Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

From the November/December 2009 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

In the beginning, Drago smelled of dirt and bloom, the odor that would rise if you peeled the earth back at its seams." Thirsty (Swallow Press, October 2009) by Kristin Bair O'Keeffe. First book, novel. Agent: Taryn Fagerness. Editor: David Sanders. Publicists: Jeff Kallet and Rusty Shelton.

"Smoke at the horizon." Good for the Jews (University of Michigan Press, October 2009) by Debra Spark. Fourth book, third novel. Agent: Maria Massie. Editor: Ellen Bauerle. Publicist: Heather Newman.

"If your mother's like mine wanting you honeyed and blithe / you'll get drowned by getting evicted // since the mothers can teach with a dustpan the tons of modes of tossing." Live From the Homesick Jamboree (Wesleyan University Press, November 2009) by Adrian Blevins. Second book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Suzanna Tamminen. Publicist: Stephanie Elliott.

"Our parents were almost never home." That Bird Has My Wings: The Autobiography of an Innocent Man on Death Row (HarperOne, October 2009) by Jarvis Jay Masters. Second book, memoir. Agent: Sarah Jane Freymann. Editor: Eric Brandt. Publicist: Julie Burton.

"A man rides backward in a packed subway car." Generosity: An Enhancement (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, October 2009) by Richard Powers. Tenth book, novel. Agent: Melanie Jackson. Editor: Frances Coady. Publicist: Jeff Seroy.

"A pack of young flirts was patrolling the party, / They were cultural outsiders, consumed with...what?" The Bride of E (Graywolf Press, October 2009) by Mary Jo Bang. Sixth book, poetry collection. Agent: Bill Clegg. Editor: Jeffrey Shotts. Publicist: Erin Kottke.

"Val Carmichael credited Pete Stenning—who was always called ‘the Martian'—with getting him off the gin and on to the vodka." Liver: A Fictional Organ With a Surface Anatomy of Four Lobes (Bloomsbury, November 2009) by Will Self. Seventeenth book, fifth story collection. Agent: Jeff Posternak. Editor: Kathy Belden. Publicist: Michelle Blankenship.

"Did you know that boiling to death / was once a common punishment / in England and parts of Europe?" Dearest Creature (Penguin, October 2009) by Amy Gerstler. Eighth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Paul Slovak. Publicist: David Martin.

"Some people dream of being chased by Bigfoot." What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (Dzanc Books, October 2009) by Laura van den Berg. First book, story collection. Agent: Katherine Fausset. Editor: Steven Gillis. Publicist: Dan Wickett.

"I typed the inaugural newsletter of the Columbia Comic Book Club on my mother's 1960 Smith Corona, modeling it on the monthly ‘Stan's Soapbox' pages through which Stan Lee created and sustained the idea of Marvel Comics fandom in the sixties and early seventies." Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son (Harper, October 2009) by Michael Chabon. Eleventh book, second essay collection. Agent: Mary Evans. Editor: Jennifer Barth. Publicist: Michael McKenzie.

"I shook his hand for the first time in the spring of 1967." Invisible (Henry Holt, November 2009) by Paul Auster. Twenty-second book, fifteenth novel. Agent: Carol Mann. Editor: Frances Coady. Publicist: James Meader.

"Sometimes you give me just enough / to live on." Malilenas (Ugly Duckling Presse, October 2009) by Garrett Kalleberg. Fourth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Matvei Yankelevich. Publicist: Will Hubbard.