Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314
The Universal Physics of Escape by Elizabeth Gonzalez
Winner 2015 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction

Visit Elizabeth's book page to order a signed copy

​Elizabeth Gonzalez is a master of dialogue, an artist at creating vivid settings, and an encyclopedia of knowledge about the world surrounding her characters. These stories uncover truths that makes the reading experience memorable and each story remarkable.

Kevin Morgan Watson, Publisher, Press 53, who served as final judge
Crosscurrents and Other Stories by Gerry Wilson

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Gerry Wilson's stories are about the essential tugs between desires: for safety or risk; for adventure or comfort; for sanctioned action or the indubitably un. Her characters are in mortal combat, most often with themselves. This is a very exciting and compelling collection of stories; I loved reading it.

Antonya Nelson, author of Funny Once: Stories

she: robed and wordless by Lou Ella Hickman
A Tom Lombardo Poetry Selection

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These terse little poems are often bright nuggets of insight into the psyches not only of the Biblical women who speak through this poet’s imagination, but they are also deep insights into our own psyches. Although the voices imagined here are the voices of many women from the Bible, the truths revealed are universal. These new takes on stories that are often familiar make for fascinating reading. Lou Ella Hickman has provided here a fine testimony to the power of imagination and myth. 

David Bottoms, Georgia Poet Laureate and author of We Almost Disappear

Twelve Women in a Country Called America: Stories by Kelly Cherry

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Kelly Cherry’s tenth work of fiction delivers twelve compelling stories about women of the American South. These are women struggling to find their way through the everyday workings of life while also navigating the maze of self. From a young woman’s nightmare piano lesson to an elderly woman’s luminous last breath, Twelve Women in a Country Called America takes readers on a journey sometimes dark, sometimes funny, and always enlightening.

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The Seven Stages of Anger and Other Stories
by Wendy J. Fox
Winner of the 2014 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction

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What happens when a still life speaks? Wendy J. Fox invites us to eavesdrop. These beautiful, lyrical stories describe ordinary lives: speckled eggshells, creeping vines. Here’s the threat of fire out east and endless rain when the map meets Seattle. Here are characters so real you know them already. They’ve misplaced your keys and borrowed your car.

Carol Guess, author of Darling Endangered and Doll Studies: Forensics

Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet
edited by Clifford Garstang

Go to the Everywhere Stories book page

Travel invigorates and enlightens, and so does reading. You don’t have to go to the Congo to gain an understanding of the challenges women face there. You don’t have to go to Iran to sample Persian culture and anguish. When it’s done right—as the stories in this anthology are—fiction can transport you and show you the essential details, the soul of a place.  Read the book. Explore the globe. But remember, it’s a dangerous world.

—from the Introduction, by Clifford Garstang, editor
Fissures: One Hundred 100-Word Stories by Grant Faulkner

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Grant Faulkner’s sharply observed, darkly funny, heart-breaking bursts of highly compressed prose offers a startling view of what reality might look like through a funhouse microscope. Fissures pushes the boundaries of flash prose, and thank goodness for that. Sometimes less is so much more.

Dinty W. Moore, author of Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy: Advice and Confessions on Writing, Love, and Cannibals

Baby's on Fire by Liz Prato

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In her terrific debut, Baby’s on Fire, Liz Prato pulls off the ultimate balancing act: the stories are at once beautifully written and tremendously compelling—not to mention filled with characters so full of life that they feel as real as people we know. A knockout collection.

Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans
Nobody Calls Me Darling Anymore by Dannye Romine Powell

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Dannye Romine Powell’s marvelous new collection gives us a generous offering of poems that document the tender mercies of a woman ruminating on the cusp of endtime. Shockingly insightful, the poems look away from no aspect of a woman’s life, fully entering (and suffering) both the joys and the agonies entailed by our deep commitments to others. In plain style language and a lucid, epigrammatic form, Powell’s poems arrest us again and again with their brutal intelligence and emotional authenticity.  

Kate Daniels, author of A Walk in Victoria’s Secret

Stay by Kathleen McGookey
​A Tom Lombardo Poetry Selection

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​There is such pain and such beauty in Stay, and there are so many astonishing moments of what I can only call distilled reverie, I feel nothing short of awe after reading this collection. McGookey's poems shimmer with a profound sense of love and loss and wonder. Each one is like a section of stained glass window. Together they are an illumination. 

Nin Andrews, author of Why God Is a Woman

NEW Press 53 Carolina Classic

Lion on the Hearth by John Ehle

9 x 6 paperback, 406 pages
ISBN 978-1-941209-30-1

Originally published 1961 by Harper & Row

Lion on the Hearth is chronologically the sixth book in John Ehle’s seven-book Appalachian series that includes The Land Breakers, The Journey of August King, Time of Drums, The Road, The Winter People, and Last One Home.
Press Fifty-Three

560 N. Trade St, Ste 103
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Red Clay Gypsy by Maria Ingram Braucht

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Some travelers are restless personalities; they are tourists. Others are searching spirits; they are pilgrims. Maria Ingram Braucht is a passionate pilgrim, finding revelation in every locale, especially in her memory-laden home ground. This poet will voice soulful thought in a brisk vernacular or set down lines that flicker like fireflies. Our Red Clay Gypsy is a journeyer and a sojourner and a warm-hearted companion. I’d go with her anywhere.

