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Poetry Reading w/ Andrés Cerpa, Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela, & p.e. garcia


Please join us for a POETRY READING
with Andrés Cerpa (Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy),
Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela, & p.e. garcia!

About Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy

These quiet, descriptive poems blaze with an inferno of lamenting and loving muses as a son helplessly watches his father suffer from a debilitating illness. The inquisitive voice of the speaker gently paints an emotional landscape ranging from childhood to the present, while trying to find glimpses of happiness in the imminent sorrow.

“This brilliant book tells a hell-forged truth with angelic music, making devastating beauty from the elemental and agonized relation between father and son—at once a war and a loss and a tether, a home. Through the cruel truth there is love; even in the deepest pit there’s light. This nocturnal-hearted poet’s not likely looking for it but there it is, still falling all over his burning, metallic, ruinous discoveries. There it is: love and brutality mixed together in epic scenes. No judgment, no transcendence—no way out of the mire. Cerpa’s is a magnificent talent—a yawp made for this very moment, and a voice for the ages.”—Brenda Shaughnessy

 is the author of Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy (January 2019) and The Vault (June 2021) from Alice James Books. A recipient of fellowships from the McDowell Colony and Canto Mundo, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Poem-a-Day, The Kenyon Review, The Rumpus, Frontier Poetry, West Branch, Foundry Journal, Wildness + elsewhere.

MARISSA JOHNSON-VALENZUELA is a writer, editor, community college professor and sometimes DJ. Her poetry and prose have been supported by many rad people and projects including:  VONA, Lambda Literary, The Leeway Foundation, Hedgebrook, American Poetry Review, The Baffler, Make/shift, As Us Journal, The Rust Belt Rising, APIARY, Aster(ix), Solstice, The Acentos Review, Mad House, HOLD, boneless, skinless, Bedfellows, and Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements (Soberscove 2016).

P.E. GARCIA is an editor-at-large at the Rumpus and a contributor to HTMLGiant. Previously, they've been a contributing editor at the Offing and Awst Press and an online editor for Hunger Mountain. They earned their MFA in Fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2013. Originally from Arkansas, they currently live in Philadelphia, where they are a PhD student in Rhetoric at Temple University. 

Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781938584978
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Alice James Books - January 8th, 2019

Event date: 
Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

BOOK LAUNCH: Josiah Bancroft's THE HOD KING (The Books of Babel #3)


We are extremely proud to be hosting the BOOK LAUNCH event for THE HOD KING,
the third novel in Josiah Bancroft's spellbinding series, THE BOOKS OF BABEL!
Josiah will be in the store and in conversation with Miriam Seidel!

The adventure begins in SENLIN ASCENDS...

The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel of the Silk Age. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Thomas Senlin, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, is drawn to the Tower by scientific curiosity and the grandiose promises of a guidebook. The luxurious Baths of the Tower seem an ideal destination for a honeymoon, but soon after arriving, Senlin loses Marya in the crowd. Senlin’s search for Marya carries him through madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress. 

But if he hopes to ever find his wife, Thomas Senlin must do more than survive. This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

and the plot thickens in ARM OF THE SPHINX...

Forced by necessity into a life of piracy, Senlin and his crew struggle to survive aboard their stolen airship. Senlin’s search for his lost wife continues, even as her ghost hounds his every step. But the Tower of Babel proves to be as difficult to reenter as it was to escape.

While searching for an unguarded port, Senlin encounters the camp of Luc Marat, who seems equal parts bandit and humanitarian. One thing is for certain: his asylum for the downtrodden hods is not as peaceful as it appears.

In desperation, Senlin turns to the mysterious and dangerous Sphinx, with whom Edith shares a terrible bond. They discover the Sphinx’s help does not come cheaply. 

Senlin is soon faced with an impossible choice between his friends, his freedom, and his wife.

The story continues on January 22, 2019 with the release of THE HOD KING! Come pick up SENLIN ASCENDS and ARM OF THE SPHINX at Penn Book Center now and be ready for this exciting book launch event!

JOSIAH BANCROFT started writing novels when he was twelve, and by the time he finished his first, he was an addict. Eventually, the writing of Senlin Ascends began, a fantasy adventure, not so unlike the stories that got him addicted to words in the first place. He wanted to do for others what his favorite writers had done for him: namely, to pick them up and to carry them to a wonderful and perilous world that is spinning very fast. If he's done that with this book, then he's happy. Josiah lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Sharon, their daughter Maddie, and their two rabbits, Mabel and Chaplin. More at:

MIRIAM SEIDEL’s debut novel, The Speed of Clouds (New Door Books, 2018), is a deep dive into sci-fi fandom. She wrote the libretto for an opera about the visionary inventor Nikola Tesla, performed in Belgrade, New York, and Philadelphia, and a sci-fi radio play for New American Radio. A longtime SFF fan, she was featured on programs at this year’s Philcon and World Fantasy Convention. She’s also written about visual arts and performance for Art in America, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and other publications. More at

The Hod King (The Books of Babel #3) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316517980
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Orbit - January 22nd, 2019

Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316517911
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - January 16th, 2018

Arm of the Sphinx (The Books of Babel #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316517959
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - March 13th, 2018

Event date: 
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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