Monday, December 7, 2009

Whistling Shade Press

Whistling Shade Press

St. Paul, Minnesota

Owner: Joel Van Valin

Whistling Shade Press has four books published, with four more in the works. We are really more of a journal. Whistling Shade is a literary print newspaper that has been published since 2001. Until last year we were quarterly, but for the time being we are semi-annual (mainly because I have had to move temporarily to Los Angeles). We publish poetry, fiction, memoirs, literary essays and book reviews, and are distributed freely in cafes, book stores, and libraries in the Twin Cities area. About half of the authors we publish in any given issue are local. Our circulation is 2500.

The book publishing venture began as a sideline. We have always been a venue for local authors to reach a local audience. We wanted to extend that to book-length work as well. Our four books published so far are by Jarda Cervenka (Fausto's Afternoon, a collection of stories set in different countries around the world), Daniel Gabriel (Tales from the Tinker's Dam, a collection of stories surrounding a pub in Wales), Norita Dittberner-Jax (The Watch, a collection of poetry) and David McLean (Cadaver's Dance, a collection of poetry). In 2010 we will publish books by Sharon Chmielarz (poetry), Hanakia Zedek (poetry/philosophy), Jeff Vande Zande (novella) and Dylan Garcia-Wahl (poetry). All of the authors except for McLean and Vande Zande are local.

Staff pictured in the photo are left to right, top to bottom: Michael Ramberg, Rhonda Niola, Deanna Reiter, Justin Teerlinck, Lauren Bartel, Joel Van Valin, Sten Johnson.

As to how we got started ... well in 2001 I earned my pilot's license, and I decided to try something a bit different than flying Cesnas. I love literature and work in the newspaper industry, so my idea was to create a combination of the two. Local readers and writers responded with high spirits and enthusiasm, and so we are now in our ninth year and have a small staff of six or seven volunteers who run the journal and book publishing division.


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