Featured Books

Conference attendees will get to choose one of four featured books with their $65 registration. All books come from small presses, and all featured authors/editors will be participating in the conference, as well. Here are this year’s books:

May We Shed These Human Bodies, by Amber Sparks (Curbside Splendor)

Sparks’s debut story collection swirls with a Tim Burton-like whimsy… modern fables in which epiphanies replace moral lessons and tales unfold with Grimm-like wickedness. — Publisher’s Weekly

May We Shed These Human Bodies peers through vast spaces and skies with the world’s most powerful telescope to find humanity: wild and bright and hard as diamonds. Here is humanity building: families reconstruct themselves, mothers fashion babies from two-by-fours and nails, boys make a mother out of leaves and twigs and wishing. Here is humanity tearing down: a wife sets her house on fire in revenge, a young girl plots to kill the ghosts that stalk her, a dying man takes the whole human race with him. Here is humanity transforming: feral children, cannibalistic seniors, animal wives – a whole sideshow’s worth of oddballs and freaks.



Inscriptions for Headstones, by Matthew Vollmer (Outpost 19)


This is the loudest, liveliest cemetery you will ever encounter, teeming with voices of those who refuse to rest in peace. If you are looking for aliens, basketball phenoms, Lakota Indians, GIFs, ladybug infestations, mescaline, puppets, God, the Orion nebula, CGI, guys named Gary, Barthelmean fathers and sons, or yellowjackets carrying venom extracted from dead snake heads, you will find them all here. — Wendy Brenner



Bring the Noise: The Best Pop Culture Essays from Barrelhouse Magazine

“BRING THE NOISE blasts the old notion that literature is inevitably late to the news, a bit out of sync with the moment. It’s all here, the way we live right now, in all its mess and glory and confusion.And not a dull note in the house.”
– Paul Lisicky

Over the past decade, readers have learned to count on Barrelhouse to publish inventive, irreverent essays by authors exploring the ways their lives have been shaped by their pop culture obsessions. BRING THE NOISE is a collection of the magazine’s greatest hits, plus five new pieces produced exclusively for this anthology. Inside, a roster of accomplished and respected authors grapples with a wide range of topics, including Thin Lizzy, dive bars, Barry Bonds, Bob Dylan’s beard, pro wrestling, The Hills, roller derby, Adrian Grenier, and Magnum, P.I. Passionate, insightful, and funny, this collection is simultaneously a celebration and a critical dissection of the ways in which pop culture affects us all.




The First Four Books of Sampson Starkweather, by Sampson Starkweather

Written over ten years, The First Four Books of Sampson Starkweather is surreal but always grounded in the life of the poet. Comprised of experimental translations, emails, dreams, spells, prose, advice, and mythologies (among other things), these poems transform and steal from literary history, current events, technology, and the world. Just as Starkweather questions what makes a poem, his first book completely questions and reinterprets what a first book—or any book—of poems can be.




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