University of Akron Press acquires three new poetry collections

The University of Akron Press is pleased to announce that it will publish No Other Rome by Heather Green as the 2019 Akron Poetry Prize editor’s choice selection. Series editor Mary Biddinger chose this manuscript from a total of 623 Akron Poetry Prize contest entries.

The Akron Series in Poetry has also acquired new collections by continuing University of Akron Press poets Jennifer Moore, author of The Veronica Maneuver, and Emilia Phillips, author of Signaletics, Groundspeed, and Empty Clip. The University of Akron Press will publish Easy Does It by Moore, and Embouchure by Phillips.


 

Heather Green is the author of two chapbooks, No Omen and The Match Array, and the translator of two collections of Tristan Tzara's poetry: Noontimes Won (Octopus Books, 2018) and Guide to the Heart Rail (Goodmorning Menagerie, 2017). Her poems have appeared in Bennington Review, Denver Quarterly, the New Yorker, and elsewhere, and her translations of Tzara's work have appeared in Asymptote, Poetry International, and several anthologies. She teaches in the School of Art at George Mason University and serves on the editorial board of Poetry Daily.

No Other Rome is a collection of poems that play with a multifarious intertextuality. Elegies, love poems, and meditations connect to Classical, Modern, and contemporary art, literature, and music to consider what might be worth saving and what might be lost in a world rapidly moving away from twentieth-century concerns into an unpredictable future. Correspondingly, many of the poems in the collection speak back to work by artists who seem to, as Takashi Murakami has said, “see the future,” and refract these visions through the prism of a chaotic present.


 

Jennifer Moore was born and raised in Seattle. She is the author of The Veronica Maneuver (University of Akron Press, 2015) and the chapbook Smaller Ghosts (Seven Kitchens Press, 2020). Her poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, Bennington Review, Interim, The Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere, and her work has been recognized by residencies with and fellowships from the Jentel Arts Foundation, Artsmith, and the Ora Lerman Charitable Trust. An associate professor of creative writing and Director of the School for the Humanities at Ohio Northern University, she lives in Bowling Green, Ohio.

In Easy Does It, Jennifer Moore’s second full-length collection, the speaker brings the reader on an exploration of multiple worlds: the social, the domestic, and the pastoral, considering the difficult questions and problems of the self—of memory, history, grief, and desire. The poems move from buzzing, bewildering environments where “hide and seek becomes Save yourself” and “nothing ever / does it easy” in pursuit of clarity, beauty, and stillness. With colloquial humor and curiosity, the speaker investigates her subjects in tones that range from the wry to the resigned to the powerful. Through linguistic echo and metaphorical transformation, the familiar is made strange and the strange feels like home.


 

Emilia Phillips (she/her/hers) is the author of three poetry collections from the University of Akron Press, most recently Empty Clip (2018), and four chapbooks, including Hemlock (Diode Editions, 2019). Winner of a 2019 Pushcart Prize, Phillips’s poems, lyric essays, and book reviews appear widely in literary publications including Agni, American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, The New York Times, Ploughshares, Poetry, and elsewhere. She’s an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing in the MFA Writing Program and the Department of English at UNC Greensboro.

An embouchure is the way in which a wind musician applies their mouth to an instrument’s mouthpiece, and Embouchure, Emilia Phillips’s fourth poetry collection, sets its mouth, ready to play. Trumpeting a picaresque coming out story, the poems are at turns self-deprecatory and revelatory, exploring sexual fluidity and non-monosexuality. From the speaker’s adolescent crushes to her closeted 20s to her eventual acceptance of queerness, their disarming joy—even at her own mistakes—is cut with challenges to toxic masculinity and reckonings with anticipatory anxiety. The tomboy the speaker once was is transfigured into “a presexual soft butch / Medusa” with a “beautiful, beautiful / body that didn’t know yet // how to contain itself.” Elsewhere, the speaker evades a Dickinsonian personification of Death, who seems more like an inescapable ex-boyfriend than a welcome bridegroom. Phillips’s mock-confessionalism is as brassy as it is vulnerable.