Friday, November 28, 2014

Review by Kristen D. Scott of The Eater of the Absurd by John Burroughs

NightBallet Press is giving thanks for poets and poetry, for artists and art, for musicians and music this chilly Black Friday.  Kicking off the day is this awesome review of The Eater of the Absurd by John Burroughs.  Thank you, Kristen D. Scott/Knot Magazine!

                                LINK TO THE REVIEW AT KNOT MAGAZINE HERE

John Burroughs is a northeast Ohio poet (Oct Tongue-1, It Takes More Than Chance to Make Change, Barry Merry Baloney, and many others) and host of the monthly Mondays at Mahall's poetry series. Burroughs won the first poetry slam he ever competed in, formed the association known as Poets of Lorain County, has contributed irregularly to the Cleveland Poetics and Ohio Poetry Association blogs, and is perhaps most proud of his work (since 2008) as the founding editor of Crisis Chronicles Press.

The Eater of the Absurd is his first full-length poetry collection, and makes a striking statement of (in Burroughs' own words) "pleasure, pain, and deprogramming."

Kristen D. Scott is a Pushcart Prize nominee for five works from Opiate (Garden Oak Press, 2014).  An award-winning essayist for her work on Federico Garcia Lorca, she has had work translated into Arabic, Turkish, and Sanskrit.  Scott is currently the editor-in-chief and web designer of Knot Magazine.  She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, an MA in English Literature, and is progressing with her PhD in Global Education. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pushcart Prize and Ohioana Book Award Nominations, 2014

It's that time of year again, when NightBallet Press must choose from all the excellent manuscripts published in this past year to make nominations for the Pushcart Prize.

As always, it's extremely difficult to narrow the selections to only six nominations.  NBP believes that every single one of its poets deserves the Prize, and if possible, we would heap awards and accolades on each one of you and your amazing and exciting poetry collections.

However, rules are rules, and with much soul-searching (and hair-tearing), these are NBP's six nominations for the 2015 Pushcart Prize:

Jennifer Hambrick—“Painting Lizards Orange” from Lipsmack! A Sampler Platter of Poets from NBP Year 3

Tsaurah Litzky—“Chicken Livers” from Jerry in the Bardo

Heather McNaugher—“The Outsiders” from Lipsmack! A Sampler Platter of Poets from NBP Year 3

Joey Nicoletti—“
To Diane di Prima” from Shadow Traffic

Amanda Oaks—“How to Pick Up the Pieces” from Hurricane Mouth

George Wallace—“Riding with Boom Boom” from Riding with Boom Boom

Please join with NBP in congratulating these wonderful poets, and wish them luck in the Pushcart Prize judging process!

This year, in addition to nominations for the Pushcart Prize, NBP has made nominations for the Ohioana Book Award, as well.

The following books have been sent to the Ohioana Library* in Columbus, Ohio, and have been nominated by NBP for the Ohioana Book Award:

In Brilliant Explosions Alone by Steve Brightman

The Eater of the Absurd by John Burroughs

As the Caffeine Kicks In by Christopher Franke

Blossoms by Alex Gildzen

Unscathed by Jennifer Hambrick

Unfinished by Jack McGuane

The Green World by Andy Roberts

Mosaic by Margie Shaheed

Selected Regions of the Moon by J. E. Stanley


Songs in the Key of Cleveland, published by Crisis Chronicles Press

Please join with NBP in congratulating the authors of these books, and wish them luck in the Ohioana Book Award judging process!

(*Please note:  If you are an Ohioan, or if you have resided in Ohio for five or more years, your book has already been, or will be, placed in the Ohioana Library's permanent collection in Columbus, Ohio.  Only the books they've received this past year are eligible for Book Award nominations.  We are working hard to make sure the Library receives copies of all Ohio-based or Ohio-connected books published by NBP.)

Once again, to all the NightBallet Press poets, I wish we could nominate every poet, every poem, every book.  I am honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to publish your wonderful words.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Wallace Rides With Boom Boom and Everything's Turning Green!

On October 24-October 26, an exciting event took place in Cleveland, Ohio, as people from all over the United States gathered to celebrate poetry, small presses, and the "mimeograph revolution" poet d.a. levy.
                                                      poster designed by Hydeout Press
The excitement and celebration of the weekend included the hot-off-the-press book release of George Wallace's Riding with Boom Boom,
and Gimme Back My Radio by Russ Green!

