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  • August 8

    Cherry Tree opens for submissions for our third issue on August 15.

     

    Somehow August has rolled around once again, which means that our Cherry Tree editorial staff and student screeners are gearing up for our next open reading period. We will be reading submissions in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction from August 15 to October 15 for our third issue, which will be released in February 2017 at the AWP Conference in Washington, DC. 

     

     

    In the past few months we have had a few changes in the Cherry Tree masthead. Here’s our editorial line-up for issue 3 and beyond:

    • Editor-in-Chief:  James Allen Hall
    • Managing Editor:  Lindsay Lusby
    • Poetry Editor (& Founder):  Jehanne Dubrow
    • Fiction Editor:  Roy Kesey
    • Nonfiction Editor:  James Allen Hall
    • Senior Poetry Reader:  Emma Sovich
    • Senior Poetry Reader:  Alex Vidiani
    • Senior Fiction Reader:  Sarah Blackman
    • Senior Fiction & Nonfiction Reader:  Elise Gallagher

    You can see their smiling faces and read their bios on our website here. Also there, you will find our 2016 Production Intern, Caroline Harvey ’18, who will help us lay out the third issue after all of the final pieces are selected. Caroline isn’t entirely new to the business: she worked as the Literary House Press Intern for the Spring 2016 semester, during which she assisted in the editing and proofing of LHP’s newest poetry anthology, Still Life with Poem: Contemporary Natures Mortes in Verse

    There is also a good mixture of new and familiar faces in the roster of student screeners for this upcoming reading period: Nick Anstett ’16, Julia Armstrong ’15, Reilly D. Cox ’16, Dylan Hogan ’16, Sarah Mann ’16, Ryan Manning ’17, Meaghan Menzel ’16, Aliya Merhi ’16, Catalina Righter ’17, and Emma Way ’16. 

    We’re all so excited to read the fantastic submissions you send to us! So mark your calendars: send your best poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to Cherry Tree (via Submittable) between August 15 and October 15. Help us to make issue 3 the best yet!

     

  • May 9

    For the fifth consecutive year, the Rose O’Neill Literary House will be hosting its community-centric Summer Literary Salon series. There will be three Salon events this summer and they will be held on May 24, June 28, and July 26, 2016. Formerly called the Summer Poetry Salons, these Literary Salons now have been expanded to include readings from prose writers, as well as poets.

     

    Each of these events, which begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Lit House, are free and open to the public. They are always held on the fourth Tuesday of the month and feature two poets reading from their work, as well as a local musician or band.

    The first event of this series will be held on Tuesday, May 24 at 4:30 p.m. and will feature poetry readings by Joseph Harrison and Tess Taylor, as well as music from new local band Twice the Other. The Literary House Press will also debut two brand-new letterpress broadsides at this Salon, featuring work from of each of the presenting poets, in honor of this year’s series. Broadsides are printed on-site in the Lit House print shop.

    The second event of this series will be held on Tuesday, June 28 at 4:30 p.m. and will feature poetry readings by Emilia Phillips and Lesley Wheeler, as well as music from Pam and Bob Ortiz, two members of Chestertown’s The Pam Ortiz Band.

    The final event of this series will be held on Tuesday, July 26 at 4:30 p.m. and will feature readings by poet Sarah Blake and fiction-writer Katey Schultz, as well as music from local duo Beth McDonald and Joe Holt.

    Each Summer Literary Salon will be followed by a book sale and signing, and light refreshments. Wine will also be served. For more information on these events or the Literary House visit the website at http://www.washcoll.edu/centers/lithouse/.

  • May 5

    2016 Literary House Press Intern Caroline Harvey ’18 recounts her experiences assisting in the editing and publishing of LHP’s forthcoming anthology, Still Life with Poem.

     

    Literary House Press Internship Style Sheet (arranged in order of appearance)

     

    From FALL SEMESTER 2015

    • General Thanksgiving Broadside [a Saturday afternoon spent with Lindsay Lusby and Jehanne Dubrow printing broadsides for the school / the smell of ink and kerosene / asking questions about the Spring press internship in between the thwacks of the Vandercook]
    • Literary House Press Internship” acceptance email [forwarded to my mother the minute I received it]

     

    From LYNDA COURSES ON INDESIGN

    • David Blatner [first he is nasal / then he is unbearable / then he is useful]
    • nifty keen [the only acceptable adjective for drop shadows / preceded the niftier keener transparency effects in InDesign]
    • 12h 37m [duration of time spent watching tutorials and following along with the exercises / duration of time before I am really ready to pry apart Still Life with Poem]

     

    From STILL LIFE WITH POEM, DRAFT 3

    • yellow highlighter [what I used to indicate any words that might be spelled wrong or used incorrectly / I also used this to point out moments that confused me: punctuation gone wrong, a capital letter misplaced, a repeated word]
    • style sheet [the document in which I recorded every instance of confusion, every moment important enough to be questioned]
    • 27 pages [the length of the style sheet for the first twenty pages of the collection, which included the table of contents, introduction, and twenty-five poems]
    • 107 pages [the length of the final style sheet after every term, every question, had been defined or answered / weeks of reading and rereading every poem, every word and line]

     

    From COVER ART

    • Jennifer Clarvoe [the fantastic photographer and poet who sent us our cover image / I was CCed on the email to her asking to use her image as our cover, the first moment I felt like I was really a part of the SLWP process]
    • Gary [the name of the grasshopper who graces the cover of the anthology / I already love insects, but this one has a special place in my heart]

     

    From STILL LIFE WITH POEM: CONTRIBUTOR PROOF (RESPONSE NEEDED) EMAILS

    • 80 [number of emails I sent over the course of three hours on one Thursday afternoon]
    • Don Share [editor of Poetry magazine / I emailed him and didn’t give it a second thought after I hit send]
    • one name [I misspelled exactly one name in my emails / she told me “no worries” when I apologized / I’m still worrying about it]
    • 79 [number of email responses I received by the end of the process approving or editing the proofs]

     

    From SLWP INTERIOR_DRAFT 8_FINAL.PDF

    • “That person’s in Still Life with Poem!” [the exclamation I make every time I look at collections of poetry or “Suggested Books” on Amazon / the exclamation I make every time I read the posters covering the walls of the literary house like a second skin]
    • two days [the amount of time it takes for 48hr Books to send us the proof copy of the book / the amount of time I spend excitedly waiting to see our work in physical form]
    • the week preceding finals week [this is the final week of my stint as the Spring 2016 Literary House Press Intern / this is the final week of my reading and rereading the proof documents until I am positive that there are no errors / this is the final week of having a digital-only version of Still Life with Poem / this week is bitter]
    • the weeks following finals week [haven’t happened yet / my predictions: I will go home with five copies of Still Life with Poem / I will go home with a copyright credit in a Literary House Press publication / I will go home having proofread 174 pages and assisted in laying them out in InDesign / I will go home with 80 poets in my pocket to follow long after my internship ends / I will go home and I will miss every day of the Still Life with Poem process]

     

    From STILL LIFE WITH POEM: CONTEMPORARY NATURES MORTES IN VERSE

    • the book [will be released October 18, 2016 / the culmination of a semester-long internship and the hard work of Jehanne Dubrow and Lindsay Lusby / something physical to help me remember the impact this opportunity had on me—giving me the chance to be a part of a publication process, exposing me to spectacular contemporary poets, a rollicking good and exhausting time, a feeling of pride I can only hope to replicate in the future]

     

  • April 27

    The Rose O’Neill Literary House has awarded this year’s Cave Canem Residency to Darrel Alejandro Holnes.

