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5 (on day 6)

 Looking up I can’t tell
 if you’re a star or an airplane
 Nobody’s flying now—
 a star then, I say but 
 why would the curfewed 
 stillness at this hour 
 unaccustomed as it is 
 make distant light more visible
 Attention resounds
 in the newly opened night
 & pricked by you
 the foxes emerge 
 from their den to yip 
 at geese & caution me:
 the ravens are crows
 & I know that just as I
 know the light
 for what it is, unmoving 
 the river pushing
 over the wing dam
 the sound of the world’s
 long idling engine
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1: Sample Post, tips for formatting

A black and white photo of Joyce Mansour, holding some glittery beaded decorations on sticks, and surrounded by more of same.
Joyce Mansour

Sample April post. This is my text. You can write
directly into the post, or copy/paste from elsewhere
but weird things sometimes happen from MSWord.
Experiment and let me know if you need help.

Single spacing between lines is shift + return.
Double spacing between lines return only.

If you want to use          variable spacing
use the Preformatted block option
(It will look gray in the editor but
        like this! when published!

Feel free to add media (Alt Text encouraged!)

Tags are under the Document tab.

PS: I expire my posts the day after they appear

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RAT QUEEN by Katie Jean Shinkle is now available in our handmade chapbook series


RAT QUEEN Katie Jean Shinkle

$10.00 $6.00

Dec 2019
6 x 9 |  24 pages

Handprinted linocut cover
Gold metallic Cranfield Traditional Relief Ink on cream 80 lb cover
Digitally printed interior on cream opaque 70 lb text
Hand sewn in natural twine

Note: Individually printed by hand in small batches, no two covers will be exactly alike. Expect minor variations across the edition.

Limited to 150 numbered copies

Volume 4: Issue 4 (2019)
ISSN 2373-163X

The eighteen poems in Rat Queen luxuriantly explore transgression and intimacy, the various ways we take each other eagerly apart and taxidermy ourselves back together again. “My dear, what muscularly defines you?” the speaker asks, “When I pin you like insect wings, / corked-fog and iridescent-under.”

Rat Queen is the fourth chapbook in the 2019–2020 series from Bloof Books. Each chapbook in the series is released in a limited edition of at least one hundred numbered copies, followed by a digital release, and eventually in a combination volume called Bound. 

This is Katie Jean Shinkle’s fifth chapbook. She is an Assistant Professor in the MFA Program for Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing at Sam Houston State University. She is the author of three full-length works, most recently Ruination (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018). Her poetry, prose, and criticisms can be found in Flaunt Magazine, the Georgia ReviewDenver QuarterlyNew South, the Collagist, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere. She serves as associate fiction editor of ANMLY, co-poetry editor of DIAGRAM.

SKU: RAT Category: Tag:


Excerpt RAT QUEEN Let me cry 1,000,000 tears of gold, weave tapestry-strands with vigor, douse your open heart with champagne, only the best, most expensive will do. Show me Benjamin Franklin, fanned out to cool, I will show people you forget along the way. Tell me, while at my feet, how the bank of booze is vampiric and fanged. The equation of who will perish first, (w)hol(l)y simplistic: You, knee-crouched, or me, hands in prayer, eyes transfixed? So funny what we cling to, not giggles or open-mouth hardy, but uncanny, filled to the brim.

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We’re almost there. (Open reading period status.)

We’ve finally finished reading the manuscripts from our Open Reading period. Now we’re working on choosing our final selection(s) and getting the rest of the notifications out, as quickly as possible.

If you haven’t heard about your book submission, you will soon! We got many more manuscripts than we were expecting, and we appreciate your patience.

Chapbook submissions were all answered in the fall, and we’ve already announced our 2019–2020 picks.

At this time we are not planning to open again until these six chapbooks and X number of books selected from this reading are released, or at least well underway.

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Shanna Compton’s 2018 recommended reading

We’ve asked our authors to submit highlights from their reading this year— anything outstanding they read during the year and want to share, whether published this year or not. As a countermeasure/contrast to the typical year-end Best Of lists compiled by various mainstream media outlets (which are often linked to ad buys, or shared parent companies, o did you not know that!?), expect these personal lists to point in less expected directions. We’ll be posting our poets’ picks as they come in over the next week or two. Enjoy. —Bloof

Shanna Compton is the author of Creature Sounds Fade (Black Lawrence, forthcoming in 2020), Brink (Bloof, 2013), For Girls & Other Poems (Bloof, 2008), Down Spooky (Open Book Award Winner, Winnow, 2005), and several chapbooks. She’s currently working on The Hazard Cycle, a book-length speculative poem. Her poetry and essays are widely published, appearing in Best American Poetry, the NationAmerican Poetry ReviewMcSweeney’s, the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day series, and elsewhere. She works as a freelance book designer and editor in Lambertville, NJ.

