child in a winter house brightening Wins 2016 Chicago Review of Books Award in Poetry

Abigail Zimmer's child in a winter house brightening, which we published July of this year, has been awarded the 2016 Chicago Review of Books Award in Poetry. The awards ceremony was held last night at Volumes Bookcafe in Chicago, where Abigail participated in a panel discussion alongside fellow finalists Nate Marshall, Phillip B. Williams, and Tony Fitzpatrick, moderated by Ruben Quesada. Abigail detailed the chapbook's Chicago influences and spoke to the collaborative design process of putting together this chapbook.

Abigail says she writes often during her daily commute, one that's been the same for four years, and that the train influences and inspires her consideration of movement and form.

On the design process, Abigail spoke warmly of our collaboration with artist Jess McIntosh and printmakers Jennifer Burak and Dan Speilman of Zerobird Studio in Chicago, describing the partnership as "a project of really good friends coming together to create something really beautiful."

When Abigail accepted the Chicago Review of Books Award in Poetry, she turned the spotlight on the "beautiful" Chicago literary community, which she thanked for its crucial supportive of independent literature and local writers.

Tree Light Books is humbled and honored to receive this award through Abigail's lovely, lyrical chapbook child in a winter house brightening. We see so much beauty, ambition, and skill in the books we publish, and it's rewarding and fulfilling to see others share our perception of beauty in art and to have our authors recognized and honored for their work.

We extend our thanks to the judges of the competition, especially the wonderful and supportive staff at Chicago Review of Books--who were also generous enough to print an interview with Abigail Zimmer this summer--and to Volumes Bookcafe for hosting this incredible event. Special thanks to Paul Callan who captured the moments featured above; more stunning photographs of the event by Paul can be found here. Thanks, too, to everyone who's purchased the chapbook, recommended it friends, rated it on Goodreads, and has done any little anything to support our press and promote this chapbook we so love.

Finally, only 13 more copies in this world exist of child in a winter house brightening. If you've been procrastinating, now's the time to order your copy.

Girl in the Cave: A Round-Up


Tasha Cotter's Girl in the Cave is finally available for pre-order! An exploration of the south-central Kentucky landscape and a journey through the caves that lie underfoot, Girl in the Cave delves into the land and how it shapes our perspective. To learn more about Girl in the Cave, visit our catalog. To secure your copy and take advantage of our pre-order discount, visit our online store.

Tasha recently spoke with Black Fox Literary Magazine about her chapbook, the duality within her poems of being trapped and being free, and how the landscape of Kentucky and Mammoth Cave National Park inspired and influenced her work:

I liked finding ways of linking the past to the present, the land being a marker for something we share in common. It felt like recovering history.

In an interview at Speaking of Marvels, Tasha discusses her writing process, chapbooks that influence her work, and delves into her passion for place-based writing:

I love reading the names of cities, looking at the blank spaces, and thinking about what’s there.

At Tree Light, one of our favorite ways to engage with the chapbooks we publish is through music. Music is sacred, remember? When editing, designing, printing, trimming, and assembling our chapbooks, there's always a soundtrack to the madness, an emotional marker for the labor of love (and glorious time-suck) that is handmade publishing. We ask our authors to compile a soundtrack for their work, and above is Tasha Cotter's soundtrack for Girl in the Cave. Whether you've already read the chapbook or are anxiously awaiting your copy to arrive, we think listening to Tasha's soundtrack is a wonderful entry point to her work or way to reorient or accent your experience with Girl in the Cave.

And finally, whether you're currently reading as a blurber, reviewer, or interviewer, whether you've pre-ordered the chapbook and are counting down the days to release, or whether you just want to put a pin it, you can add Girl in the Cave to your Goodreads shelf--then shortly after November 28, the official release date, you can add Girl in the Cave to your bookshelf IRL.

Now Available: child in a winter house brightening

Introducing Abigail Zimmer's child in a winter house brightening:

The chapbook, which shattered our previous pre-order record, is a hybrid long poem that re-imagines the story of the ugly duckling. Susanna Childress calls it "lyrically deft," and m. forajter says it is "gorgeous & necessary."

Speaking of gorgeous, Jennifer Burak & Dan Spielman of Zerobird Studio Chicago (along with some minor assistance and moral support from cover artist Jess McIntosh and author Abigail Zimmer) worked diligently to make the stunning screen-print covers seen above and below. Huge thanks to Jennifer & Dan for printing one of our favorite covers to date!

You can read more praise for child in a winter house brightening here, grab your very own copy here, add it to your Goodreads shelf here, and explore more work from our cover artist, Jess McIntosh here.

Now Available for Pre-Order: Cloud the Shape of Bedroom

For the next two weeks, you can pre-order C.J. Opperthauser's Cloud the Shape of Bedroom for a discounted price!

The chapbook, which will officially release April 20, has garnered praise from poets we admire:

"Read this book seven times and call me in the morning." —Chad Sweeney, author of PARABLE OF HIDE AND SEEK

"This chapbook's color is silver, its spirit is flesh, and its storm is sonic pleasure." —Catherine Wagner, author of NERVOUS DEVICE

"Cloud the Shape of Bedroom insists on this capability to observe, to alter, to transform, to dream while pushing itself to risk, to push deeper into what's possible when it comes to shaping and exploring the poem." —Carrie Lorig, author of THE PULP VS. THE THRONE

Distilled above, you can read the full praise for C.J.'s chapbook here, take advantage of our pre-order discount here, add Cloud the Shape of Bedroom to your Goodreads shelf here, and explore more work from our cover artist, Mary-Ann Kokoska here.