     

    In June 2016, the Rose O’Neill Literary House will welcome Darrel to Chestertown for a writer’s retreat. He was selected from this year’s pool of applicants as the winner of the Literary House’s 2016 Cave Canem Summer Residency. He will spend his time here working on his own writing projects and quietly exploring the town for a few warm, restful weeks.

    Darrel Alejandro Holnes’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Poetry Magazine, Best American Experimental Writing, American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, Callaloo, The Caribbean Writer, Day One, The Puritan Magazine, and elsewhere in print and online. He is the co-author of PRIME: Poetry & Conversations, On Poetics, Identity & Latinidad: CantoMundo Poets Speak Out, and the co-editor of Happiness, The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry. He teaches at NYU. 

    The Cave Canem Summer Residency at The Rose O’Neill Literary House is a partnership with Cave Canem, the nation’s preeminent organization for young African American poets. Cave Canem’s mission is to serve as “a home for the many voices of African American poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets.” Our Cave Canem Summer Residency is a month-long Chestertown retreat offered annually to one outstanding former Cave Canem Fellow. Previous Summer Residents include poets Kamilah Aisha Moon in 2015, Jamaal May in 2014, Yona Harvey in 2013, Kevin Vaughn in 2012, and Arisa White in 2011. 

     

    The Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College serves as one of the cultural centers of campus, bringing together students, faculty, alumni, and local community members from across the disciplines. Our literary programming provides access to a wide variety of genres, including fiction, poetry,  creative nonfiction, scholarly prose, playwriting, and hybrid forms; our letterpress studio and Literary House Press introduce participants both to old and new technologies. We are dedicated to promoting the articulated word and to supporting students through professional, on-the-job training.

  • April 20

    The Stump is where our contributors stand to read their work aloud to the wide web-audience. Here we post audio recordings of select contributors reading their poems, stories, and creative nonfiction from the pages of Cherry Tree.

     

    And we’re back at The Stump with new readings from our second issue! Here are the featured contributors you can listen to on our page:

    • Katie Berger, reading two poems from Swans
    • Jennifer S. Cheng, reading an excerpt from her creative nonfiction piece “in between such shadows”
    • Sally Rosen Kindred, reading her poem “An Aftermath”
    • Emilia Phillips, reading her poem “Apostrophe in Oregon Hill”
    • Lesley Wheeler, reading her two poems “Perimenopause” and “This Has Gone On Long Enough”
    • Laura Madeline Wiseman, reading her poem “Studs”

    We’re also once again featuring a few chosen pieces from the new print issue as preview PDF on our Work We Love page. Here you can read issue 2 excerpts from Rick Barot, Sara Biggs Chaney, Vievee Francis, Roy Kesey, and Jennifer S. Cheng!

    And if you still haven’t had enough? Well, then it’s time to subscribe! Get a copy of the full second issue with a new subscription here

     

  • April 20

    At the 2016 Senior Reading, the Rose O’Neill Literary House announced this year’s winners of three annual student creative writing prizes: The Literary House Genre Fiction Prize, The William W. Warner Prize for Creative Writing on Nature and the Environment, and The Jude & Miriam Pfister Poetry Prize.

     

    The Literary House Genre Fiction Prize is a prize awarded to a Washington College undergraduate for the best work of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or horror. The winner receives a cash prize of $500.

    This year’s prize was awarded to senior Nick Anstett for his short story, “A Report on Central’s Operation Conducted in Nairobi, Kenya-July 12, 2016.”

     

    The William W. Warner Prize is awarded to the Washington College undergraduate who shows the greatest aptitude for writing about nature and the environment. This prize is named for, and was endowed in the honor of, William W. Warner, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay, based on his experiences living and working among crab fishermen on the Chesapeake. According to Mr. Warner’s wishes, the judges will give preference to—but will in no way limit their consideration to—students who write about the natural history of our Atlantic Littoral, from the Canadian Arctic to the Gulf of Florida. The winner receives a cash prize of $500.

    This year’s Warner Prize was awarded to senior Reilly Cox for his piece, “Cross Section of a Row House.”

     

    The Jude & Miriam Pfister Poetry Prize was created through the Academy of American Poets, one of the nation’s most influential poetry organizations, and is administered through the Washington College Department of English and the Rose O’Neill Literary House. The prize is awarded to a Washington College undergraduate for a single poem and the winner receives a cash prize of $100 and a certificate from the Academy of American Poets.

    This year’s Pfister Poetry Prize was awarded to senior Reilly Cox for his poem “Shooting My Sister by the Inner Harbor.” Honorable Mention for the Pfister Prize was awarded to senior Meaghan Menzel for her poem “The man who drew the first map.”

     

    We offer our most sincere congratulations to this year’s prize winners for their fine writing!

     

    The Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College serves as one of the cultural centers of campus, bringing together students, faculty, alumni, and local community members from across the disciplines. Our literary programming provides access to a wide variety of genres, including fiction, poetry,  creative nonfiction, scholarly prose, playwriting, and hybrid forms; our letterpress studio and Literary House Press introduce participants both to old and new technologies. We are dedicated to promoting the articulated word and to supporting students through professional, on-the-job training.

  • March 4

    To celebrate the release of our second issue, we asked contributors, subscribers, and friends to fill Facebook and Twitter with their CT2 selfies, using the hashtag #cherrybomb. And you did it!

     

    We are so incredibly excited to be able to welcome the second issue of our beloved Cherry Tree into the world; and we are so grateful to all of you for sharing in our excitement!

     
    We got #cherrybomb photos from our fantastic contributors

    CT2 contributor, Nicole Walker

     
    We got #cherrybomb photos from our lovely editorial staff

    CT2 student screener, Grace Arenas 

    We got #cherrybomb photos from our wonderful subscribers

     
    We even got #cherrybomb photos from past-contributors-who-are-current-subscribers
     

    Thanks to all of you (and your photogenic pets) for helping us to announce the arrival of CT2 to the social media world. You rock our cherry-loving world! And because we love them all so much, we have gathered all of your #cherrybomb photos in a happy little gallery you can flip through here: 

     

     

    P.S. If you haven’t subscribed yet, do it now!

