Sunday, October 29, 2017

Halloween and Dia de los Muertos! Part One, Kevin Eberhardt!

It's the end of October, and NightBallet Press is pleased to announce the publication of TWO fantastic poetry collections by TWO fantastic poets,
Kevin Eberhardt and Alan Catlin! 
This is Part One of two posts; stay tuned for Part Two: Alan Catlin next weekend!

Part One:  Kevin Eberhardt: Before the Puppets Could Sing
Before the Puppets Could Sing by northeast Ohio poet and artist Kevin Eberhardt is a dark fantasy "upon the scrimshawed sea" to lands where "pillar shaped clouds/hold up the sky," where "there's a darkness in the water" and "skeletons dance/on splintering ropes."

This is the editor's favorite poem in the book:

Holy Storms

A congregation of
Clouds gather for
Prayer the sermon
Same as yesterday
& the one before of
Apocalyptic damage
To an unexpected
Town got nothin' to
Do with sin or the
Breaking of any
W/out warning & un
Prepared for that
Which they were
About to receive
A renegade cold
Front moves in
Spouting a torrent
Of tornadoes in
A schizophrenic
Language only
Angels under
Stand / repent
For the wrath of
God is upon us

Before the Puppets Could Sing contains 28 pages of 21 poems and a Kevin Eberhardt illustration, "'Tis the Season."  The cover is a stark white textured cardstock with an Eberhardt art piece, "The Gate" in red and black. The cardstock insert is thick and double-sided, black and red. The text is printed on brilliant white paper. While the poems are often brief, they contain an astonishing array of wordplay and vivid imagery. 

Kevin Eberhardt, in recent years, has expressed himself in found/primitive/folk art. His striking and distinctive art has appeared on numerous NightBallet Press covers, and has been featured at JoAnn DePolo Studios and Gallery in North Olmsted, Ohio, and at  Eberhardt's poetry has appeared in various publications, including ArtCrimes, The City Poetry, Deep Cleveland Junkmail Oracle, and the Fuck Poetry anthology (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2011).  He is the author of two previous chapbooks, Transitory Innocence (NBP, 2013), and Burnin' Shadows (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2011).  He also published a collaborative book of poems and photos, Rockin' at the Ace Cafe, with U.K. photographer Richard Byerley.  Learn more at

Before the Puppets Could Sing is only $5 plus $3 shipping.  To purchase a copy, simply click on the PayPal button (you don't have to have a PayPal account to use it).

Out-of-country purchasers, please contact the press at for information on shipping costs.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


NightBallet Press welcomes everyone to our 7th year (season)
of making works-of-art books for poets across the United States!

We are thrilled to announce the first book published this season is
by one of Ohio's most gifted poets, Rikki Santer. 
Her new full-length collection, Make Me That Happy,
makes us...well, That Happy!


Make Me That Happy, with dynamic cover art ("Do-Si-Do 6.26.17") by Bree (, is a full-length collection, containing 42 poems on 64 pages.  This saddle-stitched book has a cover cardstock of warm tan, with a deep blue, textured, cardstock insert. The poems are printed on bright white paper.
Santer writes about "Condiments as a Way of Knowing," about "Arguments for Furniture', about "Still Life with Whoopee Cushion," and "Taxidermy for Erotica." Her poems are dancers in a conga line, inviting the reader to join in the rhythm and kick, the joyful weaving of words, from the first page to the last!

"Reading Rikki Santer's Make Me That Happy this Saturday morning was kind of like sitting down to a glorious, sumptuous brunch.  Here's Santer describing a gorgeous summer evening: "We sit cross-legged on the lawn / for a rod and cone picnic." A rod and cone picnic! One of the functions of poetry is to show us the world afresh, to restore its glorious strangeness. Rikki Santer goes a step farther by reminding us how wondrous and strange language itself can be.  I hear echoes of my favorite Surrealist/Absurdists here, like Dean Young and Caroline Knox and Russell Edson.  But no one sounds quite like Rikki Santer.  I love watching her brew up her crazy, beautiful, magical sentences."  George Bilgere, Blood Pages (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018)

Rikki Santer's Make Me That Happy is a masterfully nuanced book, brimming with poems both insightful and deeply funny. The imagery and turns of phrase in this new collection, from "a bouquet of geese / glinting into formation" to "a hub-capped sun," make us see the familiar anew.  Ohio is lucky that it can claim a poet with such intelligence and warmth."  Maggie Smith, Good Bones (Tupelo Press, 2017)

"In Make Me That Happy, Rikki Santer offers up a saucy collection of spirited poems that makes me want to laugh, cry, and celebrate. Whether she is writing about dead parent, bumper stickers, or kitchen cabinets, she is at once witty and ironic, clever and entertaining. Each poem is a carefully crafted delicacy--unique and lyrical."  Nin Andrews, Miss August (CavanKerry Press, 2017)


Rikki Santer has worked as a journalist, a magazine and book editor, co-founder and managing editor of an alternative city newspaper in Cleveland, and as poet-in-the-schools. She earned an M.A. degree in journalism from Kent State University, an an M.F.A. degree in creative writing from Ohio State University.  Her work has won honors from The Poetry Forum, Black Lawrence Press, and the Ohio Poetry Association, as well as Pushcart and Ohioana Book Award nominations, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her work has appeared in Slipstream, Main Street Rag, The Atlanta Review, Rhino Literary Journal, and many others; previous books include Kahiki Redux (Wexner Center for the Arts, 2015), Fishing for Rabbits (Kattywompus Press, 2013). Clothesline Logic (Pudding House, 2009), and Front Nine (Kalupi Press, 2005). Santer lives in Columbus, Ohio.  Find her at

Make Me That Happy is $15 plus $4 shipping/handling, and is available directly from NightBallet Press through PayPal.  You don't have to have a PayPal account to purchase; all you need is a debit or credit card.  You may also buy it on Amazon. Get your copy now! (Out-of-country buyers, please contact the editor for information on additional shipping costs.  Email nightballetpress at