Our latest title, Carrie Grinstead’s I Have Her Memories Now, has placed on Small Press Distribution’s bestseller list! Cheers to Carrie as well as to our dedicated editors and interns!
The Masters Review has posted a wonderful review of our 2022 Fiction Prize winner, I Have Her Memories Now by Carrie Grinstead! Reviewer Cole Meyer writes, “Grinstead brings her remarkable talent to each story in this slim collection. There are only six stories, but every single line earns its stay. Grinstead shows again and again that she has a gift for the surprising but inevitable conclusion, and it’s no wonder Howling Bird Press selected this collection for this year’s book prize. The path of each of these stories is so particular, I can’t imagine any writer other than Grinstead having penned them.” To read the full review, visit The Masters Review here.
From April 2 through July 31, 2022, we are accepting submissions in nonfiction. The press welcomes innovative, original work from established and emerging authors. The competition is open to all writers in English living in the U.S., whether published or unpublished. Manuscript length should be between 20,000 and 60,000 words. File formats should be either Word .doc or .docx. Pages should be numbered; include author’s name and address.
Include a cover letter in the form provided online, and list contact information and a short (100 to 200 word) bio. There is a $25 entry fee. Current and former students of Augsburg’s MFA in Creative Writing are ineligible, as are current faculty and staff of Augsburg University. Submitters must be the original author, not an agent of/for the author. The winner is announced in January 2023. The winner receives $2,500 and book publication in fall 2023.
Howling Bird Press books are distributed by Small Press Distribution, and are available at online retailers and in bookstores nationwide.
The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library announced the finalists for the Minnesota Book Award on January 29, 2022. Howling Bird Press nonfiction prize winning title Self, Divided by John Medeiros was named one of four finalists in the category of memoir and creative nonfiction.
The winner will be announced at the Thirty-Fourth Annual Minnesota Book Awards on April 26, 7:00 p.m., in Saint Paul at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, visit the website for the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library.
Self, Divided was selected from a national contest run by Howling Bird Press, and was edited, and published by student editors enrolled in Publishing I & II, the yearlong English course offered by the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Augsburg University, taught by James Cihlar.
“Self, Divided is an immersive journey to the self’s ‘true north’ against the backdrop of identical twinship, growing up working class, coming out, and living with HIV/AIDS, ” writes novelist Brian Malloy. “Captivating not only for Medeiros’s evocative lyricism, but also for his original and imaginative use of narrative space, his quest to create an identity all his own is a sad, funny, and memorable story of growth against the odds, written in the language of hard-won victory.”
In 1995 John Medeiros and his identical twin brother participated in a gene therapy study in which the HIV-positive twin was infused with billions of genes from the HIV-negative twin. This memoir details, from an individual perspective, how the world responded (and didn’t respond) to the first (and still ongoing) pandemic of HIV/AIDS. Self, Divided explores the dysfunctional yet enduring relationships that surround this pivotal moment in Medeiros’s life and family, brilliantly capturing how we all are connected, in one way or another, to those around us.
Author Barrie Jean Borich writes, “Most memoirs grapple with the individual seen again, but for John Medeiros this mirroring is literal. Self, Divided considers the author’s life as an identical twin. One brother is gay and HIV-positive, the other a straight Christian, each part of a whole that will not divide, even in times of desperate separation. How can two men, intermingled since birth but whose life paths diverge, come to truly brother one another? Rendered in lyric form that is at once severed and continuous, this memoir pulses deep.”
John Medeiros is a poet, memoirist, identical twin, and lawyer. He is the author of couplets for a shrinking world and co-editor of Queer Voices: Poetry, Prose, and Pride. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals, and he is the recipient of two Minnesota State Arts Board grants, Gulf Coast’s Nonfiction Award, and the AWP Intro Journals Award. He has an MFA and a JD from Hamline University, and he lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his husband.
Congratulations to our 2022 fiction winner and finalists!