     

  • January 25

    On Friday, January 22, we sent our newest beloved issue off to the printers. This, of course, means it’s time for the big cover reveal!

  • January 15

    A poem from the inaugural issue of Cherry Tree has been selected for the yearly anthology.

    Enormous congratulations to Cherry Tree ‪‎contributor Julie Kane, whose poem “As If” (which first appeared in our inaugural issue) has been chosen for the 2016 edition of Best American Poetry by guest editor Edward Hirsch! This volume is due to be released on September 6, 2016.


    Thank you, Julie, for taking us along for the ride! We are thrilled for you and your beautiful sonnet.

     

  • December 15

    The editorial staff of Cherry Tree share the top book titles on their holiday wishlists for 2015. Let it snow!

  • December 9

    The Rose O’Neill Literary House’s Red Mug Sale is back in time for your last-minute holiday shopping!

    From now until December 18, with a purchase of any Literary House Press item you can get one of our classic red mugs for FREE! This includes our books, broadsides, even subscriptions to Cherry Tree.

     

    Copies of LHP books and broadsides are available for purchase and may be ordered online

    Domestic shipping for Media Mail is $5 for the first item plus $1 for each additional item. Overnight is $15 for the first item plus $2 for each additional item. 2-day air is $12 for the first item plus $1 for each additional item. International shipping by special request.

    Cheers!

     

  • December 2

    After a few months of reading submissions and working to shape them into a complete volume, we have our final list of contributors for issue 2 of Cherry Tree!

  • October 1

    Though we are knee-deep in submissions for issue 2, we have taken a brief break from reading new work to decide which six pieces from issue 1 to nominate for 2016 Pushcart Prizes. The nomination period runs each year from October 1 through December 1.

  • September 9

    Poems from Cherry Tree’s inaugural issue have been featured on the free daily poetry site, Verse Daily. Huzzah!


     

    Monday, August 31, 2015 on Verse Daily: 

    “Women Defending Castle with Bow and Crossbow,” by Christine Stewart-Nuñez. 

     

    Tuesday, September 1, 2015 on Verse Daily: 

    “[That],” by Leslie Harrison. 

     

    Friday, September 4, 2015 on Verse Daily: 

    “Kite,” by Dore Kiesselbach. 

     

    Tuesday, September 8, 2015 on Verse Daily: 

    “The Exotics,” by Kate Gaskin.

     

  • July 9

    From fall 2014 to spring 2015, the Literary House staff, with the help of book designer Jim Dissette ’71 and Chestertown artist Stuart Cawley, began assembling the newest fine press chapbook from Literary House Press, a short story by James Magruder.

    Magruder is a Baltimore-based fiction writer, playwright, and translator. His adaptations of works by Marivaux, Molière, Gozzi, Hofmannsthal, Lesage, and Dickens have been produced on and off-Broadway, across the country, and in Germany and Japan. His debut novel, Sugarless, was a Lambda Award finalist and shortlisted for the 2010 William Saroyan International Writing Prize. His linked story collection, Let Me See It, was published by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press in June 2014. He teaches dramaturgy at Swarthmore College.

    James MagruderJames MagruderFor this particular project, a darkly funny story called Worth Our Breath, we wanted to incorporate original illustrations that evoked an atmosphere we can only describe as “Edward Gorey goes to Baltimore.” Gorey’s iconic pen-and-ink line drawings of the gothic humorous are personal favorites of the Literary House Press staff and so they shaped our initial imaginings of this story visually. Luckily, local freelance artist Stuart Cawley, whose artistic style can also be described as Goreyesque, was up to this task.

    We gave Stu a copy of the short story and asked him to pick five scenes that he felt were ripe for illustrating. Finding these scenes wasn’t a difficult task; it was narrowing them down to just five that was the challenge. We don’t want to give away too much of the story here, so we’ll just describe the five illustrations and let you try to extrapolate possible plot and characters on your own (if you can). On the title page, you are greeted by a toothless black cat sitting cantankerously beside a large ceramic container in the shape of a molar. The second illustration appears on the first page of the story: a copy of the iconic Baltimore Sun spread out on a tabletop, the obituaries section laid on top, and a half-empty Café Hon coffee mug set on top of that. Rings of spilled coffee adorn the newspaper beneath. A few pages later, the third illustration is a Polaroid photo of a young girl, a toddler with her dark straight hair clipped back with a barrette. She is not smiling. In the middle of the book, the fourth illustration is a centerfold, a panoramic shot of a street full of Baltimore rowhouses and the blank sky above them. The final illustration is the bleakest of all. A bare mattress covered in old semen stains leaned against the wall of a dark, empty room lit by a bare bulb. The whole story is bookended by a close-up of this bare bulb.

    Stu’s pen-and-ink illustrations were turned into photopolymer plates for us by Boxcar Press. It is from these plates that we can letterpress print custom images that have not been carved in wood, linoleum, or stone. Thanks to the skills and design work of Jim Dissette (who also designed and printed Lost Originals in 2013), both the illustrations and the text turned out beautifully. The typeface of the book title and the decorative dropcaps scattered through the chapbook are another homage to illustrator Edward Gorey that help to set the visual tone of the story. It is a typeface called (believe it or not) Gorey that is taken from the extensive hand-lettering work on all of his books. All printing was done in-house by Jim on our Vandercook 4 Proof Press during the winter months of early 2015. Aside from the book’s interior pages, Jim also printed a ghosted image of the Baltimore rowhouses illustration on the cover papers.

    After the printing was completed, the Literary House Press staff went to work hand-tinting the illustrations in all 150 books in the edition. Our color palette for this project was shades of brown. Brown cover paper with a much lighter brown spine cloth and bronze embossing of the title and author name on the cover, brown endpapers, dark brown ink for the title on the title page and for each decorative dropcap. For the illustrations, we chose one piece of each to add a spot of color to with brown watercolor: the hinge on the cat’s tooth container, the coffee in the mug and the rings of spill on the newspaper, the barrette in the toddler’s hair, a couple of rowhouse windows, doors, and roof turrets, the semen stains on the mattress, and the metal base of the light bulb in our story bookends. This tedious but meditative watercolor work was undertaken by each staff member during the spring of 2015: Jehanne Dubrow (series editor), Lindsay Lusby (assistant editor), Owen Bailey (sales & marketing), and Nicolas Anstett (2015 Literary House Press Intern).