Because I work as an editor (here & for independent authors) and book designer (here & for other small presses), a great deal of the reading I do each year is pre-publication. In other words, I’m reading the future. As a result, I’m also often reading the past, catching up on things from previous years I didn’t have a chance to read right when they were first released. And like all of us, as a writer I’m often organizing my reading around/toward whatever project I’m personally working on. Here are some things I read this year from each of those categories.

New Poetry from China: 1917–2017
Ming Di, editor
(Black Square Editions)

This is an excellent example of my future-reading dilemma. I’ve been reading & learning about Chinese poetry’s history and various movements from this anthology edited by Ming Di (which I designed for Black Square) since I first got the manuscript in 2017. But it’s not yet available for preorders. Just trust me: write it down now as something to look forward to and teach from, and a month or so into 2019 check the website again here.

Drafts, Fragments & Poems: The Complete Poetry
Joan Murray, edited by Farnoosh Fathi
(NYRB Poets)

Drafts, Fragments & Poems: The Complete Poetry by Joan Murray, edited by Farnoosh Fathi

I have dreamed of this book existing for many years. Farnoosh Fathi’s tremendous work restores one of our lost poets to us. Hooray.

The hour like a child runs down the angle of star and rests at the bottom
It is a staring woman that may hold that child in its arms
But women prefer to see the hours slip from their fingers
For that are dancing an old earth constituency

I am a little beyond the river and stare from my particular casement
I am slender as the stalk and have my own flowering
I don’t draw from women but I prefer the truth and not the trick of living

Witch Wife
Kiki Petrosino

Witch Wife by Kiki Petrosino

 I must forgive myself for waiting so long.
I know a woman who waits is offensive 
but I just can’t get over my flaws

& now they might zero me out. My blood
is a zone of dispute, a tropic of fault. Since
I’ve waited so long, I must forgive myself.

The Taiga Syndrome
Cristina Rivera Garza, translated by Suzanne Jill Levine & Aviva Kana
(Dorothy Project)

I’ve never met a Dorothy Project book I haven’t loved. This is book is both thoroughly odd & unexpectedly gripping. It shouldn’t work, but it does. A sort of speculative detective verse-prose novella.

I remember the light through the many windows. Memory dangles these windows in front of me, at daybreak, just barely covered by a thin linen curtain. Then the same windows in the middle of the day, opened wide. The windows again in the evening, and above all, I remember the hands on them, all over the glass. And the nostalgia of this, of what’s on the other side the great beyond, as it used to be called. Above all, I remember I used to exhale in front of them, in front of the glass, and write with the tip of my index finger the words “I am leaving here” and “I will never return.” 

It’s No Good Everything’s Bad
Stephanie Young
(DoubleCross Press)

It's No Good Everything's Bad by Stephanie Young

sometimes I think what can I possibly say about anxiety and having a body
that my friends haven’t already

other times I wonder why there aren’t more books on this subject
100 books about feminist bookstores
500 about feminist health collectives

there is a lot to be said about ovarian cysts

Certain Magical Acts 
Alice Notley
(Penguin Random House)

Certain Magical Acts by Alice Notley

I’ve been rereading Alice Notley—because of the book I’m working on, she’s a poet on perpetual repeat (not that we sound alike, but she sustains and bristles weird energies over a long-form poem like no one else). So I could have chosen The Descent of Alette again, or Benediction, or Alma, but I’m going with this one because I finally got to see her read this year, last month in Princeton. She read the first poem from this book, “I Couldn’t Sleep in My Dream,” then several from a newer unpublished series she’s been working on to recover some lost memories (so lots of anecdotes & recognizable poet figures), and a few other things. She talked a bit about her process for her book-length work—having an idea, finding a form to contain it, and how she “doesn’t write collections. Well, this [holds up this book] is a collection.”

The sun is rising, and light enters my old 
house. What sun is this? The desert star 
or some one flame as in transcendence? I 
won’t as it. I won’t ask anyone anything.
I got tired of being childish. In your assigned 
role you were a woman. But I’ve always been 
a poet, that’s all, no sex or race, no age or 
face. Can Eternity strip me of it? That’s only 
another word. I’m inside myself, and inside it.
Today’s the new fact. Are there others there?

