Small Press Points: Threadsuns

From the January/February 2021 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

A new teaching press based at High Point University in North Carolina, Threadsuns draws its name and its vision from the title of a poem by Paul Celan. In the poem as translated by Pierre Joris, “Threadsuns” refers to “songs to sing beyond / mankind,” and it is to those songs that editor and publisher Michael Flatt hopes the press can offer a home. Flatt, who teaches creative writing at High Point, launched the press in early 2020 with the vision of providing student assistants with the kind of hands-on publishing experience that so inspired him as an MFA student—and that expanded his sense of global literature and the literary community. The press plans to publish three volumes a year, one each in the genres of poetry, prose, and work in translation.

“Our inclinations lean toward experimental work that maintains a connection to human experience,” says Flatt. Threadsuns released its first title, Brian Henry’s collection Permanent State, in October, and Ryoko Sekiguchi’s lyric essay The Present Voice, translated by Lindsay Turner, will follow. While getting Threadsuns off the ground amid the pandemic has been challenging, it has also underscored the press’s ambitions to engender connection and inspire a new generation of editors. “Permanent State, while not written during the pandemic, really speaks to the dynamics of power and powerlessness that one feels right now. The press itself is like that for me,” says Flatt. “I’m doing something, which is great, but also, you have to question what it actually does in the world. How can you make it more effective, more significant? And for me, that’s where the teaching comes in. If I can pass on this practice to others, teach them how to create community through publishing, then the project has some meaningful agency.” Threadsuns is open for submissions via e-mail year-round.