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Announcing the 2016 Conium Press publication lineup

The Conium Review has expanded over the past year, and we’re excited to make books and chapbooks a regular part of our publishing platform. In 2016, Conium Press will be releasing two standalone titles: Girl & Flame, by Melissa Reddish and Souvenirs and Other Stories, by Matt Tompkins.

We’ll post incremental updates about both of these releases as the 2016 publication calendar moves forward. Thanks for reading, writing, and supporting our small press.

Melissa Reddish author photoGirl & Flame is a novella told in a series of innovative flash vignettes. The protagonist bonds with a piece of flame leftover from an inferno that consumed her brother, father, and lover. Through this relationship, the protagonist explores her complicated family history and her place in the world. Melissa’s novella pairs experimental syntax with magical realist and surrealist snapshots into the lives of the girl, the flame, and the ghosts and ashes left behind.

Melissa Reddish’s short story collection, My Father is an Angry Storm Cloud, was published by Tailwinds Press earlier this year. Her flash fiction chapbook, The Distance Between Us, was published by Red Bird Chapbooks in 2013. Her work has appeared in decomP, Prick of the Spindle, and Northwind, among others. Melissa teaches English and directs the Honors Program at Wor-Wic Community College.

Follow Melissa on Twitter @MelissaReddish, or visit or website at MelissaReddish.com.

Matt Tompkins author photoSouvenirs and Other Stories is a collection of six absurd and surreal stories, each presented as a first-person monologue. Throughout the collection, a father evaporates, items mysteriously appear and fill an apartment, an eye surgery causes optical hallucinations, and more. These strange occurrences are often paired with touches of earnest humor, but they also probe authentic emotional responses when the levity fades.

Matt Tompkins is the author of Studies in Hybrid Morphology, forthcoming from tNY Press in 2016. His stories have been published in H_NGM_NAtticus ReviewCheap PopPost RoadGigantic Sequins, and elsewhere. Matt works in a library and lives in upstate New York with his wife, daughter, and cat.

Visit Matt’s website at NeedsRevision.com.

“Far Afield,” by Anthony Martin

Chicago Skyline

That creaking is the building swaying in the wind. Carpenter’s officemate gave a start when it happened on his first day. It is designed to do that, Mitchell, so I wouldn’t be concerned. The Sears Tower, you know the one in Chicago, it’s on these tremendous rollers so that even a tornado wouldn’t do it in. The creaking is just lateral give, he says, and thinks, When Rita sat where you sat she said it sounds like an old man walking up the stairs, the way the wood creaks and his ankles pop. She said skyscrapers are really just tall blades of grass.

They were like ants then, the way they marched up the blade each day, up the crease and toward the topmost point, careful not to slip on the morning dew. Now hers is in the business district of a Dutch city with a suspension bridge where the spring thaw is likely nearing its end; and his is in the same goddamn blue-green gridlocked pasture near the coast, that limited, ever-bustling field where the sun usually shines but less bright when no one is there to lie in it with. Sometimes the fog comes in and settles low under Carpenter’s window, something like a gray blanket stretched out over the city and the other blades poking through it here and there, their antennae reaching upward and begging for lightning to strike.

Oh it rains here, Mitch. Sure. Everyone asks that. Rarely lightning, though. Least I haven’t seen any yet.

Out the window, Carpenter knows his gaze will have to cross a continent and an ocean and then still a good piece after that before it reaches Rita atop her new blade of grass, fifty five stories up and three thousand miles away, night-eyed and sleepy and swaying in the wind.

About the Author:

Anthony Martin (@pen_tight) is a mutt, mixed with a little Timber Journal, Cheap Pop, WhiskeyPaper, Lunch Ticket, and Pea River Journal.

Image Credit: © canicula / Dollar Photo Club