The Gift of Form: A Pocket Guide to Formal Poetry

Spout Hill Press is proud to announce that the first volume in our new series of writing handbooks, CHARCOAL BOOKS, is now available.
Often poets feel stifled by the structure of formal poetry, but in his book THE GIFT OF FORM John Brantingham discusses how the tools of the form can help writers create work they never would have expected when they approach formal poetry from a completely new direction. These forms can give us ideas that we never knew we could have. They allow for new insights not possible with free verse alone. These ideas and insights are the gift that form gives us.
THE GIFT OF FORM is available for purchase online

Poets and Pleasure Seekers: New and Selected Poems 2010-2015

Spout Hill Press is very proud to announce the release of Gerald Locklin's new poetry collection, Poets and Pleasure Seekers: New And Selected Poems 2010-2015.  Gerry has been described as "a central figure in the vitality of Los Angeles Writing".  His poetry is all at once funny, insightful, poignant and human.  We are honored to present this new volume of some of his latest work, available for sale here.

"Night" Anthology Call for Submissions

Spout Hill Press is currently putting together a new themed anthology and we want your work! Send us any poetry, prose or very short fiction you might have that is thematically related to the subject of “Night”, or preferably, “night in California”. We want any work that you might have that delves into the subject of the moonlight hours, sleepless nights, the starry sky, all that. Please submit no more than three pieces of work by midnight, April 30th 2015.  You can email your work to, please state "Anthology Submission" in the subject line.  You can also mail us your work to Spout Hill Press, PO Box 412, San Dimas, CA 91773.  We look forward to reading your work!

Josh's Wall by Cliff Ashpaugh

Spout Hill Press is pleased to announce the publication of Josh's Wall by Cliff Ashpaugh.

It is the early 1960s. Glendora, California. Along with the country, the city holds its breath between the two most shocking assassinations of the 20th century: Kennedy and King.

Shortly before Kennedy’s assassination, Joshua Crass suffers from an adverse reaction to penicillin. The six-year-old boy wakes from a coma with no recollection of his parents, his brother, or anyone else in his life.  He embarks on a journey to discover who he was, who he is and who he’s going to be, but a wall of forgotten memories blocks his path.  After King’s assassination, he joins the ranks of his textbook heroes to face head on his greatest fear of all, death,  only to discover that sometimes the past is better left forgotten.

Click here to buy Josh's Wall.

Digging a Hole to the Moon

Spout Hill Press is happy to announce the publication of Digging a Hole to the Moon, Scott Noon Creley's poetry collection. Digging a Hole to the Moon traverses the haunting and beautiful story of a generation struggling to survive the realities of the new recession. This collection chronicles the seemingly despair-filled lives of dreamers who try to find spirituality in the haunted mountains, deserts, and crumbling cities of California – Atheist faith healers, despairing angels, and tired immortals brush shoulders with hopeful teachers, politely depressed undertakers, and Byronic suburban street racers as they all search for some impossible transcendence, as they dig their holes toward the moon.

From the introduction by Gerald Locklin:

Scott is impossible not to like. He was that way as an MFA student and he still is today. It’s his absolute authenticity—he just doesn’t know any way to be except himself—and it shines through his poetry as well as his personality. And when you’re as talented and creative and experienced as he is, it isn’t that easy to be that way. He and his poems are as thoroughly and sincerely compassionate—accepting—as you’ll find anywhere in the poetry being written today, which is so often riddled with self-glorification or downright narcissism or, on the other hand, the attempts to escape other selves…

How Formal?

Spout Hill Press is delighted to announce the release of Stephanie BarbĂ© Hammer’s newest collection, How Formal?

How Formal? takes readers on a wild but accessible ride through sestinas, haiku, sonnets and psalms with some stop-overs in free verse and prose poetry.

From Donna Hilbert’s review:

How Formal?  First thought upon opening an invitation to an intimidating, important party (white tie, black tie, beach chic, business casual). Stephanie BarbĂ© Hammer’s poems arrive wearing high-top tennies, tiara, and tulle. But you are welcome to come as you are to these intellectually hip poems, sometimes funny, always bracing—much as we wish conversation to be at said party, but seldom is. She retells fairy tales (hood again in 5), makes up her own, (Doll Defenestration), poet as comfortable in the mall as the in temple. Put on your bathrobe, pour a glass of wine or cup of coffee, settle yourself on the sofa (why fight the traffic) and enjoy the fine company of How Formal?

The Plymouth Papers

Spout Hill Press is pleased to announce the release of Clifton Snider's newest work, The Plymouth Papers.  It is a historical novella which explores the lives of forgotten members of early America, people who love the wrong races, genders, and creeds.

The Plymouth Papers is a unique, multilayered historical novel about an American founding myth.  It is the story of the Mayflower and the founding of the first permanent colony in New England told from multiple points of view and focusing on one of the most interesting Mayflower passengers, Stephen Hopkins, and his family, particularly his sons, Giles and Caleb, and his daughter, Ruth.  It is also the story of the Indians, primarily the Wampanoag, without whom the so-called "Pilgrims" would not have survived.

            What is unique about the story is that it explores not only the relationship Giles has with his wife, a half-Wampanoag woman, but also the relationships Caleb has with a Wampanoag man and Ruth has with a two-spirit woman-man, Pequas.  Needless to say, these characters do their best to hide these relationships from the Puritans, whose penalties for homosexuality include whipping, branding, and even death.

The Plymouth Papers is available on Amazon, here, and at the best independent bookstores.