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!