Monday, November 30, 2015

This Frankenstein Union - by Esteban Colon (CC#75)

Crisis Chronicles Press is thrilled to announce the publication of Esteban Colon's latest poetry chapbook, This Frankenstein Union,  on 30 November 2015. It is the latest release in our Ninesense series of 9-poem chapbooks by writers you ought to know.

Colon's work is dark, funny, sexy, heavy in all the right places and unflinchingly truthful. This cycle of poems pulls love and passion through seductive fire. Come close, get hot, combust, and then remember it warmly.

Where do you want it?

This Frankenstein Union is 16 pages, hand assembled and saddle stapled, 8.5 x 5.5", laser printed on white pages with kelly green card stock endpapers wrapped in white cover stock. Front artwork by Kevin Eberhardt. ISBN 978-1-940996-27-1. Limited edition of 150 copies, each available for a mere $5 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 535 Parkside Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44143 USA.

Esteban Colon is a Pushcart nominated writer and experiential educator from Kenosha. His work has found print in a variety of journals and anthologies. He is also the author of chapbooks Edgar Avenue (Naked Mannequin Press) and Between Blue Lines (Exact Change Press), along with his full length collection Things I Learned the Hard Way (Plain View Press).

Friday, November 27, 2015

Our Pushcart Prize and Ohioana Book Award Nominees

I love everything we publish in various ways, so it's always hard to choose what to nominate for this prize or that.  In 2015 alone, Crisis Chronicles Press will have published seventeen books (three of them forthcoming) including hundreds of poems.  First I narrowed down my potential Pushcart Prize nominees for this year to a couple dozen favorite poems.  But I can only nominate six. I then spent hours more mulling before I finally forced myself to make some hard decisions.

So here they are, our nominees for the next Pushcart Prize.

"Creepy Dolls" by Kevin Ridgeway, from Contents Under Pressure
"Deadtime" by Susan Sheppard, from Balefire
"Let's Get It On" by Dianne Borsenik, from Thunderclap Amen
"Poem for Christian O'Keeffe" by John Dorsey, from Ghost on the Inside
"The Road" by Michael Ceraolo, from Readings / The Road
"The Fine Line of Beautiful Living" by Tracie Morell from Matilda's Battle Waltz

We've also nominated Alex Gildzen's Ohio Triangle for an Ohioana Book Award.

Good luck to you all!
John Burroughs, editor
Crisis Chronicles Press

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Drink Drank Drunk - by Bradford Middleton (CC#74)

Cover photo by Chandra Alderman
We are thrilled to announce the publication of intoxicating new work by UK poet Bradford Middleton on 14 November 2015. Drink Drank Drunk is a pamphlet of poems on the joys or otherwise of drinking, the latest release in Crisis Chronicles' Ninesense series of 9 poem chapbooks by writers you ought to know.  Available for a mere $4.99 in the USA (a few dollars more for overseas orders).

Drink Drank Drunk is hand assembled and saddle stapled, 8.5 x 5.5 inches, laser printed on white pages with black card stock endpapers wrapped in white cover stock emblazoned with a Honeydew bourbon image. 

ISBN: 978-1940996264. Limited edition of 99 copies. This chapbook is currently out of print.

Click here to rate/review at Goodreads.

Bradford Middleton was born in southeast London in 1971. He spent the next 30 years desperate to either get to the middle or get out, he could never decide, and eventually landed above a pseudo-legendary punk record shop in Croydon. After six years it became too much and he moved back deeper into south London and somehow landed a job. He went back to university and then aged 34 he finally got the chance to go away to university to study at postgraduate level in something interesting but not exactly vocational. Within a year he landed in Brighton and began writing crazy stories and poems of outrage and insanity. At the age of 38 he finally decided to show someone his work, and a series of editors received strange tales and bizarre poetry as he eschewed the influence of his friends. Just before his 40th birthday the Mad Swirl, those glorious souls from Dallas, USA, published his first poem, a joyous ode to losing your mind. That is not included here, so you’ll have to go find it online. He has, as of 2015, accumulated over 100 unique publications in various places including Empty Mirror; Zygote in My Coffee; Ppigpenn; Word Riot; Rolling Thunder Quarterly; The Camel Saloon; Fuck Art, Let’s Dance; Dead Snakes; The Weekenders; and Electric Windmill Press, as well as some others. His debut novel, DIVE, is now available from New Pulp Press. Follow @beatnikbraduk on Twitter.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Contents Under Pressure - by Kevin Ridgeway (CC#73)

Kevin Ridgeway's new poetry chapbook, Contents Under Pressure, took me on a Kerouacian trip through broken appliances, drunken charades, fallen angels, kissing couples, hip-high grasses, mind fucks and sinister grooves with a keen eye and ear. When it was done, all I could say was "Amen!"— and "Again!" So I had to publish it.

