Slapering Hol Press


Named from the Old Dutch for Sleepy Hollow, the Press was established in 1990 to advance the national and international conversation of poetry and poetics, principally by publishing and supporting the work of emerging poets. Since 1990, Slapering Hol Press (SHP) has published finely crafted poetry anthologies and chapbooks by promising new poets whose work has not yet appeared in book form and has fostered collaborations between new and established authors. 


For more than two decades, through publications, readings, and workshops, Slapering Hol Press has featured poets whose diverse themes of survival and hope cross cultures. On a strong foundation of aesthetic quality, Slapering Hol Press has sustained an enduring tradition of discovering new and significant voices in contemporary poetry.



Explore our many chapbooks and purchase in our chapbook store [here].





SHP's Story



Founded in 1989 by Margo Taft Stever, Slapering Hol Press (SHP), the small press imprint of the Hudson Valley Writers' Center launched its first publication, the anthology, Voices from the River (1990). With its simple and elegant design, this anthology, which featured established poets and soon-to-become luminaries such as Hayden Carruth, Jean Valentine, Dana Gioia, Stephen Dunn, and Billy Collins, set a high aesthetic and literary standard.


After its inaugural publication, Slapering Hol Press co-editors, Margo Taft Stever and Stephanie Strickland, focused the mission of the press on publishing emerging poets. Since 1991, SHP has conducted a yearly and anonymously judged national competition for the publication of a chapbook by a poet who has not previously published a poetry collection.


In 2004, after serving for over ten years as co-editor, poet Stephanie Strickland, who has won the Boston Review Prize, the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award, among many awards and numerous fellowships, retired from that position. At that time, the editors created the SHP Advisory Committee, which consists of respected published poets, some with expertise in small presses and teaching, who give advice and support to the press.


Poet Ann Lauinger joined Stever as co-editor in 2005. Author of two poetry books, Lauinger is the recipient of the Agha Shahid Ali and Ernest J. Poetry Prizes. She is also a long-time professor in the English Department at Sarah Lawrence College. Lauinger continues to serve on the Slapering Hol Press Advisory Committee.


In 2007, poet Suzanne Cleary, who is professor of English at SUNY/Rockland College, joined SHP as co-editor. The author of three books of poetry, Cleary's awards include a Pushcart Prize, the Cecil Hemley Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America, and the Julia Peterkin Award of Converse College. Cleary also serves on the SHP Advisory Committee.




Meet the Co-Editors 





Margo Taft Stever's second full-length collection, CRACKED PIANO, will be published by CavanKerry Press in 2019. Her four other poetry collections include The Lunatic Ball (Kattywompus Press, 2015); The Hudson Line (Main Street Rag, 2012); Frozen Spring (Mid-List Press First Series Award, 2002); and Reading the Night Sky (winner of Riverstone Press Poetry Chapbook Competition, 1996). She co-authored with her son, James Taft Stever, Looking East: William Howard Taft and the 1905 U.S. Diplomatic Mission to AsiaThe Photographs of Harry Fowler Woods (Chinese Version: Zhejiang University Press, 2012) which was also published in collaboration with Zhejiang University and University of Cincinnati (English Language Version: Orange Frazier Press, 2015). She is the founder of The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center and founding editor of Slapering Hol Press.





Peggy R. Ellsberg is a poet and a professor of English at Barnard College in Manhattan. Her poetry and reviews have been published widely in literary journals and magazines such as The Paris Review, Commonwheel, Atlantic Monthly, and Salmagundi. Her book, Created To Praise: The Language of Gerard Manley Hopkins, was published by Oxford University Press in 1987, and she is currently writing a book on Hopkins's spiritual writings. 






Jennifer Franklin (AB Brown, MFA Columbia) is the author of two full-length collections, Looming (Elixir, 2015) and No Small Gift (Four Way Books, 2018). Her poetry has appeared in Blackbird, Boston Review, Connotation Press, Gettysburg Review, Paris Review, “poem-a-day” on poets.organd Prairie SchoonerShe is a co-editor of Slapering Hol Press. She teaches poetry workshops and seminars at The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, where she serves as Program Director. She lives in New York City.





