PHOTO RECAP: Randall Horton’s Hook Release Event

On Friday, November 20th, Augury joined forces with African Voices Magazine to host a night in celebration of the launch of Randall Horton’s Hook. The event featured many special guests and close friends of Horton, who read from their own work, shared anecdotes, and ultimately all expressed a collective feeling of joy for what Hook has become. Our dear friend Dave Bledsoe is credited with all of these photos.

Julia Judge, Mike Miller, Kimberly Steele, Randall Horton, Kate Angus, Nicolas Amara, Carolyn Butts, and Ian Lloyd.


Randall Horton signing copies of Hook.


The crowd at African Voices’ Upper West Side space.


Nkosi Nkululeko.


Tyehimba Jess.


Sally Ann Hard.


Hettie Jones.


Becky Thompson


Linda Perez.


Randall Horton reading from Hook.



Randall Horton and Linda Perez.



Randall Horton’s author page.

Our Prose Selection for 2016

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!

An Excerpt from ‘you’re the most beautiful thing that happened’ by Arisa White


There are little words
that can fit in little places
if you say them small enough.

To fit a song into a pore
you have to be prepared
for the day it will sweat.

If words could stick on people,
if spoken, they would become
a different creature.

Blinded and you’re turned
five times around. Nothing
in you knows what it knew.

It’s the best part of the game:
Prick the girls you like best
while pinning on the donkey’s tail.

Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the author of the chapbooks Disposition for Shininess and Post Pardon. With funding from the City of Oakland, Post Pardon was adapted into an opera. Her full-length collections Hurrah’s Nest and A Penny Saved were published in 2012. Her debut collection, Hurrah’s Nest, won the 2012 San Francisco Book Festival Award and was nominated for a 44th NAACP Image Award, the 82nd California Book Awards, and the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards. Member of the PlayGround writers’ pool, her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of PlayGround Festival. One of the founding editors of HER KIND, an online literary community powered by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Arisa has received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from Headlands Center for the Arts, Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, Rose O’Neill Literary House, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is a 2013-14 recipient of an Investing in Artist Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, which funded the dear Gerald project, a regional representative for Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, and a faculty member in the BFA Creative Writing program at Goddard College. Her poetry has been widely published and is featured on the recording WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet. Arisa is a native New Yorker, living in Oakland, CA, with her wife, Samantha.

More on Arisa White.

Our Poetry Selection for 2016

In the Giant’s Lair (1892) by Gerhard Munthe, Wikimedia Commons

Following a plentiful reading period full of outstanding work, Augury Books is very happy to announce Arisa White‘s you’re the most beautiful thing that happened as our poetry selection for 2016. We received so many great submissions, and paring down one manuscript from our finalist pool was a difficult feat. We are glad to highlight the work of our poetry finalists here:

Architect, Garden by Andrew Seguin

brightness this by Franciszka Voeltz

I Wanted Everything by Elizabeth Whittlesey

Majnun by Mark Faunlagui

Pinocchio: The Whale Years by Patrick Moran

Schematics for Manhood & Flight by Joe Jimenez

Snow Farmer by Benjamin Gantcher

there are some things that are easier to mention by Aimee Herman

When I Was an Octopus by Gregg Murray

On behalf of the editors, we thank you all for your extended patience. Stay tuned for more on Arisa, an excerpt from her manuscript, excerpts from several of our finalists, and a prose selection in November!

Save LitMore’s Poetry Library!

LitMore, located in Baltimore, aims to provide a space for writers, readers and audiences to come together for workshops, readings and support. The space provides daily and monthly writing studios and houses a free access community poetry library. But as of January 1, 2016, LitMore will become a nomadic literary organization, continuing programming, but in various locations. A number of local educational and cultural institutions have been examining the practicality of taking in the organization’s book collection, but until then the library will remain in limbo and it may be necessary to move the library’s collection to a storage facility until a partner has been found. Let’s give these books a home! Find out more on how to help here!

Augury Books Partners With Literary Hub

A detail from “Shells and other Marine Life from Albertus Seba’s Cabinet of Natural Curiosities (1734),” courtesy of the Public Domain Review

Augury is excited to announce our new partnership with Literary Hub! A joint project of Grove Atlantic and Electric Literature, LitHub works with publishers, bookstores, journals, and non-profits to bring together online literary content, providing a platform for smart and engaging writing regarding all things books. Learn more about LitHub here.

Only four more days left in our open reading period for poetry and prose!

Submit now via Submittable, and thank you for your interest in Augury Books!