Gimme Back My Radio by New York poet Russ Green contains 36 pages of dynamic and seductive poems.  Boasting a gorgeous photo by the internationally-known photographer-cinematographer-producer-director Lynn Spinnato, the heavy white cardstock cover is paired with a deep blue cardstock insert.  The 30 poems are printed on thick white paper.  Matt Pasca, Pushcart nominee and author of A Thousand Doors, says:

"In Gimme Back My Radio, Russ Green plays conductor and meteorologist to the awesome fronts colliding in his mindthe smashed barometric boundary where Himalayan flags, American greed, Bayou lovers and city tow trucks squallwhere his relentless  attention spins in tricked-out cyclones of alliterative rapture, in tornados of prayer from which Green emerges triumphantbaton both broken and glowing."

In Gimme Back My Radio, Green writes about John Lennon, Jack Kennedy, Amiri Baraka, New York City, Starbucks, "Sultry Tongues" and "High-heeled Honeys" and much more, with keen observation and a unique sense of humor.  His poems at the same time satisfy and leave you hungry for more!

                                          Russ Green at the  Lit Café reading Saturday night.

Gimme Back My Radio is Russ Green's first collection of poems, but he's no stranger to the poetry scene.  Green is co-editor at Great Weather for Media based in New York City.  He hosts, along with his fellow editors, at their weekly Spoken Word Sundays at Parkside Lounge on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  He also hosts and curates the Green's Revolution reading series at Cornucopia's Noshery in Amityville, NY,  and a quarterly music and poetry series at BrickHouse Brewery in Patchogue, NY.  He has done readings from Sante Fe to Cleveland, New Orleans, NYC, and Lowell Celebrates Kerouac in Lowell, MA.  His work has been published in several print and online anthologies including Long Island Quarterly and the PPA Literary Review.  A graduate of Hofstra University, he lives in Port Jefferson, Long Island.

Gimme Back My Radio is available through PayPal (see column to the right of this posting) for only $10 plus $4 shipping/handling, and is also sold on Amazon!  Get your copy today!  

The second fantastic publication released this past week by NBP is
Riding with Boom Boom by George Wallace!

Riding with Boom Boom contains 36 pages of (21) kick-ass poems.  The striking cover image is an artfully-altered photograph by Wallace, printed on a leatherette-textured heavy ivory cardstock.  The second cardstock insert is a rich purple, and the text is printed on thick white paper.  And the poems...ah, the poems!  With lines like

...& I want
my share so walk with me
ice my heart bleed me twice

on Bleecker Street
on Down & Out Avenue
on Mushroom Cloud
on Chili Pepper Red Hot
Panic Button Street

you're Grade A ammunition baby

and titles like "Mad with the Mad-eyed Hipsters" and "Outlaw Angels, Asleep at the Wheel", you know you're in for a very special kind of treat!

George Wallace is a writer and performer living and working in NYC.  He maintains a regular reading, lecture, and poetry workshop touring schedule across the US and Europe.  A frequent perfomer on the NYC scene, he has appeared nationally and internationally in such venues as the Beat Museum, Woody Guthrie Festival, Lowell Celebrates Kerouac, Rexroth Festival, Insomniacathon, Howlfest, John Steinbeck Center, Robbie Burns Center and the Dylan Thomas Centre.  His work has appeared in Poets Against The War,, Socialism and Democracy, Citizen 32, American Watchdog, Sous Surveillance, Pemmican, Pedestal and other publications.  He is First Poet Laureate of Suffolk County, NY and Writer in Residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace in West Hills.  He has more than 25 chapbooks and books of poems published...Riding with Boom Boom is his fourth chapbook of poems from NightBallet Press. 


 George Wallace at the Lit Café reading Saturday night.
Riding with Boom Boom is available through PayPal (see column to the right of this posting) for only $10 plus $4 shipping/handling, and is also sold on Amazon!  Don't wait to order!

The only thing better than reading the poems in these books is hearing them from the mouths of the poets if you have the opportunity to hear these amazing poets read their work, do not miss it!  Until then, get your own copies of Gimme Back My Radio and Riding with Boom Boom and prepare yourself for a wicked, wild, wonderful, witty wordfest!

