Drawing of Doctor Caliban

“Doctor Caliban, Peeping Tom” 

The train was crowded with actors

I couldn’t tell the extras from the characters

or who would have a part in the evening show

that plays in every dazzled window

under the umbrella of rain-slick trees

or so it seems


The saturated colors of those TVs

wouldn’t exist if not for me

minder of the Tunnel

my wormhole

a channel

that broadcasts the bric-a-brac of minutes

as if the world were sending postcards to one not in it


Doctor Caliban the sun & the moon are setting the table

Doctor Caliban the sureness of loss has left me unable

to care about anything I have not lost

Doctor C you gotta taste this sauce

Doctor Caliban is it more ghoulish

to be like me a taxidermist

and whistle on my hands to wit to woo

or be an ironist like you?


Ben Gantcher’s collection of poems, Snow Farmer, was a finalist in several book contests. His poems have appeared in many journals, including Slate, Tin House, Guernica and The Brooklyn Rail. His first chapbook, Strings of Math and Custom, was published by Beard of Bees Press. If a Lettuce, his first full-length collection, was a finalist in the National Poetry Series and Bright Hill Press contests. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, was a resident at Ucross and Omi, and a fellow at LABA. He teaches math, Language Structures and an interdisciplinary writing and visual art studio course at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, NY, where he lives with his wife and three children. 


Say Something Nice About Me

After six indecisive years together, I told Gregory, “If we don’t have a kid, I’m leaving.” He worried about overpopulating the earth, but I knew he also feared being alone. So we had this ravenous infant, a fitful sleeper, and I was sure the marriage wouldn’t last anyway.

Naomi was almost ten months old when I invited my college roommate and her fiancé down from Ontario. I was lonely in Helena but didn’t say so; instead I said I wanted to meet Freddie before the wedding. I wanted them to see how beautiful my girl was. My life felt small and unremarkable in most ways, but having a baby still seemed like an accomplishment worth bragging about.

Kim’s silkscreens of densely populated cityscapes were hanging in corporate offices all around the US, but she rarely talked about her own accomplishments. Even so, Gregory had never thought she was as fun or talented as I did. He was not thrilled about the visit, but at least he was willing to watch Naomi crawl through the unkempt grass in the backyard while I put clean sheets on the guestroom bed.


Sara Schaff’s fiction has appeared in FiveChapters, Southern Indiana Review, Carve Magazine, and elsewhere. A graduate of Brown University and the MFA program at the University of Michigan, she has taught in China, Colombia, and Northern Ireland, where she also studied storytelling. Sara is a visiting assistant professor of creative writing at Oberlin College. Find links to her work at saraschaff.com.

Patrick Moran is the author of four collections of poetry, Tell A Pitiful Story (2012), Doppelgangster (2013), The Book Of Lost Things (2013), Rumors Of Organized Crime (2014 Winner of the Tennessee Chapbook Prize). He also has published translations of the French poet, Eugene Guillivec, and essays on poetics and poetry. His most recent essay, The Ampersand: Casual Vortex or Engraver’s Shortcut, appear in the 2013 issue of The Writer’s Chronicle. He currently a professor of poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.



This Friday, November 20th, from 6:30-8:00 PM, join Augury Books and author Randall Horton for a celebration and launch of Hook: A Memoir. The event will take place at African Voices Magazine on the Upper West Side and will feature food, wine, music, and several special guests. Hook: A Memoir will be available for purchase and signing and, as always, can be found online at Small Press Distribution. We’re very much looking forward to this event and hope to see you there!

Randall Horton is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award and a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature. His previous work includes the poetry collection Pitch Dark Anarchy (Triquarterly/Northwestern University Press, 2013). Horton serves on the Board of Directors for Pen America’s Pen Prison Writing Program and teaches at the University of New Haven. He is a Cave Canem Fellow, and a member of both the Affrilachian Poets and the experimental performance group: Heroes are Gang Leaders. Horton is also a senior editor at Willow Brooks, an independent literary press he helped found in 2006. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, he now resides in Harlem, New York.

Joe Jiménez is the author of The Possibilities of Mud (Kórima 2014) and Bloodline (Arte Público 2016).  Jiménez holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles.  The short film “El Abuelo,” based on Jiménez’s poem, has been screened in Belgium, the Netherlands, Mexico, France, Argentina, Ireland, England, and the US. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, and is a member of the Macondo Workshops.  For more, visit joejimenez.net.

London coffeehouse c. 1705 via Public Domain Review

London coffeehouse c. 1705 via Public Domain Review

After announcing our poetry selections last month, Augury is happy to reveal its selections for prose today. The editors’ reading period for prose submissions was equally intense, but also equally gratifying. To be sure, selecting one manuscript out of dozens of strong submissions never gets easier. It is with pleasure that we announce Sara Schaff’s short story collection Say Something Nice About Me as our prose selection for 2016. Below are the finalists whose work we will feature in the coming weeks:

Alley Stories—Nona Caspers

Everything Beautiful—Sarah Pape

Girl with a Goat’s Voice—Nate Liederbach

Grieving for Guava—Cecilia Fernandez

Home for Wayward Girls—Melanie Bishop

In Josaphat’s Valley—Joshua Bernstein

Mick Jagger’s Green Eyed Daughter…—Elizabeth Denton

Stick-Light—Joshua Bernstein

Swarm—Harmony Button

The Heart is a Slow Learner—Mary Larkin Phd

The World is All that Does Befall Us—Thomas Walton—Too Smart for her Own Good—Evelyn Somers

True Love and Other Dreams of…—Micah Perks

Wee Hours—Ellen Winter

Woman, Running Late, in a Dress—Dallas Woodburn

Stay tuned for excerpts from each of our fourteen finalists, as well as from Sara Schaff!

The Poetry Society of America has announced that it is currently accepting a variety of submissions for poets at all stages in their career now through December 22nd. Submissions are free for members and you are welcome to submit work to all seven categories with no more than one entry for each.

From a recent PSA message:

Annual Awards judges include:
Cyrus Cassells, Eduardo Corral, Elaine Equi, Yona Harvey, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Laura Kasischke, Jennifer Moxley, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Carmen Giménez Smith, and others

Chapbook judges:
Rigoberto González, Linda Gregerson, Major Jackson, and Marilyn Nelson

Each year from October to December the Poetry Society offers contests for poets at all stages of their careers, from a prize for high school students, to our Chapbook Fellowships for poets who have not yet published a full-length collection, to our first book contest, and our award for a poet over forty who has published no more than one book.

We’re thrilled to announce we’re currently accepting submissions, which are free to members.

Begin your submission today. Good luck!


See the PSA’s website for more information on individual contests and submission guidelines.


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