Thursday, April 28, 2016

DELIRIOUS — A Poetic Tribute to Prince (1958 - 2016)

NightBallet Press is pleased to announce an open call for submissions for a tribute book of poems honoring the artist Prince and his widespread influence on a generation of loving and appreciative fans.
The proposed publication date is June 7, 2016, Prince’s birthday.


I work full-time, twelve-hour days and I don’t have a lot of extra time.  In order to get this book out by June 7, I must be able to access and read the submitted poems quickly.  Failure to follow these simple directions will result in my not reading your submission.

1. In the subject line of the email, please put SUBMISSION PRINCE and your last name.  For instance, if John Burroughs were to submit a poem, he would put SUBMISSION PRINCE BURROUGHS.

2. Send one or two poems about Prince, his music, his influence, or his artistry in a single Word document.  Poems must stick to the theme.  No more than two poems, please.

3. Attach the Word document to the email, and send to

4. Deadline for submissions is MAY 24, 2016.  That gives you 4 weeks to get them to me, and it gives me 2 weeks to get the book formatted for publication.  I will not read any submissions after the deadline.

5. Please do not send me the poems on Facebook.  Please do not snail mail the poems.  Please do not send the poems to any other of my emails.  Please do not fail to put SUBMISSION PRINCE and your name in the subject line of the email.  This is the only way I will find the submissions.

This is an open call, which means anyone and everyone is invited to submit poems.  If your poem is chosen for inclusion in the anthology, you will receive a free contributor's copy.  (Please note—if your poem is chosen and you live outside the U.S., mailing costs for the press are very prohibitive.  NBP will send you a PDF of the completed book.)

Please submit your Prince poems!  Tell your friends!  Spread the word! 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Look out - Steve Abbott has THE INCOHERENT PULL OF WANT!

 Look out, world!  Columbus, Ohio, poet Steve Abbott has The Incoherent Pull of Want...and once you experience it, you'll want it, too!
It is with great pleasure that NightBallet Press announces its March publication
of The Incoherent Pull of Want by Steve Abbott.  What?  It isn't March?  Well, NightBallet Press found that March didn't have enough days to go around, so we modified the time table. (Yes, there will be another April publication...stay tuned!)

Popular and beloved, Steve Abbott is a founding member in 1984 of The Poetry Forum, now Ohio's longest-running poetry series, for which he continues as co-coordinator.  He edits the Ohio Poetry Association's annual journal Common Threads, and in 2015 represented OPA on the Ohio Arts Council panel that selected Ohio's first Poet Laureate.  His poetry has appeared in dozens of literary journals as well as several anthologies, and NightBallet was beyond delighted when he sent us his manuscript. 

Containing such elegantly written (and instantly favorite) poems as "Landscapers" and "When We Sought Justice," this book Is a can't-put-it-down, cover-to-cover-read.  Intriguing titles draw you in: "The Present Doesn't Last as Long as It Used To," "Dead Man at the Centerfold Lounge," "Death Is a Waffle Iron," and "Dorothy's Other Dream."
 The Incoherent Pull of Want is 32 pages long and contains 23 poems printed on thick, textured, pale ivory paper.  The cover cardstock is palest green and the textured cardstock insert is fire engine red. The cover image is a photo of a piece of artwork, "Meteor Before Sunset" (paint on wood with found objects), by Ohio artist/poet Kevin Eberhardt, whose beautiful work has been featured on several recent NBP covers.  (All of Eberhardt's art is for sale; contact NBP for details.)

A dynamic reader, Abbott, who is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in English of Columbus State Community College, received an Ohio Arts Council Excellence Award in Poetry in 1993, and an OAC residency the following year at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.  He has four previous poetry collections: A Short History of the Word (1996) and Greatest Hits (2004) from Pudding House, and Why Not Be Here Now? (11thour Press, 2016), plus a 2011 live CD recording titled Stardust in Franklin Park.  He has edited the anthologies Cap City Poets (Pudding House, 2008), a collection of work by 74 central Ohio poets, and Everything Stops and Listens (OPA Press, 2013), containing work by members of the Ohio Poetry Association. 

