Blog

Welcome Peter Ramos and Desmond White to the masthead!

Coffin Bell is beyond excited to announce that we have added two more editors to the masthead! Dr. Peter Ramos joins us as our new Poetry Editor, and Desmond White joins us as an Assistant Editor. We look forward to working with them both!


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Peter Ramos’s poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Puerto del Sol, Painted Bride Quarterly, Verse, Fugue, Indiana Review, Poet Lore, Mississippi Review (online), and other journals.  Nominated five times for a Pushcart Prize, Peter is the author of one book of poetry, Please Do Not Feed the Ghost (BlazeVox Books, 2008), and three shorter collections: Television Snow (Back Pages Books 2015), Watching Late-Night Hitchcock & Other Poems (handwritten press 2004), and Short Waves (White Eagle Coffee Store Press 2003). Peter has also published criticism on Kate Chopin, William Faulkner and Toni Morrison, Walt Whitman, Pablo Neruda and Langston Hughes, James Wright and César Vallejo, modern and contemporary Latin American poetry, and William Carlos Williams.  He has been invited as a poetry fellow to the following artist colonies: the CoLab Residency at St. Mary’s College of Maryland; the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), and the Constance Saltonstall Foundation.  He holds graduate degrees from George Mason University and the State University of New York at Buffalo. An associate professor of English at Buffalo State College, Peter teaches courses in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature.

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Desmond White teaches rhetoric and writes when his students aren’t looking. His speculative fiction has appeared in HeartWood, Kasma, The Tishman Review, Literally Stories, Rue Scribe, Ghost Parachute, and Z Publishing’s America’s Emerging Writers. Be wary of his blog www.desmondwrite.com and steer away from mindless tweets @desmondwrite.

New Feedback Option coming 4/1

Starting on April 1, 2019, there will be a new paid feedback option for submitters. Each submitter in this category will receive feedback from three Coffin Bell editors for each piece submitted, whether or not it is chosen for publication.

We have had a lot of requests for feedback, and plan to use the revenue created by this new option to fund the printing and production of our second print anthology, Coffin Bell TWO. We look forward to sharing our feedback with you!

Welcome McKenzie Lemhouse to the Masthead!

We at Coffin Bell are thrilled to announce the addition of McKenzie Lemhouse to our masthead as our new Nonfiction Editor!

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McKenzie Miller Lemhouse hails from South Carolina, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Language at Winthrop University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. Her career is in archives and libraries, but she has had a lifelong love of stories. She is an avid reader, and loves finding the personal, gritty, and sometimes inspiring stories hidden in the collections that she works to preserve and share with others. When she is not researching, writing, or roaming the stacks, she enjoys finding creative ways to make her husband, Zach, laugh. The pair have one dog, June, and two cats, Archer and Wolfie.

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We are thrilled to have McKenzie on board and look forward to her contributions!

REVIEW: Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn (5/5)

by Tiana Coven

“The black seeps into her, masking any sentiments, mangling any desire to forgive, hardening the weak pulp of a muscle beating inside her chest.” -Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn

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tw: sexual assault/homophobia

It’s not often that I come across a novel that is so raw and honest as Here Comes the Sun. The story follows four women in Montego Bay, Jamaica: Margot, a woman who has been sexually exploited by her mother as a result of homophobia and poverty, and has learned how to sell her sexuality to make ends meet, Delores (Margot’s mother) who runs a tourist shop and faces the trials of raising two daughters while facing poverty, Thandi (Margot’s younger sister, who struggles with colorism, which runs rampant in Jamaica, and Verdene [Margot’s lover], a woman who is regarded as a witch because she is openly gay.) This book touches on heavy subjects such as sexual assault, colorism, fetishization, homophobia, and how tourism negatively affects the native community in Jamaica. Overall, this book truly reflects the harsh reality of life as a woman in Jamaica within its fictional pages.

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You can read more of Tiana’s reviews and recommendations on her book blog, Tiana Reads LGBT.

 

 

REVIEW: Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (5/5)

by Tiana Coven

“I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth.”
-The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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This book tore me apart and then put me back together again by the last page. This book has shot past all others and moved immediately into my favorites list. It is both romantic and action packed, keeping me on edge with every page. The way the author writes through Patroclus’ eyes about his love and devotion to Achilles is such a balm for my heart. The book tells the story of how Patroclus, once a prince, becomes an exile after he accidentally murders a boy and gets disowned by his father, the king. He finds himself, mercifully, in Achilles’ father’s kingdom, taken in as an orphan. Achilles takes a fast interest in him, to Patroclus’ surprise, and the two become fast friends. And then something much more. As the story follows them from childhood training to adulthood war, their love for each other grows stronger despite any trial put in their way.

I loved this book so fiercely, and will definitely be buying my own copy to reread for years to come!

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You can read more of Tiana’s reviews and recommendations on her book blog, Tiana Reads LGBT.