Cartooning and The Pacific Northwest

Shout out to Seattle and Washington state for bringing the world the best alternative cartoonists!

Watch the extended-preview from the documentary-in-the-making, Bezango, WA; a fascinating piece on the intersection of the medium, the creators, and the place. I can’t wait to see this in full!

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Graphica, Comics & Zines — Oh My!

November is slated to be one incredible month. Local comics and zines cooperative Short Run have some wild, fun, interesting events coming up, so you might want to just go ahead and haul out your calendar now to get all this on your mind grapes. Lots of these writers and artists stock their zines and chapbooks with us, and if you aren’t already following and/or ♥-ing Tavi Gevinson’s work with Rookie, you need to — stat!

For more information about these events, contact Short Run: |
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Short Run presents: From the Forest Floor
Friday, November 1st, 7:00 pm- 11:00 pm
Heartland, U-District
All ages | $5
Short Run presents five artists working with the theme of nature, specifically the grip that the Northwest has upon us who live here. Not unlike “Northwest Mystics,” the work is permeated by place, whether they mean it to be or not. Artists include Jesse Lortz, China Faith Star, Sarah Rosenblatt, Minh Nguyen, and Mat Whiteley. Musical guests include Case Studies & Waxing Hearts.

Short Run presents: The Rookie Yearbook Two Release Party with Tavi Gevinson
Saturday, November 9th, 1:00 pm- 4:00 pm
The Vera Project
Warren Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
All ages | FREE
Short Run is honored to present the launch party for Rookie Yearbook Two, out this fall from Canadian publisher Drawn & Quarterly. Editor and fashion sensation Tavi Gevinson will host an afternoon of readings, along with a zine-making workshop geared towards teens. All supplies will be provided.

Short Run Exhibitor Art Show
Saturday, November 9th, 6:00 pm- 8:00 pm
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 South Vale Street (at Airport Way South), Seattle, WA 98108
All ages | FREE
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid will choose artists from the Short Run Exhibitor List to display their illustrative work and provide the public with a first look at what they will find at the festival. We are honored to be working with Larry Reid, who has brought small press work into the Fantagraphics store, and offered support and guidance to many a comic artist in Seattle. Musical guest Tummy.

Short Run presents: Read/Write
Friday, November 29th, 12:00 pm- 5:00 pm
The Vera Project
Warren Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
Saturday, November 30th, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Washington Hall
153 14th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
All ages | FREE
Short Run presents Read/Write, a day which will use performances, collaborative creations, panels, and discussions to contemplate many topics including the value of comics and zines, the role craft plays in the digital age, a history of queer comics and zines, and the gender gap in comics. Join artists as they screenprint their book covers and put the finishing touches on their zine or comic at our “Procrastination Station”. Commune together for a post-Thanksgiving meal. A more detailed schedule can be found at

Short Run 2013 Small Press Fest
Saturday, November 30th, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Washington Hall
153 14th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
All ages | FREE
On Saturday, November 30, the breathtaking Washington Hall will be filled with a book fair highlighting over 100 writers and artists including the underground comics legend Dennis Eichhorn, local Stranger Genius Jim Woodring, Intruder Comics Newspaper contributor James Stanton, Eisner winner David Lasky, the makers of the Seattle Pinball Zine, Skill-Shot and Portland artists Asher Craw, Julia Gfrorer, Study Group and more. We also welcome comic artists traveling from across the country including Kentucky, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, Texas, Canada, and the UK! The spectacular stage will be screening animation throughout the day by Reel Grrls, SEAT (Seattle Experimental Animation Team), and dozens of animators from around the country.

Read/Write continues on the wrap-around balcony with an epic mural collaboration between comic artists Max Clotfelter, Tim Miller, and attendees. Other rooms will host drawing games, live silk-screening, workshops, shadow puppet shows, readings, and rock operas. We welcome Gridlords, the monthly comic performance group from Portland; Oakland’s Fictilis, who will create mazing collaborative experiences; and the young adults creating zines through The Zine Project. Our decadent bake sale will be accompanied by visiting food trucks to provide a quick bite for visitors. Join us on this “Small Business Saturday,” a nationwide campaign that encourages you to shop locally for the holidays.

