Kirkus Reviews: Carney persevered in memoir, STARVE THE VULTURE

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A reader from Kirkus Reviews posted this review of Jason Carney’s STARVE THE VULTURE:

“National Poetry Slam finalist Carney’s memoir of his troubled upbringing, drug addiction and eventual grace. Addicts often refer to a moment of epiphany, when, at their lowest point, they experience a feeling of clarity that puts their disease into perspective. The author vividly describes his moment as a fortuitous brush with death, when, after bingeing on crack, he was driving with a prostitute and a car careened out of control, almost crashing into him at high speed. Dazed, Carney helped the other driver and noticed a crack pipe in his pocket. That man, tossed from his vehicle but seemingly unhurt, could have been him. So begins Carney’s tale of redemption, which is told through time-traveling vignettes that alternate between his fraught childhood and adolescence and the manic, drug-addled events immediately leading to his moment of ‘grace.’ There is a sense of self-indulgence in Carney’s recollections of his lurid self-destruction, but his memory serves to contrast the extremes of his depravity with a newfound meaning in life. If addicts need an excuse to justify their excess, Jason Carney’s list would probably dwarf most. Growing up, his family life was classically dysfunctional. He had a teenage mother and abusive father and teenage years of delinquency, homophobia and criminal apprenticeship. Behind all that, however, was a love of words and reading. Carney even fondly recalls his first encounter with poetry in which he smuggled a book out of the school library after checkout time had ended, later thinking after his first marriage ended after nine months, the ‘only relationship I believed I needed was with poetry.’ His dedication to poetry would lead him to four National Poetry Slam finals and speaking gigs at colleges to decry the types of bigotry and hate that had led him astray. Carney will easily win sympathy for his life, in which he has persevered to show others the hard work of his salvation.”

STARVE THE VULTURE
A Memoir
Author: Jason Carney

Publisher:Kaylie Jones/Akashic
Pages: 300
Price ( Paperback ): $15.95
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
ISBN ( Paperback ): 978-1-61775-301-5
Category: Nonfiction

Jason Carney’s STARVE THE VULTURE reviewed by Booklist

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Mark Eleveld from Booklist posted a glowing review of Jason Carney’s STARVE THE VULTURE, released by Kaylie Jones Books in January 2015. In his review he wrote:

“Carney has been a finalist in National Poetry Slam four times, was honored as a Legend of the Slam, and appeared on several seasons of HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry. A gruff Texan who loves his mother, he performs his endearing poems with intensity and agility. For Carney, poetry is redemption, a way out of his rough life of contending with addictions of various kinds, homophobia, and racism. He recounts his journey to poetry and his work as an educator in this memoir, his first major piece of published writing, which opens in the midst of a storm of trouble escalated by a car crash. ‘This is the moment I saw on the horizon my whole drugged out life.’ Carney follows a circuitous path to sobriety and sanity that includes his first poetry reading as well as interludes in drug dens, porn shops, and wild parties and, finally, stepping on stage in front of TV cameras. Sheepishly naïve, jaunty, frank, and compelling, Carney shares his instructive story with generosity and insight.”

Booklist
Issue: November 1, 2014
Starve the Vulture.
Carney, Jason (Author)
Jan 2015. Akashic/Kaylie Jones, paperback, $15.95. (9781617753015). 811.

Kaylie Jones profiled in Hamptons Country Capitalist Magazine

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Imprint founder Kaylie Jones was profiled in the Hamptons Country Capitalist. Writer Mary Ellen Walsh interviewed Jones about taking the leap into the publishing world with Akashic Books.

As a teacher of writing in two MFA programs (Wilkes University in Pennsylvania and Stony Brook Southampton in New York), Jones has worked with many students to perfect their stories while assisting up-and-coming authors through the uncertain world of publishing.

Over the years she had noticed more and more of her talented students never getting the chance to be published and enjoyed by the masses, so she approached Johnny Temple, friend and publisher of Akashic Books in Brooklyn, about starting her own imprint.

“I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. A few years ago, I called Johnny and said I have to do something bigger to help writers. I suggested we opened an imprint,” said Jones in the article.

KJB titles UNMENTIONABLES (Laurie Loewenstein) and SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT (Barbara J. Taylor) have received exceptional reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and the American Library Association. Forthcoming imprint titles include STARVE THE VULTURE by Jason Carney, LITTLE BEASTS by Matthew McGevna, WE ARE ALL CREW by Bill Landauer, and THE LOVE BOOK by Nina Solomon.

