Countdown to the Books of 2012 with Rebecca Morgan Frank

Rebecca Morgan Frank, co-founder and editor-in chief of Memorious, and author of the forthcoming collection Little Murders Everywhere, offers up a list of books by Memorious contributors to watch out for in 2012.

Fiction:

Joanna Luloff, I Love You, Come Home Soon (Algonquin 2012). Luloff’s story “Counting Hours” appeared in issue 9 of Memorious by way of our wonderful former fiction editor Jessica Murphy Moo, and we have been waiting for Luloff’s story collection to be released ever since. I Love You, Come Home Soon is a collection of linked stories set in Sri Lanka, where Luloff served in the Peace Corps. Her first novel is also under contract with Algonquin, so  this is a writer to watch out for over the next few years.

Poetry:

Paula Bohince, The Children (Sarabande 2012). After first publishing Bohince’s gorgeous poems “Sin” and “The Young Martyr” in Issue 5, I have been thrilled to watch her gather such awards as the Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship, the Amy Clampitt residency, and an NEA fellowship, and to read her first collection Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods. This is a poet whose work I want to keep reading, and I am glad the editors at Sarabande seem to agree.

Traci Brimhall, Our Lady of the Ruins (Norton 2012). This book made contributor Caki Wilkinson’s 2012 list this week, but this new collection by the author of “Requiem for the Firstborn,” from issue 14, is worth a second mention. Her first book came out with the one of my favorite series, Crab Orchard Series, which has published books by contributors whose work I adore: Brian Barker, Jake Adam York, Todd Hearon, and upcoming contributors Oliver de la Paz and Tyler Mills.  Rookery was a finalist for the ForeWard Book of the Year Award, and Brimhall is now following up that strong debut with this new book selected by Carolyn Forché as the winner of the Barnard Prize.

Steven Cramer, Clangings (Sarabande 2012). Selections from Cramer’s  new sound-rich sequence of poems that refer to Clang Association (explained in his poems’ as “in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, dissociated ideas conveyed through similar word sounds”) appeared in Memorious 17 and a wide range of other journals, including Slate. The poems I’ve read so far are excitingly dense and musical and unlike anything else I have read. This year we’ll get to read the sequence in its entirety. (And if you’ve gotten this far and are thinking of buying both  Cramer and Bohince’s books, check out this amazing book subscription with Sarabande, for which they’ll send you their 2012 poetry titles.)

Patrick Ryan Frank, How the Losers Love What’s Lost (Four Way 2012). Frank (no relation) also appeared in Issue 9 of Memorious with three poems, and his first collection is now being released as the 2010 Four Ways Intro Prize Winner. His poems came to my attention by a stroke of luck: his friend brought him to a potluck block party in the middle of my street of eight houses in Cambridge, MA for just long enough for me to pass him a card for the magazine. This reinforces my theory that if you spit in Cambridge, you’ll hit a poet. And most of the time, a good one.

Katrina Vandenberg’s second collection, The Alphabet Not Unlike the World (Milkweed 2012), is a much anticipated follow up to her debut, Atlas, which holds a heartbreaking section about a lover who was a hemophiliac with AIDS and the community he was part of.  Vandenberg’s poems appeared in issue 13. (And if you have ever been to an artist colony, or wonders what goes on there, “The Night the Painter Unpinned Her Hair” is a must read.)

Rodney Wittwer, Gone & Gone (Red Hen 2012). Wittwer was one of our earlier contributors, first appearing in issue 2 and then in issue 12. I discovered his work through his title poem, which originally appeared  in Ploughshares, and I’ve been waiting to see a full collection of his poems ever since. There’s just the right dose of imaginative strangeness in these poems, and there’s always something substantial beneath the verbal play.

Please note that this list is not comprehensive: follow us on Twitter or Facebook to get news about contributor releases and successes as they come to us. We are fortunate to have published so many talented and committed writers that we can’t fit all the good news in one post. (And if you are the one with good news, you can always send it our way.)

For original poetry, fiction, art, art song, and interviews, visit our magazine at www.memorious.org.

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