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STILLHOUSE PRESS ANNOUNCES 2016 WINNERS IN POETRY AND FICTION
FAIRFAX, VA – April 14, 2017 – Stillhouse Press is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Mary Roberts Rinehart and the Stillhouse Press Poetry Contests: Anita Felicelli’s Love Songs for a Lost Continent, and The Ghosts of Monticello: A Recitative, by Carmen Gillespie.
BRYAN BORLAND'S DIG NAMED A 2017 STONEWALL HONOR BOOK
The first and most enduring award for GLBT books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table. Since Isabel Miller's Patience and Sarah received the first award in 1971, many other books have been honored for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.
Barbara Gittings Literature Award Winner:
Desert Boys, by Chris McCormick (New York: Picador); ISBN: 9781250075505
Stonewall Honor Books in Literature:
- Beautiful gravity: a novel, by Martin Hyatt (New York: ANTIBOOKCLUB); ISBN: 9780997592306
- Dig, by Bryan Borland (Fairfax, Virginia: Stillhouse Press); ISBN: 9780990516989
- Guapa, by Saleem Haddad (New York: Other Press); ISBN: 9781590517697
- Hide: a novel, by Matthew Griffin (New York: Bloomsbury USA); ISBN: 9781632863386
THE ATLANTIC: HOW MUSEUMS FOUGHT FOR THE RETIRED SPACE SHUTTLES
WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 11, 2016 – Authors of the forthcoming Generation Space (Feb. 2017), Anna Leahy and Douglas R. Dechow explore how some museums fought to house several massive pieces of American history.
"NASA’s top museum choice to receive a shuttle was the California Science Center, in Los Angeles. Five years ago, no one was happier than Curator of Aerospace Science Ken Phillips to hear that Endeavour would return home to California, near Palmdale, where all the orbiters were built. Phillips had gone to college with Ronald McNair, one of the astronauts who perished in the Challenger accident. To become caretaker to Endeavour, which had been built from spare parts to replace Challenger, became a way for Phillips to honor his friend’s life and accomplishments."
BRYAN BORLAND NAMED RECIPIENT OF 2016 LAMBDA LITERARY EMERGING WRITER AWARD
NEW YORK – May 3, 2016 – Lambda Literary, the nation’s leading national nonprofit organization promoting LGBTQ literature, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 Judith A. Markowitz Emerging Writer Award. This year Lambda recognizes Bryan Borland and JP Howard.
The judges for the prize were award-winning authors Reginald Harris and Lee Lynch. In a joint statement they said of this year’s winners:
“Bryan Borland is the very epitome of literary activism. A prolific and engaging poet, he is the founder of Sibling Rivalry Press and Founding Editor of the literary journal Assaracus. His press also publishes a quarterly of queer and trans women’s poetry called Adrienne. Mr. Borland has demonstrated that he is energetic and ambitious not only for his own beautiful work, but for his community of LGBTQ poets.”
THE NERVOUS BREAKDOWN: SELF-INTERVIEW WITH MARK POLANZAK & EXCERPT FROM "PROLOGUE TWO: PORCELAIN GOD"
"I am absolutely fascinated by the mixing-up of genres. Life is not composed of nonfiction, of facts, of consistency, of predictions and correlations, of accurate memories. Life is made up of dreaming, of living in our heads, of imagining things that haven’t happened or we wish could happen, of thinking about people wrong, of creating stories and lies that we live by, of misremembering things, of finding out our assessments were fraudulent, of inventing fiction upon fiction in our ambitions, relationships, romances, careers, passions, hopes."
- Mark Polanzak
STILLHOUSE PRESS TO RELEASE TWO NEW BOOKS IN EARLY 2017
FAIRFAX, VA – April 18, 2016 – Following a hearty 2016 line-up, including five new titles, Stillhouse Press announced Monday that it will add two new nonfiction books to its roster for February of next year: Andrew Gifford's debut memoir, We All Scream: The End of Gifford's Ice Cream Dynasty and Anna Leahy and Doug Dechow's narrative about growing up in the space age, Generation Space: A Love Story.
