Blood Pudding Press's Pushcart Prize Nominated Poems

Blood Pudding Press is delighted to announce its 2015 Pushcart Prize nominees!

The press has chosen to nominate one poem from each of the three poetry chapbooks published by Blood Pudding Press this year.

The nominees are listed below followed by their nominated poems.

Congratulations to  Lauren Gordon, Matthew J. Hall, and Nicole Rollender for these Pushcart Prize nominations.
-"O Tennyson!  Tennyson!" by Lauren Gordon, from her Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook, Fiddle Is Flood (see the chapbook here - https://www.etsy.com/listing/227601065/new-fiddle-is-flood-by-lauren-gordon?ref=shop_home_feat_4)

-"The Pigeons and the Peace Dove" by Matthew J. Hall, from his Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook, Pigeons and Peace Doves (see the chapbook here - https://www.etsy.com/listing/236081194/new-pigeons-and-peace-doves-by-matthew-j?ref=related-0)

-"Disassembling" by Nicole Rollender, from her Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook, Bone of My Bone (see the chapbook here - https://www.etsy.com/listing/246781871/new-bone-of-my-bone-by-nicole-rollender?ref=shop_home_feat_2)


O Tennyson! Tennyson!

what is good and wild in my country

nine miserable Nellies from New York whose fathers sell
goods on God’s grass her brother is alive and warm with two
hands and no one knows why but God, God hates

weather, weeds, heart, finally, round as a Christmas orange
crisp as an oyster cracker fished from a woolen winter pocket
you never saw two boys picked up dead and raped naked by a tornado

never knew another word for Indian or an outhouse hole of biting
flies, tiny graves in cellars or oh, that kind black doctor
with medicinal powders and the hair of your parents still grows

long after they’re under find a prayer to fix to water a calling card
with trailing flowers a bonnet that keeps slipping blue smoke cat tails
in your hoops, good and wild, one dead child, one loam son for everyone

(from the chapbook Fiddle Is Flood by Lauren Gordon)


The Pigeons and the Peace Dove

my apologies are short lived and dim
like headlights of a passing car
reflecting off gutter puddles
from yesterday’s rain

I wanted to be sincere
but anxiety hurls my goodwill at the wall
and laughs and cuts us with the shards

I should have collected all the tears
I have pulled from your eyes
taken them back and choked on the poison

the olive branch has withered
and fallen to the ground between us
the peace dove is twitching down there
her feathers are dirty like those of the pigeon

and the pain I have handed you freely
and the embarrassment of sharing my tarnished reputation
and the band of abuse
all run too deeply

and though it may not be worth a damn
I do love you and I am sorry

(from the chapbook Pigeons and Peace Doves by Matthew J. Hall)



The disassembling: remember when

we pulled apart moths,

first clapping them between our hands, to stun

their flight? Pulling off one dusty wing,

wrenching the other.  Dropping the torsos

in the stream, the water performed the final kill.

Was there an opening the illumined moth

slipped through? Or, did it sink

to be eaten? Or both, the way your remains

lowered in, collapses into earth,

and some other part of you enters and exits

by the ear. The drum shivers as you hum.

Your hair grows longer. The hip is something

no longer examined in the light.

We speak the language of departure. 

One word to you is love.

To me it’s ruin. Or a declaration of war, 

the moth wing your delicate,

plucked scalp.

(from the chapbook Bone of My Bone by Nicole Rollender)


NEW! Dive Back Down, a collaborative poetry chapbook by j/j hastain & Juliet Cook newly available from Dancing Girl Press!

"Drizzling splayed fluff
or is it blood combined with moon silver?"
Maybe it's both of them and a multi-colored multi-shaped blood bath diverging from different shapes of human and semi-human entities, which reside inside this NEW COLLABORATIVE POETRY CHAPBOOK by j/j hastain and Juliet Cook!
DIVE BACK DOWN is now newly available from Dancing Girl Press HERE -http://dulcetshop.myshopify.com/products/dive-back-down-j-j-hastain-juliet-cook


A Review of "Absence of Stars" by Nicole Rollender (Dancing Girl Press, 2015) by Juliet Cook

In the thirteen poems within Nicole Rollender's Absence of Stars chapbook,  "A hummingbird’s skeleton opens my hands / like a flower".  The content of this collection is filled with flowers and bones, flight towards the light and falling down onto the ground, tiny and helpless. The beginning of the collection is inspired by the early birth of a tiny baby, a living life form that could have died but emerged from the womb too soon, a new life that starts out with skin attached to almost death-like bones. The bones of the tiny living baby connect to memories of the past and the bones of the dead, and perhaps a  wondering of what this child's bones will grow into, how life and death will handle that new body.

From the first poem in the chapbook,  "Necessary Work"

Roman poets put skulls in their love poems – the mortal
with the immortal, the dark in the brilliant death-light; the plum falling

from its long branch, then sweetly decomposing. The excruciating
parting of our two bodies, that was necessary. Your tiny body – you can’t

even drink my milk – sleeps in my palm. Holding you, my hand is a cradle

of bone...

