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our yearly gift guide

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coal mountain elementary coffeehouse pressCoal Mountain Elementary is an imaginative and shocking reminder of what it means, in the most human and poignant terms, to be a miner, whether in this country or in China, or for that matter anywhere in the industrial world. It is also a tribute to miners and working people everywhere. It manages, in photos and in words, to portray an entire culture. And it is a stunning educational tool.” —Howard Zinn

anne carson albertine workoutAnne Carson’s The Albertine Workout is a charming and (relatively) approachable introduction to the poet’s work. Published as a chapbook by New Directions, The Albertine Workout contains fifty-nine paragraphs, with appendices, summarizing Carson’s research on Albertine, the principal love interest of Marcel in Proust’s novels.

Four from Japan, published by Litmus Press, showcases contemporary poetry and essays in translation by Japanese women. Edited by Sawako Nakayasu.

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cecilia afonso esteves printThis print, or anything by Cecilia Afonso Esteves. She makes absolutely beautiful things. I have a postcard and a business card of hers and they are among my treasured tiny art objects. Her blog is here.

Ann Wood, who makes birds, plants, ships, horses, and spiders out of very old pieces of cloth, has now made a pattern so that you (or someone you know) can do that. The patterns are in her shop.  amy karol lovely

Amy Karol makes perfumes and oils for skin and hair. Her Lovely would make, er, ahem, a lovely gift.

The Small Object is having a sale on all their rubber stamps (except custom ones), and these make really great presents—for kids and grownups.

josh ritter animal yearsJosh Ritter’s album The Animal Years is one of my favorite albums ever. You can get it on vinyl or CD in his shop—great songwriting, great lyrics, good for driving, trains, late nights, early mornings, afternoons.

And my perennial favorite Ben Weaver has a new LP out on vinyl with a digital download. I’d Rather Be a Buffalo is available only at Hymies’ in Minneapolis and online through Ben’s store, and is limited to 500 copies.

* f r o m   t h e   M I E L   s h o p *

birds and women miel calendarI’d be remiss at capitalism if I didn’t also say that you could find presents in the MIEL shop. So maybe a calendar with drawings of birds and women, tea sets and foggy animals is for you or someone you know?

Or maybe your friend needs a reminder (at any time of year) that winter won’t last forever. Or perhaps you’d like someone special to receive shipments of small-press books throughout 2015. (Subscriptions are like a present to the press, too.)

If you’re looking for a present for someone with a sense of humor, an interest in history, and a taste for puns, try one of George Szirtes’ chapbooks. For an artist or handmaker, Lisa Solomon’s monograph HAND/MADE is perfect (and on sale for €12!). A person with a sense of place, an interest in landscape, or an attachment to the dictionary will likely enjoy Josh Wallaert’s A Guide to the Northwest Territory. And Jonterri Gadson’s Interruptions combined with Kristen Case’s Temple and Shana Youngdahl’s Winter/Windows would make an incredible gift for parents, whether new or long in tooth.

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London! November 14-15!

smallpublishers2014

We’re so so so so so excited to bring fresh-from-the-press copies of Diadem Me and Uncle Zoltán (along with new broadsides, prints, our 2015 calendar, lots of greeting cards, and of course our other books) to the London Small Publishers’ Fair. November 14 and 15, 11-7 (but we’ll be leaving early on the Saturday; need to catch the last train back to Belgium). As usual, it’s in Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, and admission is free. We’d love to see you there.

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Uncle Zoltán is on his way

uncle zoltan george szirtes miel

 

More fragments from George Szirtes in this, our fourth and final chapbook in the series that includes Langoustine, Child Helga, and Germania. Uncle Zoltán is well-mannered, debonair, and carries a spare mackeral in his overcoat. His mustaches regularly win prizes at all the best shows. He’s that consummate—or was it consommé?—traveler, that genteel older gentleman, that exceptionally learnèd dormouse… that’s right, it’s everyone’s favorite family member, Uncle Zoltán! You couldn’t ask for a finer guide to the disappearing haute-bourgeoisie of a Mitteleuropa that never was.

This is our longest Szirtes chapbook yet; 40 pages. Because of its length, we’ve had to have it staple-bound instead of hand-binding it! €9; estimated shipping date for preorders and subscribers is November 18.

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Gillian Sze // PEELING RAMBUTAN

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.