After the festival closes, Washington Hall will be transformed into a “Comics Prom,” a 21 + dance party with comic book corsages, microbrews, spiked punch, and featuring local favorite La Luz, K Records band The Shivas, and Specs Wizard, “The Elder Statesman” of Seattle area Hip Hop.

Sundays In: A Sitting

Punk Is A Moving Target

by Dave Wheeler

Sometimes I’ll read a whole book in a sitting. Granted, many of these instances have occurred on transcontinental flights, but not always. If it’s gripping enough, or if it’s slim enough, I can devour something in mere hours.

Maybe it’s impressive. Probably it’s annoying, too, for me to make a claim like that. We don’t all have that kind of time or attention span. But like Justus says, it’s a bookseller’s superpower!

But it’s never really about getting through a book for me. I’m more concerned with what I’m getting out of the book, and sometimes you have to take it all at once for it to work right. Like half-shell oysters. Or tequila shots.

That’s my running theory, anyway.

But I’m sure you know what I mean. There’s sometimes that feeling that if you set the book down for even a moment, the spell will be broken and you’ll never return to it. Sometimes the enchantment is that fragile — not weak, not because the book is “bad” — it’s delicate. A lot of beautiful things I can think of are delicate: snowflakes, lace, stained glass. And there are books I could list among those. Saul Bellow’s The Actual, for one. Or John Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flat.

Other things are specifically designed to be read in a single sitting, too, though. Many of the zines we carry are exactly that! Guillotine Press has been issuing some of the most delightful works of cultural criticism, with stunningly laid-out little pamphlets like Troubleshooting Silence in Arizona (Bojan Louis) and most recently Punk (Mimi Thi Nguyen & Golnar Nikpour).

The press is run by Sarah McCarry, whom you may know better as The Rejectionist. Incisive and provocative, Guillotine, I’d say, is putting out some of the best zines on the market. Each packs a wallop — intricately constructed (frequently collaborative) essays on violence, women’s health, racial and other prejudices, and more! — while gracious enough to readers not to add physical heft to already heavy subjects.

I like reading a whole work at once every now and then. Segmented reading feels like living inside the author’s mind for a long period, but single-sitting reading feels more like viewing the subject from above. Appreciating the story entirely. Full-immersion, which I’ve heard is the best way to learn a new language; in fact, I’m not convinced the two are all that different.

So, I wonder, what have you enjoyed reading all at once, beginning to end?

Small Press at Elliott Bay Book Co.

In addition to the thousands titles published by the larger publishing houses, we here at Elliott Bay are also proud to support several small publishers and self published authors from all over the world. Here are just a few of the titles that we’ve received within the last month or so.

Tale of Cloran HastingsTale Of Cloran Hastings, by Brandon M. Dennis

Cloran is an old seafarer who is set to retire and finally settle down with his fiancee Adaire when his king sends him on one last mission to the far off island of Miotes. Telling himself that it’s only one last journey, Cloran gathers his shipmates and heads out on his ship Wavegazer. Unfortunately, the sea itself seems to have other plans for this captain and his crew.

Bubble CollectorThe Bubble Collector, by Vikram Madan

This wonderfully illustrated collection of poems that poke fun at a wide range of subjects, Madan’s book is reminiscent of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein. Almost every style of poem is represented here, from hilarious haiku to parodies of popular poems, The Bubble Collector is a great book to introduce children to the joys of poetry.

Chicago Center for Literature and PhotographyThe Chicago Center for Literature & Photography

We are proud to present the complete catalog of titles published by The Chicago Center for Literature & Photography. Each small, hand-bound book is an original work and would make a welcome addition to any library. Topics range from travel memoir to post-apocalyptic science fiction and feature authors that I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about in the near future.

For more information on Elliott Bay’s consignment program please visit our website or email us at

Sundays In: Poetry Trivia Night

Madness, Rack, and Honey, Ruefle
One of many stellar Wave Books titles

by Dave Wheeler

Nothing is quite as potent a dose of humility as pub trivia. Ubiquitous bits of knowledge swirling like dust motes on a sunny afternoon are picked at random to be used as weapons to bludgeon anyone’s mind foolish enough to participate. And yet, we all do. (Have you been answering our anniversary trivia questions on our blog?)