Autumn 2014 readings from Riding With Boom-Boom:

Fri Nov 7, 6 pm Four Horsemen, Cornelia Street Café NYC NY
Sat Nov 8, 11 am Whispers Vineyard St James NY
Mon Nov 10, 8 pm Saturn Poetry Series, Shades of Green NYC NY
Fri Nov 14, 8 pm Book Party, Molasses Books Brooklyn NY
Sat Nov 15, 5 pm BJ’s Fredonia nr Buffalo NY
Sat Nov 29, TBA Pittsburgh Pa
Fri Dec 5, 8 pm Dire Literary Series, Cambridge Mass

Autumn 2014 readings from Gimme Back My Radio

Wed Nov 5, Matt and Terri's in Bayshore w/ Verless Doran

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lipsmack! A Sampler Platter of Poets from NBP Year Three 2014 is here!

Lipsmack!  A Sampler Platter of Poets from NightBallet Press Year Three 2014 is here!

We are pleased to present this new anthology: eighteen sparkling new poems by the eighteen poets published by NBP this past year!

Douglas Cole
Bill Gainer
Andy Roberts
James Valvis
Nikki Allen
John Thomas Allen
Amanda Oaks
Jonathan Harris
Joey Nicoletti
Tsaurah Litzky
Jennifer Hambrick
Jason Irwin
Jeffrey Alfier
Heather McNaugher
Karen Lillis
Jason Baldinger
Zach Fishel
dan smith

Featuring poems about song and space, faith and factories,  of "butch baby dykes, trying it on" and of lizards and makeup, this Lipsmack! has something for everyone.  It rocks, it rolls, it grabs you by the ankles and won't let go!
Lipsmack!  A Sampler Platter of Poets from NightBallet Press Year Three 2014 features a sweet cover photo by Catherine Criswell.  The cover is a thick confetti cardstock with a lipsmacking red cardstock insert.  The 36 pages of text are printed on crisp white paper. 
To celebrate the publication of Lipsmack!, we are having a book release party at Mahalls in Lakewood, Ohio tonight (Monday, October 6, 2014), featuring Jennifer Hambrick and Andy Roberts from the Columbus area, Jason Baldinger from Pittsburgh, and Cleveland's own dan smith.  That's 7:30pm at Mahalls, 13200 Madison, Lakewood, Ohio!  We'll have fresh new copies of Lipsmack! Year Three, plus NBP books by all the featured readers, and copies of the two previous Lipsmack! anthologies, as well.  Come and hear some great poetry, groove with friends, and pick up your very own copy of Lipsmack! Year Three!
Lipsmack! is only $5 (plus $3 shipping/handling), and is available through mail order right here on this website, or on Amazon!

Friday, October 3, 2014

We are caught up in THORN BUSHES AND FISH HOOKS with Zach Fishel!

NightBallet Press celebrates today's publication of Thorn Bushes and Fish Hooks by Zach Fishel!


Thorn Bushes and Fish Hooks by Zach Fishel is the eighteenth title in the third season (year) of NightBallet publications, and it's a glorious thing!  Fishel writes honestly about childhood, family, favorite haunts, yellow catkins, sassafras, Ice Tooth and Old Man's Beard,  and Pennsylvania snow.  You will feel the crunch of leaves beneath your boots as you walk through this woodsy mindscape. 

Thorn Bushes and Fish Hooks is 28 pages long and contains 20 beautifully written poems. The cover photo is printed on dove gray cardstock, and the book has a golden yellow cardstock insert.  The text is printed on thick white cotton paper.

Fishel was born in Central Pennsylvania, and is a poet, outdoor guide, and high school English teacher in North Dakota.  He is the author of several books, including Windsock Etiquette, Blue Collar at Best, and Prayerbook Bouquet (published by NightBallet Press in 2013).  His poetry has received multiple Pushcart and Best of the Web nominations.  He still believes in his lifelong dream of being an astronaut, a cowboy, and a hobo.


Order your copy of Thorn Bushes and Fish Hooks today, for only $5 plus $3 shipping/handling!  See the PayPal link in the right column on this webpage, or order from Amazon. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Beep Beep! Move over, SHADOW TRAFFIC is coming through!

NightBallet Press is enormously pleased to announce today's publication of
Shadow Traffic by Joey Nicoletti!


Shadow Traffic contains 16 delightful poems about Marvel superheroes, famous Italians, famiglia, and rock and roll,  written with love and skill by New Yorker Joey Nicoletti.  Nicoletti takes you by the hand and leads you into his fantasy life of Spider-Man and Captain Marvel; he whispers into your ear about creating new holidays and baking Onion Pie.  He has a natural story-telling style, and his poems are at the same time quietly sophisticated and  easily accessible.

