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Rebecca Fishow’s “How to Love a Black Hole” coming October, 2024!

How to Love a Black Hole, by Rebecca Fishow

Coming October 2024 from CONIUM

We’re pleased to announce the acquisition of Rebecca Fishow’s How to Love a Black Hole. This strange, formally inventive collection contains eighteen flashes and stories—a woman grows ears all over her body, a husband’s new bride drifts into the clouds, a garden yields a grotesque and bloody harvest. Throughout these and other uncanny stories, readers explore a kaleidoscope of love, desire, grief, and regret.

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Rebecca Fishow is a prose writer, creative writing instructor, and visual artist. Her story collection, The Trouble With Language (Trnsfr Books, 2020), won the 2019 Holland Prize for Fiction. Her fiction chapbook, The Opposite of Entropy, was published in 2018 by Proper Tales Press. Her work has appeared in Quarterly WestTin HouseJoylandThe Believer, LoggerSmokelong QuarterlyHobart, and other publications. She holds an MFA from Syracuse University, is pursing a PhD in literature and writing from The University of Illinois Chicago. She lives in Chicago with her husband, the linguist, Dan Goodhue. Learn more about Rebecca Fishow at her website.

Photograph of the author, Maria S. Picone.

Maria S. Picone’s new prose chapbook coming from CONIUM!

CONIUM’s next release will be This Tenuous Atmosphere
by Maria S. Picone / 수영

Slated for release in late 2023 or early 2024.

CONIUM’s next release will be This Tenuous Atmosphere, a linked series of surreal, speculative fictions from Maria S. Picone/수영. The book follows Asia, a Korean girl who becomes a hybrid spacecraft and goes to live among the ghost men and their culture of destructive capitalism in space. Asia never forgets her longing to return home and find her mother, but she is torn between loyalty to her port of origin and a desire to explore deep space.

Join our mailing list to get updates about this release and Conium Press news.

Maria S. Picone/수영 is a queer and neurodivergent Korean American adoptee who won Cream City Review’s 2020 Summer Poetry Prize and the first ever Louisa Solano Memorial Emerging Poet Award from Salamander. Her debut poetry chapbook, Adoptee Song, will be published by Muddy Ford Press in 2023. She has been published in Tahoma Literary ReviewVestal Review, Salamander, Orca Lit, Fractured Lit and more including Best Small Fictions 2021. Her work has been supported by The Juniper Institute, Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, GrubStreet, Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and Tin House Writers Workshop. She is Chestnut Review’s managing editor, Uncharted Mag’s associate editor, and assistant fiction editor at Foglifter as well as volunteering for other literary magazines and organizations as an editor, reader, and grant reviewer. She holds an MFA in fiction from Goddard College. Find out more at mariaspicone.com, Twitter @mspicone.

Photograph of the author, Maria S. Picone.

Sarah Gerard in conversation with James R. Gapinski

Sarah Gerard in conversation with James R. Gapinski

Celebrating the launch of Sarah Gerard’s The Butter House

5:00pm, Sunday, March 12th, 2023

Keys Lounge

533 NE Killingsworth St

Portland, OR 97211

About the Event

Join Conium Press at Keys Lounge in Portland, Oregon for a conversation between Sarah Gerard (author of True LoveSunshine State, and Binary Star) and James R. Gapinski (Conium Press editor & author of Edge of the Known Bus Line). We’ll talk about books, writing, cats, and quite possibly some gossip about our favorite reality TV shows. Don’t miss this intimate gathering to celebrate Sarah’s new chapbook.

This event is free and open to the public. Find us in the back room of Keys Lounge. Paperback and limited-edition hardcovers of The Butter House will be available for purchase. The venue serves beer, wine, cocktails, nonalcoholic beverages, and a wide assortment of food (a 20% gratuity is automatically added to all open tabs).

SARAH GERARD (she/they) is the author of the novels True Love (Harper, 2020) and Binary Star (Two Dollar Radio, 2015) and the essay collection Sunshine State (Harper, 2017). They are the recipient of a 2021 Lambda Literary Dr. James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize. Sarah’s short stories, essays, and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, T Magazine, Granta, McSweeney’s, The Believer, Vice, Electric Literature, and the anthologies We Can’t Help It If We’re From Florida, One Small Blow Against Encroaching Totalitarianism, Tampa Bay Noir, Erase the Patriarchy, and I Know What’s Best For You: Stories on Reproductive Freedom. Learn more about Sarah Gerard’s work on their website.

JAMES R. GAPINSKI (they/them) is the author of the novella Edge of the Known Bus Line (Etchings Press; University of Indianapolis, 2018)—named to Kirkus Reviews‘ Best Books of 2018, and a finalist for the 2019 Montaigne Medal. They are also the author of three chapbooks: The Last Dinosaurs of Portland (Bottlecap Press, 2021), Fruit Rot (Etchings; U Indy, 2020), and Messiah Tortoise (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2018). Their short fiction has appeared in The Collapsar, Juked, Monkeybicycle, Paper Darts, Psychopomp, SmokeLong Quarterly, and elsewhere. James teaches for Southern New Hampshire University’s MFA program and edits for Conium Press. Learn more about James R. Gapinski’s work on their website.

