Books

Buy your books from us! Images are linked to the buy pages at our Moon City Press catalog, distributed through the University of Arkansas Press.

Available For Pre-order: Kathy Goodkin, Crybaby Bridge (2019), $14.95

Amanda Marbais, Claiming a Body (2019), On Sale For $11.21

Winner of the 2018 Moon City Short Fiction Award
The stories in Amanda Marbais’ Claiming a Body read like dispatches from a frontline strewn with infected relationships, metastasizing anxieties, and cultural fatigue. Propelled by sympathetic characters and assertive voices that both capture and convey a uniquely contemporary dread, these virtual confessions reveal life at its most negotiable: a woman overcomes her fear of both commitment and grizzlies in the unspoiled wilderness of Glacier National Park; a couple cons friends one last time in the decaying rustbelt before turning on each other; the son of a poultry farmer struggles with inhumane practices while resisting the undercurrent of violence in his high school.
Just as Marbais’ characters seek to cross painful thresholds and unearth their better selves, her collection finds ways to communicate across traditional genre lines, bringing together such disparate styles as noir, environmental fiction, and speculative fiction. Woven throughout is a hard-wrought prose that crackles with a steady stream of references to the modern American landscape that is frequently to blame for the chaos left in its wake.

Moon City Review 2019, On Sale For $12.71

Contributors include Whitney Collins, Ian Denning, Dana Diehl, Michelle Donahue, Michelle Gaffney, Maggie Graber, Brianna McNish, Loria Mendoza, Scarlett Peterson, Alyssa Proujansky, Lana Spendl, Allison Wyss, Allyson Young, and many others.

Jane Hoogestraat, Here on This Plain (2018), On Sale For $11.21

Missouri Author Series
A keen sense of place permeates Here on This Plain, the final collection by the late Jane Hoogestraat, winner of the John Ciardi Prize. Compiled before her 2015 death, this collection reflects the preoccupations that will be familiar to Hoogestraat’s readers—nature, time, the spirit—though they are here relocated from the prairie to the East Coast, Chicago, and southern Missouri.
The poems in Here on This Plain look unabashedly at mortality, as in “What Matters”:
There is a limit for everyone
on the number of summers
when the first firefly appears.
It is a poem that concludes with a haunting realization:
I who have lived so thoroughly
believing language constructs everything
learn late not everything can be read.
But it is not too late to read these careful constructions of a rich, contemplative poet at the apogee of her talent.

Clayton Adam Clark, A Finitude of Skin (2018), On Sale For $11.21

Winner of the 2017 Moon City Poetry Award
Clayton Adam Clark’s A Finitude of Skin opens with Missouri, its fissures and declivities and hidden chambers:
Blame it on the limestone—the sinkholes,
the speleological interest, an overwhelming
karstness here. People get lost.
And indeed, people do get lost. The poems in A Finitude of Skin depict the acting and interacting of so many bodies, from bacteria to armadillos, from seed ticks to an oak tree so big you can’t wrap your arms around it. It’s in this environment that a narrative takes shape: a couple coming together and then, like everything else, breaking apart. By braiding the language and imagery of these bodies, Clark’s verse reflects the complicated ecosystem two people can form, honing in on the strange places they make contact, and don’t. Once we become entrenched in these Cave State landscapes and the goings-on of all these bodies, we can see and feel the many ways, “life there is vulnerable to disruption.”

Kim Magowan, Undoing (2018), $14.95

Winner of the 2017 Moon City Short Fiction Award
In Kim Magowan’s aptly titled debut short-story collection, Undoing, characters are frequently caught with their eyes on the past, trying to discern where it all went wrong, whether that concerns a marriage that survives infidelity only to fade later into oblivion or the premature termination of an affair. A young girl hopes to make sense of her seduction by the father of the child she babysits, while a new wife surveys her youthful indiscretions for clues as to how to forge an emotional bond with her anorexic stepdaughter. Through it all, struggles become universal, perhaps inevitable. Characters often reappear: older, wiser, seeking to break the cycle of dysfunction. The ultimate effect is a feeling of community, of shared mistakes, leaving the individuals lonely but not alone.
In this way, Magowan’s collection moves well beyond reflection. Ignoring the wreckage of their respective pasts, her characters are willing to look ahead, to try again. Indeed, there is much pain and lasting harm to go around, but these are curious, resilient people, open to the idea that the solutions, not just the problems, lie within. They hope, despite much evidence to the contrary, that they can undo what has been done.

