Poets Wear Prada is a poetry publishing house with excellent poets and affordable books with beautiful covers. Have you had your poetry today?--Meredith Sue Willis, Books for Readers * * * Stylistically, these beautifully designed and produced chapbooks bear their own distinctive signature.--Linda Lerner, SMALL PRESS REVIEW

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Poet Daniel Simpson Launches Debut Collection at Dodge Poetry Festival in Newark New Jersey

October 25, 2014, Newark, NJ - Poet Daniel Simpson will be reading from his debut collection "School for the Blind" at 2014 Dodge Poetry Festival today from 3:00 to 4:10PM at NJPAC/Victoria Theater. Simpson's reading is part of a panel discussion titled "Present Imperfect: Poets on Poetry and Disability" with fellow poets Jennifer Bartlett, Ona Gritz, and Alex Lemon. Copies of the new book can be purchased on site all day and on Sunday from Barnes and Noble, the official bookseller for the Festival. There will be an official book signing today from 4:15PM to 4:45PM on the second floor across the hall from the onsite bookstore.

A recipient of a Fellowship in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Simpson has published poems in "Prairie Schooner," "The Cortland Review," "Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review," "Passager," "Atlanta Review," "The Louisville Review," and "Margie," among other literary journals. Cinco Puntos Press, El Paso, Texas, published his essay “Line Breaks the Way I See Them” and four of his poems in "Beauty Is A Verb: The New Poetry of Disability," a 2012 ALA Notable Poetry Book called “unusual and powerful” by "Publisher’s Weekly" in a starred review.

Daniel Simpson and his identical twin brother, David, were born blind in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in 1952. After attending the Overbrook School for the Blind through eighth grade (1956 - 1966), Dan became one of the first blind students in his county to go to a public school. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and music from Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he graduated Summa cum Laude and Class Salutatorian. 

Not only an accomplished poet, but musician too, Simpson has a Master of Music from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey, as well as Master of Arts in English and a teaching certificate from the University of Pennsylvanina. He traveled to Paris for a year of private study with the world-renowned organist André Marchal.  Simpson has been singing with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, a 140-voice choir, for twenty years.

He serves as Access Technology Consultant to the Free Library of Philadelphia and works as a Technical Support Specialist for the Library of Congress. He and Ona Gritz are the Poetry Editors for "Referential Magazine."   He currently lives in Lansdown, Pennsylvania.

Simpson's collection of twenty poems addresses blindness not as disability but as another dimension of a multi-faceted, multi-talented self. For Simpson, blindness is not a loss nor a right denied, but an essential fact of his identity, a birthright embraced and shared with a partner in childhood crimes, his twin brother. Any pity is misplaced, any assessment that his blindness is  a shortcoming inaccurate.  In one poem he promises to tell his Aunt Polly his vision of  paradise in the afterlife: "It's really going to be something," I'll say. / "In Heaven, you'll finally get to be blind."  

Poet Stephen Dunn, 2001 recipient of a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, has said "Daniel Simpson's fine 'School for the Blind' could as easily have been called 'An Education for the Sighted,' because is works both ways. Simpson makes us privy -- without hype or sentimentality -- to what it feels like to be blind, to live with and fall in love with the tactile world and its language."

"School for the Blind" is published by Poets Wear Prada, a small literary press founded in 2006 and based in Hoboken, New Jersey. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Michael T Young Wins Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award for "Living in the Counterpoint"

New Jersey Poet Michael T. Young Receives Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award

Michael T. Young of Jersey City, New Jersey, and Kyle Potvin of Derry, New Hamshire, were announced as co-winners of the New England Poetry Club's 2014 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award, judged by poet David Ellis.

"Living in Counterpoint" (L), Author Michael T. Young (R)
"Living in Counterpoint" (L), Author Michael T. Young (R)
New England Poetry Club (f. 1915)
New England Poetry Club
(f. 1915)
PRLog - Oct. 8, 2014 - JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Michael T. Young of Jersey City, New Jersey, has been named co-winner of the 2014 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award for his third poetry collection, “Living in the Counterpoint.” He shares the award with Kyle Potvin of Derry, New Hamshire, who received it for her debut poetry collection, “Sound Travels on Water.” This year’s judge was poet David Ellis. Both collections were published by Finishing Line Press of Georgetown, Kentucky.

The Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award is given for the best chapbook published in the previous two years. A chapbook is small poetry collection usually under forty pages in length and typically published as a pamphlet. Started in 2008, the Pedrick Award is administered by the New England Poetry Club. Founded in 1915 by poets Amy Lowell, Robert Frost and Conrad Aiken, the New England Poetry Club is the oldest poetry reading series in America.

Michael T. Young has published two other collections, an earlier  chapbook, “Because the Wind Has Questions” (Somers Rocks Press, 1997), and a full-length collection of poems, “Transcriptions of Daylight” (Rattapallax Press, 2000). Advance copies of his latest book, “The Beautiful Moment of Being Lost,” are available from New Jersey's Hoboken-based publisher Poets Wear Prada. Young has received a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Chaffin Poetry Award. He was also a recipient of a William Stafford Award.

Jean Pedrick (1922 - 2006)
Jean Pedrick (1922 - 2006)
“Living in the Counterpoint” was published by Finishing Line Press in 2012. “The book explores how we identify who we are, best, in the context of what we are not. The central theme of the collection is the necessity of taking risk in self-exploration. It’s similar to the odd way that candies are made better-tasting by adding a little spice to them," said author Michael T. Young. "Living in the Counterpoint" is a prelude to Young’s latest full-length collection, “The Beautiful Moment of Being Lost,” which continues his poetic exploration of self-identity and risk.

Both co-winners will each receive $100 and are invited to read at the New England Poetry Club.