Like his mentors Chuck Kinder and Lewis Nordan, Michael Gerhard Martin writes deeply textured stories that take you into the minds and souls of the people you see in discount stores, grocery aisles, and gas stations. In the tradition of Raymond Carver, Martin’s tales give dignity and grace to adults caught in the cold grip of poverty and to their children, who struggle mightily with broken homes, bullying, racism, and the constant hum of anger, violence, and resentment that is their lives.
In a voice ringing with emotion, the stories in Easiest If I Had A Gun will remind you what literature is for—that great project of taking us deeper into life, laying it bare, and transforming it with words into something we can hold in our hearts.
Michael Gerhard Martin grew up in rural Pennsylvania, and took his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. He teaches at Babson College and for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Summer Programs. He is the winner of the 2013 James Knudsen Prize from the University of New Orleans for his story, "Shit Weasel Is Late For Class." His work has appeared in Junctures, Bayou Magazine, and The Ocean State Review. Easiest If I Had A Gun is his first book.
Dramatist, novelist, critic and poet Virgilio Piñera (1912-1979) was one of the greatest writers of twentieth-century Cuba. Little known outside the island, his poems have been called "feverishly tropical" and "champions against indifference." With a linguistic skill reminiscent of Borges and a gift for metaphor that rivals Neruda and García Lorca, Piñera's poems celebrate daily life in Cuba with brilliance and humor. Pablo Medina's remarkable translations from The Weight of the Island (La isla en peso), the first book-length collection of Piñera's work in English, now renew Piñera's gifts to the world.
Pablo Medina was born in Havana, Cuba, and moved with his family to New York City at the age of twelve. Medina's writing has been acclaimed as "lyrical and powerfully evocative" and "deserving a prominent spot in today's literature of exile." He teaches at Emerson College.