RopeWalk Press publishes the finest literary fiction and poetry chapbooks in limited runs.
Shotgun Style Praise for Shotgun Style, Winner of the 2012 Editor's Fiction Chapbook Prize
Praise for Shotgun Style, Winner of the 2012 Editor's Fiction Chapbook Prize
"Delaney Nolan is a wonderfully talented writer—clear precise language and a stunning bright-eyed vision that is all her own. The characters who populate Louisiana Maps: A Diagram of the Territory of New Orleans, are loners, seekers, pilgrims—often as worn and scarred as the post Katrina landscape—the stark reality of their existence shot through with vibrant streaks of hope." – Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life,
Image by Lorissa Longfellow
A Man Worthy of Your Attention Praise for A Man Worthy of Your Attention
Praise for A Man Worthy of Your Attention
"A Man Worthy of Your Attention is a fierce heartache of a short story delivered through the wonderfully cartoonish and moribund images of artist Dana Ellyn. Here, the tensions of art and story meet to create a precise and beautiful darkness unlike any other."
"A Man Worthy of Your Attention is a fable of lost innocence cleverly told through the evidence of a police procedural. Freeman’s gripping story snakes devastatingly through Ellyn’s darkly beautiful illustrations to ruminate, at last, on the elusive quality of objective truth in the context of criminal violence."
"A Man Worthy of Your Attention is absolutely riveting. Freeman’s prose, combined with Ellyn’s illustrations, adds layers of complexity to ideas of sexuality, terror, and truth."
Lizard Man Praise for Lizard Man, Winner of the 2011 Editor's Fiction Chapbook Prize
Praise for Lizard Man, Winner of the 2011 Editor's Fiction Chapbook Prize
"What I admire most about this excellent short story is David James Poissant's refusal to condescend to his characters. They are flawed but fully human, never mere caricatures but men trying to overcome the bad cards life has dealt them." – Ron Rash, author of Serena and Burning Bright
by Francine Witte
Praise for Cold June, Winner of the 2010 Thomas A. Wilhelmus Award
“Francine Witte has her own brilliant take on the short short story, now instantly recognizeable to me as hers. She seamlessly weaves together the outer life and the inner, events in the world and the actions of her characters, the tenor of the times and the yearnings of individuals. And she does this with stunningly fresh language and a compression that not only feels natural but inevitable. This is a very fine book by a very talented writer indeed.”
—Robert Olen Butler, contest judge
“Cold June is full of cold heat. Francine Witte's short stories invoke a strange and compelling world. Sentence by sentence each story flows brilliantly and effortlessly toward its own perfect and surprising end—and makes you return to the beginning to discover how you got there. Do not miss these astonishing, luminous rides.”
—Pamela Painter, author of Wouldn't You Like to Know
“Francine Witte delights me with her attention to the particulars that make up the lives we pretend to live and the ones we truly live inside our skins. The sudden fictions in Cold June are quirky and playful, but always in touch with the pulsing mysteries of the human heart. They're built from wicked humor, grit, and an affection for the fickle, fragile people we are. These are exquisite stories that wield the power of precise and artful language.”
—Lee Martin, author of The Bright Forever
Francine Witte grew up in Queens, New York. She earned a BA in English from the University of Vermont, a Masters from SUNY Binghamton and an MFA from Vermont College. She is author of two previous chapbooks: The Wind Twirls Everything, published in 2007 by MuscleHead Press, and First Rain, the first-prize winner of the 2009Pecan Grove Press competition. She lives in New York City and teaches English in the New York City Public School System.
|Reliquaries of the Lesser Saints
by Amy Fleury
Relics, whether they are remains or objects, carry continuing connections to their sources. Here these relics are more earthy and unsung, reminders that we must die—but also that we must live.
Praise for Reliquaries of the Lesser Saints
“In this rich and aptly named collection, Fleury puts words on what’s left after loss and the emptying out. From a rain-lashed window to the ash at Terezin, her images serve as witnesses, witnesses that speak not only of the 'heart, the once pink / and capacious lungs,' but also of the 'essential thing which is, / in the end, the source of all suffering.' And joy. A lovely and necessary book."
Amy Fleury’s first collection of poems, Beautiful Trouble, won the 2003 Crab Orchard First Book Award and was published by Southern Illinois University Press. Her poems have appeared in The American Life in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, North American Review, and The Southeast Review, among others. Fleury directs the MFA program in creative writing at McNeese State University.
by Joshua Vinzant
“Joshua Vinzant was not only one of the sweetest and gentlest men that have known, but a gifted, highly original poet. Max, he ironically calls himself in poems that, like the man, are minimalist, but also given to wild excesses of spirit, and to undiluted candor. That he took his own life is a nearly unbearable sadness, but this beautiful small book sustains his humor, irreverence, and compassion, and affirms his essential joy.”
Joshua Vinzant received his MFA in poetry from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2005. He subsequently returned to his hometown of Maryville, Missouri, where he spent his time building structures and contemplating landscapes. He died in 2007, leaving behind his wife, two children, a bass guitar, and these poems. He is deeply missed.
by Candace Black
Although many of the poems in Casa Marina were triggered by actual locations or events or characters, I wasn’t trying to write a memoir. I was more interested in exploring the balance between what has been lost—places, people, innocence—and what has been gained—knowledge, growth, experience—in that loss. An unanticipated joy of this sequence was working with the language of the tropics, as lush and evocative as the vegetation.
Praise for Casa Marina, Winner of the 2009 Thomas A. Wilhelmus Award
by Melanie Jordan
Praise for Ghost
||Celestial Emporium of Benevolent
by Jeffrey Thomson
In "The Analytical
Language of John Wilkins," Jorge Luis Borges describes a mythical
Chinese encyclopedia, the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent
Knowledge, that divides all plants and animals into fourteen
wonderful, fanciful categories as a means to refute the precise and
scientific linguistic structure of those, like Wilkins, who had long
sought to produce a universal language. In his new chapbook,
Jeffrey Thomson uses the categories of the Celestial Emporium
to create a poem sequence that brings Borges's encyclopedia to life,
exploring the way metaphor, memory, and desire combine to rewrite
and alter the human experience.
|A Hush of Something Endless
by Matthew Guenette
If there's a consistent theme in Hush, I
would say it's the very poetic tradition of a narrator wringing
order from the chaos of desire and loss. My goal with these poems
was to generate velocity and construct a voice that is both
distracted and amazed by a world of strange, beautiful details that
hint at a higher order. I also wanted to create a voice that finds
humor in this world, as way of negotiating defeat.
Praise for A Hush of Something Endless
“Matthew Guenette’s poems are simultaneously haunting and thrilling, full of
hilarity and daring leaps, of flights of fancy that don’t ever land in the
same place. Guenette’s a joker, a trickster, a half-cocked sage whose poems
zoom and surge, pulling the reader with them on their slippery dash past
reasonable doubts to unreasonable truths. His poems show how mad the heart
and mind can be for each other—and how much crazy fervor can be contained
between the two.”
Click here to order A Hush of Something Endless.
|20 Years in Utopia: The RopeWalk Writers Retreat
Matthew Graham, co-founding RopeWalk director and director of Creative
Writing at USI, says, “Starting RopeWalk Press is a logical extension of the
RopeWalk umbrella. We want to commemorate our
accomplishments by introducing a 20-year anniversary anthology containing
the poems, short stories and essays of writers who have participated in the
conference over the years.” Ordering information will be available
Click here to go to our secure order form.
Nicole Louise Reid, Editor