‘Still Life with Horses’ Nominated as Finalist for the Midwest Independent Publishing Association Award

Still Life with Horses, winner of the Howling Bird Press 2017 Nonfiction Prize, has been nominated as a finalist for the Midwest Independent Publishing Association Award in the category of Autobiography/Memoir. For author Jean Harper, the success of her memoir has been a long process that began with the death of one her best friends; a horse named Buddy. In a recent interview with the online literary blog The Review Review, Harper said that “when you love an animal it’s almost a primal thing. You speak in ways beyond language, through the body; so when you’re writing about that animal, it’s as though the whole body is writing. It’s exhausting; it’s exhilarating.”

A prolific writer, Harper’s first book is titled Rose City: A Memoir of Work. Her essays have appeared in The Florida Review, North American Review, Iowa Review, Harpur Palate, Yemasee Review, and elsewhere. She also teaches writing and literature at Indiana University East. When asked about the her process of writing Still Life with Horses, Harper said that at first “it was a big bloated mess of a draft, but that’s how I like to work:  have something to edit.”

Throughout the interview, Harper emphasized that all writers go through the same process of getting stuck, getting rejected, searching for the right word, and endlessly fiddling with the same paragraph, but added, “you have company. You are a real writer.” She went on to express gratitude for mentoring provided by editors and the networks created by literary journals. Harper stated that, “a good editor is such a fantastic learning experience for a writer.”

Perhaps the greatest takeaway from the interview with Harper was her commitment to her craft. As Harper stated, “I’m paying attention all the time; I’m writing it down on paper all the time.” When asked about her nonfiction characters, Harper expressed the need to “get it right” and to be truthful and honest. But ultimately, she said, her “allegiance is to the story.”

 The full interview by Tanya Perkins and posted by The Review Review is found at: A Chat with Memoirist Jean Harper. Harper’s book, Still Life with Horses is published by Howling Bird Press and distributed through Small Press Distribution.   
Print Friendly

Jean Harper speaks about love, resiliency and persistence

Click on image to listen to podcast

Jean Harper’s book may be inspired by the depths of a friendship she formed with a horse, but you don’t need to be a horse-lover to find meaning in this book. If you’ve ever been in a dead-end relationship, found yourself in a stagnant place when you yearned to grow, or tolerated someone simply because it was easier than making a difficult change, this book will speak to you.

Harper says once you find the capacity to love deeply, you will always have that ability. When you are doing something you believe in, whether it be writing a story that needs to be told, learning to ride a horse, or learning to love, keep doing it and your experience will pay off. This is perhaps why Harper never gave up on telling the story of Still Life with Horses. She knew it had to be told and that it had the capacity to inspire others. Listen to her interview and then pick up this life-changing book!

Direct link to podcast

 

 

Print Friendly

Howling Bird Press at the 2018 AWP in Tampa, Florida

Howling Bird Press was proudly represented at the 2018 Conference for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) in Tampa, Florida. The annual event, which regularly includes more than 12,000 attendees, 2,000 presenters, and 550 readings, is the premier national conference for the field of publishing.

Learn more about AWP:  https://www.awpwriter.org/awp_conference/overview.

This year, Howling Bird Press was among over 800 exhibitors at the bookfair, which lasted the length of the conference: March 7 to 10. The bookfair included major commercial publishers alongside independent literary journals and presses, writing programs, and literary arts organizations. In addition to the bookfair, the conference featured experts in writing, editing, and publishing.

The Howling Bird Press exhibit was attended by past and current students as well as Program Director Stephan Clark, Associate Director Lindsay Starck, and Howling Bird Publisher Jim Cihlar.  Signing books were 2016 and 2017 Howling Bird Prize winners Jacob M. Appel and Jean Harper.

Print Friendly

Howling Bird Press Fiction Contest Opens April 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2018

Fiction Prize Howling Bird Press Press Release

Fiction Flyer Howling Bird Press

 

Howling Bird Press Fiction Contest Opens April 1
Augsburg University’s student publishing house welcomes manuscripts

MINNEAPOLIS, March 1, 2018 — Howling Bird Press, the publishing house of Augsburg University’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing, seeks submissions for its 2019 National Fiction Book Prize.

“Howling Bird Press is a proud literary publisher in the Twin Cities, a metropolitan area recognized as a center of literature and the arts. Founded in 2014, we are happy to contribute our voice to the national conversation by publishing books of consequence,” said Jim Cihlar, publisher of Howling Bird Press.

Previous Howling Bird Press Prize Winners

  • KateLynn Hibbard, Simples, poetry, 2018
  • Jean Harper, Still Life with Horses, nonfiction, 2017
  • Jacob Appel, The Topless Widow of Herkimer Street, fiction, 2016
  • Marci Vogel, At the Border of Wilshire and Nobody, poetry, 2015

The competition is open to all writers in English, whether published or unpublished. The author of the winning manuscript receives a cash award of $1,000 and book publication. Augsburg MFA faculty and students will serve as contest judges.

