Publishing & Books
Helen Oyeyemi's White is for Witching is about many things (twins, immigration, mental illness, losing a mother, coming of age…). But it's also a haunted house story, and that's what I want to talk about. Scaring a reader is one of the hardest things to do, and I want to figure out how Oyeyemi scared me.
Funny, poignant, and deeply moving, The Line Tender is a story of nature’s enduring mystery and the people willing to seek meaning and connection within it. To celebrate the cover reveal, author Kate Allen reflects on how Loft classes helped her write this book.
Instead of a strictly sequential chronology, this book uses another common technique to convey relative depth to the past: space breaks and fragmentation. Each break lets us know we're moving to a different time period, even if we don't immediately know when that time period is. Then, each segment can be tagged with a time marker, so that even though it's stated in the present tense, we know when it occurs in the past.
The creative process generally feels like a rollercoaster. There are moments of intensity, from the highs to the lows, partnered with a wide range of emotions from fear and anxiety to a sense of calm, to excitement. This is a journey that shouldn’t be taken lightly, of which only many years of practice will prepare a person for the mental game of publishing—for both the author and publishing professionals.
Writing tools come in many forms. Some are apps for handheld devices, others are extensions for an Internet browser, while others are website or independent tools for a computer. With such a wide range of tools to choose from, you can customize your own ensemble of tools that benefit you based on your work process. Establishing these online tools into your routine can help you improve your content and reach even more readers and consumers.
One of my favorite parts of being an agent is seeing my authors celebrate the release of their books. It’s like Christmas, except it’s a figurative Book Christmas and it can happen almost any day of the year.
Yet what’s not often discussed is all the time it takes before those books reach readers and bookshelves. Many people and many steps lead to this happening, but also one important key in this process is the timing, specifically when publishers decide to release any book into the world.
Bao Phi is the author of Thousand Star Hotel, a collection of poems published by Coffeehouse Press earlier this month. The collection is bold in its language for experiences that oscillate between existence and erasure, and it is moving in its mission to challenge the boundaries of solidarity and to refuse neat conceptions of past, present and future. I was grateful to have the chance to speak with Bao about his newest collection, which uses verse to parse through his childhood in the Philips neighborhood of Minneapolis, the complexities of fatherhood in contemporary America, and the politics of Asian America.
Water~Stone Review is a literary journal produced by the The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University and publishes work in creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry from both established and emerging writers. The journal is a collaborative project between faculty editors, MFA student editorial board members, and Minneapolis College of Art & Design student designers and photography curators. Beginning in 1998, Water~Stone is currently in the process of curating its 20th volume.
I recently sat down with Managing Editor Meghan Maloney-Vinz to talk about literary journals and the roles they play not only in the literary landscape, but in our cultural landscape as well.
Poetry City USA began as an anthology of poems read at two Twin Cities reading series: The Great Twin Cities Poetry Read and the Maeve's Sessions reading series. In 2015, Poetry City USA opened its submissions to everyone, with a mission to cultivate and showcase contemporary poetry and poets. As founding Editor Matt Mauch explained, the journal also has a mission “to take AFA students, and former AFA students, at the Twin Cities two year creative writing programs and introduce them to publishing, to what it’s like to work on a national journal, and to give them that kind of experience that they wouldn’t otherwise get.”
I recently sat down with Mauch, Editor Patrick Werle, Production and Senior Associate Editor Sandra Youngs, and Assistant Managing and Associate Editor Kayla Little to talk poetry, the editorial process, and how to get your poems submission ready.
As if producing a performance series, running a gallery space, and hosting Blingo weren’t enough to keep one man busy, the prolific Lewis Mundt also lends his talents to the local publishing scene by way of his press, Beard Poetry. “It’s primarily a poetry press, but we also do large format art books. We’ve done fiction. We’ve done anthologies.”
Beard Poetry began in 2010 as an umbrella name for the chapbooks Mundt was producing of his own work. “At that point I was doing radio in college as DJ Beard, which tells you most of what you need to know about my college life.” He soon started helping friends design their own chapbooks, and they in turn let Mundt put “Beard Poetry” on the back cover. Before too long, a press was born. Today, Beard Poetry considers itself “a small Minnesota press dedicated to producing affordable, high-quality publications for readers and writers.”