Read the full article from the Hamptons Country Capitalist. 

 

 

 

Jason Carney’s memoir STARVE THE VULTURE on shelves January 2015

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Kaylie Jones Books is delighted to introduce Jason Carney, whose memoir, STARVE THE VULTURE, is set for release in January 2015. His memoir has been optioned for film by Storefront Pictures.

Jason Carney, a poet, writer, and educator, from Dallas, Texas is a four-time National Poetry Slam Finalist, honored as a Legend of the Slam in 2007. He appeared on three seasons of the HBO television series Russell Simmons’ Def Poets. A graduate of Wilkes University MFA Program for Creative Writing, where he was an honored winner of the Etruscan Prize, the Bergman Foundation Scholarship, and the Norris Church-Mailer Scholarship. He is also Adjunct Professor of English Composition and American Literature at Brookhaven College and Parker University. Mr. Carney is a Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the non-profit Young DFW Writers.

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Enjoy classic Dickens? You’ll love SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT!

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Arts.Mic writer Rachel Grate published an article recommending new books based on their similarities to much beloved classics. Barbara J. Taylor’s SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT, made the list with a comparison to HARD TIMES by Charles Dickens. Grate writes:

“HARD TIMES by Charles Dickens takes place in a mill town in northern England, focusing on the economic difficulties pressuring members of all levels of society engaged in the mill. In typical Dickens fashion, he has many characters, all complex and facing their own tragedies. SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT by Barbara J. Taylor covers a similar topic, an early 20th-century coal-mining town. Like Dickens, the novel traces family tragedy, in this case the town blaming 8-year-old Violet Morgan for her older sister’s death. As her parents fall victim to their own vices, Violet learns how to form her own friendships to survive.”

Akashic Publisher Johnny Temple discussed Brooklyn Book Festival with PW

Johnny Temple, publisher of Akashic Books in Brooklyn and co-chair of the festival’s Fiction Committee, answered four questions about the festival for Publishers Weekly. It’s scheduled for September 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but this year has expanded programming over the course of a week.

According to Temple, “We have also expanded our programming from a one-day affair to a full week. The heart of the festival is still a single day (September 21 this year), but there is a full week of programming, which we call Bookend Events, leading up to the Sunday. Whereas the Sunday has events in and around Borough Hall, including a marketplace of over 250 vendors, the Bookend programs take place all across Brooklyn. This year we have over 60 Bookend events. When combined with the Sunday events, the total number of programs reaches nearly 200.”

Barbara J. Taylor, author of SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT (published by Kaylie Jones Books, an imprint of Akashic Books) is part of the “Where I’m Writing From: Hometown Fiction” panel on Sunday, September 21 from 3-4 p.m. at St. Francis McArdle. She will be joined by Kseniya Melnik (SNOW IN MAY) and Rene Steinke (FRIENDSWOOD).

For more information about the festival, visit http://www.brooklynbookfestival.org

Publishers Weekly reviews Solomon’s follow-up novel, The Love Book

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Publishers Weekly reviewed Nina Solomon’s The Love Book on September 15, 2014. The book will be released by Kaylie Jones Books on January 1, 2015.

“Solomon’s follow-up to her 2003 debut Single Wife revolves around four unlikely friends who first meet during a disastrous Flaubert-themed bike trip in France. There, one of them comes across the titular book about attracting a mate. While the premise of four disparate personalities meeting cute may seem trite at first, Solomon’s effort eventually blossoms into a compelling mix of story lines. Back in Manhattan, Emily, a freelance writer with an impressionable 10-year-old son, catches the eye of Duncan, a charming author with a mean streak that rivals Emily’s ex-husband’s. Fellow New Yorker Max, a tough tomboy who guards her heart fiercely and worries about having fallen for too-good-to-be-true Garrett, works as a personal trainer. Superstitious Cathy, who found the Love Book and keeps trying to get the four together to follow its exercises, lives with her elderly father after having lost her home in a fire. She’s dying to find her soul mate, unlike fiery Beatrice, who is fiercely independent at 69 and determined not to let any man tie her down, even her married paramour Freddy, who wants to marry her, or his brother Malcolm, who is clearly the guy for her. Things may end a little too neatly for the protagonists, but there’s plenty of good banter and characterization before the inevitable happy conclusion.

The Love Book Nina Solomon. Akashic/Kaylie Jones, $15.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-61775-317-6