In 2005 four poets who had nurtured one another’s work in a writing group for a decade decided to celebrate their ten-year relationship by starting their own press. Toadlily Press (www.toadlilypress.com), founded by Myrna Goodman, Maxine Silverman, Meredith Trede, and Jennifer Wallace, publishes only one book a year, but its format is unique: Each book in the press’s Quartet Series is actually composed of four complete chapbooks by emerging, celebrated, or rediscovered poets. So far the Chappaqua, New York–based press—whose eighth book, Embark, featuring poems by David Morse, Sierra Nelson, Emily Paynter, and Emily Stokes, will be released this month—has published twenty-eight poets from across the United States and Canada, as well as from Japan, Qatar, and the Netherlands. “Each year we look for work with a strong sense of language and voice,” says Rachel Simon, Toadlily’s senior editor, whose most recent book is Theory of Orange (Pavement Saw Press, 2007). An important part of the press’s mission is to establish a sense of dialogue in each book, wherein four distinct voices together create a collective resonance—“like a string quartet,” as poet Molly Peacock described the effect in Toadlily’s debut title. “We offer poets an opportunity to converse with each other,” Simon adds, “and we hope our readers experience the harmonies and counterpoints as well.” As for the name, cofounder and publisher Myrna Goodman explains: “Toad lilies are beautiful, orchidlike flowers that demand a closer look; they bloom from late summer through early fall when most plants have stopped flowering. We thought it a good metaphor for our beginning. It also reminds us of Marianne Moore’s advice to poets to create ‘imaginary gardens with real toads in them.’” Toadlily will accept new chapbook submissions during the month of January. Visit the website for complete guidelines.
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