Literary Hub Set To Launch April 8th

Utagawa Hiroshige’s The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō (1848), courtesy of the Public Domain Review

Literary Hub, a website which will gather literary content from across the internet and combine in one place, is set to launch on April 8th. Emily Firetog, the managing editor of the site, spoke to Augury about the new website and its goals.

Augury: How did you get involved with Lit Hub? Do you have a particular role within the organization?

Emily: There is a small daily team at Lit Hub: editor in chief Jonny Diamond, managing editor (me) and assistant editor Blair Beusman. We have a part time assistant editor Ben Philippe, six contributing editors (Roxane Gay, Alexander Chee, Rebecca Wolff, Adam Fitzgerald, Ashley Ford, and Oscar Villalon), and John Freeman is our executive editor/features editor.

A: What is Lit Hub’s mission? How does it see itself within the literary community?

E: Lit Hub is investing in the future of literary culture and its readers. It’s a site designed to be a destination for readers to discover the very best literary content on the web. Our partners include large publishers, small presses, university presses, print and digital journals, bookstores, and nonprofits, because we want to be inclusive, reflecting the reality of literary publishing today.

A: What sorts of things does Lit Hub have planned for the future? (Do you envision any events or readings?)

E: We’re a website. We’re going to focus on bringing the best content to readers every day.

Augury Books Nominated for Beyond the Margins' 'Above and Beyond' Award

A selection from Shin-Bijutsukai, 1901-02. Courtesy of the Public Domain Review


Augury Books has recently been nominated for the Above and Beyond Award, started by Boston-based writers’ blog Beyond the Margins to recognize the work of organizations that make a great contribution to the writing community. Due to such a large number of nominees and nominations, Beyond the Margins has decided to showcase all nominees on their website. It is an honor to be included among such organizations as Cave Canem, the New York Writers Workshop, and PEN Center USA. Unfortunately, Beyond the Margins has also just recently ended their journey as a web resource for the writing community. We deeply thank those who nominated and and voted for us to be a part of the last round of this award.

Our Manuscript Selections for 2015

Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography

Augury Books is delighted to announce our selections from this summer’s open reading period. We are honored and humbled to have received so many wonderful manuscripts. It was difficult to come to a final decision. All of the work we received this year has helped to renew our faith in the high quality of independent literature.

Our next three titles will be:

Letters to Lxxxx by Randall Horton
American Gramophone by Carey McHugh
Hiccups, or Autobiomythography II by Joe Pan

We are also happy to highlight the works of our finalists:

A Love Supreme by Jeremy Townley
Children Left Breathing by Jeanne Althouse
Missionaries by David Ebenbach
True Love and Other Dreams of Miraculous Escape by Micah Perks
You Don’t Seem Happy Enough by Stephanie Austin
Hotel Grand Abyss by Robert Glick
Certain Registers by Thomas Cook
Snow Farmer by Benjamin Gantcher
A Miss by Marina Blitshteyn

Thank you again to everyone who submitted their work. We are truly grateful for your work and patience. Check back in the upcoming weeks and months to read selections from our three upcoming titles and our finalists!

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Meghan O'Rourke to Lecture at the Mayapple Center

Meghan O’Rourke, photo by Sarah Shatz

The Mayapple Center for the Arts and Humanities will kick off their Creative Writing guest lecture series on Monday night, July 21, with a lecture by editor, essayist and poet Meghan O’Rourke. The Center, located in Stamford, Connecticut, provides programs, retreats and residencies that cover writing, literature, music, and art therapy, in a “distinctly 21st century climate.”

Augury Books editor Kate Angus, who is also Mayapple Center’s Creative Writing Advisor, will be introducing O’Rourke on Monday night. For more information on the Center and to register, visit Mayapple’s site.

Meghan O’Rourke began her career as one of the youngest editors in the history of The New Yorker. Since then, she has served as culture editor and literary critic for Slate as well as poetry editor and advisory editor for The Paris Review. Her essays, criticism, and poems have appeared in Slate, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Redbook, Vogue, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, and Best American Poetry. O’Rourke is also the author of the poetry collections Once (2011) and Halflife (2007), which was a finalist for both the Patterson Poetry Prize and Britain’s Forward First Book Prize. She was awarded the inaugural May Sarton Poetry Prize, the Union League Prize for Poetry from the Poetry Foundation, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and a Front Page Award for her cultural criticism. One of three judges chosen to select Granta’s Best Young American Novelists in 2007, she has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and a finalist for the Rome Prize of the Academy of Arts and Letters. A graduate of Yale University, she has taught at Princeton, The New School, and New York University. She lives in Brooklyn, where she grew up, and Marfa, TX.