I was just asked by two different people within about 15 minutes of each other what kind of poetry I like.
In my mission statement/submission guidelines I’ve kept things fairly open as I’d like to be surprised with something different.
I will probably tweak the submission guidelines at some point soon to clarify a few things and address a few other things, but I don’t want to place strict limits on the content of the work at least until the first wave of books have been released.
Having said that, works with a strong thematic connection will automatically sit better with me, as well as verse novels and works which also incorporate tropes from genre fiction (examples will be listed below).
To begin with, this press was named after Richard Brautigan’s novella “the Hawkline Monster“. I’m a huge fan of Brautigan’s prose. I’ve read some of his poetry, but it doesn’t stand out as much as his prose. “The Hawkline Monster” is published alongside a couple of his other works, of which I would also recommend “Dreaming of Babylon”.
“In Watermelon Sugar” is an all-time favourite of mine, and I think it perfectly captures a beautiful blend of prose poetry, surrealism, and genre fiction.
Some of my personal favourite poets/collections would be:
The Flappy Parts, by Kevin L. Donihe
The Creek, by Justin Grimbol (who has just released a new poetry collection, Minivan Poems, which I am super keen to get my hands on and also fits the bill of having a cohesive theme to it. If Grimbol pitched the idea of this collection to me, I would accept it straight up)
Alien vs Predator, by Michael Robbins
On Love and Barley, by Matsuo Basho (very old, traditional haiku collection, it doesn’t get any more raw or beautiful than this)
The Underside of the Rainbow, by B.E. Burkhead
The Monkey’s Mask, by Dorothy Porter (the first verse novel I read, it follows the narrative of a lesbian detective following a dark mystery through Sydney’s poetry scene)
I’d also love to give a shout-out to “The Pulse Between Dimensions and the Desert” by Rios de la Luz. Although this book is a short story collection, it’s captivating in the same way as Brautigan. That blurring the line between prose and poetry, realism and fantasy. I’d also love to get my hands on a copy of her latest chapbook, “Interstellar Bruja“.
In addition to Minivan Poems from Justin Grimbol, I would also be incapable of turning down a collection like Christoph Paul’s “Horror Film Poems“. I haven’t read this collection yet, but you just know exactly what you’re getting into when you’re trying to decide if you want to check it out or not.
I would love to seek submissions for poetry collections based purely on high concept pitches, because that would mean that either there would have to be some sort of narrative to it (hello verse novels!) or that it would have to hook me as a concept way before I start to process the poems, but for the moment I’m keeping things open. If you come to me with something with the appeal of any of these books, there’s a good chance I might jump at it.