Red Hen Press

Red Hen Press
Red Hen Press
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Red Hen Press, one of the few literary presses in the Los Angeles area, was founded in 1994 by Kate Gale and Mark E. Cull with the intention of keeping creative literature alive. Our focus as a literary press is to publish poetry, literary fiction, and nonfiction.
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Twenty years of addiction to cloud, a drug which wipes the user’s short-term memory, have left single mom Mellie with her mind in fragments. With the help of a tough-minded sponsor, and motivated by her own medically-challenged daughter, Mellie clings to a fragile sobriety. Then, on the evening of her twenty-ninth day sober, a stranger pulls into her driveway and her heart surges. However, when Mellie’s pursuit of this man and the past they may share threatens her sponsor, Mellie will have to put her tiny family and her recovery at risk in hopes of saving the woman who saved her first.
Likely World, Melanie Conroy-Goldman
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In Adamantine, award-winning poet Naomi Foyle demonstrates again her dazzling formal range, and broadens her stubborn commitment to the truths of female experience. Deploying visual poetry, free verse, sonnets, the ballad and spoken word rhythms, the book’s opening sequence honours the achievements of outstanding women from Mohawk writer and performer Tekahionwake and Canadian painter Emily Carr to Anglo-Irish revolutionaries Eva Gore-Booth and Constance Markievicz; and eulogises unsung heroines including the prematurely deceased writer Emily Givner, the mothers and orators of West Belfast, and Pamela Jean George, a murdered young Aboriginal woman from Foyle’s home province of Saskatchewan. Developing Foyle’s concern with the Middle East, so evident in her acclaimed second collection The World Cup, from troubled reflections on political violence spring tributes to Palestinian and Israeli prisoners of conscience — and to Arabic poetry. Elsewhere, a vividly imagined conversation between Old Testament wives imbues the collection with a deeper historical resonance, while personal pilgrimages lead the reader from chanteuse Nico’s graveyard in Berlin to the mass crematorium of Grenfell Tower. In its riveting combination of theatrical flair and emotional vulnerability, the book’s final sequence, The Cancer Breakthrough, recalls the imagistic pyrotechnics of Foyle’s PBS Recommended debut collection The Night Pavilion, but also pays homage, not just to the poet’s resilience and relentless creativity, but the power of loving community.
Adamantine, Naomi Foyle
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The Los Angeles Review is a literary journal of divergent literature with a West Coast emphasis. Established in 2003, LAR publishes both the stories of Los Angeles, endlessly varied, and those that grow outside our world of smog and glitter. LAR seeks voices with something wild in them, voices that know what it means to be alive, to be fallible, to be human. Issue 23 features work from Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Oliver de la Paz, Pete Hsu, and more. The Los Angeles Review Masthead Publisher: Tobi HarperEditor: Kate GaleManaging Editor: Deirdre CollinsAssistant Managing Editor: Eric HowardFiction Editors: Meredith Alder and Amy SatherAssistant Fiction Editor: Meredith Westgate RussoFlash Fiction Editor: Brittany McLaughlinPoetry Editors: Blas Falconer and Vandana KhannaNonfiction Editor: Florencia RamirezTranslation Editor: Piotr FlorczykBook Reviews Editor: Alyse BenselAssistant Book Reviews Editor: Daniel PeccheninoContributing Editor: Sophia IhlefeldEditor-at-Large: Riley MangProduction Editor: Rebeccah SanhuezaCopy Editor: Breana Gomez
The Los Angeles Review No. 23,
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Danielle Vogel’s newest collection creates a latticework for repair—the repairing of past trauma, the calling-into-presence of a dissociated self—but does so while keeping the material of this net of thinking in a fragmented, diaphanous state, glowing in the space between the poem and essay. Across three sections of “displacements,” “miniatures,” and “volume,” Vogel initiates readers into the séance of the book; she asks the reader to hold vigil for the most crucial phase of its composition, which can only happen when the reader and she meet at the site of the page, within a “new, interrupted unity.” In The Way a Line Hallucinates its Own Linearity, accord—writing with, reading with—is always a verb, always kinetic, alchemical, and alive. “It only takes one letter on the page,” Vogel writes, “and we are already inside one another’s lungs.” To consent to walk through these spaces is to give up that part of you that wishes to remain anonymous and un-entrained. You will be grateful that you did.
