Bookcover of I Weave a Nest of Foil by Arlene Naganawa

I Weave a Nest of Foil

By Arlene Naganawa

The poems in I Weave a Nest of Foil unfold like a beautifully awry fairy tale populated by ghosts, untranslated histories, palimpsests, warnings, and manifold wonders which even all the darkness they portray cannot erase. A classroom preparing for mass shootings – the latticed, shiny scars of the human body – the community effects of the pandemic – our recent history is woven into this glittering work and made strangely nurturing there.

More Praise for I Weave a Nest of Foil:

"The poems in this astonishing collection are utterly tender and completely peculiar. Lullabies sung by apparitions, they stroke and prickle at once with lush, precise langauge. In Naganawa’s work another world – uneasy, strange and beautiful –  is superimposed on this one, and it is in the thin places that we encounter spirits and angels. But that world is no more surreal than ours: the neighborhood park during pandemic quarantine, aclassroom of children in a time of everyday mass shootings. The work is often ekphrastic and art-inspired, but equally informed by the human body, its tissues and fluids, its latticed, shiny scars. These poems are gorgeous and intriguing, each a lemon drop on the tongue: round, sharp, the color of sunshine, dissolving in spit and a lingering tingle of sweet and acid."


— Sati Mookherjee, author of Eye and Ways of Being


"I Weave a Nest of Foil is a book filled with language and imagery that constantly surprises. Reading these poems, nothing is quite what one expects. Here, the natural world is full of ghosts, secrets, and a subtle warning about contradictions: Multi-layered and understated, each poem reveals a master of euphony at work. What we’re left with is brief, startling and haunting."


— Sharon Hashimoto, winner of the 2022 Washington State Book Award in Poetry for More American


"Naganawa’s poems see the everyday landscape as if a palimpsest, sometimes torn, that covers stranger worlds. We recognize the details, but they’re presented with a selectivity that implies unfamiliar depths and connections. The poems are pervaded by an eerie element of off-kilter fairy tales or mysterious fables told to alert us to the wonders that surround us—and the dangers. They often seem to reveal only a star or two which imply an entire constellation, as a shell on a beach evokes an ocean."


— Michael Spence, winner of the 2015 New Criterion Poetry Prize for Umbilical


Price $22
ISBN 979-8-218-32090-4
(April 2024)

She may be lying down but she may be very happy by Jody Gelb

She may be lying down but she may be very happy

By Jody Gelb

Everything was going right in the delivery room until, suddenly, it wasn’t. The baby’s brain was damaged; the new mother, unprepared for the life she and her family would now be living.

In dense, lyrical prose, Jody Gelb pays tribute to her daughter’s short life. She May Be lying Down but She May Be Very Happy is a marvel of compression and potency. Gelb lays her experience bare in the full range of its emotional complexity, from profound suffering to ecstatic joy. It is a mother-daughter memoir scrubbed of sentiment. She May Be lying Down but She May Be Very Happy isn’t so much a book as the naked truth of being human in this imperfect world.

More Praise for She may be lying down but she may be very happy:

“This astonishing memoir lives in the sacred space where life and death meet. From its first startling sentence to its last, Gelb’s extraordinary story grips us and never lets go. . . . When I reached the final page, I took a breath and began again. I wanted to experience once more the sunshine of her beloved daughter’s smile, the intricacy of Gelb’s relationships drawn with such wit, humor, and concision. I wanted to remain in contact with her singular voice, to revel in the wisdom she has rendered from her living, and the giant, generous heart she offers to us in this unforgettable work of art.”