    Centerfold illustration from the finished letterpress edition.Centerfold illustration from the finished letterpress edition.

    The next step was to fold and collate all of the printed pages and endpapers into their chronological signatures in preparation for shipping them off to the Campbell-Logan Bindery in Minneapolis to be hand bound in hard cover. Once all parts arrived there, the binders sewed together our folded and collated signatures. They wrapped our printed cover papers around stiff book board and glued them into place, then wrapped and glued the spine cloth around them. Worth Our Breath by James Magruder was stamped onto the newly assembled covers in brass foil. Lastly the sewn books are glued into finished covers and kept under weight in a book press to flatten as they dry.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, two big, heavy boxes arrived at the Rose O’Neill Literary House. When we unpacked them, with the help of our 2015 Summer Interns Aliya Merhi and Ryan Manning, we discovered our beautiful, finished books in careful, even stacks. We have just completed the final design for the offset paperback edition of Worth Our Breath and sent it off to the printers. We should get those back in about a month.

    At its heart, Worth Our Breath is a love letter to the city of Baltimore from author James Magruder. The Literary House Press was so honored and thrilled to be able to bring this love into the world of print. To celebrate this book-birth, we will be holding an official book launch on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. at the Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. James will join us to read from the book, and this reading will be followed by a book sale and signing, as well as delicious refreshments. Please mark your calendars for this special occasion and join us for the release of the new letterpress chapbook from the Literary House Press!

     

  • July 3

    The editorial staff of Cherry Tree share the top book titles on their summer reading lists for 2015, before they all get back to reading submissions for issue 2 in August.

    Jehanne Dubrow

    1. Made in Detroit (poetry), by Marge Piercy

    2. Shells (poetry), by Craig Arnold

    3. The Scent of Desire (nonfiction), by Rachel Herz

     

    Lindsay Lusby

    1. Hausfrau (fiction), by Jill Alexander Essbaum

    2. She Has a Name (poetry), by Kamilah Aisha Moon

    3. Bone Map (poetry), by Sara Eliza Johnson

     

    James Allen Hall

    1. The Argonauts (nonfiction/autotheory), by Maggie Nelson

    2. How To Be Drawn (poetry), by Terrance Hayes

    3. Appetite (poetry), by Aaron Smith

     

    Kate Kostelnik

    1. The Goldfinch (fiction), by Donna Tartt

    2. Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century (nonfiction/scholarship), edited by Alexandra Peary & Tom C. Hunley

    3. Butch Geography (poetry), by Stacey Waite

     

    Owen Bailey

    1. Invisible Man (fiction), by Ralph Ellison

    2. The Color of Magic (fiction), by Terry Pratchett

    3. The Planets (nonfiction), by Dava Sobel

     

    Emma Sovich

    1. Mr. West (poetry), by Sarah Blake

    2. The Bone and the Body (poetry), by Laura Kochman

    3. It Had Been Planned and There Were Guides (fiction), by Jessica Lee Richardson

     

    Alex Vidiani

    1. Now That My Father Lies Down Beside Me (poetry), by Stanley Plumly

    2. Two Men Fighting with a Knife (poetry), by John Poch

    3. Lodgings, Selected Poems (poetry/translation), by Andrzej Sosnowski (translated by Benjamin Paloff)

     

  • July 2

    2015 Literary House Summer Intern Aliya Merhi ’16 writes about her experiences so far in field literary arts administration.

    When I was 17, I stumbled upon Christa Desir’s Twitter account.  She was a publicist at the time, and I began following her blog and sharing my interest in YA books with her.  As she began writing her own YA novels, I became one of her teen beta readers.  I was homeschooled at the time, and the focus of my life became reading and reviewing books.  After meeting Christa and the rest of the book blogging community, I decided that I wanted to enter the field of publishing.  I shared her excitement when she was picked up by an agent, and then when she signed to Simon Pulse.  She is now a romance editor and has published Fault Line and Blood Like Me, and her newest book, Other Broken Things,is coming out in January 2016. 

    As the Summer Literary House Intern, I have the opportunity to plan an event with my fellow intern Ryan Manning.  I began thinking about my interests and what type of talk I would like to hear given at the Literary House this year, and I realized that I could invite the writer who first introduced me to the field that I am centering my life around to give a talk and hear her insights on navigating the industry.

    Her immediate reply, “Yes!” to our invitation quickly set the planning stage in motion.  One of the first considerations of planning the event was the focus of the talk.  As a YA author, romance editor, rape victim activist, and podcaster, there is an array of topics she could center her talk around.  But The Oral History Podcast that she does with Carrie Mesrobian that is focused on sex and YA books gave me and Ryan the idea of asking her to talk about how to bridge the traditionally uncomfortable gap between young adults and sexuality in YA novels.

    My responsibilities this summer include preparing for the event on February 25th include collecting the information and paperwork as well as submitting event requests.  I am learning about the preparation necessary to host an event and even have the opportunity to perform those tasks that produce the events that I have been attending each semester.  Not only am I performing literary administrative work, but the work I am doing is centered on an event of my choosing where I have been able to invite an author that has inspired me and encouraged my love for books and publishing which led me to apply for this internship.

     

    So mark your calendars for this exciting event:

    Sex in YA: Authenticity, Agency, & How Far is Too Far               with Christa Desir

    Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. at the Rose O’Neill Literary House

     

     

     

  • June 24

    2015 Literary House Summer Intern Aliya Merhi ’16 writes about the many ways that Maureen Jacoby’s generous endowment has helped to create student opportunities in writing, editing, and publishing at the Rose O’Neill Literary House.

    In spring 2015, The Rose O’Neill Literary House hung a new plaque in its library in honor of Maureen Jacoby and the generous endowment she left to be administered by the Literary House. This fund is the reason I am able to write this post today while I am working as a Literary House Summer Intern. My internship this summer is entirely paid for by the Maureen Jacoby Fund and is the reason I have the opportunity to learn and to gain experience in the field of literary arts administration at Washington College before beginning my senior year.

    The Maureen Jacoby Fund’s mission is to support student internships, professional endeavors, and individually created projects in the fields of publishing, editing, and writing. The resources for English majors at Washington are the primary reason I chose to attend this school, and the Maureen Jacoby Fund supports an incredibly large portion of the opportunities at the Literary House. 

    The fund supports the Literary House Summer Internships, the Literary House Press Internship, and the Cherry Tree Production Internship. In addition, there are the Jacoby Endowment Grants that, each academic year, are awarded to 2-3 students for up to $1000 each in support of individual projects in writing, editing, and publishing. Recently, this grant program was expanded to offer funding assistance for graduating students as they pay fees for MFA and MA applications. The operation of the Print Shop is supported by the fund and is the way you might have taken the free letterpress and book arts workshops taught by Mike Kaylor at the Print Shop on Tuesday and Thursday nights each semester. This is where the annual broadside series and the yearly budget for printing and bookmaking supplies come from. My copies of Cherry Tree and The Book of Scented Things as well as other publishing and book projects are made possible by the fund that covers the printing costs. Each of these projects also involves multiple opportunities for student participation in professional literary editing and publishing at each step of the process.

