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Milkweed Editions is an independent book publisher based in Minneapolis. We publish 18-20 books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry annually. Our mission is to identify, nurture and publish transformative literature, and build an engaged community around it.
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editions2 months ago
Ndiya Grayson returns to her childhood home of Chicago as a young professional, but even her high-end job in a law office can’t protect her from half-repressed memories of childhood trauma. One evening, vulnerable and emotionally disarrayed, she goes out and meets her equal and opposite:Shame Luther, a no-nonsense construction worker by day and a self-taught piano player by night. The love story that ensues propels them on an unforgettable journey from Chicago’s South Side to the coast of Kenya as they navigate the turbulence of long-buried pasts and an uncertain future.A stirring novel tuned to the clash between soul music’s vision of our essential responsibility to each other and a world that breaks us down and tears us apart, Another Kind of Madness is an indelible tale of human connection.
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editions2 months ago
From one of our finest poets comes a collection about time—about memory, remembrance, and how the past makes itself manifest in the world.Called “the poet of things” by Richard Howard, Don Bogen understands the ways objects hold history, even if they’ve grown obsolescent, even when they’ve been forgotten. So objects—rendered in cinematic detail—fill these poems. A desk, a mailbox, a house delivering its own autobiography. Hospitals: the patients who have passed through, the buildings that have crumbled. And, in a longer view, the people who survive in what they left behind: Thom Gunn, Charles Dickens, and the pre-Columbian architects who designed the great earthworks of Ohio two thousand years ago.Songs, ephemeral by nature but infinitely repeatable, run throughout the collection. “What did they tell me, all those years?” Bogen writes. Suggestive of the work of both Philip Levine and Czesław Miłosz, Immediate Song offers us a retrospective glance that is at once contemplative and joyous, carefully shaped but flush with sensuous observation: a paean to what is both universal and fleeting.
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editions2 months ago
Selected by Victoria Chang as winner of the Jake Adam York Prize, John McCarthy’s Scared Violent Like Horses is a deeply personal examination of violent masculinity, driven by a yearning for more compassionate ways of being. McCarthy's flyover country is populated by a family strangled by silence: a father drunk and mute in the passenger seat, a mother sinking into bed like a dish at the bottom of a sink, and a boy whose friends play punch-for-punch for fun. He shows us a boy struggling to understand “how we deny each other, daily, so many chances to care” and how “we didn't know how to talk about loss, / so we made each other lose.” Constant throughout is the brutality of the Midwestern landscape that, like the people who inhabit it, turns out to be beautiful in its vulnerability: sedgegrass littered with plastic bags floating like ghosts, dilapidated houses with abandoned Fisher Price toys in the yard, and silos of dirt and rust under a sky that struggles to remember the ground below. With arresting lyricism and humility, Scared Violent Like Horses attends to the insecurities that hide at the heart of what’s been turned harsh, offering a smoldering but redemptive and tender view of the lost, looked over, and forgotten.
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editions2 months ago
In March 2011, a tsunami caused by an earthquake collided with nearby power plant Fukushima Daiichi, causing the only nuclear disaster in history to rival Chernobyl in scope. Those who stayed at the plant to stabilize the reactors, willing to sacrifice their lives, became known internationally as the Fukushima 50.In tsunami vs. the fukushima 50, Lee Ann Roripaugh takes a piercing, witty, and ferocious look into the heart of the disaster. Here we meet its survivors and victims, from a pearl-catcher to a mild-mannered father to a drove of mindless pink robots. And then there is Roripaugh’s unforgettable Tsunami: a force of nature, femme fatale, and “annihilatrix.” Tsunami is part hero and part supervillain—angry, loud, forcefully defending her rights as a living being in contemporary industrialized society. As humanity rebuilds in disaster’s wake, Tsunami continues to wreak her own havoc, battling humans’ self-appointed role as colonizer of Earth and its life-forms.“She’s an unsubtle thief / a giver of gifts,” Roripaugh writes of Tsunami, who spits garbage from the Pacific back into now-pulverized Fukushima. As Tsunami makes visible her suffering, the wrath of nature scorned, humanity has the opportunity to reconsider the trauma they cause Earth and each other. But will they look?
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editions2 months ago
Over the course of four collections of poems, Alex Lemon has become known for his kinetic voice and sense of the dark absurd. Now this electrifying poet moves in a new direction—with a book-length sequence at once intensely vulnerable and thoroughly of our moment.Populated by visions and ghosts, Another Last Day follows its speaker on a search through a natural landscape turned on its edge, the landscape of today’s America. In these poems, the moments of an ordinary day are rendered in raw, nearly hallucinatory detail: Ants drunk on cherry-red hummingbird nectar. An ambulance rushing into the distance. Endless rain. And, stranger: A dog carrying a hand in its mouth. An emergency room filled with moans. A place where reality and dreams merge, where “the dead refuse to be left / underground.”When Lemon’s speaker invites us “behind my closed eyes,” it is into the vision of a speaker so plugged into the livingness of this world that he is tossed to the edge of living itself. And yet, in his poems, this openness is never just painful. “the world is a terrible place,” he writes, “but I want to last forever // clinging to its teeth.”