Quick! What continent has never observed a tornado?

We don’t just want to know stuff. We want to know we know stuff, and we want others to know we know we know stuff, in a way that stuffs stuff we know in their faces.

Normally, I’m the team expert on books and literature. But when my co-workers invited me to local poetry press Wave Books‘s poetry trivia night, that badge was put to agonized shame. It was like that comprehensive final exam you knew pulling an all-nighter wouldn’t help with, so you didn’t study at all.

Meditations in an Emergency, O'Hara

Round after round barraged us with questions like, What poet’s father invented Life Savers hard candy? (Oh, you know it was Hart Crane? I’m sure.) What type of vehicle killed Frank O’Hara on Fire Island in 1966? (Dune buggy? *eyebrow raise*) Who was the first African American to publish a collection of poems? (Of course it’s Phyllis Wheatley!) All right, smart kid, name all the poets who read at the Six Gallery in San Francisco on the night Allen Ginsberg premiered Howl.

The questions gushed from the heyday when people paid much closer attention to poets and their lives. I mean, I can tell you that Kathleen Flenniken is our Washington State Poet Laureate, but I’ll be damned if I know what she had for breakfast this morning. If you watch Mad Men you might know that tons of people were not only reading but talking — really talking — about O’Hara’s Meditations in an Emergency in the late Fifties.

Here’s a tough one: What contemporary book of poetry has had as broad an impact as that?

Like with ninety-nine percent of Wave Book’s questions the other night, I have no idea. Sure I can tick off today’s prize-winners, name backlist like a son of a gun, and spell Wisława Szymborska correctly, but it’s not so easy to see which contemporaries will live on in the revered tradition of their forebears.

Belmont, BurtAnd maybe that’s why I felt I should have known the answers to more questions. The people and times and places and poems have already been distilled by history into a concentrated tier of significance the years may never diminish. Strip away the retrospective lens of Fitzgeraldian romanticism, and you have poets who have stood the greatest test: time.

Sure. It was just trivia. Wave put on a spectacular evening, complete with Randy Newman cover band Lonely At The Top, and everyone — myself included — had a superb time. My ego hurt for a few hours afterward, though, and I went home and ate ice cream. But I made sure to read a few poems from Stephen Burt’s new book Belmont before I turned on the next episode of Scandal. Because when you aren’t paying attention, you might miss the question.

Lean Mean Zine Machines

If you’re jonesing to check out some small and micro-presses, look no further than the upcoming Short Run Small Press Fest. Some all-stars from our zines section will be exhibiting, along with tons of other talented artists, poets, cartoonists, and writers of all stripes. You’ll recognize Eroyn Franklin (Just NoiseDelugeSorry Sheets) and Kate Lebo (Filter Lit Journal editor, A Commonplace Book of Pie) just to name a couple. Here’s the press release:

Short Run, Seattle’s Small Press Fest
A Showcase Of Regional Small Press Publications And Individual Makers Of Art Books, Zines, Comics, And Animation

The 2nd annual Short Run festival will feature nearly 100 small press exhibitors and performers offering their comics, zines, and art books for sale from $.50 to $50.00! At Short Run you will discover books that you won’t find in any store, ones that have been handmade with heart and held together with staples, sewn bindings, or silkscreened covers.

Always true to the PNW, we focus on local exhibitors like David Lasky, Greg Stump, and Kaz Strzepek with a few far away guests thrown in such as Noah van Sciver, Melinda Tracy Boyce, and a selection of Portland’s lauded comics artists. Short Run will include work that spans generations, from students like Elaine Lin to alternative comix legends Peter Bagge, Jim Blanchard, and Pat Moriarity.

Enjoy local animation screening all day, featuring Seattle Experimental Animation Team (SEAT), Reel Grrls, and other independent filmmakers. Be entertained by exhibitors showing off all the ways they blend genres, such as advice expert Nicole Georges, writer / professional barber Zach Mandeville who will be giving free haircuts, and puppet master Erin Tanner. Participate in live silk-screening where you can screen print a comic drawn by local artists or print one of our designs onto clothes you bring yourself. Take a break from all the excitement with drawing games that the audience and artists create together! Don’t pass by the decadent bake sale with donated goodies from Macrina Bakery,

Grand Central Bakery, The Bang Bang Cafe, Stumptown Coffee, and our exhibitors and supporters!