Slapering Hol Press Advisory Committee





Cindy Beer-Fouhy is a freelance writer, arts consultant and writing teacher. Cindy earned at BA in English and an MS in education and is certified as a NY State teacher from pre-k through high school. She is former Director of Literary Arts at Northern Westchester Center for the Arts where she founded the award winning weekly poetry series “The Creative Arts Café.” She studied poetry writing with Billy Collins, Patricia Spears Jones and Molly Peacock.  She has been a panel judge for the National Jewish Book Awards Poetry Competition and Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition. Cindy’s poetry and essays have been published widely in literary journals, magazines and anthologies including Bronx Accent: A Literary and Pictorial History of the Borough (Rutgers University Press) and her articles and interviews have appeared in Westchester Arts Council’s Arts News, Westchester Family and Roll Magazine. Three of her poems have been winners of the Greenburgh Poetry Competition, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Cindy facilitates “Life Stories,” a writing workshop she created for senior residents at various senior living facilities and special needs organizations. She is a Teaching Artist through ArtsWestchester and BOCES and she currently teaches writing at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College.




Sally Bliumis-Dunn teaches Modern Poetry at Manhattanville College and the Palm Beach Poetry Festival. Her poems appeared in New Ohio Review, The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, PLUME, Poetry London, the NYT, PBS NewsHour, upstreet, The Writer’s Almanac, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-day, and Ted Kooser’s column, among others. In 2002, she was a finalist for the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize. Her two books, Talking Underwater and Second Skin were published by Wind Publications in 2007 and 2010. Galapagos Poems published by Kattywompus Press in 2016. Her third full-length collection, Echolocation, will be published by Plume editions in October of 2017.




Marion S. Brown's chapbooks, The Morning after Summer and Tasted, were published by Finishing Line Press. She studied English literature at Mount Holyoke College​ and Columbia​ University​.​ ​Brown ​has ​worked on Wall Street and has volunteered as a Master Gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension.




Susana H. Case is the author of five books of poetry, most recently, Drugstore Blue, new in 2017 from Five Oaks Press, and 4 Rms w Vu from Mayapple Press, as well as four chapbooks. One of her collections, The Scottish Café, from Slapering Hol Press, was re-released in a dual-language English-Polish version, Kawiarnia Szkocka by Opole University Press in Poland. Her poems appear widely in magazines and anthologies. Recent poems can be found in: The Cortland Review, Fourteen Hills, Portland Review, Potomac Review, and Rattle, among others. Dr. Case is a Professor and Program Coordinator at the New York Institute of Technology in New York City.




Suzanne Cleary won the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry for her third book, Beauty Mark, published in 2013 by BkMk Press of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her other awards include a Pushcart Prize, the Cecil Hemley Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America, a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. Her publication credits include the journals The Atlantic, Poetry London, Georgia Review, Sewanee Review, New Ohio Review, Poetry International, and the anthologies Best American Poetry and Poetry 180. She holds an M.A. in Writing from Washington University and a Ph.D. in Literature and Criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Professor of English at the State University of New York at Rockland, Suzanne also teaches as core faculty in the Converse College low-residency MFA Program in Creative Writing. Former editor of Slapering Hol Press, her website is 




Julie Danho’s chapbook, Six Portraits, won the 2013 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition. Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Mid-American Review, West Branch, Southern Poetry Review, and New Ohio Review, among other journals. She has received a 2015 MacColl Johnson Fellowship as well as fellowships in poetry from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Julie received an M.F.A. from Ohio State University and works as an editor in Providence, Rhode Island.




Ann Lauinger was born in New York City and is currently a member of the Literature Faculty at Sarah Lawrence College. Ann’s first book, Persuasions of Fall (University of Utah Press, 2004), won the Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in publications such as The Cincinnati Review, Hotel Amerika, Hunger Mountain, The Missouri Review, Measure, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, The Same, Smartish Pace, The Southern Poetry Review, and Zone 3. Her work has also been anthologized in Decomposition (Lost Horse Press), The Bedford Introduction to Literature (Bedford St. Martins), Poetry Daily Essentials, 2007 (Sourcebooks), and In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare (University of Iowa). She has been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and Martha Stewart Living Radio. She lives in Ossining.   




