Is a Rose Press — A long beginning, but we are starting to take off!
gary lundy and I have been talking about going into publishing together for almost two-decades. Please don’t tell us how young you were or that you weren’t even born then, we know. It’s been a long time. But we’re ready now Is a Rose Press is about to take off.
Some of the back story
First, we had in mind doing a literary periodical. But we wanted to violate norms in ways that are difficult in print. We thought. We had conversations in person, by email, on various electronic forums we’ve joined together.
From the beginning others have been a part of the conversation. Others who had ideas about writing, publishing, experimenting, avant-garde, post-modernism, post-postisms, all of that. I can’t name them all here. Thank you, though, each and every one.
Eventually, about a decade ago maybe, we started thinking about publishing books. Manuscripts from people we know whose work we appreciate and like. Yes, our own as well. And, eventually, if we did this right, we hoped to open up to others. This is where we are now, with one other author out and three more in process.
We were going to call our endeavor “drowned skunk.” Or that name could have been a placeholder. It started after a few beers in Montana over a Mexican-food dinner, as we walked back to gary’s.
In the stream in front of his house at the time (you had to cross a little wooden bridge to get to his front door), something white and black fluttered in the flow of the creek. It was dusk. We thought a skunk had drowned. Turns out it was a flyer that had blown into the water, its black-and-white art giving an impression of stripes as the paper stretched and flowed with the water, like a tail.
It also turns out that drowning is a way to kill trapped skunks without getting sprayed. Or, if you search for “drowned skunk” on Google, that’s what comes up. A lot. Who knew so many people thought about drowned skunks?
As it turns out, not one of the many people we spoke with liked that name so much, though, including some poets we wanted to publish. So, we brainstormed for a while. And then some more. Rebecca Knots, a good friend of gary’s, suggested the name we now have adopted, “is a rose” (more about the name).
We began by publishing our own books. Yes, we’re indie. Yes, it has the flavor of self-publishing. We think that’s okay in and of itself. We also thought it was a good idea to work out the kinks and get an idea of what we’re doing with practice on our own books. We learned from our mistakes, and are happy that we did not make some of those mistakes with other people’s books.
Then we invited other people whose work we like, people we know, to submit manuscripts. Juliana Lutz was first, with her book, Your cock is a simple machine. Valérie Déus’ Skull-Filled Sun is next, with a publication date of 27 December 2018. In early 2019, Jennifer Juneau and DeWitt Clinton will have collections from Is a Rose Press. Soon, others will join our list of books.
Then, if it all goes well, we’ll open things up to submissions from the public.
You can contact us with your thoughts, ideas, advice. But, for now, sorry, no unsolicited submissions.