Etched Press

Price: $11.99


how we liberated what secrets we modified by john compton

Now Available

how we liberated what secrets we modified by john compton is a chapbook-length collection of poems.

ISBN: 978-1-93584-717-5

how we liberated what secrets we modified is a book of the body and of the mind. john compton writes in a loose but raw style with poems that show “lust drips tenderly like a sadistic flower.” Across 17 poems, readers witness the force of an insatiable imagination meeting an immovable resolve. These poems make the page tremble like aftershocks of an earthquake. how we liberated what secrets we modified is erotic, filled with the remnants of desire and betrayal. This is poetry where even “the birds, keep plague / pollinate the air. / each toxic breath / determines / a second-guessed inhale.” Be prepared for a journey through a beautiful world where "birds, devastated refugees, / scratch across the sky / longing to find a home."

“how we liberated what secrets we modified is full of frank, aching particulars, the terror “nonconsensual,” even the birds “devastated refugees.” john compton’s cutting lines disclose as much as they contradict: “i don’t want to die / yet living isn’t enough.” This is a sensual, brash book of the mathematics of oblivion—and compton reminds us that our number is up.”

Randall Mann, author of A Better Life (2021).

“how we liberated what secrets we modified is a book of solar flares that perturb + disturb the standard signals of love, death, sickness, lust, & trauma. In these poems, john compton explores the many ways "distance becomes an orbit / while air fluctuates." This is the miasmatic air of Baudelaire's city as much as it is Stefan George's air of another planet, or the wind we can almost hear rattling in the background while John Wieners writes in his "A Poem for Trapped Things": "Gasping for breath. / Living for the instant." The poet's breath is held in & let go, "a singular / bubble within a spectrum / of time continuously writing" new queer histories that disseminate by word of mouth, on bathroom walls, or "scratch[ed] across the sky". Every corner of the universe where desire may hope to go, john compton has already been. We're just lucky he left us a trail.”

Tom Snarsky, author of Light-Up Swan

“In john compton’s dark and insatiable imagination, our bodies turn to bones and dirt, the mind becomes a one-eyed lighthouse, an IV figured as a marionette’s strings. Like the visual art of their patron saint Salvador Dali, these poems distort experience into something mesmerizing and grotesque. Elegiac, aching, innocent, unforgettable, compton’s poems are fearless, even as “the air beats down. // the air beats us down.”

Richie Hofmann, A Hundred Lovers: Poems

john compton (b. 1987) is a gay poet who lives in kentucky with his husband josh and their dogs and cats. He is the author of two full-length collections trainride elsewhere (Pressed Wafer, 2016) and the castration of a minor god (Ghost City Press, 2022) as well as ten chapbooks, including a child growing wild inside the mothering womb (Ghost City Press, 2020), i saw god cooking children / paint their bones (Blood Pudding Press 2020), and the forthcoming melancholy arcadia (Small Harbor Press, May 2024) and blacked out borderland from an exponential crisis (Ethel Zine and Micro Press, Sep 2023). His pdf chapbook the skies fell revelations is free when you purchase his full length poetry book from Ghost City Press. He has been nominated for three pushcart prizes and published in numerous magazines and anthologies.

john compton author photo

john compton


Price: $24.99


Etched Press Chapbook Bundle

Recieve a bundle of 3 chapbooks for the price of 2!

You'll receive a bundle of chapbooks from 3 of the following:

  • This Frayed Universe by Sarah Brashear
  • Singing is My Favorite Part by Susan Elliott Brown
  • Haram by Antony Fangary
  • Apart from Concrete Existence by Josef Krebs
  • Flotsam by Catherine Kyle
  • Poems in Which I am Chopped up by Zack Rearick
  • The Girl with the Green Violin by Kirby Wright

Let us know if there is one book that you'd specifically like


Price: $11.99


Haram by Antony Fangary

Haram by Antony Fangary is a chapbook-length collection of poems & prayers.

ISBN: 978-1-93584-715-1

“Through even psychic journeys home, Fangary quarries the oaths we have grown numb to. Hiding from no one, here is a wanderer who has written poems on the film layer of his eyes. In the war and peace of imperialist myth, poems written on behalf of we who don’t exist. And gentle paper for the prayers of our grandmothers’ tongues.”

-Tongo Eisen-Martin, author of the American Book Award winning

“Antony Fangary has a unique and harrowing American story to tell. His masterstroke as author was to alternate Coptic prayers with personal revelation: “my father was proud of my skin when I was born / my mother says he showed me to everyone in the hospital / a brown man with a son white as an ostrich egg / the American dream //  Lord, look with / Merciful eyes / At my weakness / At my disgrace.” This book is the perfect example of the literature we should be reading, to open our eyes to the world and thereby to know ourselves.”

-Paul Hoover, editor of Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology

Antony Fangary holds an MFA from San Francisco State University and is a recipient of the Ina Coolbrith Poetry Prize. You can also find his recent work in Waccamaw, The Bookends Review, Anomaly, Welter, and more. He is curator of the Tenderlovin’ in the TL reading series. The series also serves as a community outreach program that provides charity for displaced individuals in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. You can learn more about Antony at his website:


Antony Fangary


Price: $11.99


Apart from Concrete Existence by Josef Krebs

Apart from Concrete Existence by Josef Krebs is a chapbook-length collection of poems.

ISBN: 978-1935847-13-7

Josef Krebs’ poetry appears in Agenda, Bicycle Review, Calliope, Mouse Tales Press, The Corner Club Press, The FictionWeek Literary Review, and Burningword Literary Journal. His fiction has been published by blazeVOX and Apart from Concrete Existence is his first chapbook. Krebs is the author of three novels, five screenplays, and another book of poetry. He is also a filmmaker who has had films screened at the Santa Cruz and Cannes film festivals. He lives and works in New York as a freelance writer for Sound & Vision magazine.


Josef Krebs


Price: $11.99


This Frayed Universe by Sarah Brashear

This Frayed Universe is a chapbook of poems by Sarah Brashear. It describes our heavy and beautiful world and the crisis of the ordinary human coping with the everyday effects of life. Brashear’s rich language shows that not only is being a person a blessing, but at times, an unexpected disaster. Through her strong images, she is able to illustrate what many other authors have also shown—that within the unordinary is the ordinary, and that perhaps this insanity we diagnose in others is actually our sanity.

ISBN: 978-1935847-11-3

Sarah Brashear lives in Pennsylvania and has an MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. Her first full-length book of poetry, On Beacon Street, was published by Cawing Crow Press. She is currently a writing instructor at Lebanon Valley College. When she isn’t writing or teaching, she enjoys playing tennis and going to concerts.


Sarah Brashear

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