Accents Publishing Blog
Fountains for Orpheus by Audrey Rooney
Book Release

Fountains for Orpheus by Audrey RooneyThrough the poems in this brilliant debut collection, Audrey Rooney explores timeless concepts from love and loss to aging and nature. This book contains poems of diverse shapes, forms and sizes, as well as several translations of Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus, matched with Audrey’s poignant responses to Rilke’s work.

Accents will be hosting a premiere for Fountains for Orpheus at the Carnegie Center in Lexington, Kentucky on August 18th. Details available here.

Fountains for Orpheus is available at the Accents store.

What Others Say About Fountains for Orpheus

In Fountains for Orpheus, Audrey Rooney invites us to bring our artist eyes to the beauty-filled and bewildering scenes of her well-lived life. “Come, Gardener,” she writes, and we are introduced to a world of violet skies, river deaths, and small talk. She’s a keen writer, wise and intelligent. Emotionally, she never strays far from her music or her man. Congratulations to Audrey for this delightful debut collection!

—Neil Chethik

Audrey Rooney’s painterly poems reveal our ordinary world for the fresh miracle it is—charged and shining in the carnelian flash of flagstones, in the tulip poplar’s “egg-cup” blooms, green as luna moths. Lovely as their images are, however, these poems are no mere surfaces. In Fountains for Orpheus, Rooney’s poems pursue loss, change, and imperfection—hers, ours. Often quirky, never somber (though they circle death) these poems reward reading and rereading. They probe the uncertain edges where winter passes into spring, where death invades life and “creatures given to our care make no promises not to break our hearts one day.” What are the dead to the living or the living to the dead? Rooney asks, as Rilke did. And as Rilke’s did, Audrey Rooney’s poems find a way to “love the in-betweens.”

—Leatha Kendrick

Meticulously observed and elegantly composed, Rooney’s poems celebrate and mourn the beauty of nature, the transcendence of art, and the death of the beloved. They write back to Rilke, examine a childhood relic from her lost brother, embrace grandchildren, and everywhere render the music of this world with learning and longing. Fountains for Orpheus is a volume to savor.

—George Ella Lyon

LexPoMo 2016 Writing Challenge Sign Ups Are Open, plus 2015 Book Release
Book Release,
Poetry Readings

Dear Lexington poets,

The signups for the Lexington Poetry Month 2016 Writing Challenge are currently open!

Please click here to sign up. If you signed up last year, then you will have the option to send yourself an email to register for this year.

& Grace: selections from Lexington Poetry Month 2015Also, everyone is invited to our release party for & Grace: selections from Lexington Poetry Month 2015, which will be tonight at the Carnegie Center in Lexington, Kentucky next to Gratz Park. (If you will need parking, you may come early and get a pass from the front desk to park at a neighboring Transylvania lot).

If you are coming to the event and you participated in last year’s event, then you are invited to come and read your piece in front of a live audience. Refreshments will be served.

We hope you join us for this year’s challenge, and please come celebrate with us tonight!

& Grace Book Release Party
Book Release

& Grace: selections from Lexington Poetry Month 2015We will be selling & Grace: Selections from Lexington Poetry Month 2015 at the Carnegie Center in Lexington, Kentucky on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 6pm.

If you are one of the featured reader (please click here to see the complete list), then you are welcome to come and read your poem.

This book could not have happened without the commitment and dedication from the Lexington Poetry Month poets and the amazing community that has been supporting the Lexington Poetry Month Writing Challenge for so long. Once again, thank you so much.

Click the Facebook Event page for more details.

When: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 @ 6PM
Where: The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning
251 W. Second Street
Lexington, KY 40507
(859) 254-4175

& Grace: selections from Lexington Poetry Month 2015 — The Cover
Book Release

& Grace: selections from Lexington Poetry Month 2015

& Grace: selections from Lexington Poetry Month 2015 edited by Christopher McCurry

cover art “Balancing Act” by Audrey Rooney

More details, including release date and price, coming soon…

Circe’s Lament: Anthology of Wild Women Poetry
Book Release

Edited by Bianca Spriggs and Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

Circe’s Lament is an exciting new anthology of poetry about wild women. Poets from around the world have contributed narratives and given voices to an amazingly diverse female cast—women who neither flinch nor apologize, and who mesmerize us generation after generation with their strength. We invite you to welcome the wild into your home with this anthology.

What others say about Circe’s Lament

Circe’s Lament collects work by some of the best poets writing today—from Ellen Bass to Frank X Walker—in celebration of the wild feminine: the fierce, the furious, the bruised and battered, the hilarious, the mythical, the stereotypical, the fairytale turned inside out. Here you’ll find Miss America and Janis Joplin, Barbie and Medusa, along with—in Nickole Brown’s stunning and tender homage—a grandmother who can cuss up a storm and uses “fucker” as a term of endearment. The women in these poems behave in the most unladylike ways—swearing, sexing, drinking, dancing, hitting back, running away, bleeding, broke and broken. But just when you might start to think this celebration of “the bad girl” is veering toward romanticizing her, comes a poem like “The Girl,” by Linda Casebeer—as heart-breaking and frank and true a poem about being young and female and vulnerable and tough as I’ve ever read anywhere. Read it and weep. And be grateful for the work these editors have done to bring these voices to us.

