‘Childproofing’ by Stephanie Ellis Schlaifer, 2013 Augury Poetry Finalist

Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography


Stephanie Ellis Schlaifer


My mother is reading a book

entitled The Fearful Child,

and in-between pages 57 & 58,

there is a tiny yellow sticky labeled STEPHANIE.


I am the section of the chapter subtitled

“Overactive Imagination, Underactive Reasoning.”



I am abnormal.

I have been

found out.


It is disappointing

to find that

I have not been mentioned in the forward.


Just the same,

my mother has penned me in.


The book was neatly blanketed

by A Special Issue

of Martha Stewart Living

lying underneath the nightstand

near the Better Homes and Gardens

Family Medical Guide.


One morning I found a kitchen knife

wedged between

the mattress and the box spring.


It is easier to be anthologized

than really in the dark.


I can make a doily from a tourniquet

from the queen Charisma sheets.


Somewhere there is an artist

commissioned to illustrate an erection,

trench mouth and Nasturtium;

harelips, epileptic,

Convallaria majalis,

pinworms and


an itchy anus,


accidental death;


I like to read

what my mother is reading:

fragrant, wide flowers.



Occasionally, we have company

over. They ask, “Why

do you have babies

in the basement?


It is odd—

they scratch so at the door.”


My mother kept us there

when we were little.

I turned out okay.


I let the cats out.


Our two Maine Coons

live in a room

beneath the kitchen.  The basement, Stephanie.

A finished basement.


Correction: we keep our cats in the basement.


It is frightening

to go either up or down stairs.

They are beginning to sound

human—like us.



Something in the paint

becomes a hospital;

the leaded cream


a private bone

black molding

certifies against

the mirrors

and their nook,

hanging here

before the desk,

before the desk, the Askins’ window—

no one ever writes without a chair,

I ruined it I think, watering

the Bonsai, that someone

loved me for.



If you want to watch TV

you can watch


the news: people say

Southeast Atlanta

police say: a woman


in her home;

a man:

survived: her

husband is:



on the news is:

off JimmyCarterBoulevard;

sent to Grady


He was:

in the closet

for three days:


she hadn’t vacuumed;

he raped her:

I’d’ve heard:


:what the neighbors said


in a quiet:


brought in,



Stephanie Ellis Schlaifer is originally from Atlanta, GA, and works as an artist and freelance editor in St. Louis, MO, where she co-curates the Observable Readings series. She has an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her poems have appeared AGNI (forthcoming), VerseColorado ReviewChicago ReviewCimarron Review, Fence, and Verse Daily, among others. Stephanie is a compulsive baker and also very handy with a pitchfork. “Childproofing” previously appeared in Delmar.

‘Wednesday’ by 2013 Poetry Finalist Tina Schumann

Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography


by Tina Schumann

Today I sat at my desk. Moved
a few books around. Thought of my demise.
Wrote a letter to a friend’s mother
thanking her for the Longfellow;
she’d heard I was a poet and naturally assumed.
I ate when my body said eat.
I drank water – cold and slick
it slipped down my throat.
I waited for the mailman
to walk up the steps. I heard his start
and stop, the lift and lowering
of the lid, the sharp turn of his boots
on dry leaves. I waited and he came.
I listened and he left. He and I
and the crows and the UPS man
and the kid down the street with the basketball
are all figures moved by instinct and need,
obligation, desire, and boredom. But I digress.
I picked the glass up, set the glass down,
stood up, walked the floor, looked out the window,
cursed the grass, and thought, thought, thought.
– never fully dormant, never fully engaged.
And all the while this is what the sign around my neck said:
If it rattles like a person than it is a person.

Tina Schumann’s work was a finalist in the National Poetry Series and Tupelo Press listed her full manuscript as a “remarkable work,” in their 2012 open submission period. Her chapbook “As If” (Split Oak Press) was awarded the Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize for 2010 and in 2011 her work received a Pushcart nomination. She holds an MFA from Pacific Lutheran University and her work has appeared in various publications and anthologies including The American Poetry Journal, Ascent, Cimarron Review, Crab Creek Review, Harpur PalatePALABRA, PARABOLA, PoemeleonRaven Chronicles, San Pedro River ReviewThe Midwest Quarterly, and The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine.

