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Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

BEAST author Frances Justine Post tells the Poetry Society of America the backstory behind “Self Portrait in the Body of a Whale.”

We walked down the beach, but didn’t see anything remotely whale-like until we came upon this sort of carpet of flesh. It was a whale carpet. The body was so broken down that all that was left was this huge, flat mass of skin, covering bones, half on the beach and half in the water. It was not as disgusting as it sounds and was, in fact, kind of beautiful. It was bleached white by the sun with darker stripes in a wave-like pattern.” 

Read the full article and poem on PSA’s site.

Buy BEAST

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Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

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Canticle of Waitresses, Waiting

 

This is how we herded by the waitress station,

waiting, as the town, turned down to one by snow,

settled like a gown that smothered all that ailed us.

.

How we first heard about the hostages

on Facebook, and then the town knelt down to zero,

still as snow once it resolves itself to ground.

.

How the sidewalk still needed seeding with rock salt.

How even when a person stands still, they can slip.

.

How we counted the seeds of our blessings.

How our blessings rebounded off the booths like buckshot.

.

How we each sometimes rebound into being

a country of one self.

How we other times are one self of a city.

.

How only below zero can we remember

September as that country where we save daylight

like fat over our muscles.

.

How a woman ran at the chained gym doors

to save her daughter.

How she dropped on the unseeded walk.

How we’ll remember her legs as

a fleet of hummingbirds skidding through snow.

.

How sometimes, to give something a shot means kill it.

How other times it means just close your eyes.

.

First published in Iron Horse Literary Review, Labor Day Issue 2013

Saara Myrene Raappana‘s poems appear in such publications as 32 Poems, Blackbird, Cream City Review, Subtropics, The Gettysburg Review, and Verse Daily. She grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in southern China. She’s an editor for Cellpoems, a poetry journal distributed via text message.

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This year’s AWP offsite reading, Augury Books and Friends in Seattle, was a resounding success. We had a wonderful night of wine, snacks, readings, and socializing at the stunning Noble Gas Neon Company venue. Thank you so much to everyone who came out to attend the reading.

Special thanks to Lia Hall and Cedar Mannan for providing the space, as well as our 12 incredible Augury and guest readers, Maureen Alsop (Mantic), Halina Duraj (The Family Cannon), Alison Espach, Lia Hall, Lauren Hunter, Cynthia Lowen, Karyna McGlynn, Patrick Moran (The Book of Lost Things), Frances Justine Post (Beast), Alicia Jo Rabins, Camille Rankine, and Diana Spechler.

1Flyers

Welcoming the Crowd

Phoebe_Rusch

Phoebe Rusch Helps Augury Editor Kate Angus Set Up

3NobleNeon2

Augury and Friends Settle In

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Patrick Moran and Camille Rankine Read for Augury Books and Friends Offsite, AWP 2014

5Ali

Alison Espach Reads for Augury Books and Friends Offsite, AWP 2014

Camille

Camille Rankine Reads for Augury Books and Friends Offsite, AWP 2014

Cynthia

Cynthia Lowen Reads for Augury Books and Friends Offsite, AWP 2014

Diana2

Diana Spechler Reads for Augury Books and Friends Offsite, AWP 2014

Halina

Halina Duraj Reads for Augury Books and Friends Offsite, AWP 2014

Justine

Frances Justine Post Reads for Augury Books and Friends Offsite, AWP 2014

Karyn

Karyna McGlynn Reads for Augury Books and Friends Offsite, AWP 2014

Lauren2

Lauren Hunter Waits to Read at Augury Books and Friends Offsite, AWP 2014

Lia2

Lia Hall Reads for Augury Books and Friends Offsite, AWP 2014

Maureen

Maureen Alsop Reads for Augury Books and Friends Offsite, AWP 2014

Patrick

Patrick Moran Reads for Augury Books and Friends Offsite, AWP 2014

Alicia Jo Rabins Reads for Augury Books and Friends Offsite, AWP 2014

Alicia Jo Rabins Reads for Augury Books and Friends Offsite, AWP 2014

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A sincere and enthusiastic thank you to everyone who came out on Friday night, despite bitter cold and hazardous ice, to celebrate the launch of Augury Books’ 2014 poetry collection, BEAST, by Frances Justine Post, and debut fiction book, THE FAMILY CANNON, by Halina Duraj.