Cecilia Woloch

Circe’s Lament is a collection of powerhouse poems by women that make you want to get down and growl. These aren’t poems for the faint of heart or the bashful. These are poems for the she-wolves. These are poems for the brazen hussies. These are poems for the wicked, the loud-mouthed, the ballsy, and the big-hearted. Lean in and listen closely. They’ll teach you how to bite.

Ada Limón


tina andry, Britt Ashley, Stacey Balkun, Makalani Bandele, Bianca Bargo, Ellen Bass, Roberta Beary, Elizabeth Beck, Lauren Boisvert, Roger Bonair-Agard, Nickole Brown, Elizabeth Burton, Greg Candela, Linda Casebeer, Sherry Chandler, Sharon L. Charde, Lucia Cherciu, Elizabeth Cohen, Star Coulbrooke, Barbara Crooker, Lucille Lang Day, Nancy Diedrichs, Joanie DiMartino, Laurel Dixon, Teneice Durrant, Meg Eden, Lynnell Edwards, Marta Ferguson, Ruth Foley, Sarah Freligh, Karen L. George, Kate Hadfield, Ellen Hagan, Gwen Hart, Lisa Hartz, Sheryl Holmberg, Karen Paul Holmes, Hope Johnson, Julia Johnson, Susan Johnson, Amanda Johnston, Marilyn Kallet, Penelope Karageorge, Diane Kendig, Karen Kovacik, Shayla Lawson, Emily Leider, Marsha Mathews, Andrew Merton, Teresa Milbrodt, Pamela Miller, Holly Mitchell, Maria Nazos, Sheryl Nelms, Jeremy Paden, Julia Paganelli, Tina Parker, Catherine Perkins, Kiki Petrosino, Sosha Pinson, Carol Quinn, Hila Ratzabi, Nicholas Samaras, Leona Sevick, Hilary Sheers, Dan Sicoli, Joan Jobe Smith, Bianca Spriggs, Alison Stone, Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, Victoria Sullivan, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Sheree Renée Thomas, Jessica D. Thompson, Alison Townsend, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Elsa Valmidiano, Frank X Walker, Amy Watkins, Patricia Wellingham-Jones, July Westhale, K. Nicole Wilson, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Debra Woolley, Jessica Wright, Katy Yocom

From the Preface

Women who break stereotypes and societal expectations continue to thrill our imaginations with how they did it. How did these women manage to balance their gender, sexuality, and power? Where did they find the strength to shoulder the consequences of rejecting the expectation of how women should behave? What do we continue to learn from the stories we tell one another of these icons, characters, and legends? What does a woman sacrifice in order to come into her own power? What does she mourn? What does she celebrate? This anthology seeks to answer these questions by highlighting the legendary, the local, the familial, and the self. It also explores the bigger question: Why do audiences continue over the ages to be spellbound by women who challenge and complicate convention?

Circe’s Lament should certainly not be read as comprehensive in terms of the narratives we chose to highlight, but rather treated as a summoning, as a kind of welcome table. We hope that as you read through this host of poetry about wild women—from the classic to the contemporary, from the legendary to the little-known—you’ll get the sense from their collective narrative that no woman ever needs to feel alone or exiled. It is our hope that you will read and celebrate, not just those highlighted in this collection, but all of the bold, bright, wild women in your own life.

—The Editors

Cover photo by Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer

The Occupation by Jay McCoy
Book Release

The Occupation by Jay McCoy, cover image from CSIRO

We are proud to announce The Occupation by Jay McCoy!

“These are brave and hard-won poems, full of poignant witness and startling affirmation in the face of life’s most heartbreaking challenges. Jay McCoy is a keen craftsman, constructing lyrics that whisper and sting and celebrate at once. Here is a poet who truly understands the full expressive potential of his forms, and who mines those forms to maximum effect. But be warned: this is not the typical bland stuff of mild-mannered chapbooks. McCoy’s delicately crafted but harrowing poems will make your hair stand on end.”

—Young Smith

“The Occupation marks the arrival of a brave new voice in American poetry”

Garth Greenwell


Your voice through
the phone line cracked
on the other end before
you said the first word,

so I knew

what you needed/wanted
to say, but could not yet
wrap your mind around all
possibilities, positive/negative,

so I just waited.

You may order a copy at the Accents store; orders will begin shipping on or before November 30, 2015.

Lost and Found by Andrew Merton
Book Release

lost and found by andrew mertonWe are proud to announce Lost and Found by Andrew Merton. It is currently available at the Accents store.

Merton’s first book, Evidence that We Are Descended from Chairs (Accents Publishing, was named Outstanding Book of Poetry for 2013-2014 by the New Hampshire Writers’ Project. Lost and Found continues the poignant, personable humor from this first work, but adds a confessional flavor that gives his new work a more nonfictional feel.


Praise for Andrew Merton’s poetry

Almost every one of his poems has a surprise waiting for the reader, either some astonishing figure of speech or a witty observation we are not likely to forget anytime soon.

