Archives for posts with tag: new releases


Congratulations to Chris Forhan — author of the poetry collection Ransack and Dance (Silver Birch Press, 2013) — on the June 28, 2016 release of his memoir My Father Before Me by Scribner, prestigious publisher of some of the greatest of the great (F.Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, Kurt Vonnegut).

BOOK DESCRIPTION: An award-winning poet offers a multi-generational portrait of an American family—weaving together the lives of his ancestors, his parents, and his own coming of age in the 60s and 70s in the wake of his father’s suicide, in this superbly written, “fiercely honest” (Nick Flynn) memoir. The fifth of eight children, Chris Forhan was born into a family of silence. He and his siblings learned, without being told, that certain thoughts and feelings were not to be shared. On the evenings his father didn’t come home, the rest of the family would eat dinner without him, his whereabouts unknown, his absence pronounced but not mentioned. And on a cold night in 1973, just before Christmas, Forhan’s father killed himself in the carport. Forty years later, Forhan “bravely considers the way he is and is not his father’s son” (Larry Watson), digging into his family’s past and finding within each generation the same abandonment, loss, and silence in which he was raised. Like Ian Frazier in Family or Frank McCourt in Angela’s Ashes, Forhan shows his family members as both a part and a product of their time. My Father Before Me is a family history, an investigation into a death, and a stirring portrait of growing up in an Irish Catholic childhood, all set against a backdrop of America from the Great Depression to the Ramones.

chris forhan

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chris Forhan is the author of the poetry collections Forgive Us Our Happiness, winner of the Bakeless Prize; The Actual Moon, The Actual Stars, winner of the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize; and Black Leapt In, chosen by poet Phillis Levin for the Barrow Street Press Book Prize. He was raised in Seattle and earned an MA from the University of New Hampshire and an MFA from the University of Virginia. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and two Pushcart prizes. His poetry has been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2008 and has appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, New England Review, Parnassus, and other magazines. He teaches at Butler University in Indianapolis, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Find My Father Before Me by Chris Forhan at

ides front cover Silver Birch Press decided to celebrate the year 2015 by asking 15 poets to each contribute 15 pages of poetry to a chapbook collection, which we’ve entitled IDES (released on the ides of October 2015). The result is a diverse mix of poetry by authors from coast to coast. Our poets hail from California, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, the Carolinas, and Texas—with one from Canada. Featured poets include:

Jeffrey C. Alfier
Tobi Alfier
Carol Berg
Ana Maria Caballero
Jennifer Finstrom
Joanie Hieger Fritz Zosike
Robin Dawn Hudechek
Sonja Johanson
Ellaraine Lockie
Daniel McGinn
Robert Okaji
Glenis Redmond
Daniel Romo
Thomas R. Thomas
A. Garnett Weiss

As art, we’ve selected paintings by Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920)—primarily work he created in his prolific year of 1915. A century later, we celebrate him as a visionary artist who accomplished much in his very short life.

A special thank you to the poets whose work appears in these pages. We applaud your dedication to the art and craft of poetry.

COVER: “Woman’s Head” by Amedeo Modigliani (1915).

Find IDES: A Collection of Poetry Chapbooks at

gatsby cover June 2015

The month of June marks the 4th anniversary of Silver Birch Press — and the 3rd anniversary of our blog. Our first post on June 24, 2012 featured F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby — so it seems fitting to celebrate these milestones with our latest release: The Great Gatsby Anthology, a collection of poetry and prose inspired by The Great Gatsby. This is a unique collection of material that has NOT appeared on our blog. 

