Monthly Archives: August 2012

MIP Release: Serious Stuff by Stephen Godfrey

Most suitably titled, Stephen Godfrey’s fourth Middle Island Press chapbook addresses in his straightforward style subjects such as social, environmental and spiritual decay while honoring memories and upholding significant people and events in history–”serious stuff” for serious readers and supporters of Appalachian poets. This 43-page collection reflects Godfrey’s signature casual and very readable delivery.

From Page 31: “The Butts”

Dotting the landscape across our land,
On a highway, specks of orange
Fly out of car windows, hitting
The pavement and bursting into cinders.
Non-biodegradable filters make
Their homes in crack and crevice.
It’s against the law to litter,
But tossing cigarettes is a cultural norm.
America, America, where have your
Butts gone?

Pick up a copy of Serious Stuff (make that one of each of his four poetry chapbooks) at the Middle Island Press website. It will also be available through in September.

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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in News & Reviews


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MIP Release: Nova Scotia Road by Robert Champ

Nova Scotia Road (ISBN 978-1-4675-4104-6) is a captivating narrative sequence by Maryland poet Robert Champ. From the Middle Island Press website: “Over the course of 24 poems, Nova Scotia Road tells the story of the murder of a young woman and how the tragedy affects her friends, neighbors and, eventually, people far removed from her. Each poem is told in the voice of a different person, who reflects on his or her own feelings about the event and wonders what–and who–lay behind the savage slaying.” This 49-page chapbook is available for purchase and will soon be available through We encourage readers to post reviews online or send them to us via email so we may post them.

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Posted by on August 14, 2012 in News & Reviews


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Three Reasons Why I Don’t Do Poetry Chapbook Contests

(by Christina)

Several people have suggested to me that I (via Middle Island Press) hold poetry chapbook contests, even charge reading fees. I have done the research to see that such suggestions are justified by an extremely high volume of poets searching online for contests. Nonetheless, it is something I will not do. I’ll give you three reasons why.

1) It’s sort of like sponsoring a raffle and soliciting for ticket sales. Everyone pays, everyone hopes to win, but the person who really wins is the publisher. Not only have they collected hundreds, perhaps a thousand or more dollars (what’s a hundred dollars back in the kitty?), but they have also gathered dozens of poets for the soft sell. To me, it might be fair and many people might enjoy it, but it lacks integrity.

2) I never thought much of self-appointed judges. Judges have the distinguished position above all that they “judge,” and anyone with half of an ego will sorely abuse this opportunity to feel grandiose, even if only in private. Having said that, I wouldn’t call myself “Judge.” Don’t give others the pleasure of judging your words, because…

3) Judges are just people with opinions (none better, none worse, though experience qualifies), and contests are playgrounds on which the judge is “it,” the person tagged gets a pat on the head and a few bucks, and the rest walk away feeling lighter in the pockets and thinking that the judge certainly must have been favoring someone, because whose words are the best? YOURS, of course. Most of us feel the same.

Poetry isn’t a game. Though many people (myself included) play with words, getting poetry published is a serious matter, and if someone asks you for twenty bucks to read your manuscript or your five poems, then they must not anticipate enjoying what they read. Save the twenty bucks and enjoy a pizza.

(Middle Island Press publishes poets who are serious about getting published.)

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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in News & Reviews


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