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Seneca Review Books is an imprint of Hobart and William Smith Colleges Press. It was founded in 2018 to publish the Deborah Tall Lyric Essay Book Prize Series.



Seneca Review Books’ third title, Katherine Indermaur’s I|I, was released on November 15, 2022.

You can order I|I from directly from us or from SPDBookshop, or Amazon.


In fragments one might be known. Seen from dozens of angles, the mind may move among facets and see the whole. It is, in fact, how seeing works in the human brain anyhow. Katherine Indermaur’s I|I finds rich resonances among these disparate but not discrete shards. Rather a full shape in time and space assembles. Both the “lyric” and the “essay” are fully achieved, home is sought, the self seeks to connect with all of what is beyond.
Kazim Ali, book prize judge and author of Sukun and Northern Light

“Every seeing distorts the world,” writes Katherine Indermaur in I|I. Culling historical and cultural fragments of what mirrors are as well as what they mean, Indermaur invites us to peer into longing and wonder. She pulls us in close to the reflection, asking us to look deeper into words and meaning, revealing a fragmented yet encompassing portrait of what it means to confront the self beyond the perceived “I.” With an eye to both poetry and philosophy, I|I reveals the dangers of seeing, how light and reflection, once unveiled, gives way to a broken and distorted existence and perception of so many unending selves. It is a delight to gaze into these mirrory fragments, seemingly stretching into infinity. 
Jenny Boully, author of The Body and Betwixt-and-Between

With its meditative capture of the ways of looking, Katherine Indermaur assembles an exquisite composite of personal memory, facial (and existential) examination, etymology, and cross-cultural ways of seeing oneself in I|I. This brilliant lyric flows like a resplendent river replete with tributaries and oxbow lakes, where each bend of water orients the eye to new lines of sight. This essay is visionary, it envisions, revising its modes of seeing to query the quotidian practice of seeing oneself in a reflective surface. Reminiscent of Suzanne Buffam's A Pillow Book or Eliot Weinberger's elliptical essays, Indermaur’s essaying is a facing of her subject that is ultimately uniquely her own. Here are "fragments" which "feed out on light. On looking." And how transcendent the journey.  
Diana Khoi Nguyen, author of Ghost of

“If I could only see more clearly my own seeing.”  So begins Katherine Indermaur’s stunning Facing the Mirror, a book that looks long, and longingly, at vision itself.  In our ocularcentric world, both mirror and eye, not unlike language, are taken at face value. The eye/ I of these poem-essays glides over the surface while, at the same time, “unsurfac[ing] things,” ushering the reader into a depth that challenges the reign of vision.  In the spirit of Levinas and Buber, Indermaur offers us a handbook of compassionate seeing, a “practice” we so desperately need after these screen-filled, isolated years.  “A practice: Tell your subject to look in your eyes. Look equally in your subject’s eyes. Look therein for your own reflected face.” It is through such practices that we begin to see that language is both a series of relations (words are “cousins of wonder,” “sisters”) and the very thing of which relationships are made.  While Indermaur knows the complexity of these relations, she cannot help but hope, as we all should, that through them we might find one another again: “If only it were this clear: Sight so precise (you and I) call it a line.”
Sasha SteensenEverything Awake and Gatherest


New Delta Review, reviewed by Halley McArn

Sweet Lit, reviewed by Chelsea Dingman

Colorado Review, reviewed by Linda Scheller

Tupelo Quarterly, reviewed by Esteban Rodriguez


The Rumpus, Katherine Indermaur interviewed by EJ Levy

rob mclennan’s blog, Katherine Indermaur interviewed by rob mclennan

Sweet Lit, Katherine Indermaur interviewed by Vahni Kurra

Poet to Poet, Katherine Indermaur interviewed by Radha Marcum for the Fragments to Whole series

The Lives of Writers, podcast, Katherine Indermaur interviewed by Sara Rauch for Autofocus Lit

Con(verse), Colorado Review, Katherine Indermaur interviewed by C.E. Janecek

Psaltery & Lyre, Katherine Indermaur interviewed by Jacob Taylor

Tarpaulin Sky, Katherine Indermaur interviewed by Julia Cohen and Abby Hagler for their Original Obsessions

Colorado State English Dept., Katherine Indermaur interviewed by Emily Harnden


2023 Colorado Book Award Winner

Small Press Distribution, Nonfiction Bestseller, #10 (June – July 2023)

Small Press Distribution, Nonfiction Bestseller, #10 (Aug. – Sept. 2023)

Poets & Writers Magazine, featured publication

Around the Oval, Colorado State University alumni magazine, Summer 2023

Sound Like Trapped Thunder

Sound Like Trapped Thunder

Seneca Review Books’ second title, Jessica Lind Peterson's Sound Like Trapped Thunder, was released on March 15, 2021.

