Launched in 2022, Bass Clef Books is a small, independent press based in the heartland of Kentucky, USA.
BCB’s mission is to promote contemporary works of writing that would be essential to the growth of creative language crafts from a broad aesthetic choir through a general submission platform and a the George Drew Sophomore Chapbook Contest.
Occasionally, we will offer an anthology, which may include, fiction and nonfiction.
We will announce special projects as they emerge.
The publisher welcomes all voices and forms.
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Somewhere between “the abyss above” and “the abyss below,” a puppet is booted into the light. In John Surowiecki’s Chez Pétrouchka, the title character from Igor Stravinsky’s ballet finds his aggrieved, splenetic voice: “Am a bastard in any case: / unwanted: unnecessary: not alive / except that I move: speak: think.” Through Pétrouchka, Surowiecki returns to themes that pervade much of his writing: the corruptions of the flesh, the seamy underpinnings of illusion, the propensity of idols to shatter. And yet. When what he has just dismissed as a skanky, flat-chested ballerina begins to dance, Pétrouchka falls helplessly under her spell: “She pirouettes and the world spins off its axis.” Witty, mordant, and supremely human, Surowiecki’s Chez Pétrouchka transports us to the world of Blok, Bulgakov, and the Ballets Russes, a world as rich and revelatory now as the day it was created.
—-Katherine E. Young, Poet Laureate emerita, Arlington, VA and author of Day of the Border Guards and Woman Drinking Absinthe
A Love Embargo
Ted Higgs’ A Love Embargo is another success in his body of work. The title poem performs as a subterfuge when the speaker prohibits “love . . . until friendship means / more than Facebook pals,” but quickly realizes the act impossible, a fabrication of “self defense.” For we cannot barricade ourselves against the “surprise one sees / in the face of others” and other experiences that imprint our very being like the patina of tea stains on a cup. Higgs reminds us that love has girded the real, the imaginary, and the artistic expression thereof since “the embrace of angels that coupled / with the giants once at the beginning / of time.” And the poems in this volume serve as a testament.
—Mick Kennedy, Bass Clef Books
Libby Falk Jones
For Your Good Health, Drink Flowers: New and Collected Poems
“Season your milkshake with anemones/bubbling from a silver faucet,” Libby Falk Jones advises in For Your Good Health, Drink Flowers, and we know we are in the presence of a poet alert to the natural world, serene at the shimmering edge of the surreal—secure in her poetic vision. These are earthly, embodied poems, imbued with the energy of a woman in motion—traveling, hiking, pocketing stones so alive they feel like her “own mortality jingling.” “This is how I want to die,” she declares in the collection’s penultimate poem, “grounded, held//by a body, . . . feeling flesh . . . [the] weight of earth— //we matter.” Her poetry renders the visceral joy and sorrow of familial love alongside vivid experiences of aloneness. Distilled from a lifetime of close observation, the poems in this capacious collection embrace stillness and motion, relationship and solitude, declaring the necessary sustenance in each.
—Leatha Kendrick, author of And Luckier
Libby Falk Jones Reading