The bones inside meat connect to the carnage of wild life and what lies beneath or beyond or above - the possibility of the next life, of heaven. The throwing of salt and flinging of apples and tossing of flowers. The licking of salt and other small rituals involving bread and milk and bread and bones and bread and more flowers.

From the poem, "Alms for Birds"

...Hidden once, I watched

my father kick a dog against a fence,
as I ate honeysuckle

seasick, forming the place where my child
is a wetted bird broken out too


The interconnections of sinners and saints, parent and child, human and non-human, and haunted souls of the living and the dead, "Does the flock / that leaves one drowned in the river ever forget its black wings and shimmering eye?".  Wings, twigs,  living and dead birds, living and dead animals, skulls, broken teeth, broken necks.

From the poem, "Lullaby"

When he fell, Mama

was twisting a duck’s neck out back, a mercy
he landed skull first.

Her hands tracing bones, cranium bottom-pierced
to let the spirit

flash out from the body...

The living and the dead surround each other throughout theAbsence of Stars as does the darkness and the light. There are parts of both in this collection and I prefer the darker edged elements, the uneasy emotions, the twinges of viscera and snapped necks more than the delicate land-based, plant-based aspects. Appealingly to me, the dark and light parts are often uniquely intertwined within mere lines of each other. A good example of such entwinement takes place within the beginning of the title poem.

From the poem "Absence of Stars"

This is the oldest part of the cemetery, then, this snow dripping in bone yards,
bones, bones –

delicate milk teeth, scooped from a mother’s grave by a woman, peeling apples,

the morning light and somewhere a heart is cleaving,

unspooling air...

On a personal level, regarding my reaction to much of Nicole Rollender's poetry that I've read, it is interesting to me how Rollender openly identifies herself as Catholic and offers a lot of God-like and biblical elements in her poems (within this Absence of Stars chapbook - and also within herBone of My Bone chapbook, which was recently published by my own Blood Pudding Press - and also within poems of hers I've read in different literary magazines) and that I am drawn to and relate to parts of the poems.  I am someone who was raised Catholic - reached a point of feeling as if it was being forced upon me and as if I was not allowed to make my own choices - reached a point of feeling/acting anti-Catholic - had years of considering myself an Atheist and now consider myself Agnostic with my own sort of spiritual flow, who is open to others spiritual flows, as long as they're not forced upon me in some sort of black and white, right and wrong capacity. I've found myself wondering what it is about some of Rollender's poetry that appeals to me so strongly - and I think a large part of it is because, not only is her writing style unique and emotional and visceral, there is also nothing black and white or right and wrong about her content. It is mentally connected and haunted in both light and dark ways.  It is questioning (of the past, present, and future), female body-based (including discomfort associated with parts of the living body combined with joy for parts of what the body can do combined with pain and what the body can handle and how it can unexpectedly malfunction), and drawn to another dimension in a haunted sort of way.

Some of her poems' visceral aspects remind me of my young overly sensitive Catholic mind being strongly drawn to the torture of female saints, being terribly fearful of hell, and feeling as if I was not good enough for heaven, not because of how I behaved, but because of the creepy, gruesome images that lived inside my mind. Frequently questioning and confessing, whether or not I was in a confessional booth. Confessing to myself inside my own head, sometimes confessing to others even though they didn't ask me to, still sometimes confessing inside my own poems. Maybe my poems are some sort of abstract, anti-repression, Agnostic confessional booth.

I relate to Nicole Rollender's mind for being openly expressive, for not attempting to hide the uncertainty and questions, the unsettling dark parts of life, or how life can suddenly end, or how life can maybe begin again in a ghostly haunted heavenly way.  Rollender coalesces the light and the dark and thus instigates thoughts and feelings about life and death and their intermingling.

From the poem, "Breviary Notes"

dreams of my mother devouring the light.
Overflowing bowl of collarbones.

I run on stripped feet in a river forever tearing rocks.
One of my ribs wrapped

in feathers. Where my soul is a place, the flare
of paradise, snow...


Nicole Rollender is editor of Stitches. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Alaska Quarterly ReviewBest New PoetsThe JournalRadar PoetrySalt Hill JournalTHRUSH Poetry JournalWest Branch, Word Riot and others. Her first full-length poetry collection, Louder Than Everything You Love, is forthcoming from ELJ Publications. She is the author of the chapbooksArrangement of Desire (Pudding House Publications), Bone of My Bone, a winner in Blood Pudding Press’s 2015 Chapbook Contest, and Ghost Tongue (Porkbelly Press, 2016). She’s the recipient of poetry prizes from CALYX JournalRuminate Magazine and Princemere Journal. Find her online at nicolerollender.com.