Joey Nicoletti is the author of Cannoli Gangster (Word tech, 2012), which was selected as a finalist for the Steel Toe Books Poetry Prize by Denise Duhamel.   He is also the author of Earthquake Weather (NightBallet Press, 2012), and Borrowed Dust (Finishing Line Press, 2011).  His poetry, nonfiction, and reviews have appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Stymie Magazine, Two Bridges Review, Voices in Italian Americana, Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books, and other magazines and anthologies.  He lives with his family in Western New York, where he teaches at SUNY Buffalo State. 

Shadow Traffic is 24 pages long, and is printed on creamy white paper.  The front cover, boasting a haunting cover photo taken by photographer extraordinaire Chandra Alderman,  is printed on rib-textured white cardstock, with a soft turquoise textured cardstock insert.  The book is saddle-stitched (stapled), and is only $5 plus $3 shipping handling.  You can order it from PayPal here on the NBP website (see right column), or order it from Amazon!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

There's a Lot of Life in this TERMINAL ISLAND!

NightBallet Press is enormously pleased to present the publication of
Terminal Island Los Angeles poems by Jeffrey Alfier!

In this book, California poet Jeffrey Alfier offers an uncompromising look at the gritty, lonely, hardworking inhabitants of Los Angeles County's Terminal Island.

In the poem "Lesser Alleluias at the Shipwrecking Yard", you can feel the moisture on your skin as you read (excerpt):

Late July, and heat is the huge exhale of a beast.
Sea fog so thick we might appear to deckhands
in the channel as ghouls in a horror flick.

And in "Angelina's Flower Shop on February 14th", you can hear the door open, you can smell the flowers (excerpt):

Angelina knows bouquets are chosen late
each year on this day.  Her bright greetings meet
the jingle of the opening door, a smile for every
halting word, blessings for each footfall that exits
homeward, every rose holding fast to red.

Terminal Island Los Angeles poems  is 48 pages long and contains 38 poems.  The haunting cover photo, taken by Jeffrey Alfier, and used with permission, is printed on thick white textured cardstock; the book has a gunmetal blue cardstock insert.  The text is printed on creamy white paper.

Jeffrey Alfier is the winner of the Kithara Book Prize for his poetry collection Idyll for a Vanishing River (Glass Lyre Press).  He is also author of eight chapbooks, and is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee.  He holds an MA in Humanities from California State University at Dominguez Hills.  Having served twenty-seven years in the Air Force as an enlisted man and an officer, he is a member of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).  He's also worked as a functional analyst with Science Applications International Corporation, and once taught history for City College of Chicago's European Division.  He has been published in the Birmingham Poetry Review, Crab Orchard Review, Georgetown Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Tulane Review, among many others.  He is the founder and co-editor of San Pedro River Review.  With camera poetic eye, he hunts the ruined, abandoned and unheralded places of America.

Terminal Island Los Angeles poems is available to order right here on this website for only $10 plus $4 shipping/handling (scroll down the right column and locate the PayPal button), or you can order it on

If you've never read Jeffrey Alfier's marvelous poetry, now is the time to start...get your copy today!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Go On a DREAM DRIVE for Your Summer Vacation!

So, it's summer, and you want to go someplace special?  How about going on a Dream Drive with Jonathan Harris?
Dream Drive is a brand new, 60-page poetry collection by Los Angeles poet Jonathan Harris.  And what a ride it is!  Harris intrigues us with dreamscapes of childhood memories and complex relationships, delights us with an entire section whimsically titled "Horsies", and teases us with poems named  "Shacking Up with Karma", "Alessandro Volta's First Letter of Resignation", and "John (and Yoko) Write a Haiku".
Featuring a richly-colored cover photograph by Californian Jeffrey Alfier on a pale ivory cardstock, with a textured, deep navy cardstock insert, Dream Drive is printed on thick white cotton paper and is a dream to hold in your hands.  You'll want to be wide-awake, though, when you read his words:
"Ode to Joy"

When he singssweet
scarecrow of a boy
he goes somewhere
other than here,
                          I think
to a holy place
in his hand-me-downs,
to a world brimming
with the well water
                                of joy,
where I go too,
picking up straw
& the golden notes
my son leaves behind.

"What I Do with My Time"

The past
is a time bomb
I hear ticking.
So I write.

The present
is a gift
I unwrap later.
So I hope.

