prose Poem on the Nature of Things; or, Armchair Philosophy,” and “Another Apocalypse”
Kathleen McGookey “Night Sky with Calculus Worksheet”
Jennifer Militello “Identifying the Pathogen,” “Dear B,” and “Antidote with Attempts at Diagnosis”
Robert Miltner “Wolf Dancing,” and “Hopeless”
Erin Murphy “Ekphrasis,” “Gerunding,” and “Hula Dancer”
kerry neville “Decade”
Robert Perchan “The Unselfish Elfins with their Trusty Hammers,” “At Home with Marlboro Jones,” and “The Orgun Box Junkies”
Christine Rhein “Drone Pilot,” and “Sunday Night Retail”
Jane Satterfield “Latin 121,” and “Abbreviated Inventory”
Katherine Smith “Crossword,” and “Quilt”
Joshua Michael Stewart “Yellow,” and “Book of Love”
Virgil Suárez “Chinese Weather Balloon”
Matthew Thorburn “A Hundred Birds,” and “How it Starts”
Eric Torgersen “My Blindness”
Patricia Valdata “Mayfly”
Doug Van Gundy “Sideshow, Barbour County Fairgrounds, 1975,” and “To Join the Circus”
Elinor Ann Walker “Object Impermanence,” and “Fugue State”
Greg Watson “Why I Live in a Cold Climate”
Cathy Wittmeyer “Max Beckmann, Still Life with Fallen Candles, oil on canvas, 1929,” and “Otto Dix, Horse Cadaver, etching & drypoint, 1924”
George Yatchisin “Leap Year”
Michael T. Young “Quoting Blake to Mother,” and “Sweaty Palms”

About the editor, Gerry LaFemina

Gerry LaFemina’s flash creative nonfiction essay collection, The Pursuit: A Meditation on Happiness, came out in 2022. His poetry collections include Baby Steps in Doomsday Prepping, The Story of Ash and Little Heretic. His essays on prosody, Palpable Magic, came out in 2015 and Kendall Hunt recently released his textbook, Composing Poetry: A Guide to Writing Poems and Thinking Lyrically.

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2022 Arthur Smith Poetry Prize Winners

A photo of poet Linda Ravenswood.

Madville is pleased to announce that linda ravenswood‘s poetry collection, a poem is a house, is the winner of our 2022 Arthur Smith Poetry Prize, judged by Charlotte Pence!

Yiskah Rosenfeld was the first runner-up with her collection Tasting Flight.

We received 52 total submissions. The first round was read by Candance Reaves and Catherine Pritchard Childress, and winners were chosen from a shortlist of amazing work by 

a poem is a house

by linda ravenswood

Winner of The 2022 Arthur Smith Poetry Prize
Upcoming publication date Spring 2024

A photo of poet Linda Ravenswood.

a poem is a house pushes against the borders of poetry to emphasize how all borders are a construct: geopolitical, literary, and personal. Each poem in this outstanding collection reinvents itself, employing a range of forms, such as visual poems and broken poetry cycles, to recreate vivid details of the speaker’s experiences as someone who grew up in California with Mexican ancestry.

Throughout this book, readers experience a state of bardo, a sense of existing between states: between different cultures, between safety and violence, and perhaps most of all, between past and present. Like memory itself, these poems thrive on elision, repetition, and reversal. Take for example an evocative poem placed early in the book: ‘To live at the scene of an accident.’ The two-line poem simple states: ‘To go on living / at the scene of the crime.’ Such sparsity emphasizes the stark reality of the situation and faces it directly without adorned language that could distract from the fact’s horror. What’s more, the book presents readers with four variations of this poem, emphasizing how trauma is not only situated in the past, but something that interrupts the present—and never leaves the body.

One poem tells readers that ‘this is not really a lullaby for the end of the world this is a map to the beginning of the body.’ Such a statement is not a dichotomy, but simply a reality wherein grief and celebration share spaces. a poem is a house is a dazzling accomplishment that presents a new and unique poetic vision.”

—Charlotte Pence, final judge for the 2022 Arthur Smith Poetry Prize, and author of Code

linda ravenswood is a poet and performance artist from Los Angeles and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Los Angeles Press. Her previous books include Cantadora — Letters from California, The Stan Poems, Tlacuilx, X LA Poets, and Hymnal.

