All posts by Joel Coltharp

2016 Books From Former Moon City Review Contributors

With the year drawing to a close, the editors of Moon City Review want to recognize all of the former contributors who published books in 2016. Fortunately for all, it is a rather long list, so instead of presenting it all at once, we will do one genre at a time, beginning with fiction:

C.D. Albin, Hard Toward Home (Press 53), short stories

Ace Boggess, A Song Without a Melody: A Novel of the ‘90s (Hyperborea Publishing), novel

Matthew Fogarty, Maybe Mermaids & Robots are Lonely (Stillhouse Press), short stories & novella (including “We Are Swimmers” and “Meteors,” which appeared in MCR 2014)

Katy Resch George, Exposure (Kore Press), short stories

Becky Hagenston, Scavengers (University of Alaska Press), short stories (including “Puppet Town,” which appeared in MCR 2013)

Britt Haraway, Early Men (Lamar University Press), short stories (including “Lilly the Kid,” which appeared in MCR 2015)

Allegra Hyde, Of This New World (Iowa Short Fiction Award, University of Iowa Press), short stories

Richard Newman, Graveyard of the Gods: A Novel (Blank Slate Press), novel

Amber Sparks, The Unfinished World (Liveright), short stories

Of course, there was also Laura Hendrix Ezell‘s story collection, A Record of Our Debts, winner of the 2015 Moon City Short Fiction Award (includes “Fugue,” which appeared in MCR 2016), available here

There are also two former contributors who will publish books in 2017:

Meg Eden, Post-High School Reality Quest (Rare Bird Books), young-adult novel

Michelle Ross, There’s So Much They Haven’t Told You, winner of the 2016 Moon City Short Fiction Award (includes “Rattlesnake Roundup,” which appeared in MCR 2016), available for pre-order here

Congratulations to all for a great year!

Visit the Authors page for a complete list of the work these authors (and many others) contributed to Moon City Review.

2016 Pushcart Prize Nominations!

Moon City Press and Moon City Review are pleased to announce their 2016 Pushcart Prize Nominations, which include the following authors and their work:

Poetry

Reese Connor, “Thank You”

Jeannine Hall Gailey, “Notes from Before the Apocalypse”

Sara Graybeal, “Point Breeze, 2015”

Fiction

Michael Ramberg, “Last King of the Gorilla Suits”

Michelle Ross, “Rattlesnake Roundup”

A.A. Weiss, “Challenger”

Congratulations and good luck!

Abandoned Homeland by Jeff Gundy

Abandoned Homeland, by Jeff Gundy. Huron, Ohio: Bottom Dog Press, 2015. 92 pages. $16, paper.

“How else to describe this absurd, lovely world?” is the question Jeff Gundy poses in the titular poem of his seventh book of poetry, Abandoned Homeland.

Gundy attempts to answer that question, and succeeds, in poems that feature the poet as the main character. They are poems concerned with observation, contemplation, and rumination on the past and time, as well as meditation on humanity’s place in the grand scheme of nature and the sublime. In fact, the book starts off with such observation and contemplation about the human body in the poem aptly titled “The Body.” It is a belief and a trust in the importance of our soul and of miracles, even in places we don’t often look:

… The body is more than some clay jar

with a dismal eternal glob inserted. It is to be trusted,

 

especially when it says Not too fast. The waterfall twists

and rumbles, alien, unstoppable, coming up stunned

 

and foaming on the rocks, broken into froth and magic

every second, hurrying onward as if not changed at all.

 

Though Gundy casts himself as the main character, other characters that figure prominently in these poems, either at the forefront or whispering quietly in the background, are the people and places throughout the Midwest. Whether it’s listening to a three-piece band in the Underdog Café or speaking of literary theme in an Ohio classroom, Gundy uses words and phrases that lets his reader experience the setting along with him, such as in “Rhapsody at the Underdog Café”:

 

Run your fingers through my soul, reads the poster, but I don’t

Believe I will. We’re barely even friends. A happy three-piece band

 

is playing in a corner of the Underdog Café. My new friends

didn’t know any of their songs, but I knew them all—“Wagon

 

Wheel,” “San Francisco Bay Blues,” “I Can See Clearly Now.”

The second cup of coffee is a dime cheaper and better

 

than the first. …

 

Gundy also wants to remind the reader that the place he, and everyone else, comes back to is “the country of the mind.” Preoccupations and meditations on his family, his past, and specific places serve to remind us that though we are all different, we seek to escape the world through such thoughts. No matter what we might do to escape, Gundy reminds us that we are all exiles in an abandoned homeland, and if anyone tries to stop us from being ourselves or from leaving, he tells us, “They’ll have to let us go.”

—Brandy Clark, Moon City Review

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