Twelve Women in a Country Called America
by Kelly Cherry
9 x 6 paperback, 232 pages
Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314
560 N. Trade St, Ste 103
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
At Press 53, we don't set out to be diverse or balanced; we set out to find great writing. The fact that almost 60% of our books are written by women shouldn't be a big deal.
We publish writing that is powerful, thought-provoking, hard-hitting, smart, and brave. If you are looking for something with those qualities, check out some these titles.
And come back every month for a new spotlight on eight of our kick-ass women writers.
Piranhas & Quicksand & Love
by GSally Shivnan
8.5 x 5.5. paperback, 204 pages
The Universl Physics of Escape
by Elizabeth Gonzalez
8.5 x 5.5-inch paperback, 168 pages
They Could Live with Themselves
by Jodi Paloni
8.5 x 5.5 paperback, 204 pages
What My Hand Say
by Glenis Redmond
9 X 6 paperback, 102 pages
In What My Hand Say, Glenis Redmond digs deep, risking peace of mind, the comfort of ignorance and the assurance of being numb to history and memory, to make poems that are urgent, full of alarm, and marked by the realization that the best art is one that dares to look boldly at hard experience and still find a music in it. This a welcome collection by a poet engaged in the necessary work of writing with a full sense of place and history. South Carolina is fecund with stories and musics, and Redmond manages to tap into this complex resource with skill and heart.
— Kwame Dawes, author of City of Bones: A Testament
When She Was Bad
by Gabrielle Brant Freeman
9 x 6 paperback, 7 pages6
2015 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction
by Barbara Presnell
9 x 6 paperback, 84 pages
The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest
by Kathryn Stripling Byer
9 x 6 paperback, 92 pages
Poet Laureate of North Carolina, 2005-2009
Lust. Love. Betrayal and loyalty. Temptation and hilarity. Gabrielle Freeman dissects her speakers’ hearts, tenderly, with supreme attention to what it is to be human, female, and fierce. Gabrielle Freeman’s poems are bad—by which I mean badass bold. Michael Jackson bad. Freeman’s bad and you know it. That’s why you read her. When She Was Bad is a smart, compassionate, tightly crafted and explosive debut.
— Denise Duhamel, author of Blowout
The powerful and poignant poems of Blue Star weave together the voices and life stories of men and women across generations of a North Carolina family as they face the realities and aftermaths of war on both the battlefront and the home front. This is first and foremost a testament to the ties that bind mothers and sons, fathers and daughters across time and space. No reader will finish this book and be untouched, nor unchanged through its reading.
— John P. Beck, co-director of Our Daily Work/Our Daily Lives, Michigan State University
The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest was the debut poetry collection for North Carolina’s first woman Poet Laureate (2005-09), Kathryn Stripling Byer, and was published by Texas Tech Press in 1986 as part of the Associated Writing Programs Award Series, selected by John Frederick Nims, who said, “This is one of those rare books of poetry—earthy, sensuous, brave-spirited—that gives us the feeling of a full human life as vividly as a novel aspires to do.” Byer is the author of five other volumes of poems, all with Louisiana State University Press, including her latest, Descent, winner of the 2013 SIBA Book Award for Poetry.
The fourteen stories in Piranhas & Quicksand & Love are clear and profound . . . . Read this book to savor its beautiful language, to drink in its gentle defiance. Piranhas & Quicksand & Love calls readers to ride the waves of a sea besieged by predatory behavior and natural disaster. To sail on, nevertheless, toward love.
— The Washington Independent Review of Books
I loved every story in this collection by Elizabeth Gonzalez. With quiet authority, in prose of luminous clarity, she travels fluidly between the natural world and her characters' secret interiors. These science-inflected tales include octopus escape artists, “reclamation specialists,” cracked geodes and the intractable laws of physics. Out of a bedrock of fact, Gonzalez raises a lush set of questions about our mysterious species: why do we stay, when do we go, how do we build our selves and our homes?
— Karen Russell, author of Pulitzer Prize finalist Swamplandia!
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
Kelly Cherry is a writer's writer, a master storyteller who writes about people we recognize in a style so easy we're surprised to find ourselves suddenly in deep, deep water. The past often collides with the present in these complicated families, almost-families, and relationships; many of the stories turn on those moments when we find out who we truly are, or who we will become. I found myself wondering, how does Kelly Cherry know so much? Deeply psychological yet compulsively readable, these stories are like real stories told to us by a trusted friend.
— Lee Smith, author of Guests of Earth: A Novel and The Last Girls