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Worship the Pig, Gaylord Brewer’s eleventh collection, is by the poet’s own definition his “Americas book.” The migration begins from his Tennessee home to the Inside Passage of Alaska, then detours sharply south in a return to his beloved Costa Rica, then onward finally to the qualified paradise of Brazil’s Ilhabela. Brewer’s persistent obsessions—translating the call and challenge of the feral world, negotiating some truce with private ghosts—have never been more poignantly and sharply drawn. From chiseled lyrics to more expansive narratives—by turns reserved and raucous, always heartfelt and riveting—these new poems exhilarate. “No schematic for conquest, / no reckless conclusions, // no tenuous argument for connection / beyond the simple truth / of what accrues together.” At mid-career, the author called “the most natural poet in the country” by the Asheville Poetry Review continues to astonish.
Worship the Pig, Gaylord Brewer
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A seventeen-year-old taken from her mother at birth; an Episcopal priest with a daughter whose face he cannot bear to see; a mother weary of searching for her lost child: Tea by the Sea is their story—that of a family uniting and unraveling. To find the daughter taken from her, Plum Valentine must find the child’s father who walked out of a hospital with the day-old baby girl without explanation. Seventeen years later, weary of her unfruitful search, Plum sees an article in a community newspaper with a photo of the man for whom she has spent half her life searching. He has become an Episcopal priest. Her plan: confront him and walk away with the daughter he took from her. From Brooklyn to the island of Jamaica, Tea by the Sea traces Plum’s circuitous route to find her daughter and how Plum’s and the priest’s love came apart.
Tea by the Sea, Donna Hemans
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In Mostly Water, essays form a linked memoir that explores the American outback from eastern Oregon horse trails to the arctic and subarctic river towns of Alaska. In these landscapes, human dwellers are entwined in histories as loopy as northern rivers. Odden invites the reader to a vivid patchwork of characters and seldom-seen places, with a soundtrack from fiddle dances and a menu “half potlatch and half potluck.” Events of the churning twenty-first century rise like the sea in these stories—but so do music and love and hope in the precious otherness of nature.
Mostly Water, Mary Odden
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Boy Oh Boy is a collection of queer fabulist stories and flash fictions told via second person, asking readers to share Doss’s explorations of joy and longing. Your boyfriend is many boyfriends, possibly all the boyfriends you’ve ever had or will have. But you must ask yourself whether you have them or they have you. Your boyfriend plays jokes on you—plays jokes on the world. He is forever unattainable, and still you love your boyfriend, even when it hurts you. Doss explores how relationships can be all-consuming, how we transform ourselves to fit within their contour. Eventually, you might change so much that you don’t even fit inside your own body. This book is so much about space—the physical, emotional, and mental spheres that everyone inhabits. Doss uses humor to deal with the isolation that each of us experiences—not because we’re alone, but because we’ve become detached from ourselves, our needs, and our desires. Boy Oh Boy is our chance to understand Zachary Doss, as well as our strangest selves.
Boy Oh Boy, Zachary Doss
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In five poetic sequences, Jason Schneiderman’s Hold Me Tight considers life in a new age of anxiety as technology and violence inform new forms of selfhood and apocalypse seems always around the corner. Starting with a long poem about his own struggle to find peace, the collection is searingly grounded in the personal, anchored to Schneiderman’s own life. The collection moves to a sequence of parables about wolves, which obliquely consider intractable political conflicts and the emotional fallout of relationships that are structured around predators and prey. The next sequences focus on technology and art, looking at how technologies extend the possibilities of the human body, which alters what it means to be human. A long set of poems about Chris Burden explore the artist’s movement from the personal, self-inflicted violence of his early work to the larger questions of political violence that inform his later work. In the final sequence, Schneiderman imagines a series of “last things”—in which finality gives meaning to the people and things in question. In the end, Schneiderman’s project invokes a kind of old fashioned humanism, embracing the ruptures in our contemporary ways of living and thinking.
Hold Me Tight, Jason Schneiderman
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It’s 1942. The Japanese have invaded Burma and are closing in on India. After five years in the remote Andaman Islands, aspiring anthropologist Claire Durant and her husband Shep, a civil surgeon, must evacuate with their beloved but mysteriously mute four-year-old, Ty. They cannot, however, take Naila, the local girl whose ability to communicate with Ty has made them dangerously dependent on her. The morning of the evacuation, both children disappear. With time running out, Shep forces Claire onto the ship while he stays behind to find their son. But just days after landing in Calcutta, Claire learns that the Japanese have taken the Andamans—and cut off all access to her missing family. In the desperate odyssey that follows, Claire, Shep, and Naila will all take unimaginable risks while drawing deeply from their knowledge of these unique islands to save their beloved “glorious boy.”