We issued a call for submissions on March 15, 2014 and received submissions of poetry and prose from people around the world. Over a year in the making, the collection features writing from 80 established and up-and-coming authors :

Katie Aliferis
E. Kristin Anderson
M. Ivana Trevisani Bach
Johannes S.H. Bjerg
Julie E. Bloemeke
Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier
Ed Bremson
Tanya Bryan
Ana Maria Caballero
Sam Cha
Jan Chronister
Maryann Corbett
Anthony Costello
Tasha Cotter
Helen Dallas
Tracy Davidson
Susan de Sola
Andrea Janelle Dickens
Michelle Donfrio
Jennifer Finstrom
Ashley Ford
Jeannine Hall Gailey
Shivapriya Ganapathy
Marielle Gauthier
Trina Gaynon
Gary Glauber
Douglas Goetsch
Lois Marie Harrod
Senna Heyatawin
Joanie Hieger Fritz Zosike
Shawn P. Hosking
Veronica Hosking
Mathias Jansson
Jen Cullerton Johnson
David M. Katz
Becca Klaver
Laurie Kolp
Linda Kraus
Jean L. Kreiling
Kathryn Kulpa
David W. Landrum
Samantha LeVan
Stefanie Lipsey
Caolan Madden
Shahé Mankerian
Marjorie Manwaring
John McCarthy
Catfish McDaris
George McKim
Sarah Fawn Montgomery
Christina Murphy
Leslie Nichols
Lewis Oakwood
Alysson B. Parker
Martha Patterson
James Penha,
David S. Pointer,
Christina M. Rau
Suzanne Rawlinson
Patrick T. Reardon
Marybeth Rua-Larsen
Shloka Shankar
Sheikha A.
Edward W.L. Smith
Matthew Oldham Smith
Sherry Steiner
Christine Stroud
Marianne Titiriga
Sally Toner
Lee Upton
Sylvia Riojas Vaughn
Melanie Villines
Rachel Voss
Alan Walowitz
Amy Schreibman Walter
Susannah White
Lin Whitehouse
Neal Whitman
Scott Wiggerman
Matthew Wilson
Theodora Ziolkowski

The Great Gatsby Anthology is available in paperback at — with a Kindle version coming soon.

HWC_FRONTCOVER Silver  Birch Press is pleased to announce the March 20, 2015 release of The Hollywood Catechism, a 110-page collection of poems by Paul Fericano.

ABOUT THE BOOK: In The Hollywood Catechism, Paul Fericano shines a bright searchlight on our addiction to pop culture, our fixation on celebrity worship, and our suspicion of religious ideas. Each poem is a small lens flipped to reveal an alternate universe into which the reader enters bravely with no exit sign in sight. Fericano’s unique perspective is marked by a skill and talent that blends socio-political satire with suffering and sentiment. In the process, he manages to acknowledge our shenanigans and celebrate our humanity.

Elizabeth Taylor, Jesus, and Joe DiMaggio join hands with Freud, The Three Stooges, and Ann Landers, as Burt Lancaster, Charles Bukowski, and Johnny Unitas break bread with Wallace Stevens, Dean Martin, and Dinah Shore. And as U2’s Bono and Tyrone Power’s Zorro haunt each other’s dreams, the Marx Brothers discuss opera with Oprah. From the wickedly satirical “Sinatra, Sinatra” and its use of the crooner’s name in vain, to the irreverent appeal of “The Actor’s Creed,” “The Halle Berry” and “Prayer of the Talking Head,” Fericano’s lampoons are equally deft. The book’s empathetic “Howl of Lon Chaney, Jr.” is not only a luminous parody of Allen Ginsberg’s epic poem “Howl,” but a stunning work that stands on its own merits.