The Incoherent Pull of Want is available beginning today, Friday, April 8, 2016, for only $10 plus $3 shipping/handling.  You can get a signed copy from the man himself, Steve Abbott, or you may order through PayPal right here, right's easy!  You don't even need to have a PayPal account yourself!  You're special and you deserve it, so treat yourself to some mighty fine poetry dining in this banquet of a book!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Yea, and Yay, I say...Yeasayer by Andy Roberts!

NightBallet Press takes great pleasure in announcing a new chapbook of poems by Columbus, Ohio, area poet Andy Roberts, Yeasayer!

This is the third chapbook of poems by Andy Roberts that NBP has published, and there's a reason we keep on keepin' on with his work...we just can't get enough of his mouthwatering poetry!

C. W. Everett, senior editor at Pudding House Productions, has this to say about the book:

" a pensive collection, a philosophical reflection on the questions human beings encounter at we age.  Is there any meaning to all this life and living?  Have we done alright in the time we have had? Is there comfort and peace waiting for us?

These poems are compact by design, filled with brilliant language and a keen sense of place.  Roberts' eye for detail is well-trained and discerning.  His grasp of the natural world forms a grounded and credible universe filled with amazement.  Roberts seems always to be building a world in which he can feel comfortable and make sense of things as much by instinct as logic.  The tone is conversational and the poems are accessible intellectually and emotionally.

Quiet wisdom flows from these poems; the poet directs us toward understanding and most importantly, a kind of beautiful acceptance, even forgiveness of ourselves for not understanding sooner.  As always, Roberts' strong voice draws us in and holds us gently from beginning to end."

One of NBP's favorite poems in Yeasayer is "Our Leaves Shaped Like Hearts":

Our Leaves Shaped Like Hearts

Every year I am turning
more and more into the river birch
I planted just east of the kitchen window
as a six-foot sapling.
Our skin becomes the same color every August,
and we share the same texture as we age.
Our roots join as we touch hands beneath the house,
as we tap into the underground river that flows.
Our green leaves shaped like hearts
turn yellow in November, fall on still days
with a sound the finches remember
as they lose their gold wings to brown.
We grow old together,
one to sky and the other returning to earth
from where we started as single seeds,
our limbs reaching out to hold the birds.

Yeasayer boasts a gorgeous front-cover color photograph by gifted Ohio photographer Chandra Alderman, printed on crisp white linen cardstock.  A matching royal-purple inner cardstock complements the photograph.  The 24 poems - 32 pages total - are printed on snow-white paper.

Yeasayer is available beginning today, March 4, 2016, for only $5 plus $3 shipping/handling.  You can order it right here through PayPal with one touch of the button!  Get your copy and relax into a world of "Pagan Purples" and "Rain Moving Off" and "Windy & Warm"...just in time for Spring!

                                 photo by John Burroughs, used with permission

Andy Roberts lives in Columbus, Ohio, where he handles finances for disabled veterans.  His poems have appeared in a long list of small press and literary journals over the past thirty years, including Albatross, Atlanta Review, Chiron Review, Coal City Review, Fulcrum, Hiram Poetry Review, The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Plainsongs, and Slipstream.  His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize four times.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Generation of Forms by D. R. Wagner!

NightBallet Press is excited to announce the publication of The Generation of Forms,
a new book of poetry by D. R. Wagner!

The Generation of Forms boasts a cover photo of a striking art piece by Ohioan Kevin Eberhardt, the coloring of which is complemented by a heavy, goldenrod-colored cardstock insert. 

The book contains 23 poems printed in Century Old Style font on 36 crisp, white, textured pages, matching the white textured cardstock cover. The intriguing titles of the poems reach out and pull you to them with blue-eyed wonder: "An Epiphany of Circumstance" and "The Generation of Forms" and "Fog Fog Fog" and "Touching My Bones" and "In the Rigging: Tears Began to Fall."  Wagner's landscapes call forth tales of glory and heartache, of grace and storm, of giants and birds. In "The Fire Chairs," Wagner writes

The ends of my fingers burst
Into flame.  One, two, three,
Four, five.  I stand outside the house.

The giant storms have begun again.
They walk on legs made of lightning,
Thousands at a time.  The night stinking
Of ozone and the wettest of heat.

