Small Press Points

From the November/December 2010 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine


Five years ago Jason Snyder, a former editor of Fourteen Hills, a literary magazine published by San Francisco State University, founded his own independent press, Sidebrow (, as “an experiment in effacing certain limitations in the traditional literary journal model,” he says. Joined by John Cleary and Kristine Leja, former colleagues at Fourteen Hills, Snyder initially launched Sidebrow as an online forum for writers to share work and develop new texts; he hoped eventually to publish print works by multiple authors who aren’t timid about crossing genre boundaries. Early submissions became thematic launching points for online collaborative projects, including Post-Hole, a “menagerie of grotesques” that began with a prose piece by Derek White; and Mother, I, composed of works responding to an adaptation of Georges Bataille’s novel Ma Mère (My Mother). In 2008 the projects were collected in the press’s first print anthology, which is full of cross-references that serve to guide readers along various pathways through the texts. But the projects didn’t end in print; they’re still growing online, thanks to some of Sidebrow’s contributors (they number 106 to date). Earlier this year Sidebrow released two book-length collaborations between poets and visual artists: Selenography by poet Joshua Marie Wilkinson with Polaroids by Tim Rutili, and On Wonderland and Waste by Sandy Florian with collages by Alexis Anne Mackenzie. A third book—stories and novellas by Miranda Mellis with art by Joshua Hagler—is forthcoming in 2011. The press is currently closed to manuscript proposals: In August it wrapped up the first of what Snyder hopes will be biennial submission periods.