Thank you to everyone who submitted manuscripts to our first open reading period, for your patience, and for your nourishing creations. Sutra Press is proud to announce that we have chosen three chapbooks for our inaugural chapbook series.

Buddha vs. Bonobo
By Brendan Walsh

Buddha vs. Bonobo juxtaposes ancient human philosophy with the inherent spirituality of our Great Ape cousins, bonobos. Guided by humor, animal practicality, and the omnipresent questions of existence, this collection seeks answers through imagining what humans lost by leaving the Congo River Basin millions of years ago to establish civilization, property, agriculture—bonobos might argue we’re lacking playfulness, free love, chaotic harmony with nature, and an ultimate connectivity.

Brendan Walsh has fallen in love with South Korea, Laos, and all of New England. He is the author of two collections of poetry, Make Anything Whole (Five Oaks Press, 2015), and Go (Aldrich Press, 2016). His poems have appeared in Connecticut Review, LONTAR, Wisconsin Review, Mudfish, Lines + Stars, and other journals. Brendan can be found climbing palm trees, splitting coconuts, teaching poems, and channeling his inner-bonobo in South Florida. He’s online at


Dear Creatures
By Claire Bowman

Poems are ‘“imaginary gardens with real toads in them”’ writes Marianne Moore.

This suite of poems is at once alien and intimately human. They are psyche and senses, spiritual toads. Created through the belief that poetry doesn’t come out of us, it comes into us, these poems express a desire to be in dialogue with something that is beyond understanding. They are spoken through an oracular voice that lacks identity, and embody the incoherence of a shattered psyche. This work is concerned with an intensity of experience that is derived from being a wet, electrical body that houses consciousness, a phenomenon that should never cease to leave us gripped, stupefied, and spellbound.

Claire Bowman was born and raised along the Missouri river. She earned a BA in English from Truman State University, and an MFA in Poetry from the Michener Center for Writers. She lives in Austin, Texas.


Ritual in Blue
By Caroline Kessler

Ritual in Blue is a wandering meditation through the realms of desire and spirituality, in the midst of displacement. Questions of searching, separation, and selfhood permeate the poems, which are rituals in themselves. Not a prescription nor an answer to these questions, the landscape of Ritual in Blue is dotted with bodies of water, spiritual paraphernalia, and the human body.

Caroline Kessler is a poet, editor, and community builder. Her poetry and prose has been published in The Susquehanna Review, Sundog Lit, Profane, Rivet, Superstition Review, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis, is the co-creator of The 18 Somethings Project, a writing adventure, and co-founder of Index/Fist, a creative collective that publishes zines. More at