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Cover Reveal: Where Rivers Change Direction by L. Bundrock

We’d like to introduce you to the official cover of L. Bundrock’s forthcoming novel, Where Rivers Change Direction. This stellar cover was designed by creative partner and graphic designer Knic Pfost.

Here’s what the author has to say about the book design process:

“The recipe followed to cook-up the cover design for Where Rivers Change Direction was equal parts, inspiration, collaboration and determination, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

Because design by committee can be tricky, though, I had trepidations about collaborating on the cover art. Here is how it went:

I used to have to take my delicate, elderly cat Pablo to the vet each week for fluids. One afternoon while we were waiting our turn in the lobby I witnessed an unprecedented kerfuffle among the otherwise poised staff. Every veterinarian, tech and staff member was on hand speaking to a couple of adults who had arrived sans pet. After hearing tidbits of what sounded like an elaborate strategy to get a wild animal from the parking lot to the examination room, I was convinced that they were about to wrestle a rabid tiger through the doors. I tucked Pablo’s carrier behind me and braced myself for the onslaught.

Two minutes later the door burst open and the pet owners appeared carrying two laundry baskets, each filled with wildly flopping bundles of fluff. A dozen golden retriever puppies tumbled with joy and almost spilled out of the baskets.

While I had braced for a tiger, the cover design process for this book, thanks to Knic and Christina, was a basket full of golden retrievers.”


Supporters of L. Bundrock and the press can preorder Where Rivers Change Direction here. And, we’d love to see each and every one of you at the book launches and events! Here’s what we’ve got lined up.

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We Need a Reckoning Book Launch

On December 30, 2021, we had the pleasure of launching one of our biggest book projects to date: We Need a Reckoning: Poetry, essays, and memoir by Women and Non-binary People of Color of the Tacoma, Washington region, edited by Gloria Joy Kazuko Muhammad. We held a virtual book launch and reading in which over 40 community members attended and celebrated publication with us. The event featured readings by former Tacoma poet laureate Kellie Richardson, Judy Cuellar, Jesi Hanley Vega, Janae Hill, and Katherine Felts; and musical storytelling of Kim Archer and DJ Pat Coleman.


Organized into five parts – wind, soil, water, sky, and breath – and featuring creative writing by thirty-one contributors, the collection is simultaneously a rallying cry for the land and people we build our homes in; a spell for strength and safe passage through tribulation; and a celebration of the power and brilliance of women.

The anthology features introductions by Krista Perez, founder of The Tacoma Women of Color Collective, and Brandi Douglas, owner of Multifaceted Matriarch. The anthology was partially funded by the Tacoma Arts Commission.

We Need a Reckoning contributors include  Kim Archer, Gaian Rena Bird, Phebe Brako-Owusu, Aleyda Marisol Cervantes, Judy Cuellar, Paula Davidson, Brandi Douglas, Chanel Athena Estrada, Katherine Felts, Marissa Harrison, Jasmine Hernandez, Janae Hill, Lauren Perez Hoogkamer, Isha Hussein, Eileen Jimenez, Kathleen Julca, Marisha McDowell, Stasha Moreno, gloria joy kazuko muhammad, Celia Nimura-Parmenter, Krista Perez, Lev Pouliot, Saiyare Refaei, Kellie Richardson, Katharine Threat, Kaia Valentine, Lydia K. Valentine, Tina Văn, Christina Vega, Jesi Hanley Vega, and Jami Williams.

Find out more about the book, and purchase a copy, here. In the meantime, enjoy our recording of the event!

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January 7th: Town Hall Seattle ft. We Need a Reckoning

Head to Town Hall Seattle for an evening of readings and discussions surrounding We Need a Reckoning, edited by gloria joy kazuko muhammad. The evening includes a panel discussion moderated by Blue Cactus Press publisher Christina Vega, contributors Krista Pérez, Katharine Threat, Lydia K. Valentine, and Jesi Hanley Vega. The authors will discuss their work, perform readings from We Need a Reckoning, and invite questions from audience members.

