Friday, December 9, 2011

Almost Home . . .

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A MONTH CAN MAKE. We’ve packed and we’ve lifted and we’ve hauled and we’ve leveraged and we’ve blocked, and we’ve lowered and we’ve pushed, and finally the new home of the Tampa Book Arts Studio is starting to look like — well — home.

Or, at least almost a home! We’re still a long way from being fully set up and operational. One major advance is that we’ve gotten all the equipment into one building, instead of having it spread out in the two. And as you will see in the pictures below, all the machinery has found its place in the new studio floor plan, but what’s left to do is the process of organizing and unpacking.

For more photos and to continue reading please click here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Wild Miami Book Fair . . .

IT WAS A LONG, RAINY WEEKEND in Miami and all of the South Florida “book people,” or at least people who would call themselves book people, had come to take part in the annual Miami Book Fair International. The event consisted of several closed-off streets where vendors, publishers, book collectors, and authors could set up along the way in their respective and colorful tarp-covered booths. When it was not raining there were several high-profile author readings and discussions going on throughout the day, as well as hours upon hours of getting lost in the books on display, which were everywhere along the fair route. And if you were lucky enough, you might have gotten lost in a little local music for a brief moment of sunshine, which was coming from a live orchestra in the open-food court, or gotten your hands on a fresh Arepa, grilled so much at just the right temperature that you might look forward to going back next year.

Representatives from both the University of Tampa Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing program and the University of Tampa Press were in attendance — MFA Director Jeff Parker and Tampa Press Editorial Assistant Tony Fasciano.

University of Tampa MFA Director Jeff Parker stands firm during a strong gust.
We braved the majority of the three days responsively wrapping and unwrapping our handout materials and merchandise in thin protective plastic sheeting, as the sky haphazardly opened and closed its mighty floodgates. At one point three men were needed to each hold down a corner of the tent to keep it from flying away. Glad to say, barely a book was injured though. So you see, it was a wild weekend in Miami, but not in the sense that Miami is normally reported about. It was wild like a storm in the pages of Oz — and for a group of book people, that was as fitting an experience as we could've ever hoped to have.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Typography Has a New Home at Tampa

EXPECTED TO BE READY THIS JANUARY for the start of the first residency of UT’s new Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing program, The Tampa Book Arts Studio (TBAS) has begun the transition to its new home on campus in the Edison Building, across the street from the Art Department studios and the Scarfone-Hartley Gallery. Transplanting the Book Arts Studio will be the result of several tedious months of planning between the University of Tampa, Dr. Richard Mathews, and Letterpress Coordinator Carl Mario Nudi. 

For more information about the Books Arts Studio and for the latest about the move, please continue reading here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

University of Tampa Press's Spooky Success

H.P. Lovecraft's supernatural-themed novel, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, was recently adopted by the Rhode Island School of Design as required reading for the entering class this fall. The school purchased enough books for every freshman to have a copy, as well as arranging assignments and activities for the new students based around the story.

The 51,500-word short novel was originally written in 1927 and was only first published by Weird Tales in 1941 after Lovecraft had already passed away. It is set notably in Lovecraft's hometown of Providence, Rhode Island.

This being Lovecraft's most personal work of fiction, The Case of . . . , tells the story of young Charles Dexter Ward as he gets caught up with his past, through a fascination with his wizard ancestor, Joseph Curwen. Writer Stephen King has called Lovecraft “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.”

This current edition from the University of Tampa Press provides a definitive text of the work, edited with an afterword and notes by the acclaimed Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi. It also includes a special photographic section on “Lovecraft's Providence” featuring the photographs of Donovan K. Loucks.

A hand-bound hardcover edition of the book is also available.

For ordering information please click here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

“Never So Eloquently & Persistently Pursued”: Buckley’s Rolling the Bones Reviewed in Depth

We are happy to report that in the recent edition of New Letters Magazine (vol.77, Nos 3 & 4), book reviewer Walter Bargen gave Christopher Buckley's collection of poetry, Rolling the Bones (University of Tampa Press, 2010), a positively enlightening and thorough study.