Lynn McGee is the author of Sober Cooking (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2016), and two award-winning poetry chapbooks: Heirloom Bulldog (Bright Hill Press, 2015) and Bonanza (Slapering Hol Press, 1996). Her poems have appeared in journals including The American Poetry Review, Southern Poetry Review, Ontario Review, Phoebe, Storyscape, Painted Bride Quarterly, Sun Magazine and The New Guard (one poem a finalist and one a semi-finalist in the Knightville Contest judged by Donald Hall). She taught writing at private and public colleges as well as having led poetry workshops in public schools. Lynn is a winner of the Judith's Room Award, was a 2015 Nominee for the Best of the Net award and received both the NYC Literacy Center's Recognition Award and the Heart of the Center Award from the LGBT Community Center in NYC. Today she is a communications manager at Borough of Manhattan Community College, The City University of New York.




Mervyn Taylor is a Trinidad-born poet who also works in visual art. He has taught at the New School and in the New York City public school system and is the author of six books of poetry, including No Back Door (2010), which received the Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, The Waving Gallery (2014) and, most recently, Voices Carry (2017), all from Shearsman Books. He can be heard on an audio collection, Road Clear (2004), accompanied by bassist David Williams. “The Center of the World” appears in the Brooklyn Poets Anthology, released in 2017.





Meredith Trede is a poet and editor. Her new book, Tenement Threnody, can be ordered at Main Street Rag Bookstore. Meredith has lived and worked in major U.S. cities, small rural towns, and in the suburbs. She draws on all these experiences with poems that see the “small town” embedded in lives in the towering city, the common experiences of life regardless of the setting. Her chapbook, Out of the Book, appeared in Desire Path, the inaugural volume of The Quartet Series. She was awarded the James J. Nicholson Political Poetry Prize. Meredith is a founder of Toadlily Press which published perfect bound books, featuring four poets’ chapbooks, for 10 years. Each book featured a diverse group of poets, geographically from Qatar to Washington State, aesthetically from formal to experimental, and demographically from their 20’s through their 70’s. Toadlily poets won Pushcart Prizes, NEA Grants, residency fellowships, and state and regional awards, including the Washington State Poet Laureateship.




Estha Weiner's newest poetry collection is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry, Ireland, in Spring, 2018  She is author of In the Weather of the World (Salmon, 2013), The Mistress Manuscript (Book Works, 2009); Transfiguration Begins At Home (Tiger Bark Press, 2009); and co-editor/contributor to Blues for Bill: A Tribute to William Matthews (Akron Poetry Series, University of Akron Press, 2005.)  Her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, including The New Republic and Barrow Street. Winner of a Paterson Poetry Prize and a Visiting Scholar at The Shakespeare Institute, Stratford, England, Estha is founding director of Sarah Lawrence College NY Alumnae Writers Nights, Marymount Writers Nights, and a Speaker on Shakespeare for The New York Council For The Humanities. She is a Professor in the English Dept. at City College of NY, and serves or has served on the Poetry/Writing faculties of The Frost Place, Sarah Lawrence Writing Institute, Hudson Valley Writers Center, Stone Coast Writers Conference, Poets and Writers, Poets House, and The Writers Voice. She also serves on the Advisory Committee of Slapering Hol Press, Hudson Valley Writers Center. In her previous life, Estha was an actor and worked for BBC Radio.




Literary Advisory Committee








Among the many notable achievements of its authors, 


Dina Ben-Lev Rhoden, the first poet chosen as the 1991 SHP winner (Note for a Missing Friendearned an NEA fellowship, published a second chapbook, Sober on a Small Plane (1995), and won a national contest for her first full-length book, Double Helix (1995).


Rachel Loden, winner in 1998 (The Last Campaign), was subsequently awarded the 1998 Contemporary Poetry Series Competition of the University of Georgia Press for her first book, Hotel Imperium, later named one of the ten best poetry books of 2000 by the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review. Her latest book, Dick of the Dead (2009), was a finalist for the PEN USA Literary Award for Poetry and the California Book Award. Other awards include a fellowship from the California Arts Council and a Pushcart Prize. Two of her poems are included in editions of The Best American Poetry.


The 2001 SHP chapbook winner for The Landscape of Mind, Chinese-born Jianqing Zheng, professor of English at Mississippi Valley State University, earned a 2009 Fulbright Scholarship to China. He edits Poetry South, Journal of Ethnic American Literature and Valley Voices: A Literary Review. He has been awarded Literary Arts Fellowships (2004 and 2014) and mini grants (2006 and 2015) from the Mississippi Arts Commission. His research focuses on contemporary American haiku, most recently African American Haiku: Cultural Visions (University Press of Mississippi, 2016) and Other World of Richard Wright: Perspectives on His Haiku (University Press of Mississippi, 2009). He also directed two NEH projects on Richard Wright and on African American Literary Heritage.


