Kelly’s Book Shop


Hi! My name is Kelly, and I manage Free State Review‘s Community Bookstore. To promote our contributors, we offer links to their recently published books here. 

I am a writer and editor and hold a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. I’m looking forward to adding everyone’s books and getting to know our wonderful authors.


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The Perpetual Motion Machine

by Brittany Ackerman

Red Hen, 2018

“Full of hard-won wisdom, beautifully written and deeply moving, The Perpetual Motion Machine is an exquisite chronicle of family and trauma and hope and longing, and announces Brittany Ackerman as an exciting new voice in letters.”

—Alan Heathcock, author of VOLT and 40

My Friend Ken Harvey by Barrett Warner

My Friend Ken Harvey

by Barrett Warner

Publishing Genius, 2014

Winner of The Chris Toll Prize

“This is now one of my favourite books. Comic timing spot on. Accessible and expansive. It is very generous. I needed this generous. Big heart big mind big space. A very good journey with lots of interesting friends!!! I rode three times in a row!”

—Marcus Slease, via Goodreads

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Walking with Eve in the Loved City

by Roy Bentley

University of Arkansas Press, 2018

“In Walking with Eve in the Loved City, the reader accompanies Roy Bentley through an idiosyncratic retelling of history and a harrowing examination of the poet’s own life. Bentley’s relatives, his father and namesake, and his grandmother Potter appear alongside Robert Plant, Shelley, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, not to mention Eve, who appraises the poet ‘like a sales rack.’”
Al Maginnes, author of The Next Place

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The Liberty Hyde Bailey Gardener’s Companion

Co-edited by John Linstrom and John A. Stempien

Cornell University Press, 2019

“This earnest collection will likely introduce Bailey’s name to a new generation of gardeners and reacquaint older ones with the ideas of a justly celebrated master.”

Publishers Weekly


Rubbing Shoulders with the Greats

by Devon Balwit

Seven Kitchens Press, 2020

Poems by Devon Balwit, selected by Ron Mohring as Number Two in Volume Eight of the Summer Kitchen Chapbook Series.

Lion Brothers

by Leona Sevick

Winner of the 2017 Press 53 Award for Poetry

Press 53, 2017

Lion Brothers is a psychologically astute, keen, and powerful sequence of poems that harness the luminous particulars of experience and race to reveal worlds within and behind the immediate, visible one. This is a marvelous debut.”

—Arthur Sze, author of Sight Lines, Winner of the 2019 National Book Award

Cardinal Days: A Coming of Age Memoir

by Susan Eyre Coppock

BookBaby, 2016

“Reading Susan Coppock’s CARDINAL DAYS is like turning pages in a family album. Each snapshot (chapter) focuses on a person, a face, an event – slice of hard life that the author had to endure because of an indifferent mother, who, being an actress, devoted her life to the stage to the expense of her children who were bounced back and forth in the care of housekeepers. The fluid and cathartic style mirrors the author’s resilience, endurance, and courage to delve into her private world.”
Ann Marie Carrabino

Shades & Graces: New Poems

by Michael Salcman

Inaugural Winner of the Daniel Hoffman Legacy Book Prize

Spuyten Duyvil Publishing, 2020

Shades and Graces, in which even the eternal must carry the burden of mortality, is a book that demands a rejiggering of the life-expectancy tables. It exists in a poetic space that is new….”

—David Bergman, poet and emeritus Professor of English at Towson University

“Eloquent and moving, Michael Salcman’s new book is a fervent expression of praise for the human condition. Here he draws inspiration from a host of topics from his practice as a neurosugeon to his memories of softball in the Brooklyn of his childhood, and to his insights on writers and painters.”