HOW MEMORY WORKS: BRIAN BLANCHFIELD AND MARK POLANZAK EMBRACE NARRATIVE FALLIBILITY
"Polanzak’s work is about memory, but it’s also about grief. One of the reasons that it–both our own and that of others–is so difficult to deal with is because there is no universal way to grieve. The way that two people deal with a very similar loss might be nearly identical, or it might be radically different; the words that comfort one might alienate the other. That panoply of reactions and reactions to reactions are what can be found within POP!, a kind of fictionalized meditation on the unspeakable."
- Tobias Carroll, Vol. 1 Brooklyn
REVIEW: Kirkus Indie on Mark Polanzak's POP!
"These stories are highlights of the book, not because Polanzak’s prose is at its best—in fact, he’s quick, within the text, to critique such nascent work—but because they so vividly depict his grappling with incomprehensible loss. As he turns events over, he examines angles and slants, reality and artifice. If he edges toward self-indulgence, it seems warranted, even necessary: “What you write becomes all you’ve got,” he says. Clearly an inveterate writer, Polanzak continues until something clicks or, as he might quip, something pops.
A one-of-a-kind story of grief that’s likely to have very broad appeal."
READ THE FULL REVIEW
READ: Doug Cornett's interview with POP! author, Mark Polanzak, featured on Late Night Library
REVIEW: Sam Slaughter reviews POP! for The Small Press Book Review
"Time after time, Polanzak practices, attempting to get it right. He attempts to be a productive member of society, he attempts to be a good son and brother, he attempts to be a good boyfriend, all the while thinking about his father, who was there, then wasn’t. With this gaping hole, he forces himself to go on, inventing and reinventing what the death might have been like."
- Sam Slaughter, Small Press Book Review
READ THE FULL REVIEW
READ: Mark Cecil's interview with POP! author, Mark Polanzak, featured at GrubStreet
THE WASHINGTON INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF BOOKS: "BEYOND THE BOOK"
Meet the (Small) Press: Tapping into Stillhouse Press' craft titles
WASHINGTON, DC – Feb. 23, 2016 – Northern Virginia-based Stillhouse Press, which was founded in 2014, aims to be true to its namesake, approaching publishing and literature like a craft distillery.
According to Meghan McNamara, who is a founding editor along with Marcos L. Martinez, this means “taking time to source the best content from the very best sources (in our case authors), and working with those authors to create a work of art that is both a vision to behold and pushes boundaries.
READ MICHAEL LANDWEBER'S SMALL PRESS PROFILE
BEST OF 2015: LOCAL PUBLISHING MAKES A MARK IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA AND ON THE NATION
NORTHERN VIRGINIA – Jan. 3, 2016 – As a GMU student and media contact for Stillhouse Press, Meghan McNamara has seen a side of the publishing industry most other college students don’t see until they are out in the working world.
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STILLHOUSE GETS SMALL PRESS LOVE
WASHINGTON, DC – Dec. 10, 2015 – Listen to Stillhouse Prose Editor, Justin Lafreniere, featured this week on the Kojo Nnamdi show!
A LETTER FROM OUR EDITOR...
As founding editor of an independent press, I've been thinking a lot these last 15 months about "What makes a Stillhouse Press book?" Wendi Kaufman's fiction helped frame our vision with a collection that ranges from micro-stories to longer pieces, and playing with form, POV, and addressing experience through tough and sassy humor.
What a wonder to discover fresh voices engaged in important cultural and social conversations: writers who challenge the traditional boundaries of genre and form.
Mark Polanzak's book dares us to question the somewhat arbitrary distinctions between truth and fiction, and the myriad ways we deal with grief. Bryan Borland's poetry melds lyricism with memoir as the self-referential "I" of his collection digs to discover those deepest truths of the self. Matt Fogarty's fiction ranges from flash to fabulist to a novella--stories that beckon us to reconsider place and family. Christina Olson's poetry tackles science and natural phenomena as a means of addressing those many-peopled quirks that make us all too human.
We're proud to welcome these talented authors to our Stillhouse Press family.
~ Marcos L. Martínez, Editor-in-Chief
STILLHOUSE PRESS TO RELEASE FOUR NEW BOOKS IN 2016
WASHINGTON, DC – Aug. 17, 2015 – Stillhouse Press, a student-run small press, announces plans to publish four new books in 2016, including two debut works.
