Frances Justine Post Discusses "Self Portrait in the Body of a Whale" on PSA's "In Their Own Words"


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.


National Poetry Month: Washington Independent Review of Books on Maureen Alsop’s MANTIC

Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Happy National Poetry Month! Read this wonderful MANTIC (Maureen Alsop, Augury Books, 2013) review by Grace Cavalieri in this month’s Washington Independent Review of Books.


Mantic by Maureen Alsop

“We can tell when a poem is sent out into the world scared and these poems are the opposite. They’re fearless. Alsop is like a hero who boldly moves forward and never looks back. She’s a social revolutionary using words to change our concepts of reality and the world.” —Grace Cavalieri, April 2014 Exemplars, Washington Independent Review of Books

Read the Whole Review

More on MANTIC


Poem by Saara Myrene Raappana


Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

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.

Now Available for Pre-Order: 2014’s ‘Beast’ and ‘The Family Cannon’


Beast by Frances Justine Post (Poetry, January 2014)


The Family Cannon by Halina Duraj (Fiction, January 2014)

Beast by Frances Justine Post (Poetry, January 2014)

There is plenty of Circe, and plenty of Caliban, too, in the poems of Frances Justine Post’s book BEAST. Carl Jung would have nodded in affirmation at the way in which myth and archetype pulse and flow under the surface of her poems—wolf, whale, cannibal, fire, doll. Her monologues cast the speaker’s self into these tableaux, and it’s hard to convey the detailed viscerality with which Post renders the human psyche—in all its needy, vengeful, rueful, generous and knowing configurations. ‘What have you been killing, my dear? / Let me wipe your chin.’ Post’s theme is hopeless love, but there is so much bravado, courage, insight, and self-knowledge in the poems that BEAST feels like a weird, wild, somewhat frightening party. Not to mention the sensuous, acrobatic flamboyance of Post’s remarkable writing, which carries this psychic carnival all proudly into Art.”

 Tony Hoagland, author of What Narcissism Means to Me

Frances Justine Post

Frances Justine Post is the recipient of the “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Prize, the Inprint Paul Verlaine Poetry Prize, and the Amy Award from Poets & Writers. Her poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, The Kenyon Review Online, The Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, Western Humanities Review, and others. Originally from Sullivan’s Island, SC, she received her MFA from Columbia University and is currently earning her PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Houston, where she is poetry editor for Gulf Coast Magazine.

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




The Family Cannon by Halina Duraj (Fiction, January 2014)

With quiet astonishment, Halina Duraj explores the mysteries of love and madness, offering her readers the secret salvation of story. Between a father’s reinvention of himself, a mother’s perplexing fidelity, and a woman’s navigation of the complexities of betrayal, we discover the exquisite pleasures of a world restored and redeemed through Duraj’s luminous gaze, the loving attention and tender playfulness of an extravagantly passionate imagination.”

Melanie Rae Thon, author of The Voice of the River and In This Light

Halina Duraj’s stories have appeared in The Sun, The Harvard Review, FictionWitness, and other journals. She has an MA in creative writing from the University of California, Davis, and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Utah. In 2012, she was a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook, a women’s writing retreat on Whidbey Island, WA. She teaches at the University of San Diego, where she also directs the Lindsay J. Cropper Center for Creative Writing.

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

Matthew Zingg’s ‘Mediations 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.

Poet Sarah Carson Shares ‘The Hello Goodbye’ with Augury Books

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

From "Solitude Must Share My Solitude" by 2013 Poetry Finalist Pia Aliperti

Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography

Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography


From “Solitude Must Share My Solitude” by Pia Aliperti

A fixed fire
a quiet, collected aspect.

Now for the hitch in the storm.

Fix your hair
bathe your face,

white-walled life.
I would then be your mistress.


Pia Aliperti holds an MFA from The New School. Her poems and reviews have appeared recently in Rattle, The Best American Poetry blog, H_NGM_N, and Publishers Weekly.


"Playing Tennis Against a Wall" by 2013 Poetry Finalist Andrew James Weatherhead

Photo by Amanda Noyes

Photo by Amanda Noyes

Playing Tennis Against a Wall

by Andrew James Weatherhead

The only way to win
is to rent a bulldozer
file a construction permit
learn how to operate
a bulldozer.
Don’t be a sore loser.
Trace the thought
back to the beginning.
The bus is late, again
but it’s here. It’s just you
and the driver.
His ringtone is that
Ennio Morricone song.
You know the one.
He has to use his hands.
He says, “Who is this?”
Then, “Oh, good morning.”


Andrew James Weatherhead holds a degree in Neuroscience from NYU, an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, and is an Eagle Scout. His website is

Poem by 2013 Augury Finalist Travis Macdonald

Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography

How To Keep Clean When The World Around You Is Going To Shit

by Travis Macdonald

Spoiler alert: there’s no secret meaning asleep beneath
every single love story. The human mouth contains
about 20 billion bacterium breeding
endlessly. Generations live and die in the grip
of your indigenous indigestion. Meanwhile we are still

killing the buffalo but with birth control
darts and BBQ sauce instead of bullets. Same dark hunger, different
villains in the seed vault stealing meals. It doesn’t take

Monsanto stock or an advanced degree to see we’re sinking in
iceberg sweat and high-speed propaganda bandwidths. You can get a PhD in pretty
much anything. Adieu

to you, dear country club bar mitzvah season. We miss
your microbe exchange rate slow dance doubling. With every chaperone slap

the effects of your affection hardened
into hidden tissues and hand-me-down zippers. Overstimulated
economic indicators of the apocalypse beware: This is the moment
where we begin to build our intimacy into a big brand name.


Travis Macdonald is a copywriter by day, editor by night and a poet in between. He is the author of two full-length collections (The O Mission Repo [vol. 1] and N7ostradamus) as well as several chapbooks. With his wife, JenMarie Macdonald, he publishes Fact-Simile Editions, a micropress dedicated to the creation of handmade contemporary poetic artifacts from recycled or reclaimed materials.