Mainstream & Independent Titles
Score Top Honors
in the 12th Annual USA Best Book Awards


Random House, Tarcher/Penguin, HarperOne, WW Norton, Harper Collins, William Morrow, Crown Business, McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, American Cancer Society, The White House Historical Association and hundreds of Independent Houses earn USA Book News applause.

LOS ANGELES –, the premier online magazine featuring mainstream and independent publishing houses, announced the winners and finalists of THE 2015 USA BEST BOOKS AWARDS on November 16, 2015. Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s newest book of poetry, Imperfect Echoes: Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters, lie and oppression with Small, was named a finalist.

Jeffrey Keen, President and CEO of USA Book News, said this year’s contest yielded over 2,000 entries from mainstream and independent publishers.

Imperfect Echoes was inspired by Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz’s poem “Incantation” that lauds the power of human reason over the recurring and seemingly insane political realities. Howard-Johnson holds out hope but is not persuaded by trends that seem worse now than they were in Milosz’s time. A student of  Suzanne Lummis, UCLA poetry instructor and the Fresno School of Poetry fronted by US poet laureate Philip Levine, she touches on the isms of the world—racism, ageism, even what might be termed “wallism” but was once referred to as xenophobia. In her poem “Crying Walls,” she sounds a low warning reminiscent of Robert Frost: “Chains linked. Wire barbed,/ Krylon smeared. Feeble,/ useless, unholy billboards,/ anything but mending walls.”

Readers will find some humor in this book and much that was informed by Howard-Johnson’s travels totaling some 85 countries including a sestina that she wrote when she was studying writing in St. Petersburg, Russia. Several were drawn from her poems that were published elsewhere including Penwomanship, Copperfield Review, and Cyclamen and Swords.

Richard Conway Jackson who is serving twenty-five years to life in California for receiving stolen property lent his artwork, which can be seen in other poetry books including those by Jendi Reiter, for the cover and interior illustrations.

Imperfect Echoes in released just in time for the silly season of politics. Find it at All proceeds will be donated to Amnesty International.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s poetry appears frequently in review journals. She is listed in Poets & Writers’ highly respected catalog of poets and her chapbook of poetry, Tracings (, published by Finishing Line Press was given the Award of Excellence by the Military Writers Society of America. She is an award-winning novelist and short story writer, was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts, and honored by members of the California Legislature as Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment.

Find more information on Howard-Johnson poet including her Celebration Series of chapbooks coauthored Aussie Magdalena Ball at
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Denise Alicea
the authorDenise Alicea
This blog was created by Denise in September 2008 to blog about writing, book reviews, and technology. Slowly, but surely this blog expanded to what it has become now, a central for book reviews of all kinds interviews, contests, and of course promotional venue for authors, etc

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