REVIEW: Fiction Writers Review's Melissa Scholes Young Goes In-depth With Wendi Kaufman's Helen on 86th Street and Other Stories
"Kaufman’s characters are recognizable ones—you know these people, especially the women. Helen might be your niece. Her mother could be your neighbor. Girls come of age and find womanhood bleak. Mother-daughter ties are fragile. Love, it should go without saying, is complicated."
- Melissa Scholes Young, Fiction Writers Review
READ THE FULL REVIEW
NEW WENDI KAUFMAN FUND HONORS FIRST STILLHOUSE PRESS AUTHOR
With two donations from alums, the MFA program has created the new Wendi Kaufman fund to honor the late alumnus whose short story collection, Helen on 86th Street and Other Stories, became last summer the first title published by Stillhouse Press.
For more information on how to get involved, please contact: William Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org
READ: "True Confessions of a Bread Baker" from Wendi Kaufman's Helen on 86th Street and Other Stories, featured this month at Redux: A Literary Journal.
When I am nine years old I find the yellowed newspaper clippings. They are all of well publicized divorce trials featuring mob men and showgirls. The men—with nicknames like Leo the Leech or Benny the Bull—are pictured full-faced; the women, with their 48-hour figures spilling out of 24-hour undergarments, are shown to their best advantage, in profile. The divorce lawyer, always mentioned in the first paragraph, is my father.
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"What I find most compelling [about Wendi's stories] is her sharp wit. Even in her characters’ dark moments, Wendi manages to include some kind of sardonic anecdote or subtle irony, and isn’t that part of surviving? Isn’t that what real life is all about? Finding humor even in the darkness and struggling through it?"
- Meghan McNamara, Stillhouse Press Director of Media and Communications
Read all about how Stillhouse Press got its launch, what it was like publishing Helen on 86th Street and Other Stories (Oct. 2014), and what it takes to make a small press work in our interview with Evelyn Somers over at Bloom
WENDI KAUFMAN: A BOOK, A WOMAN, A COMMUNITY
"In each story, Kaufman turns her ironic lens on the complicated conflicts that women, especially young women, inevitably confront as they travel through adolescence and into maturity. Kaufman’s women tend to know what they want and exhibit a quiet tenacity about it; but even when they don’t know, exactly, they are self-aware and autonomous and smart."
- Evelyn Somers, Bloom
READ THE FULL PROFILE
"While it’s a collection about every stage of life, relationships, the quiet space between intimacies, and what comes after loss, that easily stands on its own, I can’t help but flip it open and find [Wendi's] warm, witty, consoling touch on every page."
- Independent publicist Lauren Cerand on Helen on 86th Street and Other Stories
STILLHOUSE PRESS PRESENTS MOONSHINE MURMURS
a blog of local events and happenings in the greater Washington, D.C. area, and interests pertaining to the world of independent and small press publishing
** if you're interested in submitting a blog post for consideration, please contact our blog coordinator, Suzy Rigdon: email@example.com **
REVIEW: Helen on 86th Street and Other Stories, from Story Circle Book Reviews
"Readers should not be surprised if they find themselves mentally walking in these women's shoes."
- Anita Lock, Story Circle Book Reviews
READ THE REVIEW AT STORY CIRCLE BOOK REVIEWS
HOLIDAY GIFTS: THE PERFECT BOOK
"This compilation of short stories is perfect for women of all ages. The trials faced by each character will make you laugh on one page and cry on the next. Although some of the circumstances are very dark, they are very relatable in the sense that we have all faced challenges with family, relationships, and friendships. Kaufman writes intimately of duaghters, mothers, and lovers, of first loves and difficult truths. This is a wonderful gift for your adult daughter, mother, or friend."
- Hayleigh Worgan, Bella Magazine
READ: "Life Above Sea Level" from Wendi Kaufman's Helen on 86th Street and Other Stories, featured this month at The Nervous Breakdown.
“Sink or swim,” my mother’s brother says as he drops me from the side of a boat in the Great South Bay. Bobbing up, head above water, I can see the shore, see where my father sits in a folding chair, Times spread across his lap, head tipped back, eyes closed. Water fills my nose and lungs, and I am scooped out by a strong-armed uncle. Funny, they said, it worked so well with all the other kids.