    The array of opportunities for students available at the Literary House is encouraged and made possible by the Maureen Jacoby Fund. Today I have the chance to plan a literary event of my choice and invite an author and publisher that I have admired to give a talk at Washington College. Today there is a new plaque in the Literary House in honor of the financial assistance that the Maureen Jacoby Fund provides that allows students to pursue their passions in the literary field. 

  • May 15

    The Stump is a new feature of the Cherry Tree website, where you can listen to audio recordings of contributors reading their work aloud.

     

    Earlier this spring, we decided to ask our inaugural issue contributors to record themselves reading their pieces from the issue for us to post on the Cherry Tree website. Since we are a print-only publication, our editor thought that this would be a wonderful way to share free samples of the issue and for readers to experience that work in a different light. You get to hear the writer’s voice. You get to hear how the writer intended the work to be read. You get feel closer to the writer whose work you admire. 

    The Stump is a platform where our fantastic contributors can stand to read their work to a wider web audience. Right now, our Stump line-up is Juliana Gray, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Matthew Lippman, and Pamela Hart. We will add even more recordings in the months to come. Maybe, if you are intrigued enough by the pieces you hear, you will even decide to subscribe to Cherry Tree

    So grab a seat by the stump. Dig your toes into the warm grass. Close your eyes. Listen up.

     

  • May 1

    The Rose O’Neill Literary House has named the winner of the 2016 Mary Wood Fellowship, poet Nicky Beer.

    In April 2016, we will host poet Nicky Beer for a 3-day residency as our 2016 Mary Wood Fellow. The Mary Wood Fellowship is a nationwide competition and Nicky was selected from a pool of more than 60 outstanding applicants. As part of her duties while in-residence, Nicky will hold one-on-one meetings with a select group of female student-poets. She will also participate in two public events, giving a craft talk and a reading from her poetry.

    Nicky Beer is the author of The Octopus Game (Carnegie Mellon UP, 2015) and The Diminishing House (Carnegie Mellon UP, 2010), winner of the 2010 Colorado Book Award for Poetry. Her awards include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. She is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver, where she also co-edits the literary journal Copper Nickel
    The Mary Wood Fellowship at The Rose O’Neill Literary House is awarded biennially to an emerging female writer—in poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction—who has published one book. The Fellowship enables female creative writing students at Washington College to work with and learn from successful female writers like Shara Lessley, Laura van den Berg, Hannah Tinti, and Irina Reyn, who spend five days on campus. Eastern Shore author Mary Wood, whose support makes the fellowship possible, is a ’68 graduate of the College and a former member of its Board of Visitors and Governors. 
  • April 24

    At the 2015 Senior Reading, the Rose O’Neill Literary House announced this year’s winners of three annual student creative writing prizes: The Literary House Genre Fiction Prize, The William W. Warner Prize for Creative Writing on Nature and the Environment, and The Jude & Miriam Pfister Poetry Prize.

    The Literary House Genre Fiction Prize is a prize awarded to a Washington College undergraduate for the best work of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or horror. The winner receives a cash prize of $500.

    This year’s prize was awarded to junior Nick Anstett for his short story, “Geoffrey.” 

     

    The William W. Warner Prize is awarded to the Washington College undergraduate who shows the greatest aptitude for writing about nature and the environment. This prize is named for, and was endowed in the honor of, William W. Warner, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay, based on his experiences living and working among crab fishermen on the Chesapeake. According to Mr. Warner’s wishes, the judges will give preference to—but will in no way limit their consideration to—students who write about the natural history of our Atlantic Littoral, from the Canadian Arctic to the Gulf of Florida. The winner receives a cash prize of $1,000.

    This year’s Warner Prize was awarded to senior Val Dunn for her piece, “Pick Your Own Apples.” 

     

    The Jude & Miriam Pfister Poetry Prize was created through the Academy of American Poets, one of the nation’s most influential poetry organizations, and is administered through the Washington College Department of English and the Rose O’Neill Literary House. The prize is awarded to a Washington College undergraduate for a single poem and the winner receives a cash prize of $100 and a certificate from the Academy of American Poets.

    This year’s Pfister Poetry Prize was awarded to senior Val Dunn for her poem “Developing a Photograph of the American Romance.” Honorable Mention for the Pfister Prize was awarded to senior Alex Vidiani for his poem “Theology.”

     

    We offer our most sincere congratulations to this year’s prize winners for their fine writing!

     

    The Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College serves as one of the cultural centers of campus, bringing together students, faculty, alumni, and local community members from across the disciplines. Our literary programming provides access to a wide variety of genres, including fiction, poetry,  creative nonfiction, scholarly prose, playwriting, and hybrid forms; our letterpress studio and Literary House Press introduce participants both to old and new technologies. We are dedicated to promoting the articulated word and to supporting students through professional, on-the-job training.

  • April 6

    The Rose O’Neill Literary House has awarded this year’s Cave Canem Residency to Kamilah Aisha Moon.

    In June 2015, the Rose O’Neill Literary House will welcome Kamilah to Chestertown for a month-long writer’s retreat. She was selected from this year’s pool of applicants as the winner of the Literary House’s 2015 Cave Canem Summer Residency

    While most of her time will be spent working on her own writing projects and quietly exploring the town, Kamilah will also be a part of our second Summer Poetry Salon on Tuesday, June 23 at 4:30PM, sharing the stage with poet Vandana Khanna.

    A recipient of fellowships to the Cave Canem Foundation, the Prague Summer Writing Institute, the Fine Arts Work Center Walker Fellowship and the Vermont Studio Center, Kamilah Aisha Moon’s work has been featured widely, including in Harvard Review, jubilatPoem-A-Day for the Academy of American Poets,Oxford AmericanCallaloo, Villanelles,and Gathering Ground. A Pushcart Prize winner, she was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Audre Lorde Award from the Publishing Triangle. Moon holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and is the author of She Has a Name (Four Way Books).

    The Cave Canem Summer Residency at The Rose O’Neill Literary House is a partnership with Cave Canem, the nation’s preeminent organization for young African American poets. Cave Canem’s mission is to serve as “a home for the many voices of African American poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets.” Our Cave Canem Summer Residency is a month-long Chestertown retreat offered annually to one outstanding former Cave Canem Fellow. Previous Summer Residents include poets Yona Harvey in 2013, Kevin Vaughn in 2012, and Arisa White in 2011. 