Jean Harper, 2017 winner of nonfiction prize recently said, “The graduate students at Howling Bird Press were fantastic to work with, as was Jim Cihlar who led the editing process. I think most helpful was the attention to the various story lines that wind through the book; the editing focused on making sure story lines were consistent, coherent, and maintained. It really came down to small tinkerings here and there, which made all the difference.”

Contest Guidelines

Published books from previous winners can be found at Howling Bird Press’s website, http://engage.augsburg.edu/howlingbird/books/.

Follow our news updates at Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/howlingbirdpress/.
Subscribe to our Twitter feed, https://twitter.com/HowlingBirdPrs.

###

About Howling Bird Press
Howling Bird Press is a student run publishing house at Augsburg University located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The press launched in 2014, is located at www.augsburg.edu/mfais part of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. If you need additional information please contact Jim Cihlar, Publisher, at Howling Bird Press at 612-210-2656 or by email at cihlar@augsburg.edu.

Print Friendly

Still Life with Horses Makes SPD Nonfiction Bestseller List

Still Life with Horses Makes SPD Nonfiction Bestseller List

The Howling Bird Press Nonfiction Prize Winner for 2017, Still Life with Horses by Jean Harper, made the Small Press Distribution Nonfiction Bestseller list for October–December 2017. This candid and poignant memoir chronicles the quest to live ethically while navigating a changing personal and professional landscape. Within the story of a relationship with a beloved horse, Harper explores how animals can keep us grounded when humans fail us. Set in the Midwestern Rust Belt, the book gives a timely and telling glimpse into rural, working class America.

Please click on image to enlarge.  SPD Nonfiction Bestsellers, October- December 2017
View complete listing for SPD Nonfiction Bestsellers

Recently, Howling Bird Press editor Jannet Walsh talked to Harper about this honor and the experience of working with a teaching press like Howling Bird.

During the editing process for my book, Still Life with Horses, I found myself having a new appreciation for great editors,” said Jean Harper.

“The students at Howling Bird Press were fantastic to work with, as was Jim Cihlar who led the editing process. I think most helpful was the attention to the various story lines that wind through the book; the editing focused on making sure story lines were consistent, coherent, and maintained. It really came down to small tinkerings here and there, which made all the difference.”

“For me as a writer this has renewed my focus on the small things, and how each detail is like a star in a constellation; you miss one star, or don’t focus on it, and the constellation loses its overall coherence and lucidity. Good editors help you think about that both in the editing stages, and then, internalizing that, when you are making something new.”

Located in Berkeley, California, Small Press Distribution specializes in helping independent publishers and writers with distribution, information services and public advocacy programs, focused on small publishers.

Howling Bird Press is a student-run publishing house at Augsburg University located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The press launched in 2014 and is part of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Augsburg University: www.augsburg.edu/mfa

Find Still Life with Horses online and at your local independent bookstore!
Book page for Still Life with Horses at SPD

Still Life with Horses at Howling Bird Press
View Howling Bird Press books

 

 

 

 

Print Friendly

KateLynn Hibbard Wins 2018 Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize

Howling Bird Press has awarded the 2018 poetry prize to Simples by KateLynn Hibbard of St. Paul, Minnesota. The press will publish the book in November 2018, and Hibbard receives a $1,000 prize. Hibbard’s work was chosen in a national competition among more than one-hundred submissions.

Hibbard based Simples on extensive research into the history of women’s experiences on the American prairie during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Simples uses free verse and poetic form and persona to examine the lives of settlers and indigenous women against the backdrop of the Great Plains, with close attention to flora and fauna as well as the goods and materials of daily life. This unblinking look at a historical moment examines hardships both endured and inflicted.

“I started to get in touch with the fact that women’s voices and women’s experiences in this period of history and really in all periods of history have not been voiced as much as I think they should be,” Hibbard says. In Simples, she invites readers to experience the historical struggles of women in a way that is much more accessible than a textbook account.

KateLynn Hibbard’s first book of poems, Sleeping Upside Down, won the Gerald Cable Book Award and was published by Silverfish Review Press in March 2006. Her second book, Sweet Weight, came from Tiger Bark Press in 2012. She edited the anthology When We Become Weavers: Queer Female Poets on the Midwestern Experience for Squares and Rebels Press. Hibbard is a professor at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, where she teaches creative writing, composition, and women’s studies. She earned her MFA from the University of Oregon and her MA in Women’s History from the University of Madison. Her awards include the Gerald Cable Book Award, the Astraea Foundation’s Lesbian Writing Finalist Award, a McKnight Artist Fellowship in Poetry, two Minnesota State Arts Board Initiative Grants, a Jerome Foundation Travel Grant, and residencies at Hedgebrook and the Cornucopia Arts Council.

