Small Press Points: Seven Kitchens Press

Have you ever thrown a party and, despite your efforts to corral guests in the living room, found everyone huddled in the kitchen? This workaday space is where “the best conversations occur,” says editor Ron Mohring, who founded poetry-chapbook publisher Seven Kitchens Press in 2007 in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, to be such a space for poets. The press is now run out of Mohring’s home in Cincinnati, but its geographical location matters less to the press’s identity than its culinary spirit of generosity: “Pie for everyone,” as the tagline on the press’s website puts it. Seven Kitchens has cultivated a diverse roster of writers through the fifteen or so chapbooks it publishes each year, including through its eight chapbook series, each appealing to a different community: the Robin Becker series for LGBTQ poets, Allison Joseph series for BIPOC women poets, and A. V. Christie series for women over fifty years old, among others. During the month of October, Seven Kitchens is accepting submissions to its Rane Arroyo series. Open to all poets, submissions are free and accepted by mail or e-mail. Mohring and fellow Rane Arroyo series editor Dan Vera welcome a range of aesthetics: “We want poems that engage the reader, and we tend to shy away from heightened cleverness or acrobatics on the page,” Mohring says. Recent titles from Seven Kitchens include Darius Atefat-Peckham’s How Many Love Poems, which Mohring calls a “generous confluence of grief and joy,” and Arden Eli Hill’s Bloodwater Parish, which Mohring describes as “deeply rooted in place,” interrogating “a trans poet’s familial and adoptive roots.” Mohring handcrafts these volumes, most of which have initial print runs of one hundred copies each. Not only does Mohring design the covers, but he prints, folds, and sews the pages together, he says. “I can’t imagine doing it any other way—from my hands to yours.”