The Bear Who Ate the Stars Available for Pre-Order!

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The Bear Who Ate the Stars, the new chapbook by Split Lip’s Uppercut Chapbook Award winner Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, is now available for pre-order. Visit Split Lip Press to purchase and receive your copy by November 1st. Want a taste? Scroll down and read “Expected Gestures,” which first appeared in Split Lip Magazine’s issue 8.

Expected Gestures

From house to house we drag

our tired, unlived-in things:

the half-filled photo albums

where our childhoods twin,

Midwest with Eastern European,

your flattened fields of corn

where thunderstorms roamed wildly

down from a gunpowder sky

over pale plains, and my black

earth-born wheat, growing far above

where I could reach; and then

there are those unforgotten relics

full of brittle petals, guiltless poems,

and lingering smells of lovers we lost

or regret or naively thought

we loved. From room to room

we carry each other, our bodies:

these weary, changeless things.

You watch the same woman

unveil her same nakedness:

her aging, growing curves;

her hipbone, less prominent now,

still casting a kind of dark, sharpness

over thigh and dip of stomach,

over those places you’ve overlooked.

                                                         Here –

can we still find the curtainless

windows where we will make love

so late only streetlamps keep witness;

the goose bumps around my ankles

and your chin, their suggestion

of saccharine, grain-like stubble,

finding its way to the surface; and

the steeping stairs, where we will stumble

after too much wine or too little sleep?

Here, can a freshly scratched

outline of a shoulder blade remind us

of beauty: the sliver of daytime

sent to highlight bones or

the living room walls where

our future children will paint?

Or are we, in leaving one place

for another, creating more duffels

to lug from house to swollen house,

ignoring our unremembered,

                                                      but God-like things.

Love & Sundries by Nicholas Reading is Now Available!

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Split Lip Press is super excited to bring you Love & Sundries by poet Nicholas Reading. The book haunts, bites and sometimes breaks bone. If you dig visual and observant, narrative poetry, then this chapbook is for you. According to Keith Montesano, author of Ghost Lights and Scoring the Silent Film, Reading writes in “the hard-bitten spirit of Richard Hugo,” that the poems “tether themselves to hope amidst the elegiac emptiness of miles of flat land and peripheral characters who turn out to mean much more…”

Reading is a solid portrait of Split Lip’s aesthetic: poems full of grit and hurt that can, at times, get a little weird in the best way possible. Check out the sample below, and pardon the double-spacing we have no control over. YOUR BIRTHDAY SAYS FORGET YOU is one of our favorites. Once it’s one of your favorites, you can buy it HERE. Pick up a copy and support the poet.

Find out more about Reading at his WEBSITE. He’s a pretty big deal. Just ask him.

 

YOUR BIRTHDAY SAYS FORGET YOU

 

Maybe you found a street you didn’t know of

before. Maybe you were drunk and didn’t remember.

 

I hope the street said, Hello. And I expect you said

the same. And the lined streets reminded you of age

 

and that time when you were younger and shot

pigeons out of the sky with acuity. Complements

 

came by the bushel. Some said you were the best shot

since Liberty Valance. Look it up. Find a horse.

 

Treks we take are epic. A sunrise when we aren’t ready.

A moon when we’re just getting started. And sometimes

 

we’ll find a moment to be still. A nice creek to scramble in.

A very dark morning in Siberia. Really, nothing makes sense.

 

What life do we remember? I suggest to forget the memories

and create a future again and again and again tomorrow.

Poet Michael Meyerhofer Signs on with Split Lip Press

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Split Lip Press is excited to announce it will release What To Do If You’re Buried Alive, a poetry collection by Michael Meyerhofer, author of Leaving Iowa, Blue Collar Eulogies and Damnatio Memoriae. The book is tentatively scheduled to release in April 2015.

Split Lip Press is punk rock publishing, and to amplify that message further, the press recruited poet Michael Meyerhofer because of lines such as: “Somebody said we should / vandalize the coach’s Camaro, / suggested we stop for shaving cream / and syrup and maybe toilet paper / to toss through the dark biceps / of the cedars wreathing his backyard.” Split Lip is the type of press that would suggest picking up shaving cream, syrup and toilet paper for a night of vandalism.

“I’m blown away,” says Editor-in-Chief J. Scott Bugher. “I’ve been a fan of Mike’s for a number of years, and his new manuscript kicks every kind of ass out there. He’s got poems about sticking switchblades through a cans of Budweiser and poems that satirize the publishing business. His poems  entertain, a trait that most of today’s poetry fails to provide. I’ve never understood why poets pen works that do what most poetry does: make people hate poetry more. Reading Meyerhofer is as enjoyable as sipping on a Manhattan and puffing on a stogie at a jazz club. We need more poets who can pull that off.”