What: Town Hall Seattle: We Need a Reckoning

When: Jan. 7, 2022 @ 7:30pm

Format: In-person and virtual

Where: Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave (Entrance off Seneca St.)Seattle, Washington 98101

Cost & Registration: $5.00; Registration required, proof of vaccination required at the door.

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December 30th: We Need a Reckoning Virtual Book Launch

Join Blue Cactus Press in celebrating the publication of We Need a Reckoning, an anthology of creative writing by women and non-binary people of color of the greater Tacoma area! We’re celebrating the arrival of this stellar collection of poems, memoir and essays on Thursday, December 30th, at 7PM via zoom.

Continue reading December 30th: We Need a Reckoning Virtual Book Launch
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Green River Valley Book Launch

Robert Lashley’s book launch for Green River Valley was powerful and surprisingly emotional (in positive ways), thanks to Robert, who shared his poems and experience in the editorial process, and guests Jodi Poorwill, Graham Isaac, and Kellie Richardson!  Watch the video below, then scroll down for some cool BONUS CONTENT from Robert!

BONUS CONTENT: 10 Books That Influenced Green River Valley

Fans of Robert will be delighted to know he put together a reading list of 10 books that influenced Green River Valley! Read below to get a sense of who and what had an impact on Robert and his writing over the years!

1: The Panther And The Lash by Langston Hughes

A lost classic of African American poetry, written as a homage to the Harlem that never ignored him long after chic poetry movements did.

2: Blacks by Gwendolyn Brooks

Schooled in the modernists and the Harlem renaissance poets, adept in tight forms and ornate Jacobean blank verse, Brooks made her people, city, and block in Brownsville as eternal as any poet’s in the living world.

3: Field Work by Seamus Heaney

Heaney is one of world poetry’s great adults, stylists, and working class heroes. He wrote about Ireland in such a beautiful, universal, and precise way that made a ghetto nerd from 23rd and G see himself in it.

4: Morning, Paramin by Derek Walcott

Where Walcott ends his remarkable (if flawed) career with one of the strongest books of poems he’d ever written; a lean, exact, and gorgeous collection immersed in nothing but the fundamentals of his gifts.

5: Desolación (“Despair”) by Gabriela Mistral

Mistral wrote about motherhood, poverty, folklore, and layers of oppression; and did so in poems so impressive that much of the world was compelled to take notice.

6: View With A Grain Of Sand by Wisława Szymborska

For my money, Szymborska is poetry’s great misanthropic philosopher; and like every great misanthrope, the sharpness of her wit was that wall that guarded a heart affected by WWII, Stalinism, and the callowness of the human condition in a modern age.

7: American Journal by Robert Hayden

This book is an ambitious, one-man excavation of Black American history from the slave trade to present of his time, with numerous symbols of and references to Black history, culture, and folklore. Also one of English language poetry’s great stylists, with a supple ear to fuse black vernaculars with a grand, lyric, formal language.

8: Mercurochrome by Wanda Coleman

Deep blues, heavily invested in the oral tradition, no-bullshit barometer and gangsta-ass take on formalism? Wanda is like a literary parent to me.

9: Ash Wednesday by T.S Eliot

In creating a Christian conversion story, Eliot humanized his towering voice, turning from the surfeit data and darkwarter bigotries of his earlier work to a more empathetic perspective on the human condition.

10: The House On Marshland by Louise Gluck

At first I was surprised that her nature poems didn’t have the haunted stripped down sorrow of early Frost, or the mercilessly kinetic Darwinism of Dickinson’s gangsta ass pastorals. However, that very gentle need of hers to find a way beyond the blues makes her nature imagery work for me.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robert Lashley is a writer and activist whose  was a 2016 Jack Straw Fellow, Artist Trust Fellow, and a nominee for a Stranger Genius Award. He has had work published in The Seattle Review of Books, NAILED,  Poetry Northwest, McSweeney’s, and The Cascadia Review. His poetry was also featured in such anthologies as Many Trails to The Summitt, Foot Bridge Above The Falls, Get Lit,  Make It True, and It Was Written. His previous books include The Homeboy Songs (2014), and Up South (2017), both published by Small Doggies Press. In 2019, The Homeboy Songs was named by Entropy Magazine as one of the 25 most essential books to come out of the Seattle area.