Available 22 October 2015, Contents Under Pressure features 16 poems on 28 pages, is hand assembled and saddle stitch bound with textured ivory card stock cover, kelly green card stock end papers and white pages. 5.5 x 8.5". Cover image by Steven B. Smith.
ISBN: 978-1-940996-25-7. This chapbook is currently out of print.

Kevin Ridgeway lives and writes in Long Beach, California. His work has been published widely in the small press, with recent poems that can be found or are forthcoming in Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Lummox, San Pedro River Review, Misfit Magazine, Right Hand Pointing, Bicycle Review, American Mustard and The Mas Tequila Review, among others. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Contents Under Pressure is his sixth chapbook of poetry.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Balefire - by Susan Sheppard (CC#68)

Crisis Chronicles Press is thrilled to announce the publication of Susan Sheppard's long-awaited Balefire, a winner of our most recent poetry chapbook competition.  I absolutely love these poems!

“From the first poem’s first line, Evening is the monster we swim in, a compulsion gripped me to read straight through to the last line of the last poem. It’s as if Sheppard is a dark angel who clasped my hand and floated me through haunting poems of ‘chrome moon’ and ‘autumn’s sorcery.’ Balefire will chill you, thrill you, and fill holes you didn’t know were there.”
          —Dianne Borsenik, publisher at NightBallet Press

Balefire is 32 pages, hand crafted and saddle stabled with textured ivory card stock cover, black endpapers, and cottonwood fiber pages.  Laser printed, 5.5 x 8.5", with cover art by Susan Sheppard. ISBN 978-1-940996-24-0.  Only $7 (plus p+h) from Crisis Chronicles Press.

Currently sold out and out of print.

Susan Sheppard of Parkersburg, West Virginia, has poetry published in over 100 magazines and has been writing poetry for more than 30 years. She is descended from the Blackfoot-Saponi and Lenape-Shawnee tribes of her region. In 1998, she was awarded a Poetry Fellowship from West Virginia Arts & Humanities. Sheppard is the author of a number of books, including four non-fiction and one novel. She teaches poetry every Thursday at Sacred Way Arts in downtown Parkersburg. Her seasonal ghost tour, the Haunted Parkersburg Ghost Tours, is rated the #8 most popular ghost tour in the nation.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

7th Anniversary Deal - 11 for 71

Crisis Chronicles Press has published 11 fantastic titles so far this year. That makes 71 in all since we started out back on 8 July 2008. We plan to publish at least 13 more by the end of 2015 and reach 100 titles in print by next summer. To celebrate our 7-year anniversary (and raise funds for upcoming publications) we are offering a special deal: send us $71 to receive (postage free in the U.S.) all 11 titles we've published between January and June 2015 - plus an added bonus book. That's a $95 value (more if you had to pay postage). Any takers?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ghost on the Inside - by John Dorsey (CC#72)

Crisis Chronicles Press is pleased to present Ghost on the Inside, a new chapbook by John Dorsey published 27 June 2015.  It features the poems "steel city rope-a-dope," "icarus revisited," "sheboygan sean," "brian on n. 6th  street," "sheboygan 1," "sheboygan 2," "at 37: for mikey west," "harry’s diner poem: for mj taylor," "in his 60's," "on oak street: for everette maddox," "steve goldberg death poem" and "poem for christian o’keeffe."  As D.R. Wagner has said of John Dorsey, "Boy, this guy means it. What a fine poet, ladies and gentlemen."

Ghost on the Inside is 5.5" x 8.5", hand assembled, saddle stapled, with cover image by Steven B. Smith on white cover stock with black card stock endpapers and the poems printed on pale cottonwood paper.  Only $6 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 535 Parkside Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio 44143 USA.

Please choose US or International

ISBN: 978-1-940996-23-3. Only a few copies remain.