Moon City Review 2018, $16.95

Contributors include Alyse Bensel, Roy Bentley, Debra Kang Dean, Susan Frith, Ronald Koertge, Gary Leising, George Looney, Wendy Oleson, Simon Perchik, Leslie Pietrzyk, Ron Riekki, Lucas Southworth, Gabriel Welsch, Francine Witte, and many others.

Walter Bargen, Too Quick for the Living (2017), $14.95

Missouri Author Series
In Too Quick for the Living, Walter Bargen adds his poetry to the Missouri Authors Series with a resounding rollick of a collection. Poems included range from a quiet look at people and places left behind to an outright celebration of survivor-hood with a sprinkling of pop culture icons to show the way. Over all, the collection pleases the senses before the abrupt realization that even though the poems are “More Moses than Neil Young,” as Young would say, Something is happening here even if what it is ain’t exactly clear.

Kerri French, Every Room in the Body (2017), $14.95

Winner of the 2016 Moon City Poetry Award
Every Room in the Body, winner of the 2016 Moon City Poetry Award, gives an intimate look at the body not only as spirit, but also as the house of blood and bone that makes life and betrays life. It is a complex sequence of poems addressing a difficult pregnancy, but more specifically, the dynamic between the body, nature embodied, and expectations. There is sadness, yes, but also a calm assessment of the process and the days, good and bad, that ends with a quiet joy. As French says in the preface poem “Residence,” “Here is a map / that multiplies her hunger. Here / is the sound where it all began.” Begin with her and trace the days.

Michelle Ross, There’s So Much They Haven’t Told You (2017), $14.95

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Winner of the 2016 Moon City Short Fiction Award
Michelle Ross’ debut short-story collection serves as an encyclopedia of modern relationships, taking special interest in those formed on unequal footing, pitting daughters against mothers, wives against husbands, friends against friends. Legacy looms large, as behaviors are passed from one generation to the next, and those entrusted with caring for the young or keeping others employed are found derelict in their duties. Weaknesses are exploited, ignorance is exposed, and bonds are occasionally dissolved. Regarding the human condition as it is portrayed throughout this collection, one character’s words echo prophetically: “You’re at the complete mercy of giants who don’t understand you.”
In spite of all this, Ross’ stories are ultimately tales of striving: to understand, to connect, to reclaim. Themes of discovery are woven tightly, as these individuals, rather than remain in the dark, are regularly drawn to the light that is missing from their lives. Optimism may not abound, but neither do these characters wallow. Time and time again, they evolve into agents of change within their own lives, even if they sometimes choose not to act.
In the end, such thematic depth gives rise to an astoundingly diverse array of voices, styles, and structures. No two entries in Ross’ collection are alike, and collectively they reveal the potential of the American short story, leaving little unsaid.

Moon City Review 2017, $16.95

Moon City Review 2017‘s contributors include Walter Bargen, Pat Daneman, Karen Donovan, Sarah Freligh, Kerri French, Angie Macri, Kim Magowan, John McNally, Travis Massotti, J. David Stevens, Laura Lee Washburn, and Charles Harper Webb.

Mary Troy, Swimming on Hwy N (2016), $14.95

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Missouri Author Series
Madeline Dames moves to a small town in the Missouri Ozarks to get over the death of her third husband, but instead finds herself reliving another past. Her damaged younger sister shows up at her trailer, having changed her name from Angie to Misery, and no sooner does Misery move in, the abusive mother both sisters fear, Wanda, comes for a surprise visit.
When Madeline’s new beau, Randy, brings two young people, a man and a woman, to Madeline’s, claiming they need a place to stay, Madeline agrees. As it turns out, the young man is a deserter from the Iraq War. After writing some radical letters to newspapers, defending his desertion, he is forced to leave the country, and Randy vows to help the pair escape to Canada. Madeline, Misery, Wanda, Randy, and the two young people head to the Northwest, the best exit point, but are chased by a Nebraska bus boy/bounty hunter, a patriot group with more Internet presence than resolve, and a renegade nun and her Blackfoot wards.
Swimming on Hwy N is an unpredictable generational story about abuse, recovery, love, hate, bravery, fear, devotion, and disillusionment. Sixty-year-old Madeline and the rest of the characters have to make several crucial choices, all of which can and will affect their lives on the road, and forever. Along the way, everyone learns their most important lesson, that you can never grow too old to surprise yourself.