— Martin Moran, author of The Tricky Part and All the Rage


“Within the first paragraph of discovering Jody Gelb’s writing, I knew I was stepping into a world of language and emotion unlike anything I’d ever encountered. Gelb’s words don’t just live on the page but seem to float above it, as if suspended from a great height by threads of silk. Maybe that’s why this memoir, for all its gravity and dark places, retains so much light. Like Lueza herself, the storytelling is imbued with a joy that penetrates the outer shell of tragedy. You will never read another book like this”


— Meghan Daum, author of The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects Of Discussion


“In her devastating, hilarious, pitch-perfect memoir about motherhood and mortality, Gelb proves that no family history is too tragic for laughter, no loss—even the death of a child—too painful for celebration. Filled with uncommon wisdom and hard-won insights, this book is a beacon for life’s toughest moments, a welcome reminder that you’re not alone.”


— Mark Matousek, author of Lessons From an American Stoic: How Emerson Can Change Your Life


“There is a space between private and public where we humans waver. SHE MAY BE LYING DOWN BUT SHE MAY BE VERY HAPPY by Jody Gelb explores that liminal space by and through both her body as a mother, lover, performer, and the roles she has inhabited in her life. With raw emotional intensity threaded through with poetic gentleness, these micromovements travel the terrain of how we find home not by running from grief, loss, difficulty, but through them, writing our small prayers to tuck into broken places. A tender triumph.”


— Lidia Yuknavitch


Price $20
ISBN 979-8218231323
(November 2023)

The Saplings Think of Us as Young book cover

The Saplings Think of Us as Young

By Kimberly Kralowec

In her visionary debut collection, Kimberly Kralowec explores the intimacy of living in close relationship with extremes of beauty and distress—in both the human and non-human creatures around us.

More Praise for The Saplings Think of Us as Young:

Kralowec sees through the mysteries of the everyday into a transcendent world of strangeness: “I feel again what several people told me did not exist.” We as readers—marvelously—are made to feel it, too.


— Jay Deshpande, author of Love the Stranger


The poems in Kimberly Kralowec’s gorgeous, heart-opening collection are rife with haunting and lyrical lines that illuminate the crisis of climate change. This poetry operates with a precision of image and a juxtaposition of the senses . . . Yet here, amidst the calamities of a failing planet, stands a love story for the ages. . . Kralowec leads us magnificently and memorably through a persistent trauma of planet and body that ultimately yields to the strength of love, everything “altered just enough to be/unrecognizable, just enough to be beautiful.”


— Jeanine Walker, author of The Two of Them Might Outlast Me


The Saplings Think of Us as Young knows the world not by mere observation but through a kind of fierce participation. The poems draw us beyond words and into images, that murky place where art is primed for the elements of unknowing and mystery. . .


— Michael McGriff, author of Eternal Sentences


Kimberly Kralowec’s poems are deeply aware of the vulnerability of human and more-than-human life. In this time in which disasters have become daily—homes we live inside and move between—Kralowec’s nuanced and sensitive book gives voice to both the grief and beauty of irrevocable transformation and expresses tenderness toward the imperiled phenomenon of human consciousness itself.


— Sarah Rose Nordgren, author of The Creation Museum


Kralowec’s poems insist it’s not too late to care for the Earth, and they serve as beacons for possibility and change. Entering the world of these poems makes it easier to be part of the only environment we share.

— Sean Singer, author of Today in the Taxi


ISBN 978-0-9827838-9-4
Publication date 28 May 2023
86 pages

Ask for Horse by Tina Tau book cover

Ask for Horses: Memoir of a Dream-Guided Life

By Tina Tau

. . . Ask for something so alive, so surprising, that it will crack your life wide open.

 An adventure story in two realms, a conversation between the visible and invisible worlds; in this eloquent memoir, Tina Tau reveals the life-saving intelligence of her dreams. As a young woman she tries to outrun her pain by moving every year, often thousands of miles at a time. But by paying attention to her dreams, she is finally able to slow down, heal, and begin to shine. Her story is a guide to the daily practice of saying yes to your own life’s innate wisdom.

More Praise for Ask for Horses:

“Tina Tau’s memoir shows us how to turn mess into magic. She tells her transformative tale with an incandescent blend of humility and healing, wildness and wonder. Her dedication to dreams, paradoxically, is what renders the reader wide awake. I’ve always wanted my own life to feel like that, and now I know for certain it can.”


