Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Jill Khoury's "Chance Operations"

Jill Khoury is interested in the intersection of poetry, visual art, representations of gender, and disability. She holds an MFA from The Ohio State University and edits Rogue Agent, a journal of embodied poetry and art. She is a Western Pennsylvania Writing Project fellow and has taught writing and literature in a variety of academic and enrichment environments. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals, including Arsenic Lobster, Copper Nickel, Inter|rupture, and RHINO. Her chapbook Borrowed Bodies was released from Pudding House Press in 2009, and her first full length collection, Suites for the Modern Dancer, was released by Sundress Publications in 2016. You can find her at

Friday, August 26, 2016

End of Summer Sale!

We are rapidly heading towards Fall, and with that, the goal of having the 2016 Chapbook winners announced! So, to celebrate the end of Summer, all the incredible writing we are lucky to read and publish -- and to hopefully make a little extra space for those new manuscripts once they're ready -- Paper Nautilus is having a sale! All Vella chapbooks are Buy One-Get One Half Off. Books are regularly $8 each; with this promotion, two chapbooks totals $12, and three chapbooks totals $16. Please be sure to note which titles you would like when placing your order through PayPal.

The following titles are available:

The Rules of Night Migration - Pamela Gross
From the New World - Oriana Ivy
Mother, Less Child - Jason McCall
The Monster on the Mountain - Johnathan Harper
Sterling - Stephanie McCarley Dugger
Pictures from the Center of the Universe - Allie Marini
Diminution - Charles Rafferty
Weird Science - Christina Olson
Girls on Film - Kathryn Kulpa

NOW AVAILABLE (and not pictured): Chance Operations - Jill Khoury

This sale runs from today, 8/26, through the end of 9/5/16.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Kathryn Kulpa's "Girls on Film"

Girls on Film

“Girls on Film is a flash fiction collection delving into our obsession with celebrity and image. Limiting herself to under one-thousand words per story, author Kathryn Kulpa produces a rich hybrid of short story and poetry, abundant with imagery and dense in lyricism.”
–South Coast Almanac

“As the compelling title suggests, Girls on Film explores the world of cinema and show business, but with a twist--these beautiful and delicate works of prose are not just another facile look at the seedy side of Hollywood. Instead, troubled child stars and bygone actresses have never looked so real (and so vulnerable) on the page ... Girls on Film ropes you in and keeps you reading until the very last, aching word.”
–Gwendolyn Kiste, author and editor of A Shadow of Autumn

“With wit, pathos, and fresh insight, Kulpa captures the essence of American young-womanhood in eight loosely connected flash portraits. Each story is a small world, lean as a haiku and powerful as a novel. You’ll read this
collection in a single, fascinated sitting—and return to it again, and again.”
–Karen Rile, founding editor, Cleaver Magazine

“The women in these finely crafted stories chafe against being infantilized by men and by society even as they long for carefree childhoods that are often only imaginary. ‘Sometimes when I’m alone in my room at night I’m afraid to look in the mirror. If there’s no one to see me will I disappear?’ the narrator of ‘American Blonde’ asks. The women in Girls on Film all fear erasure, but are far too memorable, too precisely drawn, to ever be forgotten.”
–Lisa Borders, author of The Fifty-First State and Cloud Cuckoo Land

“We come to Girls on Film steeped in the very myths of celebrity that these stories deftly and intimately expose with authority, wit, and a sharp eye for detail. While regret and wonder at life’s turns are woven throughout these moving and beautifully crafted pieces, hope is never in short supply. Kathryn Kulpa is a masterful writer.”
–Hester Kaplan, author of Unravished

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Emily Moore's "Shuffle"

The vivid, sensual, bracing poems in Shuffle bristle with life, desire, and the charged expectancy of youth. If poetry's job is to wake us again to our own capacity to feel, these poems, about the pressures of coming of age, about women in love with other women, about friends who slip under along the way, about life in the city in one's early adulthood, electrify the reader with their visceral depictions of life’s abundance, dangers, and possibilities. Emily Moore is a prodigious musician as well as a fine-bore dramatist of the human heart, with a startlingly fine formal palette. The poems in Shuffle are extraordinary – exuberant, tender, nimble in their music, so alive they startle us into our human skins all over again.

