New Releases

New Books from the Backwaters Press

The Backwaters Press is happy to announce we are approaching the milestone of publishing our 100th title. Each new release gets us closer to the goal. Below are some of the most recent published titles.

New Books

Stunt Heart

Author: Mary Jo Thompson 
Format: Paperback, 90 pages
ISBN: 978-1935218463
Published: August 2017

Buy This Book: Amazon

In Stunt Heart, Mary Jo Thompson’s debut collection, a female gaze locates the ironies inside the subjects of marriage and death, loneliness and love, speaking and silence. The title plays on both sick hearts and circus tricks, and appropriately, these poems are direct, personal, and disarmingly emotive. Look at the end of the first poem, “Says Penelope,” where the speaker suddenly veers to “Newsflash: I sleep- / walk.” These stark moments of admission are used to perfection in the centerpiece sonnet series, “Thirteen Months,” the collection’s highlight. Distilled emotion over the illness and death of an estranged husband ranges in tone from the dark humor that compares the marriage to a used car to the elegiac imagery of protecting the family garden from frost. The shock of seeing the deceased in his casket looking like a cross between Clark Gable and Dracula seasons the collection, recurring in ruminations on the various ways a body is prepared at death and the story of a mother who dies while sneezing. Although no one brings back the dead by writing poetry, in Stunt Heart, Thompson revisits them with credible humor and tough dispatches from bedrooms, graveyards, and hospital hallways. Thompson’s Stunt Heart jukes, dodges, and prays while muscling through all manners of demise and in the process reveals how one can turn grief into speech, art into grieving.

Rock Tree Bird

Author: Twyla M. Hansen 
Format: Paperback, 88 pages
ISBN: 978-1935218456
Published: April 2017

Buy This Book: Amazon

Critical Praise for Rock Tree Bird

“Twyla Hansen’s Rock Tree Bird is the poetry of an agriculturalist, a lover of soil and plants, of Great Plains waterways and skies, of the tiniest creatures in our grasses and soils and the largest turnings of our stars and cosmos.  In this book, she sings of her parents and their deaths, of metamorphoses in the natural and human world and of our searches for a stable center, the human search for meaning in the quotidian.  In her last section, she seeks for the sacredness deep down in things without religious cliché: ‘Oh christ! Your body broken, eaten, / your blood shed over this land. / Forgive us for not remembering, / Before it is too late, teach us how / To love our one and only earth.’  The poetry of place may be poetry of memory, of perception, or of vision.  Twyla Hansen’s work in this book is the poetry of all three, from memory of farm and family and death in an almost-lost Nebraska to perception of everything in that Nebraska that inspires awe from spider webs and cricket presences to moon movements or ‘gods’ in the stars and planets, and, finally, to visions of the sacred that come in the presence of the mindful seeing of daily things. This is great work.”
– Paul A. Olson, Professor Emeritus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


TWANG offers readers the increasing power of the voice and the danger of one's words being used against them. What can save you can also make you wretch. Repentance, in TWANG, is a great idea but something far off. What is the speaker offered in its place? You can leave. You can find some way out.

Author: Laressa Dickey
Format: Paperback, 92 pages
ISBN: 978-1-935218-432

Published: February, 2017

Buy This Book: Amazon – Small Press Distribution


Watching the Perseids: The Backwaters Press Twentieth Anniversary Anthology

Editors: Michael Catherwood, Cat Dixon
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-935218-44-9
Published: February 1, 2017

Buy This Book: Amazon – Small Press Distribution

Watching the Perseids: The Backwaters Press Twentieth Anniversary Anthology features poems from BWP’s authors from the past 20 years. This anthology commemorates The Backwaters Press’s 20 years as a nonprofit literary publisher located in Omaha, Nebraska. Virtually every poet published by the press in its first two decades is represented here with two new, previously unpublished poems selected specifically for this volume.

Praise for Watching the Perseids: The Backwaters Press Twentieth Anniversary Anthology

” This anthology is written by an eclectic group of seekers, who search through the mornings when all is fresh and bright and new and beautiful, to the darknesses of loss and despair, and find many occasions between those poles to recognize and celebrate the bright moments to which they are often treated as they search, and to come to some understanding or acceptance of their losses and griefs.”

— Greg Kosmicki, Founding Editor of The Backwaters Press

Train of Singularity South from Midtown

Author: John J. Ronan
Format: Paperback, 96 pages
ISBN: 1935218425
Published: January, 2017

Buy This Book: Amazon


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