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Witch Wife, Kiki Petrosino

The New York Times, "Best Poetry 2017"

Barnes & Noble, "25 Must-Reads for National Poetry Month"

Vol. 1 Brooklyn, "December 2017 Book Preview"

The Millions, "Must-Read Poetry: December 2017"

Memorious Mag, "Contributor Spotlight Bonzana"

Third Place in 2019 Dwarf Stars and Elgin Awards for Speculative Poetry

The poems of Witch Wife are spells, obsessive incantations to exorcise or celebrate memory, to mourn the beloved dead, to conjure children or keep them at bay, to faithfully inhabit one’s given body. In sestinas, villanelles, hallucinogenic prose poems and free verse, Kiki Petrosino summons history’s ghosts—the ancestors that reside in her blood and craft—and sings them to life.

For a classroom-ready reader's guide written by the author herself follow this link, and explore more titles with reader's guides in Sarabande in Education

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Kiki Petrosino is the author of two previous books of poetry: Hymn for the Black Terrific (2013) and Fort Red Border (2009). She holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her poems and essays have appeared in Best American Poetry, The New York Times, FENCE, Gulf Coast, Jubilat, Tin House and online at Ploughshares. She is founder and co-editor of Transom, an independent online poetry journal. She is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Louisville, where she directs the Creative Writing Program. Her awards include a residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat and research fellowships from the University of Louisville's Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Petrosino. . . crackles in her stunning third collection, as she dives deep into the ephemeral powers of the body, particularly those of black women. . . .Cosmic images blend with the familiar and domestic to create an all-encompassing reading experience.
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
In Petrosino’s singular world, the familiar becomes strange, and the strange, suddenly irresistible, settles deep in the bones. Sparkling with sly wordplay and fantastical imagery, these are not only masterful poems but mighty incantations. Utterly spellbinding.
— Booklist
Witch Wife offers that maybe all love stories are stories of bodies. We are within before we are without. Petrosino is a unique voice, churning a mixture of smirk and mirth. . . Witch Wife is a weird wonder, something altogether new in its combinations.
— The Millions, "Must-Read Poetry: December 2017"
Kiki Petrosino’s lush and stunning Witch Wife is a hothouse in winter, incongruous and adamantly fertile, full of strange blossoms, site of refuge and danger. Someone has drawn pictures in all the steamy windows. These are poems about what composes us—our names, our flesh, our vexed relationships to both—and about ambivalence turned glittering and feral, about the question of what the body can and cannot stomach. Petrosino’s language turns organs into verbs, and verbs into organs, metabolizing the strangeness of presence, regret, and hope. When I read this book on the subway, the investment banker sitting next to me was reading over my shoulder. He could tell I was warming myself by some kind of fire. And I was. It was glorious.
— Leslie Jamison

Featured Authors, News


Kirkus Reviews, "100 Best Fiction Books of 2017" 
O, The Oprah Magazine, "Ten Titles to Pick Up Now"
W Magazine, "10 Books to Read Right Now"
Washington Post, "9 Short-Story Collections We Can't Wait to Read This Fall"
Chicago Review of Books, "15 Must-Read Books This October" 
Poets & Writers, "Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin"
Buzzfeed, "28 Exciting New Books You Need To Read This Fall"
The Masters Review, "17 Books We're Looking Forward To This Year"

Selected by Ben Marcus as winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short FictionCatapult follows Emily Fridlund's acclaimed debut novel History of Wolves. Sometimes calculating, at other times bewildered, Catapult's characters orbit around each other, enacting a deeply human tragicomedy of wit, misunderstanding, and loss. With dexterous, atmospheric, and darkly comic prose, Fridlund conjures worlds where longing is open-ended, intentions misfire, and the line between comfort and cruelty is often difficult to discern. This is a gripping collection, unsettling as much in its familiarity as in its near-gothic strangeness.

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Photo credit Doug Knutson

Photo credit Doug Knutson

Emily Fridlund grew up in Minnesota and currently resides in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Her fiction has appeared in a variety of journals, including Boston Review, Zyzzyva, Five Chapters, New Orleans Review, and elsewhere. Fridlund's first novel, History of Wolves (Atlantic Monthly Press), shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection and a #1 Indie Next pick. 