—Grace Schulman, member American Academy of Arts and Letters and recipient of the 2016 Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America


My Mother’s Red Ford: New & Selected Poems 1986 – 2020

by Roy Bentley

Lost Horse Press, 2020

“There are many things I love about Roy Bentley’s poetry: the rich storytelling and family histories, how he turns cultural moments into iconic mile markers, how he weaves the personal with the public or political, but mostly it’s the language. His syntax turns and stops, rushes and pivots like no other poet alive. Reading Roy Bentley is like watching a sky full of starlings swoop above trees, each one carrying its own tune, but when they come together, oh, what a song.”

—Grant Clauser, Winner of the 2019 Codhill Press Pauline Uchmanowicz Poetry Award for Muddy Dragon on the Road to Heaven 

A Theory for What Just Happened by [Laurie Blauner, Julie Shavin]

A Theory for What Just Happened

by Laurie Blauner

FutureCycle Press, 2021

In Laurie Blauner’s new book of poetry, a sentence attends a dinner party, a parent wishes her teenage daughter would be more afraid, a very human plant is filled with usable light, a ruined forest houses a king and his daughter, men land on the moon, and a war continues without men. Personal, societal, political, and environmental changes develop into warnings, disasters, and mechanical failures. Blauner writes, “The world looked away from us just when we needed it the most.”

Josephine Baker Swimming Pool

Josephine Baker Swimming Pool

by Tim Suermondt

MadHat Press, 2019

The poet is neither delusional nor naïve; he writes with power and a mature voice. The poems are grounded in real life, descriptive and alive with metaphor, sensory details, and meditative depth. They offer an alternative to despair based on love, perception of life force, and fidelity to goodness.”
Ann Wehrman, via Pedestal Magazine

The World Doesn’t Know You

by Tim Suermondt

Pinyon Publishing, 2017

“A joyful love of life shines through brilliantly in Tim Suermondt’s The World Doesn’t Know You. Whether the speaker of the poem is spreading tar on a roof with his father, envisioning Sinatra spurned by a lover, or wearing a Mets cap in a cathedral, the tone is consistently appealing: charmed and charming. The love poems to his wife are written with enormous feeling and no sentimentality. Not a word is out of place in this book and Suermondt’s voice is equal to the vast range of people and places encountered throughout the collection.”

—John Skoyles, author of Suddenly It’s Evening: Selected Poems

With A Polaroid Camera

by Sarah Dickenson Snyder

The Mainstreet Rag, 2019

“Sarah Snyder’s With a Polaroid Camera’s elegant attention to “small seconds” gives us paths opening to sun glinting on both foxes and diamonds.”

—Jill McDonough

Stories to Read Aloud to Your Fetus

by Alina Stefanescu

Finishing Line Press, 2017

“I can say this unequivocally—that Stories to Read Aloud To Your Fetus is one of the best poetry books I have read in the last decade – or more. Alina Stefanescu is a major talent and a new voice to rank alongside that of Anna Akhmatova, Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton.”

—Sue Brannan Walker



by David Koehn

Bauhan Publishing, 2014

“David Koehn’s imagination, rambunctious and abundant, keeps its footing: a sense of balance like his description of fishing: ‘Feeling the weight . . . of the measurement of air.’ That sense of weight and air, rhythm and fact, the ethereal and the brutal, animates images like boxers of the bare-fist era: ‘Hippo-bellied/And bitter, bulbous in their bestiary masks.’ An original and distinctively musical poet.”  

Robert Pinsky

The Light in the Film

by Jordan Smith

University of Tampa Press, 2011

“How do you know when what you have in your hands is nothing ordinary, but, just possibly, a great book? Such decisions are always made by others when we are long gone. We can just wonder. But these poems have the right qualities, the ones that last: lines that each stand on their own, sentences from the Adirondack backroads to the high cultures of America, Europe, and the world beyond. Then there is the un-intimidated search for what will suffice for us here . . . what must, because there isn’t anything else, do for now.