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editions3 months ago
“As the motor’s vibrations cradled me, I tried to envision my life. I saw the red lines of highways on the map, stretched between cities like threads of torn cloth. I imagined a book that could hold it all together, plains and mountain ranges, dust-drab towns beyond interstates, and somewhere on the far edges, the valley in British Columbia and those nights in Virginia when I snuck out and stalked the highway, trying to fathom where I belonged on this threadbare continent.”As a child growing up in rural British Columbia, Deni Béchard had no idea that his family was extraordinary. With a father prone to racing trains and brawling, and a mother with interest in health food and the otherworldly, Deni finds pleasure in typical boyish activities: fishing for salmon with his father, and reading with his mother.Assigned to complete a family tree in school, Deni begins to wonder why he doesn’t know more about his father’s side of the family. His mother is from Pittsburgh, and there is a vague sense that his father is from Quebec, but why the mystery? When his mother leaves Deni’s father and decamps with her three children to Virginia, his curiosity only grows. Who is this man, why do the police seem so interested in him, and why is his mother so afraid of him? And when his mother begrudgingly tells Deni that his father was once a bank robber, his imagination is set on fire. Boyish rebelliousness soon gives way to fantasies of a life of crime, and a deep drive for experience leads him to a number of adventures, hitching to Memphis and stealing a motorcycle; fighting classmates and kissing girls.Before long, young Deni is imagining himself as a character in one of his father’s stories, or in the novels he devours greedily. At once attracted and repelled, Deni can’t escape the sense that his father’s life holds the key to understanding himself, and to making sense of his own passions, aversions, and motivations. Eventually he moves back to British Columbia, only to find himself snared in the controlling impulses of his mysterious father, and increasingly obsessed by his father’s own muted recollections of the Quebecois childhood he’d fled long ago.At once an extraordinary family story and a highly unconventional portrait of the artist as a young man, Cures for Hunger is a singular, deeply affecting memoir, by one of the most acclaimed young writers in the world today.
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editions4 months ago
“My sister is pregnant with a Lemon this week, Week 14, and this is amusing. My mother's uterine tumor, the size of a cabbage, is Week 30, and this is terrifying.”When her mother is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Karen Babine—a cook, collector of thrifted vintage cast iron, and fiercely devoted daughter, sister, and aunt—can’t help but wonder: feed a fever, starve a cold, but what do we do for cancer? And so she commits herself to preparing her mother anything she will eat, a vegetarian diving headfirst into the unfamiliar world of bone broth and pot roast.In these essays, Babine ponders the intimate connections between food, family, and illness. What draws us toward food metaphors to describe disease? What is the power of language, of naming, in a medical culture where patients are too often made invisible? How do we seek meaning where none is to be found—and can we create it from scratch? And how, Babine asks as she bakes cookies with her small niece and nephew, does a family create its own food culture across generations?Generous and bittersweet, All the Wild Hungers is an affecting chronicle of one family’s experience of illness and of a writer's culinary attempt to make sense of the inexplicable.
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editions8 months ago
A multicultural anthology, edited by Susan O’Connor and Annick Smith, about the enduring importance and shifting associations of the hearth in our world.A hearth is many things: a place for solitude; a source of identity; something we make and share with others; a history of ourselves and our homes. It is the fixed center we return to. It is just as intrinsically portable. It is, in short, the perfect metaphor for what we seek in these complex and contradictory times—set in flux by climate change, mass immigration, the refugee crisis, and the dislocating effects of technology.Featuring original contributions from some of our most cherished voices—including Terry Tempest Williams, Bill McKibben, Pico Iyer, Natasha Trethewey, and Chigozie Obioma—Hearth suggests that empathy and storytelling hold the power to unite us when we have wandered alone for too long. This is an essential anthology that challenges us to redefine home and hearth: as a place to welcome strangers, to be generous, to care for the world beyond one’s own experience.
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editions7 months ago
Assigned to write an exposé on Richmond Hew, one of the most elusive and corrupt figures in the conservation world, a journalist finds himself on a plane to the Congo—a country he thinks he understands. But when he meets Sola, a woman searching for a rootless white orphan girl who believes herself possessed by a skin-stealing demon, he slowly uncovers a tapestry of corruption and racial tensions generations in the making.This harrowing search leads him into an underground network of sinners and saints—and everything in between. An anthropologist who treats orphans like test subjects. A community of charismatic Congolese preachers. Street children who share accounts of abandonment and sexual abuse. A renowned and revered conservationist who vanishes. And then there is the journalist himself, lost in his own misunderstanding of privilege and the myth of whiteness, and plagued by traumatic memories of his father. At first seemingly unrelated, these disparate elements coalesce one by one into a map of Richmond Hew's movements.
