Shape&Nature Books

Scrap Metla Sky, erika Brumett

Scrap Metal Sky

In Cody County, Lux and his little girl Sadie live among rust and weeds in their scrap yard, eking out a living selling "treasure" and shuttling local drunks in Lux's cobbled-together limousine. Haunted by the memory of Sadie's dead mother, a junkie named Calista, Lux attempts to preserve Sadie's innocence in a town full of people also trying to forget. In a series of vignettes, written in poetic prose, an exotic dancer and a drunk free a bird from a third-rate hotel, a fear-ridden widow steals a mannequin, and someone is breaking into people's houses and sleeping in their beds. Unwittingly entangled in these grim lives, Lux is driven to the edge. At once tough and tender, Scrap Metal Sky is a novel about the durability of love and the good intentions often behind our bad ideas.

Navette, Kaie Kellough


In Navette, Kaie Kellough tells a young man's story of growing up in the neighborhoods and streets of Montréal as the son of Haitian immigrants. Pulsing with the desire for movement, he shuttles through time, family, politics, music, and personal mythology to stop where one always stops: somewhere else, in the shadow of what's been left behind.

On the way, Kellough directs readers to choose their own paths, literally, because no story is ever really linear. The result is a fantastic flight that when read straight through draws one deeply to center, and when walked, awakens one's awareness to the connectivity of the universe.

This is You Here Now, Julie Mannell

This Is You Here Now

Screw rose-colored glasses! Try hot pink ones, and maybe wear a bear suit. Julie Mannell's This Is You Here Now, is beautifully vulnerable but never shy, and it's these two qualities that guide readers through a Montréal they otherwise may never have known. Traverse posh neighborhoods as a nanny, tiptoe quietly through the cathedral with your junkie lover, drink a peanut butter milkshake, and slump down in the best seats on the bus. No matter where she takes you, Mannell's x-ray vision and poignant insight will make you laugh as your heart shatters. Slightly disorienting, but life can't all be one shiny car ride.

Ruins Assembling, Dennis Finnell

Ruins Assembling

“I could not get through this book quickly.  Everything conspired to slow me down.  At the end of each poem, I leapt back to the start again, simply because I wanted to.  I began to read aloud, compelled to send the words out into a bigger arena, the room.  I called my wife.  Listen, I said, to this one.  I read ‘Father of the Man,’ but I couldn’t stop.  I read her ‘811 Flags.’  This brought me to a near stop at the base of a diseased tree, where the poet celebrates the arborist, Ed, 80-something, with expressions of what Ed hates, lawn chemicals, and what he loves, warblers.  Let me read that again.” — Robert Stewart, editor, New Letters, on Dennis Finnell's Ruins Assembling

Mental Detours

Transform Northampton, MA into your muse with Mental Detours, a self-guided writing and walking adventure. With pen in hand, step outside as author Betsy Wheeler leads you through a series of site-specific writing exercises designed to get you off the beaten track—to slow down, notice, and interact with the city in a way you've never done before. Use the blank pages in the book as your canvas and be inspired by Paradise City's chirping lights, bike paths, and steeples! A perfect outing for writers and creatives of every level. Not a writer? Grab your drawing pencils or camera and enjoy!

Strictly Pedestrian

In Strictly Pedestrian, Connolly Ryan is a maestro of language and wit with an uncanny ability to see the world for all its beauty and ignorance. Adapting the role of the traditional poet-guide and giving it a modern-day twist, Ryan orchestrates a walk that not only leads readers through Northampton's many hidden gems, but also through its multiple mythologies and cultural delineations. Imagine Virgil leading Dante through the Underworld, but with lots of humor and no monsters! Those who know Northampton well will nod their heads with knowing, while first-time visitors will be enthralled by the many layers of humanity concentrated in downtown and just beyond.

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