The review, which was titled, Give God Another Chance, is a sincere breakdown of Buckley's underlying philosophy that is prevalent throughout
Rolling the Bones. It is an interesting read, as Bargen is careful to pay homage to the "eloquently and persistent" way Buckley can make sense of "the large unanswerable questions that have dogged humanity since the beginning."

If I have a soul, I imagine
it's much like a '50s transistor
radio, palm-sized, pulling in static
from so far away, who knows
what they're saying.
- Christopher Buckley, Rolling the Bones

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

5-Stars from The Review Review

Check out the 5-Star review of your favorite "Sexy" literary journal.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rip-tooth: A worthy successor to Hinrichsen's FIELD Prize-winning Kurosawa's Dog

In the latest issue of the
Notre Dame Review, Dennis Hinrichsen, 2010 winner of the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, received praise for his TR Prize book, Rip-tooth (University of Tampa Press, 2011).

It’s a compliment to read that Rip-tooth is a “worthy successor” to Hinrichsen’s widely praised 2008 FIELD Poetry Prize-winning book,
Kurosawa's Dog, and a further honor that the NDR reviewer finds common elements with Kevin Prufer’s new book, In a Beautiful Country (Four Way Books, 2011), since Prufer has just been described as “an absolutely necessary poet.”

Our thanks to NDR, where some of Hinrichsen’s poems first appeared. Look for Rip-tooth on the UT Press site.

Transcription: Dennis Hinrichsen, Rip-tooth, University of Tampa Press, 2011. Hinrichsen's new volume is a worthy successor to Kurosawa's Dog (2008), which included poems from NDR. It also has a certain amount in common with Kevin Prufer's book. Hinrichsen, too, grapples with history in the context of lyric subjectivity and family myth: "Johnny Cash is dead. / There are no more drive-ins, no USSR, // summer days at Lake McBride, / no more of Linda's laughter as light as a wren's. // History resolves into a man's nose / my uncle bites off // in a Colorado bar."

Fresh from the Cleaners - A Preview of "White Shirt" by Christopher Buckley

Here's a preview of Christopher Buckley's latest collection of poetry, White Shirt (officially going on sale next week through the University of Tampa Press site and Amazon). We just finished unpacking the first shipments today and couldn't be more excited with the final result.

Keep a look out for updates coming next week regarding availability and where to pick up a copy.

Christopher Buckley, who is the author of 17 books of poetry, teaches Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside. He received the 2009 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry for his collection,
Rolling the Bones (available here), among many other notable distinctions.

"Whether he is addressing his departed friend(s) . . . or the great swell of the Pacific Ocean that haunts his dreams, the voice is always the same, modest and direct. This is a humble poetry of great truths and profound emotions . . ."
- Philip Levine, writing in Ploughshares

Monday, July 11, 2011

Florida-born Writer John Blair Wins
2011 Tampa Review Poetry Prize

John Blair, born in St. Petersburg, Florida, has become the first Florida-born author to win the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, which celebrates its first decade of awards this year. Blair, who now lives in San Marcos, Texas, received the tenth annual prize for his manuscript entitled The Occasions of Paradise. In addition to a $2,000 check, the award includes book publication in Spring 2012 by the University of Tampa Press.

Blair’s earlier poetry collection, The Green Girls, was the 2003 winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Award from Pleiades Press, and his short story collection, American Standard, was the 2002 winner of the Drue Heinz Literature prize and was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. He also has two novels from Ballantine/Del Rey, Bright Angel and A Landscape of Darkness.

Tampa Review judges commented that The Occasions of Paradise “lives up to its title with ample moments of near perfection, both in its individual poems and in the book as a whole.”
“The poems are filled with lyrical abundance. The cadences uplift and inspire,” the judges wrote. “Each poem is not only terrific on its own, but is skillfully placed and arranged to contribute to a perfectly satisfying collection. The sheer abundance of creative energy in this book—the beauty of poem after poem at once spontaneous and brilliantly constructed—mirrors the deft hand of a creator that inspires with awe, transports with beauty, and puzzles with questions.”

“I came across Blair's manuscript very early in the judging process,” poetry editor Erica Dawson explained. “The poems immediately arrested my attention. When I finally put it down, Occasions of Paradise stayed with me. . . . I simply could not, or, rather, did not want to get the stunning collection out of my head. I'm thrilled to have had a chance to read it, but even more thrilled it has a home with University of Tampa Press.”

