SUNSHINE STATE by Gregg Shapiro

By Dianne Borsenik

Gregg Shapiro observes and writes about his adopted state with wisdom, passion, a quiet humor, and a sharp eye for detail.

“When you live/in a state shaped like a gun, everything/is a bullet, a target.”

“Hurricanes want grave/and dodgy names that inspire terror, words that cause the speaker and/the listener to wince, struggle for breath. Hurricane Motherfucker./ Hurricane Bloodbath. Hurricane Apocalypse. Hurricane Armageddon.”

His poems also sing about Florida’s beauty. In his poem “Wynwood Walls,” he writes

“Maureen told me about them first, in a poem/she read at Los Manos Gallery in Andersonville./Her detailed and vivid description made my eyes/and mouth water simultaneously.”

In “Making Light,” he observes

“The days are long and/filled with more daylight than anyone could possibly use./It’s a losing battle to keep your face from turning towards/the glow…”

Shapiro reveals having “Peas for Breakfast” and bemoans “Because of Facebook.” And he celebrates beloved dogs.

“Adopting a dog was not in the plans, a little/more than a week after k.d. died, but Sharon said/it was bashert, a mitzvah, to provide her with a new/home when Willie grew too ill to care for her.”

Sunshine State contains 28 pages of 17 poems. The poems are printed on a richly textured ivory paper. The cover card stock is a creamy matching ivory; the inside card stock is a warm textured pumpkin color. The gorgeous cover art, “Electric Entrance, 2014,” by Cleveland artist Timothy Gaewsky, explodes with life and light.

Gregg Shapiro is the author of Fifty Degrees (Seven Kitchens, 2016), selected by Ching-In Chen as co-winner of the Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. Other books by Shapiro include the short story collections How to Whistle (Lethe Press, 2016) and Lincoln Avenue: Chicago Stories (Squares and Rebels Press, 2014), the chapbooks GREGG SHAPIRO: 77 (Souvenir Spoon Press, 2012), and More Poems About Buildings and Food (Souvenir Spoon Press, 2019), and the poetry collection Protection (Gival Press, 2008). His poetry was recently featured in South Florida Poetry Review, Gay and Lesbian Review, Chelsea Station Magazine, the 2018 anhinga press anthology Reading Queer, and the anthology Lovejets: Queer Male Poets on 200 Years of Walt Whitman (Handtype Press, 2018). An entertainment journalist, whose interviews and reviews run in a variety of regional and mainstream publications and websites, Shapiro lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his husband Rick and their dog Coco.

Shapiro will begin a book tour in August, and will make a Cleveland appearance on his tour. He will read and have copies of his book…and NightBallet Press will be there!

The 2019 Summer Tour itinerary is as follows:

Aug 3 OutWrite 2019 – Washington D.C.

Aug 4 Outlandish – Cleveland, OH

Outlandish Imprint Zine Fair
9740 Madison Ave.
Lakewood, OH

Aug 7 Women & Children First Books – Chicago, IL
Aug 8 Outwords Books – Milwaukee, WI
Aug 14 Southland Books (w/musical guest Jeff Heiskell) – Maryville, TN
Aug 15 Charis Books and More (w/Collin Kelley) – Decatur, GA

Shapiro’s poems will warm your heart and singe your senses, in the best of ways! Published today, here in the dog days of summer, Sunshine State is a seasonal reading list must-have!

Bask in the light of the Sunshine State…buy today for only $10 plus $4 s/h!

Source:: NightBallet Press

The NEW July Flock of Thirteen Myna Birds is HERE!

By Juliet Blood Pudding

he stumbled into his “vanishing box” – decomposing beneath unbroken skin – ghosts walk upside-down across the ceiling – salivating over evidence – decayed buildings – the crazy in her twinkled – the tip into the fleshlight – turned up it floats faster – it’s mutiny you know to be human inside of this sex show – she wanted him to feel intimidated and to feel as insignificant as she did
The July flock of Thirteen Myna Birds is HERE – Monster magnolia by MISH


Source:: Blood Pudding Press

NEW in Menacing Hedge, Summer 2019 – Four Poems by Juliet Cook

By Juliet Blood Pudding “Maybe you wanted to escape from where you were planted,
create your own individual space that doesn’t leave you
stuck in the same position,
nailed into the same cross-shaped ground.”