—Raphael Cushnir, author of Surfing Your Inner Sea


“Ask for Horses is an initiation into the alchemies of wonder. As we accompany this speaker on her epic, dream-guided journey of discovery, her dance with destiny becomes our own. We enter a chorus of deep wisdom. We are illuminated by poetic grace. We are awakened by awe. We are called home to our own deep soul knowing. Reading this book, you will . . . rediscover dreaming as a path of personal power and healing. And as you follow Tina Tau’s astonishment into the great wilderness of human experience, you will inherit your belonging to this world.”


— Sage Cohen, author of Fierce on the Page


“When you enter this book, prepare to grow luminous, to travel in company with someone offering “jewels of information” about electric connections between dreams and actions. Prepare to recognize how the liquid bounty of the inner life may offer guidance for the thirsty tangle of the outer life. This writer is someone who can stand astonished in the presence of both illumination and trouble, someone who can be “happy as an apple tree in bloom” and also “translucent with weariness.” This is a memoir like no other. You have been preparing to read it all your life.”


— Kim Stafford


“Isn’t the mind amazing? Where anything is possible? Asks author Tina Tau in her masterful dream-inspired memoir Ask for Horses – a powerfully evocative self-portrait in which the matrix of Tau‘s seemingly disorderly, albeit extraordinary life is gradually rendered meaningful by the eternal, precious, and ephemeral immensity of spirit presented by her dreaming life. Tugged by the sheer enchantment of dreams, Tau’s prose is poetic and her poems are lyrical. This captivating book will make readers feel that they can live a different life if only they pay attention to dreams, the inherent unruliness of the soul, the natural wildness of the heart, and the unpredictable trajectory of the spirit.” ’”


— Victoria Rabinowe, artist, author, director of the DreamingArts Studio in Santa Fe


Publication date 30 August 2022

Book cover of Soft-Boiled by Stephen J. West


By Stephen J. West

Soft-Boiled follows Stephen J. West as he shadows a private investigator by the name of Frank Streets. What starts out as a last-ditch effort to write West’s first book—while juggling responsibilities as a husband and new father—becomes a critical reflection on art-making, storytelling, and masculinity in America. Blending memoir, reportage, criticism, and detective thriller into one capacious yet focused narrative, Soft-Boiled is a lyrical and aching self-reflexive portrait of an artist that asks the questions so many men are afraid to ask.

More Praise for Soft-Boiled:

“A unique, wandering study with plenty of thought-provoking, endearing twists”


— Kirkus


“Soft-Boiled is a magical genre remix that challenges received ideas of American Manhood and the Lone Artist, while simultaneously delivering a thrilling and comedic detective noir and moving family drama”


— Torrey Peters


“Soft-Boiled leaves no stone unturned in its investigation of this unified myth of American manhood, and West is a smart, fun, kind-hearted investigator, willing—like Frank Streets, the enigma at the book’s center—to let us ride along and see what happens next”


— Lucas Mann


ISBN 978-0-9827838-6-3

Book cover of Stray Birds by Andrew Robin

Stray Birds

By Andrew Robin

Poems responding to the everyday miracles and paradoxes of life, in language that is honed, spare, full of plainspoken insight: this is award-winning poetry that tacks toward simplicity (the writer is winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize). Its depths, like those of the experienced world, are implicit. Andrew Robin illuminates the mystery and beauty (and awkwardness) of existence with a breathtaking command of moment, gesture, and the simplest of words.

More Praise for Stray Birds:

“Stray Birds is a psalm for the interconnectedness of grief and joy. In the rain, in the winter, in spring, nature is a character and Andrew Robin gives her voice:

‘I’m trying hard // to be / no one // but / all this / beauty // keeps witnessing me.’

We too are witnesses. We, too, under the spell of Robin’s hymn to nature and grief, repeat with him, our lips parted and anticipatory:

‘please // please / let beauty // be enough.’