Augury Books’ Fiction Publication Will Be ‘The Family Cannon’ by Halina Duraj

Look for ‘The Family Cannon’ new from seller Augury Books




Photo by: Amanda Noyes

Hello friends and fellow lovers of the arts. We were amazed and overwhelmed by the quality of your work; an ardent and sincere thank you goes out to all of you who trusted us with your manuscripts.

Halina Duraj

We are pleased to announce that we have selected Halina Duraj’s The Family Cannon as our inaugural short story collection.

Halina Duraj’s stories have appeared in The SunThe Harvard ReviewFictionWitness, and other journals and have been recommended for PEN/O’Henry and Pushcart prizes. In 2012, she was a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award finalist and a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook. She has an MA in creative writing from the University of California, Davis, and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Utah, where she served as a fiction co-editor for Quarterly West. Halina teaches literature and fiction writing at the University of San Diego.

We would also like to recognize the short story collections of our six finalists:

Adam Weinstein — From the New Technical Manual of Use

Hall CaryDelaware and Other Places of Mind

Dan MoreauA Tour of North American Ruins

Ellen CampbellContents Under Pressure

Sara Lippmann — Doll Palace

Eleanor Swanson Exiles and Expatriates

Thank you to our finalists and everyone who submitted during our reading period. Please help us welcome Halina aboard at Augury Books.  Leave a comment, follow this blog, or simply “Like”!

—Augury Books

Announcing Frances Justine Post’s ‘Beast’ As Augury’s Next Poetry Publication

Photo by: Cecelia Post
From collection: Natural Won’t Change Disaster

This announcement concerns our upcoming poetry publication. Keep checking in or follow this blog (bottom right corner) for our fiction announcement, coming soon.

First things first: We want to emphatically thank everyone who submitted their work to Augury Books during our reading period. As always, it was a great pleasure and even greater honor to have the opportunity to read so many exceptional manuscripts. We are so grateful to all of you for trusting us with your work.

We are thrilled to announce that we will be publishing Beast, the debut collection by Frances Justine Post, in the genre of poetry (fiction genre announcement TBA, see above).

Frances Justine Post

Frances Justine Post received her MFA in poetry from Columbia University and is currently earning her PhD in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston, where she is a Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast. She is a recipient of the 2013 Inprint Verlaine Poetry Prize from the University of Houston, the 2008 “Discovery” / The Boston Review Poetry Prize, and the 2006 Amy Award from Poets & Writers. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Letters & CommentaryThe Boston ReviewDenver Quarterly, The Kenyon ReviewPleiadesand others.

We would also like to salute this year’s poetry finalists, some of whose work you can see featured here in the upcoming season:

Tina Schumann — Praising the Paradox

Stephanie SchlaiferClarkston Street Polaroids

Pia AlipertiSolitude Must Share My Solitude

Travis Macdonald3

Andrew WeatherheadCats and Dogs

Many thanks to Frances Justine Post and our finalists for giving us the opportunity to recognize their wonderful work. Stay tuned for our fiction announcement.

—Augury Books

VIDA Interview: Augury Founder Kate Angus on Aesthetic Diversity

Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography

Just in time for the end of our reading period (5 days left, folks!), our own Kate Angus talks to VIDA’s Melinda Wilson about the issue of diversity and bias in the literary arts while also addressing the principles that have shaped Augury since its inception. Here’s a little teaser from the interview:

What we want more than anything is to publish more titles—the more books we can send out into the world, the greater statistical likelihood that they will reflect the multiplicity of personal experience and aesthetic range that we are interested in. —Kate Angus

Read the whole interview in VIDA’s Editor’s Corner here: http://www.vidaweb.org/editors-corner-10-kate-angus-for-augury-books

In the meantime, it is NOT TOO LATE send us your poetry manuscripts or short fiction collections on Augury’s Submissions Page. Get in under the wire before our reading period closes at 11:59 p.m., June 30, 2013.