White, Deni Ellis Bechard
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editions7 months ago
In The Mirrormaker, songwriter and poet Brian Laidlaw melds myths ancient and contemporary among the raspberries, wolves, and taconite mines of Minnesota’s Iron Range.A companion volume to Laidlaw’s 2015 project, The Stuntman, this collection fuses the stories of two fabled couples: the mythical Narcissus and Echo, and Bob Dylan and Echo Star Helstrom, subject of the song “Girl from the North Country.” But where The Stuntman focused on Narcissus, The Mirrormaker takes its primary inspiration from Echo, drawing on ecocritical readings of American history and interrogating the masculine logic of resource extraction.In these poems, Laidlaw explores themes of history and celebrity, love and longing, myth and meaning, in a landscape both ravaged and redemptive. He pits romantic obsession against self-obsession—“The first time I saw the moon / I thought it was my idea”—and asks whether a meaningful distinction can ever be drawn between the two. These themes are explored further in a companion song suite, written by Laidlaw and recorded with a longtime collaborator from the Iron Range, that accompanies this book via download. Sharp, searching, and ecstatically musical, The Mirrormaker is a genre-expanding exploration of boom and bust—in mining economies and in young love.
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editions8 months ago
Coauthor Sarah Ruhl is Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominated playwright whose book 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time To Write was a New York Times Notable Book in 2014
Coauthor Max Ritvo’s Four Reincarnations was named a Best Book of 2016 by Lit Hub, Shelf Awareness, the Irish Times, and Adroit Journal; it was reviewed by the New York Times Book Review, O, The Oprah Magazine, Publishers Weekly (starred), Booklist (starred), hailed as “one of the most original and ambitious first books“ by Louise Glück, and blurbed by Jean Valentine and the musician Tom Waits
We expect strong blurbs, reviews, and ordering from the poetry community as a result of the author’s massive network of supporters
Book’s focus on illness, spirituality, education, and friendship provides opportunities for wider coverage, crossover into larger markets
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editions8 months ago
“Even present tense has some of the grace of past tense, / what with all the present tense left to go.” From Max Ritvo—selected and edited by Louise Glück—comes a final collection of poems fully inscribed with the daring of his acrobatic mind and the force of his unrelenting spirit.Diagnosed with terminal cancer at sixteen, Ritvo spent the next decade of his life writing with frenetic energy, culminating in the publication of Four Reincarnations. As with his debut, The Final Voicemails brushes up against the pain, fear, and isolation that accompany a long illness, but with all the creative force of an artist in full command of his craft and the teeming affection of a human utterly in love with the world.The representation of the end of life resists simplicity here. It is physical decay, but it is also tedium. It is alchemy, “the breaking apart, / the replacement of who, when, how, and where, / with what.” It is an antagonist—and it is a part of the self. Ritvo’s poems ring with considered reflection on the enduring final question, while suggesting—in their vibrancy and their humor—that death is not merely an end.The Final Voicemails is an ecstatic, hopeful, painful—and completely breathtaking—second collection.
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editions9 months ago
From National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Ada Limón comes The Carrying—her most powerful collection yet.Vulnerable, tender, acute, these are serious poems, brave poems, exploring with honesty the ambiguous moment between the rapture of youth and the grace of acceptance. A daughter tends to aging parents. A woman struggles with infertility—“What if, instead of carrying / a child, I am supposed to carry grief?”—and a body seized by pain and vertigo as well as ecstasy. A nation convulses: “Every song of this country / has an unsung third stanza, something brutal.” And still Limón shows us, as ever, the persistence of hunger, love, and joy, the dizzying fullness of our too-short lives. “Fine then, / I’ll take it,” she writes. “I’ll take it all.”In Bright Dead Things, Limón showed us a heart “giant with power, heavy with blood”—“the huge beating genius machine / that thinks, no, it knows, / it’s going to come in first.” In her follow-up collection, that heart is on full display—even as The Carrying continues further and deeper into the bloodstream, following the hard-won truth of what it means to live in an imperfect world.
