Due to COVID in the United States, our production has slowed tremendously. Whereas last year we had almost 17 publications by this time, we are now only presenting our fourth completed collection.
“A Duet of Dying is a poignant and honest approach to surviving terminal sickness, living disabled, and the constant navigation of the healthcare system of the United States. From honest confessions like remaining with somebody caught cheating “Because I was on his health insurance,” in Why Did You Stay? part 3, to the foreign and familiar feeling of not knowing yourself apart from the “alien” in Pathogen, this collection is a special one for its approach through — and more aptly: with — sickness. Then there is the raw cruelty that is given a voice so aptly in Ringtones into Dirges; here, at last, are words for the battle with collections calls for MRIs and diagnostic tests; those which are necessary to life, but the collected debt of which could easily drive somebody to death. And I think, finally, finally, here is an honest testament — of love, of life (while actively dying), of death (and still living). And wonderfully, a narrative from two powerful queer voices, who offer this bittersweet collection, so purely.”
~Reviewed by Maxine Peseke
As always, we encourage ordering the collection from the authors personally or through an independent bookstore, but the collection is also available through Amazon and other distributors.
About the Authors
Shanna Alden (they/them) is a queer poet, photographer, barista, and bartender living in Seattle, WA with their chosen family and a couple very soft cats. They sit on the board of Rain City Poetry Slam and consistently host weekly poetry shows.
Erin Schick (they/them) is a queer, trans, and multiply disabled social worker living in upstate New York and focused on disability justice and queer liberation. Their interests include the Pacific Northwest, women’s soccer, and sled dogs.
Before the end of the year we have two more books scheduled for release: Worn out Gorgeous by Aaron Ambrose and Double-Knotted Shoelace by Trixi Rosa. We are also working on putting together an anthology called Unlocked Poetry from the Lyrical Vagabonds in Denver. Hopefully, we will still be able to create our annual anthology, but we won’t know the details until December.
Effects of COVID 19
Since the beginning of the COVID situation in the United States our office has been closed which means all work for the press is being done via my home computer. My outdated, slow, simple home computer. This has already lead to many unforeseen troubles with formatting of the books we are currently producing.
Not only has the production time has slowed tremendously and we have had to switch back to a print on demand service after the closing of the local printer we only recently acquired. We are still committed to putting out quality publications but our ability to produce publications the way we want has changed greatly.
Because of this, we are postponing our annual Open Call for Chapbooks this year, and possibly our Weekly Write series. This is not a decision I have come to easily, but I do believe it is the right decision at this time. I would much rather slow down and survive, than push through and burn out.
What’s to Come
The ability to publish is a luxury which should not be the top priority of our society at the moment, but we do believe we will return to a place where a small press like ours has a purpose and a future.
Although we have no idea what the future holds for our small press, we have our fingers crossed that we will survive this difficult time and come out on the other side better than before.
You can continue to support us by supporting our poets and supporting independent bookstores.