American/British poet and critic, Robert Peake, captured it best when he wrote: “Paul’s poetry is a distinct turn of mind—able to sweep up humor, irony, and deep feeling in a winning trifecta. It is precisely in the moment I am laughing in a Paul Fericano poem that my guard is down. It is then when Paul slips in a modicum of pathos, reminding me of how complex it is to be human, how, as Virginia Woolf puts it in Mrs. Dalloway, ‘dangerous it is to live even just one day.’ These are poems that read like the messages in a bottle that might be written by the last sane man on Earth, when everyone else has gone mad.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul Fericano is a poet, satirist and social activist. He was born in San Francisco in 1951, the year the term “rock and roll” was first used on the radio. He is the editor and co-founder of Yossarian Universal (1980), the nation’s first parody news service. Since 1971, his poetry and prose have appeared, disappeared and reappeared in various underground and above-ground literary and media outlets in this country and abroad, including: The Antarctic Review, Inside Joke, Mother Jones, Poetry Now, Projector, The Realist, Saturday Night Live, SoHo Arts Weekly, Vagabond, The Wormwood Review, and Catavencu Incomod (Romania), Charlie Hebdo (Paris), Il Male (Italy), Krokodil (Moscow), Pardon (Germany), Punch (London) and Satyrcón (Argentina). ¶ His chapbooks and books of poetry and fiction include: Cancer Quiz (Scarecrow Books, 1977); Commercial Break (Poor Souls Press, 1982); The One Minute President (with Elio Ligi / Stroessner Verlag, 1986); and Interview with the Scalia (Peabody Press, 1994). Loading the Revolver with Real Bullets (Second Coming Press, 1977), a collection of his work partly funded by the state of California, achieved notoriety in 1978, when one of its poems, “The Three Stooges at a Hollywood Party,” was read on the floor of the California State Senate as a reason to abolish the California Arts Council. ¶ In 1982, he received the Howitzer Prize for his poem, “Sinatra, Sinatra,” an award he himself created and exposed as a literary hoax to reveal the absurd nature of competitive awards. The following year, Commercial Break received both the Prix de Voltaire (Paris) and the Ambrose Bierce Prize (San Francisco) for upholding the traditions of socio-political satire. ¶ He currently serves as director of Instruments of Peace/ SafeNet (2003), a nonprofit reconciliation group for survivors of clergy sexual abuse and writes an online column on the healing process (A Room With A Pew). He is a resident of the San Francisco peninsula.

Find The Hollywood Catechism by Paul Fericano at

by Chris Forhan

It seized me—never mind the circumstance: sudden
scent in the breeze like cinnamon, sun silvering
a roof as the unicycle parade began—it seized me
as sickness does, wholly, with no mercy,
all of my body obeisant to its law as though none of it
were mine, finally: not the joy or the body.

SOURCE: ”Joy” appears in the Silver Birch Press release Ransack and Dance, a collection of poems by Chris Forhan, available at



by John Brantingham

I saw your sonogram this morning, heard your heartbeat for the first time, and it got me thinking about life, how long it is, how much happens to one person. I wished you health and happiness, of course, but thinking about you fifty years from now, I mostly hoped the world would not make you disappointed and bitter. If life does beat you down, I hope you realize bitterness comes only from moments that stick out in our minds like pustules on a tongue. We chew on them, give them an importance they don’t have to have, forget that anything else exists. I hope you remember that there are good times too, beautiful times, and more importantly there are all those moments in between the good and the bad. That’s what life is, those moments in between— like when a sunset goes from orange to green. People forget the green of sunset because it’s not as dramatic as the orange burst at the end of the day or the void of black at the beginning of the evening, but it’s there for a second we all ignore. If you find you have become bitter on your fiftieth birthday, I want you to dwell not so much on the great loves and graduations as on the trip to the supermarket when you had a craving for a kiwi fruit or the long walk home from school when you just thought about your day. I hope you remember that there are so many green moments you will have forgotten, as you will most certainly forget what happened today, for these moments inside your mother, these moments you will not be able to remember, are just as important and just as real as any other moment. Today, you danced inside your mother because she drank orange juice. If you ever become bitter, remember that there was a moment today when we all watched you dance your orange juice dance and listened to your orange juice heart and though you cannot remember it, you heard your father’s voice through the thin flap of your mother’s stomach as he said, “My beautiful child, I love you, I love you, I love you.”


“The Green of Sunset” is the title prose poem in John Brantingham‘s wonderful new collection The Green of Sunset (Moon Tide Press, November 2013), available at Moon Tide Press or

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Brantingham is the author of hundreds of poems, stories, and essays published in magazines in the United States and United Kingdom. His books include Mann of War, a crime novel, Let Us All Pray Now to Our Own Strange Gods, a short story collection, The Gift of Form, an instruction guide for beginning formal poetry, and East of Los Angeles, a poetry collection. He teaches English at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California and lives in Seal Beach with his wife Annie and dog, Archie Goodboy.

by Chris Forhan

It seized me—never mind the circumstance: sudden
scent in the breeze like cinnamon, sun silvering
a roof as the unicycle parade began—it seized me
as sickness does, wholly, with no mercy,
all of my body obeisant to its law as though none of it
were mine, finally: not the joy or the body.

