Red Hen Press

Red Hen Press
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Red Hen Press, one of the few literary presses in the Los Angeles area, was founded in 1994 by Kate Gale and Mark E. Cull with the intention of keeping creative literature alive. Our focus as a literary press is to publish poetry, literary fiction, and nonfiction.
    Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Press7 days ago
    American Bastard is a lyrical inquiry into the experience of being a bastard in America. This memoir travels across literal continents—and continents of desire as Beatty finds her birthfather, a Canadian hockey player who’s won three Stanley Cups—and her birthmother, a working-class woman from Pittsburgh. This is not the whitewashed story, but the real story, where Beatty writes through complete erasure: loss of name and history, and a culture based on the currency of gratitude as expected payment from the adoptee. American Bastard sandblasts the exaltation of adoption in Western culture and the myth of the “chosen baby.” This journey into the relationship of place and body compels and unhinges, with the link between identity and blood history as its driving force. Beatty rescripts the order of things: the horizontal world of the birth table where babies are switched, the complex yard of the body where names and blood shift and revolt, and the actual story into the relationship of place and the insurrection of the body erased. Issues of class and struggle run throughout this book, this narrative river between blood and continents, between work and desire.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Press23 days ago
    Irrevocably tied to the Carolinas, these stories tell tales of the woebegone, their obsessions with decay, and the haunting ache of the region itself—the land of the dwindling pines, the isolation inherent in the mountains and foothills, and the loneliness of boomtowns. Predominantly working-class women challenge the status quo by rejecting any lingering expectations or romantic notions of Southern femininity. Small businesses are failing. Factories are closing. Money is tight. The threat of violence lingers for women and girls. Through their collective grief, heartache, and unsettling circumstances, many of these characters become feral and hell-bent on survival. Gilstrap’s prose teems with wildness and lyricism, showing the Southern gothic tradition of storytelling is alive and feverishly unwell in the twenty-first century.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Presslast month
    Through a series of love letters and individual poems that are both conversational and extraordinary, Cleary beautifully explores the ghosts of his past and what it means to experience a loss, promising to leave readers dewy-eyed with a deep yearning for more.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Presslast month
    Based on the true story of Sarah Ellen Gibson, the sixth woman to arrive in Fairbanks, Alaska, in the gold rush of 1903, this novel in poems incorporates a wide variety of style—persona, narrative, and lyric poems, as well as historical photographs and documents—to tell Gibson’s story. Through these poems, the reader is offered the chance to try on the dusty, mining-town overcoat of Gibson’s life.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Presslast month
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Presslast month
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Presslast month
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Presslast month
    Sinking Islands continues the story of Bronwyn Artair, a scientist who possesses the power to influence the natural forces of the Earth. After several successful interventions, including one in Siberia, she has gone into hiding, worried about unintended consequences of her actions, as well as about the ethics of operating solo. But circumstances call her to action again, and an idea takes shape: What if she could impart her skill to other people? Gathering a few kindred souls from climate-troubled places around the world—Felipe from São Paulo, where drought conditions are creating strains on day-to-day life; Analu and his daughter Penina from a sinking island in the South Pacific; and Patty from the tornado-ridden plains of Kansas—she takes them to the wilds of Northern New Hampshire where she tries to teach them her skill. The novel, realistic but for the single fantastical element, explores how we might become more attuned to the Earth and act more collaboratively to solve the enormity of our climate problem.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Presslast month
    In this collection, Caballero imagines how memory frames and reshapes the present, how memory illuminates and limits the stories of ourselves, and how, despite the passage of time, primal moments in the past are the ghosts and echoes of our present. These poems interweave an early childhood lived in another country and in another language with experiences of immigration and family histories in the United States. They create connections between a child’s naïve perspective of dictatorship and an adult perspective informed by bodily illness and political knowledge. Ultimately, Caballero traces a lineage of memory, exploring how present moments unearth the past that ripples through them. This collection does not reconcile the past and the present. Instead, these poems remind us that how we ask questions about ourselves, our histories, and our bodies is what creates our identities, our traumas, and our future hopes and possibilities.