And in "Guided by Voices," he writes

Burned into the flesh
But never showing as brands,
Cold sparks coming from the mouth
Like a child's friction toy.

We sit inside our skeletons,
An electricity of energy flowing through us,
Firing desire, rooms of actions and reactions.

Wagner guides us through his rooms, gently holding our hands but never allowing us to turn from the terrible beauty of seas and seasons, of flame and fog.  And in the end, we "find love bursting from every heart."

          The Generation of Forms is available now, for only $10 plus $2 shipping!
      (For orders outside the U.S., please contact us at

                             Come, get yourself some D. R. Wagner today! 

D. R. Wagner is the author of over 30 books of poetry and letters.  He co-wrote The Egyptian Stroboscope with d. a. levy in the late 1960s, and read with Jim Morrison of the Doors in a legendary reading with Michael McClure.  He has also read with Lawrence Ferlighetti, Al Winans, Anne Waldman, and many, many other poets over the last 40 years.  His work is much published and has appeared in numerous translations.  He has exhibited visual poetry with the likes of William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, bpNichol, and John Furnival in venues ranging from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs at the Louvre, Paris, to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.  He is also a visual artist, producing miniature needle-made tapestries that have been exhibited internationally, and are included in numerous publications and museum collections.  He is, further, a professional musician, working as a singer-songwriter, and playing guitar and keyboards.  He currently plays and sings with the band Some Time Tonight.

                                                   photo by Glenda Drew, used with permission

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Listen... It's The Almost Sound of Snow Falling... by Robert Walicki

NightBallet Press is very happy to announce the publication of The Almost Sound of Snow Falling by Robert Walicki!

The Almost Sound of Snow Falling is 44 pages long and contains 30 poems, with such titles as "In the Years Before Color," "Black Angel of Death Love Song," and "Reading in Between the Lines of an Email to the Laurel Garden Apartments on Trying to Get My Security Deposit Back."  The intriguing cover photograph is an original collage by New York poet and artist Tsaurah Litzky, titled "Blue Soul Rising."  The cardstock is a textured light cocoa, and the cardstock insert is a rich cocoa brown.  The text is printed on textured ivory paper. 

Of the poems, Sandra Marchetti says

"Through live-wire language, shimmering colors, and brute physicality, he presents us with blue-color family portraits not to be forgotten....Walicki's poems are Whitman-like: 'gloriously unapologetic and beautiful'."

Nancy Krygowski says

"In poems that explore the mysteries of childhood to the mysteries of masculinity (check out the work poems!) to the mysteries of domesticity, we hear the sounds of real people inhabiting real and complex worlds.  Walicki's sharp language will leave you whispering, yeah, I know what you mean and wow! simultaneously."

Nancy Chen-Long says

"...Walicki explores the role of sound in memory.  He gifts us with sensory-filled and evocative poems that are surprising in their detailed precision....Walicki's balanced use of the narrative and lyric deftly moves us through the quiet and disquiet of a life and delivers us ultimately to a point of temperate hope...."
Robert Walicki, the curator of VERSIFY, a monthly reading series in Pittsburgh, PA, has had his work appear in HEArt, Stone Highway Review, Grasslimb, and on the radio show Prosody.  He won 1st runner up in the 2013 Finishing Line Open Chapbook Competition, and was awarded finalist in the 2013 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Competition.  Redbird Press published his first chapbook, A Room Full of Trees, in 2014.

The Almost Sound of Snow Falling is available beginning today, December 9, 2015, for only $10 plus $4 shipping/handling.  Best of all, you can get your copy signed by the author and hear the poems in his voice, if you come to the book release/featured reading tonight at Mac's Backs in Cleveland!  This reading cofeatures the one and only Christine Howey, so between Walickis and Howey, it's going to be one hell of a show. And yes, there's an open mic.  That's Mac's Backs Books, 1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, at 7pm!  If you absolutely, positively can't make it, order your copy today and I'll have him sign it tonight!

You can order right here, through PayPal.  Get your very own copy of The Almost Sound of Snow Falling today!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Is Lenny DellaRocca The Sleep Talker? Yes, He Is!

NightBallet is very pleased to announce the publication of
The Sleep Talker by Lenny DellaRocca!