As the chill of November sets in, comfort yourself in the warm, loving embrace of handmade books.  Please help us spread the word that Short Run is the place to be to see and experience what’s happening in Seattle’s small press community. As always – Free Admission!

Everything takes place Saturday, November 3rd, 10:30-5:30, at The Vera Project (The corner of Warren & Republican Ave. N, next to Key Arena in Seattle Center). For more details, check out

How to Vomit & Not Regret It

Everyone stop what you’re doing! It’s time to learn.

If you want to learn how to perform other important tasks, just like this one, be sure to join us in the store Tuesday, August 7 (That’s TOMORROW!), at 8pm, when The Stranger‘s contributors Christopher Frizzelle, Lindy West, Bethany Jean Clement, and others enlighten us from their survival guide (which also hits our shelves tomorrow) How to Be a Person: The Stranger’s Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos and Life Itself. It’s new, from Seattle’s own publishing powerhouse Sasquatch Books—who are apparently giving out a free taco and beer with book purchase at the event.

Celebrate Small Press Month with APRIL

Seattle’s annual springtime celebration of independent literature is again upon us, offering a stupefying assortment of small press things to do.  Last year’s festivities included a veggie potluck and reading at Pilot Books, a chapbook making workshop at Scenic Drive Factory, and an evening of live poetry from Copper Canyon Press, among other activities.  This year, though the name may be different (SPF has become APRIL: Authors, Publishers, and Readers of Independent Literature), the calendar is just as jam-packed. Yessir, the sun is out, the air is warm, and a rose by any other name most certainly smells as sweet… Take a look!

Friday, March 23: HOARSE Issue 6 Release Party: UNDERCOVER, at the Electric Tea Garden, Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m.

The 6th release of HOARSE will be filled with surprises, disguises, and song.

Event to include select readings from the latest issue and local bands including LAKE, Blue Light Curtain, and Tenderfoot rocking some top-secret cover songs. There are no visible signs for the Electric Tea Garden (they are, literally, undercover, and the secret backdoor entrance is located on 14th Ave. The space is small and may fill up, so show up early in your best trench coat. Entry for this event is $5 at the door—cash only. Issue 6 will be available for $9.

PANK Literary JournalSaturday, March 24: [PANK] Invasion, at Kaleidoscope Vision, 7 p.m.

APRIL is proud to work with [PANK], recently lauded as one of the ten best literary magazines in the country by the New York Times Magazine, on a reading bonanza. Poetry and prose from Erik Evenson, Jeffrey Morgan, M. Bartley Seigel, Summer Robinson, Gregory Laynor, Morris Stegosaurus w/ Fiddleback, & friends.

Sunday, March 25: Chapbook-making workshop at ZAPP (the Richard Hugo House), 2 p.m.

Enjoy a crafty/bookish Sunday at one of the city’s finest repositories of all things DIY. Led by Amber Nelson, of Alice Blue Review, learn how to bind your own chapbooks, and get inspiration from decades of handmade literature.

Monday, March 26: A Poet, a Playwright and a Drag Queen, 8 p.m. in the Sorrento Hotel’s Fireside Room

A competitive storytelling event with an emphatic twist. Author Debra Di Blasi (Drought), playwright Mallery Avidon, and the incomparable Jackie Hell receive a secret theme, which they’ll use to create an original, 7-10 minute piece. A jury of three randomly selected audience members will select the winner, who will receive a sash, a cash prize, and probably something covered in gold spray paint. Tickets are $7 at the door—cash only.

Tuesday, March 27: Paper and Words at Cullom Gallery, 7 p.m.

A reading curated by Pilot Books’ Summer Robinson, featuring original books arts curated by Sharon Alexander. Heather Folsom, author of Philosophie Thinly Clothed and other books, will read. Artists Martine Workman, Garek Druss, Jesse Lortz and Alexander will have work on display.

Wednesday, March 28: A Jello Horse at the Hedreen Gallery, 8 p.m.

An evening of music, multimedia and a reading from Seattle’s own Matthew Simmons.

