Books

Sweet Publications – Chapbooks

About once a year, and by solicitation only, we publish a handmade chapbook of poetry, creative nonfiction, or graphic nonfiction. Once the print books sell out, we make the work available for Kindle. Scroll down to see our catalog and make a purchase.

Rules for Loving Right by Brian Baumgart


Sweet Publications, 2017
$15.00 Handmade chapbook.
Price includes shipping. Small Buy Now Button

In Rules for Loving Right, Brian Baumgart practices misdirection in that understated way unique to the upper Midwest. Winter, Minnesota isn’t the name of an actual small town but it could be, and the speaker of these poems could be from there, where cold makes everything clearer than we really want it to be. But as blunt as these poems are about death and love and the body, they’re also blunt about the self—messy and afraid and snotty and made up of laughable parts. There’s mockery here, of others and of the self, but it’s not aggressive, just honest. And just when we think we know something, we learn, along with the speaker, how little we know. “If there’s one thing I’ve found, it’s that/it’s not cool for a man to love/cats.” Yeah, right. Or is the fear here really that “it’s not cool for a man to love”? In these poems, we get a mother’s love in the stitches she makes to reconnect her child’s skin after childhood accidents and a father’s love in the way he fears while his boy is ice-skating. Love is freezing and burning, it’s aging and animal. Though these poems sometimes offer snarky one-liners, a hand to pull you up off the ice, in the end they want you to feel it all, the sharp edges of living, the ones that hurt you enough to make sure you’re awake.

—Katherine Riegel

Borderlines by Jill McCabe Johnson

Borderlines - McCabe Johnson Cover - Page 1 (500px)
Sweet Publications, 2016
$8.00 Handmade chapbook.
Price includes shipping. Small Buy Now Button

Jill McCabe Johnson’s lyric essay, “Borderlines” dives into memory and water. In poetic prose, Johnson fragments a moment in her life, seeking to understand and uncover the innocence of childhood and the dark shadows that ever follow.

Lady In Ink by R. Claire Stephens



Sweet Publications, 2015
Click the image above or here to buy your copy of Lady in Ink from Amazon.

Lady in Ink is a mystery, the kind that everyone is trying to solve every minute of their lives: “Why did I do that? Why in God’s name did I do that?”

When she turned 18, even before she lost her virginity, Stephens got a tattoo. A big one. Now, a decade later, she wonders why.

And while she never pins down the culprit exactly, in this comics essay Lady in Ink
Stephens goes on a joyous romp through her own brain, finding nineteenth century British prostitutes, Joan of Arc, and Kiera Knightly along the way.

All of Us – Sweet: The First Five Years
– edited by Katherine Riegel


Sweet Publications, 2014
Click the image above or here to buy your copy of All of Us from Amazon.

Hold all the poems Sweet published in its first five years of existence in your hands at once! Nearly 100 poets here, including Nin Andrews, Sarah Browning, Oliver de la Paz, Megan Gannon, Kelle Groom, Michael Hettich, Luisa A. Igloria, W. Todd Kaneko, Stephen Kuusisto, Laura McCullough, Liz Robbins, Lee Ann Roripaugh, Tim Seibles, Maggie Smith, Jennifer K. Sweeney, Jeffrey Thomson, Terri Witek, and more.

“We hope you feel about this anthology the way I felt when, at a fancy buffet, I stumbled into the dessert room.”

– from the introduction by Katherine Riegel

Elements by Donna Steiner


Sweet Publications, 2013
$13.00 Handmade chapbook of essays.
Price includes shipping. Small Buy Now Button

“Donna Steiner’s ink on paper is exquisite. Whether she is writing about wind, sleepless nights, or an unknown caller, she notes nuances and connections most of us miss. Her essay, ‘Sleeping with Alcohol’ is unforgettable for its honesty and emotional risks. Like all of the essays in this collection, it surprises us, makes us look look look again, makes the world new.”

– Beth Alvarado, author of Anthropologies: A Family Memoir

“‘Start small.’ From this command forward Donna Steiner has you in the palm of her hand, by turns thrilled, delighted, aroused. Enter into these intimate essays and you will be seduced by both the writer and her world.”

– Susan Fox Rogers, author of My Reach: A Hudson River Memoir

Close Quarters by Amy Monticello


Sweet Publications, 2012
Get the Kindle edition from amazon.com

“Amy Monticello’s short vignettes about her family and her father’s bar are wonderful…Her characters are so human, her clear-eyed romanticism and lovely prose so compelling that Close Quarters is hard to put down.”

– Rebecca Barry, author of Later, at the Bar

“This is a book about finding beauty and redemption where we can; it’s about the ties that bind. Close Quarters moved me greatly with its story of a mother, a father, a daughter–this family that endures.”

– Lee Martin, author of From Our House

The Witch’s Index by Megan Gannon

The Witches Index
Sweet Publications, 2012
Get the Kindle edition from amazon.com

“In The Witch’s Index Megan Gannon reminds us how a poem, whatever its subject, is ultimately a kind of incantation.  Original in intent, often startling in execution, through all their inventive twists and turns of thought and feeling, her poems never forget their loyalty to language itself, its magic-anchored possibilities.  At once considered and spontaneous, able to fill restricted forms with unexpected feelings and achieve effects at once literary and personal, her imagination remains alive to those edges of being where reason and non-reason play together.  As a poet who ‘swallows the world’ while acknowledging the vulnerable nature of flesh and blood, she achieves—in a manner both lyrical and tough-minded—her own ‘kind of grace.'”

– Eamon Grennan, author of Out of Sight: New and Selected Poems

“Spells and incantations were never so personal and so deftly woven from voices and images as in the poems of Megan Gannon.  They bring out the secrets hidden in ordinary speech, which cease to be ordinary when the poet opens the door for us to hear them.”

– Nancy Willard, author of The Sea at Truro