The Sleep Talker takes you on a dreamlike waltz through a surreal, but comforting, landscape.  In this book, you will encounter an old wizard, an architect, a library of imagined books, mirror people, a genie, a window collector, a man who teaches children to fly.  DellaRocca's sweet phrasing compels the reader to journey deeper and deeper into the poems:

"This is a wizard's spell cast by pen and wires, pipes, footsteps and sawhorses, a man dreaming in blue geometry."

"I arrive when the sun dusts the world with a burning feather, carry a sack of broken mirrors, on each shard instructions written in moonlight: How Not to Fall Off the World:"

"And now a piece of the Little Dipper slips through the window.  The sun comes up.  There's a small white feather on the floor."

The Sleep Talker is 28 pages long and contains 21 poems.  The cover, which boasts a gorgeous and somehow haunting photograph taken and artfully rendered by George Wallace, is the palest green. The textured cardstock insert is a midnight blue, and the text is printed on textured white paper. 

Lenny DellaRocca has had poems published in many journals and magazines since 1980, including Nimrod, Seattle Review, Long Island Quarterly, and Chiron Review.  A Pushcart nominee, he is former president of the Hannah Kahn Poetry Foundation,which facilitated workshops and readings by Denise Duhamel, Michael Hettich, Richard Blanco, and others.

Denise Duhamel has this to say about The Sleep Talker:

"Lenny DellaRocca gives us fabulously fabulist prose poems in The Sleep Talker, a chapbook of dreamy utterances, miniature philosophies, and shape-shifting epiphanies.  Della Rocca is a poet of great intelligence, wit, and skill.  He does what every poet (and driver on wet roads) should dohe steers into the skid."

Michael Hettich says:

"In these beautifully nuanced, artfully crafted poems, Lenny DellaRocca takes us into worlds where magic and dream sing to us like almost forgotten memories, in language as clear as the very air we breathe.   This is soulful, heartfelt, wonderfully strange poetry that teems with luminous images and satisfies with the magic of its narrative drive.  Though reminiscent of folk-tales and magical-realist fables, DellaRocca's poems are his own original and fresh creations.  His is a mature voice and a welcome addition to the choir of contemporary American poetry."

The Sleep Talker can be yours for only $5 plus $3 shipping/handling.  Order your copy and allow DellaRocca's magic to take you by the hand and lead you into another world of moonlight, white feathers, and libraries with long corridors.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Reviews of Rented Mule and Lipsmack! Year Four by Tony Moffeit

NightBallet Press recently had the honor of sending Tony Moffeit, the cofounder, with Todd Moore, of the Outlaw Poetry Movement, a couple of NightBallet Press books: Rented Mule by Wolfgang Carstens, and Lipsmack! A Sampler Platter of Poets from NightBallet Press Year Four 2015.  He generously sent back these great reviews.  Thank you, Tony Moffeit!

"RENTED MULE is a knockout! I feel Wolfgang Carstens' poetry is a working man's blues, but a working man's blues with a sense of humor! The blues and the humor are enhanced by Janne Karlsson's illustrations! The main character here is the Rented Mule, working the MegaMart! The incredible irony of life situations is played out both in the MegaMart and in the home life! Carstens is the master of the slender poem eliciting a whole greater than the sum of its parts, as in "I think": "you spelled/my name tag/wrong,"/I said,/grabbing my mop/and bucket,/"it should say/rented mule." Karlsson's illustrations enhance this hallucinatory world. Carstens yields his own brand of immortality in the poem "some men": "so,/when my time comes,/bury me/with my name tag/and plant my tombstone/on the hill/overlooking/the MegaMart." The humor in this book ranges from the belly laugh to metaphysical irony! The poems and illustrations work together to provide a kind of Zen Drama or Existential Opera! Read this book for an unusual and evocative journey!"
"I've had a chance to read LIPSMACK! and love it! First of all, the design is magnificent! I particularly like the photos of the authors on the back cover and the red endsheets! The cover design, with that great cover stock, is incredible! The legend/description of the authors on the back cover is perfect on the verso of the title page.

The mini-history of your press described in the Editor's Introduction is crucial to the reader, such as me, who is new to viewing the poetry of your press and excited about what you are doing.