    “Caballero bears unflinching witness to the emotional trauma inherited from war-ravaged Chile to the exiled plains of Oklahoma. As though to witness is to love. These poems negotiate the transitions of language, memory, country, her battle with cancer, counterbalancing the violence from which she fled with a transformative devotion to details.”—Richard Blanco, fifth Presidential Inaugural Poet
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Press3 months ago
    Abracadabra, Sunshine is a series of ever-turning letters written to lovers, friends, and family as a testament to human perseverance and to art-making as a continuous defiance against the often overwhelming complexities and hardships of existence. Darting from the Czech Republic to the Andromeda Galaxy, from the films of Godard to the tales of the Brothers Grimm and the Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang, these poems foreground our animal need for love and connection against the background of our historical obsession with destruction. By turns dour and deeply hopeful, Booth’s poems extol the communal and healing powers of vulnerability and love.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Press4 months ago
    From the edge of a singularity and across desert roads at night, A Camera Obscura teleports its readers through deep space nebulae and the constructs of cityscapes to arrive at what it means to “see.” Lovers embrace in sonnets and meditations move through artworks and Hubble Telescope images as these poems employ ekphrastic visions to balance the profound displacements in the most mundane aspects of our lives with science, fact, faith, and song. In the ceremonial blades of Aztec sacrifice and the anonymity of undocumented lives, these poems accrete into a solar system of images seen true, seen askance, seen in error, seen entire. A Camera Obscura is the dark room of the imagination where sīgnum—the sign, the act—becomes the tangible testaments of living.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Press4 months ago
    American Quasar is a visual-textual collaboration between poet David Campos and artist Maceo Montoya. What began as an exploration of the precipice of violence evolved into an excavation of self, a deep meditation on how country, family, and trauma affect the ability to love. The images and words build a poetic space where the body is understood in both physical and celestial terms, giving a spiritual dimension to the collection's larger claim that the political is personal.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Press5 months ago
    Described by Publishers Weekly as Cooley's “sharp latest”, “Cooley has a sure hand in probing the intersection of artistic ambition and money. This hopeful take is sure to move readers.”

    In Brooklyn, New York, in 2005, Ellen Portinari buys a lottery ticket on a whim; not long after, she realizes she’s won a hundred-million-dollar jackpot. With a month to redeem the ticket, she tells no one but her alcoholic brother—a talented composer whose girlfriend has died in a terrorist attack abroad—about her preposterous good luck.As the clock ticks, Ellen caroms from incredulity to giddiness to dread as she tries to reckon with the potential consequences of her win. She becomes unexpectedly involved with a man and boy she’s met at her local gym. While she grapples with the burden of secret-keeping and the tug of a new intimacy, a Brooklyn street artist named Blair Talpa is contending with her own challenges: a missing brother, an urge to make art that will “derange orbits,” and a lack of money.En route to redeem the lottery ticket, Ellen finds her prospects entwining by chance with Blair’s—which allows Ellen to reimagine luck’s relation to loss, and the reader to revel in surprise.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Press4 months ago
    Happily married, backed by a powerful mentor, and with career prospects that would take him abroad, Serguey has more than any young Cuban lawyer could ask for. But when his estranged brother Victor appears with news that their father—famed theater director Felipe Blanco—has been detained for what he suspects are political reasons, Serguey’s privileged life is suddenly shaken.A return to his childhood home in Havana’s decaying suburbs—a place filled with art, politics, and the remnants of a dissolving family—reconnects Serguey with his troubled past. He learns of an elusive dramaturge’s link to Felipe, a man who could be key to his father’s release. With the help of a social media activist and his wife’s ties with the Catholic Church, Serguey sets out to unlock the mystery of Felipe’s arrest and, in the process, is forced to confront the reasons for the hostility between him and Victor: two violent childhood episodes that scarred them in unforgettable ways. On the verge of imprisonment, Serguey realizes he must make a decision regarding not just his father, but his family and his own future, a decision which, under the harsh shadow of a communist state, he cannot afford to regret.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Press5 months ago
    Original Grace is the last book in the Snake Quartet. In it, the journey from destruction leads through the darkened rooms of an enormous house where occasionally outside the windows creatures past, present, and future appear—asking for help or solace or trying to break the glass to get in. But the house is made of poetry and is unassailable unlike those who live in it.By this time, Snake has undergone the transformations from sole survivor into the mythic voice of the collective with all their throats open and in full song. She has undergone the movement from original gender into all genders. The rough linguistic artifacts left from the first book—the dialects and fogginess she experienced living both in and out of a dream—slowly become more coherent as she learns to filter the collective voices back into her personal speech. Original Grace is not just the end of what was but the beginning of what comes next. The sun has gone down. The long wait for a new sunrise is nearly over.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Press5 months ago