The Carrying, Ada Limón
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editions9 months ago
2018 National Poetry Series selection
Poems from the collection and author have been widely published, including in Poetry, the Washington Square Review, and PEN America
We expect strong blurbs, reviews, and ordering from the poetry community as a result of the author’s network of supporters
Book’s focus on trans bodies, queerness, and gender equity provides opportunities for wider coverage, crossover into larger markets, and promotion via LGBTQ media and communities
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editionslast year
Harvey. Maria. Irma. Sandy. Katrina. We live in a time of unprecedented hurricanes and catastrophic weather events, a time when it is increasingly clear that climate change is neither imagined nor distant—and that rising seas are transforming the coastline of the United States in irrevocable ways.In this highly original work of lyrical reportage, Elizabeth Rush guides readers through some of the places where this change has been most dramatic, from the Gulf Coast to Miami, and from New York City to the Bay Area. For many of the plants, animals, and humans in these places, the options are stark: retreat or perish in place. Weaving firsthand accounts from those facing this choice—a Staten Islander who lost her father during Sandy, the remaining holdouts of a Native American community on a drowning Isle de Jean Charles, a neighborhood in Pensacola settled by escaped slaves hundreds of years ago—with profiles of wildlife biologists, activists, and other members of the communities both currently at risk and already displaced, Rising privileges the voices of those usually kept at the margins.At once polyphonic and precise, Rising is a shimmering meditation on vulnerability and on vulnerable communities, both human and more than human, and on how to let go of the places we love.
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editionslast year
Winner of the inaugural Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, North American Stadiums is an assured debut collection about grace—the places we search for it, and the disjunction between what we seek and where we arrive.«You were supposed to find God here / the signs said.» In these poems, hinterlands demand our close attention; overlooked places of industry become sites for pilgrimage; and history large and small—of a city, of a family, of a shirt—is unearthed. Here is a factory emptying for the day, a snowy road just past border patrol, a baseball game at dusk. Mile signs point us toward Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Salt Lake City, Chicago. And god is not the God expected, but the still moment amid movement: a field «lit like the heart / of the night," black stars stitched to the yellow sweatshirts of men in a crowd.A map «bleached / pale by time and weather," North American Stadiums is a collection at once resolutely unsentimental yet deeply tender, illuminating the historical forces that shape the places we inhabit and how those places, in turn, shape us.
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editionslast year
Saul Indian Horse is a child when his family retreats into the woods. Among the lakes and the cedars, they attempt to reconnect with half-forgotten traditions and hide from the authorities who have been kidnapping Ojibway youth. But when winter approaches, Saul loses everything: his brother, his parents, his beloved grandmother—and then his home itself.Alone in the world and placed in a horrific boarding school, Saul is surrounded by violence and cruelty. At the urging of a priest, he finds a tentative salvation in hockey. Rising at dawn to practice alone, Saul proves determined and undeniably gifted. His intuition and vision are unmatched. His speed is remarkable. Together they open doors for him: away from the school, into an all-Ojibway amateur circuit, and finally within grasp of a professional career. Yet as Saul’s victories mount, so do the indignities and the taunts, the racism and the hatred—the harshness of a world that will never welcome him, tied inexorably to the sport he loves.Spare and compact yet undeniably rich, Indian Horse is at once a heartbreaking account of a dark chapter in our history and a moving coming-of-age story.
Indian Horse, Richard Wagamese
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editionslast year
How does it feel to experience another city? To stand beneath tall buildings, among the countless faces of a crowd? To attempt to be heard above the din?The poems of Another City travel inward and outward at once: into moments of self-reproach and grace, and to those of disassociation and belonging. From experiences defined by an urban landscape—a thwarted customer at the door of a shuttered bookstore in Crete, a chance encounter with a might-have-been lover in Copenhagen—to the streets themselves, where “an alley was a comma in the agony’s grammar,” in David Keplinger’s hands startling images collide and mingle like bodies on a busy thoroughfare.Yet Another City deftly spans not only the physical space of global cities, but more intangible and intimate distances: between birth and death, father and son, past and present, metaphor and reality. In these poems, our entry into the world is when “the wound, called loneliness, / opens,” and our voyage out of it is through a foreign but not entirely unfamiliar constellations of cities: Cherbourg, Manila, Port-au-Prince.A moving, haunting atlas to worlds both interior and exterior.
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editionslast year
Author has received a PEN award and the Griffin International Poetry Prize (2013)Author’s past work has been reviewed by or featured in Entertainment Weekly, the Guardian, Booklist, and GuernicaWe expect strong blurbs and ordering from the poetry community, as author is well respected thereAuthor works as an ER doctor and the book has crossover interest for medical and biology communityAuthor writes on how the body is foreign from his perspective as a Palestinian-American, which is timely for coverage
Milkweed Books
Milkweed Booksadded a book to the bookshelfMilkweed Editionslast year
Author’s past work has been reviewed by or featured in Boston Review, Library Journal, and PleiadesWe expect strong blurbs and ordering from the poetry community, as Collins is well connected and well respected thereAuthor served as Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College and will have strong academic buy-inBook acts as a companion purchase to Collins’s 2014 collection Day Unto Day and will be marketed as suchAuthor’s deep social engagement in each collection will allow for timely media pitching to larger markets
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