Eleven stories of misshapen families and broken friendships disturb and unsettle. Fridlund follows History of Wolves (2017), her marvelous and preternaturally accomplished first novel, with a collection of jarring and polished short fiction. The craft is evident in the perfect titles and the observational acuity of the sentences. . . . Her stories evoke Flannery O’Connor’s masterly way with grotesquery but deviate in Fridlund’s contempt for faith. Bracing, often brilliant stories deliver a shock to the routine narratives we tell.
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Eleven brilliant short stories showcase childhood, adolescence, marriage, and families, and how the appearances of these events and relationships in life can hide the strangeness and emptiness that pervade beneath the surface. . . . Fridlund unpacks these situations with such thoughtful diction and complex characters that her subdued and controlled language sets what is unsaid at the fore, unveiling hope, despair, and the paradoxes that are often ignored in such close relationships. Fridlund’s intelligent and conversational voice impressively manipulates the emotional atmosphere of her stories.
Booklist, starred review
Fridlund’s ability to conjure humor in the darkest moments is clear in her blending of sitcom set-ups with bleak undercurrents. Her breathtaking prose and sly expressions make for compulsive reading.
Publishers Weekly
Emerging talent Emily Fridlund explores a dark and eerie side of human nature in Catapult, stepping into Gothic territory while generously weaving humor and moments of comic truth into her characters. . . . Fridlund’s sophomore effort, published by edgy indie press Sarabande, is the kind of book that readers who crave riskier, more experimental, and out-there storytelling will appreciate.
W Magazine, “10 Books to Read Right Now”

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Indie Next Pick for July 2017

The Millions’ “Most Anticipated Books of 2017”

O, The Oprah Magazine’s “10 Titles to Pick Up Now”

Men’s Journal’s “The Seven Best Books of July”

Salon’s “Summer Must-Reads”

Winner of the University of Iowa’s Krause Essay Prize

A book-length essay on the mime Marcel Marceau, informed by interviews with his students, closely observed performances, and archival research. Remarkably innovative in structure and style, the book employs lists, prose poems, syllabi, a travel itinerary, a catalog of his possessions, and more. A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause is a celebration of Marceau's transcendent creation.

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photo credit Jana Ašenbrennerová

photo credit Jana Ašenbrennerová

Shawn Wen is a writer, radio producer, and multimedia artist. Her writing has appeared in The New Inquiry, Seneca Review, Iowa Review, White Review, and the anthology City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis (Faber and Faber, 2015). Her radio work has broadcast on This American Life, Freakonomics Radio, and Marketplace, and she is currently a producer at Youth Radio. Her video work has screened at the Museum of Modern Art, the Camden International Film Festival, and the Carpenter Center at Harvard University. She holds a BA from Brown University and is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including the Ford Foundation Professional Journalism Training Fellowship and the Royce Fellowship. Wen was born in Beijing, raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, and currently resides in San Francisco.

A unique, poetic critical appreciation of Marcel Marceau. . . . A fascinating book. . . . Readers will marvel not only at Marceau, but at the book itself, which displays such command of the material and such perfect pitch.
Kirkus Review, starred review
Effectively pays homage to both the history of mime and its solitary master, Marcel Marceau. . . . Wen crafts diamond-cut paragraphs that place the reader in Marceau’s enthralled audiences. . . . These invaluable descriptions by a writer versed in the tradition of making the nonvisible vibrant should be read slowly and with the same seemingly effortless focus Marceau gave to his art.
Booklist, starred review
[Shawn] Wen’s whimsical ode to Marcel Marceau showcases the performer’s determination to ‘fill the blank spaces’ with a silence that stirs.
O, The Oprah Magazine, "10 Titles to Pick Up Now"
[Shawn] Wen’s whimsical ode to Marcel Marceau showcases the performer’s determination to ‘fill the blank spaces’ with a silence that stirs.
The Men's Journal, "The Seven Best Books of July"

Featured Authors, News

2017 Story Prize Spotlight Award goes to Randa Jarrar!

We are thrilled to announce that Randa Jarrar's short story collection Him, Me, Muhammad Ali has won the 2017 Story Prize Spotlight Award! The Story Prize Spotlight award goes to one short story collection of exceptional merit each year. Awards can be promising works by first-time authors, collections in alternative formats, or works that demonstrate an unusual perspective on the writer's craft. Jarrar joins Sarabande writer Kyle Minor, author of Praying Drunk, on this prestigious list of upcoming and noteworthy story collections.

This award comes after a series of glowing reviews and an impressive array of enthusiastic praise for Jarrar. New York Magazine writes, "Jarrar’s characters are memorable, with experiences and observations that oscillate between deeply moving and riotously funny—often on the same page—and she expertly incorporates occasional moments of magical realism in this truly excellent short-story collection." The Los Angeles Review of Books raves: “These stories showcase the strength and talent of a writer of immeasurable gift and grace, who confronts the poignant and often brutal realities her characters face with sass and verve.”

Sarabande warmly congratulates Randa Jarrar on this latest achievement and look forward to all that is to come for her in 2017!

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