Virginia Chase Sutton’s New Book of Poems: What Brings You to Del Amo


Doubleback Books presents Virginia Chase Sutton’s What Brings You to Del Amo

Doubleback Books, an imprint of Sundress Publications, is proud to announce the republication of Virginia Chase Sutton’s What Brings You to Del Amo. Bruce Weigl, author of The Abundance of Nothing, had this to say concerning Sutton’s work:

Virginia Book“Face it: as much as we love to glorify and extol the powers of imagination, there are some things you have to see up close and personal in order to be able to bring them into the rarified circumstance of a poem. These would include death, and even worse, all manner of human degradation and suffering possible. Still, bearing witness, no matter how intimate, is no guarantee of good art either. Virginia Chase Sutton manages, no, she illuminates a seamlessness between what is real, and what is barely imaginable in our lives with such precision that you are compelled to bear witness beside her. The poems of What Brings You to Del Amo are relentless in their pursuit of us, and relentless too in their pursuit of the highest level of craft and care.”

Virginia SuttonVirginia Chase Sutton is the author of the full-length collections Embellishments, What Brings You to Del Amo, and Of a Transient Nature, and the chapbook, Down River. Sutton’s poems have won the Louis Untermeyer Poetry Scholarship at Bread Loaf, the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award, and the National Poet Hunt.  She has been a fellow at Writers at Work, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Vermont Studio Center.  Sutton has won the Paumanock Visiting Writer’s Award and Reading Series and has been a finalist for the Dana Award in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including Paris Review, Ploughshares, Western Humanities Review, and Poet Lore, and have received seven Pushcart nominations. Sutton lives in Tempe, Arizona.

Read What Brings You to Del Amo today for free!

Call for Submissions: Authors of Out-of-Print Books


At Doubleback Books, we believe that out of print should not mean out of mind. Although other publishers rescue works that have fallen into the public domain from obscurity, few reprint books from small, independent presses that have folded during the twenty-first century and (often through no fault of their own) left new, exciting books to go out of print before their time.

If you are the author of a book that has recently gone out of print because the press closed, we want to read it. We are hosting an open reading period through August 2018.  Authors of works that have gone out of print due to the closure of the original press may submit full-length or short books, including novels, novellas, chapbooks, short story collections, poetry collections, essay collections, and memoirs. Editors may also submit out of print manuscripts their presses published before closing. To be eligible, works must have been both published and out of print after 2000.

Accepted manuscripts will be released as free downloadable e-books on the Sundress Publications website. Previous titles include Karyna McGlynn’s Alabama SteveJehanne Dubrow’s The Hardship Post, and Virginia Chase Sutton’s What Brings You to Del Amo (forthcoming).

To submit, email the following to

  • Your manuscript(s) in .PDF or .DOC format
  • A brief cover letter in the body of the email telling us a little bit about your work and yourself, and noting the genre of the manuscript
  • The name of the manuscript’s original publisher
  • The name and contact information of the publisher’s former editor-in-chief, if available.

Please note: we do not republish translated work or previously self-published work.  

Doubleback Books is an imprint of Sundress Publications. More information at

Interview with Sarah Jane Sloat


Sarah J. Sloat’s chapbook, In the Voice of a Minor Saint, showcases small moments that belie great significance and trumpet the author’s ear for the specific. This collection is rich with metaphor, and Sloat uses form in a way that emphasizes the lyric. Broad in scope, while still giving the reader intimate insight into the speaker’s psyche, these pieces are touched with the divine. In the Voice of a Minor Saint was re-released earlier this year from Doubleback Books, an imprint of Sundress Publications.


Sundress: Do you have any writing rituals or routines?

Sarah Jane Sloat: I don’t. I just try. If I’m stuck, which I often am, I read.


Sundress: Your poems often deal with smallness and small things: tongues, bees, grains of rice. “My heart is small, like a love/ of buttons or black pepper” and “Mine was a small world, small/ and flawed.” Tell us a little about how this theme developed.

Sarah Jane Sloat: I have a button collection. And the world’s smallest Indian pot. I like things you have to get close to to appreciate. I like “things” in general. After “In the Voice of a Minor Saint” I put together a chapbook focused on things found in the home – the whisk, the faucet and toothbrush.

In the case of this chapbook, smallness has to do with the minor saint, patron of the overlooked and unassuming, who fail to get much attention. S/he’s their champion, though they probably would never ask for that.


Sundress: Tell us about the process of writing a cento like “Naked, Come Shivering.” Did you build the poem around one line, or did you find lines to fit what you wanted to say?

Sarah Jane Sloat: A cento shouldn’t use more than one line from any single poem. That’s the only rule I’d pay attention to.

Every cento I’ve written so far, including “Naked, Come Shivering,” I’ve done by  pulling lines I loved from French poets, mostly the surrealists. I am always struck by their beauty, their oddness, how many lines seemed self-sufficient and self-contained. I put the lines together in a way that rings right, without any goal in mind.

In “Naked, Come Shivering,” the line I started with was either “not wanting anything to die of hunger” or “the whole town has come into my room.” Both evocative, bust-down-the-door kind of lines. The title came last.


Sundress: What is your favorite poem in this collection, and why?

Sarah Jane Sloat: This is very difficult. Probably it was “Ghazal of the Bright Body.” I’m a big fan of the ghazal. This was the first one I wrote, and for me it shrugs off all its could-be burdens. It avoids becoming overwrought, which my less successful ghazals (hopefully unpublished) do not.


Sundress: Besides writing, what is your favorite way to participate in the literary community?

Sarah Jane Sloat: After writing, I participate, if you can put it this way, by reading. I really believe  reading is a way to interact with the world. In reading, I feel I’m participating in the past, present and future. And you can chose your company. And be introverted to your heart’s content.

I recently got the latest issues of The Journal (Ohio) and the annual RHINO. I’m not ass-kissing when I say they’re really wonderful publications, and in both of them I found work I loved by poets I’d never read before, who are now my imaginary friends.

There are also dozens of online journals I read and love – DMQ Review, Adroit, Plume, Birdfeast, etc etc.

I live in a foreign country so my participating in an English-focused literary community excludes physical presence! I’m not terribly outgoing or social, I must admit. But I keep up, like most everyone, on social media.


Sundress: What is the best writing advice you have ever been given?

Sarah Jane Sloat: There’s no right way.


Sundress: If you could tell the world one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Sarah Jane Sloat: It would be what most poets who want anyone to read their poems would say:

I want to everyone know that I have not died

that I have a golden manger in my lips,

that I am the little friend of the west wind,

that I am the immense shadow of my tears.



You can find In the Voice of a Minor Saint for free here.


Sarah J. Sloat lives in Frankfurt, Germany, a stone’s throw from Schopenhauer’s grave. Her poems and prose have appeared in West Branch, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal. Sarah’s chapbook of poems on typefaces and texts, Inksuite, is available from dancing girl press, which also published Heiress to a Small Ruin in 2015.