     

    The Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College serves as one of the cultural centers of campus, bringing together students, faculty, alumni, and local community members from across the disciplines. Our literary programming provides access to a wide variety of genres, including fiction, poetry,  creative nonfiction, scholarly prose, playwriting, and hybrid forms; our letterpress studio and Literary House Press introduce participants both to old and new technologies. We are dedicated to promoting the articulated word and to supporting students through professional, on-the-job training.

  • March 30

    2015 Literary House Press Intern Nicolas Anstett describes his struggle as a writer with dysgraphia and how that struggle came to a head in his work with the Literary House Press.

    I think there is a point in almost every young writer’s life where they attempt some form of transcendentalism. They trudge into the local woods, bushwhacking their way through low hanging branches and curling vines, and plop themselves down beneath an aging oak or elm with a pad of paper and a pen. There’s an inner romantic within most emerging poets or writers and what better way to find it? I was no different. I made several attempts to live this adolescent creative fantasy, but instead often trudged back with a notebook filled with unintelligible scribbles.

    I was diagnosed with dysgraphia in second grade. At the time the learning disorder, which affects fine motor skills (handwriting in particular), did not seem to be a huge encroachment upon my life. In hindsight, I have the utmost respect for my elementary school teachers who likely had to decipher what was the equivalent of foreign calligraphy.  Now as a student actively pursuing a future in the creative written word, dysgraphia looms over me like an annoying pet monkey. The onset of digital typing software has softened the blow, but my hopes of achieving true transcendentalism may have to wait.

    With my experience at the Literary House Press intern, I try to remain in high spirits and approach things with a sense of humor. I recognize that my clumsy attempts to apply packing tape and wrapping paper to outgoing books often seems like it’s been applied by a hyperactive five year old. It’s good to laugh at yourself especially if you accidentally cover your own hands in packing tape. However, nothing could have described my abject horror to discovering that I would have to spend a full week of my time here applying water colors to the upcoming letterpress book Worth Our Breath. Worth Our Breath, due out for release this October, features an original short story by fiction writer, playwright, and translator James Magruder and original pen-and-ink illustrations by Stuart Cawley.  Like all of the Press’s original letterpress books, this book is a gorgeous work of handcrafted book making. The thought of my lending watercolors to these works of art triggered memories of soaked and paint blended grade school art class projects.

    However, as I sat down and began to apply strokes of muted brown to the tops of urban Baltimore rooftops, hair bands, and stained mattresses everything soon melted away. While I won’t say that my work was immaculate, I found the repetition of minimalistic art oddly soothing and even entrancing. Despite my fears, I was able to add a tangible contribution each book. It’s the handcrafted randomness that ultimately makes Worth Our Breath and the rest of the Press’s letterpress books and broadsides such valuable productions. Every volume is unique in its own way. In one I mixed the brown too softly and it’s a barely visible transition from color into its absence. In another the contrast is clear and dynamic, and I may have even over done it. What began as a task that frightened evolved into an inner dialogue of self-competition to try and find that “Goldilocks zone” of color and art.

    Sometimes we forget that there is more to transcendental theory than sitting beneath an aging tree with a notebook and a fountain pen. In its most basic sense it’s an embracing of the sensations in simple human experience. It’s the moment of quiet tranquility in bypassing the mental roadblocks between thought and hand to help create something beautiful. Even if that something is applying dabs of brown water color to a stained mattress somewhere in a forgotten apartment in the streets of Baltimore. 

  • March 26

    Cherry Tree and the Literary House Press are counting down to the 2015 AWP Conference & Bookfair, which this year will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota from April 8-11. We will be at the Rose O’Neill Literary House table in the Bookfair: table 1724.


    Last year at this time, we were still in the planning stages for our brand-new national literary journal Cherry Tree. We brought flyers with us to the 2014 Conference in Seattle that we handed out at the Rose O’Neill Literary House table in the Bookfair, detailing our mission statement and when we would open for our first round of general submissions. Cherry Tree was just an idea then, with no tangible presence.

    But this year will be a big one for us at the AWP Conference. This year Cherry Tree is a real thing. This year we have shelves full of gorgeous copies of our Inaugural Issue. This year we have a pretty and practical Cherry Tree tote bag for accessorizing swag. And this is a hefty tote bag. Planning to buy 100 pounds of books during the Bookfair? You can fit 38 copies of Cherry Tree’s inaugural issue in this beautiful canvas tote (seriously, I just checked). 

    At table 1724 in the AWP Bookfair in the Minneapolis Convention Center, we will have the following special Conference-only offers:

    • Special AWP Offer: $10 ea. for copies of the inaugural issue (normally $14 one-year subscription price)
    • Buy a two-year subscription, get a free tote bag! Two-year subscriptions are only $25, and include the inaugural issue & our upcoming 2016 issue. Tote bags will also be sold individually at $12 ea.

    We will also have all of our other Literary House Press book and broadside publications, including the new perfume-inspired poetry anthology The Book of Scented Things

    But the cherry on top of this year’s Conference will be the official Cherry Tree Launch Party we are hosting on Thursday, April 9 at 7:00PM at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, 1300 Nicollet Mall. We will be celebrating the release of the inaugural issue of our brand-new literary journal in style with readings by contributors Juliana Gray, Dore Kiesselbach, Bruce Snider, and Laura Madeline Wiseman! There will also be a generous spread of tasty refreshments (including an open bar), a sale & signing of the issue, and good literary conversation. We would like to invite all of you to join us for this very special event, if you can make it! If you can, please RSVP to me at llusby2@washcoll.edu.

    We are gearing up for an incredible AWP Conference in Minneapolis. Please come out to see us and say hello!

     

     

  • March 17

    He reads from his work and talks about his translations of Polish poetry when he visits the Literary House on March 17.

    CHESTERTOWN, MD— The poet and translator Benjamin Paloff will give a reading and talk at Washington College on Tuesday, March 17, as part of the series, “What’s Found in Translation.” The event begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Rose O’Neill Literary House, 407 Washington Avenue, and is free and open to the public. 

    Paloff’s forthcoming collection of original poems, And His Orchestra, will be published soon by Carnegie Mellon University Press. He published his first collection, The Politics: Poems, in 2011. His most recent translations include Lodgings by Andrzej Sosnowski (2011) and Transparent by Marek Bienczyk (2012).

    In an interview for the California Journal of Poetics, he said with characteristic humor, “I have to admit that I do sometimes find myself delighting in a particular verbal gesture that will pose a special problem to someone translating it into another language … Perhaps this is how translators stick it to their friends.” 