The 2002 SHP contest winner, Susana H. Case, witnessed 9/11 while living in New York City. This experience impelled her to write The Scottish Café (published by Slapering Hol Press in 2002; reprint 2015) about mathematicians in Lvov, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine). They had courageously continued their work at the Scottish Cafe after they were expelled from the university by the Nazis during the Third Reich. In 2010, Seweryn Malosa translated the collection and Opole University published it as a chapbook in Poland. The Scottish Cafe is now found at Yad Vashem in Israel, at the Hebrew Union College in New York, and in many other libraries.  


Nobel Prize-winning chemist from Cornell University, poet Roald Hoffmann says of the chapbook, “The Scottish Café is a wonderful evocation of a special place, a time, and the interactions of mathematicians. The premonitions of doom weigh on this wonderful gathering, as they should. It’s excellent poetry!  Poet, editor, and critic, Paul Zimmer in the Georgia Review adds, “It is the kind of necessary, cautionary tale of a life once lived, but lost under overwhelming conditions that our heedless, instant-media age needs to be told.”


Susana H. Case has subsequently published four chapbooks: Hiking the Desert in High Heels (RightHandPointing, 2005), Anthropologist in Ohio (Main Street Rag, 2005), The Cost of Heat (Pecan Grove Press, 2010), and Manual of Practical Sexual Advice (Kattywompus Press, 2011). She has published four full-length books of poetry, Elvis Presley's Hips & Mick Jagger's Lips (Anaphora Literary Press, 2012), Seance in Salem (Word Tech Editions, 2012), Earth and Below (Anaphora Literary Press, 2013), and 4 Rms w Vu (Mayapple Press, 2014).


The 2003 SHP contest winner David Tucker published Days When Nothing Happens about his work as Managing Editor for the Newark Star Ledger. In 2005 and 2011, Tucker and his group won two Pulitzer Prizes for Breaking News Reporting. In 2007, his first full-length collection, Late for Work, winner of the Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize judged by Philip Levine, was published by Houghton Mifflin. Tucker earned a 2007 Witter Bynner fellowship and received an invitation to give a reading at the Library of Congress.


Sean Nevin's A House That Falls (2005), won the SHP chapbook competition. Nevin teaches writing at Drew University where he directs the MFA Program in Poetry and Translation. In 2008, he published his first full-length collection, Oblivio Gate, awarded by the Crab Orchard Series First Book Prize in Poetry. His honors include a Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize for Poetry, the Alsop Review Poetry Prize, the Katherine C. Turner Academy of American Poets University Prize, and two fellowships from the Arizona Commission of the Arts. 


Stephanie Lenox, winner of the 2007 SHP contest for The Heart That Lies Outside the Body, has received fellowships from the Arizona Commission of the Arts and the Oregon Arts Commission. Her first full-length collection, Congress of Strange People, was published by Airlie Press in 2012. Her second book, The Business, was selected by Laura Kasischke as the winner of the 2015 Colorado Prize for Poetry.


In 2008, SHP launched the Conversation Series, which includes publishing a chapbook of poems by two women poets, one established and one emerging, chosen by the former. Poems in Conversation and a Conversation, by Elizabeth Alexander and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, was the first title in the series. Winner of the 2007 Jackson Prize for Poetry awarded by Poets & Writers, Elizabeth Alexander is the author of ten books of poetry, including Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems, 1990-2010 (2010), Praise Song for the Day (2009), and American Sublime (2005), which was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. Her memoir, The Light of the World (Grand Central Publishing, 2015) has received significant critical acclaim. 


Not long after SHP's publication of the first Conversation Series chapbook, Alexander was chosen by President Barack Obama as his first inaugural poet, the third of only four such poets in our nation's history. Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Associate Professor of English at Cornell University, was awarded the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize by Marilyn Nelson for her first full-length collection of poetry, Black Swan (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002). Her second collection, Open Interval (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009), was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and for the 2009 National Book Award.


