Join PRESS 254 at the Publications Unit for a virtual chapbook launch and reading event at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 27.

This semester we will celebrate the publication of five new chapbooks by alumni and current students from the Department of English including: The Leafcutters, the Minor Saints by Hannah Kroonblawd; Fake Magic by Bryanna Lee; Chum Baby by Theresa O’Donnell, M.A. ’10; monument by B. P. Sutton, Ph.D. ’19; and Reflections of a Post-Middle-Aged Woman by M. Irene Taylor, Ph.D. ’18.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place virtually via Zoom, and no registration is required. Full Zoom event link:

PRESS 254 is made up of a student staff of publishing studies or English studies students enrolled in English 254: Introduction to Professional Publishing, under the direction of Holms Troelstrup in the spring semesters and Steve Halle in the fall semesters. The students gain professional publishing experience by working through the entire production process to publish these chapbooks—from copy editing, designing, and typesetting, all the way to hand-stitching the binding, preparing marketing materials, and setting up the launch reading.

Copies of the chapbooks are available for sale at the PRESS 254 bookstore where you can choose to have the books delivered to your ISU campus mailbox, mailed to your residence, or available for a no-contact pickup at the Publications Unit in the Williams Hall Annex. You can choose to bundle all five books for $25 (bundle price available through May 14) or select an individual title for $7. All proceeds are used to fund current and future PRESS 254 projects.

About the Chapbooks

The Leafcutters, the Minor Saints by Hannah Kroonblawd

Hannah Kroonblawd’s debut chapbook, The Leafcutters, the Minor Saints, is a hybrid collection that combines dreamscapes, spirituality, and experiences of death and grief in order to captivate the audience’s attention and stir its imagination. The experimental blend of lyrical poetry and vivid prose explores the themes of religion and past women’s involvement within religion, while also relating to the femininity of the modern era and incorporating existential ideologies. Using descriptive language and innovative syntax, Kroonblawd draws on dual inspirations from philosophy and dreams to create a unique and symbolic collection that calls readers to meditate and reflect.

Fake Magic by Bryanna Lee

Fake Magic is an exploration of the connections between all the different ways our bodies are colonized: by children, by partners, by illness—all these things that take away or take over parts of ourselves—all the ways in which we lose ourselves and yet also recreate ourselves through these experiences. This poetry collection asks important questions and seeks out the magic holding it all together: How do we prioritize ourselves and care for others? How do we make sure we don’t lose ourselves? How do we accept not having control? How can we be changed without being defined by the change?

Chum Baby by Theresa O’Donnell

Chum Baby is an exploration of loss. An attempt to process a year that cannot be digested. A year of aborted dreams, and death, of manipulation, resilience, and reflection.

Of hunger, and waiting. Of breathing, and the loss of breath.

It weaves the author’s grief after a miscarriage juxtaposed next to the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic. It incorporates filaments from news, history, and pop culture that she clings to as she tries to make sense of a life, a world, and culture in crisis

monument by B. P. Sutton

In his third chapbook monument, B. P. Sutton invites readers into a poetry collection that uses vivid imagery, visceral emotion, and inventive, thought-provoking word play to interrogate the origins of what idols end up on the tumbledown pedestals of americana. In these five poems that sear with incantations of ritual and rust, he explores the relationships between nature, religion, and sacrifice to create a mythopoetics—a glimpse into a splintered land roiling with burden, invective, foment, and bloat. Sutton examines what fuels the little engines that power our most closely held, most hotly contested beliefs and makes audible some of the timeless questions that we usually only dare whisper to our shadows.

Reflections of a Post-Middle-Aged Woman by M. Irene Taylor

Reflections of a Post-Middle-Aged Woman started as a class assignment and evolved into a personal essay tracing the author’s experiences as caregiver, then a one-woman play, and now a centerpiece for this chapbook. Through the personal essay, Reflections is an examination and a coming-to-terms with grief and guilt, an acknowledgement of those traumas we hold so close, and a complication of our compulsion to forgive.

The event is sponsored by the English Department’s Publications Unit and PRESS 254. For more information about the event or for accommodations, please contact Holms Troelstrup, assistant director of the Publications Unit, at or 309- 438-3025.