The future
is a horse
I see winning.
So I bet.

Where I'm
coming from
kids turn cartwheels.
So I whistle.

Jonathan Harris received a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts from St. John's College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University.  His first book of poetry, The Wave That Did Not Break, was published by Tebot Bach Press in 2010.  Along with being head of development for the entertainment agency Atoll Productions, he serves as a judge for the Page International Screenwriting Contest.  His work has appeared recently in the Raleigh Review, Spillway, Best of the Net, and the Jacar Press anthology What Matters.  A former Peace Corps volunteer, he lives with his family in Los Angeles.

NightBallet Press is honored and extremely pleased to publish Dream Drive, containing forty-five poems on sixty pages.  Divided into four sections: The Book of Us, The Book of Others, Horsies, and Portraits of Earth, Dream Drive will steal your heart and take you on a journey of discovery and delight.  You may order Dream Drive for only $10 plus $4 shipping/handling, through PayPal right here on this website (scroll down the right-side column), or find it on Amazon.  Of course, if you live in Los Angeles, you can get it directly from the poet himself!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Words Dance in the NightBallet Book-Release Super-Bash and a SPECIAL SALE!

Today, Saturday June 14, 2014, is the BIG DAY...the day of the Words Dance in the NightBallet book-release super-bash in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!

                                                     poster designed by Amanda Oaks

Beginning at 7:30 p.m., nine poets from Ohio and Pennsylvania will join to read "round robin" style at the Modern Formations Gallery, 4919 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA:

Amanda Oaks
Jason Irwin
Dianne Borsenik
Jason Baldinger
Karen Lillis
John Burroughs
Heather McNaugher
John Dorsey
Nikki Allen

NightBallet Press is honored to have published Hurricane Mouth for Amanda Oaks in April of this year, and is proud to have published books for John Burroughs The Eater of the Absurd and John Dorsey  Fall of the Ramen Empire and White Girl Problems as well.

This past week NightBallet Press was thrilled to announce the publication of five new books by five outstanding Pittsburgh poets!

Where You Are by Jason Irwin
The Studs Terkel Blues by Jason Baldinger
Double Life by Heather McNaugher
The Paul Simon Project by Karen Lillis
ligaments of light tigering the shoulders by Nikki Allen

To celebrate the spoken and written word, Words Dance and NightBallet Press have joined together to present tonight's Words Dance in the NightBallet...and YOU are invited! 

As this is a very special event, it deserves a very special sale!  Buy all five books for $25 plus $4 shipping/handling!  That's a savings of $5 off  the price of Nikki Allen's book, and the combined shipping saves you $11!  To purchase all five books for this very special price, see the PayPal button in the right side column of this websitebe sure to hit the PayPal Button that says SUPER SALE, and not the PayPal buttons for the individual Pittsburgh poets' books.

We hope to see you tonight at the eventit's going to be a night to remember!

Friday, June 13, 2014


The fifth of five Pittsburgh poets to have NBP publish them this week is Nikki Allen, with her brand new full-length collection of poems ligaments of light tigering the shoulders!
In ligaments of light tigering the shoulders, Allen writes lushly textured poems that draw you in and won't let go.  Her world dances and daydreams, burns and shines.  These two poems from her collection are prime examples of the beauty and skill with which she wields her words:

aloe vera

she kept her aloe in the fridge next to
hot sauce and a jar
of olives ball-gagged

with garlic

grin of arrowhead

                                   and clover
                                   i burn she said
                                   i don't


Georgia: billboards and red clay, fruit stands.  Hotel soaps so slight in geometry they become phases of moon before the shower ends. Hallway carpet I will never see again, hum of ice machine.

Virginia: we dig a big hole in the sand.  So big that children of strangers start appearing with shovels and buckets and helping.  At the end of the day we let it go and by evening the crater is swollen with ocean, a full mouth pushing its food aroundform loses shape.  Thick aloe leaves snapped and shared, scrubbed like erasers on the essay of shoulders.

Kentucky: the beautiful girl with blue dreads, her thin-as-reed companionhead low in yellow shirt.  The poems and our car with no heat, shivers down the highway.  We talk nonstop to stay warm.  A man named Falcon in the back walking circles, practicing.  Getting lost between bridges, slingshot and brewery.

South Carolina: population of jellyfish against my morning run.  Hijacked liquor cabinet; we run with shovels and sweaters in the dark.  The water looks like chocolate and I can point out sharks.  I learn to fear the current.

