TCR Topshelf: Contributors

Exciting book news from our contributors!

Lindsey Drager’s debut novel now available from Dzanc, The Sorrow Proper, is an “investigation of the anxiety that accompanies change.” Laird Hunt praises its “rigor and tenderness,” echoed by Brian Evenson:  “Deft and moving, The Sorrow Proper intricately explores the dynamics of loss, both cultural and personal, and the way we as humans struggle through. A smart and incisive first novel.”



Alice Friman’s new book, The View from Saturn, was released late 2014 from LSU Press. This is her sixth full-length collection of poems. “[Alice Friman’s] voice can be witty, coruscating, gentle, exhilarated, eloquent, street smart, or wise. She brings to her work the authority of . . . experience, which allows her to say things usually left unsaid. She breaks rules, breaks them with flair and frankness. Lines in her poems are often refreshed by jazzed rhythm and electrically exact diction. … I (and many others, I believe) consider Friman one of the best poets writing today.” —Kelly Cherry



The Necropastoral: Poetry, Media, Occults (Poets on Poetry) is Joyelle McSweeney’s most recent book, from the University of Michigan Press. Her play Dead Youth, or, The Leaks was also published in late 2014 by Litmus Press. McSweeney describes Death Youth as a “badly-wired allegory,” and Jeff Jackson evokes a similar characterization: “Like all of Joyelle McSweeney’s work, Dead Youth refuses to settle into any easy category, delivering a theater experience that’s simultaneously transgressive, classical, visionary, political, and gothic. Although built for the stage, these words still slip, skid, pop, and burrow throughout the page, creating a daisy chain of unexpected associations and indelible effects.”



Ann Pancake, Whiting Award recipient and well known for her talents in reflecting Appalachian culture, has a new story collection, Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley (Counterpoint Press). Praises include Donna Seaman’s of Booklist: “With acute emotional intricacy, and spiky, locally inflected dialogue, Pancake portrays embattled individuals in a land of natural richness and human poverty.”



Hannah Pittard’s latest book, Reunion: A Novelwas released in October from Grand Central Publishing. Publisher’s Weekly calls it “emotionally astute,” noting, “When this family of sorts gathers in Atlanta for the funeral, there is tension, pain, comedy, and finally, some healing and resolution. Kate is a winning narrator, whose insights into herself and her family keep the pages turning.” Pittard’s forthcoming novel is Listen to Me.