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:

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
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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.”

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,

Published books from previous winners can be found at Howling Bird Press website,  Follow news updates about upcoming events and calls for submissions at Facebook,

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,