Small Press Points: Brain Mill Press

From the March/April 2016 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

Love books for humans” is the tagline for Green Bay, Wisconsin–based Brain Mill Press ( “We are interested in authors who are considering the human experience with love—this could be romantic love, familial love, journeys of identity, passions and endeavors of all kinds,” says Brain Mill cofounder Mary Ann Rivers. Established in early 2015, the press plans to release approximately twenty works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction each year; Brain Mill also publishes original essays on its recently launched digital platform, Voices. Rivers and fellow cofounder Ruthie Knox are particularly committed to publishing writers of color, LGBTQ writers, and women. “The titles on bookstore shelves don’t actually reflect the real diversity of readers, and as a publisher we can choose to perpetuate that problem or we can advocate for better diversity in our acquisition decisions, in our editor hires, and in our submission calls,” says Rivers. “As a small press we’re more agile, and our editors are embedded in the writing communities they’re acquiring from.” That agility is also reflected in the press’s interest in genres across the spectrum: Brain Mill publishes everything from science fiction and fantasy to literary fiction and poetry. This month the press will release Victoria Smith’s novella, Faith Healer, which Rivers describes as an “intersex Filipino exile book,” as well as Emily Corwin’s poetry collection, My Tall Handsome, the latest in the press’s Mineral Point Poetry Series, edited by poet Kiki Petrosino. And the press has a big lineup of genre-bending titles coming up, including a postapocalyptic illustrated office romance, a queer cyberpunk gamer mystery, and a lesbian gunslinger book. Submissions for the Mineral Point Poetry Series as well as the Driftless Unsolicited Novella Contest will open this month via Submittable.