“When I die, I hope they talk about me” 
Camille Dungy
(The Rumpus)

…I have to dig deep
below the fold to find stories about how
he turned his back on boys who were quilting
America’s cities in gay enclaves. Many Black women
died of the same neglect and, Good Lord, I remember
the news used to talk about babies, blood
saturated in suffering. Not today, though.
Today, the papers can’t even speak of his war
without casting that failure, also, as a bid for peace.
So, please, when I die, forget all the fires
I set.

Staying Alive
Laura Sims
(Ugly Duckling)

Staying Alive by Laura Sims

When the culture passed over
We bathed         in its light        in its fear          in its
Mountain stream. We left mountains
Of carts full of junk behind. We bade them
Farewell. They bade us
Weep and know shape
They bade us be hard.
Without power, I wielded my body 

Counter-Desecration: A Glossary for Writing within the Anthropocene
Linda Russo & Marthe Reed, editors
(Wesleyan University Press)

Counter-Desecration anthology edited by Linda Russo & Marthe Reed

Disclaimer: I’m in this too, but it’s still brilliant. Including terms such as viral avatar (Danielle Pafunda), ecobereavement (Bhanu Kapil), negative corpuscuity (Vishnu Aggarwal), cloudygenous (Eileen Tabios), this unique work of speculative nature writing/ecopoetics opens several new portals. 

Third-Millennium Heart
Ursula Andkjær Olsen
Translated by Katrine Øgaard Jensen
(Action Books/Broken Dimanche Press)

I am allowed to be upset here.
I have to be upset here.
I cannot get out of here until I’ve been upset.

Spells for Black Wizards
Candace Williams
(TAR Chapbook Series/Altas Review)

Photo of the dark blue cover folder next to the oversized unfolded chapbook Spells for Black Wizards by Candace Williams, showing part of the text for a poem called "On Neoliberalism Or: Why My Black Ass Is Tired."

This ingenious & gorgeous fold-out chapbook is alas sold out. But look at it! I hope the photo is good enough here for you to read, but you can also find some of the poems on Candace’s website.

Day Bed
Zach Savich
(Black Ocean)

Day Bed by Zach Savich

Civilization forgets its raincoat in the cab

I hoped to be older when driven to Proust
The melody being whatever you repeat

Beautiful warbled hopscotch grid
So you see a person in a car for sale in a field

The past wasn’t simpler but memory is
My neighborhood has its own stained glass shop

I offer the business I can

Natalie Eilbert
(Noemi Press)

Indictus by Natalie Eilbert

I didn’t mean to assemble my whole career on lies, so now I blast holes
in the men. I blast holes in the prints of the men. I blast holes in the holes 
who are the men. I move them in a process called autonomous fetishization, 
and they enjoy the hazards of my queenly thinking. I grip their cheeks 

and make them fish-mouth kind words to me.

“goodwifthing [mercy learn in a permanent lockdown]”
Pattie McCarthy
(The Tiny)

goodwifthing by Pattie McCarthy at the Tiny

mercy learn in a permanent lockdown
you should work in a permanent lockdown
you could play fuck walk in a permanent
lockdown birth sleep eat in a permanent
lockdown wake tweet fight swim shift thou pluckest
me out in a permanent lockdown

Rosmarie Waldrop
(Academy of American Poets / Poem-a-Day)

Aging by Rosemarie Waldrop at

I don’t know Rosmarie Waldrop personally, but she’s an important model for me as a poet/publisher so I always feel very close to her work. I love this poem.

The road toward rotting has been so long. We forget where we are going. Like a child, I look amazed at a thistle. Or drink cheap wine and hug my knees. To shorten the shadow? To ward off letting go?

Beast Meridian
Vanessa Angélica Villarreal
(Noemi Press)

Visually, aurally, and typographically complex—including photographs, text collages, mixed languages. Both mournful and hopeful, this wide-format book is a luxuriant physical experience. I don’t think representing it with a snippet online is enough. Sit with it in your lap.

Photo of the interior of Beast Meridian by Vanessa Angélica Villarreal showing a poem on page 33 beginning "1995 budding black swallow each received blue eye that watches your house"

The End of Something
Kate Greenstreet
(Ahsahta Press)

The End of Something by Kate Greenstreet

Kate’s work often mixes elements of visual art, samples of her handwriting, photographs, and multiple shifting viewpoints that create kaleidoscopic patterns. There’s nothing quite like living for a while inside one of her books.

15. Introvert

Deep in my own green element, 
I met a friend.
My double, my dearest.

pulled me out of the sea,
placed me

in this pan of water,
added salt
and taught me to eat bread.