Tasting Flight

by Yiskah Rosenfeld

Finalist for The 2022 Arthur Smith Poetry Prize
Upcoming publication date Spring 2024

“A yearning dominates the vibrant poems in Tasting Flight, specifically the desire to be enough. Of course, though, one is always enough. The observant, insightful, and confident speaker in these poems knows this truth intellectually, but searches to internalize such knowledge as in this breathtaking poem ‘Bird Call Koan with Glossary’:

Across the hall I lay in the dark contemplating this, the infinitely expanding universe of what I don’t know. Stars exploding and being born. Moons in our own solar system still uncounted. And yet some things I think I know with certainty: I’m not pretty. I don’t deserve to be loved. 

If I trill my mating call, who will answer me? 

I forget the moon is always whole.

These lines are representative of the well-crafted poetry readers will find in this book, each poem creating scenes with such vivid details, readers feel as if they are with the speaker, perhaps as an adult gazing at the stars or as a child hiding behind the Life cereal box.  Not only are the details engaging, but the form of each poem closely aligns with its subject, be it in the form of a question mark or the dwindling lines in ‘Submission Guidelines.’ All of the poems are deeply rooted in the lyrical tradition, following the switchbacks and curves of a mind always in motion, perhaps contemplating the beauty of moths at night or the intricacies of raising a child. Whatever the subject, Tasting Flight is a book that sings back to the exploding stars.

Yiskah Rosenfeld balances solo parenting with freelance teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her poetry has appeared in The Seattle Review, The Bitter Oleander, Lilith Magazine, Rattle, Cottonwood, Full: An Anthology of Moon Poems, and The Ravens Perch.

The longlist included:


      • Only the Finest Track Stars Smoke Newports by Susan Leary

    The shortlist included:


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      Rita Quillen’s Poetry a 2023 Pulpwood Queens Selection

      Front cover of Some Notes You Hold: Poems by Rita Simms Quillen. Cover art "Layers (Blue Wings) by Suzanne Stryk shows blue bird wings layered over newspaper clippings and dry leaves. Two awards are on the cover, a silver one and a pink one

      Madville Publishing is excited for one of our favorite authors, Rita Quillen. Her poetry collection, Some Notes You Hold, has been selected as an International Pulpwood Queens & Timberwood Guys Book Club bonus pick for 2023!

      Front cover of Some Notes You Hold: Poems by Rita Simms Quillen. Cover art "Layers (Blue Wings) by Suzanne Stryk shows blue bird wings layered over newspaper clippings and dry leaves. Two awards are on the cover, a silver one and a pink one

      The selection of Some Notes You Hold, Rita Quillen’s beautiful, introspective poetry collection published by Madville in October, 2020, was announced at the International Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy Girlfriend’s Weekend Book Club Convention on Amelia Island. We are particularly proud of this selection as it is unusual for a poetry book to catch the attention of a book club. In this case, the Pulpwood Queens knew Rita Sims Quillen already, as last year, they read her novel, Wayland.

      A little about the book:

      Some Notes You Hold: Poems is about surviving what life throws at us as we age. The so-called “golden years” are so named because of the high admission price—the tremendous losses, disappointments, illnesses, and failures we all experience if we live long enough. The first part of the book, called “Letting Go,” focuses on surviving deep grief. The middle section is a musical interlude, exploring the tremendous power of music to heal us mentally, physically, and spiritually and to reorder our thinking and our emotions. The last section, “Holding On,” explores the roads leading to survival: prayer and meditation, communion with the natural world, and writing. The price paid for those “golden years” leads to the prize: insight, joy, and a kind of peace we were incapable of when we were young. read more…

      The Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend 2023 on Amelia Island in Florida. Shows a sepia-toned woman on a moon with a brown background.

      In addition to this surprise bonus pick, Madville Publishing is also proud to represent these current and past Pulpwood Queen authors at this convention:

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      Southern Festival of Books 2022

      Madville Publishing Is proud to be a sponsor at the 2022 Southern Festival of Books NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, at War Memorial Plaza and the Nashville Public Library Friday, October 14: 12:00-5:00pm Saturday, October 15: 10:00am-6:00pm Sunday, October 16: 12:00-5:00pm
      Madville Publishing Is proud to be a sponsor at the 2022  Southern Festival of Books NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE,  at War Memorial Plaza and the Nashville Public Library      Friday, October 14: 12:00-5:00pm      Saturday, October 15: 10:00am-6:00pm      Sunday, October 16: 12:00-5:00pm

      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.

      These titles are:

      Poster for the 2022 Southern Festival of Books.

      You can see them listed with all the other wonderful Southern Festival of Books featured authors for 22.