Release: After Our Departure

On sale today!

After Our Departure, by Ben Cartwright
winner of the Powder Horn Prize, selected by Nance Van Winckel
featuring original cover and interior art by printmaker Lindsey Merrell


In her introduction, Nance says

What first struck me as I read Ben Cartwright’s poems was the scintillating language. Even when bravely addressing the ho-hum moments of drudgery in daily living, Cartwright employs a certain muscularity and musicality. In fact, reading these poems I often felt myself teetering between extremes I recognize from actual life: energy/vitality/buoyancy vs. duty/stasis/entropy. The poems pace the long plank of these mental and emotional states, and even as we hover and balance near the fulcrum, we sense what’s on either side, what looms, what awaits.

Washington state poet laureate Tod Marshall:

“Nothing takes flight from me again,” a speaker in one of Cartwright’s poems announces, and the ongoing struggle against Romantic airiness propels this book.  And yet: the poems never fully embrace this declaration, never fully abandon the possibility of flight.  Which is to say:  the poet is smart, funny, and appropriately suspicious of his making.  Which is to say:  the poems in this book challenge, entertain, and compel readers to think and rethink expectations (of the poems, poet, and poetry).  There are sonically snap-chatty moments blisteringly aware of their sonic smirky-ness: “Still, I is shrill. / I flits in this, / pissing blight. / I is birthright.” There are imagistic and tender moments abashedly peeping from the pages.  And oh, did I mention that there are wacky and memorable illustrations, bizzaro voices, and formal dexterity to boot?  There are also no easy solutions to the tensions Cartwright explores; just “because we’re bored down here” and good things “take a little bit of time” should we abandon the possibility of “flight?”  As the title of the collection suggests, these poems resonate after their departure:  what more can one ask of a work of art?

Click here to order your copy today!

Or, if you are in Spokane, come to Auntie’s at 7:00 p.m. tonight to hear Ben read from the book.

Release: After Our Departure

New titles now available

AWCH and RTP side by side

Now available in bookstores and online (for ordering information, email

All We Can Hold, poems of motherhood

Collecting the work of over 100 poets from around the world, All We Can Hold is an honest and beautiful exploration of the language of motherhood from a variety of voices and experiences. Poets tackle the joys and the struggles of mothering through poems that address pregnancy, post-partum depression, puberty, the loss of a child, and watching a child grow.

All We Can Hold comes from a desire to read more poetry about motherhood and to provide a forum for those voices. What began as a search for poetry celebrating motherhood in its entirety became a movement, reaching thousands of poets and spurring an online publication of All We Can Hold with additional poetry following the printed release.

The collection is edited by Elise Gregory, Emily Gwinn, Kaleen McCandless, Kate Maude, and Laura Walker and features work from Dorianne Laux, Beth Ann Fennelly, Malena Morling, Laura Kasishke, Karen Craigo, Katie Ford, Martha Silano, Maya Jewell Zeller, Ellen Welcker, Sherman Alexie, Joyce Sutphen, Freya Manfred, Rachel Zucker, and an introduction from Jennifer K. Sweeney.

242 pages, $19.95

Railtown Almanac: a Spokane prose anthology

Flying above Spokane it’s easy to think: So that’s it? That’s the small place where I work and love people and walk around and mow my lawn. When you zoom far enough away, it does look pretty in a way, but it also doesn’t really look real.

Zoomed far enough away, you can’t see the ugly stuff. The petty thieveries and the various segregations and the over-full hospitals or the lump of fear that a person feels walking downtown at night. We might feel more comfortable when those things fade out of view, but we aren’t convinced that’s Spokane at its best.

For this collection we weren’t interested in an aerial view of Spokane, a Spokane where the bad swept into the cracks gets swallowed up to maintain a nice smooth surface. Nor one in which the trash-eating goat in beautiful Riverfront Park exists without the trash. We wanted to know what a place looks like to the people who love it, sometimes grudgingly.
What we’ve learned is that from the ground level, Spokane isn’t underwhelming or quaint at all. It’s complex, sometimes skeptical, and often difficult.

Editors Jeffrey G. Dodd and Kate J. Reed

Railtown Almanac celebrates the incredible wealth of talent in the Spokane area. Collecting the work of writers ranging from established award-winners to talented middle-schoolers, this anthology will serve as a way-marker in the rich history of the Spokane writing community.

Featuring short fiction and essays by Kris Dinnison, Sam Ligon, Shann Ray, Sharma Shields, Rachel Toor, Nance Van Winckel, and others.

186 pages, $16.95

New titles now available

Railtown Almanac

Railtown is complete! It will go to the printer on Monday, and we’ll have it in hand soon after. Our first public launch event will be Saturday, November 1 at Auntie’s bookstore, and readings throughout the end of the year at the Downtown Library, Spokane County Library locations, and the Book Parlor.

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Railtown Almanac