When Michelle Tudor and Peter Barnfather started Platypus Press in 2015, they considered themselves a bit of an odd fit, since neither had worked at a press or published much of their own work. But with a love of reading and a willingness to improvise and learn on the job, the pair launched the independent press to “unearth innovative contemporary poetry and prose from a broad variety of voices and experiences.” Two years later, Platypus Press has already released more than a dozen books, launched the online literary journal Wildness, and published a chapbook series through which it put out a poetry chapbook every day for twenty-four days. The press publishes mostly poetry but also nonfiction and fiction—next year Tudor says Platypus will make its “first proper lunge into the world of fiction” with a series of digital-only stories from five thousand to fifteen thousand words each. Based in Shropshire, England, Platypus mostly publishes writers from the United States and United Kingdom but has also released books by authors from Singapore, New Zealand, and India. The press’s first titles showcased the work of younger poets, many of whom are active on Tumblr, but Tudor and Barnfather have since expanded their catalogue. “As a press we are interested in all aspects of a poet’s career,” says Tudor. “We believe in giving a voice to poets at all stages of their writing journey.” Recent titles show this range, such as Shuly Cawood’s debut memoir, The Going and Goodbye, and a book of selected poems by L. G. Corey, who has been writing poetry for more than seventy years. In November Platypus will release A Portrait in Blues: Poems of the Body, an anthology that explores gender, identity, and the nature of the body. Submissions of full-length manuscripts and stories for the digital fiction shorts series are open year-round via e-mail.
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