Jeannine Hall Gailey, Field Guide to the End of the World (2016), $14.95

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Winner of the 2015 Moon City Poetry Award
Field Guide to the End of the World, winner of the 2015 Moon City Poetry Award, delivers a whimsical look at our culture’s obsession with apocalypse as well as a thoughtful reflection on our resources in the face of disasters both large and small, personal and public. Pop-culture characters—from Martha Stewart and Wile E. Coyote to zombie strippers and teen vampires—deliver humorous but insightful commentary on survival and resilience through poems that span imagined scenarios that are not entirely beyond the realm of possibility. The characters face their apocalypses in numerous ways, from strapping on rollerblades and swearing to taking notes as barns burn on the horizon. At the end of the world, the most valuable resource is human connection—someone holding our hands, reminding us “we are miraculous.”

Laura Hendrix Ezell, A Record of Our Debts (2016), $14.95

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Winner of the 2015 Moon City Short Fiction Award
In her debut collection of stories, Laura Hendrix Ezell assembles a harmonious chorus of resilient female voices—many speaking from the margins of their own lives, all contemplating their complicated relationships with the men who influence their trajectories. Set against rural backdrops whose emptiness and isolation hint at constrictive forces rather than wide open spaces, Ezell’s stories capture their characters not only at their most vulnerable and desperate, but also at essential moments of self-discovery, of purposeful recognition of the extenuating circumstances that have shaped their respective fates.
Throughout A Record of Our Debts, Ezell weaves together diverse, distinctive tales with remarkably fluid yet muscular prose that belies the desolate imagery contained within. These are striking, memorable odes to overcoming, though not always in ways that leave the characters whole. These are people who somehow manage to find themselves in the aftermath of loss, who uncover their own modest strengths while surrounded by so much weakness. This is a long, winding road of adolescents forced into prostitution by their own fathers, healers still haunted by the men they could not save, and widows who convert abandoned churches into makeshift diners in the hopes of luring back their husbands’ spirits. In short, this is a powerful exploration of the human spirit at both its best and its worst.
Ezell’s figures extend well off the page, lingering in one’s memory long after the final line. For that, readers owe Ezell a debt of gratitude.

Moon City Review 2016, $14.95

MCR16 front cover
Moon City Review 2016 contributors include Tricia Asklar, B.J. Best, Sara Browning, Jim Daniels, Nandini Dhar, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Laura Hendrix Ezell, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Mark Irwin, Sandra Marchetti, Lee Ann Roripaugh, and William Trowbridge.

Sarah Freligh, Sad Math (2015), $14.95

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Winner of the 2014 Moon City Poetry Award
In Sad Math, Sarah Freligh takes us for a ride through an American girlhood, a retrospective landscape of parking in cars and illicit kisses in a Donut Delite. Here, time is measured not only in days and years but in physical distance, a past that is understandable only when viewed through a rearview mirror. Along the way, there are not only losses, but also the accumulation of experience and the insistence of possibility.

Cate McGowan, True Places Never Are (2015), $14.95

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Winner of the 2014 Moon City Short Fiction Award
In her debut collection, Cate McGowan introduces us to an assortment of characters, a passenger manifest voyaging through loss and salvation. The book’s title borrows from Moby Dick: “It is not down on any map; true places never are.” McGowan’s characters are indeed off the map; they venture into wondrous worlds as knotty and distressing as the places they aim to leave.
In prose highlighted by moving observations and vivid imagery, McGowan’s characters represent an unusual hodgepodge of everyman—children, men, and women who inhabit different eras and countries, all sharing the need for deliverance. They populate the aftermath of tragedy. Deeply affecting and varied in tone, the nineteen stories in the collection are a colony of laundromats and the Louvre; of mule pulls and boxing rings; of Georgia red clay and cobblestones.
In this collection, true places are indeed hard to find, yet hope is every person’s traveling companion. In True Places Never Are, McGowan reminds us that wherever you are in the world, redemption might not be far away.