A special thank you to Berl’s Poetry Shop for an ideal venue, friends and family who traveled far, photographer Dave Bledsoe, and guest readers Timothy Donnelly and Ely Shipley, who added their considerable talents to a wonderful evening.

Enjoy the pics! THE FAMILY CANNON and BEAST are both currently available on Amazon.

Halina Duraj  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

THE FAMILY CANNON author Halina Duraj  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

BEAST author Frances Justine Post talks with friends  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

BEAST author Frances Justine Post  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Frances Justine Post signs copies of her book  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Frances Justine Post signs copies of her book  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Halina Duraj signs copies of her book  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Halina Duraj signs copies of her book  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Ely Shipley reads and introduces friend Halina Duraj  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Ely Shipley reads and introduces friend Halina Duraj  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Timothy Donnelly reads and introduces friend Frances Justine Post  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Timothy Donnelly reads before introducing friend Frances Justine Post  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Frances Justine Post reads from BEAST  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Frances Justine Post reads from BEAST  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Halina Duraj reads from THE FAMILY CANNON  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Halina Duraj reads from THE FAMILY CANNON  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Frances Justine Post, Ely Shipley, Timothy Donnelly, Kate Angus, Kimberly Steele, Halina Duraj  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Frances Justine Post, Ely Shipley, Timothy Donnelly, Kate Angus, Kimberly Steele, Halina Duraj  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Audience Mingles  /  Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Berl’s Poetry Shop / Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

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Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography

Photo and THE FAMILY CANNON Cover Art by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography

From “Tenants,” THE FAMILY CANNON by Halina Duraj

My mother scrubbed the blood all evening. She dipped the hard-bristled brush in a bucket of ammonia while my father ate pork chops and sauerkraut at the kitchen table. She came downstairs to make him a cup of tea—he’d never made one for himself—and she turned on the TV for him while he put his feet up on the coffee table. Then she went back upstairs to paint. She painted that same night so the room could be advertised the next day. I didn’t have to sleep in the trundle that night, because she never came to bed. I crept up the stairs, and at the top, I rested my chin on the banister. On the other side of the wall, I heard the slap of the brush against the plaster and my mother crying. A strip of light appeared under Don the Barber’s door, and then I heard bedsprings and floorboards and I turned and went down the stairs. From the darkness at the bottom, I watched him cross the hall, and I heard murmurings and mumblings and then my mother’s voice a little louder, a little firmer, then a shushing noise. ‘Please,’ I heard my mother say. ‘Don’t.’

And then Don the Barber walked back across the hall, shut the door. His light didn’t go off, but I went to bed anyway. I woke up at six o’clock when my mother came downstairs and made my father breakfast and packed his lunch and carried it out to his car and went down to the Tribune to place a new ad: Room for rent. Just painted. Please inquire.

In the afternoon, she painted a second coat, and then you almost couldn’t see the stains.”

Don’t forget our launch party with a reading by Halina Duraj, on January 24, 2014 — RSVP now or simply save the date. We will see you there!

Order Now on Amazon — Look for it new from seller Augury Books

Thank you!

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Photo and 'Beast' Cover Art by Cecelia Post

Photo and ‘Beast’ Cover Art by Cecelia Post

Screen shot 2014-01-08 at 4.52.18 PM

Don’t forget our launch party, with a reading by Justine Post, on January 24, 2014 — RSVP now or simply save the date, and we’ll see you there!