Augsburg University’s student-run Howling Bird Press issues a nationwide call for submissions on an annual basis. Prior to awarding the 2018 Howling Bird Prize to Hibbard, Howling Bird’s editorial board reviewed over 130 manuscripts submitted by writers at all levels of expertise, from beginning poets to well-established authors. Each manuscript was fully read and carefully considered, and the editorial board engaged in extensive discussion about the submissions with Creative Writing faculty members who are also published authors before selecting the winner. Simples was one of five finalists, and the others are:

  • The Window, Which Cannot Help But Take Sides, by Jeanne Wagner, of Kensington, California
  • A Quarrel of Atoms, by Kathy Ackerman, of Rutherfordton, North Carolina
  • Bone Loss, by Kathryn Gullickson, of Northridge, California
  • Weather and Other Important Topics, by Carolyn Schueller, of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

Howling Bird Press publisher Jim Cihlar said, “We had more than 130 manuscripts submitted to our contest, from writers all over the country, many with previously published books and journal credits. With so much impressive material, it was challenging to narrow down our selection to the five finalists, and then choose a winner. We were honored that so many writers entrusted us with their work, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to read and consider it.”

Print Friendly

Howling Bird Press Poetry Finalists Announced

Editors of Howling Bird Press, a student-run publishing house at Augsburg University located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, announce five finalists for the 2018 Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize.

Howling Bird Press received over 130 submissions from over the country, with editors reading all submissions, discussing everything thoroughly. The first round included fourteen semi-finalists, followed by selection of five finalists.

Finalists for the Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize for 2018 include the following:

  • A Quarrel of Atoms, by Kathy Ackerman, Rutherfordton, North Carolina
  • Bone Loss, by Kathryn Gullickson, Northridge, California
  • Simples, by KateLynn Hibbard, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Weather and Other Important Topics, by Carolyn Schueller, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
  • The Window, Which Cannot Help But Take Sides, by Jeanne Wagner, Kensington, California

The winning author will receive a cash prize of $1,000, book publication and distribution, and will be invited to read at Augsburg University’s Master of Fine Art in Creative Writing residency in July 2018.  The announcement of the winning poet and manuscript is anticipated to be released soon.

“Howling Bird Press is a proud literary publisher in the Twin Cities, a metropolitan area nationally recognized as a center of literature and the arts. Founded in 2014, we are happy to contribute our voice to the national conversation by publishing books of consequence,” said Jim Cihlar, Publisher at Howling Bird Press.

Howling Bird Press is staffed by students enrolled in the Publishing Concentration of Augsburg’s MFA program. Students handle all the work of running a publishing house, including acquisitions, editing, graphic design, production, marketing, and distribution, all led by a professor with many years of experience in literary publishing. Find out more about Augsburg’s MFA programs, http://www.augsburg.edu/mfa/.

Published books from previous winners can be found at Howling Bird Press website, http://engage.augsburg.edu/howlingbird/books/.  Follow news updates about upcoming events and calls for submissions at Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/howlingbirdpress/.

The next Howling Bird Press Prize call for submissions will be in fiction, publishing in 2019. Details will be announced in spring 2018, with submissions online, https://augsburghowlingbirdpress.submittable.com/.

Print Friendly

Give to the Max Day Is November 16

Give to the Max Day Is November 16

Augsburg University’s Student-run publishing house, Howling Bird Press seeks funding through the GiveMN.org Give to the Max Day campaign. Our campaign will help support the costs associated with editing, design, production, marketing, and distribution of book titles that win the Howling Bird Press Publishing Prize, which is an annual national competition for authors. Give to the Max Day is November 16.

“Howling Bird Press is a proud literary publisher in the Twin Cities, a metropolitan area nationally recognized as a center of literature and the arts. Founded in 2014, we are happy to contribute our voice to the national conversation by publishing books of consequence,” said Jim Cihlar, Publisher at Howling Bird Press.

This academic year, 2017–2018, students will be judging, selecting, and publishing a volume of poetry. The manuscript-review process is currently under way. The winning title will be announced in early 2018, and the student-edited and designed book will be released later in the year, complete with launch events at Augsburg with the author.

“Every fall, we participate in Give to the Max Day, a day of online giving sponsored by GiveMN. Nonprofit organizations throughout the state participate in this annual day of giving,” said Cihlar.

Howling Bird Press is one of several student-run literary presses in the country. Other universities with their own press operations are Apprentice House Press at Loyola University-Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland, New Rivers Press at Minnesota State-Moorhead, and Ooligan Press at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.

Augsburg has raised thousands of dollars through previous Give to the Max Day events. Those who visit the webpage are able to make tax-deductible donations:

https://www.givemn.org/fundraiser/Augsburg-College-Howling-Bird-Press5429befe169e4

Howling Bird Press is a student run publishing house at Augsburg University located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The press launched in 2014, is located at www.augsburg.edu/mfa, is part of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. If you need additional information please contact Jim Cihlar, Publisher, at Howling Bird Press at 612-210-2656 or by email at cihlar@augsburg.edu.

 

###

Print Friendly

Poetry Manuscript Submissions Open Until June 30.

We want to read your work! Submit your poetry manuscript to the Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize. The winner will receive a cash prize, book publication and distribution, and will be invited to read at Augsburg’s MFA in Creative Writing residency in July 2018. This chance comes around only once every three years–don’t miss out! For more information, visit our Submittable page: https://augsburghowlingbirdpress.submittable.com/submit

Print Friendly