Small Press Points: Clash Books

The titles of Clash Books are by turns Gothic and playful and nervy, but they all share one quality: They must be spellbinding. Based in Troy, New York, and founded as a media website that evolved into a book publisher in 2017, Clash Books issues about twenty titles a year, an eclectic mix of art books, poetry, nonfiction, and fiction—“really, anything that excites us,” say editor in chief Leza Cantoral and managing editor Christoph Paul. “A big mission is to challenge genre expectations as well as to bring together a diversity of voices.”

This year the press will release titles as varied as Aaron Carnes’s pop-criticism apologia In Defense of Ska and Kevin Sampsell’s collage and poetry book I Made an Accident, alongside literary fiction and “a novel about waterfall goddesses, a trans fairy tale young adult novella, lots of fun and dark poetry, and some quality literary horror,” say the editors. Paul says he knows he has found the next Clash book when reading a submission if he has that “feeling you get when you hear a new song that you have to listen to again right away.” He adds, “I know it’s the next book when the middle is as strong as the beginning.” Clash is open for submissions year-round via e-mail and does not charge a reading fee.