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Sheila-Na-Gig Editions

Sheila-Na-Gig Editions Volume 3:



The Shape of Emptiness

by Regina O’Melveny






Paperback ISBN: 978-1-7329406-4-2

& Ebook ISBN: 978-1-7329406-5-9

(Now Available through your favorite online retailers).

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REGINA O’MELVENY is a writer and assemblage artist whose award-winning poetry and prose can be found in various literary magazines including The Bellingham Review, rattapallax, Barrow Street, and The Sun. Her long poem, Fireflies, the Conflux Press Poetry Award winner, was issued as an artist’s book designed by Tania Baban. She has published three chapbooks, New and A Secret from Conflux Press, and most recently, other gods, an award-winning collection from the Munster International Poetry Centre in Ireland. Her full-length manuscript, Blue Wolves, won the Bright Hill Press poetry book award. Little, Brown and Company published her novel, The Book of Madness and Cures, listed as one of six best historical novels of the year 2012 by NPR. She has taught writing at Marymount College, the Palos Verdes Art Center and the South Coast Botanic Gardens. Regina lives with her husband in the fragrant sage-scrub hills of   Rancho Palos Verdes, California.


The lyric poems that compose the three parts of The Shape of Emptiness, while each distinct, work in concert like the near invisible lines of an orb-weaver who tacks her continuous silk to the spokes of a web, beginning at the center, spiraling ever outward and then returning to center again.  At the outset the poems explore the poet’s core relationship with her father and his haunting absence. Then they touch upon the tragedy of suicide and her mother’s troubled mind and heart.  A hunger for connection runs through all the poems informed by the meditations and urgencies of the soul. In the last section of the book the poems draw upon the experiences that bind the poet to her husband, daughter and animal companions, in ways that open toward the greater fabric of nature of which we are all a part. Throughout the book, the delicate yet resilient strands between nature and human concerns are tested, explored, mourned where they have been torn, and celebrated where they hold, as revelatory and healing.


The language of these poems creeps so close to the natural world it gets entangled in it and soon we are also submerged in harsh truth and ultimate beauty. Here, in The Shape of Emptiness, life crackles and death comes alive. This book is true medicine. Drink deeply. Take it in. Yes. – Deena Metzger, author of the novels A Rain of  Night Birds, La Negra y Blanca, and Feral; and Ruin and Beauty: New and Selected Poems

 Sheila-Na-Gig Editions Volume 2:




Traveling for No Good Reason

by George Franklin

Winner of the 2018 Sheila-Na-Gig Editions Poetry Manuscript contest

$17.00 — Paperback ISBN: 9781732940604 (available through your favorite online bookstores)

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$14.00 — Ebook ISBN: 9781732940628 (available through your favorite online bookstores)

GEORGE FRANKLIN practices law in Miami and teaches writing workshops in Florida state prisons. His poems have been published in Sheila-Na-Gig online, Salamander, The Wild Word, B O D Y, Matter, Scalawag, Gulf Stream, Rascal, Amsterdam Quarterly,  Twyckenham Notes, The Threepenny Review, Cagibi, The Wild Word, and armarolla. A bi-lingual edition of his poems, with Spanish translations by Ximena Gomez, is published by Katakana Editores.


These poems in Traveling for No Good Reason tell stories, and they invite the reader to enter into those stories. Whether the poet is drinking Cuban coffee in Miami, visiting Joseph Brodsky’s grave in Venice, teaching writing workshops in a Florida prison, learning to read Greek in New York City in the 1980s, or trying to make sense out of a love that is unexpected and undeserved, the stories are about the recompense we receive for our losses, the pleasures and ideas that allow us to start to live all over again. Sometimes that recompense is erotic, sometimes merely the fact of telling the story. The poems are conversational in style while at the same time seeking out what is often hard to talk about: the end of a marriage, a friend’s slow death, or what desire might actually mean. Regardless, it’s the conversation that’s always foremost. In looking to understand, these poems themselves want to be understood, to be transparent. They may engage historical or mythological figures or the woman whose life the poet shares, but their conversation is ultimately with the reader.


by Richard Allen Taylor in Pedestal Magazine:

by Deborah Bacharach in Broadsided Press:

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Sheila-Na-Gig Editions Volume 1:

Marc updated


today can take your breath away

by Marc Swan

$17.00 — Paperback ISBN: 9780692055137 (available through your favorite online bookstores)

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$14.00 — Ebook ISBN: 9781732940611 (available through your favorite online bookstores)

MARC SWAN is a retired vocational rehabilitation counselor. His poems have found an international audience with work published in the small press throughout the US, in Canada, the UK, Ireland, France, Australia and New Zealand. Tall-lighthouse Press in London, England published his last two collections: In a Distinct Minor Key (2007) and Simple Distraction (2009). He lives with his wife Dd in Portland Maine.


In today can take your breath away, Swan uses everyday language and compelling images to write sensitively about daily life. His insights are both political and personal, his poems journeying to Maine and to California, allowing readers to experience life’s frustrations and losses and life’s joys and abundance.


Marc Swan’s poems breathe into the solar plexus of experience and release us into the tangible world of parents in phases of dementia; immigrants in Trumpian times; and protest marches—reflections of eras and places as the red world crashes on the shores of the blue. In a poem that personifies so many Marc finds a rusted out Matchbox Dodge Charger, “tires lost to the sea/body faded to gray/a hemi-head fashioned to the hood—/the remnants we carry” All the while Marc steers a steady course through these tightly written portraits of our times. — Mary Elizabeth Gillilan, Editor-in-Chief, Clover, A Literary Rag

Marc Swan’s latest collection celebrates gifts of life in its many forms: conversation over dinner with friends, daily walks on a beach, Being in all its natural glory.  In this he is like Ray Carver, a poet he references in a discussion with an older woman that ends in silence and confusion. Loved ones grow old, get Alzheimer’s, and are visited in nursing homes. The process of life slowly integrates, much is lost along the way  but the celebration of life continues: today can take your breath away. — Alan Catlin poet and editor of Misfit Magazine

In this new collection Marc Swan continues to create his own special type of poetry, one that is conversational, steadfast but never predictable. With deft maturity his acute observations on aging, coupled with a quietly stated anger on the social tensions of America today, reveal a uniquely astute voice. These are poems that care from a master of his craft. — Les Robinson, tall-lighthouse Press

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