The Shortlist | 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards

The Shortlist

2019 TARPAULIN SKY BOOK AWARDS

Three weeks ago we published the Longlist for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards. Today we are pleased to announce the Shortlist. Not content with mere lists, however, we are also featuring excerpts from shortlisted manuscripts, below, along with author statements and biographies. We will be able to turn only a couple of these manuscripts into books; we hope that other publishers will take this list as a recommendation.

Winners will be announced on the summer solstice during the last week of June. Join the TS Family Newsletter to stay informed of this and other reading periods, or take your chances on Twitter & Facebook. For a text-only version of the Shortlist, click here.

Three weeks ago we published the Longlist for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards. Today we are pleased to announce the Shortlist. Not content with mere lists, however, we are also featuring excerpts from shortlisted manuscripts, below, along with author statements and biographies. We will be able to turn only a couple of these manuscripts into books; we hope that other publishers will take this list as a recommendation.

Winners will be announced on the summer solstice during the last week of June. Join the TS Family Newsletter to stay informed of this and other reading periods, or take your chances on Twitter & Facebook. For a text-only version of the Shortlist, click here.

Lauren Russell, excerpt from “Descent”

"Heard a whippoorwill holler this morning for the first time this spring. Heard a whippoorwill holler. All hands choking cotton. Heard a holler, a whimper. Heard a will whip her. Will heard a whip. Whip or will." -- from Lauren Russell's Descent, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Mariko Nagai, excerpt from “Body of Empire”

"As soon as surviving women and children are ushered into civilian camps like scared sheep, trading of flesh starts: an extra bowl of food for a fuck..." -- from Mariko Nagai's Body of Empire, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Olivia Cronk, excerpt from “Womonster”

"You’re dead meat baby. / You’re not gonna kill the Internet, and you already missed your chance to sleaze up your thirties. / I’m sure I don’t know what you mean / but that choke of diamonds / is certainly sweetening the deal." — from Olivia Cronk's Womonster, shortlisted for Tarpaulin Sky's 2019 Book Awards.

Julia Brennan, excerpt from “Hunting Season”

"He was my teacher. He was teaching me how to be explicit in my work, and in his bed, we were doing very explicit things. Secretly, he and I slept in a sunroom in the back of his house, and I called him mother and he called me child. It was an incest game we played." — from Julia Brennan's Hunting Season, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Yanara Friedland, excerpts from “Groundswell”

"I come from the border, Grenze, Grenzstreifen, nation, wall, barbed wire, west that is east that is a city and also a consciousness of rivers. I come from the swell, a city built on swamp. Whatever ground it is that grew me, the lines run firmly through it" — from Yanara Friendland's Groundswell, shortlisted for Tarpaulin Sky's 2019 Book Awards.

Chris Muravez, excerpts from “The Body Full of Hell”

"This garden is withering. I am on the edge of the sublime and the sun is melting my skullskin. The sun is afraid of its maternal power. The galaxy is the mother of the sun, galaxies are mothers of the universe. The sun is filthy for trying to fuck its mother galaxy. " — from Chris Muravez's The Body Full of Hell, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Madison McCartha, excerpt from “Freakophone World”

"A series of occult recordings, hauntings, and invocations performing new black diasporic identities in an increasingly imperiled and globalized society." -- Madison McCartha on Freakophone World, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Cat Ingrid Leeches, excerpt from “I wander the earth, hungry for semen”

"The only remarkable thing about me is that I have lots of lovers. / And when these men first enter my home / their worms are glistening & smug. They say things to me like: / 'Your lovely rapids will be crammed with my corpses.' / 'I will tread you down to dust.'" -- from Cat Ingrid Leeches' I wander the earth, hungry for semen, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

maia vlcek, “(in a gas station when the desert was raining)”

"+ in situ MISS knoxville, tn: 1-minute miss for $3 best fried chicken drive-thru i’ve ever had miss drove thru too afraid to get out looking half a boy" -- poems from maia vlcek's (in a gas station when the desert was raining), shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Ryan Kaveh Sheldon, poems from “mechanical turk”

"My face aches / from shouting / I don’t ask / what the God is here, / the geopolitical / reticulations / that make it permissible / for someone to talk / about sword and book / without regard for currency / and its schematizing evils" — from Ryan Kaveh Sheldon's mechanical turk, shortlisted for Tarpaulin Sky's 2019 Book Awards.

Candice Wuehle, poems from “Death Industrial Complex”

"for our initiation we prayed to a sponge; we looked real close at our tan lines to try and decide where the darkness started and stopped; we knew we were living when our voices came out like theremin, when we could sense the fault lines moving under our feet." — from Candice Wuehle's Death Industrial Complex, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Valerie Hsiung, poems from “Tell Me How It Makes You Feel”

"There’s a lot I have to tell you / but the oil keeps burning to please the spirits who let us even speak / In every epoch / I have called your name back to me / Your cheek to the inside of my palm / My cheek to the inside of your palm" — from Valerie Hsiung's Tell Me How It Makes You Feel, shortlisted for Tarpaulin Sky's 2019 Book Awards.

