Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

From the November/December 2023 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

With so many great books being published every month, some literary titles worth exploring can get lost in the stacks. Page One offers the first lines of a dozen recently released books, including The Loneliness Files by Athena Dixon and Mama Said by Kristen Gentry. 

“The factory is a fertile body, each breast a beginning.” Deliver Me (Unnamed Press, October 2023) by Elle Nash. Fourth book, third novel. Agent: Kent Wolf. Editor: Olivia Taylor Smith. Publicist: Allison Miriam Smith.  
“I arrived just a short time ago and yet I’ve only the vaguest memory of having come here.” So Many People, Mariana: Collected Stories 1959–1967 (Two Lines Press, October 2023) by Maria Judite de Carvalho, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa. Eighteenth book, ninth story collection. Agent: Ella Sher. Editor: CJ Evans. Publicist: Karen Gu.  

“We came upon a line of English / eating dog, we thought, on plump bread / steamed and slathered with a drab yellow / chutney from a cart in the Kew Gardens.” English as a Second Language and Other Poems (Copper Canyon Press, October 2023) by Jaswinder Bolina. Fifth book, fourth poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Michael Wiegers. Publicist: Ryo Yamaguchi.  

“I remember loneliness because it is pervasive.” The Loneliness Files (Tin House, October 2023) by Athena Dixon. Second book, first memoir in essays. Agent: None. Editor: Hanif Abdurraqib. Publicist: Becky Kraemer.  

“The way my legs sit, slightly curved around the knees, / old women squint their eyes yet still ask me if I’m single.” Orders of Service: A Fugue (Alice James Books, November 2023) by Willie Lee Kinard III. First book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Carey Salerno. Publicist: Sarah Cassavant.  

“I owned a house once, for twenty-four hours.” How to Live (Tupelo Press, October 2023) by Kelle Groom. Sixth book, first memoir in essays. Agent: Bill Clegg. Editor: Kristina Marie Darling. Publicist: Kristina Marie Darling.  

“I was trying to explain that transposition / between having thoughts and doing for others, / because in every household the metaphor is clear” No Spare People (Black Lawrence Press, October 2023) by Erin Hoover. Second book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Diane Goettel. Publicist: Julia Borcherts.  

“The New Naturals were formed in a basement, under flickering light and frayed nerves.” The New Naturals (Algonquin Books, November 2023) by Gabriel Bump. Second book, novel. Agent: Alexa Stark. Editor: Kathy Pories. Publicist: Michael McKenzie.  

“I am here by myself” The Shining (Wave Books, October 2023) by Dorothea Lasky. Ninth book, sixth poetry collection. Agent: Annie DeWitt. Editor: Joshua Beckman. Publicist: Catherine Bresner.  

“My clogs squeaked in the snow as I approached the Holiday Inn in an unfamiliar, wintery city.” I Would Meet You Anywhere (Mad Creek Books, November 2023) by Susan Kiyo Ito. First book, memoir. Agent: None. Editor: Kristen Elias Rowley. Publicist: Cassie Mannes Murray.  

“The JFK Bridge links Louisville with Jeffersonville and hovers over the Ohio River, which is brown, not blue, and this has always made you sad.” Mama Said (West Virginia University Press, October 2023) by Kristen Gentry. First book, story collection. Agent: None. Editor: Derek Krissoff. Publicist: Jeremy Wang-Iverson.  

“When does memory begin?” A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, a History, a Memorial 
(Grove Atlantic, October 2023) by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Seventh book, first memoir. Agent: Nat Sobel. Editor: Peter Blackstock. Publicist: John Mark Boling.