The first poet I went to, because she is one of my favorite poets, is Lyn Lifshin. Her WHEN I SEE JOAN OF ARC DRESSED IN ARMOUR PRAYING is a fascinating poem very Lifshin-like in its uncanny narrative, jazzy linebreaks, and history combined with irony. Lyn somehow weaves her own identity or persona into the "other" which or whom she is writing about.

The second poet I found fascinating was George Wallace, whose ALLEGORY BEAUTY ILLUSION FEAR is a gorgeous contrast to Lyn's poem, like the organ grinder's monkey in the rain "this sweet, practical, tubercular, enigmatic, american song." Like so many poems in this volume, the history/narrative is combined with the lyric/irony.

The third poet I found fascinating was Alan Catlin. I love Catlin's poetry. Again, the narrative, the extreme irony, the jazzy rhythms, the coming at things from a different angle. The Same Damn Thing is a beautiful slice of life.

The fourth poet I found fascinating was Andy Roberts. Excellent phrasing. Jazz improvisation with a touch of surrealism. You Know the Type is a gem.

The fifth poet I found fascinating was Margie Shaheed. In her Overheard Conversation #5, Zen meets the backstreet in a marvelous parable."

If you want to check out these fantastic books for yourself, just follow the PayPal links and I'll pop the books in the mail today!  The first button is Lipsmack!; the second is Rented Mule.

Please choose your country

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pushcart Prize 2016 Nominees

NightBallet Press is pleased once again to participate in the nominations process for the 40th Annual Pushcart Prize:  Best of the Small Presses XL, which will be published both in hardcover and paperback in late fall 2016.  As editor of a small press, I was invited to make up to six nominations from work published by my press since December of last year (2014), or from a manuscript about to be published in the coming month.  If selected, both the press and the author will receive a copy of the Pushcart Prize book.  The deadline to nominate is December 1st.  Notification of selection for Pushcart Prize inclusion will be in April of 2016.  

It was extremely difficult for me to choose among the numerous excellent, unique, exciting and delectable poems that NBP has had the pleasure and honor of publishing this past year.  I truly struggled with the final decisions.  After all, I'm the one who accepted the works to publish in the first place because I loved them.  But to waffle and decline to nominate because I don't want to make hard and fast choices would be unfair to all those whom I've published.  I feel I have an editor's responsibility to participate.  After all, I've promised you respect, readings, reviews, and recognition wherever and whenever possible.  

Please know that if your work was not nominated, it had nothing to do with merit.  Your work deserved nomination, no doubt.  Your work is truly excellent, or it would never have appeared as a NBP publication.  As far as I'm concerned, you're all winners! 

But there were certain pieces that glistened, reverberated, ensnared, transcended, or just plain persisted in the editor's mind/heart/soul/body.  These are the six pieces that are this year's nominees:

"Forsythia" by Kathleen Cerveny, from her book
Coming to Terms

The Maples Hang On" by Lyn Lifshin, from her book
Moving Thru Stained Glass

"Imbued, Resonance, Rendering" by Geoff Landis, from this year's Lipsmack! anthology

"Half-Moon Bay, Jamaica" by Connie Willett Everett, from her book
What Keeps Me Awake

"Rhyme and Rituals (Part 1)" by Margie Shaheed, from her book Onomatopoeia

"In Due Season" by John Burroughs, his ekphrastic poem from his book Beat Attitude.

I hope you will join with me in heartily and joyfully congratulating these six who are nominated by NBP this year!

For more information on the Pushcart Prize, please visit
; for more information on Pushcart Press visit   For this year's Pushcart Prize collection, or for past years' collections, go to

Stay tuned for the Ohioana Book Award nominations, and for the two new titles coming out before the New Year!  December is going to rock you, I promise!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Presenting RENTED MULE - Poems by Wolfgang Carstens, Illustrations by Janne Karlsson!

NightBallet Press rarely posts back-to-back announcements, but this past month has been unusual, so here we go!

It's always exciting when a new manuscript comes sliding across NightBallet Press' desktop, and this one promised to be exceptional from the start. The themed poems are straightforward narrative delivered with wry humor, and the skillfully-rendered illustrations accompany the poems like a sweet but twisted music.

