an anthology of
everyday invocations
edited by Matthew Vollmer

with prayers by Dan Albergotti, Kate Angus, Hadara Bar-Nadav, Jensen Beach, A. K. Benninghofen, Nathan Blake, Gabriel Blackwell, George Bishop, Jr., Wendy Brenner, Nic Brown, Scott Cheshire, Jaime Clarke, Sean Conaway, Stanley Crawford, Michelle Kyoko Crowson, Christy Crutchfield, Weston Cutter, Chad Davidson, Gabe Durham, Mieke Eerkens, Clyde Edgerton, Matthew Gavin Frank, Amy Fusselman, Jonterri Gadson, V. V. Ganeshananthan, William Giraldi, Ani Gjika, Eve Grubin, John Haskell, Bob Hicok, Caitlin Horrocks, Marie Howe, Leslie Jamison, Lauren Jensen, Will Kaufman, Rob Kenagy, Lee Klein, Catherine Lacey, J. Robert Lennon, Ariel Lewiton, Nate Liederbach, Samuel Ligon, Robert Lopez, Courtney Maum, Aaron McCollough, Charles McLeod, Erika Meitner, Brenda Miller, Rick Moody, Liz Moore, Dylan Nice, Brian Oliu, Alicia Jo Rabins, Dawn Raffel, Wendy Rawlings, Ryan Ridge, Joseph Salvatore, Benjamin Samuel, Scott Sanders, Ravi Shankar, Susan B. A. Somers-Willett, Amber Sparks, Sasha Steensen, Sarah Strickley, Ian Stansel, Christian TeBordo, Robert Uren, & Matthew Vollmer

proceeds benefit 826 Valencia

a few selections
- A Creed
- Post-Game-Day Blessing
- "As soon as I could talk my mother taught me to pray. . ."

Matthew Vollmer on Uncommon Prayer
425 Shanks podcast (iTunes)

Launch events:
May 19, 2015 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Housing Works, New York
details on Facebook

June 19, 2015 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Press Street Gallery, New Orleans
special thanks to Maple Street Book Shop

July 17, 2015 7:30pm
PowderTek, Asheville, NC
special thanks to Malaprop's Books
details on Facebook


This is a benefit project supporting 826 Valencia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting under-resourced students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Their services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. Learn more about their good work here.


Puerto del Sol:

"In collecting the [uncommon' prayers of nearly seventy contributing writers, Vollmer has compiled an anthology remarkable for its depth, scope, and the way in which varied and diverse voices express what it is to pray. . . This is not a secular anthology, but it is not a religious one; instead, A Book of Uncommon Prayer reaches for the core of the human experience in all its fickleness. Vollmer’s collected prayers speak to the fundamental and the minute, as well as to the absurd, the ecstatic, and the mundane." - Savannah Johnston at Puerto del Sol

Fiction Advocate:

"'Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!' wrote Allen Ginsberg. 'Everything is holy!' In the spirit of those lines, Matthew Vollmer (who has a talent for pulling literature out of unexpected places) has edited an anthology of 'everyday evocations'. . . There is a prayer that begins 'LORD, thank you / for my doubt you exist and my certainty / I'm being watched by eyes of clouds and eyes / of doorknobs when I dream or masturbate.” There is a prayer called “For a Teenage Girl Embarking Upon a Week-long Carnival Cruise with Her Parents.'. . . As it turns out, you can pray for almost anything. But you couldn’t pray for a more inspiring book." - Brian Hurley at Fiction Advocate

Atticus Review:

". . .ABoUP is fear, reverence, and disbelief, oftentimes all three at once; it's an homage to the heavens' Transcendental Signifier; it's about meaning, finding it, losing it, then grappling with its void. But it's also more. Laden with long, beautiful sentences—the kind we expect from Vollmer—ABoUP is a looking glass through porous borders, a prayer for the universally mundane: the acquaintance who has deleted their Facebook, the little guy driving behind oversized loads, the fifteen-year-old girl on a cruise ship with her parents who, after suffering one too many Lampoonian moments, has pulled away from her family and found herself in the staff quarters with the family's waiter. . ." - Pat Siebel at Atticus Review

The Reading Life, WWNO New Orleans Public Radio:

"This book is AMAZING--moving and witty and sweet and sometimes even shocking--a little bit of everything we pray for in our private moments." - Susan Larson, WWNO

Small Press Review:

"Editor Matthew Vollmer strips away the bylines of this truly exceptional gathering of authors (credits are given at the back of the book) and allows the power of the pieces to do all the heavy lifting, clear of accreditation. Throughout, the writing is frequently poetic and beautiful, circling back often to stories of parents seeking kindness and protection for their children as they mature and move through life. Perhaps the greatest success of this anthology is its ability to remind us that, despite our subjective dogmas or lack thereof, there is an ever-present mystery sewn into life, whether we call it god or science, and we are all part of a grand design worthy of contemplation and reverence." - Mel Bosworth at Small Press Review

Stay tuned for more events and reviews

A Book of Uncommon Prayer
edited by Matthew Vollmer
234 pages
$18.50 paperback ISBN 9781937402761
$9.99 ebook ISBN 9781937402778

copyright 2015 OP19 Books LLC