June 22, 2010
SHSU Media Contact: Bruce Erickson
Sam Houston State University’s Texas Review Press will release seven new books of fiction, poetry and essays in the coming months, according to the Review’s director, Paul Ruffin.
The books include:
- “Rivers Last Longer,” a novel by Richard Burgin, about whom a Chicago Tribune reviewer wrote, “Burgin writes gorgeous evocative prose…at once elegant and disturbing, one of our finest artists of love at its most desperate.”
- “Texas Death Row: Reflections of a Different World,” essays and reflections written by death row inmates, edited by members of a graduate editing and publishing class taught by Ruffin.
- “Blue Norther and Other Poems,” by William Bedford Clark, poems “rooted in the life and culture of the South and Southwest.” Clark teaches English at Texas A&M.
- “Maker of Shadows,” a book of by Joshua Cohen, a poet and elementary school teacher in Boston.
- “Names We’ve Never Known,” a collection of poems by 2010 Texas State Poet Laureate Karla K. Morton.
- “Journeys” by Sam Pickering, “an inveterate wanderer,” who writes essays about his journeys around the United States and abroad. Pickering teaches English at the University of Connecticut and has written more than 20 books. One reviewer said that reading Pickering was like “taking a walk with your oldest, wittiest friend.”
- “The Shadow of Violence,” a “noir novella set in Depression-era Southern Colorado,” by Daniel Robinson.
The catalog and the books can be ordered from the Texas A&M Press Consortium at www.tamupress.com. Several Texas universities work together to publish, promote, market and sell their books through the consortium.
The consortium Web site includes a timely and lively blog about books, book events and reviews, book news and features.
Sam Houston State’s Texas Review Press is directed by Paul Ruffin, Texas State University System Regents Professor and Distinguished Professor of English and Texas’s official State Poet Laureate in 2009.
“Texas Review Press attempts to meet the needs of an international as well as regional and local audience,” said Ruffin.
The press now publishes 14 books a year and has more than a hundred titles in print.
“We conduct four international competitions: the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize for best poetry chapbook of up to 32 pages, the X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize for a full-length collection of poems, the George Garrett Fiction Prize for a short novel or collection of stories, and the newly named Clay Reynolds Novella Prize for best novella,” Ruffin said.
“In addition, we publish books each year that focus on the area or region, and we publish several books by Texas writers each year, usually in both poetry and fiction.
Three of the Press’s recent books have earned “prestigious honors and awards,” said Ruffin:
- D.C. Berry's “Hamlet Off-Stage,” recently won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Award.
- “Mom’s Canoe,” a book of poetry by Rebecca Foust, won the 2010 National Indie Excellence award, the 2009 London Book Festival First Place in Poetry and the 2009 San Francisco Book Festival, Honorable Mention in Poetry.
- Foust’s book of poems, “Dark Card, earned the 2009 National Indie Excellence award) First Place in Psychiatry and Finalist in Poetry Categories, the 2009 New York Book Festival, First Place in Poetry, the 2009 San Francisco Book Festival, First Place in Poetry and the 2008 London Book Festival, First Place in Poetry
Ruffin said the Press will begin a new award next year for poets seeking to publish their first book, to be called the Texas Review Press Breakthrough Poetry Award. The award will include the publication of the writer’s first book and is being funded by a gift to the Press from D.C. Berry, winner of the Mississippi Institute’s poetry award last year for “Hamlet Off-Stage.” The first year’s prize will go to a Mississippi poet.
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