Florida: baby with colic in the backseat.  He is small and red, unrelated dynamite.  I use my stack of empty postcards for poems.  In the center, on the Gulf.  I am afraid to feed the seagulls.  I stare at two of them mating on hotel roof, off-white flutters stacked and screeching; my father tells me to look away.


Nikki Allen scribbles poems on cocktail napkins, receipts, and/or any other blank space she can get her pen on.  She's been getting on stages to read her work for over 15 years, including in St. Louis, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Seattle, war protests, music festivals, charity events, and art openings.  Allen is the author of My Darling Since, Quite Like Yes, and Birds at 4 A.M., and has contributed vocals to tracks by recording artists Poogie Bell ("Question Song") and Jack Wilson ("NYC").  Visit her website at

ligaments of light tigering the shoulders is 48 pages long and contains 34 poems printed on creamy white paper.  The cover features a stunning photograph taken by Allen, printed on a very pale turquoise cardstock with a rich turquoise cardstock insert.  This fantastic collection of poems is only $10 plus $3 shipping/handling, and can be purchased beginning today, June13, 2014,  by clicking the PayPal button in the right side column of this website.  You can also find us on Amazon, or, if you live near Pittsburgh, you can get your very own signed copy directly from the poet at the Words Dance in the NightBallet book-release super-bash TOMORROW June 14, 2014 (follow link for details)!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Listen Up! It's Karen Lillis: The Paul Simon Project!

NightBallet Press is thrilled to announce the fourth of five chapbooks to be published this week for Pittsburgh poets in anticipation of the Words Dance in the NightBallet  super-bash:  The Paul Simon Project by Karen Lillis!

Of The Paul Simon Project, Lillis writes:

"For the last decade, I've been drawn to Paul Simon's early solo albums, but especially Still Crazy After All These Years.  I love his particular way of telling stories that can contain such dry observation, even sarcasm, and such tenderness at the same time.  He writes songs about people and relationships on a very human scale, songs that convey an intimacy.  I decided to write an album of poems that used each song title from Still Crazy as a prompt; from there I allowed myself to be inspired by any other aspect of the song I chose to, or to go my own direction entirely."

That's right, The Paul Simon Project by Karen Lillis is an "album" of ten delightful poems, all titled the same as the song titles on the Paul Simon album Still Crazy After All These Years!  This 24 page chapbook is printed on textured ecru paper, and has an ecru cardstock cover (with a rust-red cardstock insert) that echoes the original Paul Simon album.  (Cover model Lisa Panepinto)  The poems explore a variety of subjects, including writing about her own "little town" (excerpt):

Pedaling furiously to a rendezvous
    with the last Catholic boy this side of Maryland
Making out hard on the asphalt edge
    of a new housing development
Falling head over heels at breakneck speed
Shedding red bandana so hair tumbles free
Holding on tightly to straight A's and virginity:
double-edged, sure-shot, one-way ticket
out of my little town.


Karen Lillis, novelist, poet, journalist, editor and blogger, has had work appear in The Boog City Reader, Free State Review, Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, Trip City, and many more. She is the author of four short novels, including Watch the Doors as They Close (Spuyten Duyvil, 2012), and is the recipient of the 2014 Acker Award for Avant Garde Excellence in Fiction.  She blogs at Karen the Small Press Librarian and runs Small Press Pittsburgh, an underground lit bookselling service.

The Paul Simon Project is available for purchasing beginning today, June 12, 2014, right here on the NightBallet Press website!  See the link to PayPal below, or find us on Amazon.  Lillis will be signing copies of her new chapbook this coming Saturday June 14, 2014 at the Words Dance in the NightBallet book release.  Get your copy and "listen up" to The Paul Simon Project!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Heather McNaugher leads a "Double Life"!

NightBallet Press is enormously pleased to announce the third of five Pittsburgh poets to be published this week:  Heather McNaugher, with her new chapbook Double Life!

In Double Life, which is (aptly) divided into two sections, "Seattle" and "Pittsburgh", McNaugher writes about  relationships and  recollections with wry humor and honesty.  In "Second-order Desire", she writes (excerpt)

So I said, "But I want to want
to marry you.  I want to want
kids, a dog, to trip over their toys in the yard,
to mow the lawn on Saturday, to learn to garden;
I want to want
And she pulled the car over on Woodlawn.
And not until she had come to a complete stop
did she turn her torso to look me directly in the eye
which I averted and she said, "Heather.
Will you listen to yourself?"  Then she put the Civic into drive
and drove.