Fred Chappell, past Poet Laureate of North Carolina and author of Familiars: Poems

In the Season of Blood & Gold by Taylor Brown

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With ferocious economy and a great big heart, Taylor Brown writes one of the best debuts I've ever picked up. These are stories, verses, meditations, and accusations—everything, in short, you could hope to get from important fiction. This work demands your attention.

Charles Dodd White, author of A Shelter of Others 

What Happened Here by Bonnie ZoBell

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Bonnie ZoBell’s luminously intersecting stories of artists, musicians, teachers and assorted shimmering misfits in a North Park neighborhood that happens to be the site of a historic plane wreck, beautifully chronicles the struggles of the living to survive—emotionally and physically—in the shadow of wreckage and ghosts. Her characters’ connections, madnesses, kindnesses and demons are startlingly poignant and resonant.

Gina Frangello, author of A Life in Men
Hickory Station by Adrian Rice

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In his new volume, Hickory Station, there are poems of Northern Ireland memories and others of Appalachia and the Low Country. Rice knows how to bear simple and eloquent witness to family life, the reckonings of self, and to distant and adopted homelands. Like many before him, Rice cannot forget the fields and woods outside the porch, the animals that make up the world without us. His poems are concise, poignant, and lyrical. Hickory Station is a warm-hearted, beautifully crafted, tour de force.

—Jefferson Holdridge, author of The Poetry of Paul Muldoon
a scrap of linen, a bone by Ginger Murchison
A Tom Lombardo Poetry Selection

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These are made poems. These are earned poems. These are poems of a full-fledged grownup who understands and celebrates the “slow hungers” that “breathe / beneath leveled dreams, / the South’s muscular sky / painted over now, paler blue.” This book will offer you welcome and pleasure.

Thomas Lux, author of Child Made of Sand

Hard Toward Home by C.D. Albin

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Hard Toward Home is alive with cross-grained people caught between their pasts and futures and striving to outlast the harm they've done each other and themselves. Albin possesses all the storyteller's gifts of eye and ear and mind and goes them one better by virtue of his heart. These stories are deep and wise and quietly gorgeous.

—Janet Peery, author of The River Beyond the World
Porridge by Richard Garcia
​Winner of the 2016 Press 53 Award for Poetry
A Tom Lombardo Poetry Selection

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Porridge is an outstanding collection of adult fables, remixed lullabies, and ars poeticas. The poem, "Vasko Popa," is the best critique of big data I've read ("The computer wants you to save everything"). "The Promise" delivers a heartrending, mythical coming-of-age tale. Richard Garcia is a superlative fabulist.

—Jillian Weise, author of The Book of Goodbyes
Exit, pursued by a bear, by Joseph Mills
poems inspired by Shakespeare's stage directions

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What an inspired collection! The lines between reality and the stage, between life and art, between past and present—they're all blurred into an exciting whirligig of poetry based on Shakespeare's stage directions. You don't have to be a Shakespeare nut to fall in love with this collection.

—Robert Lee Brewer, author of Solving the World’s Problems and editor of Poet’s Market
Balancing Acts: New & Selected Poems 1993 – 2015
by Yahia Lababidi
Silver Concho Poetry Series edited by Pamela Uschuk and William Pitt Root

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I find myself pausing everywhere among these wisdoms, wondering why the world stumbles and staggers through such a dark and greedy time when there are people alive with such keen, caring insight. . . If Yahia Samir Lababidi were in charge of a country, I would want to live there. 

—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of There Is No Long Distance Now 
They Could Live with Themselves, linked stories by Jodi Paloni

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They Could Live with Themselves dazzles twice: first, as a collection of subtle and engaging short stories that stand on their own, and second, as a sustained narrative. The intriguing characters of the fictional town of Stark Run appear and reappear until, by book’s end, the reader sees the broader picture of Jodi Paloni’s expert weaving. Throughout, her prose pops with humor and insight as it tracks the eternal tug between giving to others and giving to oneself. This is a stunning debut.

—Philip Graham, author of  Interior Design
Light Is the Odalisque by LaWanda Walters
Silver Concho Poetry Series edited by Pamela Uschuk and William Pitt Root

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The poems I read for years in magazines come full into their glory when set in their rightful context. This is mature, eye-opening work, meticulous and exhilarating, that only a writer at the height of her powers can give us. 

—James Cummins, author of Still Some Cake
That Rain We Needed by Sam Barbee

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​That Rain We Needed is one man’s search for his place of true belonging in an imperfect world. Sometimes comical, other times poignant, always willing to be vulnerable—here Sam Barbee unfolds his map for negotiating family and its complicated relationships. Little escapes his keen eye. “Snagged in the belly of combed clouds / I release all I am into wind,” he says—he who bravely bares his soul to us all.

—Susan Laughter Meyers, author of My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass

Elegies for Small Game by Shelby Stephenson

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In poem after poem Stephenson catches the exuberance of childhood, the romance of hot-rods, the delight of barnyard basketball, and the poignant poetry of bird life in the countryside. In dialogue and hymn, this singer and laureate meditates on issues of race, history, and the bonds of abiding love.

—Robert Morgan, author of Dark Energy

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