—Adrian Fraizer, National University of Ireland, Galway


Nights I Dreamed Of Hubert Humphrey

by Daniel Mueller

Outpost19, 2013

“Daniel Mueller is a true American original, his raucous, ribald vision (call it sub-division surreal) at once chokingly funny, and fiercely felt. These stories move from gut-busting to gut-churning to gut-wrenching in the blink of an eye, uncovering along the way the tender in the grotesque, the lovely in the lurid, and the soul in suburbia.”

—Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl



by Paige Riehl

Terrapin Books, 2018

“Though the book is called Suspension, there is no hesitation here in how Paige Riehl describes the complicated, outrageous, glorious, and grief-stricken world in which we all live. The subjects are varied–love, children, illness, travel–but the voice speaking the poems goes unfailingly to the challenges of our 21st-century western world…”
—Jim Moore

Red Clay Journal by [Williams, Harold Whit]

Red Clay Journal

by Harold Whit Williams

FutureCycle Press, 2018

“In the particular lies the universal, and RED CLAY JOURNAL, Harold Whit Williams’ finest poetry collection yet, captures the fleetingness of life with an Eastern eye and a Southern drawl. The moments he distills are inextricably connected to his time and place—Alabamian adolescence, bittersweet odes to lost loved ones and landscapes—but they could be any and all times and places.”


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The Uncanny Valley

by S.W. Campbell

Shawn Campbell, 2017

“It’s a magnificent, gripping tale, one which you will find yourself hard-pressed to put down.”

Seattle Book Review

At the Foot of a Mountain

by Kevin J. McDaniel

Old Seventy Creek PR, 2018

“For his second collection, At the Foot of a Mountain, Kevin J. McDaniel’s speakers wrestle with what feel like traumatic moments, moments (big or small) in a person’s life when he or she believes an “entire mountainside” will come crashing down, as the speaker laments in the chapbook’s title poem, “At the Foot of a Mountain.” Nevertheless, by the end, readers are encouraged by the speaker’s hope in a rebirth: “but I know spring/will come again on wings/of a gentler breeze that uplifts/saplings rooted sideways/in moonmilk underground.”


Risk Being/Complicated: Poems by Devon Balwit, Inspired by the Collage Art of Lorette C. Luzajic 

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018 

Devon Balwit, from Portland, Oregon, is the author of numerous chapbooks and collections. Her individual poems can be found in both print and on-line journals. Lorette C. Luzajic, from Toronto, Canada, is a writer and artist. She has shown her work in Scotland, Australia, Indonesia, Tunisia, and Mexico. Visit her at


Alice and the Wendigo by [Compton, Sheldon Lee]

Alice and the Wendigo

by Sheldon Lee Compton

Shivelight Books, 2017

“Wild as a charging boar and tender as a raindrop, Sheldon Lee Compton’s Alice and the Wendigo is a surreal sleepwalk through a world in which love is a storm and death is a question. It will wake you with a jolt.” 

–Meredith Alling, author of Sing the Song

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To Tracy Like/To Like/Like

by Tracy Dimond

Akinoga Press, 2019

A long-form meditation on the ramifications of existing as female-bodied (and bodied in general) in contemporary society. It explores the ubiquitousness of sexism, fears about vulnerability and health, and the political act that is simply staying alive.

The World Pushes Back

The World Pushes Back

by Garret Keizer

Texas Review Press, 2019

The World Pushes Back provides a refreshing surprise in every poem: one reads the deftest of sonnets, say, just before a long free-verse meditation. Of course I’m not talking of technique alone. Ignoring the trendy, Garret Keizer unflaggingly (and only) offers things that matter: love, both erosand agape; anger at social injustice–without facile judgment and with earnestness and wit. A long time coming, this is a breathtaking poetic debut.”

Sydney Lea, Vermont Poet Laureate (2011–2015)

The Muddy Season

by Matthew Raymond

Black Lawrence Press, 2016

Matthew Raymond’s The Muddy Season is a beguiling and prismatic gem of short fiction, yet bursting with a novel’s share of action, drama, pathos, and idea. In it, Raymond has precision-extracted the best of Cormac McCarthy and Graham Greene and injected the resulting mixture into a universe out of Kafka. Painterly, structurally inventive and darkly moving.”

