We are so pleased to announce the release of Shankar Narayan’s Postcards from the New World, our first 2017 Debut Series Chapbook Co-Winner to be released this year, now available for order! You can purchase a copy here, or over under the books menu, where you may find a few other titles you’d like to pick up. Please also consider checking out Shankar’s website, to find out about readings and events he’s hosting in the future!

His poems received the following praise:

“These poems are wholly original and loaded with compassion, intellect, and lyric interrogation. Shankar Narayan’s Postcards from the New World explores proximity, intimacy, identity, violence, and diaspora with a knowing, prophetic allure. I love these poems for their epistemological underpinnings and their graceful invention. Gorgeous surprises fuel this wonderful debut. Fiercely talented and equally humane, Narayan is one of my favorite new poets.

Lee Herrick, Poet Laureate of Fresno, 2015-17

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“These poems meditate on connection and dissolution, construction and deconstruction, selves and societies. In a violent historical moment, when rupture and brokenness (the breaking of bodies and the breaking of the word) are so evident, these poems announce a belief that there is (there has to be) some good, some light from a new sun. Narayan writes that “Entanglement means/what happens to you happens/to me,” not just as cosmic fact but as an ethical binding of various selves—the constructed energies of the speaker (abused by the world, consumed by idealism), the inherited and problematic threads of the world (traditions as tethers to a faraway land, the violent and virulent racism of America). In a song driven by words from our moment, Narayan has given us a compelling series of poems that will be worthy of rereading.

Tod Marshall, Poet Laureate of Washington State, 2016-18

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We have two more powerful and exciting titles to release this season.

If you think you have a manuscript we might love, our annual contest ends May 15th. You can find all the details you need at our Submittable, or elsewhere on our website. We can’t wait to start thinking about what amazing works we’ll get to read soon!

And, if you happen to live near Salem, Massachusetts, Paper Nautilus will have a table at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival Book Fair! The festival as a whole runs Friday, May 4th, through Sunday, May 6th, with some amazing poets — including headliners like Sonia Sanchez, Kaveh Akbar, Dorianne Laux, and Rhina P. Espaillat. You can find Paper Nautilus, peruse our titles, ask questions, or just say hi on Saturday, May 5th, from 11 a.m – 4 p.m. Hope to see you there!

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We are overjoyed to release our final chapbook from our 2016 contest, a Debut Series Co-Winner: Jessica Kim’s “These, Our Bodies.” These poems are at once luminous, hard-wrought, and tender. Jessica is also a talented in visual work, and is the cover’s photographer and graphic designer, making this a truly gorgeous book, inside and out.

You can order a copy here directly, or also look around our Books section, to see if any of our other great titles catch your eye.

You can also see more at our fledgling Instagram, @paper.nautilus (which, for this 30-something millennial, is more intuitive than Twitter), where we share a few more insights to our bookmaking process, day-to-day tasks of being an editor, and shout-outs to former contributors and editors doing great things.

Now that all five of our new titles this year have been published and released, I’ve turned my attention more towards reading the 2017 chapbook entries. While I still have quite a ways to go on the 228 entries we received across categories, I can already tell there are going to be some very difficult decisions. Stay tuned, and hopefully we’ll have some exciting news to share about the results by sometime this September!

We are quite busy here this spring, but we thought we’d take a minute to share with you just how many things we’ve got going on.

First, we are in a race against the calendar to finished up the layout, proofs, and printing of our three Vella Chapbook contests winners from 2014. These collections From Allie Marini Batts, Stephanie McCarley Dugger, and Johnathan Harper are superb, and the goal is to have an unofficial release party for them at table 430 in the AWP bookfair.

The conference and bookfair take place from April 8th – 11th, in Minneapolis – which will be my first time visiting the area – and we hope you’ll stop by and pick up one of our issues or chapbook titles, find out more about our two contests currently open, or pick up some fun surprises we have in store. Also, huge thanks to the folks who run the AWP bookfair Facebook, who ran this spotlight for us today. If you’ve ever wondered more about us, here’s your chance:unnamed

Except, way back when we sent this staff image over to the Bookfair folks, we hadn’t yet selected our newest fiction editor. For a volunteer job that pays mostly in frenzied emails and enthusiastic thank-yous, I was surprised and flattered at the response we received. Deciding on these potential editors in many regards was even more difficult than deciding on what writing to publish, since many of these letters of interest were so candid and honest about their desire to be a part of a team of editors.

After some tough decisions, we are happy to be welcoming Keith Lesmeister to our fiction team. Keith, who lives in Northeast Iowa, completed his MFA from the Benngington Writing Seminars. He has been a reader for drafthorse, taught college-level creative writing, and had his work featured in Tin House blog, American Short Fiction online, Meridian, Redivider, River Teeth, Harpur Palate, and others. We are also really bummed his photo is not included in the above promo image.

We do have some other ideas in the works, but despite that we clearly don’t believe in “one thing at a time,” we have to draw the line somewhere. More on these new developments when they’re a little less new and a bit more developed.

Also, we are already nearly one month into our 2015 and – so don’t forget to take another look at your manuscripts and send us your best!