—Augury Books

Augury Books Is on Amazon — Order Your Favorites in a Flash

Photo by Amanda Noyes

In the interest of making ordering as effortless as possible, we are happy to announce that all five of our beautiful titles are now available on Amazon. Browse below to find the links to your favorite Augury poetry books and get to clicking. More functionality to come shortly! In the meantime, we still offer other ways to order. Get details anytime on our Orders Page.

While we’re here chatting, remember that Augury Books’ reading period is open for another 15 days only. Read our guidelines and send us your manuscripts here!




Buy Mantic on Amazon!


Buy Soldier Quick with Rain on Amazon!


Buy The Book of Lost Things on Amazon!


Buy Family of Many Enzos on Amazon!


Buy To Mend Small Children on Amazon!


PHOTOS: Launch Party Loveliness

Thanks to all of you who made Augury Books’ launch party on Monday night a huge success. Here are a few highlights from the wonderful readings offered by Maureen Alsop, author of Mantic, and David Joel Friedman, author of Soldier Quick with Rain and the winner of our 2012 Editors Prize. Thanks also to Mark Connell and Botanica Bar, and our fabulous photographer, Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography. To order the new titles by Alsop and Friedman, click here.

Save the Date: Feb 25th Launch Party for Books by David Joel Friedman and Maureen Alsop

We know how much you love poems, new books, and looking forward to stuff, so we wanted you to be the first to know about our upcoming launch party on Monday, February 25, 2013. We will be celebrating (and selling!) the brand-new, hot-off-the-presses Soldier Quick with Rain by David Joel Friedman, the winner of this year’s Editor Prize, and Mantic by Maureen Alsop.

We promise poetry readings, drink specials, friendly faces, handshakes, hugs and … did we mention NEW BOOKS? … all in the cozy back room of Botanica Bar on Houston Street in Manhattan at 6:30 p.m. You can RSVP to our Facebook invitation.

While you’re at it, Like us on Facebook to continue receiving updates, and, if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can follow this WordPress blog by clicking in the right corner below and stay informed that way.

We would also like to extend another mammoth and monolithic thank you to anyone and everyone who supported these books and other upcoming Augury endeavors during our Indiegogo campaign, be it with donations, word-of-mouth, moral support or good vibes. You are dazzling and darling individuals.

To pre-order Soldier Quick with Rain and Mantic, click here. RSVP to our book launch party on Facebook here.

Deadline of the Editor’s Prize Extended!

We are happy to announce that we are extending the Editor’s Prize deadline until August 15th.

-The winner will receive a $750 honorarium and publication with Augury Books as well as 20 complimentary copies of the book. Additional copies can be purchased at a discounted price.

-This contest is open to anyone, except personal friends, colleagues or former students of the editors.

-Multiple submissions are accepted as long as each manuscript is submitted individually with separate reading fees.

-All entries will be considered for publication.

Submit up 40-75 pages of poetry and an acknowledgments page. Please do not include a bio.

-Entry Fee: $20

We will accept submissions online through Submishmash at http://augurybooks.submishmash.com/Submit.

All money received will go directly towards the title and the maintenance of our catalog.

Unfortunately we will not be able to provide royalties to the winner beyond the honorarium.

We are unable to accept manuscripts from international authors at this time. Open to U.S. residents only.


We are now open for submissions again!


We are so happy to announce that we are open for submissions again for the 2012 Editors’ Prize manuscript contest. Our reading dates are May 1st–July 31st 2012.

The winner will receive a $750 honorarium and publication with Augury Books as well as 20 complimentary copies of the book. This contest is open to anyone, except personal friends, colleagues or former students of the editors.

For further guidelines, please click on the Submissions tab at the top of our webpage. As you can see, we are excited to put our reading hats on; we hope you’ll put on your submitting hats too!