Janna Knittel and James Cihlar
About the Books:
The poems in Janna Knittel's new collection describe family life on the farm, celebrate natural environments that inspire deeply, process childhood emotions with the help of decades of living, and quietly assuage the wounds suffered due to personal crisis and loss.
A wooden box on a desk, a father's hands, the lives of rabbits and bees, a rare visit to church--these are a few of the subjects illuminated in these finely crafted pieces. A mother's dementia. Meamories of a hardscrabble childhood: listening to the murmuring of voices from the back seat of a truck on long drives home from family camping trips; fishing with Dad; rolling cigarettes with a favorite aunt, roasting salmon whole over coals behind the church.
Locales in Oregon and Minnesota surface: Grand Portage, Isle Royale. Grief arrives with the unexpected death of an older and much admired sister. The details are sketchy but the pain is palpable. A lyric gravity infuses these stark yet often lovely pieces. The real work required on the farm has been transformed repeatedly into acts of literary precision and emotional honesty.
In The Shadowgraph James Cihlar explores the ways images, performances, and memories shape and inform LGBTQ+ identity. Golden-age Hollywood cinema--in particular the career of fiercely independent actress Barbara Stanwyck--provides the screen on which Cihlar projects characters and stories bravely, even defiantly, performed. Cihlar's commentary on individual films--as well as on human experience and desire--is intense, smart, and right on target.
About The Authors:
Janna Knittel is from the Pacific Northwest and has lived in Minnesota since 2004. Janna’s first full-length poetry book, Real Work (Nodin Press, 2022) is a finalist for the 2023 Minnesota Book Awards. Previous publications include the chapbook Fish & Wild Life (Finishing Line Press, 2018) and poems in Blueline, Breakwater Review, Constellations, Cottonwood, North Dakota Quarterly, Pleiades, Whale Road Review, and The Wild Word, among other journals, as well as the anthologies The Experiment Will Not Be Bound (Unbound Editions, 2023) and Waters Deep: A Great Lakes Anthology (Split Rock Review, 2018). Janna has taught literature and writing classes at colleges and universities in Oregon, Kansas, and Minnesota and has also published scholarly essays on literature.
James Cihlar is the author of The Shadowgraph, published in 2020 by the University of New Mexico Press. His previous books include Rancho Nostalgia and Undoing. His poetry chapbooks are A Conversation with My Imaginary Daughter, What My Family Used, and Metaphysical Bailout. His writing has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Threepenny Review, Lambda Literary Review, The Gay and Lesbian Review, Nimrod, Painted Bride Quarterly, andSmartish Pace. He earned his BA in English at the University of Iowa, where he studied in the Writer’s Workshop, and his MA and PhD in English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He lives in St. Paul with his husband and cats, and is the publisher of Howling Bird Press in Minneapolis. His website is jamescihlar.com
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