John Dorsey is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Natural Selection: Early Poems (Kilmog Press, 2014) and Imaginary Foxholes (Rusty Truck Press, 2015). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He may be reached at

Join us for the official release celebration on 27 June 2015 during Sylvania Avenue Performances in front of the West Toledo Library.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Matilda's Battle Waltz - by Tracie Morell (CC#70) - Free E-Book

Matilda's Battle Waltz is a powerful new collection of poems by Tracie Morell, illustrated by Kris Risto, featuring wraparound cover art by Ken Paul Johnson. Perfect bound, 5.5" x 8.5", 89 pages, ISBN 978-1-940996-22-6.  $10. The paperback is currently out of print.
UPDATE: As of August 2021, we have reissued this collection as a free e-book. Read Matilda's Battle Waltz on Issuu or email for a pdf copy.
“Tracie Morell’s work exhibits a lyrical acuity which illuminates and devastates. She leads us on a harrowing and electrifying journey through the life of Matilda, a being who dances on the brink of existence between what is marginalized and what has risen above to live in rarified air. Morell has no fear; our eyes blaze and dilate with Matilda, as we bear witness to our collective ruin. Morell’s poems celebrate the connections between the interior and exterior world and in doing so, take us closer to both.”
     —Kelly Boyker, Poetry Editor at Menacing Hedge 

“Tracie Morell is the patron saint of every woman that is tough, beautiful...and pissed off. The thing I admire about her the most is, she doesn't bitch about life's short comings, she resolves conflict with a love that is bulletproof. Matilda's Battle is her recent attempt at reminding the world that if you want to be better ask questions.”
     —Danny Klecko, author of Houdini in St. Paul

These are not to be read with eyes — it takes but a few lines before you feel her words writing themselves into you, burning the beauty and the pain on the insides of your eyelids and the long bones of your ribcage. Tracie's poems are scrimshaw and snowflakes: permanent, yet glittering."
     —Amanda Gowin, author of Radium Girls 

"Reading Matilda’s Battle Waltz is succumbing to a mesmerizing liturgy of literary moves that includes Matilda’s pontifications, navigations, poetic landscapes, work woes, and foreign loves. The reader travels the path of a most beautiful way of living that does not deny or distinguish between the glorious and the seedy, but sees each poem as a song, a part of the poetic whole. Indeed, the roots of Matilda’s experience grow with you upon every read and you find yourself tapping your foot to her poetic rhythms as the highs and lows pull you into her life’s dance."
     —Kathleen D. Gallagher, author of I See Things are Falling

Click here to read Ron Hayes' review of Matilda's Battle Waltz at Five Writers.
Click here to read Juliet Cook's review
of Matilda's Battle Waltz at Menacing Hedge.
Click here to see ratings and reviews at Goodreads.

Tracie Morell — by Kris Risto
Tracie Morell was raised on the savannah by a pack of feral gazelles. At a young age, she learned to bend iron bars with naught but her teeth and sheer determination. During her school years, she consistently wowed her teachers and mentors with her ability to dodge skepticism while performing feats of whimsical magic. In adulthood, she has birthed miniscule acrobats who assist her in her day-to-day tasks of smashing the banality of various poverties. In her spare time, she enjoys semaphore, scrimshaw, collecting rejection letters, and working on cars for the love of artistry and craftsmanship, despite her loathing of vehicular landscapes and the smell of ethanol. She resides in a land beyond your reach. Only Ben Frasier knows how to find her.  

Join us for the official book launch for Matilda's Battle Waltz on Friday June 12th 2015 at 5:30 p.m. during Poets and Painters at PACA, 1505 State Street in Erie, Pennsylvania.  

The launch event will feature poetry readings by Marisa Moks-Unger (whose chapbook, Mud and Stars, will be released that night by NightBallet Press), Tracie Morell, Shawn King, Veronica Hopkins, Juliet Cook, Dianne Borsenik and John Burroughs - plus music by Rodger Montgomery and an exhibition of work by Kris Risto and Ken Paul Johnson.  Not to be missed!

Saturday, June 6, 2015


As we approach our 7th anniversary of publishing great independent literature, Crisis Chronicles Press is super duper grateful to our authors, to everyone who's bought and read a book, and to all who've stood behind us since we started this on 7 July 2008. We especially thank the following folk, whose support has gone above and beyond and without whom we wouldn't have been able to make it this far: (in alphabetical order) Chandra Alderman, Dianne Borsenik, Christina Brooks, Chansonette Buck, Geri Lynne Burroughs, Shelley Chernin, Frederick T. Courtright, Nancy Jill Franklin, Alex Gildzen, Virginia Hanna, Meribeth Hutto, Alan Kleiman, Jim Lang, William Merricle, Helen Shepard, Steven B. Smith, D.R. Wagner and Dawn Ward. Though all things are subject to change, in the coming 13 months, we plan to publish 30 more great books, then (unless we can find a way to make this more sustainable without sacrificing our principles) go on what might be a permanent hiatus from bookmaking around our 8th anniversary (7 July 2016). Thanks for staying in the car with us throughout this thrilling (and sometimes bumpy) journey. And I hope you enjoy the rest of the ride, wherever it goes.

