AS BREATH IN WINTER, by William Reichard

William Reichard | AS BREATH IN WINTER | MIEL 2015William Reichard | AS BREATH IN WINTER | MIEL 2015


Reading William Reichard’s As Breath In Winter on a hot June day in England is rather like eating ice cream. That delicious ice cool cover; inside such visceral, urgent poems!

He had me at the opening line of the opening poem: ‘I have come all this way to see you.’ I wanted to know all his tribulations, all the aching and struggle. And then life and shadows and all our limitations get in the way: it is ‘a clumsy dance.’

Reichard knows how to nail a neat first line. I also loved the opening of ‘Oculus’: ‘To see, she opens her body’. As a woman who writes, and who is acutely aware of how the state of her body so affects her ability to see, as in, write, this image completely resonated with me.

Reichard gives us a stack of items for the librarian—the precious, the impossible and the poignant; a stranded rocket on the launch pad and a stranded conversation: ‘We finally run out of/things to say’; and the beautiful understatement of ‘There’s much to say about everyday life’: all held me as I travelled with the poet ‘through time, fires [and] houses buried.’

Carol Rowntree Jones for MIEL

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Buy As Breath in Winter now, or support the press with a subscription and get a whole year of books!

28 pp.

11 x 17 cm 
staple-bound & wrapped in a paper band
printed & bound in Nottingham, UK, by Tompkin Press Co., Ltd.



Celina Su - Plurality Decree - MIEL 2015

Celina Su’s microseries chapbook, Plurality Decree, is now available for pre-order.  The third chapbook in our microseries, Plurality Decree contains three poems that comment on uses of space, question ideas of public and private, and insist that their readers look at what is often kept ‘sanitized’ and invisible. Su’s poems reflect the frantic multiplicity of life in a time where laws, documents, decrees, texts both official and subversive, scientific objects, maps, and the possibility of individual actions/inaction seem to overlap one another more and more.

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The microseries chapbooks are 10 cm square; covers are printed inside and out in full color by the wonderful Tompkin Press in Nottingham, UK. They’re ideal for presents and fit inside standard greeting cards. Long live the postal services of the world! Order here.

Dimensions: 10 cm square
Printing: full color
Binding: staple
Pages: 16
Edition: 100 (25 to writer)

Celina Su - Plurality Decree - MIEL 2015


HOW ABSENCE, by Rachel Moritz

Rachel Moritz | HOW ABSENCE | April 2015 | MIEL

Rachel Moritz | HOW ABSENCE | April 2015 | MIEL

Rachel Moritz | HOW ABSENCE | April 2015 | MIELEvery time I set out with a new manuscript—heading for the precipice marked make a book—although I have the accumulated knowledge and abilities gained from the process of all the books that have come before, it feels like starting over from scratch. I have to remind myself of, or relearn, order-of-operations (where to cut first? Where to fold first?). I have to refamiliarize myself with the mathematics of Illustrator and my printer and the persnickety paper cutter. And this means trial and error, and frustration, a little panic (oh my god will this ever work?!), and, eventually, the satisfaction of seeing the book come together as I imagined.

How Absence was no different; in fact, it is an ideal case-study of this process. Everything that could go wrong in the printing process has gone wrong: printing errors and supply chain blockages, miscommunications and undelivered goods. Math errors. Misestimations. Last-minute changes.

This morning, I folded the first of the 140 covers (there are 120 + 20 marked e.a., for Rachel—édition d’artiste), and I trimmed the green endpapers and nested the textblock into them, and then these into the cover, and it was, suddenly, real. Here is How Absence, the latest book from our 2015 list. Rachel’s poems are mysterious and elegant, like dreams. The language moves through them with the sureness and care that has been a hallmark of Rachel’s writing since I first encountered it (more than ten years ago).

How Absence is also available as part of our limited-edition motherhood bundle, a collection of chapbooks which deal with motherhood, child(ren), and the interrelation of parenting and art-making. Of course, if you’d like to receive books like How Absence in your mailbox all year, you might consider one of our subscription options. Thank you for your support!



Coming soon: HOW ABSENCE (Rachel Moritz)

Two proof covers of Rachel Moritz's chapbook HOW ABSENCE, which feature an anatomical drawing of a woman on them.

Rachel Moritz’s How Absence (now available for pre-order; shipping early April—or subscribe, for a whole year of books) has been praised by Sarah Vap as “a stunning collection that lurches with open arms, seemingly in slow motion, seemingly quietly, and seemingly with a surfeit of pause, pause, pause—toward her infant son’s creation, and toward her own mind’s creations. The language here, like the infant’s making, like everything that’s invisible, (like absence), becomes the immensely weighty presence: ‘Something transparent, we know/ still contains.'”

The poems in How Absence, like shards of pale pottery from an archaeological dig, tell us about what time does to human beings: all we are, all we make and do, and how it falls into dust. But Moritz, in the face of time, offers us not despair but the mercy of genetics and the terrible beauty of the fine line between the born and the dying.

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24 pp.
21 x 12.5 cm
French flaps
Cotton paper cover
Green endpapers
Hand-bound in Belgium by MIEL
Edition of 120
Printed in Nottingham, UK, by Tompkin Press Co., Ltd.


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!


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.

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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.