Certain Relevant Passages

Certain Relevant Passages, Joe Manning       Release Date: July 2017

From his time aboard the merchant freighter Noble Star, Joe Manning brings us a book of adventure, distant landfalls, and the interesting people met during his sojourn at sea. Written in short, intimate bursts, Certain Relevant Passages captures everything one looks for in a sea story, while avoiding every cliché. As an “ordinary seaman” Manning narrates the everyday tasks—sometimes monotonous, sometimes extraordinary—while working shipboard. Through his humbling journey of learning to tie knots and painting the cavernous holds of the ship, to his proud moments of skippering on the bridge, to his heroic—and heartbreaking—rescue of fellow shipwrecked sailors, Manning navigates the waters of maritime lore and reality with the same fascination and precision of Conrad or Melville. Certain Relevant Passages is that wonderful kind of book that informs while it entertains, and Joe Manning is that gifted kind of storyteller who takes every reader safely to sea.

“Joe Manning writes with a frankness and a depth that recalls George Orwell’s account of his stint in Catalonia, but there’s an extraordinary tenderness to Manning’s prose, too – a sense that you are reading someone who is generous to mankind because he loves mankind. I read Certain Relevant Passages in one sitting. It’s such a beautiful and important book, and I finished it feeling more cracked-open to the world and its multitudes than I have in a very long while.”—Amanda Petrusich, author of Do Not Sell At Any Price

“I’ve enjoyed the clarity of Joe Manning’s writings for years. Here he offers an origin story for a state of mind and spirit, the travelogue of an American youth touring Our World (Panama Canal, North Korea, Yemen) and bringing back anecdotes of gently intense revelation.”—Will Oldham

“Certain Relevant Passages is a seagoing dream of a book. Along with Ordinary Seaman Joe Manning and the whole gnarly crew of the cargo vessel the Noble Star, I was wholly transported. Part memoir and part travelogue, Certain Relevant Passages is, finally, an elegy to that chapter of nearly all our young lives, when the world is never more strange or beautiful, and everything—even riding on the back a ship “sliding down the side of the globe”—is possible.”—Joe Wilkins, author of The Mountain and the Fathers and When We Were Birds

Joe Manning is from Louisville, Kentucky where he works as a writer, songwriter/performer, and the Deputy Director of the literary-arts nonprofit Louisville Story Program. Manning was a Jackson Fellow of Creative Writing at Hollins University in Virginia where he received his MFA. He’s published award-winning essays, columns and features for The Louisville Eccentric Observer and The Louisville Paper, and has written for theRS500.com, Fjords, and Miracle Monocle. Certain Relevant Passages is his first collection.

Order from Dock Street Press

To read more, look for Certain Relevant Passages, now available from Dock Street Press.

Order Now – Discounted Price!

Certain Relevant Passages release date of July 2017


  • (555)555-5555
  • Price: $15.00 Quantity:
  • $3.99
  • $0.00