Club of the Stars—a Samba of Survival in the Slums of Brazil

Buy a Print Copy Online

Maria Leda Souza Hogan

In her memoir Club of Stars, Maria Souza Hogan details life and death in the inhumane slums where she lived with ten brothers and sisters. The lives of her extended family, her poverty-stricken community, women in particular, are intrinsic to her story.

Club of Stars evokes the rich African heritage, cultural celebrations and oral history of northern Brazil where Maria and her family’s home in the favela was bordered by the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean on one side and a dangerous two-lane highway on the other.

A collective memory that demands to be heard, Club of Stars shines a light on the blunt reality of Brazil’s inequality and social injustice. Maria vividly articulates what it is like to go hungry for days on end, to go to school without shoes or books, and, though hungry herself, to tutor well-fed students in order to pay for school supplies and food.


“Maria Souza Hogan’s memoir tells the heartbreaking story of her family striving for survival in the least developed region of Brazil. Despite depicting poverty’s tragic reality, Club of Stars is profoundly inspiring not only for its human truth, but also for the inherent hope it highlights.”

Cecília Rodrigues, Assistant Professor of Portuguese, University of Georgia

Available Summer 2020

A Mark of Permanence

Justin Watkins

New and Selected Poems from Land and Water

by the author of the award winning chapbook Bottom Right Corner.
“Justin Watkins’ poems always surprise, and I have long admired them. They are imperial messages, and contain the secrets that arrive from close observation and the knowledge gleaned from it. The reader will see the world in a new way and be wealthier for reading them.” —Larry Gavin, author of Necessities, Least Resistance, Stone and Sky, and The Initiation of Praise.

“As he looks at corpses of muskrats – ‘puts some thought on porcupines,’ – or pauses while dragging out a deer on snow, thinks about how ticks wait out their prey, Justin Watkins’ poems take us into the heart of the Midwest as lived through its language.” —Jim Johnson is the former Poet Laureate of Duluth. His latest book, Text For Our Nomadic Future, came out in August 2018.


 

Photo by Dan Fraiser

I’ve always been a fan of the work of Justin Watkins. By Dan Frasier

His blog, Fishing and Thinking, where he writes under the pen name “Wendy Berrell”, is a truly special place to read the ruminations of a scientist who sees a value in living life close to the land. Beyond his blog, Justin’s book of poetry Bottom-Right Corner from Red Dragonfly Press is a brilliant work of outdoor poetry about life as an outdoorsman in South Eastern Minnesota. So I’ve been a fanboy for a long time.

In his newest book A Mark of Permanence published by Shipwreckt books, Justin takes his work to a new level; integrating poetry and his uniquely stark factual prose, Justin has created a series of vignettes into life being lived in modern Minnesota as it was lived centuries ago. His deep respect for the quarry in his tales along with the land and water they live in shines through like rays of sun through a dark grey cloudy ceiling. Yet Justin achieves this feat without flowery language or high-minded soliloquies. Instead, he tells you the facts like they are and lets the overwhelming reality of just how interconnected we are with the world around us speak for itself.

I think nothing better exemplifies this amazing talent of Justin’s than 2 stanzas in the poem

“The Hidden Flat”


Paleozoic Seas have come and gone here

Flooding and receding

Leaving shelved limestone

That our boot cleats bite and hold

We study the ceaseless hefting of water

For there is no other signature

Water rock two hunters and the fish:

Dark shapes deliberate in the shallows


Amazon reviews—

From Oliver: “Great read for anyone who loves being outdoors. This is a solid read and one I’ve enjoyed several times since it came in the mail. The poems and prose presented are thoughtful and make me long to be near a trout stream or hiking through the forest. I highly recommend this read.”

Dan Fraiser says: “Clear and real picture of the life of a Modern Day American Sportsman. Don’t open this book expecting some romantic tome about nature and harmony and good vibes. This is a stark and realistic look into the interconnectedness, harsh realities and oftentimes dissonant life of a modern-day outdoorsman. Fantastic read that I’ve gone back to more than a few times.”

K. Bartlett: “Thoughtful stuff by Justin Watkins. My copy arrived and I thought, “I will just read the first poem.” Then I sat down and read the entire book in one sitting. Fantastic writing for anyone who has an appreciation of life and the outdoors.”

All Roads Lead Home

Nicole Borg


In her debut collection, All Roads Lead Home, Nicole Borg convinces us that poetry is the way our most important experiences may be best understood. Her voice has resonance and clarity, speaking not just for herself as woman, mother, wife, teacher and citizen, but for what is best in us. Her work reveals a heart fully alive, a mind in tune with moral responsibility, and a deft hand that chooses its words with care for their nuanced rhythms and sounds. Without mystifying or confusing us, her poems convey that the ordinary is special, and they challenge us to rediscover
the mystery in our lives.—Emilio DeGrazia, author of Eye Shadow (Rocket Science Press 2014).

Nicole Borg lets us ride shotgun on these road trips toward home. Home: where love and hope reside. Where we find what fills us. Where we are blessed by the moon and rooted in the stars. Borg leads us down a new path, and we’re richer
for having been on the road with her.—poet and editor Dara Syrkin.


This is a collection of sustaining drives across country and time with a woman who revisits herself, packing courage in a rusted suitcase that demands to be unlocked. The scenes along this road trip unfold risks she took to love, to be alone, to confess, and to maneuver herself into freedoms borne from raw storytelling. The poems often roll, subtly, to a surprise punch stop. The language draws a quick inhale from the fresh and sudden image of the truth that was waiting between the lines.—Stillwater poet and editor Elissa Cottle.


Amazon Reviews—
From Heidi P.: Thoroughly enjoying this book of poetry. I am currently rereading several of the poems, peeling back the layers of meaning. Poems should leave you with emotions to savor and Borg definitely writes with this in mind.

Arguments & Negotiations & All that Matters

Pixie Beadrin Youngdahl Urista

In memoriam – Pixie passed in August 2018

This expanded edition of Pixie Youngdahl’s 2013 cancer survivor’s memoir includes Legacy Letters to ancestors as well as family photos.

“Pixie Youngdahl, the author of The Timeless Café, now takes you down her own personal journey of dealing with cancer. Like she tackles everything else in life, Pixie knocks cancer on its ass. Hard to do, and even harder to be successful, Pixie masters a firsthand experience of dealing with the effects of chemotherapy using humor and charm. For anyone going through chemo, if you need a major attitude adjustment from life ~ this is a must read.” David Fingerman author of Edging Past Reality and Two Degrees Closer to Hell

Sixty-one

Larry Johnson

$17.95 – Buy a print copy online

   Drafted during the Vietnam era, Larry Johnson filed for conscientious objector status and served as an Army medic in Germany, carrying no weapons. The life-long peace activist from Golden Valley, Minnesota, answered JFK’s call in 1961 and hiked 50 miles. At age 61, he hiked 61 miles down Highway 61 with his grandson Tyler. To commemorate his 70th birthday, Larry completed a 70 mile hike.


Amazon Reviews—

Andy of Minnesota writes: Integrity, Compassion and Modesty. Well-written remarkable stories of some key events in the life of a man of great integrity, compassion and modesty. In these indecorous times it is encouraging to read the tales of someone who has dealt with life’s challenges in such a principled way. A must read for those now coming of age.