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!