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18 Years of Chapbook Publication, 19 Years of Anthology Publication

The Hudson Valley Writers' Center
Sleepy Hollow, New York

Slapering Hol Press, the small press imprint of The Hudson Valley Writers' Center,
was founded in 1990 to publish emerging poets and thematic anthologies.

In this issue

An introduction to our new co-editor, Martin Mitchell and a few words of thanks to our former co-editors, Suzanne Cleary and Renato Rosaldo; photos from the Liz Ahl and Cornelius Eady reading at the Philipse Manor train station, the chapbook panel, "The Chapbook and the Emerging Poet," and the Slapering Hol Press chapbook reading at the Old Forge Arts Center. Also, an interview with former chapbook competition winner, Jianqing Zheng, on his Fulbright to China and excerpts from new collections by former competition winners Ellen Goldsmith and Rachel Loden. See our list of 2009 chapbook competition winners.

Issue 14, November 2009

Our reading series
at the Writers' Center

2009 Best of Westchester Magazine Editors' Pick for
"Best Bargain Date"

See calendar for details


The Slapering Hol Press is pleased to announce that Martin Mitchell has joined the press as co-editor, with founding editor Margo Stever.

The press would like to thank Renato Rosaldo for his service as co-editor after the retirement of Suzanne Cleary from that position.

The press and its authors are grateful to Rosaldo and Cleary for their enthusiasm, expertise, and dedicated service to the work of emerging poets and the art of poetry.

Mitchell joins founding editor Margo Stever in the co-editorship of the press as it moves into a new phase of growth. Stever writes, "My hope for the Slapering Hol Press is that we can maintain the quality of the press and add publications."

Martin Mitchell is a former editor of Rattapallax (2001-06) and of Pivot (1983-98) and reviewed films for several publications, including After Dark for the length of its existence (1968-81). He is a contributing editor of BigCityLit and of The Same and is on the board of Bright Hill Press. He has served on the Slapering Hol Press Advisory Committee for many years.

B. K. Fischer and Susana Case

to Liz Ahl, Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Winner for A Thirst That's Partly Mine, which has been named one of the Best Books for Spring, 2009 by The Montserrat ReviewJonathan Santore, composer and chair of the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, at Plymouth State University, is setting three of the poems from A Thirst That's Partly Mine into a choral piece for the NH Master Chorale.

Liz Ahl reading from her chapbook at the Hudson Valley Writers Center
Slapering Hol Press event in March 2009 with Cornelius Eady:

Photos by Fred Yee

Slapering Hol Press at the Chapbook panel, "The Chapbook and the Emerging Poet," that took place at the Fort Washington Branch Library and was organized by Patricia Eakins through the New York Public Library, the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, and the Sunday Best Reading Series (panelists Margo Stever and Meredith Trede on the left):

Photo by Brad Kenyon

Slapering Hol Press chapbook reading at the Old Forge Arts Center (Liz Ahl, on the left, and Susana Case, on the right) July 2009:

Photos by Don Stever

Interview with Jianqing Zheng
2001 Chapbook Competition Winner / Fulbright Scholar

Congratulations to Jianqing Zheng, former chapbook competition winner, for his Fulbright in China. We asked him to tell us a little about his plans and recent accomplishments:

1) Where are you going in China for your Fulbright and when do you leave?  How long will you be there?

I am going to Wuhan for my Fulbright, and I plan to leave in late August. First I will go to Beijing for orientation at the US Embassy and then to the host university. I will stay there for five months. In fact, I was awarded the ten-month Fulbright grant, but for certain reasons and my obligations in my home university, I can only stay there for five months.

2) What will you be doing there?

I will teach two American Literature courses. I hope to teach Introduction to American Poetry and Modern Literature. I will certainly use this chance to write some poems. I think I need a change, a change for a new focus on my creative writing. I will travel too. I hope to do poetry reading from my chapbook as a published poet from SHP.

3) What work have you done since the publication of your Slapering Hol Press chapbook, The Landscape of Mind?

Since my Slapering Hol Press chapbook publication, I began to try my luck for book publication. Unfortunately, the best results I received from the book competition were a finalist from the University of Pittsburgh Press and a semifinalist from the Crab Orchard Series. The poetry market is scarce, and I don't send out my manuscript very often, so I don't have more chances to hit the target. I am more and more interested in editing. I edit Poetry South, Valley Voices: A Literary Review, and Haiku Page. I am also associate editor of Notes on American Literature for the NCTE Assembly on American Literature. I have established the Yazoo River Press, and the website ( is still under construction.

