comments 9

2016 Chapbook Contest: Week 8 Review

Today is a huge day, as we’re finally revealing our cover art + blurbs for our three winners, plus presales have begun! But first…


All three winners posted on social media, letting people know that we’re doing reviews. Everyone who stepped forward has been added to my notes, and a PDF has been sent their way. Once they finish their reviews + post them, I’ll send a complimentary print copy as a thank-you! Let me know if you’re interested!


After sending along the initial files to Bottlecap Press, I caught a strange conversion issue, where our ToC page #s were changing before my eyes as I converted the text to PDF form! Crazy shit, but got that fixed 😉 I also ran into some problems with how our PDFs were being viewed by the Bottlecap printers, but we’ve figured it out as of this morning (LOL), so print proofs should be nearly ready!


As of this weekend, the three artists for our covers this year have sent along high-res versions of their work, which has been loaded + sent along to the printer. All artists will be thanked with 10 complimentary copies of their respective image’s chap. Huge shout out to Ryan HumphreyAniela Sobieski, and Pat Perry for not only creating fantastic art, but for also being willing to work with a small press like ourselves. And big thanks to Chuck for making this all happen ❤

Cover Art + Blurbs

Without further adieu, here are the incredible covers for our 2016 Chapbook Series, accompanied by some thoughtful blurbs(!):

“I Can Remember the Meaning of Every Tarot Card But I Can’t Remember What I Texted You Last Night” by Elle Nash

Cover Art: “Iris” by Aniela Sobieski

Elle Front Cover

Elle Nash’s i can remember the meaning of every tarot card but i can’t remember what i texted you last night is a winner of Nostrovia! Press’ 2016 N.Y.C. Chapbook Series for reasons written not in stars but in sweat on tangled bedsheets, in the crushed spaces of apartments and the expanse of memory, nostalgia, bitterness, and grief. Refracted to us through the lens of the tarot, the poems here are both mythology and autobiography, legend and confession—it is impossible to read them without wondering precisely whose hot entrails are spread out during this divination, and whether the truths being whispered in the dark are the author’s, the world’s, or one’s own.
Sonya Vatomksy, Salt is For Curing (Sator Press)

The poems in this chapbook are those of a witch, a warrior, a wolf, a goddess with claws. Elle Nash is able to balance the hilarious and tragic, the heartbreaking and the furious. She will slay you, and you will love her for it.
Juliet Escoria, Witch Hunt (Lazy Fascist Press)

“Make a Fist & Tongue the Knuckles” by Emily O’Neill

Cover Art: “Marks” by Ryan Humphrey

Emily Front Cover

The boys in Emily O’Neill’s poems are softies but act like they’re bad. The girls, however, don’t pretend: “Leave marks or I don’t learn.” These poems fill with sensory data, knives and joy and fury, then zip past you at breakneck speed like the brightest fastest ride on the boardwalk. There is no standing still.
–Niina Pollari, DEAD HORSE (Birds LLC)

To hear a version of yourself in the confessional—uncleaning a body much like your own. “I’m terrible / at math & monogamy, / but I try exquisitely.” It’s hard for me not to see Emily O’Neill’s poems as glowing, iridescent on the page—the dark of the pool after midnight with its cold water lapping at the edges. “There are ways to get lost properly.” But intimacy isn’t as simple as a freckle colony or a hip surfacing from the tightest pair of jeans. The want or need to hold that stranger’s hand as they lead you further into the bar. What I mean is O’Neill isn’t the tongue or the fist. She’s the hand. To properly read these poems requires an honest look at yourself with no apologies to be made. “Unburden your knuckles / of expectation. Undress…” What I mean is, toast to these poems at your next awful brunch.

–Alexis Pope, That Which Comes After (Big Lucks)


“I Was Talking About Love—You Are Talking About Geography” by Bob Sykora

Cover Art: “Similar States” by Pat Perry

Bob Front Cover

Bob Sykora explores a post-recession wasteland where the ‘the anxious dreams/ of flushed alligators deflating in the dry heat’ mirror a second coming (of age) when sleeping with computers is more common than with lovers and gas is “four dollars a gallon.” With lyrical prowess, Sykora reinvents the American sonnet, among other forms, spinning unicorns, gas station restrooms, Netflix, and butt spasms into simultaneous elegy and delight.
–Emily Jaeger, The Evolution of Parasites (Sibling Rivalry Press)

In his surprising, funny first chapbook, I Was Talking About Love—You Are Talking About Geography, Bob Sykora hands it all over. Seriously, we get it all:  “everyone else’s internet / life,” “a Todd / we can all root for,” “some surface to bash / my head on while my friends discuss / the joys of joint bank accounts,” all of it. These poems look at the ways our daily interactions with screens make us ever-present, and ever-absent. They lay everything bare, but don’t take themselves too seriously; they are good, honest, charming company, 24-7, here with us while we are all “terrified / of this new type of love.”
–Jill McDonough, Where You Live (Salt Publishing)


The N!P Store

After many hours, the Nostrovia! Online Store is fully updated and ready for presales!! We’re starting with a limited edition print run of only 100 copies, which will be hand-numbered, so be sure to get your copies! We’ll be shipping in the first few weeks of July.

Like last year, we recommend $5 for individual chaps, or $12 for all three, though we’ve also included other payment options in case you’re tight on cash–we want everyone who wants a copy to be able to get one!

Much love, and see you next week!❤


We’ll have a new Tavern post each Wednesday, giving an inside look at the N! process, so stay tuned for more updates!

Here’s the Week Seven Review of our Chapbook Contest (final editing for proofs)
The Week Six Review (major editing)
The Week Five Review
 (featured finalists)
The Week Four Review (judging winners)
The Week Three Review  (judging finalists)
The Week Two Review (reading chapbooks)
The Week One Review (initial contest results)




Filed under: 2016 chapbook contest, N! News, Poetry, Uncategorized

About the Author

Posted by

Christopher Morgan is a Lebanese American prose poet who grew up in Detroit, the Bible Belt of Georgia, and the San Francisco Bay Area, where he currently lives and co-manages Nostrovia! Press. The author of two chapbooks, “Shadow Songs” (Sad Spell Press 2015) and “Fables with Fangs” (Ghost City Press 2016), and the Reviews Coordinator at Alien Mouth, his work has been published at Gargoyle, A cappella Zoo, Voicemail Poems, Bartleby Snopes, DOGZPLOT, and Fruita Pulp, among others. He loves hiking in the redwoods, aphorisms, and happy hour margaritas.


  1. Pingback: 2016 Chapbook Contest: Week 9 Review | Nostrovia! Tavern

  2. Pingback: 2016 Chapbook Contest: Week 10 Review | Nostrovia! Tavern

  3. Pingback: 2016 Chapbook Contest: Week 11 Review | Nostrovia! Tavern

  4. Pingback: 2016 Chapbook Contest: Week 12 Review | Nostrovia! Tavern

  5. Pingback: 2016 Chapbook Contest: Week 13 Review | Nostrovia! Tavern

  6. Pingback: 2016 Chapbook Contest: Week 14 Review | Nostrovia! Tavern

  7. Pingback: 2016 Chapbook Contest: Week 15 Review | Nostrovia! Tavern

  8. Pingback: 2016 Chapbook Contest: Week 16 Review | Nostrovia! Tavern

  9. Pingback: 2016 Chapbook Contest: Week 17 Review | Nostrovia! Tavern

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s