The fourteen flashes of Tommy Dean’s Covenants contract readers to memorable descriptors and strong characters; ticker tape, picket fence teeth, greasy popcorn fingers, the sound of air not filling lungs. Dean’s hardscrabble hard-living words hearken to Steinbeck, exploring faith forged in fire, water, ice, dirt, sky ― all washed with lye soap. In his prose, a cracked back windshield is where sunlight is let in and everyday lives become sacrosanct.

―Amy Barnes, author of Mother Figures and Ambrotypes

In Tommy Dean’s Covenants, there are floods and droughts, the temperature is soaring, the world is out of fuel and “No one . . . believes in the future anymore.” Welcome to the post-apocalypse where the prognosis is grim and would be downright unbearable save for the shining moments of beauty amidst the rubble: The family cuddling “on the couch, hands and feet intertwined” as the water rises around them. The young girl who considers the sunlight filtering through the web of a cracked windshield and sees the “full prism of Earth, feel[s] the shaky tug of gravity.” Ultimately, Covenants offers us a manifesto for how to be when the world ends.

―Sarah Freligh, author of We and Sad Math

Brutal and gorgeous, Tommy Dean’s chapbook Covenants contemplates the end of the world in various scenarios—floods, droughts, imminent divorce. These stories are tiny, piercing thorns. Even as everything is breaking, characters admire the beauty in the wreckage: “she loved the way the dying sunlight filtered through the spiderwebbed cracks.” Covenants both mourns and celebrates the illumination that forces through those cracks.

―Kim Magowan, author of Undoing