4) How has the publication of your chapbook facilitated other of your accomplishments?

The publication of The Landscape of Mind with Slapering Hol Press is significant. It was like the first bite of a piece of watermelon in hot summer. Juicy, sweet, cool. Since then, I was fortunate to take some bites of other accomplishments. I received the Literary Arts Fellowship for Excellence in Poetry and two mini-grants from the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Mississippi Humanities Teacher Award for which I made a presentation on how I became a Mississippi poet. I was invited to have my poems showcased on the Southern Arts Federation's webpage. I also served as a grant panelist for the Mississippi Arts Commission. More importantly, I still write.


Jianqing Zheng is Professor of English at Mississippi Valley State University and editor of Valley Voices and Poetry South. His chapbook, The Landscape of Mind, won the 2001 Slapering Hol Press Poetry Competition. He is the recipient of grants and awards from the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Mississippi Humanities Council, the NEH, and the East-West Center in Hawaii. He is a former writer-in-residence for the Mississippi Arts Commission's All-Write Project. His work has appeared in Mississippi Review, Poetry East, Poet Lore, The Antigonish Review, and Hanging Loose, among other publications. He has received the Fulbright Scholar award to China for 2009-2010.

CONGRATULATIONS to Ellen Goldsmith on her new chapbook, Such Distances, published by Broad Cove Press, from which an excerpt is reprinted below:


Crows caw, the rumble
of a plane overhead,
bird sound and bee buzz.
I came here to read,
uninterrupted by phone,
dusty tables, unmade beds.
There is nothing I need
to do for the cove. I can
leave the grasses as they are.
The water comes and goes.
The wind makes its own decisions.

(Image reprinted from the chapbook)


Ellen Goldsmith is the author of two chapbooks – Such Distances and No Pine Tree in This Forest Is Perfect. Her poems have appeared in a number of magazines and journals including Bangor Metro, California Quarterly, the Kerf, Off the Coast and Wolf Moon Journal.  She has been selected twice as one of ten poets for the Belfast Poetry Festival. A professor emerita of The City University of New York, she lives in Cushing Maine. Please email the author at for further information on her new chapbook.

CONGRATULATIONS to Rachel Loden on her new book, Dick of the Dead, published by Ahsatta Press, from which an excerpt is reprinted below:


from City of Men

Valerie Solanas shot Andy Warhol
and was wrong about most everything

except her boredom. That was real.
Valerie, let’s cut up verbiage and not

men. We won’t outlaw them
although they are as delicate as glass

beads sewn to ancient moccasins
and as mysterious as Brillo boxes

stacked in a museum. O city of men!
We wandered in you aimlessly on long,

dusty, Italian afternoons, reminiscing
about your beauty like historians.


Rachel Loden first wrote about Nixon in Hotel Imperium, which won the Contemporary Poetry Series Competition of the University of Georgia Press (and in the prizewinning chapbook that preceded it, The Last Campaign). It was named one of the ten best poetry books of the year by The San Francisco Chronicle, which called it "quirky and beguiling," and was shortlisted for the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award. More recently she published The Richard Nixon Snow Globe, a chapbook, with Wild Honey Press in Ireland, and her work has appeared in two volumes of the Best American Poetry series, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and numerous magazines, including New American Writing, The Paris Review, and Jacket.

Maureen Thorson in Open Letters writes, "In Loden's world, not only is the spirit of Tricky Dick capable of rising again, possessing the occupants of the White House, and driving the world awry, but poetry has the capacity to renew itself and respond to these events. Her updates transform poems that had become museum pieces – beloved objects shut up behind the glass case of poetic memory and reverence – into living, vital work again, ready to kick up a fuss."

Further information on the book can be found at:

2009 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition Winner Announced

Congratulations to 2009 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition winner,
Lynn Wagner
for her winning manuscript,
No Blues This Raucous Song

and to runners-up:

David Cummings, Hiroshima Haibun
Rachel Malis, Call This Odessa

and to finalists:

Ted Gilley, A Handful of Bright Change
Ron Lavalette, Fallen Away
Katie Phillips, Driving Montana, Alone


Watch for our next issue with excerpts from their chapbooks.

Newsletter edited by Susana H Case

Questions or comments? E-mail us at or call (914) 332-5953


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