Howie Good’s “Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements,” WINNER OF PRIZE AMERICANA

Howie Good


MockingHeart Review contributor, Howie Good’s Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements contains poems that feature a penetrating analysis of contemporary life. It is published in paperback, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and distributed through Ingram.


Praise for Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements

DALE WISELY: One of the poems in this collection is “On Being Asked, ‘Where Do You Get Your Ideas?’” The question annoys artists, but when I read Howie Good’s work, it’s the question I want to ask him. In Good’s recent work, he builds each poem into a hypnotic sequence of seemingly unrelated images and observations, meditations on the strangeness of existence, the anxiety and dread of our time, but with glints of beauty and grace.


LAURA M. KAMINSKI: Dangerous Acts of Unstable Elements is a sequence of “selfies” on exhibit, one per page, in which the poet is relentlessly “photo-bombed” by reality, history, and myth. Nasty stains of every imaginable kind, the memorabilia of a witless age, constitute another section of the museum… (“And That’s What It’s All About”). But the poet gives us clues on how to cope with the nastiness: Point with your fading heart at the shadows puddled in the bottom of the ditch, where, nonetheless, something still glitters… (“Objects in This Mirror”). The only piece in these …Acts… to which I had an objection is the prose poem that ends with I made a list of things still to do: choke, weave, sense, deal, blunder. Which left just enough time to admire, between small, tedious breaths, the snowy egret standing there. The poem is titled “Words Fail Me.” No, Howie Good. I disagree. They don’t.


BRAD ROSE: In Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements the masterful Howie Good teaches us to look coolly and directly into the eye of quotidian surreality. Although the speakers in Good’s stark, yet luminous, poems variously inform us that: the future consists of a certain unrest in all that has been, that behind every work of art lies an uncommitted crime, and that the rider may guide the horse, but only in the direction the horse wants to go, we learn from Good’s inimitable powers of ironic description, keen eye for dark paradox, and unfailingly calm counsel to ably navigate an often up-ended, disconcerting territory.  Indeed, with Good’s skillful guidance we learn not only to negotiate this weird and mysterious world, but to relish it.




Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of several poetry collections, including Beautiful Decay and The Cruel Radiance of What Is from Another

New Calligraphy, Fugitive Pieces from Right Hand Pointing Press, and Lovesick from The Poetry Press of Press Americana. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.


Contact information:
The Poetry Press of Press Americana

Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture

7095-1240 Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood, CA  90028


Howie Good




“Trailer Park Oracle” By Mary Carroll-Hackett

MockingHeart Review contributor Mary Carroll-Hackett’s new book, Trailer Park Oracle, has just been released. We couldn’t be happier for her, and for you, dear reader.

Praise for Trailer Park Oracle:

This is a book that peers from the edges of wild places: from the flickerings of a French film to the heady thrills of train trestles, from the doorways of long-abandoned houses to the quiet of the vigils at the hospital bed. With a voice both gentle and fierce, Carroll-Hackett’s poems are unafraid to see us as the aching creatures we are, to ask the hard questions of language and loss, not even flinching as they reveal the wonder and pain of our very world like the title poem’s Oracle, “calling them as they played, no cushioning of the blow.”

— Amy Tudor, author of A Book of Birds and Studies in Extinction

The needs that haunt our lives also haunt Mary Carroll-Hackett’s newest collection. In Trailer Park Oracle, there is a need for food and love, and to find the true self. But Carroll-Hackett also reminds us that among all of the shining things in this world, we might sometimes forget who we are. “So you repeat, some mantra you think you’re making, until it all just becomes shaking.” Through the rich narrative of this collection, we are reminded of the path back to ourselves, how “the seed knew, at last, its own light.”

–Julie Brooks Barbour, author of Small Chimes

These poems are anchored in love – stubborn, earth-bound, unrelenting love and the generosity that it engenders. And while Carroll-Hackett is NOT the oracle of the title, she is a diviner nevertheless, looking through the quotidian – bread & blankets, Ferris wheels & automotive transmissions, dead deer and starving bears – for clues to the mysterious nature of our human hearts.

–Doug Van Gundy

About Mary:

MockingHeart Review contributor, Mary Carroll-Hackett, earned the BA and MA from East Carolina University, and an MFA from Bennington College, Her work has appeared in numerous journals including Carolina Quarterly, Superstition Review, Drunken Boat and The Prose-Poem Project. She is the author of multiple books, including The Real Politics of Lipstick (Slipstream 2010), Animal Soul (Kattywompus Press, 2013),  If We Could Know Our Bones (A-Minor Press, 2014) and The Night I Heard Everything(FutureCycle Press, 2015). Another full-length collection, entitled A Little Blood, A Little Rain, is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press in 2016. She teaches at Longwood University and with the low-residency MFA faculty at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Mary is at work on a memoir.

Two weeks until submissions re-open

We are so grateful to our contributors and readers who have helped us skyrocket in our first issue that was released on January 1st. We’ve had readers from over 30 countries visit the site, connecting to the authors within. We hope you have enjoyed the selections we have made. We are getting ready to do it again.

We are looking forward to March 1st, when submissions re-open.  Please read our guidelines and prepare your submissions accordingly.  If you want to surmise a bit about our taste in poetry, read our first issue. Our taste is quite refined, and yet, broad– The quality of the work is our most defined requirement.