TURNS: A Collection of Memoir Chapbooks

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The contest never has a theme, but the magazine Slipstream sometimes releases theme issues, co-editor Dan Sicoli said.

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Slipstream tends to select winners of the chapbook contest in the spring and publish in the summer. According to Sicoli, the poets who participate in the contest are a mix of established and aspiring writers. The covers are sometimes created in-house by the editors, and sometimes are created by professional artists or photographers. All entrants receive a copy of the winning chapbook. Chapbooks are also included with a subscription to the magazine. Paul, and over the past three years Red Bird has expanded and published manuscripts from all over the country.

Love said Red Bird publishes poetry, memoir, flash fiction, lyric essays, and fiction, and that they are working on a series of illustrated or illuminated chapbooks. All seven editors on staff at Red Bird work for free, and they either have or are in the process of completing MFA degrees, Love said. Red Bird attends book festivals and uses social media to promote their publications, Love said. Print chapbooks are on sale at redbirdchapbooks.

About 10 people are on staff, all of them unpaid volunteers, Monson said. The press does not make much money, but everyone involved sees it as a labor of love, he said. There is an office in Arizona but most editors work remotely, and they live all over the country, including Illinois, Alabama, South Carolina, Texas, Missouri, and Michigan. Some of the editors are long time friends of Monson, others are former students, and others are authors the press has published. Monson said he is a writer who became interested in chapbooks as a grad student. Monson said he learned how to use InDesign and realized he could make his own publications.

He said he writes hybrid genre works. Having limited funds, he started his press online. I could handle that. They were smaller, cheaper to produce, and I could do broadsides.

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Broadsides are single sided printed sheets of paper. Monson said they were used in the Revolutionary War era as political statements and advertisements. But they had also been used to celebrate book releases, by printing excerpts or poems. Monson said his press provided broadsides as a memento for people who attended literary readings, and authors signed them. Most broadsides are printed in small quantities of 25 to , though New Michigan Press has not printed broadsides as often lately.

Broadsides do allow for more creativity, however. Monson said they once produced a broadside for a poem about wine, and they splattered wine on the sheets. For the chapbooks, Monson said he had worked at many literary magazines, presses, and organizations, and he knew a lot of contests led to publication, especially for poetry.

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So he started a contest the first year and received a couple hundred entries. And everyone who entered the contest automatically received a copy of the book. The press also regularly attends the AWP Conference.


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    How to Write a Memoir

    Absence itself becomes a nearly tangible presence. Punctum: is a remarkable accomplishment.

    About This Item

    It is a journey, both internal and external, across a map, over borders, through a life, and in a body. It is passage and pilgrimage, odyssey and exile. Above all it is a book of questions. What do we carry with us and what do we leave behind? Where do we keep the past and what do we keep it in? How do we measure a person, a country, a love, a loss?