Rented Mule with poems by Wolfgang Carstens and illustrations by Janne Karlsson, well, it kicks ass! 

Rented Mule contains 21 poems and 15 illustrations, printed on textured, palest-of-pale gray paper. The dove gray cover boasts a color photograph taken by Jeffery Alfier.  The cardstock insert is a textured concrete gray. 

Of the book, Rob Plath (former student of Allen Ginsberg and author of A Bellyful of Anarchy) says

"This slim collection of unadorned, narrative poems...and dark, heartbreaking drawings...belongs in the back pockets of all who suffer the soul-crushing teeth of the daily or nightly grind."

Tony Moffeit, cofounder of the Outlaw Poetry Movement, says

"Wolf Carstens takes us down the dark avenues of a strange world and the haunting reverberations of the MegaMart, the hopelessness of being a "rented mule."...Janne Karlsson's artwork enhances this strange and supercharged landscape."


i asked you

to work the freezer today
and yet, for the last three hours
you've been spinning the milk cartons.

hell, you've spun them so much
the milk has started to curdle
and customers are complaining.

what i'm trying to say here, Trilok,
is that your 70s porn moustache is offensive,

your Old Spice aftershave is really getting on my nerves,

and don't think i haven't noticed
the way you've been stroking the Ukrainian sausage.

ahh, fuck it, Trilok.
just get back to work, you smarmy bastard

and for fuck sakes
stop spinning the goddamned milk!

Go here for a Live Reading of "Trilok" by Wolfgang Carstens!

Wolfgang Carstens, in his own words, lives in Canada with his five kids, wife, grandson, dog, mortgage, and death.  His poetry is printed on the backs of unpaid bills. You can find him at

Janne Karlsson, in his own words, is a Swedish artist who uses pens as therapy.  His dark, surreal art is widely spread over the globe.  For more information, visit


 In these sample pages taken from Rented Mule, Carstens refers to the NBP book Louisiana Calling by Bill Gainer.

Rented Mule is officially published today, and you may order your very own copy right here on the NBP website!  For buyers in the USA, the cost is $10 + $4 postage/handling.  Please note that Canadians will pay $14.00 but will still pay only $4 postage handling.

Please choose your country

Be among the first to obtain this fantastic, collaborative book by Carstens and Karlsson...order now!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Get Ready to Smack Your Lips Over Season Five (and Lipsmack Over Season Four)!

Welcome to Season Five of NightBallet Press!  The season, or year, officially began in September of 2015 and will continue to September, 2016.  We traditionally begin the new season with the publication of an anthology containing new poems by the poets published  the previous season.  To continue this fine tradition, we are very pleased to announce the release of Lipsmack! A Sampler Platter of Poets from NightBallet Press Year Four 2015.  If you think the title is a mouthful, just wait until you sink your teeth into the delicious nuggets of poetry contained within!

Lipsmack Year Four contains 16 new poems of moonlight communion, the Terminal Tower and Mountain Dew, of allegory, beauty, illusion and fear, of a singing bird, a red-eyed bull, a yellow lotus and endless, foreign blue, of Joan of Arc and the Big Gulp, of shoegazers and moonbeamers and coat pockets sewn up, of instant cinéma vérité and overheard conversation, cranberries and juice jars, and ekphrastic ice cream...the shape of dreams by these outstanding poets:

Steve Brightman
Marisa Moks-Unger
Jake St. John
George Wallace
Ra Washington
Russ Green
Margie Shaheed
Alan Catlin
Lyn Lifshin
Connie Willett Everett
Geoff Landis
Mary Turzillo
Kathleen Cerveny
Mike Finley
Andy Roberts

You can get your very own copy of this delectable serving of poems for only $5 plus $3 shipping by buying it through PayPal right here, or you can find it on Amazon!  Order Lipsmack Year Four here:

NBP will be producing one book a month for Season Five, and we are excited that we've already published September's book:  Beat Attitude by John Burroughs!  You can read about it and then order it here:

Stay tuned for more exciting news...and a very special publication - October's offering! -  to be announced tomorrow!

NightBallet Press has set the table, everyone's welcome, and mouths are smack those lips...and dig in!