Steve Yates, The Teeth of the Souls (2015), $32.95

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As the sequel to Morkan’s QuarryThe Teeth of the Souls tells the story of a marriage betrayed, a lifelong and secret love, and an Ozarks city riven by an Easter lynching.
The story begins just after the Civil War when Leighton Shea Morkan, son of Irish immigrants, marries Patricia Grünhaagen Weitzer, daughter of a German banking family. Yet he can’t let go of his childhood love and wartime confidante, the house hand and former slave, Judith. Both unions produce children, one a shrouded secret, and one the heir to the Morkan legacy: the limestone quarries of Springfield, Missouri, and the bloody past, what Judith calls “The Teeth of the Souls.”
Grounded in broad historical research and spanning Missouri’s reconstruction, vigilantism, and fall from grace, The Teeth of the Soulschronicles the violent melding of immigrant strains—Irish, German, Scots-Irish, and African American—into the fabric of the Ozarks.

Moon City Review 2015, $14.95

Contributors to Moon City Review 2015 include Matt Cashion, Grant Clauser, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Cate McGowan, Curtis Smith, Marjorie Stelmach, William Trowbridge, Charles Harper Webb, and Wei He.

Trudy Lewis, The Empire Rolls (2014), $16.95

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Missouri Author Series
Sally LaChance leads a double life. By day, she works as a park ranger in a midsized Missouri town. At night, she acts as emcee for the local roller derby team, the Boonslick Bombers, at the Empire Roller Rink. Sally loses her temper one day and pulls a gun on a group of polluters in Karst Park. Her boyfriend, a video artist, captures the moment on film and posts the footage to YouTube, putting Sally’s job, her relationships, and her life at risk.
Just before the financial crash of 2008, Sally LaChance must wind her way through the crumbling economy, a DIY skating corps, angry veterans, a slacker boyfriend, an evangelical mother, the war machine, and ever-encroaching private interests. The Empire Rolls captures the changing cultural landscape of the Midwest at a critical moment in history. The Empire Rolls. And it is rolling still.

Debra Kang Dean, Fugitive Blues (2014), $7.95

The 2013 first-prize winner for Moon City Press’ Blue Moon Poetry Chapbook Contest

Moon City Review 2014, $15.95

Contributors to this 2014 edition of Moon City Review include Craig Albin, Roy Bentley, Vanessa Blakeslee, Cynthia Marie Hoffman, George Looney, Richard Newman, Phoebe Reeves, Amber Sparks, Matthew Vollmer, and Gabriel Welsch.

Moon City Review 2013, $15.95

Moon City Review 2013 presents a collection of original poems, short stories, and essays from talented authors both established and emerging in their craft. The issue also features translations of work not originally composed in English, as well as reviews of recent contemporary creative books.
 Moon City Review 2013, edited by creative-writing faculty and students from Missouri State University, provides a challenging and entertaining representation of today’s competitive literary landscape.

Michael Burns, Night of the Grizzly (2012), $10.95

Night of the Grizzly, Michael Burns’ last book, was a finished manuscript at the time of his passing and reflects an incisive poet at the height of his powers. Burns has an ear for language as satisfying as Robert Frost’s and a knack for storytelling Robert Penn Warren would envy. His deep image poems evoke primal experiences that take us beyond the dulling influence of this life.
Twenty-one of the thirty-six poems printed here have appeared in such distinguished venues as The Paris ReviewThe Southern ReviewWestern Humanities ReviewThe Laurel Review, and Moon City Review.

Moon City Review 2012, $29.95

Lavishly color-illustrated, the 2012 volume of Moon City Review centers on children’s literature and its increasingly blurry borderlands. MCR 2012 offers a variable feast of poetry, fiction, criticism, graphic arts, and “archival treasures” by Rose O’Neill, Robert Wallace, and Young E. Allison (author of “Derelict” or “Dead Man’s Chest”), all for and/or about children and young adults. Contributors include D. Gilson, David Harrison, Jean Stringam, and Laura Lee Washburn.

Fredrick French, Tommy Atkins at Home and Abroad (2012), $19.95

“Stoney broke and alone in London. That’s how I found myself one day some years before the Great War.” So begins Fredrick French’s Tommy Atkins at Home and Abroad, an enormously entertaining memoir that tells the story of one remarkably articulate British soldier’s experiences of enlistment, training, desertion, re-enlistment, travel to India, and serving in the Mesopotamian theater (now Iraq) during World War I.