—Meghan O'Rourke
author of Halflife and The Long Goodbye

Shuffle is an exquisite mix-tape of the poet’s twenties—a decade that begins with bootleg cassettes of “music recorded right out of the air” and ends with playlists on computer screens. For me, the magic of Emily Moore’s lyrics is in the way past tense becomes so thrillingly present—again and again, the retrospective frame falls away and we are transported into a mysteriously “haptic” moment: “the cold still on the cheeks / of girls who stepped outside to smoke.” These poems remind us of the dangers and pleasures of being in our “animal” bodies with "the metaphors inside our mouths” and “the baseball diamond dust still in [our] socks.”

—Matthew Burgess
author of Slippers of Elsewhere and editor of Dream Closet:
Meditations on Childhood Spaces

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Emily Webber's "Macerated"

"Webber writes of what the heart longs for and what the heart is denied. In decisive short scenes, Webber’s characters breathe in, breathe out, and gasp for passionate reprieves from the mundane mazes of their lives. This collection made me ponder what we need as human beings

--Vickie Weaver, author of Billie Girl

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bernard Grant: Puzzle Pieces

Puzzle Pieces

Like the identities he addresses in each of his essays, Bernard Grant’s Puzzle Pieces is full of shifts and movement. Whether he’s looking at gender, race, class, or ability, Grant uses language in an honest and fierce way to engage with the intricacies of his life. This, in turn, reveals the complexities of what it means to be alive. With impressive precision, Grant’s writing does more than tell a story, but creates a powerful experience that becomes a part of the reader’s life.
–Chelsey Clammer, author of BodyHome

Puzzle Pieces by Bernard Grant is as intimate in voice as it is oceanic in scope. The work thrives in paradox with short-form essays that speak to what is timeless and what is current in the same breath. How is it possible to plumb the human heart, the physical body, and the cultural landscape in a single, slender volume? I don't know how, but I know this writer has done it, with linguistic grace and emotional authenticity.
–Julie Marie Wade, author of Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures and When I Was Straight: Poems

Reader, beware. The stories in Bernard Grant’s Puzzle Pieces start quietly enough, but they come at you fast, loaded for bear, to make “visible the threat of mortality” that hangs over everything we do. Grant is a master of understated suspense: the sentence, like the scene, is often terse, fragmented—the sliver of image, the shard of action—each word, every breath calibrated to deliver a piece of the picture of what it is to live in this mortal coil, haunted with pain and the strategies we adopt to delay or defeat it, if only temporarily. We see precisely how “it's hard to be a black kid in a white subculture,” we wonder whether “loneliness is a condition not an affliction.” Through birth and death and back again, a quiet dignity emerges from these spare stories, true grit layered with unassuming grace.
–Kevin Craft, Editor of Poetry Northwest

Friday, February 12, 2016

Christina Olson: Weird Science

Praise for Before I Came Home Naked

“…a marvelous x-ray of Midwestern oddities and delights with the wonder and vulnerability that comes from examining the family tree—limb from crackly limb. In her debut, Olson expertly sweeps the reader into the depths of heartbreak and humor from the very first poem. These pages burst with rewards: ample evidence of a naturalist's love of the outdoors, a sagacious blend of compassion and mirth, and the best drinking companion you'd ever imagine. This is a poetry that bears brave witness to that place in a ‘ruby heart’ where the internal and external landscape crash and clatter into the loveliest of songs.”

— Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of Lucky Fish, At the Drive-In Volcano & Miracle Fruit

Vella Chapbook

Charles Rafferty: Diminution

I am a fourth magnitude star above Manhattan, a full moon rising beside me. I am blue socks in a drawer of blue socks. I am the shell passed over by children and hermit crabs alike. I am the feather of an ordinary finch drifting on the wind, the impact of which will never be heard, no matter how hard the hit.

Vella Chapbook