Winner John Blair has previously published his poems and stories widely in magazines and journals including Poetry, The New York Quarterly, The Sewanee Review, The Antioch Review, New Letters, and elsewhere. He is on the faculty at Texas State University, where he teaches American Literature and directs the undergraduate creative writing program.

While he didn’t grow up in St. Petersburg, Blair did spend a good part of his childhood at his grandparents’ house “in the middle of a cow pasture” in Lake Wales, where his father was born and raised. All the stories in his Drue Heinz Prize collection, American Standard, are set in Florida, and he earned BA and MA degrees from Florida State University in Tallahassee before completing his PhD at Tulane. Winning the Tampa Review Prize is a little like coming home.

A selection of poems from The Occasions of Paradise will appear as a “sneak preview” in one of the next issues of Tampa Review, the award-winning hardback literary journal published by the University of Tampa Press.

Judges of the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry also identified “The Old Dominion” by Jennifer Key of Pembroke, North Carolina, as runner-up for the 2011 prize. In addition, they announced six finalists:
Bruce Bond of Denton, Texas, for “For the Lost Cathedral”;
J. Matthew Boyleston of Houston, Texas, for “Viewed from the Keel of a Canoe”;
Diane Mehta of Brooklyn, New York, for “Black Pepper”;
Joshua Robbins of Knoxville, Tennessee, for “Praise Nothing”;
Carrie Shipers of Lincoln, Nebraska, for “Family Resemblances”; and
Charles Wyatt of Nashville, Tennessee, for “Angel into the Earth.”
The Occasions of Paradise is scheduled for release in Spring 2012. A reading tour of Florida to celebrate its publication is planned for National Poetry Month in April 2012, sponsored by the Florida Literary Arts Coalition.

The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry is given annually for a previously unpublished booklength manuscript. Judging is by the editors of Tampa Review, who are members of the faculty at the University of Tampa. Submissions are now being accepted for 2012. Entries must follow published guidelines and must be postmarked by December 31, 2011.

Guidelines are available at or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, University of Tampa Press, 401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Heather Sappenfield Wins Fifth Annual Danahy Fiction Prize

Heather Sappenfield of Vail, Colorado, has been selected as winner of the fifth annual Danahy Fiction Prize by the editors of Tampa Review. She will receive a cash award of $1,000 and her winning short story, “Indian Prayer,” will be published in Tampa Review 42, forthcoming in summer 2011.

Sappenfield recently earned her MFA from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, where she studied with Brady Udall, Pete Fromm, and Bonnie Jo Campbell. She lives in the heart of the Colorado Rockies with her husband and daughter. In 2011 her fiction has also been chosen as a finalist for the Tennessee Williams Fiction Prize and received Honorable Mention for the Doug Fir Fiction Award judged by Jim Lynch for The Bear Deluxe.

Sappenfield’s winning story draws from her attunement to the natural world and from her childhood experiences.

“My childhood was a wild ride,” Sappenfield says. “I don’t remember most of it, but things come back to me in vivid bursts that are saturated with emotion. It's the best type of genesis for fiction. ‘Indian Prayer’ arrived this way.”

With respect to the significant presence of nature in the story, Sappenfield explains, “I crave open spaces in daily doses, find in it regeneration, redemption, balance, and it is rarely absent from my stories.”

This year the judges also named an exceptional runner-up story, “Three Little Indians” by John Blair, of San Marcos, Texas. Blair is a widely published fiction writer and a professor in the Department of English at Texas State University, where he directs the undergraduate creative writing program.

The Danahy Fiction Prize was established by Paul and Georgia Danahy as an annual award for a previously unpublished work of short fiction judged by the editors of Tampa Review, the faculty-edited literary journal of the University of Tampa, published twice yearly in a distinctive hardback format. Subscriptions are $22 annually, and those received before July 15, 2011, will begin with the issue featuring Sappenfield’s prize-winning story.

The Danahy Fiction Prize is open to both new and widely published writers, with an annual postmark deadline of November 1. The $15 entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Tampa Review, and all entries submitted are considered for publication.

Complete guidelines are available on the Web at or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Danahy Fiction Prize, University of Tampa Press, 401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606.