New Books From R.B. Morris and Michael Knight

R.B. Morris is following his long-awaited (and very good) third album Spies Lies and Burning Eyes, released in January, with a new book of poems, his first collection of all-new material in several years. Morris also seems to have learned something about paying for these projects from his experience with Spies, which he financed with the money he got from pre-release orders. He's doing the same thing with Keeping the Bees Employed, his new book. At his new website, Morris is accepting $15 pre-orders now for the upcoming publication. (If you order now, you'll get a signed copy of Keeping the Bees Employed when it's published.)

In other book news, The Typist, the new novel by Michael Knight, head of the University of Tennessee's creative writing program, will be published on Aug. 5 by Grove Press. It's Knight's second novel (he's also written three short-story collections) and his first book since 2008's The Holiday Season. The Typist is set in Japan just after World War II and follows an office clerk in Gen. Douglas MacArthur's command. Early reviews are good: Library Journal says, "With its spare, economical prose, this novel brings a different slant to the theme of war and relationships," and Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, says, "The Typist is Knight's best book yet."