And in "New Dumpling House, 2000", she writes (excerpt)
It was the Christmas I walked to the Chinese restaurant for beer. 
The snowy, then snowier, haul to the bottom of Murray.  Inside, my
glasses steam with Dim Sum and the secular body heat of
nonbelievers in blue jeans.  It was the Christmas I believed only in
beer. In the Chinese restaurant on Christmas there is one kind of
beer, Tsingtao, and the tidy man behind the bar is required by the
State of Pennsylvania to sell it to me by the bottle, 3 bucks apiece.  It
would be easier to purchase a grenade launcher.

Heather McNaugher received a BA in English from Pittsburgh's Chatham University in 1995, after which she followed a redhead to Seattle and became a housecleaner and barista.  She received her PhD in English from The State University of New York at Binghamton, and now teaches English back at her alma mater.  She is the author of two previous poetry collections, System of Hidouts (Main Street Rag, 2012) and Panic & Joy (Finishing Line, 2008).  Her work has appeared in The Fourth Genre, New Ohio Review, 5 A.M., and on the radio show Prosody.  She is poetry editor of The Fourth River.  She's tried living elsewhere, but keeps coming back to Pittsburgh.

Double Life is 32 pages with 17 poems.  The cover, which is thick white cardstock with a textured charcoal gray cardstock insert,  features a stunning photograph taken by New York poet Matthew Hupert.  The text is printed on creamy white paper.  This book is available for only $5 plus $3 shipping/handling beginning today, June 11, 2014 (orders will be mailed Saturday June 14, 2014, the day of the book release at Words Dance in the NightBallet.)  You may order by clicking on the PayPal button in the right side column, or find us on Amazon.  Of course, if you live near Pittsburgh, you can get a signed copy and hear the poet read from her book this coming Saturday June 14, 2014 (see the link in this paragraph for details)! 

You can order her book TODAY:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Jason Baldinger has "The Studs Terkel Blues"!

The second of five Pittsburgh poets to be published this week is Jason Baldinger, who has The Studs Terkel Blues!

 In The Studs Terkel Blues, Baldinger wryly addresses the subject of work:  finding it, leaving it, dealing with bosses, coworkers and customers, and sweating it out through seasons and relationships.

The front cover features original artwork by Jon Dowling; the chapbook cover is ivory with a dark chocolate cardstock insert.  The text is printed on ivory paper.  The Studs Terkel Blues is 32 pages long and contains 19 poems with wickedly witty titles such as "Employee of the Month", The Hymn to Toilet Duck", "My Three Days as an Environmentalist", and "To Interviews". 

A sample of lines from some of the poems:

"Jobs, like people, fall out of our pockets
sometimes, maybe more so when you're seventeen."

"I have to watchan OSHA video on safety
before I can report to work.
The video stars and is narrated by David Ogden Stiers...
...I'm pretty sure Major Winchester
never had to lift a box
or work a twelve hour day
in a diaper factory"

"To the drug store district manager, so excited he had a management candidate under thirty, it wouldn't matter what I said during that interview.  It was, however, creepy that at interview's end, standing for the handshake, he had a hard-on."

                                            photo by John Burroughs, used with permission

Jason Baldinger has spent his life in odd jobs; he says "if only poetry was the strangest of them, he'd have far less to talk about."  His latest books are The Studs Terkel Blues, and The Lower 48 (Six Gallery Press).  He has also been published in The New Yinzer, Shatter Wig Press, and Blast Furnace.  You can hear him read from The Lady Pittsburgh, his first solo collection, here.
Beginning today, Tuesday June 10, 2014, you can buy The Studs Terkel Blues for only $5 plus $3 shipping/handling (the books will be mailed Saturday June 14, 2014, the day of the book release).  You may purchase the book right here through PayPal, or find us on Amazon!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Jason Irwin Knows WHERE YOU ARE!

NightBallet Press is thrilled to be producing five new chapbooks for the upcoming (Saturday June 14, 2014) "Words Dance in the NightBallet" super-event!  These chapbooks will feature the work of five very talented Pittsburgh poets.  The first chapbook to be announced is Jason Irwin's Where You Are!

