2023, Manuscripts Press
For Libby, running was the one thing that made everything better. But when her depression hits so hard even running doesn’t help, she finds herself hopeless and alone on the edge of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Then there’s Mac. Handsome, intelligent, and surprisingly awkward, he has less than twelve weeks to prepare for a marathon he never intended to run. When Libby agrees to help Mac train, neither anticipates just how much one race could change their lives—if they’re willing to step off their predetermined paths and chart a new course together.
“Dark-night-of-the-soul turned meet-cute turned steamy romance? Check. Disarmingly accurate mental health and trauma rep that avoids sensationalizing mental illness? Double check. Libby and Mac will set your heart racing in Autumn Konopka's wise and swoonful new novel. If you've ever questioned your endurance—as an athlete, a partner, or otherwise—Pheidippides Didn't Die will meet you in that place of doubt and offer an unforgettable light. This is a well-paced page-turner — get ready!”
“Autumn Konopka’s novel, Pheidippides Didn’t Die, is a moving portrayal of the complicated paradox that exists when a person wants to feel alive, but also wants to die. With relatable characters and visceral descriptions, Konopka’s work illuminates the brutal experience of living with complex trauma, PTSD, and depression, while also showing the strength, vulnerability, and hope that enable healing and growth. This beautifully written story about love and running and life is told with honesty and nuance. Pheidippides Didn’t Die will not just engage and entertain readers. It will inspire them to keep going, no matter what.”
“With a voice at once lyrical and unflinching, Konopka has written a novel that takes on some of the more difficult subjects of life: alcoholism, depression, suicide and the struggle to succeed in a world that often seems bent on making success impossible. Pheidippides Didn’t Die is a love story to Philadelphia, to literature, to the art of running, and—ultimately—a love story between two people who come together to pull themselves out of darkness and trauma through the goal of finishing a marathon. Fiercely and sexily funny, Pheidippides takes us through the depths of despair (think mile 20 in a marathon) and ultimately out the other side into hope and the affirmation of life.”
2014, The Head & the Hand Press, Philadelphia
We don’t publish much poetry at The Head & The Hand. But when you receive a poetry collection with titles like “The boy with the firecracker heart,” “The girl who cut out her own tongue,” and “She wore a necklace of human hair,” it’s hard to say no. In this collection by Autumn Konopka, the wordplay dizzies your senses and the characters oscillating between reality and fantasy stick in your mind.
Published as part of the Head & the Hand Press's 4th Floor Chapbook Series, a chain of paper dolls debuted in a vending machine in the Science Leadership Academy and was later sold in vending machines around Philadelphia.
Unfortunately, it's no longer available from the publisher, but you can