Peace, love and poetry,

P.S. I still have 13 Ninesense chapbook submissions to make a decision on, and I plan to get that done this coming week.  Thanks for your patience!

P.P.S.  Check the left sidebar to see all our Crisis Chronicles Press titles.  We plan to retire the first ten this summer, so get them while you can.

[UPDATE, 21 January 2017:] We're still kicking, though I'm still behind due to my virtually living at doctors' offices and the hospital during my wife's more-than-two-year liver disease struggle. She nearly died more than once. But I am pleased and grateful to report that she has recently gotten a liver transplant and is gradually recovering. A new blog entry with a further update on the current state (and future) of the press is forthcoming.

[UPDATE 7 June 2017:]  Alas, my wife passed away most unexpectedly in February. I'll catch up with the press as I can and then decide where to go from there. Thank you for your patience and kind support.]

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Readings / The Road: Two Poems from Euclid Creek Book Three - by Michael Ceraolo (CC#71)

Crisis Chronicles Press is thrilled to announce the publication of Readings / The Road by Michael Ceraolo on 27 May 2015. The fourth release in our NineSense series of compact loaded chapbooks by authors whose work you need to know, Readings / The Road: Two Poems from Euclid Creek Book Three takes you on a compelling journey you won't soon forget. Available for only $4.99 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 535 Parkside Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44143 USA.

Choose US or International

Readings / The Road is a 12-page, 5.5 x 8.5" chapbook, hand assembled and saddle stapled, bound in white cover stock featuring a photo by Chandra Alderman, with pale sand card stock endpapers.  First printing: 99 copies. Now in its 2nd printing. ISBN 978-1-940996-21-9.

photo by John Burroughs
The official release celebration was Saturday, 8 August 2015, 7 pm, at the S.O.U.L. Community House, 32905 Grand River Avenue in Farmington, Michigan.

Michael Ceraolo is a 57-year-old retired firefighter/ paramedic and active poet who has had one full-length book, Euclid Creek from Deep Cleveland Press, a few shorter-length books published, and a second full-length book, Euclid Creek Book Two, forthcoming from Unbound Content.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

2015 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology - by 104 authors (CC#69)

Crisis Chronicles Press is pleased to present the 2015 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology, featuring work by 104 poets from around the world. Join us for the official release 13 May 2015, 7pm, at Ensemble Theatre, 2843 Washington Heights Blvd. in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. This book is perfect bound, 129 pages, edited by John Burroughs and available for $14, exclusively from Mac's Backs or on May 16-17th at the Hessler Street Fair itself. 

Click here to buy.  Contributors may show up at either event or contact Suzanne at Mac's to procure a copy for half price.

Mac's Backs - Books on Coventry
1820 Coventry Road
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

(216) 321-2665

This edition of the annual Hessler Street Fair anthology is the biggest yet, featuring work by word artists including Alexis-Rueal, Michael Joseph Arcangelini, Dana Aritonovich, Thandiwe Augustin-Glave, Stephen Benefit, Cyndi Birkmeier, Kim Boccia, Rose Mary Boehm, Dianne Borsenik, Jeffrey Bowen, Steve Brightman, Christina M. Brooks, Patricia Brodsky, Skylark Bruce, Chad Burrall, Michael Ceraolo, Kathleen Cerveny, Shelley Chernin, Charles Cicirella, Caitlin Cogar, Roger Craik, Subhankar Das, Natalie Dickerson, Christine Donofrio, John Dorsey, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Poetessa Leixyl Kaye Emmerson, Michael Fiala, Giselle Fleming, Diane Vogel Ferri, Ethan Fittro, Luba Gawur, Ken Gradomski, Dana Grant, Susan Grimm, Zachary Scott Hamilton, Austin Heath, Charles Hice, Veronica Hopkins, Christine Howey, Preston & Paul Hrisko, Clarissa Jakobsons, Azriel Johnson, Krysia Jopek, Jeremy Jusek, Janne Karlsson, Diane Kendig, Kim theBwordpoet, Ian Koenig, Leonard Kress, Tom Kryss, Craig Kurtz, Lori Ann Kusterbeck, Geoffrey A. Landis, Jim Lang, Jessica D. Lewis, Lennart Lundh, Caitlyn Lux, Susan Mallernee, Marc Mannheimer, J.W. Mark, Molly McCann, Bob McNeil, Ray McNiece, Lila McRainey, Philip Metres, Marisa Moks-Unger, Patrick O’Keeffe, Mary O’Malley, Ashley Pacholewski, Renee Pendleton, Tanya Pilumeli, David S. Pointer, Sally Queen, Ben Rader, Valentina Ranaldi-Adams, Georgia Reash, Poetess REDD, Elizabeth Rees, rjs, Amy Rosenbluth, Elizabeth Rudibaugh, S. Renay Sanders, Heather Ann Schmidt, Erika Schoeps, Dennis Shanaberg, Kevin Frederick Smith, Larry Smith, Steven B. Smith, Vladimir Swirynsky, Brian Taylor, Joseph Testa, Steve Thomas, Jonathan Thorn, Kerry Trautman, Nick Traenkner, Mary A. Turzillo, D.R. Wagner, Mary Weems, Batya Weinbaum, Laura Grace Weldon, Eva Xanthopoulos and Shkehlaht Yisrael.  ISBN: 978-1-940996-20-2