About the Book

The Butter House follows a woman who moves from New York to a Florida bungalow with her boyfriend. She navigates contradictory landscapes of love and possession, nature and built-environment, empathy and sympathy. She becomes a surrogate caretaker for a colony of feral cats. She grows a garden. She interrogates what it means to care for somebody or something. This is a delicate story, but it chooses deliberate moments to scratch and bite with the ferocity of a territorial alley cat.

Advance Praise

“Sarah Gerard writes beautifully and precisely about the visceral, secretive feline landscape, and the possibilities that emerge when this world intersects with the human realm—challenging the couple at the center of The Butter House to renegotiate their relationship to care and what it means to feel at home.” —Laura van den Berg, author of I Hold a Wolf by the Ears

The Butter House incisively considers the simultaneous care and cruelty of pet ownership, and Gerard is masterful in writing into all the nooks and crannies of a relationship. It’s the tale cat people deserve.” —Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, author of Helen House

“With precise and lush details, Gerard captures a sense of life’s fragility amid new possibilities. The author’s fans are in for a treat.” —Publishers Weekly

Book cover for Sarah Gerard's "The Butter House"

AWP 2023 Offsite Reading: Sarah Gerard’s “The Butter House”

AWP 2023 Offsite Launch Event & Reading

Sarah Gerard’s The Butter House

6:30pm, Friday, March 10th, 2023

About the Event

Join us in Seattle for an intimate cat-themed launch event for Sarah Gerard’s new chapbook, The Butter House. Sarah will be reading an excerpt and signing copies. Paperbacks ($12.00) and limited-edition hardcovers ($20.00) will be available for purchase during the event. The cafe also offers wine, beer, coffee, tea, snacks, and merchandise for sale.

NEKO Cat Cafe in downtown Seattle is a 13-minute (0.5 mile) walk from the Convention Center, or a 6-minute ride on the #49 bus. NEKO is a sanctuary for rescue cats. Through relationships with area shelters, the cafe showcases hard-to-adopt cats in this unique cafe setting. With the exception of a few permanent residents, most cats at NEKO are adoptable. Please contact editors@coniumreview.com if you have accessibility needs that may require accommodations.

Pre-order a limited-edition hardcover,

and claim your spot in the cat room!

This main cafe area is free and open to the public. We will be reading and signing in this public space, and all are welcome. However, the cat room has limited capacity and controlled access. This ensures the cats have a safe environment without overstimulation or unnecessary stress. We have reserved time in the cat room for those who are interested. We’re holding these spaces for people who pre-order the limited-edition hardcover version of Sarah’s chapbook. The cost of the hardcover is $20. Copies are will not be mailed; you can expect the book to be ready and waiting for you at the event (along with several kitties).

Sarah Gerard will be reading and signing books at 6:30pm. Choose 6:00pm if you’d like to access the cat room before the reading. Choose 7:00pm if you’d like to spend time with the kitties afterward. Before entering the cat room, NEKO will ask you to sign a liability waiver.

About the Book

The Butter House follows a woman who moves from New York to a Florida bungalow with her boyfriend. She navigates contradictory landscapes of love and possession, nature and built-environment, empathy and sympathy. She becomes a surrogate caretaker for a colony of feral cats. She grows a garden. She interrogates what it means to care for somebody or something. This is a delicate story, but it chooses deliberate moments to scratch and bite with the ferocity of a territorial alley cat.

About the Author

Sarah Gerard (she/they) is the author of the novels True Love (Harper, 2020) and Binary Star (Two Dollar Radio, 2015) and the essay collection Sunshine State (Harper, 2017). They are the recipient of a 2021 Lambda Literary Dr. James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize. Sarah’s short stories, essays, and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, T Magazine, Granta, McSweeney’s, The Believer, Vice, Electric Literature, and the anthologies We Can’t Help It If We’re From Florida, One Small Blow Against Encroaching Totalitarianism, Tampa Bay Noir, Erase the Patriarchy, and I Know What’s Best For You: Stories on Reproductive Freedom.

Book cover for Sarah Gerard's "The Butter House"

Conium is on break (but we’ve got exciting plans ahead)

CONIUM is taking a break.

But this isn’t the end. Here’s a peak at what comes next.

Dear Readers & Writers,

Conium is taking a break. The ebb and flow of a regularly published periodical is grueling. As managing editor, I haven’t had a real break in a while. But this isn’t the end. After a decade of publishing, it’s time to breathe, reflect, and take Conium to new places.

Looking ahead, I want to dedicate Conium to more standalone, single-author titles. I also want to spend time workshopping and interrogating those titles, moving through richer editorial conversations on every project. This is what I love most about editing, and I want to be more hands-on with each book Conium produces. Of course, that takes time. In our normal submission cycle, time is a luxury. A hiatus lets me catch up and plan ahead.

While there will not be a new issue of The Conium Review in 2022, there are other projects in the pipeline. I’m working on editorial notes for some potential chapbooks, including one from a Lambda Award winning author. I’m also rereading the entire back catalog of The Conium Review with the goal of curating a retrospective anthology. These projects aren’t finalized yet, but it provides a glimpse into some possibilities.

I see 2022 as a year without many new Conium Press titles—maybe even zero. However, this is the quiet before the storm. This year gives time and space for me to recommit to the work. I’m excited to plan the next phase of Conium, and I hope to announce a couple new books for 2023 soon. To stay informed about future projects, please subscribe to the newsletter. In the meantime, thanks for reading, writing, and supporting small presses.

Sincerely,
James R. Gapinski
Managing Editor