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It's been three years since we went on tour and it is great to be back! The tour featured Nina Packebush and her forthcoming YA Novel, Three Queerdos and a Baby, and Shelley Wong and her spectacular debut, As She Appears, which was recently chosen for the National Book Award Longlist in Poetry.

It was a whirlwind with 7 events in 4 days in Portland and Seattle. Thanks to the folks at Margin Shift Reading Series, The Carolyn Moore Writers House, everyone who came together for the second Wild Rose: Poetry & Story, the folks at The National Book Foundation, and the incredible crew that makes Portland Book Festival a reality! Just. Wow.

Here are a few shots from the tour!

Updated: Jan 27, 2020

We can't wait for people to read Norma Liliana Valdez's brilliant new collection, Preparing the Body ! This is a limited edition Vinyl 45 chapbook, so grab a copy today before it runs out!

Preparing the Body begins with an interrogation: who hushed / my legs / queried /my skirt. These poems rebuke the multitude of ways that women’s agency, self-ownership, and bodily integrity are denied by society, destroyed even. Valdez’s poems inhabit landscapes of violation and reckoning in a soundtrack of cumbia, danzón, and the blues. This collection is a force of nature, a wildfire; its smoke chases the body to, and beyond, the borders of its silence, grief, desire, and undoing.

Tepoztlán Blues

Photograph by Ana Portnoy Brimmer, Puerto Rico.

Orchids hang from the patio ceiling. When no one is watching I will take one and put it in my pocket as if I could own something of this place. By morning, it will be dead. I’ll walk by a funeral home with child-sized caskets, and cry. The air will belong to firewood. Night will return cold to my bones. I’ll be alebrije: half woman half moon. On the feast of San Sebastián fireworks rise and fall, like us all. Orchestras will be spark then ash. Nothing here is tame. I am high and disoriented pulled by my entrails. I’ll dance mezcal blues. His hand inside my thigh will be a hovering question: How can we do this, and where? It won’t be enough for the way I want to swallow this country: whole.


Grab a copy of The Porch (As Sanctuary) while you still can!

We are also thrilled to announce Jae Nichelle's beautiful poetry collection, The Porch (As Sanctuary) ! This title is now available at our store. Like Preparing the Body, this is also a limited edition Vinyl 45 chapbook, so order your copy today before it runs out!

The Porch (As Sanctuary) is a narrative account of southern, queer, Black womanhood. Through vivid sensory language and familial voices, Jae Nichelle conjures not only scenes but characters who demand to be heard. Nichelle’s writing is deliberate and graceful, leisurely drawing readers into the world of the family on The Porch. In each poem, the reader is invited into a moment on the The Porch which is simultaneously public and private, and where The Porch itself serves many roles. The Porch is a confessional. Church. A centralized gossip station. Home. A family reunion. Hair salon. A lesson in history. A reckoning. A sanctuary.

What We Talked from the Porch

I have a recurring nightmare It begins like a scene from Their Eyes Were Watching God:

A never-ending line up

of houses on both sides

All the porches occupied

by Black women over 40

who have come to feed—

rocking in chairs their mama’s mama’s mama

left as legacy

I run in the street

My secrets trail behind me like lose string they paw and paw andpawandpaw

Endless creaking of

chairs bones


build rumors off my misfortune

(pulling from the yarn they spun)

They learned the art of minding other people’s business

from an early age—

maybe because

nobody ever left them

to their own

With a prominent new voice, Kelly Grace Thomas makes her debut. Check out what people are saying about her first full-length poetry collection.

At the same time expansive and intimate, Kelly Grace Thomas’s debut collection navigates issues of loss, family, and agency. Boat Burned invites us to witness the pains and subsequent joys of rebirth—"The boats that built me / smoke on shore.” Thomas’s voice shines like a lighthouse beacon—guiding us through the difficult memories and toward the future’s open waters.

-Paige Lewis, author of Space Struck

“History is a dirty / ocean. And I am dangerous / with thirst,” says luminous poet Kelly Grace Thomas, in her spellbinding Boat Burned. The gorgeous poems that populate this powerful collection “rise // fully formed from sea.” These are elegant, crisp, clear, and potent poems that tackle such issues as impossible beauty standards, eating disorders, racist attitudes in the U.S., divorce, and family trauma, all while binding a thickly knotted rope of love between the speaker and her family, the speaker and the world around her.

–Jennifer Givhan, author of Rosa’s Einstein

To read this powerful collection for yourself, grab a copy of Boat Burned today!

YesYes Books
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