Steffan Triplett, excerpt from “Inclement”

"A storm came through Joplin and left all these broken trees, and homes, and bodies. It left all these dreams. People let go of their kids. Their parents. Their love. On the twenty-second day of May, we handed over gifts to the gray arm of the sky." Steffan Triplett's Inclement is shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Brad Baumgartner, poems from “Stylinaut”

"The love-f(l)ur(r)y of a thousand suns auto-germinating abreast the st(a)rnum and the pollinating of the pleasures of the sol-ar plexus." -- from Brad Baumgartner's Stylinaut, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Dylan Krieger, poems from “The Scar Tour”

"too bad there isn’t such a thing as / conservation of grief / the chemicals only spread / the ache only keeps opening its hands / take this—until you’re ash and then / regenerate tenderness again again" — from Dylan Krieger's The Scar Tour, shortlisted for Tarpaulin Sky's 2019 Book Awards.

Jordan Chesnut, “How Gross, My Seances”

"In 2015, the body of my former partner was found in the wastewater treatment facility of our college town. I wrote this play-in-verse in an attempt to uncover the reason or path of his departure...." Jordan Chesnut's How Gross, My Seances, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Jeff T. Johnson, excerpts from “the portal”

"Welcome, then, & stay a while, & keep the wolves in the wings, tearing the red curtains, a growling engine for our supernal machine, cast among the leaves." -- the portal by Jeff T. Johnson, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Jessica Bozek, excerpts from “Grief Machine: A Diary”

"Go to a wide field some windy afternoon. Look toward the horizon, where the animals, one by one, will stutter out of view. Lie down in what looks like the center. Grind the aching blue sky, if you can, to a fine powder and scatter it across the dirt as you mouth the options." — from Jessica Bozek's Grief Machine: A Diary, shortlisted for Tarpaulin Sky's 2019 Book Awards.

Laura Goldstein, excerpt from “Golden Infection”

“i can see myself standing at the front of the room / this play is about relationships between bodies, / i tell them. they infect one another with their mouths,” — from Laura Goldstein's Golden Infection, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Vincent James, excerpt from “Doomsday”

"We’d never been kept out past dusk. Never bottomed out to transcendent panorama. Never thrived in the unholy glower of the mountain-perched bighorns." — from Vincent James' Doomsday, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Julianne Neely, poems from “I’m Like the Language Boys”

"Yes / my insides / look like bar graphs / don’t act like / you’re unsure what that / means Yes I am invested in your well-being / but / I must reinvent the opus I am" -- from Julianne Neely's I’m Like the Language Boys, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Lauren Russell, excerpt from “Descent”

"Heard a whippoorwill holler this morning for the first time this spring. Heard a whippoorwill holler. All hands choking cotton. Heard a holler, a whimper. Heard a will whip her. Will heard a whip. Whip or will." -- from Lauren Russell's Descent, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Mariko Nagai, excerpt from “Body of Empire”

"As soon as surviving women and children are ushered into civilian camps like scared sheep, trading of flesh starts: an extra bowl of food for a fuck..." -- from Mariko Nagai's Body of Empire, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Olivia Cronk, excerpt from “Womonster”

"You’re dead meat baby. / You’re not gonna kill the Internet, and you already missed your chance to sleaze up your thirties. / I’m sure I don’t know what you mean / but that choke of diamonds / is certainly sweetening the deal." — from Olivia Cronk's Womonster, shortlisted for Tarpaulin Sky's 2019 Book Awards.

Julia Brennan, excerpt from “Hunting Season”

"He was my teacher. He was teaching me how to be explicit in my work, and in his bed, we were doing very explicit things. Secretly, he and I slept in a sunroom in the back of his house, and I called him mother and he called me child. It was an incest game we played." — from Julia Brennan's Hunting Season, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Yanara Friedland, excerpts from “Groundswell”

"I come from the border, Grenze, Grenzstreifen, nation, wall, barbed wire, west that is east that is a city and also a consciousness of rivers. I come from the swell, a city built on swamp. Whatever ground it is that grew me, the lines run firmly through it" — from Yanara Friendland's Groundswell, shortlisted for Tarpaulin Sky's 2019 Book Awards.

Chris Muravez, excerpts from “The Body Full of Hell”

"This garden is withering. I am on the edge of the sublime and the sun is melting my skullskin. The sun is afraid of its maternal power. The galaxy is the mother of the sun, galaxies are mothers of the universe. The sun is filthy for trying to fuck its mother galaxy. " — from Chris Muravez's The Body Full of Hell, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Madison McCartha, excerpt from “Freakophone World”

"A series of occult recordings, hauntings, and invocations performing new black diasporic identities in an increasingly imperiled and globalized society." -- Madison McCartha on Freakophone World, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

Cat Ingrid Leeches, excerpt from “I wander the earth, hungry for semen”

"The only remarkable thing about me is that I have lots of lovers. / And when these men first enter my home / their worms are glistening & smug. They say things to me like: / 'Your lovely rapids will be crammed with my corpses.' / 'I will tread you down to dust.'" -- from Cat Ingrid Leeches' I wander the earth, hungry for semen, shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.

maia vlcek, “(in a gas station when the desert was raining)”

"+ in situ MISS knoxville, tn: 1-minute miss for $3 best fried chicken drive-thru i’ve ever had miss drove thru too afraid to get out looking half a boy" -- poems from maia vlcek's (in a gas station when the desert was raining), shortlisted for the 2019 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards.