Reverse Fan Mail is one of our favorite parts of APRIL. The process is simple: one person makes a donation to the festival, and then we take their name and send it on to one of our favorite small press authors. That author then writes a brand new, never-published piece of writing with the donor’s name as their ‘prompt’ or inspiration. Then we send a hard copy of that piece - the only one that will ever be printed - to the donor. It’s a way of connecting readers directly with authors in an unusual, highly personal way. (Check out a couple older RFMs here!)
This year, we had the honor of working with some truly incredible writers. Their bios are below, along with links on where to find and buy their work.
Matthew Rohrer is the author of seven books of poetry, including Destroyer and Preserver (Wave Books, 2011), A Plate of Chicken (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009) and Rise Up (Wave Books, 2007). He enjoys fried chicken and Electric Light Orchestra.
Joshua Beckman is an editor at Wave Books and is the author of six collections of poetry, including the forthcoming The Inside of an Apple (Wave Books, 2013), Take It (Wave Books, 2009), Shake (Wave Books, 2006) and Things Are Happening (Copper Canyon Press, 1998). His translations include Micrograms by Jorge Carrera Andrade (Wave Books, 2011; with Alejandro de Acosta), Five Meters of Poems by Carlos Oquendo de Amat (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010; with Alejandro de Acosta) and Poker by Tomaz Salamun(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2004).
Rebecca Brown is the author of twelve books of fiction and essays, including The Last Time I Saw You (City Lights, 2006), Annie Oakley’s Girl(City Lights, 1993), American Romances (City Lights, 2009) and The Gifts of the Body (HarperCollins, 1995), which won a Lambda Literary Award. She was the first writer in residence at Seattle’s Richard Hugo House, is the recipient of a Stranger Genius Award and is a thoroughly amazing human being.
Ed Skoog is the author of two collections of poetry, Mr. Skylight (Copper Canyon Press, 2009) and Rough Day (forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2013). He has been a writer-in-residence at Richard Hugo House, the chair of the creative writing program at Idyllwild Arts Academy and the Jennie McKean Moore Writer-in-Washington Fellow at George Washington University. He lives in Seattle with his wife and new baby.
Stacey Levine is a novelist, short story author and journalist. Her books include The Girl with Brown Fur (Stacherone/Dzanc, 2011), Frances Johnson (Verse Chorus Press, 2010; Clear Cut Press, 2005) and Dra- (Verse Chorus Press, 2012; Sun & Moon Press, 1998). She is recipient of a Stranger Genius Award, and she lives in Seattle.
Donald Dunbar is the author of two books of poetry, Slow Motion German Adjectives (Mammoth Editions, 2013) and Eyelid Lick (Fence Books, 2012), which won the 2012 Fence Modern Poets Series Prize. He lives in Portland, where he co-curates the reading series If Not For Kidnap.
Rich Smith is the author of Great Poem of Desire (forthcoming from Poor Claudia in 2013). His poems have appeared or will soon appear in Tin House, City Arts, Guernica, Southeast Review, Hobart, Barrow Street, The Bellingham Review, Pleiades, and elsewhere. He lives in Seattle, and his drink of choice is a glass of whiskey, neat, and a Rainier.
Rebecca Bridge is a poet, essayist, and screenwriter living in Seattle. Maybe a novelist, too, who can tell, but she’s working on it. Her work can be found in a lot of places, including The Boston Review, Sixth Finch, notnostrums, Can We Have Our Ball Back, The Columbia Poetry Review, and Weird Deer. She likes climbing, sitting, and rolling over.
Mike Young is the author of Look! Look! Feathers (Word Riot, 2010), a book of short stories, and We Are All Good if They Try Hard Enough (Publishing Genius Press, 2010). He edits NOO Journal, runs Magic Helicopter Press and lives in Northampton, MA.
Thanks to all our authors, and once again to our fabulous donors!
We’re on the 2013 Stranger Genius Award’s shortlist! Huzzah! (Emphasis on ‘short’).
Since 2003, the Stranger has awarded a $5,000, no-strings-attached grant to five artists in five disciplines. Past winners of the Genius Award in Literature include small press writers and artists Matt Briggs, John Olson, Rebecca Brown, Sherman Alexie, Stacey Levine, Jim Woodring and Ellen Forney. We’re honored to have the chance to join such illustrious company.
The full list of nominations for the 2013 Genius Awards will be released in the Summer issue of A&P, the Stranger’s arts quarterly, which is due out in June. Winners for the Genius Awards will be announced at an event in September.
(Source: basturdd, via blacklemonbroadsides)
We were overwhelmed by your enthusiasm last week.
Thanks to every one of you who performed, made art, attended, donated, volunteered, promoted, bought books, bought us drinks, and generally made APRIL’s second year a truly amazing one.
We truly couldn’t have done it without all 900 of you.
The only way we can possibly thank you enough is by doing it up even bigger in 2014. Here’s to another year of reading, writing, and fostering a community around independent literature.
Thank you, thank you.
Word Painting: That Time Amazon Bought Goodreads -
As an independent bookseller, I’m really disappointed about this. Indies need all the help they can get these days, and to have a community like Goodreads fall into the corporate hands of a small-business-crusher like Amazon…
We’re losing allies by the day. I can only hope that loyal readers will vote with their dollars to keep local bookstores in business.
(I also posted this on Goodreads. It’s likely to be my final post there, as news of the sale has made me want to jump ship.)
Hobart & Short Flight/Long Drive is a journal and book publisher. The journal was created in 2001 & grew into a biannual print journal in 2003. Every April is devoted to an annual baseball issue. In 2006 it grew again into books (Short Flight/Long Drive Books) where they’ve published writers like Elizabeth Ellen, Mary Miller, Karl Taro Greenfeld and others.
Jaded Ibis is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Jaded Ibis Press researches and publishes narratives that represent a continuum of literary history and the future of narrative arts – from the concept of clay tablets and illuminated manuscripts (history) to interactive and brain computer interfaces (future). They’ve published writers like Anna Joy Springer, Lily Hoang, J.A. Tyler and others.
Knock is a literary arts magazine published twice a year at Antioch University Seattle. They look for what’s ahead in writing, drama, and the visual arts. Knock publishes fiction, essays, poetry, plays, cartoons, contemporary art, interviews with artists, writers, activists, and excerpts from books and other media just released or forthcoming. They are also part of the Green Press Initiative.
Lazy Facist Press is an imprint of bizarro fiction publisher Eraserhead Press. Lazy Fascist publishes authors who, through careful exploration of unique linguistic landscapes, create monstrous, unclassifiable fictions. They like it when they can have their Bruce Willis with their Borges. They’ve published Sam Pink, Scott McClanahan, Riley Michael Parker and others.
Luuk Honey is a Pacific Northwest based artist, printmaker, bookmaker, illustrator, songwriter, and full time dreamer. Filled with a curiosity for the unknown, his work is dealing with the sense of perceptions in our times propelled by constant change.
Magic Helicopter Press is focused on publishing across platforms, mediums and “the universe.” Their paper books are collectible art items, not unlike Dale Earnhardt commemorative plates & e-books are not paper books melted onto the screen but books aware of their digital space. They’ve published writers like Ana C., APRIL 2012 reader Richard Chiem, Ofelia Hunt and others.
NeoPoiesis is an independent publisher whose main goal is to print and promote outstanding poets, writers and artists. In ancient Greece, poiesis referred to the process of making creation - production - organization - formation - causation. They’ve publishing Tom Bradley, Frank Reardon, April Michelle Bratten and others.
Northwest Press is a book publisher dedicated to publishing the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender comics collections and graphic novels and celebrating the LGBT comics community. It was founded in 2010 by comics writer and LGBT comics activist Charles “Zan” Christensen.
PageBoy Magazine publishes both literary and visual art. Paul Constant of The Stranger has said PageBoy demonstrates the most editorial control of any of Seattle’s lit magazines. He writes, “You’ll probably walk out of PageBoy not quite knowing what just happened.”
Poor Claudia was born in a garage in late 2009, Poor Claudia was an occasional literary journal and small press until August 2012, when it became a poetry chapbook imprint of OCTOPUS, which has published books from Eric Baus, Heather Christle, Brandon Shimoda and others.
Poetry Northwest was founded as a quarterly journal in June, 1959 by Errol Pritchard, with Carolyn Kizer, Richard Hugo, and Nelson Bentley as co-editors. The first issue was 28 pages, featured a cover image by painter Mark Tobey, and included the work of Philip Larkin, James Wright, and William Stafford.
The Raven Chronicles publishes work which reflects the cultural diversity of the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and other areas of America. They promote art, literature and the spoken word for an audience that is hip, literate, funny, informed, and lives in a society that has a multicultural sensibility.
SPLAB was founded by Paul E. Nelson & Danika Dinsmore in 1997. SPLAB has featured performances from Anne Waldman, Andrew Schelling, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Jerome Rothenberg, Eileen Myles, Ethelbert Miller, Victor Hernandez Cruz, Joanne Kyger and others, we staged several Super Bowl of Poetry events and the annual Allen Ginsberg Open Mic Poetry Marathon, hosted and produced Teen Poetry Slams and many low-cost writing workshops.
The Furnace is a collaborative effort by poets and editors across the world to showcase the best new and emerging work that we happen to lay eyes upon. They publish a quarterly zine to correspond with their reading series & podcast.
YesYes Books is based out of Portland and publishes poetry, prose, and visual art that make them excited for the day. Their authors include Molly Gaudry, Lynn Melnick, Corey Zeller and others.
Wave Books is an independent poetry press based in Seattle dedicated to publishing the best in contemporary poetry, poetry in translation, and writing by poets. The press was founded in 2005, merging with established publisher Verse Press. Their authors include Eileen Myles, Matthew Rohrer, CAConrad and many others.
Tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Richard Hugo House, not only can you day-drink with some great authors and watch performances, but you can also buy a bunch of books directly from some of our favorite independent publishers. Read about them in alphabetical order below!
A through F
Alice Blue Review & Books is published on a hidden mountain-top between Portland, Oregon and Boise, Idaho. They’ve published writers like Bill Carty, APRIL’s own Tara Atkinson, Brooklyn Copeland, and others. Mike Young has said some nice things about them: “One of my favorite online litmags … and their aesthetic reminds one pleasingly of mint leaves, gangplanks, polar bears, and polar bears who hitchhike.”
Beach Weirdo is a zine/short quarterly (broadly) comprised of short fiction and visual art. In their own words: “We initially intended the first issue as a showcase for our own works, but soon opened it up for submissions as well. [We] are about to release a second issue, and have a third waiting in the wings. We’re doing our best to create a strong and visually cohesive series of compilations.”
Big Fiction Magazine celebrates the soul of the long story: generous, transportive, and a little wild. They’re an independent journal publishing ambitious and delicious fiction twice a year, in hand-designed letterpress issues. Sweet.
Black Ocean is based out of Boston, New York and Chicago, and aims to saturate the public with skillful and passionate forms of expression through a wide variety of mediums. They have published 2013 APRIL reader Rauan Klassnik, APRIL 2012 reader Zachary Schomburg, Feng Sun Chen, and others.
Calypso Editions is an artist-run, cooperative press dedicated to publishing quality literary books of poetry and fiction with a global perspective. They say their only criterion for publication is excellence. They publish original works, previously out-of-print titles, and English translations.
Dark Coast is an independent publisher of books by both established and unknown authors, specializing in literary fiction, fiction, poetry, essay, and experimental works, seeking overall invention and innovation in writing from all genres. They have (or will soon) published writers like 2012 APRIL reader Matthew Simmons, Jennifer Natalya Fink, and others.
Factory Hollow Press - Flying Object is a volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit art and publishing organization with a storefront space in Hadley, Massachusetts where they provide resources to artists, writers, musicians, publishers, and community members. They have (or will soon) oublished Heather Christle, Mark Leidner, Rachel B. Glaser, and others.
Featherproof Books is an indie publisher dedicated to doing whatever they want. This might take the form of publishing an idiosyncratic novel, design book, or something in between. They produce some of the most beautiful books out there including titles by Blake Butler, Patrick Sommerville, Amelia Gray and others.
Future Tense Books is one of the longest-running small-presses around. Run tirelessly by Kevin Sampsell, they put out books and chapbooks including those by Chloe Caldwell, Gregory Sherl, Chelsea Martin and others.
G through Z coming up next!
Join us tonight for Verse/Chapter/Verse!
Here’s what The Stranger has to say about the event: “Verse Chapter Verse (a band - an author - the same band) is a fun, adorable format in which The Stranger’s Paul Constant interviews Literature Genius Sherman Alexie who will make us pee our pants laughing with his writerly antics, between live music by hot young hip hop duo Fly Moon Royalty.”
Sherman Alexie is, arguably, the Pacific Northwest’s most famous independently-published author. Most of his books, including his most recent collection Blasphemy, have been published on Grove Press. He is the winner of the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award, 2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, 2001 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, and a Special Citation for the 1994 PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction.
Fly Moon Royalty is Vocalist/ Fast Talker Adra Boo and DJ/Producer/Emcee Action Jackson. Adra, a Seattle native and sophisticated songstress. This electro-soul duo is not to be missed.
Neumos (925 E Pike), 6 – 8 pm, $7 advance, $10 at the door.
Come to the Small Press Book Expo tomorrow at Richard Hugo House, party with us tonight at The Stranger’s Verse/Chapter/Verse, featuring Sherman Alexie!