Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Anniversary for Terrapin Books

Turtle in Party Outfit
This month marks the 4th anniversary of Terrapin Books and we're celebrating! Back in 2015 I decided to open a small press for poetry books. Getting started involved a lot of work and new learning, but I approached it one day at a time and kept telling myself I could do it. I practiced my personal mantra: Patience and Persistence.

I first did all the business stuff that had to be done—formed an LLC, obtained an FEIN and a state ID, opened a business account at the bank, registered a domain name, built a website, researched printing options, and opened an Ingram account. Then came the biggest challenge—learning how to format a book.

I needed help along the way so when I needed it, I reached out and asked. Everyone I asked for help seemed happy to provide it. By January 2016 I was ready to put out my first call for submissions. That first book was the anthology, The Doll Collection. I took those first submissions by email, but have since joined Submittable.

In spite of the amount of work involved, I’ve never regretted opening the press. In fact, I love the work. It is a huge source of satisfaction to have built and launched the press, and it’s a joy to publish books for poets.

Since opening, Terrapin Books has published 19 poetry books with two more in progress:

Neil Carpathios, Confessions of a Captured Angel
Lynne Knight, The Persistence of Longing
Jessica de Koninck, Cutting Room
Christine Stewart-Nunez, Bluewords Greening
Patricia Clark, The Canopy
Carolyn Miller, Route 66 and Its Sorrows
Susanna Lang, Travel Notes from the River Styx
Hayden Saunier, How to Wear This Body
Michelle Menting, Leaves Surface Like Skin
Karen Paul Holmes, No Such Thing as Distance
Geraldine Connolly, Aileron
Michael T. Young, The Infinite Doctrine of Water
Lisa Bellamy, The Northway
Paige Riehl, Suspension
Gary J. Whitehead, Strange What Rises
Ann Fisher-Wirth, The Bones of Winter Birds
Sarah Wetzel, The Davids Inside David
David Graham, The Honey of Earth
Kory Wells, Sugar Fix
Dion O’Reilly, Ghost Dogs (forthcoming)
Ann Keniston, Somatic (forthcoming)

We’ve also published 3 anthologies:
The Doll Collection, ed. Diane Lockward
The Book of Donuts, eds. Jason Lee Brown and Shanie Latham
A Constellation of Kisses, ed, Diane Lockward

and 3 craft books:
The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop
The Crafty Poet II: A Portable Workshop
The Practicing Poet: Writing Beyond the Basics

Terrapin poets have received some wonderful recognition for their books and poems. This, too, is a great source of satisfaction. Our poets have been featured on Poetry Daily, The Writer's Almanac, Verse Daily, The Missouri Review, Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry, and Tracy K. Smith's podcast series The Slowdown.

Our books have been reviewed in a number of publications, including The Chattahoochee Review, The Philadelphia Inquirer, American Poetry Journal, Broadkill Review, Rain Taxi Review of Books,  Mom Egg Review, Sabotage, Pedestal Magazine, New Letters, Pleiades, Compulsive Reader, The Collagist, Connotation Press, Rhino Poetry, Whale Road Review, The Adirondack Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Poet Lore, and The Literary Review.

Our books have also been adopted as course texts at such institutions as Bucks County Community College, Colorado State University, Washington & Lee University, Missouri State University, and Grand Valley State University.

Our books and our poets have also received some nice awards:

Lisa Bellamy won a 2018 Pushcart Prize for "Wild Pansy," from The Northway.
Michael T. Young’s book, The Infinite Doctrine of Water, was named to the long list of finalists for the 2018 Julie Suk Prize.
Christine Stewart-Nunez’s book, Bluewords Greening, received the 2018 Whirling Prize from Etchings Press.
Patricia Clark’s book, The Canopy, received the 2018 Book Award from the Poetry Society of Virginia.
Michelle Menting’s book, Leaves Surface Like Skin, was named a 2017 finalist by Foreword Reviews in its annual book contest.
Lynne Knight’s book, The Persistence of Longing, was a finalist for the 2016 Northern California Book Award in Poetry.

We even have a state Poet Laureate among our poets! Christine Stewart-Nunez has recently been appointed Poet Laureate of South Dakota; her term began July 1, 2019.

Terrapin looks forward to continuing to publish beautiful poetry books. We hold two open reading periods each year. Our next open reading period will be January 24 - February 29, 2020. Guidelines are posted at the website. Perhaps you’ll join our list of poets?

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Book Launch for A Constellation of Kisses

A book launch reading and party is always exciting. I'm especially excited for the upcoming one for A Constellation of Kisses as I have such a spectacular group of 16 poets from the book coming to read. Here's the lineup:

Tina Barry
Robin Rosen Chang
Jessica de Koninck
Jane Ebihara
Deborah Gerrish
Jared Harel
Tina Kelley
Adele Kenny
Marjorie Maddox
Charlotte Mandel
Wanda Praisner
Susanna Rich
Kenneth Ronkowitz
Susan Rothbard
David Vincenti
Michael T. Young

The reading will be followed by a reception with home baked cookies, cheese platter, and beverages. Everyone is invited to join the poets for refreshments and conversation.

The anthology will be available for sale and signing.

2:00 - 4:00 PM   Free
West Caldwell Public Library
30 Clinton Rd.
West Caldwell, NJ 07006

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