Hello. My name is Jonathan Penton. Once, I was young, and had pictures of myself. Then, I got older, and I had to put up different pictures of myself. Here are some pictures of the new, old, me:
I am the Editor-in-Chief of Unlikely Stories: Episode IV, formerly Unlikely 2.0, formerly Unlikely Stories, at http://www.unlikelystories.org. Unlikely Stories: Episode IV puts out approximately 11 text issues and 11 multimedia issues a year, or sometimes a different number.
I run Unlikely Books, which publishes occasional books and chapbooks, including the massive 2010 anthology, Unlikely Stories of the Third Kind, which I edited, along with Donna Snyder, Belinda Subraman, Gabriel Ricard and C. Derick Varn. Please buy some books there! Please do not send your manuscripts to me unless I know you, though. Unlikely Books does not have the resources for open submissions. Unlikely Stories: Episode IV always accepts submissions from strangers.
I like to organize and participate in live poetry events. Sometimes, you can find such events recorded at my YouTube chan nel.
I served as Webmaster for Big Bridge Issues 8 through 12, and as Assistant Editor for Big Bridge Issues 11 and 12, then as Assistant Editor for Big Bridge Issue 16 their 15th Anniversary Issue. Big Bridge is at http://www.bigbridge.org.
I edited BANNED, the anthology of the Meta4 Organization for Poetic Expression in El Paso. Leslie Council and Sylvia C. Pedroza edited it with me. I served on the editorial board of the first volume of Mezcla: Art and Writing from the Tumblewords Project. I have also edited other things and been published in other places.
Besides Prosthetic Gods, I wrote three other chapbooks of poetry: Last Chap (Vergin' Press, 2004), Blood and Salsa (self-published, 2006) and Painting Rust (self-published, 2006). Blood and Salsa and Painting Rust are sold bound together in one volume. I am selling copies of Prosthetic Gods. I am also selling copies of Blood and Salsa with Painting Rust. If you buy one of those books, I will give you a copy of Last Chap, but not in person if that was worrying you. Here are some nice things people have said about Prosthetic Gods:"In Prosthetic Gods, Jonathan Penton establishes himself as one of the emerging voices of what might be described as 'the post-solutions generation.' Pentonís take-no-prisoners approach and whiplash lines tear away the facades of Americaís culture heroes, not even sparing Beat icon Allen Ginsberg, until the reader stares at Ground Zero. Then, Penton offers a tempered hope based on what emerges from bare soil, instead of the promises of yet another icon based on artifice."
—Vernon Frazer, author of IMPROVISATIONS and Sing Me One Song of Evolution"Penton sits in the Hotel Wentley—sonnets of despair for the new millennium. Like it or not, we're born into the body. Penton—'your mouth in a group of strangers'—'back-alley moralists'—'there are no former poets'— unrepentantly turns the keys of passion inward: post-romantic, post-modern, bridging the gaps between the occidental & the oriental rebuttal, a young romantic master presents his soliloquy."
—Louise Landes Levi, author of Guru Punk and Banana Baby"In Prosthetic Gods, Jonathan Penton writes in the American grain of William Carlos Williams. Following Allen Ginsberg's rant against the injustices of our culture Penton portrays a bleak portrait of a post 9/11 America. Penton's contemporary Southwest setting is a place where all too often violence and hatred is more real than salvation; yet Penton's humorous poetic voice and pitch-perfect vernacular style shine through in each of these poems. In this collection Penton proves the true power of those prosthetic gods Freud's modernism promised."
—Ezra Cappell, Director of the Inter-American Jewish Studies Program at the University of Texas at El Paso"These stark, and in moments brilliantly understated poems, introduce us to beings who would put to rest any question of the unattained in human relationship; a failure whose optimism waits beyond the poetic lens that depicts not only the individuals it contains, but the ambiguous presence of a g-d/G-d whose ruins, in Human form, are only prosthetically concealed."
—Leigh Herrick, author and composer of Just War
Aryan Kaganof, author of many things like Uselessly, reviewed Prosthetic Gods at Kagablog
Bill Brocato reviewed Prosthetic Gods for The Houston Literary Review.
Here are some nice things people have said about Blood and Salsa and Painting Rust:"So real. So multi-layered. So intelligent."
—Chellis Glendinning, author of My Name is Chellis and I'm in Recovery from Western Civilization"what i find online is kind of depressing in its vapid facelessness... yr work was doubly appreciated for being WORK W/ SUBSTANCE AND DEPTH."
—John Sweet, author of Human Cathedrals"I love your lean and muscular poetry...You use humor as a weapon, an act of violence. Suffused with it, your poetry is, therefore, a sublime yet gory manifestation of pained aggression."
—Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited"This is the voice of a rebel without a pose, of a pilgrim without a mecca. Again, as with Last Chap, you seem to have laid yourself bare in a way that perhaps no-one has ever been laid before...The honesty is sometimes almost gruesome, yet always saved from gruesomeness by the exactitude of expression."
—A. R. Lamb, author of Secession"Loved the humor, rhythm and relationship angst where the more one runs, the tighter the reins pull."
—Linda A. Lavid, author of Thirst and Paloma"this is what i remember looking back through the pages rusty but regarding your career your books are wor5thless classic kafka's diaries sometimes cheer me up it is perhaps the writers life then in a bar or a party some man my age is crying dance me with your stillness indeed..:)"
—Brad M. Elliot
Tom Bradley reviewed Blood and Salsa and Painting Rust for NthPosition.
Peter Magliocco reviewed Blood and Salsa and Painting Rust for ART:MAG #30.1
Mary Jo Malo reviewed Blood and Salsa and Painting Rust for Galatea Resurrects.
Christopher Robin reviewed Blood and Salsa and Painting Rust for the Underground Literary Alliance and his print magazine, Zen Baby #17.2
Painting Rust and Blood and Salsa can be purchased from Unlikely Books.
Please e-mail me at jonathan AT unlikelystories DOT org with questions or comments.
1 Order from Peter Magliocco, P.O. Box 70896, Las Vegas, NV 89170
2 Order from Christopher Robin, P.O. Box 1611, Santa Cruz, CA 95061-1611