The Flexible Truth


When Kayla Pongrac’s collection came across our submission manager during our 2014 open reading period, there was a collective sigh and a mighty Yes! Kayla’s work is a breath of fresh air, populated with an unexpected and playful assemblage of characters. The cover, illustrated by Shayna Blackford, is just a hint of the magic you’ll find within.

Dinosaurs. Postcards. Hammocks. Fish. Maps. Tea. Piñatas. Trains. Bees.
Caveat lector! The Flexible Truth will startle you. From the wide-ranging subject matter to the careful construction of each piece, Kayla Pongrac’s debut flash fiction collection turns the world as you know it onto its head, then right-side up, then upside-down again. Prepare to meet an eccentric cast of characters who take up residence inside these pages; you, a most welcome trespasser, would be wise to pay close attention to their quirks and their struggles, their moods and their actions. Remember, be kind to the bartender. Show some sympathy for that dentist. Turn shovelfuls of soil with the gardener. These characters will, you see, return your favors and you’ll find that the truth really is flexible, and with that flexibility comes an unexpected sense of credibility—and beauty.

Advanced praise for The Flexible Truth:
“The flash fictions of Kayla Pongrac are playful and unique. These brief narratives often rely on odd disjunctures and strange juxtapositions (e.g., a locomotive can appear, quite literally, on a tongue). The titles are some of the most inventive you will ever see (‘The Benefit of Reading the Newspaper,’ ‘My Disappointment with Your Dentist,’ ‘Excerpts from Your Week as I Imagined It’). Familiar forms like the advice column get repurposed (see ‘Dear Murph,’ who never quite speaks to the questions he is asked). Imagine Lydia Davis and Gary Lutz in a fine coffee shop playing the old surrealist game Exquisite Corpse, and you’ll get half an idea what The Flexible Truth is all about.”
—Michael W. Cox, author of Against the Hidden River

“The innovative fictions that make up the The Flexible Truth are poignant, funny, provocative, and rhetorically sparkling. Pongrac, with her novelist’s eye and her poet’s ear, juggles and jumbles non sequiturs, riddles, and juxtapositions into truncated yet startling moments of resonance.”
—Tom Noyes, author of Behold Faith, Spooky Action at a Distance, and Come by Here

“Readers who open The Flexible Truth will find themselves in an urgent and unknowable land. With startling language and innovative form, these brief fictions cover significant ground, from mass extinction to existential crises to the passing of time and the end of the world. Pongrac’s stories offer a rich array of anxiety, hope, longing, and loneliness written with an immediacy that cannot be dismissed.”
—Laura Maylene Walter, author of Living Arrangements

Pre-order your copy of The Flexible Truth here. We expect to begin mailing orders in late March.

If you like Kayla’s writing and Shayna’s illustrations, be sure to take a gander at the fabulous Playing Cards / Cards Playing they collaborated on. It’s a fully functional deck unlike any other!

A Hole in the Light

A Hole in the Light_Lucas Jacob


We first read poems from Lucas Jacob whilst reading through submissions for Kindred, Issue 8. We were happy to include his work in that issue but happier still to find his chapbook during our 2014 open reading period.

Geographically, A Hole in the Light contains poems of and about North Texas—especially the natural and manmade environments to be found along the Trinity, Brazos, and Paluxy Rivers. The speakers of the poems, and the people in the poems, grapple with the ways in which unremarkable daily experiences can be transformed into sharpened moments of surprising awareness. Jacob brings the unexpected and the mundane together, capturing each experience, each moment in poems that remind the reader that one is both in and of the world and that life is at once scary and delightful.


Advanced praise for A Hole in the Light:

Luke Jacob has a musician’s ear, an aesthete’s eye, a moralist’s self-restraint, and a lover’s innate sensuousness. His poems are set in Texas, Chicago, Hungary, even in mid-air. Regardless of his subjects —a sister’s cancer, an erotic memory, a trip to a museum—he approaches this world with a clear intellect, a sense of wonder and appreciation, and a powerful hedonism held in check by his own cool moderation. His poems replicate the very beauty he finds all around him.
—Willard Spiegelman, author of How Poets See the World, and Editor-in-Chief, Southwest Review

There’s an acute awareness of space and light in the gaze of Lucas Jacob’s poems. Here we have phrases that surge out and draw back on one another, resemble “fireflies like buoy lights.” Jacob calls upon ekphrasis to recognize relations, and I cannot help but think of a scrim being lowered in a play—the action behind the dark curtain, allowing us a muted observation, something calm and quiet, the way lovers do in the smallest of moments, as in “It needed only the stroke / of your eyelashes / to brush runnels of melted snow / along my neck.” Too, there is a gentle eye to the landscape and instructive: “Let the breath of the woods be your / bellows.”
—Molly Sutton Kiefer, author of Nestuary, and Editor of Tinderbox Poetry Journal


Pre-order your copy of A Hole in the Light here. We anticipate an early March mailing date.



