MFAW-WA alumnus James Gapinksi has had two chapbooks published this year, Messiah Tortoise and Edge of the Known Bus Line.


Here are the press releases for each:


In Edge of the Known Bus Line, a woman’s daily commute takes an abrupt turn when she’s dropped off in a grotesque shantytown. The townsfolk live in huts and tents scavenged from broken trinkets. They eat dead rats and human flesh. They’ve developed cult-like religions about miracle bus routes that will someday set them free. The narrator searches for a way out of this surreal hellscape while dredging up a few nightmares of her own.

Messiah Tortoise
 contains ten linked stories, each taking place in the same zoo. In this structurally innovative and darkly humorous chapbook, readers find a tortoise with stigmata marks, an agoraphobic grizzly bear, disappearing flamingos, a group of teenagers playing paintball with lemurs, and several rightfully disgruntled zoo employees. Beneath these conceits are subtler stories of loss, isolation, and a few threads of hope. Amid a collection that is fundamentally animalistic, readers gain several glimpses into what it means to be human.