Meyerhofer first worked with Bugher in 2013 as a featured poet for Split Lip Magazine, the press’s original publication. “His appearance in the magazine,” says Bugher, “really shook things up and raised the bar in our poetry department.” Included in the feature were four poems from What To Do If You’re Buried Alive along with an interview. Both can be found in the magazine’s archive at http://www.splitlipmagazine.com.

About Bugher and Split Lip Press, Meyerhofer says, “I couldn’t be happier to be working with them! I’ve been following Scott and Split Lip Press for a while now and I’ve been really impressed with the way they promote their authors, not to mention their commitment to writing that’s meaningful but also fun to read. Scott’s the kind of dedicated editor that writers love to work with. So when he and Split Lip approached me about publishing What To Do If You’re Buried Alive, I couldn’t say yes fast enough!”

Split Lip Press is a very selective affair with regard to manuscripts. It seeks fiction and poetry by authors who make it clear that they strive for excellence. Excellent is quite an understatement when it comes to Meyerhofer’s work. Things don’t stop at a manuscript’s merit, though. The press works only with writers who are active and maintain a presence in the literary scene. With eight poetry collections and chapbooks along with his brand new novel, Wytchfire, on top of 100+ journal publications, it’s clear Meyerhofer’s out to play with the best of them. It takes only a quick Google search to discover work he’s published, interviews he’s given, workshops he’s teaching and literary events he’s reading at.

About Michael Meyerhofer:

Michael’s third poetry book, Damnatio Memoriae won the Brick Road Poetry Book Contest. His previous books are Leaving Iowa (winner, Liam Rector First Book Award) along with Blue Collar Eulogies (Steel Toe Books’ Grub Street Book Prize finalist).

He has also published five poetry chapbooks: Pure Elysium (winner, Palettes and Quills Chapbook Contest), The Clay-Shaper’s Husband (winner, Codhill Press Chapbook Award), Real Courage (winner, Terminus Magazine and Jeanne Duval Editions Poetry Chapbook Prize), The Right Madness of Beggars (winner, Uccelli Press 3rd Annual Chapbook Competition), and Cardboard Urn (winner, Copperdome Chapbook Contest).

Michael has won the Marjorie J. Wilson Best Poem Contest, the Laureate Prize for Poetry, the James Wright Poetry Award, and the Annie Finch Prize for Poetry. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, North American Review, Arts & Letters, River Styx, Quick Fiction, Split Lip Magazine, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, and other journals. He also serves as the Poetry Editor of Atticus Review and is the author of a fantasy trilogy published by Red Adept Publishing.

About Split Lip Press:

A former top Nashville session musician, J. Scott Bugher bases Split Lip Press on the modern music industry, where recording artists understand major label record deals are things of the past, which has triggered the rise of indie labels releasing the best music out there and the decline of men in suits seeking the next Carrie Underwood. Bugher feels writers have yet to see things this way. “Writers, for some reason, sit on manuscripts for up to a decade while paying up to thousands in reading and contest fees, hoping for a major book deal,” says Bugher. “Why hold onto a manuscript for that long and pay that much when small press publishing is an option?” Though Split Lip can’t publish all it receives given its intent to release only four to six titles per year, the bookmaker believes small press publishing is the new world order for the literary scene.

For more information on Michael Meyerhofer, visit www.troublewithhammers.com.

For more information on Split Lip Press, visit www.splitlippress.com.

Nicholas Reading’s LOVE & SUNDRIES Coming October 10th

 

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After months of seeking the poetic voice of Split Lip, we stumbled upon poet Nicholas Reading, who writes narratives in verse that haunt, upset and sadden their readers––a perfect, almost too perfect, fit for a punk rock publisher called Split Lip Press. “We’ve had the privilege of publishing a number of gifted poets in Split Lip Magazine,” says Editor-in-Chief J. Scott Bugher. “All of them contributed works that come with a hard punch, but when the press started recruiting a variety of poets with hopes of finding a manuscript that truly sets the poetic bar for Split Lip Press, our hopes were satisfied upon reading Nick’s manuscript, Love & Sundries.” Reading, an active writer and editor in the literary scene, agreed to take up the press’ offer upon looking into what the press was all about. On Split Lip, Reading says, “Writers of great caliber respect J. Scott Bugher, his mission and unwavering enthusiasm for publishing work that matters. That pushes. That asks the audience to not only read and enjoy, but to sleep with it. Wake with it. Live with it. And when you die, remember it. Split Lip isn’t in the game for itself as much as it is obsessively focused on presenting a platform for some of the best voices, veteran or emerging, in contemporary literature. Split Lip won’t settle for less. If anyone says otherwise Bugher and his editors will have some choice words and will not go gently into any good night without a fight.”

Love & Sundries will be available October 10th via www.splitlippress.com & www.amazon.com.

Listen to Nicholas Read An Account of Extreme Weather.

