Recent publications (elsewhere) by MIEL authors

bottomland laressa dickeyLaressa Dickey’s collection Bottomland is out from Shearsman (UK). Her chapbook, [apparatus for manufacturing sunset], is available from dancing girl press and is the most delicious use of footnotes.

Neele Dellschaft has a poem in Lighthouse‘s summer 2014 issue, and a chapbook, Call it an Immersion, forthcoming from dancing girl press.

Metta Sáma, whose work appears in 111O/5, has a new dos-à-dos chapbook out from Nous-Zot Press; it’s called After Sleeping to Dream/After After.

111O/6 contributor Willie Lin has a collaborative broadside out from Broadsided Press.

We love hearing good news from our writers and artists. Drop us an email if you’ve got something new coming out!


Dickinson House

Flowers and gardens at Dickinson House

There is a story I want to tell. The story is about togetherness: that’s its short version. The longer version could go back to the pine table in my family’s kitchen where my brothers and I did homework while my parents cooked or washed dishes. It definitely encompasses the year I lived as a stranger in France and the multilingual education I’ve been fortunate to have. And it is directly related to my five years in England and the way that, in that place, I was part of an intense and sustaining community. It’s certainly a story that comes out of a magical—there’s no other word for it—five days in 2010 when some poets whose work I love came to Nottingham, spending four of those days teaching and talking and reading and walking and eating with forty writers from all over Europe and the UK. (Those days! Where together we built something! I got up to read and couldn’t read because I was in tears over the belief of all these people who’d come to be together and write.) And the story I want to tell comes out of MIEL, too—this press, which itself developed out of the desire to make spaces for writers like the one we’d made together in Nottingham that July. Being at the Vermont Studio Center this summer only made me more sure of the desire I have for spaces where writers and artists can be together, not only on the page but in the flesh.

Dickinson House: Writers' Residency | Literary B&B

For a very long time, nearly ten years, I carried the idea of making such a space in my pocket. But for most of that time I never believed it was realistic or possible. It was bigger than what I could do alone: it required things like money and land, neither of which I have. The story I want to tell is the story of that idea, which is now real, against what I believed were the odds. The story is Dickinson House.

I wanted to make a space where writers and artists could come to make work, to build community, to be taken care of without guilt, with openness and generosity. And about two years ago Jonathan’s mother offered us her house to rent and renovate and use for just that. And as of about two weeks ago we are officially licensed by the Flemish Tourist Board as a guesthouse, so I can say that Dickinson House truly is real. We’re doing a soft launch this fall, and will open for 2015 applications (and applications for fellowships!) in December.

Dickinson House: Writers' Residency | Literary B&B

None of this would be possible without a ton of hard work and help from Jonathan, without the kindness (and below-market-rate rent) his mother extended, without the support of our families, or without the belief, good cheer, and help of friends all over. I want to emphasize this. None of this came from thin air. It is the result of generosity and privilege. It is also the result of penny-pinching and elbow grease and borrowing against hope and filling spare time with more work, even (especially) when we just wanted to rest. The house is full of beautiful old things that were given to us by friends and family, or found in second-hand shops here. The beds have quilts made by hand by three talented friends. I want the house to be for you, writer, reader, maker. I want there to be—there is—space here for you. If you need it, ask for it. If there are obstacles, tell me about them. We will find a way to get you here. You are welcome.



Gillian Sze | PEELING RAMBUTAN | Gaspereau Press, 2014

I first encountered Gillian Sze‘s work when she sent a poem that ended up in 111O/6, the broadsides issue. Since then, I’ve followed her occasional posts on Twitter and looked out for her writing elsewhere. This year, Gasperau Press put out Peeling Rambutan, “a poetic travelogue” that “meditates upon the rifts between immigrant parents and their Canadian-born children” and “the complexity of our heritage through the lens of the present”. 

I asked Gillian to tell me about the process of writing this book, and she replied with the following.

“I started this project in 2008, though, at the time, I didn’t know it would become a book. I went to Asia with my parents that year and when I returned, it was all I could write about. I finished the first draft in 2011 – complete garbage – and spent the next two years editing, burning, ripping, tossing, revising, reshaping.

“The book documents my first experience of China, seen through my eyes, but also through my parents’. I saw many things: their villages, ancestral temples, commercial streets where my great-grandmother shopped. There’s a great line by Don McKay that comes to mind: Home, the first cliché. Thinking back, I suppose my first draft was terrible because I was trying too hard to answer something. The book as it is now doesn’t. And I like it better this way. What do we do with all this history anyway?

“Andrew Steeves at Gaspereau Press has been wonderful. I like the way they do things over there. Andrew still contacts his writers via snail mail. It was a windy day the day I received my acceptance letter. It blew right out of my mailbox, then down my steps, and a half a block away. I almost didn’t chase after it because I recognized my own writing on the S.A.S.E. and that’s never a good sign. Well, I’m glad I did. Now the book is out – here’s hoping it flies away from me much the same way.”

Thanks, Gillian! And congratulations!


If you’re a MIEL author or 111O contributor, we’d love to share your publication news. Just drop us an email (miel.books at gmail) and let us know.


the Germans are coming!

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 17.39.11Well…just a few of them, and they’re all fictional. We should definitely welcome them. After all, what do we know of that shadowy nation, Germany? Our textbooks and philosophers have little to say. It is a land shrouded in mists, populated by men and women whose customs are unfamiliar and whom we should, were we ever to encounter one of these marvellous creatures, surely find strange and bizarre. In the fragments that comprise Germania, George Szirtes provides us with the most astute psychological, geographical, anthropological, and theological survey of Germany yet. Should the place be one day proven to exist, this is your guide.