In 2009, Slapering Hol Press celebrated the Hudson River Quadricentennial by publishing Helen Barolini'Hudson River Haiku. Barolini depicts memories of the glorious vistas of the Hudson highlands as well as the Hudson River's magnificent palisades, storms, and sunsets. Her chapbook is accompanied by Italian artist Nevio Mengacce's remarkable watercolors. In 2010, Garrison Keillor chose the title poem of Driving Montana, Alone, by Katie Phillips (SHP, 2010), to read for NPR's "The Writer's Almanac."


In 2011, Denise Duhamel and Amy Lemmon collaborated on the second chapbook in the Conversation Series, Enjoy Hot or Iced: Poems in Conversation and a Conversation. Duhamel is the recipient of a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship, and her most most recent collection, Blowout (University of Pittsburgh, 2013) was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Two of her many previous collections, Ka-Ching (2009) and Two and Two (2005), were also published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Her poetry is widely anthologized and has appeared in eight collections of The Best American Poetry. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, she is a professor of English at Florida International University of Miami. Amy Lemmon, Associate Professor of English at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City, is the author of two poetry collections, Fine Motor (Sow's Ear Poetry Review Press, 2008) and Saint Nobody (Red Hen Press, 2009).


The next Conversation chapbook, A Turn Around the Mansion Grounds, by Molly Peacock and Amy M. Clark, was published in 2014. SHP launched its first Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to publish this collection. Widely anthologized, Molly Peacock's poetry is included in The Best of the Best American Poetry and The Oxford Book of American Poetry, as well as in leading literary journals such as the Times Literary SupplementThe New YorkerPoetry, and The Paris Review. Her six volumes of poetry, including her 2008 collection, The Second Blush, and Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems, are published by WW. Norton and Company. One of the creators of New York's Poetry in Motion Program, Peacock co-edited Poetry In Motion: One Hundred Poems From the Subways and Buses. Amy M. Clark's book of poems, Stray Home (University of North Texas Press, 2010), won the 2009 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry and was a 2011 Must-Read selection by the Massachusetts Council for the Book. Her poems have been featured on The Writer's Almanac and VerseDaily.


HeidiLynn Nilsson's chapbook, The Math of Gifts, was the winner the 2015 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Prize. Nilsson holds a bachelor's degree in English and Religious Studies from the University of Virginia and an MFA in Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Her poems have been featured in the New Voices anthology from the Academy of American Poets and American Poets emerging poets’ series. Her poems have also appeared in Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and Pleiades, among other places. She teaches life skills classes at The Salvation Army in Athens, Georgia, where she lives with her family.


The latest Conversation chapbook, The Night Could Go in Either Direction, by master poet Kim Addonizio and the emerging poet who she has chosen, Brittany Perham, was published in 2016. Addonizio has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts, a Pushcart Prize, and the John Ciardi Lifetime Achievement Award. Her books include The Philosopher’s Club (1994), Jimmy and Rita (1997), Tell Me (2000), What Is This Thing Called Love (2004), Starlite (2009), and My Dreams out in the Street (2007).


Brittany Perham is the Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing at Stanford University where she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. She is the author of The Curiosities (Parlor Press, 2011).






The distinctive and elegant design of the chapbooks has continued to be one of SHP's many defining features. Ed Rayher of Swamp Press in Northfield, Massachusetts, has designed SHP chapbooks for many years. He is also a published poet, bookmaker, publisher, letterpress printer, and papermaker. Dave Wofford of Horse and Buggy Press has also provided many fine designs for Slapering Hol Press.




SHP chapbooks were reviewed numerous times by Paul Zimmer in The Georgia Review. Additional reviews of SHP authors have also appeared in many other literary journals such as Boston Review on-line blog post, Blackbird, BooklistCalapooya CollageThe North American ReviewGin Bender, and Book/Mark




In 2005, the Slapering Hol Press Advisory Committee created a literary series, which takes place at The Hudson Valley Writers' Center, with the mission of providing an audience for emerging poets. Two annual highlights of the series are the War and Peace Reading and the Poetry MFA Spotlight, which features three regional MFA programs.


The Slapering Hol Press Advisory Committee has also organized additional poetry readings in established venues including Cornelia Street Cafe, New York; Bowery Poetry Club, New York; The New York City Poetry Festival, Governors Island, New York; Jewish Community Center, Tarrytown, New York; Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York; The View, Old Forge, New York; York Art Association, York, Maine: and New England Gallery of Art, Portland Maine, among many other places.