    Paloff earned a Ph.D. in Slavic Language and Literature from Harvard University and a M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Michigan, where he now teaches. He also serves as poetry editor of Boston Review and writes about the craft of poetry for The Nation Magazine.  He has received fellowships from Poland’s Book Institute (2010), the National Endowment for the Arts (2009-2010), and the Michigan Society of Fellows (2007-2010). 

    The Literary House Press will publish a commemorative broadside to celebrate Paloff’s visit. Copies of the broadside and his work will be available for sale and signing after the reading.

     

  • March 16

    2015 Literary House Press Intern Nick Anstett writes about the intersection of creative writing and business in the world of literary editing and publishing.

    If you drew up a classic grade-school-style Venn diagram of qualities possessed by both Washington College’s English and Business departments the one aspect you would find resting in the center of the overlap is applicability. While you may be reading Faulkner or a case study on the international business efforts of Heineken, what both programs are truly seeking to instill in students is real world applicability of critical thinking and skill.

    As an English Major with a double minor in Creative Writing and Business, I’ve been on a collision course with the world of publishing for much of my academic career. The world of literary publications draws upon numerous skills that I’ve learned through business courses such as marketing, but also allows for a ground-level view of the evolution of a new era of literature.

    Through the Literary Editing and Publishing special topics class taught by Jehanne Dubrow, Director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House and founding editor of Cherry Tree, I was first able to dabble in the merging of both fields. Literary Editing and Publishing brought the contemporary market into perspective in a way that was both comprehensive and intriguing.

    Now through my position as the Literary House Press Intern, I have taken my first plunge in. I could not have picked a better time to do so. Fresh off the release of their first trade paperback, The Book of Scented Things, and just a week away from releasing the inaugural issue of the national literary magazine Cherry Tree, Literary House Press was a bustle of excitement and activity. It wasn’t long before I found myself in direct correspondence with Best American selected poets and writers and found myself working through the trials and tribulations of a small independent press.

    After the fervor and excitement of Cherry Tree’s launch, I found myself working more and more in attempts to help market the magazine to be the most successful that it can be. Many of these projects involved extensive research and forced me to explore creative new outlets to create notice for what I believe is a truly exceptional grouping of literature. (Which I also had the pleasure of critiquing in an original critical essay for the Literary House blog.)

    The Literary House Press has given me an invaluable experience that has allowed me to use the skills and talents that I have honed through my education at Washington College in a professional setting. Whether it’s through organization of new marketing projects for the press’s books, running different aspects of social media, corresponding with established writers, or simply carrying boxes filled with journals hot off the presses, I am getting my hands dirty in a way that is both entertaining and informative. I cannot wait to see what the rest of my semester brings. 

  • March 2

    First to fill the semester long residency will be fiction writer Roy Kesey, a 1991 alumnus of Washington College.

    CHESTERTOWN, MD—Fiction writer Roy Kesey ’91 will spend the fall semester on the Washington College campus as the first Sophie Kerr/Rose O’Neill Literary House Writer-in-Residence. He will teach a class in creative writing, hold office hours at the Literary House to mentor students, and offer a public reading and a public talk about the writer’s art and craft.

    In announcing the new Writer-in-Residence program, Literary House Director Jehanne Dubrow explained that it will host a writer once every three years, always in the fall semester. “This new residency will offer students more opportunities to engage with an established creative writer in a sustained and meaningful way,” she said. “It will add diversity to the creative writing offerings and bring additional points of view to the literary conversation taking place on our campus” 

    When Kesey launches the Sophie Kerr/Rose O’Neill Literary House Writer-in-Residence program this fall, he will teach a special topics course titled “Creative Writing Workshop: Non/Fiction.”  English Department Chair Kathryn Moncrief says the course will use both classic and contemporary texts to study “the borderlands between fiction and nonfiction, an area inhabited by writers as varied as Thucydides, Cervantes, Virginia Woolf and Mary Karr,” and that students will explore the ways in which “fiction can steal tricks from nonfiction, and vice-versa.”   

    The residency is funded by the Sophie Kerr endowment, the Rose O’Neill Literary House and the office of the Provost. There is no application process; writers will be selected by the Department of English and the director of the Literary House. 

    Roy Kesey is author, most recently, of the short story collection Any Deadly Thing (Dzanc Books 2013) and the novel Pacazo (Dzanc Books 2011/Jonathan Cape 2012). His other books include the short story collection All Over, the novella Nothing in the World, and a historical guidebook to the city of Nanjing. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship, the Paula Anderson Book Award, and the Bullfight Media Little Book Award. His short stories, essays, translations and poems have appeared in more than a hundred magazines and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories and New Sudden Fiction. Kesey earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Washington College in 1991.

  • February 23

    RESCHEDULED for Monday, February 23. The Rose O’Neill Literary House hosts Danielle Corsetto to talk about the art and business of web comics.

    CHESTERTOWN, MD—The creator of the online comic series Girls with Slingshots visits the Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College Monday, February 23, to talk about the art and business of web comics. Danielle Corsetto, who has entertained hundreds of thousands of readers online since 2004, will speak at 4:30 p.m. at the Lit House, 407 Washington Avenue.  The event, originally scheduled for February 17 but rescheduled because of weather, is free and open to the public. 

    Danielle Corsetto’s love of cartoon strips was nurtured early on when her grandfather read “Garfield” and “Peanuts” to her.  She started writing her own strips at age 8. After graduating from Shepherd College with a BFA in photography and digital imaging, she started Girls with Slingshots as a black-and-white comic published twice a week. A decade later, the strip appears in color five times a week and is compiled in books published by TopatoCo. 

    Girls With Slingshots revolves around two twenty-something women, Hazel and Jamie, and their adventures with friends, including a cactus named McPedro. The web-comic series focuses on ideas of romance, career struggles, friendships, and sexuality. Corsetto says the style of Girls with Slingshots is “more realistic and less stereotypical. All the characters have these unusual relationships, both romantic and platonic … that are not what you would find in, say, a sitcom, but it’s written like a sitcom. I’m trying to normalize these things that are taboo.” 

    More than 100,000 people visit www.girlswithslingshots.com on a daily basis to read the latest installment. Corsetto has also written several books and original graphic novels (OGNs). Her fifth OGN for Adventure Time will be published this March.  

    This event was organized by Rose O’Neill Literary House 2014 summer interns Julie Armstrong ’15 and Ryan Manning ’17. Already fans of Corsetto’s webcomic, they were eager to bring her to campus to share her quick wit and humor.  For more information about this lecture and other Rose O’Neill Literary House events and programs, call (410) 778-7899 or email llusby2@washcoll.edu.

    – Kaitlyn Fowler ’17

     

  • February 13

    Literary House Press Intern, Nicolas Anstett, takes an analytical look at the inaugural issue of Cherry Tree: A National Literary Journal @ Washington College. The issue will be released on February 15, 2015.

