Brain Mill Press is excited to announce the selection of Melanie Faith’s “Set To Strike” from submissions to the Mineral Point Photography Call. Faith will receive a $125.00 cash prize, and her photograph will appear on the cover of Christine Brandel’s collection, A Wife Is a Hope Chest.

We’re honored to have received such notable submissions, and to have the opportunity to work with talented artists to produce beautiful covers for the Mineral Point Poetry Series.

Winning Selection

“Set To Strike — Orange Peel Snake” by Melanie Faith

to be featured on the cover of Christine Brandel’s A Wife Is a Hope Chest

About the Artist

Melanie Faith likes artistic variety and wears more than a few chapeaux: poet, writer of fiction and nonfiction, educator, photographer, editor, auntie, and craft-article journalist about the writing process. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, with a concentration in poetry from Queens University of Charlotte, N.C., training which influences her photographic interests in the resonance and compression of imagery. She learned to type on her mother’s Royal typewriter in middle school, and her first camera was a Kodak 110 in robin’s egg blue (it was the early ’90s).

In her art, she seeks to elevate commonplace objects that are overlooked into scenes that will intrigue and interest viewers to slow their pace. She enjoys exploring the histories of the people and places along the East Coast and, when visiting her darling nieces in the summers, the Southern Midwest, photographing Americana, kitsch, nature, and landscapes that inspire her lens. Collecting small antique items for her still-life photography is also a hobby.

She is an English professor in Southern New Hampshire University’s MA in English program, a tutor at a college-preparatory boarding school, and a freelance writing consultant for Women on Writing! and independent-study students. In the past two years, her photography has been on the cover or featured in Chantwood Magazine, OVS Magazine, Peacock Journal, Birmingham Arts Journal, Cargo Literary Journal, and Sandy River Review and is forthcoming from Door is a Jar, as well as appearing as the cover of Jessie Carty’s latest poetry book. Her historical poetry collection will be published in fall 2017 by FutureCycle Press, and a craft book about writing flash fiction and nonfiction will be published by Vine Leaves Press in spring 2018.

A Wife Is a Hope Chest


A darkly domestic collection of accomplished and layered verse, selected by editor Kiki Petrosino as the first full collection in the Mineral Point Poetry Series.

Releases October 31, 2017

“A Wife Is a Hope Chest”

by Christine Brandel

A wife is a hope chest in which you keep
the things you will need for a good life.
1: A kettle. Tie the cord to her wrist, she should
never be out of its reach. 2: A snapshot of the woman
you wish you had married. Push it through her
eyes, put it in her head. 3: A pen knife. Good
for cutting bread, package strings, the ring
from her finger. 4: Coins. They will make sounds
so you know when she’s coming. 5: Silence.
Do not read the letters she writes you, do not
speak even if she pleads. 6: Cotton wool. To stop
the flow. Because she will bleed. 7: A book.
One heavy hardback you never intend to read.
8: A skeleton key. Trust her. She won’t use it to get out.

About Christine Brandel

Christine Brandel is a writer and photographer. Her work has recently appeared in Callisto, Public Pool, Under the Rader, Blue Fifth Review, and The Fem. She also writes a column on comedy for PopMatters and rights the world’s wrongs via her character Agatha Whitt-Wellington (Miss) at Everyone Needs An Algonquin. She currently lives in Bloomington, Indiana, where she teaches at a community college and serves as a hospice volunteer. More of her work can be found at

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