— Gary McDowell


“Luminous, awake, and  grieving, these poems find openings and move in. Once inhabited, I discover blossoms, ancestors, stillness, ease, and stars. The rest of the cosmos swirls amongst the words on the page. Whole seasons pass. This book is a translation, an end, and a song with a chorus: I am heartbroken, and so I am free.”


— Emily Kendal Frey


“These poems  might  be described  as ‘small’ or ‘spare’  but I think ‘miniature’ is more accurate, because as the classic miniatures of Indian courts, these poems are rich with precise detail, and have finely—finely—tuned emotional resonances. With only the stanza break and the line break as punctuation, the poems unfold in slow and careful choreography. Seasons pass. Days fill. This is what life feels like lived.”


— Kazim Ali


ISBN 978-0-9827838-6-3

(December 2021)

Book cover of A Place of Exodus by David Biespiel

A Place of Exodus: Home, Memory, and Texas

By David Biespiel

Are we ever done leaving home? Acclaimed poet and memoirist David Biespiel tells the story of the rise and fall of his Jewish boyhood in Texas, and his search for the answer to his life’s central riddle.

After a near-forty-year exile, Biespiel returns for a day to the world he left behind as a different person. He creates a moving meditation on the meaning of home, uncovering bittersweet realities of age, youth, and family with tenderness and devastating honesty.

More Praise for A Place of Exodus:

“In the great American tradition of improvised cultural makings and unmakings, migration and recurrence, David Biespiel unfolds our national quest onto an unexpected terrain: a decidedly Texan and traditionally Jewish neighborhood of Houston. A surprising, heartbreaking and inspiring story.”


— Robert Pinsky


“In his prose, as in his poetry, David Biespiel heeds the highest calling: he assumes responsibility for life’s desire to witness its progress. He opens himself completely and becomes a conduit for language to address language, for the self, whatever it may be, to know the self. A meditation on Judaism, a surprising history of Texas, a memoir of a unique and enriching childhood, A Place of Exodus finally becomes a testament to the honest imagination, a sort of sacred text.”


— Tracy Daugherty


“In A Place of Exodus, David Biespiel embarks on a search not for resolution, reprieve, or spiritual repatriation but for the very scent of an era, its ancient and communal dramas, its generational and theological forces. Because Biespiel is Jewish (though admittedly “retired”) he is compelled to remember.  Because he is a storyteller, he caresses the complex characters and places of his past. And finally, because he is a poet, he makes it all sing – gorgeously.”


— Lia Purpura


“David Biespiel vividly recreates his unlikely Jewish upbringing in Houston, Texas, and movingly tells the story of how he moved away from the dictates and certainties of his childhood religion. He raises large questions about the meaning of home and the nature of exile, which is why A Place of Exodus is such a keen reckoning. It is even a sort of homecoming.”


— Edward Hirsch


ISBN 978-0-9827838-5-6

(September 2020)

Book cover for Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces: For writers, artists, musicians, dancers, and anyone else who leads a creative life By David Biespiel

Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces:

For writers, artists, musicians, dancers, and anyone else who leads a creative life

By David Biespiel

Here is the classic book for writers, updated and re-issued for its tenth anniversary with a new Foreword by novelist Chuck Palahniuk.

First published by Kelson Books in 2009, based on lectures given by acclaimed poet, memoirist, and critic David Biespiel, this book cracks open the creative process and invites readers to take a fresh look at the mysterious pathways of the imagination.

“This book has been in print forever because what it offers works for people. . . . you’re about to read magic.”


— Chuck Palahniuk


“Does for the creative process what Strunk and White did for our approach to grammar and style. Indispensable.”


— Marjorie Sandor


“Finally, an anti-bullshit book on creativity!”


— James Marcus


“Buoyant… unorthodox… A provocative and anti-intuitive manual for making fresh art.”