Matthew Simmons is the author of A Jello Horse. He is the editor of interviews at Hobart Literary Journal and is a regular contributor to HTMLGiant. In addition to the reading, there will be a screening of the short film “Powder House (2011),” written by Molly Gallentine and directed by Brandon Covey, and musical performance by Levi Fuller, who makes and compiles music – often inspired by books – in Seattle, Washington.

Thursday, March 29: Readings from Ryan Call and Chelsea Martin, 8 p.m. at Porchlight Coffee and Records

A night of readings from two of independent literature’s brightest young talents. Ryan Call is the author of The Weather Stations. His stories appear in Mid-American Review, New York TyrantConjunctions, Annalemma, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award. He teaches English and coaches cross-country at a high school in Houston.

Chelsea Martin is the author of Everything Was Fine Until Whatever and the forthcoming Kramer Sutra. She contributes to HTMLGiant and runs Universal Error.

Friday, March 30: Seattle LitCrawl, starting 7:30 p.m. at Bluebird Microcreamery and Brewery on Pike, with further locations TBA.

An evening of readings scattered throughout Capitol Hill, featuring Stacey Levine, Doug Nufer, Paulette Gaudet, Diana Salier, Kate Lebo, Jamey Braden von Mooter, Greg Bem, Sarah Galvin and Ed Skoog. Organized in collaboration with Seattle’s PageBoy Magazine.

Hugo HouseSaturday, March 31 — Recto Verso: an Independent Press Expo, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Richard Hugo House

Dozens of the finest small presses from the Northwest and beyond converge on the epicenter of Seattle’s literary world for a one-of-a-kind book fair. Book-buyers’ best chance to see a bevy of small press books rarely seen on bookstore shelves. The first twenty people get a free APRIL tote bag. Readings throughout the day in the Hugo House Theater. The Hugo House bar will be open.

Closing Party, 8 p.m. at Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar

Come close out APRIL with fine drink and hobnobbing. No readings—just good folks, plenty of booze, and maybe some embarrassing pictures projected on the wall.

Check out APRIL‘s calendar for more info.

Short Run Fest this Saturday!

On Saturday, November 12th, Vera Project plays host to the first-ever Short Run Festival – an excellently curated small press exhibition featuring regional small press publications and individual makers of art books, zines, comics, literary works, and animation. Doors open at 10:30am with over 70 exhibitors, including showstoppers like Hoarse, Filter, Microcosm Publishing, Jason T. Miles from Profanity Hill, Stumptown Underground, Bureau of Drawers Collective, Sam Lohman with Peaches & Bats, and representatives from the ZAPP archives at Hugo House.


Organizers see Short Run as an “alternative to large-scale commercial conventions,” with particular attention paid to limited edition, handmade literature and unconventional programming. So, in addition to endless rows of beautiful saddle stitched books, expect a day-long drawing competition inspired by Ryan Molenkamp’s “The Portrait Challenge,” and a series of animation screenings from SEAT (Seattle Experimental Animation Team), David Nixon, and Julie Alpert and Andy Arkley. Also, there’s a bake sale. Honestly, now. Why would you not go to this?


Short Run is free and open to the public. Doors open at 10:30am and close at 4:30pm. After which, festivities move to Fantagraphics in Georgetown for an after party art show with the exhibitors. Click here for more info!

The sprawling and lovely River scroll by Martine Workman, one of the featured presenters.

An interview with Kevin Murphy and Dark Sky Books

Dark Sky is a fine new publisher from the Pacific Northwest whose books are strange and stunning and uncommonly good. Their most recent release, Ryan Ridge’s kinetic collection of short stories, Hunters & Gamblers,  further cements this reputation, while their regularly published literary journal, Dark Sky Magazine, offers an illuminating mixture of bold new voices and seasoned ink slingers. Recently, I checked in with Dark Sky’s publisher, Kevin Murphy, to see what life was like on the other side of the printing press. – Matthew

Where did Dark Sky get its start? What brought you into publishing and what are you up to now?

Kevin Murphy: Dark Sky began in Charleston, SC (where I used to live) in 2007 as an online magazine featuring literature and art. Initially the project was a simple attempt for me to learn some online publishing techniques and get to know local authors and artists, etc. Since then, as our output increased and our readership grew, we morphed considerably, which I consider a very healthy thing, and is why currently we publish physical books and magazines, as well as the online components we’ve featured since the early days.