Glorious Boy, Aimee Liu
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After Rubén unfolds as a decades-long journey in poems and prose, braiding the personal, the political & the historical, interspersing along the way English-language versions & riffs of a Spanish-language master: Rubén Darío. Whether it’s biting portraits of public figures, or nuanced sketches of his father, Francisco Aragón has assembled his most expansive collection to date, evoking his native San Francisco, but also imagining ancestral spaces in Nicaragua. Readers will encounter pieces that splice lines from literary forebearers, a moving elegy to a sibling, a surprising epistle from the grave. In short: a book that is both trajectory & mosaic, complicating the conversation surrounding poetry in the Americas—above all as it relates to Latinx and queer poetics.
After Rubén, Francisco Aragon
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In her intimately compelling debut collection Moon Jar, Didi Jackson explores the life-altering and heart-rending loss of a husband to suicide. In an effort to understand this unforeseen and inexplicable act, she maps with immense candor the emotional difficulty of continuing her responsibility as a mother while attempting to regain a sense of normalcy. While grief never fully subsides, Jackson allows herself over time to rediscover love as she contends with the brutal and haunting grip of human trauma. These affirmative poems, precise and grace-begetting, exhibit an admirable self-devotion to healing and recovery that is metamorphic and cathartic. Turning to biblical narratives as well as seminal works of art by the likes of Hildegard of Bingen, Pablo Picasso, Sappho, Mark Rothko, Kazimir Malevich, Hieronymus Bosch, and Frédéric Chopin, she orchestrates a tableau of conversations around human suffering, the natural world, and impermanence. And like the Korean porcelain moon jar, these poems mark and celebrate the imperfection of existence. At once raw and vulnerable, Moon Jar shows lyric poetry to be a fundamental and permanent force for survival.
Moon Jar, Didi Jackson
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Body of Render explores the internal and external impacts on our humanity when political, national, and societal decisions strip away our basic human rights. What does it mean to be an underrepresented individual in a country where the most powerful seat in the land unashamedly perpetuates racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and classist behaviors? The voices document a journey before and after the last presidential election. These poems cry out for reconsideration of our broken systems to find common and safe ground rooted in equitable treatment of each other as human beings. How do we exude love when being a person of color or underrepresented person in this country means the dominate white-male-able-bodied-heterosexual narrative continues to threaten our voices? This collection carves at the physical, the political, the intimate, and the structural with poems that simultaneously create and encourage voice to seek a path toward collective mending.
Body of Render, Felicia Zamora
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The Skin of Meaning is award-winning poet Keith Flynn’s sixth and most wide-ranging collection, seeking to find the tangible analogs and visceral meanings hidden behind the daily bombardment of digital information and hoping to restore the mystery in our involvement with language. From the etymologies of pop culture, history, astronomy, and rock and roll, these poems fan out into a bold multiplicity of voices and techniques. Flynn’s work illustrates the meaning that is also created through tense collisions and is populated with figures in resistance to the status quo, a gathering as varied as Caravaggio, Nina Simone, Gaudí, Villon, Wonder Woman, and Manolete. The final section examines America’s fascination with violence and death, revealing that “a human being in love with mystery is never finished.” This collection constantly challenges our assumptions about the world we think we see and is teeming with evidence of another invisible world bristling like an underground river beneath our feet.
The Skin of Meaning, Keith Flynn
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ADVANCE PRAISE FOR SUBDUCTION:

The brilliance of Subduction only suggests the wonders to come. It is a good day for us when Kristen Millares Young puts pen to paper. Highly recommended.—Luis Alberto Urrea, winner of the American Book Award, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, author of The House of Broken Angels, The Devil’s Highway, Queen of America, Into the Beautiful North, The Hummingbird’s Daughter.