WINNER: Carrie Grinstead, I Have Her Memories Now
Congratulations are also in order for our top finalists. It was difficult to choose only one book with so many great stories. Our four finalists are:
- Sharon Hashimoto, Stealing Home
- Jessica Hollander, Neighborhood Watch
- Jessica Pitchford, Can’t Walk Out
- Midge Raymond, Rogue Valley
Jean Prokott’s poem, “How I Met Beethoven in the Psych Ward” from The Second Longest Day of the Year, was featured on Verse Daily for January 16, 2022. Jean’s book won our 2021 poetry prize. Enjoy the poem here: http://www.versedaily.org/2022/howimetbeethoveninthepsychward.shtml
On Friday, November 12, from 6:30–8:30 p.m., Rochester poet Jean Prokott will be at the new Garden Party Books (602 7th St NW) for a poetry reading and book signing. Jean was awarded the 2021 Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize for The Second Longest Day of the Year from among more than two hundred submissions received from across the country. Prokott will be joined by local poets and writers, Sue McMillan (Rochester poet laureate), Lisa Higgs, Pamela Sinicrope, and Melissa Brandt, who will read a few poems to open the evening. Light food and refreshments will be provided.
The Second Longest Day of the Year tackles a variety of subjects, such as mental health, the pandemic, women’s rights, and even our famous corn tower, with notes of both seriousness and humor. “I see the book as a reflection of the inner vs. outer selves we experience day-by-day, hour-by-hour,” Prokott says. “Each of us goes from trying to understand, existentially, who we are, what our place is, what grief does to us—while at the same time trying to understand the same things from a political perspective. The collection moves between how our personal experience defines us as much as how political culture defines us.”
According to Sierra DeMulder, author of Today Means Amen, “The Second Longest Day of the Year offers us a poetic landscape that is easily entered but not lightly forgotten. Jean Prokott’s writing is agile. It moves gracefully from a stark wittiness and conversational observations to unforgettable imagery evoking the true palpability of grief. You’ll find yourself pausing between pages to reflect and revel; to mourn or query; to grow and keep going.”
The Second Longest Day of the Year will be available for purchase at Garden Party Books. Negative Covid test or proof of vaccination are required to attend.
Jean Prokott has work published or forthcoming in Arts & Letters, Angel City Review, Anomaly, and Adirondack Review, among other journals; she is a recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Award, a recipient of the Joan Ramseyer Poetry Award, a finalist for the RHINO Founder’s Prize, and a finalist for the Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize. She has an MFA from Minnesota State University Mankato and a Master of Science in Education.
Howling Bird Press is a student-run publishing house at Augsburg University 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. For additional information, please contact Jim Cihlar, publisher, at email@example.com. Facebook and Instagram: @howlingbirdpress Twitter: @HowlingBirdPrs
The Second Longest Day of the Year, by Jean Prokott, is now available for pre-order. Jean is the Howling Bird Press 2021 Poetry Prize winner and we’re thrilled to see the great things Jean – and her book of poetry – will do!
“THE SECOND LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR offers us a poetic landscape that is easily entered but not lightly forgotten. Jean Prokott’s writing is agile. It moves gracefully from a stark wittiness and conversational observations to unforgettable imagery evoking the true palpability of grief. You’ll find yourself pausing between pages to reflect and revel; to mourn or query; to grow and keep going.”
This year’s Howling Bird Press cohort has nine student editors. Six of the editors — plus an alumna volunteer and the HPB mentor — agreed to give the world a glimpse of what goes on behind the curtain.
Kate is studying in Publishing I and II in Augsburg’s MFA program. She is especially interested in the developmental editing and proofreading aspects of publishing.
Born and based in Minnesota, she is a poet and avid blogger, currently building her brand and voice. Her favorite authors are Taylor Jenkins Reid, Mindy Kaling, and Luvvie Ajayi Jones.
Entering her second year in the MFA program, Katrina has had a great experience in the MFA program so far, despite having begun the program in the early months of the pandemic.The low-residency program structure and an incredibly creative faculty have made it possible for her to participate fully in addition to working as a registered nurse full-time.
Katrina has been a nurse since 1994. She draws most of her writing inspiration from her experiences at work. For over 25 years, she’s had the incredible privilege of caring for people confronted with unfathomable circumstances. Their stories need to be told— and she absolutely loves telling them.