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READ: an excerpt of Wendi Kaufman's "Visitation Rights," featured in Issue 15: Ingrid of Literary Orphans.
My mother is psychic. She has second sight. “A family gift,” she says often. “Or a curse, depending on how you look at it.” My grandmother also has the gift. All the women on the Ryan side of the family have it; a female legacy passed down mother to daughter through the generations, a common trait like strong nails or curly hair. Until me.
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY'S FOURTH ESTATE PROFILES STILLHOUSE PRESS, THE RELEASE OF ITS FIRST BOOK, AND THE MAN WHO MADE IT ALL HAPPEN
“I got involved because I believe in Stillhouse Press. I’ve been with Mason for a long time, 20 years, and I believe this is the single best thing to come along with Mason’s MFA program since I’ve been familiar with the program. It’s a real feather in our cabinet. It can be a significant press with a significant voice.”
- Scott Berg, managing editor of Helen on 86th Street and Other Stories
READ HANNAH MENCHHOFF'S PROFILE AT FOURTH ESTATE
TALES OF KAUFMAN: REMEMBERING A LOCAL WRITER
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sept. 17, 2014 – Finishing a Wendi Kaufman story, one is tempted to rise from one’s seat, applauding and calling out in praise: That voice! Singularly shrewd and insightful, Kaufman hits many of the same notes in the fourteen stories in Helen on 86th Street, alternating her pitch just enough to give voice to dozens of women at different ages. Distinct from the mostly first-person narrators of these stories, the author is vividly present. Not intrusive, not self-conscious. Present, in the most genuine and generous sense of the word. Who can pay such astonishing attention? In a collection of stories, Kaufman’s talent is important because her stories reveal the solidarity as well as the singularity of women. Two sisters with little in common; the other woman who learns about the other other woman; daughters and mothers left behind—Kaufman sings full-throatedly of them all. And after each story, hands red from clapping, readers will most want to scramble right back into their seats to hear the next and then the next.
READ MARY KAY ZURAVLEFF'S PROFILE AT THE POLITICS & PROSE BLOG
STILLHOUSE PRESS ADVANCES PUBLICATION OF FIRST BOOK
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sept. 11, 2014 – Stillhouse Press will advance publication of Wendi Kaufman’s Helen on 86th Street and Other Stories. In response to Kaufman’s passing in late August and an outpouring of admiration and support for her highly anticipated first book, the publication date has been set for Oct. 1.
STILLHOUSE PRESS MOURNS LOSS OF WENDI KAUFMAN, DEBUT AUTHOR AND PROMINANT MEMBER OF THE D.C. LITERARY COMMUNITY
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Aug. 27th, 2014 – The universe of writing and reading lost one of its brightest lights last night. Stillhouse Press mourns the passing of Wendi Kaufman, a wonderful writer and literary citizen. We celebrate her life, her vision, and her work, and are proud and grateful to be Wendi's publisher.
- Read Book Maven, Bethanne Patrick's remembrance of Wendi at Washingtonian.com
- Joyce Maynard (After Her), writing for the New York Observer, reflects on Wendi as a dynamic online presence and a writer too soon lost
- Watch the dedication from the creators of the Helen on 86th Street musical to Wendi
- "I'll miss you Wendi," a tribute from from Reb Livingston
STILLHOUSE PRESS TO DEBUT WITH HELEN ON 86th STREET AND OTHER STORIES, AND TWO EVENTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Aug. 7, 2014 – Stillhouse Press has announced that it will publish Helen on 86th Street and Other Stories from debut author Wendi Kaufman December 1. This is the first publication for Stillhouse Press, which launched in January 2014 as a collaboration between George Mason University’s Creative Writing MFA Program and Fall for the Book, a Northern Virginia-based book festival and literary nonprofit.
For more information about the events, please visit: www.stillhousepress.org/events.
THIS IS CRAFT PUBLISHING: read Stillhouse Press' origin story at Washingtonian.com
"It’s about looking at the best possible path for each book; they’re not all cut from the same cloth."
- Lauren Cerand, independent publicist
WHAT WAS DALLAS HUDGENS THINKING?
The Millions knows. Read about how the idea of "craft publishing" came about.