Juliet Cook is a grotesque glitter witch medusa hybrid brimming with black, grey, silver, purple, and red explosions. Her poetry has appeared in a peculiar multitude of literary publications. She is also the editor and publisher of Blood Pudding Press (which publishes print poetry chapbooks) and Thirteen Myna Birds (Blood Pudding Press's spooky little sister, an online blog style lit mag). You can find out more at www.JulietCook.weebly.com.

Nicole Rollender's "Absence of Stars" (Dancing Girl Press, 2015) -https://dulcetshop.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/absence-of-stars

Nicole Rollender's "Bone of My Bone"  (Blood Pudding Press, 2015) - https://www.etsy.com/shop/BloodPuddingPress

Me by Adam Tedesco and Juliet Cook, at FLAPPERHOUSE

After the party
the after party
was down in the canyon
of flattened emotion
of all the acts of disassociation
holed up in this trailer
doused in solvent

from the collaborative poem, "Me" by Adam Tedesco and Juliet Cook, which was published in the Fall addition of FLAPPERHOUSE and is featured on their website today.

HERE - http://flapperhouse.com/2015/11/16/me-poetry-by-adam-tedesco-juliet-cook/


NEW Interview with Juliet Cook at THE BOOTH!

I am extremely excited to share "Writing that disturbs the bodies of the mind: An Interview with Juliet Cook" now up at THE BOOTH at Hermeneutic Chaos!

You can read my answers to questions about grotesque writing, collaborative writing, and my forthcoming second full-length poetry book, Malformed Confetti, coming soon from Crisis Chronicles Press.



Listen to the creepy video Book Trailer for Juliet Cook's forthcoming Malformed Confetti!

Very excited and creepily delighted to post this Book Trailer video for Juliet Cook's second full-length poetry book, Malformed Confetti, COMING SOON from Crisis Chronicles Press!

Thank you very much to Susan Yount for creating this fabulous creature!


Listen to Meet The Presses

For those of who couldn't make it to Meet the Presses November 7, featuring Blood Pudding Press, Crisis Chronicles Press, NightBallet Press, Writing Knights Press, and The Poet's Haven, you can now listen to parts of the event via youtube.

Lorraine Cipriano starts the conversation and then each of the presses poets/editors reads some poems and talks about small press stuff, in the order of the presses named above.

For Blood Pudding Press, I talk a bit about small press
 stuff, read one of my own poems and read one poem from each of this year's Blood Pudding Press chapbooks - "Fiddle Is Flood" by Lauren Gordon, "Pigeons and Peace Doves" by Matthew J. Hall, and "Bone of My Bone" by Nicole Rollender. 

HERE - ​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frbQxlipcoI&feature=youtu.be


This Saturday November 7th, Meet Blood Pudding Press!

This Saturday November 7th at the Sigmund Sanger Branch Library in Toledo Ohio!
I'll be reading a poem from each Blood Pudding Press chapbook of 2015, talking about Blood Pudding, and we'll see what else happens.
I will have Blood Pudding Press chapbooks for sale, Blood Pudding Press business cards and more.
"Meet the most exciting independent publishers of poetry and fiction in the Ohio area! Come listen to them share their works and give advice on how to get published. It is a perfect opportunity to mingle with these publishers from the following presses:
Azriel Johnson Writing Knights Press (Cleveland,OH)
Dianne Borsenik NightBallet Press (Cleveland, OH)
John Burroughs Crisis Chronicles Press (Cleveland, OH)
Vertigo Xi'an Xavier The Poet's Haven (Massillon, OH)
Juliet Cook Blood Pudding Press (Medina, OH)
There will be FREE Refreshments provided. All are welcome to attend!"


NEW Rogue Agent!

Happily delighted that the newest issue of Rogue Agent is alive on the Day of the Dead and includes poetry by Blood Pudding Press poet Lauren Gordon and a collaboration by j/j hastain & Blood Pudding Press editor poet Juliet Cook (and lots more good stuff too) all HERE -http://www.rogueagentjournal.com/


Happy Halloween and Day of the Dead from Thirteen Myna Birds!

Happy Halloween and Day of the Dead from Thirteen Myna Birds! The new flock has arrived, offering poems by Debasis Mukhopadhyay, Luis CuauhtĂ©moc Berriozabal, Robert F. Gross, Jessica Lindsley, Martin Willitts Jr., and Gary Beck (and two teaser pieces still remain from the Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook, "Bone of My Bone" by Nicole Rollender)!
"Off-key remnants of intertwined ballads - the ghost of someone else’s bad habit follows me - the stones spend hour after hour talking about death to the plants - I'm not a bird that flies - A stream of blood flourishes - The blood is like a waterfall - Cough up blood clots and rinse them away - Silence is an umbilical cord wrapped around the room - what makes moon go backward now grow blackened leaves - you have been searching for something impossible to find - owls eat the eyes of puppets - an invocation that will summon assistance..."