Order Now on Amazon — Look for it NEW from seller Augury Books

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Soldier Quick with Rain by David Joel Friedman          Mantic by Maureen Alsop          The Book of Lost Things          To Mend Small Children by B.C. Edwards

This time of year, everyone is in the giving spirit. More importantly, everyone has various giftees they need to cross off of an ever-expanding list.

For a short time at a 35% discount, you can give the gift of poetry while supporting Augury Books and the literary arts. Expand your own collection or help beef up the bookshelves of your aspiring-writer niece or your poetry-loving boyfriend. Trying to think of an original gift for colleagues in your office that will entertain and impress? Voila.

For only $40, including shipping* — more than 35% off the regular price — get all four books:

Simply send $40 to augurybooks@gmail.com via PayPalinclude your full name and shipping address on the PayPal order to avoid delays, and your books will be shipped within 24 hours.**

Love the idea, but already have our catalogue? Bravo! You can still help spread literary cheer. Share this with friends and (continue to) support the arts.

As always, to keep receiving posts such as this, follow our blog by clicking in the bottom right corner of this page.

*International shipping not included in special. Please contact us for international shipping rates. Sorry, no Amazon orders for this special!
**For receipt before 12/25/13, place order before end of business day 12/19/13.

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In preparation for 2014 and the upcoming launch of our new books, Frances Justine Post‘s Beast—our fourth full-length book of poetry—and Halina Duraj‘s The Family Cannon—our debut break into fiction—Augury Books has joined Twitter!

Follow us to get all the updates and details about our events (including our launch party for the aforementioned books), as well as links to poems, pics, book specials, order info, submissions guidelines, teasers, and other stuff we like (and think you will).

Go on, follow us!

While you’re at it, Like us on Facebook, and Follow this Blog by clicking on the prompt in the bottom right corner —> —>

Thanks, Augury followers!

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Meditations on Perspective

Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

M E D I A T I O N S   O N   P E R S P E C T I V E
by Matthew Zingg

Because the sky was wax paper the planes were
flies stuck in their holding patterns.

From a few thousand feet downtown must seem
          like something a man
could carve into a walnut shell.

It was just one of those days.

On the rooftop again a couple of dumb Lowells
in our hungover pajamas wagging two dollar
                 egg salad sandwiches
above our heads like late minute commandments.

You said: the city was wearing its clearest uniform.

I said: the brow of the park looked
scabrous and fresh

in its Sunday best, the air a shade
of yellow easiest to forget.

It was a game we played—to see how far the other
could take all this acreage.

A balloon lifts up a couple blocks away

and it means an explosion, a portent
or it means a slow eye. In other words

there is nowhere else to go up here, stretched
          thin as we are
across this autumn afternoon.

Matthew Zingg‘s work can be found in The Paris-American, The Awl, Blackbird, Cider Press Review, HTML Giant, The Madison Review, Birdfeast, The Rumpus, Everyday Genius, and Muzzle, among others. He lives in Baltimore where he hosts the Federal Dust Reading Series.

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Abandoned Phone Booths

Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

The Hello Goodbye
by Sarah Carson

Friend, they’re on their way to tell you that the poem you’ve been carrying is no longer your love poem. She’s said, “If another boy comes along, I’m going to kiss him,” and they’ve stamped it all official. There’s no time for an ode to the time you touched her hair in a store window, an elegy for the morning she found your necklace splayed softly in the dirt. She’s working on a little something about boxes and boxes and empty tractor trailers, about the widest river on your favorite continent and the shortest song you’ve ever heard. There are lines about several evenings where the phone is ringing and ringing and ringing in America. That poem, like most poems you loved, is useless. I’ve only come to tell you that I know how you are feeling, and it doesn’t matter. You need to take a long swig of something now. You need to get the hell out of here.


Sarah Carson was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, and now lives in Chicago with her dog, Amos. She is the author of three chapbooks, “Before Onstar” (Etched Press, 2010), “Twenty-Two” (Finishing Line Press, 2011), and “When You Leave” (H_NGM_N, 2012). Sometimes she blogs at sarahamycarson.wordpress.com.

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