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BCP Fall Reading

For those who couldn’t make it to our Fall Reading, never fear: we recorded the full event! You can now enjoy it at your convenience! Our reading lineup was made up of authors whose non-fiction writing graced our pages (and screens) earlier this summer. The lineup included Yousef Allouzi, Gina Hietpas, Tamiko Nimura, and Samuel Snoek-Brown. Grab a glass of wine, sit your butt down in a soft chair, and hit play, friends!


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

YOUSEF ALLOUZI is an author and data analyst currently living in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a BS in Economics and a Master of Public Policy from Oregon State University. He’s also the author of The Bedouin, a memoir essay and chapbook published in July, 2020 (Blue Cactus Press).

GINA HIETPAS is a self–taught poet, born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. Nowadays, she lives outside Sequim, Washington, on a small farm with her husband, a few cows and a passel of chickens. She’s the author of Terrain, a poetry collection delving into allyship, healing, nature and care, published in September, 2020 (Blue Cactus Press).

TAMIKO NIMURA is a third-generation Japanese American and second-generation Filipina American. She’s a freelance writer, essayist, community journalist, and public historian. She just published her first book, Rosa Franklin: A Life in Health CarePublic Service, and Social Justice, in 2019 (Washington State Oral History Program).

SAMUEL SNOEK-BROWN teaches and writes in the Pacific Northwest. He’s the author the Civil War novel Hagridden, the short story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them, and flash-fiction chapbooks Box Cutters and Where There Is Ruin. He also works as a production editor for Jersey Devil Press, and he lives online at snoekbrown.com.

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NEW Call for Submissions

Hello, readers and writers! We wanted to share some BIG news! Blue Cactus Press is now accepting submissions from Women of Color (gender non-conforming and women identifying individuals of Color included) for an anthology of non-fiction creative writing highlighting and uplifting the voices of Women of Color (WoC) in the greater Tacoma area.

The anthology will be published in Winter 2021 and will be created with support from the Tacoma Women of Color Collective (TWCC), an organization working to cultivate spaces for professional WoC to nurture community, collaborate, and share professional, educational and life resources. All contributors whose work is accepted for publication will receive a $50 stipend and a copy of the anthology upon publication.

To Qualify for Submissions, Interested Writers Must:

  1. Identify as a WoC, to include gender non-conforming and women-identifying individuals of Color
  2. Produce creative works in and/or reside in the greater Tacoma area

Submission Guidelines:

Submissions should be non-fiction, to include (but not limited to) essays, poetry, or content addressing social/cultural issues faced in our community and/or lived experiences. Works that demonstrate a potential to inspire community dialogue and/or shed light on lived experiences often ignored by mainstream culture and media are highly encouraged. 

  • Submissions should be sent in a single document (.pdf, .docx or .doc format) in 12 point, times new roman font
  • Poetry Submissions may include up to 3 poems, but must be 10 pages or less. 
  • Essays and narrative work must be 10 pages or less.
  • Please include a short bio and contact information (full name and email address) along with your submission. 

Submissions should be emailed to BlueCactusPress@gmail.com with the phrase “WoC Anthology Submission” in the email subject line. 


*This call for submissions will remain open until December 20, 2020. Writers whose work is accepted for publication will be notified in January 2021. 

**Simultaneous submissions are permitted, so long as you let us know where your work is already being considered. Please include this information in the body of your email. 

 *** By submitting your manuscript to Blue Cactus Press, you are guaranteeing its content is your own, original work and is not plagiarized, borrowed or reproduced from other sources.