About Nicholas Reading:

Nicholas Reading earned an MFA in Fiction at Purdue University and an MFA in Poetry at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the author of the chapbook The Party In Question (Burnside Review Press, 2007). His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Bat City Review, jubilat, Nimrod, Painted Bride Quarterly, and San Pedro River Review. He also serves as the Managing Editor for Sport Literate. His most recent chapbook, Love & Sundries is schduled to release by Split Lip Press on November 15th, 2014.

About Split Lip Press:

A former top Nashville session musician, J. Scott Bugher bases Split Lip Press on the modern music industry, where recording artists understand major label record deals are things of the past, which has triggered the rise of indie labels releasing the best music out there. Bugher feels like publishing is evolving similarly. “For some reason, writers have sat on manuscripts for up to a decade while paying up to thousands in reading and contest fees, hoping for a major book deal,” says Bugher. “Why hold onto a manuscript for that long and pay that much when you can partner with a determined and passionate small press?” Though Split Lip can only do so much, the bookmaker believes small press publishing is the new world order for the literary scene.

For more information on Nicholas Reading, visit www.nicholasreading.com.

For more information on Split Lip Press, visit www.splitlippress.com.

Size Does Not Matter To Editors

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by J. Scott Bugher

In the publisher / writer relationship, size doesn’t matter. Yet I’ve encountered so many writers who do not concur with that. They think it’s all about the size of their dick (and I’m speaking metaphorically when it comes to female writers). So take the following illustration and learn your lesson if you believe size matters.

I rejected a manuscript from a contest held by Split Lip Press. Upon receiving the contest results announcement, the writer of the rejected manuscript got upset. So he emails me. Says, “I have four published books, have appeared in over 100 magazines, and many of the poems from the manuscript you rejected have been published by a number of elite journals.” What was he expecting by telling me this? For me to write an apology and admit I fucked up and am a failure as an editor / publisher? No. Fuck that guy. I could give a shit that he has 4 books and all sorts of publications. That didn’t change that his work blew chunks.

Now, if you’re a writer who believes you’re a big deal, consider this:

Say, if you’re a male, you ask a woman out for a date and she rejects you. What do you do? Do you say, “Oh yeah? Well, I have a ten-inch dick and have slept with 78 women and have had 22 threesomes.” Will that make the woman apologize and feel that she made a big mistake by rejecting you? Probably not. Instead, you’ll probably receive a backhand to your face or a well-earned kick in the balls.

Bottom line: If you’re a writer and feel it’s important to tell an editor how important you are, or how big your dick is, you’re doing nothing but asking for a backhand to your face.

Who Do We Publish

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by J. Scott Bugher

So, as you might have read in the first post, we have a few forthcoming books: A Two-Year Diary: The Best of Split Lip Magazine  (August 31, 2014),  Ice Children by Ed Harkness, (September 22, 2014) The Bear Who Ate the Stars by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach (October 20, 2014) and Love & Sundries by Nicholas Reading (November 17, 2014).

Who are we looking for and what are we seeking to publish next? The “who” we’re looking for needs to an active contributor to the literary community, not one simply seeking to add leverage to their CV. The “what” we’re looking for needs to be in sync with the information below.

We like something that does something, which results in something new. Fiction with an arc and poetry with a narrative. Vignettes of mundane life, notes of pop culture, hints of sex, etc. Stories that take place in a motel room instead of the jungle, poems narrating a story instead of a stretch of abstruse metaphors. We want grit, and grit does not mean porn or gore. Grit means trouble, the “I’ve been there before” type: rolling up the window next to a panhandler at a stoplight, getting yelled at for public breastfeeding, trying to slip a condom over a half-erect penis, running without grace to the bathroom in need of relief, selling prized possessions to a pawn shop due to hard times, et cetera.

Still uncertain? How about we list some writers we like. That always helps.

PROSE: Nicholson Baker, Ann Beattie, John Cheever, Anton Chekov, Raymond Carver, Mary Karr, Charles Bukowski, Richard Yates, Janet Fitch, Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O’Connor.

POETRY: Kim Addonizio, James Tate, Stephen Dobyns, Sharon Olds, Richard Hugo, Michael Meyerhofer, Jack Gilbert, Allison Joseph, Claudia Emerson, Marie Howe, Yusef Komunyakaa.

Split Lip Press publishes poetry or flash fiction/memoir chapbooks, full-length poetry or short story/memoir collections, and novellas.

Writers taken in by Split Lip will get: the Split Lip  imprint, 25% royalties instead of the standard 10% – 15%, an ISBN, a well-designed book, a handful of author copies, promotion, and additional copies sold to the author at a fair price. We also offer discounted rates on author website design if one is interested.

We accept queries with a manuscript sample: 3 – 5 poems or 3 – 5 pages of prose. Please do not submit full manuscripts. If the sample blows our minds, we’ll ask for the full package.

Submission guidelines and how to submit can be found HERE.