…”Joy” appears in the Silver Birch Press release Ransack and Dance, a collection of poems by Chris Forhan, available at


“This powerful memoir immediately establishes itself as the work of a highly talented young writer. In a voice that is strong, unsparing, never judgmental, Mayall traces her years-long journey as a young woman to find escape out of the entrapping mean streets of Los Angeles, a separated world invisible to all but its denizens. She does this with unflinching honesty and authenticity. She knows what it’s like to wake up into the harsh sunlight in a Venice Beach parking lot, cramped in an old car with other outcasts. She conveys the urgency for chemical surcease that leads her into dangerous streets, dark alleys; surcease no matter if bought by a sordid paid encounter. A punishing dawn at times finds her still searching for that illusive escape.

Through all this, Mayall is able to find poignancy and humor. She finds it in the drug recovery meetings she haunts in search of vagrant camaraderie. She finds it—and introduces the reader to a cast of memorable fellow exiles–in a rigidly ruled rehabilitation institution.

This is a memorable book — beautifully and even lyrically written. At times it is melancholy, at times hopeful, at times shocking, but it is always moving. At times it is even exuberant with the sense of a life lived determined to survive.” JOHN RECHY. author of CITY OF NIGHT and THE MIRACULOUS DAY OF AMALIA GOMEZ

PHOENIX, a memoir by Philippa Mayall, is available at


Silver Birch Press is pleased to announce that a Kindle version is now available of EVERYTHING IS EPIC, stories by Michael C. Keith.

In the collection of 18 stories, a wife discovers her spouse does not always cry wolf, a son finds his father’s seemingly odd behavior is anything but, a raging sea delivers a young woman’s fantasy lover, an inexplicable event disrupts life on the planet, a long-perished civil rights activist saves a young man from humiliation, and visitors from another world wreak havoc by curing all earthly ills.

“From the relentlessly restless imagination of Michael C. Keith comes his latest collection, EVERYTHING IS EPIC. With his usual outrageous characters, poignant storylines, and exceptional writing, Keith has once again earned his place as one of our very favorite writers.” 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael C. Keith is the author of over twenty books on electronic media, among them Talking Radio, Voices in the Purple Haze, Radio Cultures, Signals in the Air, and the classic textbook The Radio Station. The recipient of numerous awards in his academic field, he is also the author of dozens of journal articles and short stories and has served in a variety of editorial positions. In addition, he is the author of an acclaimed memoir (The Next Better Place, published by Algonquin Books), a young adult novel (Life is Falling Sideways), and four story anthologies––Of Night and Light, And Through the Trembling AirSad Boy, and Hoag’s Object. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Pen/O.Henry Award and was a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award for short fiction anthology. He lives near Boston.

The paperback version of EVERYTHING IS EPIC, released in early April, has already garnered impressive five-star reviews on

Find EVERYTHING IS EPIC in a Kindle version here.



Available in early November 2012 — Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis by Joan Jobe Smith. 

In her respectful, affectionate literary profile, Joan Jobe Smith shares up-close, personal recollections of her extraordinary mentor, fellow writer, and friend Charles Bukowski, along with the remembrances and comments of the fabulous women he loved — Frances Dean Smith (francEyE), Anne Menebroker, Linda King, and Pamela Miller Wood. Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis is a no-holds-barred celebration of this incomparable bard of the racetracks and bars and hard streets of Los Angeles.” FRED VOSS, award-winning poet and author of Hammers and Hearts of the Gods

“Charles Bukowski emphasized the importance of style and grace in everything and, as her mentor, the old man would not be disappointed. Like a sparkling bijou, Joan Jobe Smith is a gift to the world of art and humanity.” PAMELA MILLER WOOD, author of Charles Bukowski’s Scarlet

“The poems of Joan Jobe Smith have the reality of force properly put down on paper…a game girl…she cuts herself loose into the stratosphere…a strange woman, a strange, good, basic woman.” CHARLES BUKOWSKI