From the acclaimed poet and writer, Zoë Brigley, comes a timely meditation on America: Notes From A Swing State: Writing from Wales and America. These creative nonfiction and craft essays cover the possibilities of girls and girlhood, motherhood, violence at home and abroad, violence against women, the consolation in writing, trauma, and redemption. Other topics covered include the writer’s English family, Halloween in America, and guns. The essays often use popular and literary culture as jumping off points: for example, Alun Lewis’s love letters, the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, David Bowie, or John Burnside’s writings about his abusive father.
Zoë Brigley (also Zoë Brigley Thompson), originally from Wales, is an Assistant Professor at the Ohio State University. She is the author of two poetry collections: The Secretand Conquest, with her third, Hand and Skull, to be published in the UK in 2019. She also researches violence against women and minorities and co-edited the academic volume Feminism, Literature and Rape Narratives. She is currently co-editing a guide to contemporary poetry in the UK and Ireland. Her poems and articles appear in Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Review, The Chicago Review, Australian Book Review, PN Review, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Copper Nickel, Poetry Wales, and elsewhere. Her research articles appear in The Journal of Gender Studies, Feminist Formations, Feminist Media Studies, Gender and Education, and Contemporary Women’s Writing. She won an Eric Gregory Award for the best British poets under 30, and was listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize for the best international writers under 35. She is a reader and committee member for Wales’ leading poetry journal, Poetry Wales.
Timothy Geiger is the winner of the 2019 Rutsala Poetry Prize for his newest collection, Weatherbox. Starting with a Charles Wright quote that emphasizes taking a hard look at one’s surroundings, poems in Weatherbox look deep into both the rush of everyday experience and the ruins of memory. From the “hammered grace/ of a goldfinch mid-air” to “the bare foot-trails/ furrowed beneath/ the abandoned swingset,” the imagery and imagination in these poems become prayers, or stories, or meditations, striving for the hardest answers from the forces that drive our common humanity.
The author of the poetry collections The Curse of Pheromones and Blue Light Factory and seven chapbooks, Geiger’s work has appeared in such journals as Poetry, America, Quarterly West, Sou'wester, The Connecticut Review and Mid-American Review. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize XVIII and a Holt, Rinehart and Winston Award in Literature as well as many state and local grants in Alabama, Minnesota, and Ohio. He is also the proprietor of the Aureole Press, a letterpress imprint established in 1989, devoted to crafting books and broadsides of serious contemporary poetry by both new and acclaimed authors in finely printed limited editions. He lives in Ottawa Hills, Ohio with his wife and son, and is a Professor and former Associate Chair of the English Department at The University of Toledo where he teaches poetry writing and letterpress printing.