What's New from Bituminous Press and Gerry Stanek?

Praise for Loud and Sure of Myself:

"...enchants us with these tales out of Coal Country, where a radio station mattered, and people drove icy mountain roads to hear local kids becoming rockers. From the altar boy to the musician with tales of 4,000 gigs, he shares indelible images of a small, specific place now lost to change." - Val Nieman, author of To the Bones

Praise for They Came Here Looking for Light: The Plattsville Stories

"Gerry Stanek knows his place, and he knows his people, and They Came Here Looking for Light is a stark and honest message from Western Pennsylvania in the form of exquisitely wrought stories." - Peter Orner, author of Maggie Brown & Others

"Gerry Stanek's poems and stories are both tender and tough in equal measure. These narratives are about hard working people and a way of life that's quickly disappearing...and, always in the background, the coal mines that leave no one untouched." - Charles Baxter, author of Saul and Patsy and Believers

Buy Loud and Sure of Myself HERE.

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In Plattsville, Again

Coming on March 29, 2021

This Ain’t No Normal Fire is Gerry Stanek’s second book of fiction, a return to the coal fields of Western Pennsylvania. Stanek is a native of Cambria County. His 2019 collection of short stories, They Came Here Looking for Light: The Plattsville Stories, utilized the same geography—and the paradoxes that follow Plattsville’s characters: church and bar, darkness and light, and attempts at belonging that aren’t always successful.


The latest book is set in the 1920s and is presented through vignettes about people in transition—loss, deception, and the complicated dynamics of one family. The title, This Ain’t No Normal Fire, is taken directly from the text and speaks to Stanek’s thematic concerns: love, dishonesty, the drudgery of physical labor, and the aching reach for light by people whose lives are spent in literal and figurative darkness.

Gerry Stanek writes and teaches in North Carolina.