Travis Mossotti, My Life as an Island (2012), $7.95

First winner of the Blue Moon Poetry Chapbook Contest
“Whether portraying the hardscrabble poor living along the Mississippi River or staring as Guillaume Apollinaire stared into Le Seine in Paris, Travis Mossotti evokes the ghosts of his own working-class family. His urgent meditations upon three generations of Italian-American men torn apart by economic hardship and death transport us, in achingly beautiful detail, to the Meramec River and Missouri hills of a bygone era. In My Life as an Island, Mossotti sings of St. Louis, of a heritage the poet equates with “‘the crumbled red brick façade / of burned-out warehouses on the edge / of a river that is more American / than I can stand.’”
—Marcus Cafagña, author of The Broken World and Roman Fever

Gerald Duff, Blue Sabine (2011), $19.95


Blue Sabine is a story of five generations of women in the same family, told in their voices, along with those of some men of Holt blood. It is set along the Sabine River, which divides the state of Texas from Louisiana and the Deep South. From 1867 (when the Holts first came to Texas) to the present, the novel chronicles the emotional lives of grandmothers, mothers, daughters, and nieces, all bound by kinship and history. Each comes to terms with being a woman in the West, in Texas, and in her own way and her own time. In its flow and its setting of boundaries, the Sabine River comes to reflect what remains and what changes in the way the Holt women see their world and themselves.

Moon City Review 2011, $19.95

The 2011 volume of Moon City Review focuses on alumni in the broadest sense of the word. Some of the best writers and artists in and from the Ozarks are featured, along with a generous mix of Missouri State students and faculty. Readers from the Ozarks may recognize some old friends, and other readers will get a better idea about “where we’re from.” Authors include former Missouri Poet Laureate Walter Bargen, Michael Burns, Kerry James Evans, Brian Shawver, Roland Sodowsky, Alexandra Teague, Laura Lee Washburn, and National Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, who offers a poem and an exclusive interview.

Moon City Review 2010, $15.95

The 2010 volume of Moon City Review takes “speculative futures” as its special theme, emphasizing utopian, diastopic, sci-fi and fantasy literature and criticism. In addition, MCR 2010 includes original poetry by Jim Daniels, Jeannine Hall Gailey, and Alysse Hotz; fiction by Juned Subhan, Nancy Gold, Ted Chiles, and Pete Duval; criticism by Landis Duffett; and creative nonfiction by Julie Platt. The “Archival Treasures” section continues its exploration of Ozarks-born artist and creator of the Kewpie, Rose O’Neill. New to this volume is a translations section, which includes Hernan Mugoya’s short story, “El Fantasma,” translated by Nikki Settlemeyer; and poetry by Per Aage Brandt, translated by Thomas Satterlee.

Burton Raffel, Yankee Doric (2010), $29.95

America’s war against itself developed slowly, pressing on people in all walks and ways of life. The Bingham family—of New England, then rural New York, then the great city of New York—was, like everyone else, caught up in deep, churning passions. The Bingham men, as they struggle toward the lives and loves they long for, reach into realms of commerce, politics, diplomacy, journalism. Bingham women, almost too strong for the roles society imposes, strive to be as they see themselves. Though fictive, their stories are historical reincarnations, since Yankee Doric mirrors faithfully the age and its people.

Steve Yates, Morkan’s Quarry (2010), $27.95


In 1861, the Civil War severs Michael Morkan from everything he loves and all that defines him—from his son, Leighton; from his love, Cora Slade; and from the quarry he owns in Springfield, Missouri. Forced to give his black powder to the Missouri State Guard, he finds himself indelibly labeled a rebel traitor and is imprisoned in St. Louis. Back in the Ozarks, Leighton joins the Federal Home Guards in hopes of paroling his father. When Leighton finally frees him, the two are pitched in a last gambit for their quarry and for the legacy of the name Morkan.
Portions of Morkan’s Quarry first appeared in Missouri ReviewOntario Review, and South Carolina Review. A novella-length excerpt was a finalist for the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society William Faulkner / Wisdom Award for the Best Novella.

George H. Jensen, Jr., Some of the Words Are Theirs: A Memoir of an Alcoholic Family (2009), $29.95

Some of the Words Are Theirs is far more than the tale of an adult child of an alcoholic. Jensen’s story chronicles how he came to widen the lens through which he saw his past, removing the filters of the victim and abandoned child, allowing him to see events as significant primarily in the meaning we choose to give them.

Moon City Review 2009, $15.95

Moon City Review 2009 includes poetry and fiction by Burton Raffel; poetry by Ted Kooser, Miller Williams, Marcus Cafagña, and Michael Burns; fiction (and an interview) by Kevin Brockmeier; short fiction by John Dufresne and Michael Cyzniejewski; and criticism by Billy Clem. A special section, “Archival Treasures,” features original and unknown work by Rose O’Neill, arguably the Ozarks’ most famous graphic artist.

