Wake: Up to Poetry
BEST OF 2013: WFU Press Style
It’s that time of year again. Christmas trees are going up, people are frantically searching for just the right present, holiday plans are being made and, of course, The Best Of lists are being released all month. Maybe you watched that video about the best of Youtube in 2013 or heard Miley Cyrus was named the Best Artist of 2013 (!). Maybe you caught The New Yorker’s list of Best Books of 2013 where they honored the late Seamus Heaney. Well, we here at the WFUP have come up with our own Best of 2013 list … Wake Forest University Press style.
Publications Pushing for Poetry
If you follow our blog or like us on Facebook or read the New York Times, you might know that one of our books, Louis MacNeice: Collected Poems, received a full page review in the Times. The result? Incredible. Hundreds of orders came in from all over the United States seeking a copy. As soon as one batch of orders was filled, it seemed a whole new slew of orders came through. Our little office was hectic and we loved it. For a small poetry press, it made a big and wonderful difference. (And it is a phenomenal book.)
Another WFUP poet, Vona Groarke, had her poem “The Landscapes of Vilhelm Hammershøi” published in the November 11 issue of The New Yorker.
Best Book Releases
In July, our Wake Forest Series of Irish Poetry, Volume III featuring work by Colette Bryce, Justin Quinn, John McAuliffe, Maurice Riordan, and Gerard Fanning, was launched in Paris. Editor Conor O’Callaghan stated that “these poets breathed fresh air into poetry” and that they were creating their “own tradition” in their works.
October marked the release of Medbh McGuckian’s The High Caul Cap, with language invoking the state of dreaming, of moving rapidly from one image to the next.
Our newest publication is Conor O’Callaghan’s The Sun King, which comes out later this month. We look forward to publishing a number of upcoming books, including volumes by Harry Clifton, whose book The Holding Centre comes out in January, Maire Mhac an tSaoi, and Caitríona O’Reilly.
May We Have Your Attention, Wake Forest?
Another highlight of our 2013 year has been our increased efforts to market to Wake Forest University. Oftentimes, students aren’t always aware of what the Press does (and some of them don’t even know Wake Forest has a university press…), so one of our goals for 2013 & 2014 is letting our presence be known on campus. We gave out candy and poetry during finals week to give students a sweet break from the stress of studying. We created computer stickers to strengthen our campus brand. On a larger (and more visible) scale, the Press chalked up campus with our favorite lines of poetry. We also put together a Poetry Mob, where interns, students, and professors read a poem in front of Tribble Hall. The response from people passing by was astounding.
And Yours Too, World?
But we didn’t limit ourselves to Wake’s campus. In April, the WFUP hosted the 1st Annual Wake Up to Poetry event in downtown Winston-Salem. In honor of National Poetry Month, WFUP collected student submissions and ended up receiving more than 50 poems. The entries were then evaluated by award-winning poets Adrian Rice, Rachel Richardson, and David Roderick. Four students, Bailey Pittenger, Mackenzie Connollee, Jessica Whitehair, and Kory Riemensperger, read their winning poems. The Belfast Boys gave a great musical performance (as did judge Adrian Rice) and members of the Winston-Salem community came out to read their own poetry.
We also featured the Confessions of a Small Press Intern, a collection of stories from our WFUP interns about their experiences at the Press. It’s hard being one of the few interns at a press with only two employees, but it is also one of the best experiences all of us interns have ever had. The post is funny, insightful, and heartwarming. If you haven’t read it yet, you won’t want to miss it.
We send out an e-newsletter three or four times a year to interested readers. Often, there are special deals just for newsletter readers. If you’re interested in being on our mailing list, just shoot us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll add you to it.
Increasing Our Digital Footprint
In the digital world, 2013 also marked a year of giant leaps for our small press. Over the summer, our website was completely redesigned, making it more user-friendly to help our customers. This fall, we launched a new WordPress blog and increased our presence on both Facebook and Twitter. Most importantly, though, we have stepped into the realm of ebook publishing; this November, we released The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass by Harry Clifton for Kindle and Nook. More ebooks will follow.
Though we love the feel and smell of a printed book, ebooks aren’t going away, so we joined in.
Happiest of holidays to you and yours.