In 1984, after being told by a New York literary agent, “Take up stamp collecting. No one publishes poetry anymore…. Shakespeare probably couldn’t get published today,” poet Jennifer Joseph decided to self-publish her poetry collection as the first title from San Francisco–based Manic D Press (www.manicdpress.com). “I wanted my poems to have a place to live,” Joseph says. “They needed their own address where they could be found in the future.” Over thirty years later, Manic D Press, run by Joseph and a handful of interns, is still publishing the work of “those who have been shunned by the traditional publishing establishment for lacking commercial viability.” Each year the press publishes six to ten titles of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction as well as cultural studies, children’s books, graphic novels, humor, and art and music books. Upcoming titles include Adrienne Su’s poetry collection Living Quarters, Myriam Gurba’s short story collection Painting Their Portraits in Winter, and a paperback edition of actress Amber Tamblyn’s poetry collection Bang Ditto. The press also champions the work of LGBT writers, many of whom have been finalists or winners of Lambda Literary Awards and Publishing Triangle Awards. Writers looking to submit to Manic D Press must first read—and mention in their cover letter—at least one of Manic D’s books. Submissions are accepted year-round; there is no reading fee. “I enjoy work that transports a reader,” Joseph says. “Tell me a story in a strong voice, whether it’s poetry or prose, in a way that flows naturally (even if it took twenty-five thousand drafts to get there).”
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