Germania is available for pre-order now, with an estimated ship date of September 23.


in case of Paris

paris guide

Someone on Twitter was looking for recommendations for Paris, and I remembered that about four years ago I made a guidebook full of the things I loved (places I went often when I lived in France) for J. We went to Paris together and had a huge argument about Foucault while walking through the 14th arrondissement, which is the main thing I remember about that trip. However, he does still have the little book, so I can tell you precisely what I recommended. Most of these recommendations reflect the fact that I rarely have any money.


Pâtes Vivantes (46 r.d. Faubourg Montmartre/9th/métro Le Peletier; 22 Bld. St Germaine/5th/near Pont de Sully). Chinese food, very good, mostly noodles. Long wait times; definitely make a reservation.

La Boutique Jaune (in the Marais). Jewish deli. Good sandwiches.

Rue Ste. Anne (near the Louvre). Lots and lots of Japanese restaurants, ranging in price, mostly high quality.

L’As du Fallafel (34 r. des Rosiers, Marais). Excellent falafel/etc. Often busy. Closed Saturdays.

La Pizzetta (22 ave. Trudaine/9th/métro Anvers). Slightly upscale Italian. Good.

Pho Dong-Huang (14 r. Louis Bonnet/11th). Vietnamese food. Good prices!

Le petit prince de Paris (5th). Gay-friendly restaurant, prices are reasonable.

Rose Bakery (9th/3rd). British-style, slightly rustic-crunchy breakfast/brunch/lunch.


Macarons at Pierre Hermé (72 rue Bonaparte in the 6th; 185 rue du Vaugirard in the 15th; 4 rue Cambon in the 1st) or at La Durée (21 rue Bonaparte in the 6th; 16 rue Royale in the 8th). Aki Boulanger (on rue Ste. Anne) is a Japanese-French bakery; there’s a write-up here. Sadaharu Aoki has four boutiques in Paris and although I have never eaten his pastries I have it on good authority that one ought to. Berthillon for ice-cream to eat by the Seine is a favorite of mine.

To do and see:

The Parc Buttes Chaumont is the prettiest in Paris, or so they say, although I really love the Jardin des Plantes (which has the benefit of being relatively near Austerlitz, my favorite of the Paris stations). The area around the Canal St Martin has nice shops and an art bookshop. Galleries Lafayette has a roof garden that’s free to visit; so does the Institute du Monde Arabe (and there’s a great view). The best view of Paris I’ve ever had was in the restaurant on the 55th floor of the Tour de Montparnasse. A cup of tea will set you back about €8, but it’s cheaper than the observation deck (one floor up), and the view cannot be beat.

The Louvre is free to EU residents under 25, as well as on the first Sunday of every month (and July 14). Hôtel Carnavalet, the museum of the history of Paris, is free to visit; the Bibliothèque Nationale de France also has free exhibits (and a bookshop, cafeteria, and garden). The Palais de Tokio had, the last time I was there, an old but working photobooth.

For small objects and presents and general beauty I love the shop at the Paris Japan Center (métro Javel/a couple of blocks away from the Eiffel Tower), and if you’re in the market for stationery or just unusual postcards, I’d recommend both Mélodies Graphiques (on the edge of the Marais, rue St de Pont Louis-Philippe) and Éditions Cartes d’Art (9 rue du Dragon, in the 6th). Merci, at 111 blvd. Beaumarchais in the 3rd, is a charming shop that will probably make any lover of pretty things die of desire. Rue François Mirron in the Marais contains some of the best shops in Paris, in my opinion—especially Petit Pan.

And when in doubt, I recommend using Joshua Clover’s poem “Ceriserie” as your guide to Paris both historical and contemporary.





Coming this September

jonterri gadson interruptions miel chapbook


Jonterri Gadson’s chapbook Interruptions is part of our microseries. It contains three poems—two short poems, one an excerpt from a long poem—which walk the tenuous line between safety and danger. The excerpt from the long poem, “Everything Else Requires My Approval”, is stunning in its despair and its sense of the imminence of danger in the speaker’s son’s life; it is also stunning in its ferocity and love, in the speaker’s desire to protect that son. Here are a few lines.

and then I will take in too much air or not enough of it too much then not enough of it / not enough and then too much like drowning me taking and taking and giving / too much of it away while my mother listens and this world without my son in it / forms itself around her. If he ever goes thro… how dare the air join us here in this new world / where there is room for nothing but air and his absence his absence and the cruelty of air / to move through him then stop

You can find out more about Jonterri on her author page, and pre-order the chapbook here.


A visit to Katy Fischer’s studio

Katy Fischer [visual artist] — studio visit, Vermont Studio Center, July 2014Katy Fischer [visual artist] — studio visit, Vermont Studio Center, July 2014

Katy Fischer [visual artist] — studio visit, Vermont Studio Center, July 2014

Katy Fischer [visual artist] — studio visit, Vermont Studio Center, July 2014

Katy Fischer [visual artist] — studio visit, Vermont Studio Center, July 2014

Katy Fischer [visual artist] — studio visit, Vermont Studio Center, July 2014


Katy Fischer [visual artist] — studio visit, Vermont Studio Center, July 2014Katy Fischer. I met her at the Vermont Studio Center this June. Her work is alphabets, syntax, air, light, color, small fields. She had a table full of ceramic fragments. In the hottest days, at the beginning of July, the kiln was running all the time. She kept her red door open. You could walk by and see her [letters/flags/fields/objects/—] there, repeating themselves and configuring themselves. I can’t deny that something about the way I played with a dollhouse as a child is part of what drew m to Katie’s work: my best toys were the ones I made myself, to approximate real things, while always retaining the offness and madeness of the toy made by the child who plays with it. So inspiring to get to talk with Katie about fragmentation and accumulation and big projects made of small objects.