SHARKPACK Poetry Review

An imprint of FATHOMBOOKS.




Joseph Spece’s BAD ZOO

Boston, MA (18 July 2018)—Fathom Books is pleased to announce the release of Joseph Spece’s second long volume of poems, BAD ZOO.

In BAD ZOO, Spece—whose first longbook, Roads (Cherry Grove), appeared in 2013—gives alternately gnashing and desperate voice to a menagerie of queers, animals, fungi, and mutants in the rooms. Little prepares for this avant-garde encounter, full of blackouts, hexes, projectives, play, prose-forms, and sudden lyricism: ‘it will chew the neck-cords milk-thin / eat the face like a cooking egg.’

With BAD ZOO, Fathom has sought to push further in the direction of the relic-text, or book-as-installation, with variable covers and very limited supply. Each copy of the book is one-of-a-kind, featuring spray paint details hand-applied by the author.

The volume features original art by British artist Darren Hopes, whose periodical credits include The Telegraph, New Scientist, Killzone, and The Washington Post.

Eric Westerlind says of BAD ZOO: ‘There are masks, but the veins are attached. This text will try to break you so it can be alone; its strange feet and bent cudgel. It knows you’re here to “know it” without asking any questions. This text finds problem with that.’

Joseph Spece read English, philosophy, and art history at Boston College, and took his MFA from Columbia University in 2009. His public awards in writing include a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, artist fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, VSC, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council; and the Corrente Prize in Poetry from Columbia. His magazine credits include Volt, 3:AM, Agni, DIAGRAM, Poetry, Orion, TriQuarterly, Best American Experimental Writing, and Salamander. He founded the SHARKPACK imprints in 2011, Fathom in 2016, and has served as editor since.

Fathom Books seeks text fit to meet—or be—the Gorgon: avant-garde, neo-gnostic, queer, monstrous, dire, Other. We also have a special interest in world Englishes.

BAD ZOO is available for purchase through Fathom’s website and, by year’s end, select stockists in the US and Europe.

Fathom Books / PO Box 6288 / Holliston, MA 01746 /


Blog at

%d bloggers like this: