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Fiction debut could help Dana Gioia’s dream come true

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T. S. Poetry Press, publisher of the Oprah Summer Read The Whipping Club, has released a fiction debut that could help Dana Gioia’s dream come true. Gioia has made a strong call to get poetry into the public eye.

The Novelist, by L.L. Barkat, weaves poetry throughout a story that explores the woes of a blocked writer. The book’s climax hinges on poetic lines from Adrienne Rich, whose words powerfully turn the main character when she can’t turn herself.

Follow the main character, Laura—a copywriter and poet—as she tries to figure out how to write a novel to meet Megan Willow’s challenge—a book by September. Megan has a thriving tea business and does everything in a big way. To her, the idea of writing a novel in a matter of months is beyond simple.

Confused by romantic love and her place in the world of writing, Laura delves into her past, as she tries to bring a novel into the present. To tutor her efforts, she culls wisdom and hope not only from Adrienne Rich, but also from greats such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Mary Shelley, and medieval poet and story-weaver Murasaki (whose real name has been lost to history, because she was a woman).

“One of those rare books you’ll finish but leave on the nightstand,” notes Darrelyn Saloom, co-author of My Call to the Ring: A Memoir of A Girl Who Yearns to Box.

T. S. Poetry Press, publisher of The Novelist and the Oprah Summer Read The Whipping Club, has developed a reputation for the “rare book;” most of its titles have been finalists for recognitions like the Indie Booksellers award or have been named among Best Books of the Year for 2010 and 2011.

For interview opportunities or more information about the new release The Novelist, contact T. S. Poetry Press at

To learn more about The Novelist, read L.L. Barkat’s new feature article Steal Your Way to Better Writing at Jane Friedman’s blog.

Photo by Dragonfly Sky, Creative Commons license via Flickr.


Purchase the Book • Great for Book Clubs, Writing Groups, and Literature or Writing Classes

Amazon, paperback



Your Comments

1 comment

  1. I told L.L. this, but when I did Jeffrey Overstreet’s poetry workshop, he spent over half the time having us look at poetry. Wise man!

    And L.L., I wanted to thank you for introducing me to Adrienne Rich’s poetry. I knew she existed, but I didn’t know her words.

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