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Elizabeth Clark Wessel’s 2018 recommended reading

We’ve asked our authors to submit highlights from their reading this year— anything outstanding they read during the year and want to share, whether published this year or not. As a countermeasure/contrast to the typical year-end Best Of lists compiled by various mainstream media outlets (which are often linked to ad buys, or shared parent companies, o did you not know that!?), expect these personal lists to point in less expected directions. We’ll be posting our poets’ picks as they come in over the next week or two. Enjoy. —Bloof

Elizabeth Clark Wessel is the author of four chapbooks of poetry, a founding editor at Argos Book, and the translator of numerous novels from the Swedish, including most recently What We Owe by Golnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde. Originally from rural Nebraska, she spent many years living in New York and Connecticut, and these days calls Stockholm, Sweden home.

She has translated a chapbook of poems called Seeking an Older, Well-Educated Gentleman by Kristina Lugn that is forthcoming from Bloof in 2019, in the handmade chapbook series.

Here in no particular order are some of my favorite chapbooks of the year. A few are by friends and some share a publisher with me, but my admiration is absolutely sincere. I can’t say my reading has been expansive enough to make any claims to a “best of” list, but I do feel sure that more readers should and would enjoy these beautiful & various projects.

A Catalogue of the Further Suns
F. J. Bergmann
(Gold Line Press)

A Catalogue of the Further Suns by F. J. Bergmann

My Ida
Simone Kearney
(Ugly Duckling Presse)

My Ida by Simone Kearney

Roberto Montes
(TAR chapbook series)

Grievances by Roberto Montes

High Noon
Noel Black
(Blue Press)

S. Brook Corfman
(DoubleCross Press)

Meteorites by S. Brook Corfman

Kissing Caskets
Mahogany L. Browne
(YesYes Books)

Kissing Caskets by Mahogany L. Browne

Outside of the Body There Is Something Like Hope
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza
(Big Lucks Press)

Plane Fly at Night
MC Hyland
(above/ground press)

The Rest of the Body
Jay Deshpande
(YesYes Books)

Jurassic Desire
Rohan Chhetri
(Per Diem Press)


Fish Walking, and other bedtime stories for my wife
Arisa White
(Per Diem Press)

Also, Argos Books, which I coedit, published two chapbooks, a full-length, & a calendar this year. I want everyone to read them because I love them so much. You can check it all out here.

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Catie Rosemurgy’s 2018 recommended reading

We’ve asked our authors to submit highlights from their reading this year— anything outstanding they read during the year and want to share, whether published this year or not. As a countermeasure/contrast to the typical year-end Best Of lists compiled by various mainstream media outlets (which are often linked to ad buys, or shared parent companies, o did you not know that!?), expect these personal lists to point in less expected directions. We’ll be posting our poets’ picks as they come in over the next week or two. Enjoy. —Bloof

Catie Rosemurgy is the author of two books of poems, My Favorite Apocalypse and The Stranger Manual, both from Graywolf Press. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Pew Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rona Jaffe Foundation. She lives in Philadelphia and teaches at the College of New Jersey. First the Burning is an excerpt from a longer book in progress, The Forthcoming Disasters of Gold River.

Bloof published First the Burning in our handmade chapbook series earlier this year (and there are only a handful of copies left). 

This poem has been my 2018 anthem, incantation, spell, mantra:

Some Beheadings
Aditi Machado
(Nightboat Books)

Some Beheadings by Aditi Machado

Opening of “Prospekt” from Some Beheadings by Aditi Machado

Every day I wake & my life
is private. I see a sun. A coiling 
memoir. There is anaphora 
in the sun. There is a sun, 
it has brightened. A loss in this 
unyielding every day I wake—

there is privacy. A mirror 
brightens the fascist 
in me. When the speech 
is made the proscenium 
erects everyday 
theater. I make a kind 
of debris. When I speak 
the fascist in me speaks:

O countries & natives, o
wordless obeisance, o privacy
coiling in the memoir—

a great book I will write 
is not my private life. A tornado 
is simply warning for nothing
that appears out of chaos. A sun 

in the fascist, in the hard cold
private life of the citizen, I 
make a breakfast. There is a sun
still. There is a house
I move through. A bracken,
a tongue meet. 

A bracken, a tongue. 
A bracken, a tongue. 
A tongue, a tomb
I move through 
to arrive at word-like
edifice. Gingerroot,
canna, asparagus, iris. 
There is a room
I cook in. There is a 
sun outside of it. 
I empty a vase, 
I fill a bowl, 
floral notes, spice. 
The throat is a corset 
I wear, I tighten, 
from which I exude. 
I eat, I speak,
it is sexual. Prep
work, like eros, is 
in the minutiae.

Read more at Folder.