—Adrian Van Young, author of Shadows in Summerland and The Man Who Noticed Everything 

The Good Girl Is Always a Ghost

by Anne Champion

Black Lawrence Press, 2018

“A woman’s smile / can be a muzzle.” With shocking dexterity, Anne Champion invokes the voices of her foremothers. Like Florence Nightingale, we must become “everything.” Like Sylvia Plath, we should aspire to be “the most terrible thing” until the good girl/bad girl binary collapses, until we are whole. Champion’s poems urge us to wake up, to check our pulses, that the “good girl” has already died—and this is the book that buries her.”

—Brandi George, author of Gog


by George Guida

WordTech Editions, 2015

 George Guida is the author of eight books, including The Pope Stories and Other Tales of Troubled Times, four collections of poems–the forthcoming Pugilistic and The Sleeping Gulf, along with New York and Other Lovers and Low Italian–and the novel Letters from Suburbia. His work has appeared in many journals and anthologies. He teaches English and creative writing at New York City College of Technology, and serves as Poetry Editor of 2 Bridges Review.

Nerve Chorus

by Willa Carroll

The Word Works, 2018

 Nerve Chorus sings out of wreckage. This first book dives deep into family, society, and self to interrogate the inequalities of gender, class, and race, along with brutalities of war, gun violence, and greed. Its revelations take nerve to reveal, from a young girl’s survival of violation, to a father’s fatal asbestos exposure.

“With rigor and dark wit, Carroll conjures the exhilarating terror of moving through one’s life with nothing but ‘flesh holding / back disaster.”

—Tracy K. Smith 

The Arsonist

by Susan Sonde

Main Street Rag, 2019

“Arsonists are descended from dragons, and Susan Sonde is a poet with wings and teeth. She flies through centuries, blending a scriptural cadence with post-Modern shrieks. If Heaven and Hell need to have a hook-up before thinking of marriage, The Arsonist is that glorious and frightening, first date.”

—Barrett Warner

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The Silent B

by Hilary Sideris

Dos Madres Press, 2019

The Silent B – twenty-nine short poems, each based upon a single word: dumb, fire, sack, mint, dole, bank, seam. Each a punch to the solar plexus. Each another breath knocked out of you. Will she remind you of Emily Dickinson? Probably. Of Kay Ryan? More than likely. Surely they are soul sisters for whom life is language and language life. But this is Hilary Sideris for whom no word is allowed to keep silent. For whom the word Praise must be shouted from the rooftops.”

—J.R. Solonche

I Was in the Vicinity

by Guinotte Wise

Pski’s Porch Publishing, 2020

Guinotte Wise returns in I Was in the Vicinity with choppers and barns and the archaeology of the American experience, covid-19 edition. The chaff blowing over from the pyramids of silage must lend Wise some of its dry, prickly magic, as each of these poems shimmers with grace and humor and life.

A Meteorologist in the Promised Land

by Becka Mara McKay

Shearsman Books, 2010

In these poems, the reader carries her “lone heartbeat” while sifting through the confusion of a psychically, physically rubbled world. There is loss, transcribed literally as spaces in the poems, because in truth there is no “word-/for-word translation.” But in this stark landscape there is the “body’s strange persistence”; there are meanings made and held close, words collected “in secret.” Language equals transcendence and the bridge on which all other things are built: “tell me// your name.”

The Living Artifact: Essays on Poetry

by Floyd Collins

Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2021

This critical study examines in-depth the poetry of recently deceased masters of the craft, including Richard Wilbur, W. S. Merwin, Derek Walcott, and the phenomenally gifted but underrated Stanley Plumly. This book contends that poetry is essentially a language artifact and engages in an accessible manner such elements as figurative language, prosody, phonetics, and etymology. However, it avoids the jargon of theorists such as Derrida, Foucault, and Barthes. This text is meant to be accessible to engaged readers of all ages, especially teachers and students of contemporary poetry.

