Black Lawrence Press

January Sale : How To Manuals

Looking for some twisted recipes for the new year? Interested in learning how to kill a jackal or how to feel confident with your special talents? Want to invite more decency into your life? We’ve got just the how-to manuals (née poetry collections) for you! These four titles are on sale for just $10 a pop. Also, be sure to check out this great sale on our 2018 subscriptions!

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How to Feel Confident with Your Special Talents by Carol Guess & Daniela Olszewska

In these miniature mock instruction manuals, lyric poetry meets wiki, generating wickedly funny prose poems based on the website wikiHow.

Decency by Marcela Sulak

Decency celebrates the spunky wenches, the unfortunate queens, the complicated translators, the wistful wives who have been hustled off the spotlit stages of history. Through the lens of Victorian manuals of etiquette, through the unfolding of religion from the Middle East to the American Southwest, Decency thinks through the brutal things we do to one another, recording the ways the individual operates in relation to society’s mores and harms. From the Sumerian queen Puabi to contemporary female recruits to the Israeli intelligence’s “Honeytrap” operation, Decency is a mix of the documentary and the lyrical, the wrathful and the joyful.

From the Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes by B.C. Edwards
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Adapted from a collection of household instructions originally published in 1901, From the Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes bastardizes everyday tasks such as dyeing silks, brewing beer, fabricating paint and, of course, curing small pox and twists them into odd, dark poems. The pains of adolescence, the simple failure of love, the thrill of newfound lust—this collection outlines all the crests and troughs of our modern existence.
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Instructions for Killing the Jackal by Erica Wright
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Instructions for Killing the Jackal takes its name from a classic conundrum—what to do if you find yourself dating a half-man, half-jackal. The answer is clear: “Say, I’ll take you furless and toothless, // take your gums and the nicks from the razor, / let you bleed on me if you return.” This embrace of violence links many of the poems, and more importantly, asks how we escape. Wright answers with poems teeming with a host of savage crocodiles, preachers, delicate birds, and good common folk. These seemingly contradictory forces are woven together by a masterful lyric voice that creates a world where a girl can become a god as easily as she can skin one. Even pain is merely a conduit for a greater discovery of love, gender, and the perseverance of the human spirit.