    George Washington stares blankly back at you through the cover of the inaugural issue of Cherry Tree. Trapped within the confines of a crinkled one-dollar bill, Washington sits captured in American iconography. It is hard to think of a more fitting cover for Cherry Tree’s first foray into the national literary landscape. It simultaneously captures the many elements that make this magazine and inaugural issue so unique: a commitment to history, creation and evolution of the American myth, the mundane and personal, but also the lyrically beautiful. Through the works of an eclectic grouping of writers Cherry Tree has created something personal, but also carries with it the weight of truth and myth.

    Cherry Tree’s inaugural issue almost reads like a three act play, separating itself into interconnected but thematically different acts. It begins with a celebration of past and text. Leslie Harrison, Christine Stewart-Nuñez, and Moira Egan structure lyric ekphrastic poems engaged with the writings of Emily Dickinson and a watercolor painting by Madeline Ritz, illuminated manuscripts, and the paintings of Suzanne Valadon. Similarly, Anna Journey constructs her lyric nonfiction essay “On the Back of a Flying Fish, Dear Sister” as an examination of found text, in this case a postcard shared between two women. Like the dollar it adorns on its cover, Cherry Tree begins with an exchange of artifacts that allow for a human examination of the past and the emotions hidden in words and image.

    From here, Cherry Tree transitions into its second act: a formation of the American myth through pop culture and contemporary pathos. It slices its way into the proceedings with Gabrielle Hovendon’s unnerving piece of magical realist fiction, “When We Were Dissected.” Here Phoebe Reeves, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Matthew Lippman, and Bruce Snider intersect ruminations on gender, cultural protest, workplace boredom, and parenthood with images of fast food chains, digitally-rendered monsters, Nicholas Sparks, and sperm banks. John Vanderslice’s work of fiction “Something for Dinner” surrounds race, religion, class, and post-colonialism in a disarming local tourist trap that helps further Cherry Tree’s regional identity. It’s a creation of the contemporary American myth that adds the smudged fingerprints and torn edges to the green paper cover.

    Through Betty Jo Buro’s nonfiction essay concerning pregnancy and the tribulations of motherhood “The Road from Emmaus,” the texts transition into the issue’s final act. Here the lyricism of the early works combines with the grit and immediacy of its second act to create a blend of personal but stylistically musical works of nonfiction and poetry. Julie Marie Wade examines the relationship between her mother and her visual impairment in “Lazy Eye.” Jericho Brown’s “Atlantis” views his experience with gender politics through the lens of New Orleans. In the end, Charlie Clark’s “Dead American Christmas Ghazal” closes us out, proclaiming, “It is difficult to picture the dead as nothing / Even this long after they are gone.”

    Cherry Tree is a socially and lyrically aware furthering of the American myth and follows suit on its mission statement of finding truth. Like currency, it passes its baton through dozens of writers of varying sex, gender, race, class, and literary schooling. The result is something that impresses through craft, emotion, and humanity. 

     

    Want to read the issue for yourself? Subscribe here!
     

    Nicolas Anstett is the 2015 Literary House Press Intern at the Rose O’Neill Literary House. He will be joining the Cherry Tree staff as a student screener for its second issue, beginning in August 2015.

     

     

     

  • September 18

    On October 7, 2014, the Literary House Press will launch its first trade paperback, an anthology of brand-new work called The Book of Scented Things: 100 Contemporary Poems about Perfume, co-edited by Jehanne Dubrow and Lindsay Lusby.

    Poets from across the country signed on to participate in this unusual writing experiment. Once each poet agreed, Jehanne, the resident perfumista, chose a specific scent from a designer perfume house, picking a fragrance which seemed compatible with what she knew of that particular writer: personality, writing style, recurring subjects, themes, or motifs. Each contributor was instructed to compose a poem in response to his/her individually selected vial of perfume: “The poem can be an interpretation of the scent, a memory, a series of associations, or some entirely different kind of interaction with the fragrance. You can wear the perfume or sprinkle it on your pillow or just sniff the scent in its glass vial—whatever works best for your process.”

    In the coming months, the poems that Jehanne and Lindsay received explored the spectrum of human experience and poetic subject matter: ars poeticas, poems about place and childhood, poems about scent and philosophy, poems about love and longing and grief. Instead of collecting poems primarily about perfume, the editors found themselves gathering together a diverse assortment of pieces that used scent as a way into various subjects, narratives waiting to be written, waiting to be triggered by the memory-laden sense of smell.

    During the winter and spring months of 2014, Literary House Press Intern Samantha Gross joined the team—working many hours with Jehanne and Lindsay in the designing, proofing, and finalizing of the completed book. This was a labor-intensive and extremely detail-oriented process that, after many drafts, ended with the lush printed book. No, it is not scratch and sniff. Sorry about that. But it has a strikingly stark and beautiful cover designed by Carla Echevarria, a preface essay by Coming to My Senses author Alyssa Harad in which she draws together the various inherent connections between perfume and poetry, and, of course, 100 brand-new poems from accomplished contemporary American poets. In the back of the book is a section of “Contributors’ & Matchmaking Notes” in which, following a brief biographical note, each poet’s perfume-pairing is listed.

    The first critical review of The Book of Scented Things came from poet Claire Trévien at Sabotage Reviews, who herself headed a very similar pair of UK-based perfume-poetry micro-anthologies, Penning Perfumes. Trévien says, “[T]here is no need to convince me on the logic of pairing perfume and poetry, but for anyone in doubt, both the introduction by Dubrow, and the preface by Alyssa Harad tease out the benefits of pairing two art forms some might qualify as niche or irrelevant.” Reviews have also begun coming in from some popular perfume blogs, including Bois de Jasmin and independent perfumer Ayala Moriel’s Smelly Blog.

    Finally, after months of intense anticipation and loving preparation, The Book of Scented Things will be presented to the reading and sniffing world at its home launch party. On October 7 at 4:30 p.m. at the Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College, the Press will release this new poetry anthology with a celebratory reading featuring five regional contributors—Sandra Beasley, Meredith Davies Hadaway, James Allen Hall, Leslie Harrison, and Shara Lessley—and both co-editors, the unveiling of a commemorative letterpress broadside, a raffle for a bottle of Chanel No. 5 Eau Première, and an assortment of black-and-white treats from JoJo’s Cupcakes and Cream and bubbly drinks. It should be a dazzling evening for all of your senses. The Press will follow up this special event with an encore presentation in Washington, DC—a second book launch event to be held at the Arts Club of Washington on October 29 at 7:00 p.m.

    The Book of Scented Things will be available for purchase in select independent bookstores and online at Small Press Distribution