Cover of Dancing on the Tarmac by Tarik Dobbs

Dancing on the Tarmac by Tarik Dobbs

Selected by Gabrielle Calvocoressi for the Yemassee 2020 poetry chapbook competition. 

“In Dancing on the Tarmac, Tarik Dobbs writes an intimate portrayal of familial and political violence, diaspora, queerness, and surveillance. Through brilliant visual poems and subversion of form, Dobbs’ speaker is unflinching, riveting readers with their sharp line breaks and emotional landscapes. “…might I become a beloved lampshade with legs?” asks the speaker, before plunging into poems that force us to reckon with violence as we search for our own “light.””

— Noor Hindi, author of Dear God. Dear Bones. Dear Yellow. (Haymarket Books, 2023) 

Cover of Andrew Touhy's Designs for a Magician's Top Hat Chapbook

Designs for a Magician’s Top Hat by Andrew R. Touhy

Selected by Sarah Gerard for the Yemassee 2020 fiction chapbook competition.

“Some as short as a paragraph, others only a few pages, each of the stories in “Designs for a Magician’s Top Hat” conjures a world entire, pregnant with magic, humor, curiosity, and deep feeling. Their author finds trap doors in tales we’ve traversed a hundred times, and moral murkiness in those we’d thought were crystalline. The collection’s greatest magic trick, though, is perhaps its ability to empathize with such a vast array of characters: parentless children or the lovelorn and then, just as easily, the unlikeliest of creatures, like a housefly, or a Honda engine. Here is a talent that familiarizes the strange and stranges the familiar with delight, aplomb, and a bottomless love for this world. I’m honored to have made this writer’s introduction, and thrilled to share their writing with all of you.”

— Sarah Gerard, author of the novel True Love, and a collection of essays, Sunshine State

Coming Soon

Alone and Naked Inside of a Whale by Stevie Subrizi

Selected by Dustin Pearson for the Yemassee 2021 poetry chapbook competition.

“In Alone and Naked inside of a Whale, readers are led along in an examination of perilousness and absurdity in a world in which “we are to imagine the patriarchal cis-heteronormative nuclear family structure, along with capitalism, as natural law.” The speaker, whose “body had been thrown into jeopardy” and whose “mother no longer recognized it and would not take it into her protection,” undertakes a transformative journey toward personal liberation and away from such realms and resolves, a journey that contends with erasure, other imposed human compression, and the moments that might evade those. Somehow, these poems convey gravity and reality with incredible generosity and humor. I laughed and was moved alongside this speaker such that I think I wanted to claim myself back from exhaustion and the encouraged dissociation, to keep time similarly sharp and vivid.”

— Dustin Pearson, author of Millennial Roost (C&R Press, 2018) and A Family is a House (C&R Press, 2019

Let Our Bodies be Returned to Us by Lynn Mundell

Selected by Mira T. Lee for the Yemassee 2021 fiction chapbook competition.

“The wit, warmth, and skill of this writer struck me immediately. These stories are smart but not smart-alecky, quirky yet polished, broad in their emotional appeal and sharp in their resonance. Again and again, I was taken by surprise — by the originality of the prose, the ingenuity of each scenario, the impact delivered by such a small number of words. I felt for these characters — the sisters in “Cloise”, about to be split apart, the lonely boy in “Mother and Child”, the broken family in “Big Baby”, the pregnant women who refuse to dim their hopes in “Our Bright Lights On”. Though many of these stories are heart-rending, I also found myself smiling, uplifted. This collection and this writer are ready for prime time.”

— Mira T. Lee,  author of the novel Everything Here Is Beautiful