Charles Simic

Andrew Merton has masterfully condensed his life into potent, brilliantly composed, minimalist snapshots. Chronologically arranged, delicately layered, and driven by savage honesty and subtle tenderness, Lost and Found is an intense injection of love, loss, loneliness, and above all, the unrelenting question of one’s existence. I’ll slot this on my shelf next to Raymond Carver.

—Jessica Bell

This poet pinpoints the extraordinary in the day to day; he makes the reader see things anew, and even when they appear tawdry and tough, they are rich and sweet. The calm and gentle voice of these poems is nevertheless fierce in its focus on life, aging,disappointment and death, and that makes for the tremendous tension that keeps each poem taut with drama, inviting from the very first line, and powerfully moving until its conclusion.

John Skoyles

This marvelous book—ruefully charming on one page, charmingly rueful on the next—goes cradle to grave in its coverage of a lifetime’s worth of erratic heartbeats. I love Merton’s poems for how they completely dissolve the thin line between bafflement and amazement. Their story is the story of a most companionable endurance, with no pun left unspoken. A deeply humane, entertaining, wise book.

David Rivard


Fifth Grade Air Raid Drill, 1955

I tell Mr. Carter there’s a crack in the ant farm,
but he has more important things to talk about today:

After the bomb, trees will wither, milk will glow.
You might live a year before the insects get you

but first you have to survive the blast.
Duck under your desks

and stick your heads between your knees.
I pretend to do as I’m told.

When he turns his back I crawl away
on six legs, triumphant.

Andrew Merton,
Lost and Found
(Accents Publishing)

About Flight by Frank X. Walker
Book Release

about flight thumbnailAccents Publishing is proud to announce About Flight, a poetry chapbook by Frank X. Walker.

“Up until this point in American history, no poet has written an honest and believable lament about the crippling effects from the tornado swirl of a crack pipe, how a little rock being melted between thin mesh screen creates pallid smoke: a monster, a slave to the white lady that is cocaine. In About Flight, Frank X Walker gives us the beautiful ugly narrative of a brother who is wrestling with chemical dependency, and losing. The high, in all of its beautiful contradictions takes on the metaphor of flight, and so we soar through the terrible highs and lows of a protagonist who carries his family with him into the den of iniquity.”

—Randall Horton,
author of Pitch Dark Anarchy & Hook: A Memoir

Grief & Other Animals by Patty Paine
Book Release

grief & other animals by patty paineGrief & Other Animals takes the reader on a stunning emotional journey through the process of coping with tragic loss from the “knife-stab sudden” pain of initial grief to the reemergence of hope in a poignant new poetry collection from Patty Paine.

What Others Say About Grief & Other Animals

Patty Paine’s superb new collection arises from the nearly unbearable—a mother’s death, but most especially the senseless death of a husband. And, as the crucial elegiac poets know, grieving never truly arrives in “stages,” and never ends in “closure.” It is a process infinitely more intricate and nuanced than the platitudes suggest, and it ends, at best, in only a fraught and vexed consolation, what one of her poems calls, “a sorrow deeper than solace.” Yet even a vexed consolation can be a form of quiet triumph, and these poems—spare, heartbroken, and always utterly precise—arrive repeatedly at such a triumph. Patty Paine has written a book of bravery and consummate artistry.

—David Wojahn


Elegy, in making grief a living thing, brings the dead back to life. But elegy is also how we ask ourselves to accept, a touching of the wound to accustom ourselves to pain. This stunning book both resurrects and more truly buries, and does what the best poetry does—shows me the world of another, and in doing so, brings me closer to my own. I feel bitten by these haunted poems.

—Bob Hicok

Grief and Other Animals reminds us of the great but elusive presence that stays with us after great loss, like a shadow without a subject. Paine takes on the ineffable through metaphor, action through repetition, and life through catalogs. From North Carolina to Doha, Qatar, these lyrics chronicle dates and their respective weights. She insists we “have to believe that language is a body / that won’t die.” These poems then offer us a body in which to live, an hourglass container that Paine skillfully turns over and over so it never runs out.

—Emilia Phillips

Grief & Other Animals is now available from the Accents Store.

This Wretched Vessel Release/Reading Tonight
Book Release

This Wretched VesselThe Lexington Poetry Month 2014 Writing Challenge led to 114 poets submitting over 1,100 poems on the Accents Publishing Blog. You can sign up for this year’s Writing Challenge by clicking here*, but the featured poets will have a chance to read their work tonight at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning.

Anyone who has been published in the anthology is welcome to read, and anyone who is interested in Lexington, poetry, or Lexington Poetry Month is encouraged to attend and bring friends, family, and poetry fiends. We will provide light refreshments and snacks. You will provide a fun, supportive atmosphere for our featured poets.

Also, a big shout-out goes to Eric Sutherland for giving Accents such a kind and generous mention during last night’s Holler Poets reading, and to Jude Lally for reading “No Matter What”, the poem that gave us the title of our anthology. We are so gracious to not only have such people in our books, but in our lives as well.

When: Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 6pm
Where: The Carnegie Center
251 West Second Street
Lexington, KY 40507
(859) 254-4175, ext. 21