You can order Sound Like Trapped Thunder from directly from us or from SPD, Bookshop, or Amazon.


Peterson leads us, swirlingly, into the mystery through gorgeous, kaleidoscopic renderings of memory, being, and place. Infused with startling metaphor and similes, the poetic sparks of her images are only outdone by her ability to bring her trove into crisp focus, revealing the core of the very thing she wanted to save us from.
Jenny Boully, book prize judge and author of The Body and Betwixt-and-Between

In "Poetry and Grammar," Stein perhaps set the difference between prose poetry and lyric prose when she wrote, "Sentences are not emotional, but paragraphs are. I can say that as often as I like and it always remains as it is, something that is." Except that it isn’t. In Jessica Lind Peterson’s collection, she composes sentences like music, challenging prose grammar, fiddling the strings of syntax like one would bow a violin. The staccato rhythm, the lush reach, the looping of the line, all contribute to a compelling collage of essays on family, the external world, and the thorny relationships between people. With the investigatory devotion of a Stein but the sharp wit of an Ursule Molinaro, these essays captivate.
Kazim Ali, author of The Voice of Sheila Chandra and Silver Road

Jessica Lind Peterson’s essay collection Sound Like Trapped Thunder delights and unsettles at once. This is no wide-eyed nature book that expounds on the goodness of a pristine place, but one that holds awe and terror in equal measures; it celebrates, probes, wrestles with and questions the cruelty, loneliness, beauty and mystery of the natural world, and in doing so, searches for a way to situate the human heart within it - animals that we are - to find home, build home, and come home all at once.
Angela Pelster, author of Limber and The Curious Adventures of India Sophia


Five Plots

Seneca Review Books' premier title, Erica Trabold’s Five Plots, was released on November 6, 2018.

You can order Five Plots from SPD or Amazon.


Five Plots is a beautiful book. Under Trabold’s careful scrutiny the land, the body, a family, and their shared histories are laid bare, followed to the place where their roots intertwine, where their mystery refuses to yield. Examined with an eye equally tender and relentless, the starkest places ache with beauty in these pages.
Melissa Febos, author of Whip Smart and Abandon Me

The late poet and essayist Deborah Tall revolutionized the literature of place by changing our understanding of how potently we can be impacted by the conflagrations of landscape, family, and memory. Now, Erica Trabold kick-starts a new book series named for Deborah Tall with a debut that imaginatively probes its own part of the world through humor, history, speculation, and hurt. This is a pinprick of a book with a very generous heart.
John D’Agata, author of The Lifespan of a Fact and About a Mountain

What a wonderful excavation of identity, time, and place and what holds us, what keeps us, what won’t let us go. Erica Trabold’s Five Plots beautifully unearths the layers of history that make us what we are, doing so as only a poetic essayist can: incorporating memory, historical fact, failures, landscapes, hopes, and whatever grows or has grown. It was a delight to lose myself in her imagistic prose, her layers of dreamy sediment, her intersecting strata of family, memory, erosion, and death. Trabold’s landscape of childhood and Nebraska is haunting and bright, warm and hostile, captured in entrancing syntax and meditation. Five Plots signals a daringly honest, intelligent, and complicated voice in the world of essays.
Jenny Boully, author of The Body and Betwixt-and-Between

With grace, ambition, and a charmed eye for detail, the five "plots" that comprise Erica Trabold’s stirring debut achieve a significant feat: instead of either pulling stories of the self from the landscape or depicting a landscape via the unique perspective of an observant self, this small gem of a book manages to accomplish both simultaneously.
Elena Passarello, author of Animals Strike Curious Poses


Los Angeles Review of Books, reviewed by Ryan Lackey

The Rumpus, reviewed by Kristine Langley Mahler

Brevity Magazine, reviewed by Cameron Shenassa

Rain Taxi, reviewed by Katharine Coldiron


The Rumpus, Erica Trabold interviewed by Jenny Boully

BOMB Magazine, Erica Trabold interviewed by Kristina Tate

New Book Network, Podcast, Erica Trabold interviewed by Zoe Bossiere

In-Residence Podcast, Erica Trabold interviewed by KHN Center for the Arts


2019 Nebraska Book Award in Nonfiction Essay

Small Press Distribution, Nonfiction Bestseller, #9 (Jan. - Mar. 2019)

Small Press Distribution, Nonfiction Bestseller, #11 (Oct. - Dec. 2018)

The Paris Review, selected Five Plots as one of its "Staff Picks" by Christian Kiefer

Poets & Writers Magazine, featured publication

New Pages, "New & Noteworthy," Nov. 27, 2018

Oregonian, "18 Authors to Check Out at the 2018 Portland Book Festival," Nov. 5, 2018

Portland Monthly Magazine, recommended book

Magnify, (Small Presses, Bigger), featured in "A Critical Look" for November