Belle Point Press
Child Craft, by Amy Cipolla Barnes
The unmistakable voice of Amy Cipolla Barnes returns in this new hybrid prose collection. To enter Child Craft is to enter a world of memories, both invented and remembered. The speakers of Barnes’ stories inhabit a space at times surreal but always vivid, evoking emotional responses that take readers to a place they could not have anticipated from the opening lines. As the title implies, Child Craft explores family relationships—typically from the perspectives of mother and daughter—and the ways that we continually shape them into something that can either help or harm us. These intimate vignettes comment on the many-layered realities of womanhood in modern life in a variety of settings. Whether passing through the wreckage of the Oklahoma City bombing or pretending that a pickle jar could save a missing woman, these stories open imaginative landscapes that will leave you feeling both haunted and a little less alone.
Amy Cipolla Barnes is the author of Ambrotypes (word west press) and Mother Figures (ELJ Editions). Her words have appeared in many publications, including The Citron Review, JMWW, Trampset, Flash Frog, No Contact Mag, Leon Review, Complete Sentence, The Bureau Dispatch, Nurture Lit, X-R-A-Y Lit, McSweeney’s, Southern Living, SmokeLong Quarterly, and others. She’s been nominated for Best of the Net, the Pushcart Prize, Best Microfiction, Best Small Fictions, and long-listed for Wigleaf50 in 2021, 2022, and 2023. She’s a Fractured Lit Associate Editor, Gone Lawn co-editor, Ruby Lit assistant editor and reads for The MacGuffin, Best Small Fictions, and Narratively. Find her on Twitter at @amygcb.
Praise for Child Craft:
“Amy Cipolla Barnes takes beautiful risks with Child Craft, a hybrid collection of essays, micros, and flash, of nonfiction and fiction, and the blurred in-between. Each piece clamps the throat, aches the heart. The distinctive voices come at their stories by such unpredictable avenues. One compares mothering to an abandoned Kmart; another explores betrayal and abduction through hiding places like thimbles and pickle barrels. Barnes writes of grief and longing, of caregiving and letting go, through corn kernels--remembered, spoiled, and bought fresh at the farmer’s market--through the staples of missing child posters, through game shows and paper-cutout houses. She’s crafted a journey of love and loss in ways that never cease to unsettle and surprise.”
-Jolene McIlwain, author of Sidle Creek
“A child ‘paints’ bedsheets hung out to dry to impress the rich folks driving by. Sisters ride a bus through a surreally gray, post-bombing Oklahoma City. A woman gives birth to a 144-inch baby. In this extraordinary collection, Amy Barnes renders the often-hidden lives of young girls and women and mothers with disarming candor and the sort of perfect, skewed vision one finds only in dreams. Barnes’ skill here lies in her ability to unearth the myths and totems of suburban life and arrange them into haunting, moving, unforgettable dioramas. All through, the prose is breathtaking, risk-taking, masterful. Child Craft is a powerful, wholly original collection by one of the best short-form writers working today.”
-Kathy Fish, author of Wild Life: Collected Works
From Amy at Reckon Review: "A Parental Reckoning: Parenting and Writing in Liminal Spaces (and they are all liminal spaces)"
Column in Reckon Review: "See the Sections: A How-to Guide to Giving Birth"
- Publication date: September 5, 2023
- Trim size: 5.5" x 8.5"
- Pages: 124
- ISBN: 978-1-960215-05-5