As in years past, it’s my pleasure to show you some of the beautiful things I’ve found online. If you’re looking for a present at this or any time of year, here are my recommendations.
* * *
Itsuko Naka (Kyoto) makes absolutely beautiful paper and textile objects. I love her pouches and tenugui (thin cotton towels) especially. She’s also on Instagram. The ‘Clover’ pouch here is about $15.
Twamies is a longtime favorite of mine (I nurture the hope of printing a book of Alan Brown’s illustrations one day). Alan and Katie make beautiful, whimsical things, all with a tinge of the weird. This is “Cosy“. I also love “Hoppit” (grasshopper!) and “Berries“.
If you happen to be looking for a new planner, let me recommend “The Weekly Times” from the Korean stationery company Seeso Graphics. I got mine at Fox & Star in the UK. The pages are undated, so if you skip weeks or neglect it for a while, it doesn’t ‘go bad’. There’s also a monthly version (and a large-format desk calendar), but the week works ideally for me—I can see everything at a glance, without being overwhelmed.
Shadra Strickland‘s best work is evocative and direct all at once: her illustrations of black life in the US don’t gloss over the ways in which
white supremacy has been its constant companion, but her paintings refuse to concede their subjects’ dignity, power, and beauty. I especially like “Lineage” (right) and “After the Flood“.
The acorn necklace from Bullseye Beads (below) combines the artificial with the actual in a very pleasing way. And if you have $150 for a coffee mug (!), these are beautiful (from BDDW). If you don’t, just go look; looking’s free. Here’s a t-shirt with a pigeon and the shipping forecast. Lots of justice-oriented prints, posters, books, and zines in the Just Seeds shop. If you know a knitter or crocheter you’d like to spoil, I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong here (although how far you’ll get is dependent on the depth of your pockets).
Of course, should you be so inclined, there’s always the MIEL shop: try a 2016 subscription (which arrives in four batches at your recipient’s door), a calendar (two to choose from; free shipping), or a chapbook (25% off with the code WINTER2015 at checkout).
We will read work in June for chapbooks to add to our 2016 list. You can send work to us via Submittable. (Note that we are on Belgian time, which means our June 1 may begin before yours, and our June 30 may end before yours.) See here for more information.
For our 2015 reading period, there will be no reading fee. If you would like to make a gesture of support for the press, please take a look at the books in our shop and purchase one. (You can use the code IHEARTMIEL2015 for 30% off from June 1 – 30, Belgian time.) All work will be given consideration regardless of purchase.
Our 2016 list already contains three art chapbooks, two poetry chapbooks, and two nonfiction chapbooks. We are looking to add four more chapbooks: two of poetry (of any kind), two of prose (fiction, nonfiction, hybrid, cross-discipline, multigenre). Reading the work we have already published is the best way to see whether your work would be a good fit for MIEL. There are sample texts in each book page in the shop, as well as many sample poems on our website. You will find formatting guidelines below, under ‘prose’ and ‘poetry’. If your work crosses these genres, just pick one. At this time we are only adding to our microseries list by solicitation.
* * *
We encourage women writers, non-binary writers, trans writers, and writers of color to send work.
We are looking for work that is experimental or conceptual without a disregard for embodiment.
We are looking for work that is socially aware and alive.
We are looking for work that feels like springtime.
We would love to see work about faith, religion, science, nature, history, power, philosophy, politics, art.
We like writing by W.G. Sebald, Toni Morrison, Susan Sontag, Amy Leach, Karen Tei Yamashita, Maggie Nelson, Ander Monson, Anne Boyer, Simone White. We like Carolyn Forché’s book BLUE HOUR and Julie Otsuka’s THE BUDDHA IN THE ATTIC. We like Alberto Ríos’ writing on ‘magical realism’. We like Mary Ruefle’s essays, especially “On Theme”.
* * *
Thank you for considering sending your work to MIEL.
Would you like a year’s worth of books, direct to your mailbox? Beautiful, carefully made, small-press books? If so, our subscriptions are the ticket. (And, as a bonus, you’ll be helping finance the printing of our 2015 list!)