Juliet Cook has four new poems in the new Summer 2019 issue of Menacing Hedge!
https://www.menacinghedge.com/summer2019/entry-cook.php
These four poems also appear within her recent chapbook, DARK PURPLE INTERSECTIONS, which you can see and find out more about here – https://www.etsy.com/listing/689260672/new-dark-purple-intersections-inside-my?ref=shop_home_feat_1

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

NEW in Ghost City Review – “Please Respond” by Juliet Cook and j/j hastain

By Juliet Blood Pudding

“the foliage starts on fire inside the oven.
The worlds last redwood forest appears there,
singing songs from the perspective of prized trees,
blood spewing out of their broken branches,
bird nests screaming, biohazardous wings.”
in the poem “PLEASE RESPOND” by Juliet Cook & j/j hastain, in the new July issue of Ghost City Review
more HERE – https://ghostcitypress.com/poetry-89/2019/7/6/juliet-cook-and-jj-hastain

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

A NEW Review of Juliet Cook’s DARK PURPLE INTERSECTIONS (inside my Black Doll Head Irises)

By Juliet Blood Pudding

“Highly original in a good way, the poems in the chapbook Dark Purple Intersections (inside my Black Doll Head Irises) by Juliet Cook give us necessary glimpses into the way human life is lived in and through our bodies. I recommend you experience these poems, joining Juliet Cook in her honest and beautiful musings”

from Eileen Murphy’s review of Juliet Cook’s poetry chapbook, “Dark Purple Intersections (inside my Black Doll Head Irises)”, which appears in the new issue of Tinderbox Poetry Journal! –

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

The NEW June Flock of Thirteen Myna Birds has Arrived!

By Juliet Blood Pudding

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue by MISH

“I am the rusty fence wrapped around the graveyard – all week the rainsoaked pavements have been white with second-hand sunshine – treading your breath – I watch you fly off without me – I was supposed to be your island not the sea you drown in – Pain receded to an ache, then to nothing worth noticing – My heart is full of dust – The wet was water, was pus, was blood, was stink – I should never have told her that I wrote any poetry.”

The new June flock of Thirteen Myna Birds has arrived, offering art by MISH and poetry by Ann Kestner, DS Maolalai, Michael A. Griffith, and Brittany Sabatino!
All HERE – https://13myna.blogspot.com/

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

NEW Dark Particle Press!

By Juliet Blood Pudding What used to be called Cringe-Worthy Poet’s Collective has re-branded and changed its name to Dark Particle Press – so now Juliet Cook’s 2018 poetry chapbook, “From One Ruined Human to Another” is among the Dark Particles. 🖤

https://darkparticlepress.com/bookstore-1/from-one-ruined-human-to-another?fbclid=IwAR1SrqD_D84bc1b5FUGuoRyI4hL5efrrjVgqInDvBS7Edunt30JE2zD7S6k

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

Another Set of Ripped-Out Bloody Pigtails (2019 poetry chapbook by Juliet Cook, published by The Poet’s Haven) has now been added to the Blood Pudding Press shop too!

By Juliet Blood Pudding

Friday May 31 2019 was the official release date of this new poetry chapbook, “Another Set Up Ripped-Out Bloody Pigtails”! 24 poems by Juliet Cook! Cover art by Craig Firsdon! Published by The Poet’s Haven! It has now been added to the Blood Pudding Press shop here.

Get a copy from The Poet’s Haven here, for only $6 –

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

A NEW mini-review of Juliet Cook’s “Projectile Vomit”, an E-chap published more than 10 years ago (published in 2008 by Scantily Clad Press)!

By Juliet Blood Pudding “I highly recommend this book unless you have a fear of tuna.”

From a new mini-review of “Projectile Vomit”, an E-chap by Juliet Cook that’s more than ten years old!

(One interesting factor involved with me reading older poetry of mine that I haven’t read much in recent years {since I’m rather frequently writing new poetry and reading other people’s poetry} is that it can backtrack me to certain memories of myself in the past. For example, one of the poems in this collection, “Bubble Wrap” backtracks me to my mid to late twenties when I was focused on my own bones, was disgusted by chicken bones, wanted to be unnaturally skinny so that as many bones stood out as much as possible from my own skin, and had fainting spells. Below are a few lines from my “Bubble Wrap”)


I wanted to hone my own finessed utensils.

Flay the muddled layers. Trace the gleaming details

of tibia, femur, vertebrae displayed like perfect syllables.

I wanted to revise. Crush marrow in mortar & pestle.
Devise a new underpinning that would glow

beneath my skin with cut gem precision.

Then my fainting spells would taper.

Then my vision would stop blurring

fuzzy sweater sleeves into stunted wings;

into indefinable stings and squawks as I tried to gain accentuation

on another slasher flick stage-set check-up table

with another ambiguous layer removed.

My sharpened elbows exposed in their transitional pose.

My new beak-job too sore to peck out those awful eyes.

Those indiscriminate spies, how dare they

take my bait before I’d even hooked it.

Those gluttonous sluts. I hadn’t even cast myself.

This flesh for cash hack-job was not what I wanted.

I hadn’t even sexily spiked myself.


Thank you to Jason Denness for this review, of which you can read more HERE – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show?id=2836858082

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

NEW in South Broadway Ghost Society – Juliet Cook’s mental regurgitation

By Juliet Blood Pudding

“I saw myself fainting and falling down into a continually sucked pool of my own blood while burning in hell.”
inside Juliet Cook‘s “mental regurgitation”, in South Broadway Ghost Society today.

More HERE –

https://soboghoso.org/2019/06/14/mental-regurgitation-juliet-cook/

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

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