Tree Light Authors at AWP

It was a hard choice to make, but we decided to skip the festivities at AWP this year. Instead, we'll be pouring that money back into the press to publish more chapbooks, increase the size of our print runs, and increase the prize money awarded for the Tree Light Books Prize, while simultaneously lowering the reading fee.

Our backs and table legs are still hurting from last year's haul, anyway.

Our backs and table legs are still hurting from last year's haul, anyway.

And, as The Lettered Streets Press points out, there's no shortage of new releases and enticing online offers, making it easy for those of us skipping AWP to support small presses this week without crowd surfing at the bookfair.

Tree Light authors Tasha Cotter and J. Scott Brownlee will be attending AWP this year, and if you can squeeze it into your undoubtably jam-packed schedule, here's where you can find them:

Tasha Cotter



10:00-11:00AM: Book signing @ Superstition Review, table 1107
11:00AM - 12:00PM: Book signing @ Bluegrass Writers Studio, table 1616
1:00-1:30PM: Book signing @ Black Fox Literary, table 1600
3:00-5:00PM: Book signing @ Gold Wake Press, table 1731


2:30-4:00PM: Blue Lyra Press & Naugatuck River Review Off-Site Reading @ Triple 8 China Bar & Grill, 800 W Olympic Blvd.


J. Scott Brownlee



8:00PM: LA Confidential AWP Off-Site Reading with Dorianne Laux, Joseph Millar, Richard Garcia, David Tomas Martinez, Cynthia Atkins, Francesca Bell, Michelle Bitting, & Alexis Rhone Fancher @ Beyond Baroque


7:00PM: YesYes Books / Button Poetry Off-Site Reading with Aziza Barnes, Danez Smith, Cam Awkward-Rich, Ocean Vuong, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, Tanya Olson, Jamie Mortara, and Jonterri Gadson @ ArtShare LA

Can't make one of Scott's readings? Stop by the Orison Books table to chat with him throughout the conference.

J. Scott Brownlee Interviewed at Chicago Review of Books

Chicago Review of Books talks with Tree Light author J. Scott Brownlee about his new chapbook, On the Occasion of the Last Old Camp Meeting in Llano County, championing marginalized voices, and the role of music in his poetry.

In the interview, Brownlee says "the right tonal register and music may be the toughest thing for a young poet to discover," and he gives valuable insight into how music informs his poetry, including offering a soundtrack to his chapbook featuring songs by Jason Isbell, Alison Krauss, and Sharon Van Etten, among others.


Now Available for Pre-Order: On the Occasion of the Last Old Camp Meeting in Llano County

For the next week, you can pre-order J. Scott Brownlee's On the Occasion of the Last Old Camp Meeting in Llano County for a discounted price! We've spent the last few weeks trimming, folding, and sewing our hearts out in preparation for the chapbook's March 1 release, and we're excited to finally get this book out of our paper-cut hands and into yours.

Our first foray into saddle-stitching with thread!

Our first foray into saddle-stitching with thread!

Pre-order On the Occasion of the Last Old Camp Meeting in Llano County—a book D.M. Aderibigbe says "provides an indispensable understanding of what makes us vulnerable, and damned, and distinctly human—now through March 1!

Looking Forward / Looking Back

As we get set to print and assemble the first title in our 2016 publishing queue, we're doing plenty of reminiscing on all that's happened since our little chapbook press was conceived nearly 5 years ago.

Our first chapbook, Susan Slaviero's Selections from The Murder Book was a beaut, featuring unique end pages from vintage science textbooks, cover art that elicited oohs and aahs at conferences and bookfairs, and poems that were lauded over, landing a spot in Best of the Net and also winning us our first Pushcart Prize!

Our second title, Necessary Objects, we released in 2013, and Molly Gaudry named it among her favorite and most influential chapbooks

awp table.jpg

Our third chapbook, Bye Sea, won praise in PANK as an "absolutely gorgeous" example of "inspired typography and design" and from Barrelhouse's Dan Brady, who named it among the best chapbooks of the year.

The next year we released our fourth and fifth titles, Pedro Ponce's Stories After Goya and Alexander York's The Vanity House. Ponce's off-kilter flash fictions received lots of love from PANK and Sharkpack Poetry Review for being wildly imaginative and deftly written. York's collection earned the praise of many for its memorable, "beautiful darkness."

So what's next? We've got a publishing lineup for 2016/2017 that we're ecstatic about:

J. Scott Brownlee - On the Occasion of the Last Old Camp Meeting in Llano County
Abigail Zimmer - child in a winter house brightening
C.J. Opperthauser - Cloud the Shape of Bedroom
Tasha Cotter - Girl in the Cave
Duncan Campbell - Joysong Demarcation
Jennifer Hanks - gar child

We're thrilled to be working with such a talented group of writers, to give their piercing words a home, and to partake in the utter joy of editing, designing, and building beautiful books. Here's to another year of organized chaos and stunning art!