    Touching Creatures, Touching Spirit illustrates with true stories that we live in an interactive, aware world in which the creatures around us in our neighborhoods know us and sometimes reach across to us, empathically and helpfully. Implications are that all beings live in a possible “common mind” from which our mass culture has disconnected, but which is only a heartbeat and some concentrated attention away. This mind encompasses microbial life and insects as well as creatures and extends to nonmaterial intelligence as well—that is to say, spirit.Creatures as varied as a collaborating dragonfly, ants rescuing each other, a sympathetic lizard, an empathic coyote, gift-giving squirrels, crazed birds, and lots of very mysteriously smart cats inhabit the stories.Precognition, dreams, paranormal experiences with birds, psychic communications with cats, visitations from ghosts with messages, rolling earth spirits—not supernatural, they seem natural enough but not visible to everyone.The intention of this book is to help people catch interactions they themselves experience with nonhuman and even disembodied beings, and who could use some support for recalling since these interactions make clear we live in a sentient world.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Press5 months ago
    In a polygamist commune in the desert, a fourteen-year-old boy and a twelve-year-old girl fall in love and consummate that love, breaking religious law. They are caught, and a year later, she gives birth to his father’s child while the boy commits murder four hundred miles away—a crime that will slowly unravel the community.Told by eight adolescent narrators, this is a story of how people use faith to justify cruelty, and how redemption can come from unexpected places. Though seemingly powerless in the face of their fundamentalist religion, these “strange children” shift into the central framework of their world as they come of age.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Press6 months ago
    What happens when a Midwestern girl migrates to a haunted Southern town, whose river is a graveyard, whose streets bear the names of Southern slave owners? How can she build a home where Confederate symbols strategically stand in the center of town? Can she sage the chilling truths of her ancestors? What will she do to cope with the traumatizing ghostliness of the present-day South?
    Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat is a heart-wrenching reconciliation and confrontation of the living, breathing ghosts that awaken Black women each day. This debut poetry collection summons multiple hauntings—ghosts of matriarchs that came before, those that were slain, and those that continue to speak to us, but also those horrors women of color strive to put to rest. Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat examines the haunting feeling of facing past demons while grappling with sexism, racism, and bigotry. They are all present: ancestral ghosts, societal ghosts, and spiritual, internal hauntings. This book calls out for women to speak their truth in hopes of settling the ghosts or at least being at peace with them.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Press7 months ago
    The five sections in Kim Stafford’s Singer Come from Afar hold poems that summon war and peace, pandemic struggles, Earth imperatives, a seeker’s spirit, and forge kinship. The former poet laureate of Oregon, Stafford has shared poems from this book in libraries, prisons, on reservations, with veterans, immigrants, homeless families, legislators, and students in schools. He writes for hidden heroes, resonant places, and for our chance to converge in spite of differences. Poems like “Practicing the Complex Yes” and “The Fact of Forgiveness” engineer tools for connection with the self, the community, and the Earth: “It is a given you have failed . . . [but] the world can’t keep its treasures from you.” For the early months of the pandemic, Stafford wrote and posted a poem for challenge and comfort each day on Instagram and published a series of chapbooks that traveled hand to hand to far places—to Norway, Egypt, and India. He views the writing and sharing of poetry as an essential act of testimony to sustain tikkun olam, the healing of the world. May this book be the hidden spring you seek.
  • Red Hen Pressadded a book to the bookshelfRed Hen Press7 months ago
    A Gypsy’s Book of Revelation is a collection of stories with an astonishing range of styles and subject matters. A woman visits her cremation from inside the body of her dead self, a competitive couple trains as free-divers, a mother leaves her son behind on top of a mountain, a very pregnant woman experiences a peculiar relationship with a priest-to-be: these stories are full of surprising experimentation that strikes a deeply compelling balance between the real and the bizarre. Embodying unusual premises and worlds, these stories are also fearlessly nontraditional in their structure and approach. These voices haunt, tease, and dare while never providing fully fledged answers. Each story is its own unique thing, a small but profound nod to the human condition.
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