Kirkus Reviews


ISBN 978-0-9827838-4-9

(March 2020)

A Way Home: Oregon Essays by Scott Parker

A Way Home: Oregon Essays

Scott F. Parker
Drawings by Alex Hirsch

If the Japanese poet Basho took a walk on a West Coast beach… If Lao Tzu were your hiking buddy… This book might be the result. What is it that draws us to love our places, our moments? What is this longing, what is this beauty? Is it real? Or is it just a trick of nostalgia?

A Way Home is a love letter to Oregon and an ode to living in the present moment. Living for several years in Minnesota, Scott Parker finds himself longing for the Oregon of his youth. He explores this longing by returning to his home state both over the course several visits and through the unfolding of memory, to find out what he is capable of understanding about time, home, and himself. The temptation of nostalgia is regarded from many angles – rueful, ironic, yet always still beckoning. Its antidote: being present in the actual moment, with its paradoxes and mixed blessings. Parker’s passion for his subject is apparent, and his meditations prove him to be a nimble and penetrating thinker on absence and presence.

Advance praise for A Way Home



“Parker writes with consuming intelligence, but beauty takes precedence. . .”


— Kirkus (Starred Review)


“Scott Parker has done something wonderfully fresh in this memoir/essay. . . . reminiscent of the great searching essayists.”


“A deft and valuable journey, not ‘nostalgic’ (he takes on that literary sin with élan) but gripping in a fully contemporary voice.”


— Patricia Hampl, author of The Art of the Wasted Day


“By turns exuberant, philosophical, and optimistic, Parker writes lyrically about place. Braided closely together are his probes of humankind in nature and his own drive to find himself. Who says you can’t come home again? Of course you can.”


— Robin Cody, author of Ricochet River and Voyage of a Summer Sun


ISBN 978-0-9827838-3-2

$18.00 / 186 pages

Distributor: SPD Small Press Distribution

Come Shining Book Cover as published by Kelson Books

Come Shining: Essays and Poems on Writing in a Dark Time

Jill Elliott (Editor), Alison Towle Moore (Editor)

Advance praise for Come Shining: Essays and Poems on Writing in a Dark Time

“This book gives citizens of a dark time a glittering crown of light—testimony, resonant questions, stories of engagement with confusion, and songs of restoration. Following an introduction by David Oates setting the book’s offerings in the tradition of deep thinkers from Hannah Arendt to Adrienne Rich, Come Shining delivers one articulate companion after another in our mutual pilgrimage toward a new way to be a community, a nation, and a world. These are not feel-good reassurances; they are sustaining reports of struggle, inquiry, and vision—a book for the backpack of a traveler toward our better destiny.”


— Kim Stafford, author of The Flavor of Unity: Post-Election Poems


Come Shining lays bare all that we have felt but not often spoken since fall of 2016. It’s as if the lid was lifted off the deepest well and all the griefs came rushing out—political, civic, literary, familial, spiritual. What gratitude I feel toward these writers who have the stamina and presence of mind to call out to us as we wander this dark and uncertain path. It reminds us we are not so alone.


Wendy Willis, Executive Director, Deliberative Democracy Consortium, Author of A Long Late Pledge (Bear Star Press)  


“We write in hope” proclaims David Oates, publisher and contributor to this soulful collection of poetry and prose that seeks to reclaim public space and citizenship through the “commons” of reading and writing. The authors write words that are raw and true to emotion and pain – but also to life, hope, and beauty. In times of despair, Come Shining affirms the “true word” as an act of resistance.


— Lois Ann Lorentzen, Academic Director, Master in Migration Studies Professor, Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Francisco Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of the American Academy of Religion Associate Editor, Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice


ISBN 978-0-9827838-2-5

$12.00 / 135 pages

Distributor: SPD Small Press Distribution

Book cover for Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces: For writers, artists, musicians, dancers, and anyone else who leads a creative life By David Biespiel

A Natural History of Now: Reports from the Edge of Nature

Edited by Sara J. Call and Jennifer Li-Yen Douglas

A collection of new nature writing that challenges the genre — edgy, humane, deeply implicated in the dying world that is renewing itself around us daily. From the University of Montana’s Environmental Writing Program and writers from all over the US.

