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Writing workshops at Dickinson House this spring!

Please feel very invited to this three-part writing workshop for “not writers” (but writers are also very welcome) this spring. The workshop will take place on Saturday afternoons in March (14), April (25) and May (9) for two hours each time, and each session will be built around strategies for approaching writing, suggestions for engaging in critique, writing exercises, and discussion of reading, all with the aim of helping participants find ways to approach writing as part of daily life (and thereby make writing something both possible and ordinary). We will also do some gentle workshopping (writing critique). You are welcome to come for one, two, or all of the sessions. Please book ahead of time; pay in cash on the day.

not-a-writer-flyerThe workshops are for anyone who is interested in writing, regardless of where they are in their practice now. Whether you write in English or another language; whether you write poetry or prose, the workshops are open to you. They are intended to offer a supportive and encouraging environment to begin writing as daily work, or to jumpstart a dormant practice. There will also be baked goods and hot drinks, fresh air, light, and lots of enthusiasm and excitement about writing.
 

 

 

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Dear readers, dear writers, greetings from this side of the Year. I hope it finds you well.

MIEL has some Plans for 2015. We’ll be putting out a dozen or so books—art, poems, prose, things in between—and welcoming residents to Dickinson House (don’t forget: fellowship applications close on January 31—residency applications open until we’re booked up for the year).

Our offerings for this year will begin with a broadside by George Szirtes at the end of January and a chapbook by Megan M. Garr (editor of Versal) in February. We’ll be at AWP in Minneapolis (say hello) in April.

But first, to start the year, we’d like to offer you 50% off any books in the shop. Just use the code HAPPY2015 at checkout—it’s good until January 31 our time. This is not valid on stationery or on subscriptions, but you can use it to purchase more than one single book. The discount will apply to your entire purchase (except if it includes subscriptions or stationery—if you want to buy those, please make two separate transactions). Happy New Year!

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our yearly gift guide

* b o o k s *

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.

* o b j e c t s *

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!

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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

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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.