I’ve always been interested in books, in publishing, and in writers, and in writing — when I was a kid I circulated to my neighbors a “newspaper” that contained “stories”, the genesis of which were gathered from discussions my parents had at the dinner table and in the living rooms of our house. Private conversations. The result was an intimate tabloid, written in pencil and copied on sheets of loose paper that I then hawked to the characters living in my tiny orbit. Must have been horrifying for my parents. In retrospect, though, it was a good business model — many of my neighbors were gossip hounds.

These days, Dark Sky Books, which is a little over one year old, has published seven books and two magazines. So far we’ve focused on short fiction and poetry and we just released Ryan Ridge’s Hunters & Gamblers, his debut, which contains a novella and a collection of stories. This fall we are releasing a book of poetry written together by Kendra Grant Malone and Matthew Savoca. It’s called Morocco and I’m really excited because the poems are unique and fun and racy and they’re the kind of poems that are so intimate and writ large that you forget you’re reading poetry and they just kind of inhabit this space that Kendra and Matthew have created. It’s pretty wild. Look for it in November. 2012 has books by Dave Housley and Jensen Beach and other fine folks. In 2013, we’ll expand into novels and other genres. Stay tuned . . .

Let’s talk about book design, which Dark Sky does exceptionally well. It’s not just that your titles look sharp, it’s that each jacket so excellently reflects the writing inside. Can you talk about the layout and design component of your press? What you’re looking for in a cover, what a good cover accomplishes, to what degree design matters to you when putting together a book…

The layout and design components of our press are just that, components. Each component of every book is given equal measure. It just so happens that the design component is the first thing a person usually encounters, and so, obviously, that’s hugely important, which is why I try to ensure that a book’s design and content are programmed to serve one another. To me, a good cover is a visual translation of the text, a piece of art that precedes the words a reader is about to consume. We design our own books, my wife and I and a close friend of ours, and so the process is terrific experience of experimentation, banter, frustration, and mutual respect. Yes, designing our books matters immensely.

Of course, Dark Sky is a publisher, and is here to make books.  What are you looking for in literature? Is there a mission statement to the kind of titles that you publish? If so, what is it?

We don’t have a mission statement because tastes change and evolve and we’re open to new things and our primary concern is publishing books that provide valuable experiences for our readers. If we’re successful in providing that experience, we don’t need a mission statement — it goes without saying what we’re about and what are are trying to do. Contemporary literature is a giant swarming storm of possibility. I want to tap into that possibility and publish books that are fresh, diverse, and meaningful.

Check out these great Dark Sky titles available now at Elliott Bay!

Hunters & Gamblers by Ryan Ridge

A sham pastor hires a cocaine-sniffing centaur to act as mascot for an Evangelical mega-church’s arena football team; Paul Revere flashes across a revolutionary sky on the back of a sunbird; an ammo-less infantry drummer and a bleeding medic are beat back to a Best Western parking lot in the Battle of Sacramento — such are the situations contained in Ryan Ridge’s Hunters & Gamblers. The tales in this lurid, edgy debut illuminate blackness with even blacker humor and a sense of outlandish beauty.

Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City by Michael Bible

This is your new favorite book. You will read it on highways and down in the sand of a deserted island. You will learn Michael Bible’s striking and gentle language, which booms and slithers like silver percussion, and ride elevators in the forest, this horse named Forever. You will know this book is not like anything. It’s a book of brightness and purpose. It’s a book that’s pure and liquid and fuel. This is your new favorite book. Get ready.

Trees of the 20th Century by Stephen Sturgeon

Stephen Sturgeon’s highly anticipated debut collection features over 30 poems which range in style from classically formalized stanzas on memory and vitality to allusive and lyrical free verses, chronicling — among other subjects — the stories of lost friends, a prophetic head that speaks from a tree branch, and an old black moon.

Cut Through the Bone by Ethel Rohan

In this stripped-raw debut collection, Ethel Rohan’s thirty stories swell with broken, incomplete people yearning to be whole. Through tight language and searing scenarios, Rohan brings to life a plethora of characters — exposed, vulnerable souls who are achingly human.