In Katrina’s words: “Participating as a student editor with HBP has been rewarding and exciting. It’s a thrill to read a brand-new manuscript. At the same time, the editing and publishing worlds can be complex, bureaucratic, and frustrating at times. I won’t lie— it’s a great deal of work, especially in addition to writing classes. However, I’ve found that being a student editor richly enhances my writing practice— well worth the effort!”
Luke is studying Publishing I and II in the MFA program. He is especially interested in the screenwriting and creative non-fiction components of the program.
Luke is a member of the Minnesota Screenwriter’s Workshop and has written four screenplays, receiving finalist recognition in the 2019 Diverse Voices Contest and the 2020 Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards. He was first inspired to write screenplays after watching the film “Ordinary People” when he was 14 years old.
He recently had two non-fiction essays published in the Murphy Square Literary Journal. His Mount Rushmore of writers are Colson Whitehead, Gillian Flynn, Aaron Sorkin, and Taylor Swift.
Outside of writing, Miller works as Director of Marketing and Business Development for the Pride Institute, a Twin Cities based LGBTQIA+ specific addiction treatment center. He resides in downtown Minneapolis with his dog, Stevie.
Pam is an editor for Howling Bird Press pursuing her MFA through Augsburg University Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing program with a primary focus on Poetry.
Her poems have appeared in Aethlon, The Night Heron Barks, Indolent Books, Murphy Square Literary Journal, Literary Mama, 3 Elements Review, and Appalachian Journal, among others.
Pam lives in Rochester, MN. She has a doctorate in Public Health and engages in research to eliminate health disparities with a focus in cancer prevention. She enjoys time with her family, hiking with her dog, tennis, and independent films. She is about to become an empty nester and looking forward to seeing her oldest and youngest sons graduate from college and high school.
Nick is from Minneapolis, MN. He is an aspiring horror writer whose favorite book is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. In his free time, Nick likes to fish, scuba dive, and smoke ribs.
Aaliyah is an editor for Howling Bird Press, studying Publishing in the MFA program. She is especially interested in the developmental editing and proofreading aspects.
Born and raised in Iowa, she specializes in CNF surrounding themes of race, identity, and mental health. Her favorite books are Men We Reaped, Lucy Temple, and the I am Number Four series.
Volunteer alumna – Amanda Symes
Amanda was one of the first editors for Howling Bird press and loved the program so much that she still volunteers her time. She earned her undergraduate degrees in Mass Communication and Media Writing from Augsburg University, then her MFA in Fiction with a focus on publishing from Augsburg University Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing. She’s a senior communications specialist by day and writer by night. She is usually outdoors, except when she’s indoors scaring herself by reading Shirley Jackson, Benjamin Percy, and Kelly Link.
Mentor – Jim Cihlar
Jim Cihlar is the Publishing Mentor and Poetry Mentor in Augsburg’s MFA program, where he teaches Publishing I and II and leads Howling Bird Press.
Jim has worked previously for Etruscan Press, Wiigwaas Press, New Rivers Press, and Krause Publications. His positions have included managing editor, marketing and sales director, program director, copy editor, and poetry editor. He has also taught at the University of Minnesota, Macalaster College, and the University of Wisconsin.
He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska, where he served as a reader for Prairie Schooner and an editorial assistant for Great Plains Quarterly. He earned his BA from the University of Iowa, where he studied in the Writer’s Workshop. His most recent poetry book, The Shadowgraph, came out from the University of New Mexico Press. His writing has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Threepenny Review, The Brooklyn Rail, The Rumpus, Western American Literature, and Lambda Literary Review.
Howling Bird Press has awarded its 2021 poetry prize to “The Second Longest Day of the Year” by Jean Prokott of Rochester, Minnesota. The press will publish the book in November, and along with publication, Prokott will receive a $1,000 prize.
Prokott’s work was chosen in a national competition from among more than 200 submissions.
“I see the book as a reflection of the inner vs. outer selves we experience day by day, hour by hour,” Prokott says. “Each of us goes from trying to understand, existentially, who we are, what our place is, what grief does to us—while at the same time trying to understand the same things from a political perspective. The collection moves between how our personal experience defines us as much as how political culture defines us.”