Where You Are is a 28 page chapbook of 21 slices-of-life poems, written by Pittsburgh poet Jason Irwin.  Irwin's pithy poems are collages

of desire and anticipation

From archipelago to archipelago
my eyes travel southward,
following a constellation of blue stars
that disappear beneath her low slung jeans.
of irony and missed chances

You know you could love her forever,
if you could just summon the courage to ask
her phone number.  Instead, you settle for a sixth cup
of coffee and extra ketchup for your fries.

of a lifetime seeking the "Where You Are" of the title...

Aren't we like that girl at the bus stop
short skirt, one wool sock
pulled tight at her knee, the other lost
around her ankle
by the distance we must travel?

                                              photo by Jen Ashburn, used with permission
Irwin 's first full-length collection Watering the Dead won the 2006-2007 Transcontinental Poetry Award and was published by Pavement Saw Press in 2008.  Some Days It's A Love Story won the 2005 Slipstream Press Chapbook Prize.  You can find him at

Where You Are features a beautiful cover photo by Chandra Alderman, printed on two-sided dove gray and dark gray cardstock, with a thick, burnt orange cardstock insert.  The text is printed on a creamy-textured brilliant white paper. This chapbook is available beginning this coming Saturday June 14, 2014 for only $5 plus $3 shipping/handling!  You may preorder beginning today.

If you are in Pittsburgh, you can obtain a copy at the Words Dance in the NightBallet event and have the poet sign it for you on the spot!  If you are out-of-town and must order it online, you can order it through PayPal or find it on Amazon!

Be among the first to get a copy and find out just exactly Where You Are!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Words Dance in the NightBallet Book Release Party!

              Words Dance in the NightBalletPoetry in the Darkis a superbash scheduled
                                    for June 14, 2014, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!

NightBallet Press editor Dianne Borsenik teams up with Words Dance editor Amanda Oaks for a night of poetry and new books, friendship and fun! 

NightBallet Press has already published books for three of the poets readingJohn Burroughs's The Eater of the Absurd, John Dorsey's White Girl Problems and Fall of the Ramen Empire, and Amanda Oaks's Hurricane Mouthand is planning to release not one, not two, not three, but five books to celebrate the amazing talent that saturates the Pittsburgh poetry scene!

Due to be released June 14th, the night of "Poetry in the Dark", are:

Jason Irwin's Where You Are
Karen Lillis's The Paul Simon Project
Heather McNaugher's Double Life
Nikki Allen's ligaments of light tigering the shoulders
Jason Baldinger's The Studs Terkel Blues!

(In the coming days, each book will be showcased on the NBP page; stay tuned for the postings!)

Don't miss out on this chance to see us blow the roof off the Gallery!  The reading will be "in the dark" but these poets will light up the night with words that sparkle and sizzle...join us, BYOB, and help NightBallet and Words Dance kick off the summer with a night to remember!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New May Release: Jerry in the Bardo by Tsaurah Litzky!

National Poetry Month never ends here at NightBallet Press!  And to prove that we're still celebrating, we've published a brand new bookJerry in the Bardoby Tsaurah Litzky!

Jerry in the Bardo by Brooklyn, New York poet Tsaurah Litzky is a 32 page book of 22 poems, printed on bright white cotton paper. The textured ivory cover of Jerry in the Bardo features gorgeous collage art by Litzky titled "Jerry Enters the Bardo".  (NBP admits we had to look up bardo, which is a Tibetan word meaning "intermediate state"—in Tibetan Buddhism, the bardo is the state of the soul between its death and rebirth.)  The colors in the collage are enhanced by a heavy blue-gray cardstock insert.

A fascinating character study, Jerry in the Bardo explores the complex relationship between an adult daughter and her aging father, and does so with honesty, sensitivity, and discovery.  Mostly written, according to Litzky, in the four years before her father Jerry's death on March 7, 2011,  Litzky says "Jerry in the Bardo does not offer comforts or platitudes.  I only hope its truth comes punching out off the page, the way my father taught me to live my days."

Jerry and Tsaurah,, 2008 (photo used with permission)

Tsaurah Litzky writes poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, erotica, plays, and commentary, but says "poetry is (her) heart".  Her poems have appeared in over ninety publications, including the New York Times and The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry.  In 2006, she was named one of the 20 Poets Laureate of New York City by the People's Poetry Gathering.

Jerry in the Bardo, selling for $10 plus $3 postage/handling, is available beginning this week of May 6, 2014, right here on the NBP page (see the PayPal box to the right of this posting, on Amazon, and of course, as always, directly from the author!