Advance praise for A Natural History of Now

“An underwater Christ, how to lasso a kittiwake, Egyptian flies, bugling elk, a man who shoots poachers, vegetarians dismantling pigs … Welcome to a book far removed from the orthodox bucolic, mannered, and self-absorbed Nature Essay. These pieces are startling, funny, piercing, and often unforgettable. My advice: buy this book, eat it over the weekend, and then give it to someone who will dig it. Which will be everyone.”


— Brian Doyle, author of Mink River


ISBN 978-0-9827838-1-8

$10 / 141 pages

Distributor: Ingram

Book cover for Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces: For writers, artists, musicians, dancers, and anyone else who leads a creative life By David Biespiel

And from nationally-recognized poet and columnist David Biespiel

Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces: for writers, artists, musicians, dancers, & anyone else who leads a creative life

David Biespiel


ISBN 978-0-9827838-0-1

$9.95 / 113 pages

Distributor: SPD Small Press Distribution

What We Love Will Save Us

What We Love Will Save Us

David Oates


What We Love Will Save Us offers moments of transcendence and hope, told in personal essays that are tender and funny, searching and human. This book is about keeping faith and experiencing darkness: There’s a random dangerous rightness abroad in this wide shining world. It’s a rightness, not a correctness.  We don’t need so much to counter other people’s errors as to bring the light and joy of that right and beautiful world:  what we desire for our planet and ourselves. What we are doing instead of hating and denying and bombing. Our job is to work on what we love. Daily. With precision and determination. David Oates finds wildness and grace breaking out in unexpected places – from city streets to mountain peaks – offering a crucial balance to his dramatically personal account of what it has been like to be a “citizen of the regime” during eight years of unprecedented propaganda, torture, waste, and war. What is the right response, when the government that belongs to us goes seriously off course? How does a person’s private and creative life relate to the life we share in common? Brief and beautifully intense lyrical essays explore hope, pleasure, and creativity (and the outrage that must never be allowed to eclipse them).  Readable, memorable, smart but straight from the heart – these essays give voice to our shared experience of a dark and frustrating time in the nation’s life. They should find a wide audience.

Advance praise for What We Love Will Save Us

“An underwater Christ, how to lasso a kittiwake, Egyptian flies, bugling elk, a man who shoots poachers, vegetarians dismantling pigs … Welcome to a book far removed from the orthodox bucolic, mannered, and self-absorbed Nature Essay. These pieces are startling, funny, piercing, and often unforgettable. My advice: buy this book, eat it over the weekend, and then give it to someone who will dig it. Which will be everyone.”


— Ana Maria Spagna, author of Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus: a Daughter’s Civil Rights Journey and Now Go Home: Wilderness, Belonging, and the Crosscut Saw


“Personal honesty, humor, zinger endings. . . This is a stirring, creative collection of essays stoked with ideas, some of them urgently of our time and place, some timeless. People with regard for language will reread passages for their genuinely beautiful writing. I got a lump in my throat (and had to take a walk) after I read the final six words: ‘Brief lists, perseverance, and long vistas.’ AMEN. A mantra for our century.”


— Jeff Gersh,  founder and principal of NarrativeLab Communications


“There is a tightly wound lyricism to these very American essays, crafted out of bumps and bruises and sheer joys.  David Oates is a writer companion you’ll want to have as you hike across this beleaguered planet – testy on the switchbacks but more than congenial around the fire; at the end of the day, he always chooses the best campsite.”


— Paul J. Willis, author of Bright Shoots of Everlastingness: Essays on Faith and the American Wild


ISBN 978-0-615-31419-8

$11.95 / 191 pages

Distributor: SPD Small Press Distribution