Belated New Year’s greetings readers and writers! We have finally put away the Christmas decorations and have been enjoying winter in the deep south—gumbo, camellias, and gorgeous sunny days. And with Mardi Gras right around the corner, there have been King Cakes aplenty in our shared office space.

Here at Anchor & Plume we have big plans for 2015. We will be putting out five chapbooks (we have our eye on a sixth *fingers crossed*), and two issues of our lit mag, Kindred.

Our first 2015 offering will be a chapbook by Lucas Jacob followed by the spring/summer edition of Kindred. Details on the chapbook are coming very soon!

To keep up with all of the Anchor & Plume happenings this year, may we suggest signing up for our occasional newsletter? By signing up, you’ll be first to find out about new offerings and discounts.

Anchor & Plume’s 2014 Open Reading Period Selections

Here at Anchor & Plume we have been busy reading the many fabulous works we received during our 2014 open reading period and after much debate, we are excited to announce our 2015 chapbooks:

Shannon Curtin (poetry)
Lucas Jacob (poetry)
A. LaFaye (poetry)
Kayla Pongrac (flash fiction)
Jeffrey Thomson (poetry)

We’d love your support as we begin publication of these books. Your subscription helps support our efforts to underwrite the cost of producing and printing these books and our lit mag. We have three subscription options available: a 2015 Kindred Subscription, a 2015 Book Bundle Subscription, or a 2015 Whole Shebang Subscription. If your subscription is a gift, please let us know so we can drop the recipient a card letting them know they’ve been gifted by you.

As ever, we are grateful for your support!

September wrap up

anhcor+plume fall 2014 releases


It’s a big (BIG) month around here with the release of the novella, The Little Bastard, and preparing Kindred, Issue 8: Gather to head to press so here’s all the news fit to print:


Anchor & Plume Open Reading Period

The last day to submit your work for our Open Reading period is Tuesday, September 30. Details on submitting work can be found here.

For those that have submitted work during our Open Reading Period, we will begin reading in early October and aim to reply by early December.


We are putting the final touches on Kindred, Issue 8 and will be sending the file to the printer shortly. It’s a beauty of an issue filled with poetry and prose. You can see the complete list of contributors for this issue here.

Pre-orders go a long in helping small presses do what they do and we value your support. If you haven’t yet pre-ordered your copy, you can do so here. Order Issue 8 and a back issue of Kindred, receive both at a discounted rate. Details and options are in the drop down menu.

The Little Bastard

The Little Bastard marks the debut of a remarkable writer whose fiction was never published in her lifetime. The manuscript was found amongst the papers of Frances Schutze after her death and brought to life by Schutze’s granddaughter, novelist Amy Shearn.

Amy has published several pieces on the process of uncovering her grandmother’s writing. You can read them:

Advanced praise for The Little Bastard:

“Frances Schutze welcomes us into a time of hope as the Great Depression lifts, families grow, and new friends are made. Like Tillie Olsen and Muriel Rukeyser, she gives us a glimpse into the overlapping spheres of everyday life. I loved Schutze’s voice–droll and sincere–and appreciate that every word she chose allows us to hear a by-gone era once again.”
— Ronlyn Domingue, author of the Keeper of Tales Trilogy

We expect to begin shipping orders next week. You can reserve your copy here. Pick up a copy of Kindred and The Little Bastard and use code GATHER in the shop for 20% off through September 30, 2014.

New Girl

Mindy Kronenberg reviewed New Girl by Andrea Potos:

“Just as these skillful artisans use images and events to incite the joys and cautionary tales of motherhood while summoning echoes of their own journeys and rites of passage, Andrea Potos presents a series of passionate juxtapositions that take us from the joy (and fears) of birth through a series of discoveries, departures, and emergence.”

You can read the entire review here.

Wisconsinites mark your calendars! Andrea Potos will be reading from her chapbook, New Girl, at the Wisconsin Book Festival in Madison, Friday, October 17, 2014. Copies of New Girl are available in the shop.