In this commanding novel, Kristen Millares Young captures the brutality of an anthropological gaze upon a Makah community. Her complex, exquisitely shaped characters embody the calamity of intrusion and the beauty of resilience.—Elissa Washuta, author of My Body is a Book of Rules and Starvation Mode

Young beautifully and vividly renders the Pacific Northwest, particularly the unique world of Neah Bay. Subduction is at once a thought-provoking meditation on the geography and geology of the natural world and a generous exploration of the natural shifts and movements that shape her characters.— Jonathan Evison, New York Times bestselling author, Lawn Boy, This is Your Life Harriet Chance!, West of Here, All About Lulu, and The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

Fleeing the shattered remains of her marriage and treachery by her sister, a Latina anthropologist named Claudia takes refuge in Neah Bay, a Native whaling village on the jagged Pacific coast. Claudia yearns to lose herself to the songs of the tribe and the secrets of a spirited hoarder named Maggie. Instead, she stumbles into Maggie’s prodigal son Peter, who, spurred by his mother’s failing memory, has returned seeking answers to his father’s murder. Claudia helps Peter’s family convey a legacy delayed for decades by that death, but her presence, echoing centuries of fraught contact with indigenous peoples, brings lasting change and real damage. Through the ardent collision of Peter and Claudia, Subduction portrays not only their strange allegiance after grievous losses but also their shared hope of finding solace and community on the Makah Indian Reservation. An intimate tale of stunning betrayals, bears witness to the power of stories to disrupt—and to heal.
Subduction, Kristen Millares Young
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Rosa and Esther march through downtown Detroit in August 1968 to protest the war in Vietnam. When a bloodied teenager reports that mounted police are beating protestors a few blocks away, the young women hurry to offer assistance. They try to stop the violence, but an officer is injured and the sisters are arrested. Rosa sees an opportunity to protest the war in court. Esther has an infant daughter and wants to avoid prison, which means accepting a plea bargain and testifying against her sister. Told from multiple points of view and through the sisters’ never-mailed letters, Her Sister’s Tattoo explores the thorny intersection of family loyalty and clashing political decisions
Her Sister's Tattoo, Ellen Meeropol
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RIFT ZONE, Taylor’s much-anticipated third book traces literal and metaphoric fault lines—rifts between past and present, childhood and adulthood, what is and what was. Circling Taylor’s hometown—an ordinary California suburb lying along the Hayward fault—these poems unearth strata that include a Spanish land grant, a bloody land grab, gun violence, valley girls, strip malls, redwood trees, and the painful history of Japanese internment.

Taylor’s ambitious and masterful poems read her home state’s historic violence against our world’s current unsteadinesses—mass eviction, housing crises, deportation, inequality. They also ponder what it means to try to bring up children along these rifts. What emerges is a powerful core sample of America at the brink—an American elegy equally tuned to maternal and to geologic time. At once sorrowful and furious, tender and fierce, Rift Zone is startlingly observant, relentlessly curious—a fearsome tremor of a book.
Rift Zone, Tess Taylor
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Don’t Go Crazy Without Me tells the tragicomic coming of age story of a girl who grew up under the seductive sway of her outrageously eccentric father. He taught her how to have fun; he also taught her to fear food poisoning, other children’s infectious diseases, and the contaminating propensities of the world at large. Alienated from her emotionally distant mother, the girl bonded closely with her father and his worldview. When he plunged from neurotic to full-blown psychotic, she nearly followed him. Sanity is not always a choice, but for the sixteen-year-old, decisions had to be made and lines drawn between reality and what her mother called her “overactive imagination.” She would have to give up beliefs carried by the infectious agent of her father’s love. Saving herself would require an unconventional reading of Moby Dick, sexual pleasure in the body that had confounded her, and entry into the larger world of political activism as a volunteer in Robert F. Kennedy’s Presidential campaign. After attending his last stop at the Ambassador Hotel the night of his assassination, she would come to a new reckoning with loss and with engagement beyond the confines of her family. Ultimately, she would find a way to turn her grief into love.
Don't Go Crazy Without Me, Deborah Lott
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There is an inexplicable gravity in a small town. It can be read and enjoyed like a favorite book for most of its inhabitants. Comforting are its streets and institutions, its wedding and obituary announcements. Banjo Grease is about life and death in a mill town where at each epiphany and rite of passage, the narrator yields a ration of innocence. Characters portray class as a marker as strong as race and gender, and distrust that they will ever escape in their lifetimes. Faulkner uses the term “eager fatalism.” These stories’ cumulative effect asks: When exchanging naivete for worldliness, what is lost in denying one’s past?
Banjo Grease, Dennis Must
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In 1939, everything changes for Anne Girl when outsider John Nelson grounds his sailboat on the shores, into Anne Girl’s skiff, and into her life during a rare storm in the Alaskan fishing village of Nushagak. When Anne Girl and her mother Marulia find their skiff flattened by John’s boat, Anne Girl decides she both hates and wants him. Thus begins a generational saga of strong, stubborn Yup’ik women living in a village that has been divided between the new and the old, the bluff side and the missionary side, the cannery side and the subsistence side.
Under Nushagak Bluff, Mia Heavener
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