The Solace of Monsters

by Laurie Blauner

Winner of the Leapfrog Fiction Contest and a Finalist in the 2017 Washington State Book Award in Fiction

Leapfrog Press, 2016

“Mara’s dogged curiosity and integrity give the novel an appealing energy. She’s an engaging heroine…. Blauner often reaches for a quirky expression of detail that sometimes creates a charming image…and sometimes verges on silly…but when her writing is at its clearest and simplest, Mara’s wonder at her journey and the people she meets springs off the page and welcomes the reader into her world.”

Kirkus Reviews

The Falls

by Emily Mohn-Slate

Winner of the 2019 New American Poetry Prize

New American Press, 2020

“If there was ever a book to show us the utility of poems, their tough uses, their possibilities as tools–as knives or needles–it is The Falls by Emily Mohn-Slate. In this book, she shows us how poems organize and define a life, give it shape and meaning, and how poetry has the power to render cataclysm or disappointment into art. Mohn-Slate is a master-describer, and these poems show us how the lived life with its losses, loves, burdens and joys, when contained in the civilizing bounds of verse, becomes graspable, and the poem becomes something to be taken up and used. This is a startling book and an important and memorable debut.”

—Mark Wunderlich, author of God of Nothingness

Deaf & Blind

by Paul Hostovsky

Main Street Rag, 2020

“To read Paul Hostovsky… is to stumble upon something rare and wonderful. Hearing poets have been patronizing Deaf people and romanticizing silence since before the Elizabethan Age. In fact, [they] have indulged in sentimentality so often… that the English language itself poses an almost physical barrier against anyone attempting to write honestly about Deaf people and sign language. Hostovsky’s work is a study in shifting approaches; poems that are entertaining lessons (“Deaf Culture 101”), philosophical (“Poem in Sign Language”), personal (“Deaf Ex”) and portraits that are also parables (“Dracula’s Rat”). There is a wonderful honesty and freshness to his work.”

—John Lee Clark

Medusa’s Daughter

by Jane Rosenberg LaForge

Animal Heart Press, 2021

“In Jane Rosenberg LaForge’s Medusa’s Daughter the Greek myth of Medusa, the snake-haired Gorgon whose gaze turns onlookers to stone, is reinterpreted to reveal a Medusa who is a mother, a wife, and a sister living in modern times. The finely wrought narrative verse is from the perspective of one of Medusa’s daughters, and the mother-daughter dynamic underpinning the collection lends this retelling so much depth and emotional resonance as well as providing a feminist lens.”

—Kristen Coates

Healing with Shadows

by Nikia Leopold

Pinyon Publishing, 2021

Nikia Leopold’s poetry springs from a true creative necessity, its depth expressed and distilled through a mastery of craft. These are poems to be moved by, to remember.”

—Michael Miller, author of Entering the Day

“Nikia Leopold is an exquisite receiver of sensory news, complex emotions, hints of meaning. Her poems are passionate, delicate, fierce, brave.” 

—Mary Azrael, publisher of Passager 


by Paul Hostovsky

FutureCycle Press, 2021

“Mostly is exquisite storytelling by a first-rate raconteur, a book rich with poems that are funny, charming, and wise. Paul Hostovsky is so clever, so humorous—the reading is purest pleasure—that one must look again to savor and enjoy the formal delights of these well-wrought poems. Mostly is a wonderful book to read, and then read again.”

—Richard Jones, author of Poetry East

Old Stones, New Roads

by Suzanne S. Rancourt

Main Street Rag, 2021

“We’re long accustomed to the idea that lyric and narrative threads are two different things, and images, too, are their own spool of yarn, and that even past and future should have different tenses. Suzanne Rancourt’s Old Stones, New Roads takes poetry out of its compartment syndrome. Her poem is not a bird in the sky—her poems are the sky and the long winding path up the mountain to bring us there.”

—Barrett Warner