For, From, About James T. Whitehead: Poems, Stories, Photographs, and Recollections (2009), $15.99

When James T. Whitehead (or “Big Jim,” as friends knew him) passed away in 2003, Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas lost one of its finest poets and beloved teachers. In 1965, Whitehead joined with his friend William Harrison to found the University’s Creative Writing Program. He taught in that nationally prestigious program for the next thirty-four years, from 1965 to 1999. He was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction and a Robert Frost Fellowship in poetry. Whitehead’s novel, Joiner, was listed among the New York Times’ Noteworthy Books of 1971. His many poetry collections include Domains (1967), Local Men (1979), and Near at Hand (1993). With his untimely passing, Whitehead left a large body of work unpublished.
In this anthology of original poetry, short fiction, essays, and remembrances, twenty-four of Whitehead’s colleagues, students, and friends join in celebrating the man’s life and contribution to American letters. Included are posthumous works by Whitehead himself: six poems, an excerpt of creative nonfiction, and a draft-excerpt from Coldstream, projected sequel to Joiner.
Contributors: President Jimmy Carter, Miller Williams, Bill Harrison, Barry Hannah, Dave Smith, Beth Ann Fennelley, Lewis Nordan, C. D. Wright, Leon Stokesbury, R. S. Gwynn, John Dufresne, Jo McDougall, Michael Heffernan, Donald S. Hays, Van K. Brock, W. D. Blackmon, Josh Capps, Steve Yates, Nancy A. Williams, William Harrison, MD, Robert Pomeroy, Harold McDuffie, John N. Marr, and Kathleen W. Paulson, MD.

Jim W. Corder on Living and Dying in West Texas: A Postmodern Scrapbook (2009), $15.00

“Corder’s final memoir makes a significant contribution to the ‘literature of aging.’ Students of creative nonfiction, of regional history (West Texas especially), of popular culture, of the ‘problem’ of self-identity in postmodernism, and of the ‘arts’ of living (and preparation for dying) will want to read this book.”
—Craig A. Meyer, Ohio University
Jim W. Corder will be remembered by students and colleagues at Texas Christian University for his writing, teaching, and original thinking. He was one of the most influential composition specialists of his generation—his Handbook of Rhetoric went through numerous editions, becoming a classroom staple nationwide—yet he gave his final years to the “fourth genre” of creative nonfiction. His numerous publications include Lost in West Texas (1988), Chronicle of a Small Town (1989), and Yonder: Life on the Far Side of Change (1992).

James Whitehead, The Panther: Posthumous Poems (2009), $15.00

Through a series of dramatic monologues (spoken by Mary, the Angel Gabriel, Paul of Tarsus, and the “Sidonian archer,” Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera), the fourteen poems gathered here give life to the Jewish-apocryphal legend of “Jesus, son of Pantera”—the story that Jesus was sired by a Roman soldier. Having learned of a tomb (unearthed in Germany) bearing the soldier’s name, Whitehead spent the last years of his life researching and writing about this fascinating, controversial tradition. In his introduction to the collection, renowned Biblical scholar James Tabor recounts the Scriptural, apocryphal, and archaeological evidence upon which the story is based.

Jim W. Corder, The Heroes Have Gone: Personal Essays on Sport, Popular Culture, and the American West (2008), $15.00

Featuring work previously unpublished, The Heroes Have Gone shows off Jim W. Corder’s consummate skills as a memoirist, essayist, and cultural critic. Though the subjects are wide-ranging—West Texas, World War II, writing and teaching, TCU football—one looms above the rest: Corder’s lifetime love affair with America’s pastoral sport, baseball.

Thomas E. Allen, If They Hadn’t Gone: How World War II Affected Major League Baseball (2004), $14.95

If They Hadn’t Gone is an encyclopedia of biographical and statistical information covering 472 baseball players whose careers were affected by war. Its lists include brief biographies and lifetime stats for replacement players who, before Pearl Harbor, would have been over-the-hill or below major-league quality. But, in war or in peace, baseball was the American pastime. Writing early in 1942, President Roosevelt urges Kenesaw M. Landis (then baseball commissioner) to “play ball!” for the sake of morale. Allen prints the letter in facsimile: “It would be best for the country to keep baseball going,” writes Roosevelt, “even if the quality of the teams is lowered by the greater use of older players.”