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MISSION STATEMENT

Palooka is an international nonprofit literary magazine and has published writers, artists, and photographers from the United States, Canada, India, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Spain, Israel, Finland, and Austria. We publish unique fiction, poetry, nonfiction, artwork, photography, graphic narratives, comic strips, and offer print and electronic versions of the magazine. 

I have always understood the struggles of the writing lifethe driving artist, aspiring toward publication. To get your work out there, really looked at, truly noticed, takes so much heart and effort and patience and resilience. I decided some years ago that I wanted to create a space for people taking on the struggle, a venue to give those writers and artists a truly fair shot at publication and the chance to be seen, read, and recognizedno connections, no solicitations, and only blind reading. Here, the quality of work is all that matters, not who you know or where you come from or what you've already accomplished. A fair chance and an open hand for everyone—the underdogs, the in-betweeners, and the already established.

Jonathan Starke
Founding Editor



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CHARLES JENSEN WINS THE 2017 PALOOKA PRESS CHAPBOOK CONTEST!

 
(Photo by Philip Pirolo)

Congratulations to Charles Jensen and his award-winning chapbook Story Problems. This deep, thoughtful, and often humorous poetry collection was chosen as the winner of the 2017 Palooka Press Chapbook Contest.

Charles Jensen is the author of five chapbooks of poems, most recently Breakup/Breakdown, and The First Risk, which was a finalist for the 2010 Lambda Literary Award. A new collection of prose poems,Nanopedia, is forthcoming in 2018. His previous chapbooks include Living Things, which won the 2006 Frank O’Hara Chapbook Award, and The Strange Case of Maribel Dixon (New Michigan Press, 2007). A past recipient of an Artist’s Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, his poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, Bloom, Columbia Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, Field, The Journal, New England Review, and Prairie Schooner. He is the founding editor of the online poetry magazine LOCUSPOINT, which explores creative work on a city-by-city basis. He lives in Los Angeles.



ALL PALOOKA PRESS CHAPBOOKS AVAILABLE IN PRINT

Purchase a copy of any of the Palooka Press Chapbook Contest winners HERE.



PALOOKA #7


Read some sample pieces and pick up a copy of our newest issue in print or electronic formats. 



PICK UP YOUR COPY OF CRYPTOGRAPHS IN A FIELD OF GOATS

Adina Schoem won the 2016 Palooka Press Chapbook Contest with her thoughtful poetic work, Cryptographs in a field of goats (purchase your print or electronic copy HERE).

Adina grew up in Michigan and received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence. Her poems have appeared in Pudding MagazineMidwestern GothicLumina, and Finery, among others. Her summer spent living and working on a goat farm near Lake Michigan informed many of the poems in Cryptographs in a field of goats, her prize-winning collection. After cheesemongering for several years, she's now a bread baker on another Great Lake, in Cleveland Heights, OH.



FEATURED PALOOKA: SUSAN SPANGENBERG (ISSUE 7)

Susan Spangenberg in her own words: I was born in Hell's Kitchen and raised in Jackson Heights Queens. The daughter of a curry-eating, dark-skinned, superstitious mother and a hustling, drinking, homeless, storytelling father. I learned curse words before my alphabet. Though there were roots and languages of Hindi and German that might have been passed onto me, instead I learned to shoplift, pick up cans for nickels, and lie to the police. I was the caretaker and the black sheep, quiet and obedient, yet brooding in the corner ripping out my hair while absorbing every bit of dysfunction around me, which led to multiple psychiatric hospitalizations. As a child I enjoyed lighting small fires with my brother and painting. Neither were encouraged by my parents. The first painting I ever did was a bright yellow and orange flower in the center of white paper that I compulsively engulfed with black paint, its petals gradually withering. I had five younger siblings to care for as well as my parents, which made seven children to watch over.

My art still reflects my upbringing and my relationship with the world. I am more like my parents than I care to admit. If apples do not fall far from the tree, I am one good apple: bruised, tart, strong, beautiful, a sexy red, a sour green, weak, hanging on, ready to be picked. I have a lot to say, come get me: www.susanspangenberg.com



FEATURED WORK: PHOTOS BY HARRY WILSON

Click HERE for Harry's excellent photography from Palooka #7!

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