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ohio Triangle - by Alex Gildzen (CC#59)

Crisis Chronicles Press is thrilled to present a new masterwork by the legendary Alex Gildzen, inspired by his rich experiences in three Ohio cities: Elyria, Cleveland and Kent.  Ohio Triangle is 75 pages, perfect bound, featuring many of his best poems and a handful of color photographs.  Adrian Manning calls Gildzen "a damn fine poet" and Jonathan Williams says "His eye is charming and acute." Officially published on 25 April 2015 to celebrate National Poetry Month and Gildzen's 72nd birthday, Ohio Triangle is now available for $10.99 from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3431 George Avenue, Parma, Ohio 44134 USA.  ISBN: 9781940996196.

Choose US or International

Love for Ohio Triangle:

"Alex Gildzen rushes to the heart with the clearest of memories, tacking them to our own with perfectly wrought images from his own life and calling out real people from the shadows of the past.  His work glows with the power of a master poet.  There is not one word in this book that doesn't ring true.  Be glad.  You can share a remarkable vision in this book that echoes through time every time Gildzen fixes his focus on his Ohio Triangle."
D.R. Wagner, author of The Night Market

"Just as any 3 non-collinear points determine a unique plane, so Alex Gildzen's 3-part book of chiseled poems defines and explores the unique plane that is Gildzen's life in three different cities in Ohio. Here is a triangle considered in the context of the space-time continuum, where people, places and things combine to bring the past into the present and the present into the past. It is in the dimension of time, the loving remembrances and the sad recognition of the inevitable future of each person, place and thing within Gildzen's triangular plane, and by extension, within the reader's own unique plane, that brings warmth and heart to this multifaceted diamond of a book."
Shelley Chernin, author of The Vigil

"I was first introduced to the work of Alex Gildzen a few years back now and out of everything I've read, this latest collection, Ohio Triangle, is without a doubt the most touching look into the memories that make up his highly colorful life, so much so that I almost teared up at several points, because this is the way we all want to be able to look back on things, on a life well lived, only, Alex has been able to put it into words in a way that feels immediately relatable and effortless, as the passing of time should be."
John Dorsey, author of Imaginary Foxholes

Rate and review Ohio Triangle at Goodreads.

Deluxe Package [no longer available]:

For a mere $5 extra a lucky 15 people received two great Gildzen books: Ohio Triangle and the rare New Notes: Poems 1971-76 (Kent, OH: Shelly's Press, 1978).  New Notes features paper wraps and a hand sewn binding.  While supplies last. [UPDATE: We have no more copies of New Notes, but you can still order Ohio Triangle for $10.99.]

Alex in front of Loomis Camera in Elyria, Ohio

He was born in California, first walked in Texas and now lives in New Mexico but Alex Gildzen spent the majority of his life as a resident of Ohio.  He was two weeks old when he arrived in Lorain.  When his father returned from the war in Europe the family moved to Elyria. He began visiting Cleveland as a child. Following graduation from Elyria High School he went to Kent State University where he was student, teacher and librarian.  In 1993 Kent presented him with the President’s Medal for “extraordinary and unique service” to the university.  The same year the Ohio Arts Council honored him with the Ohioana Citation in the field of humanities and education.

To learn more about Alex, visit the Literary Underground wiki and follow his Arroyo Chamisa blog.