Monday, January 24, 2011

Some Small Presses in DC

It’s fitting that the annual AWP writer’s conference will be held in Washington, DC next week, as that city was recently named the most well-read city in the nation, according to one study. In honor of the conference, which will soon bring swarms of writers and presses to the Nation’s Capitol, I’m spotlighting a few DC small presses and journals.

Two great DC-area presses are featuring off-site readings during the conference. The literary journal Gargoyle Magazine (published by Paycock Press) will hold a reading at the Artisphere Dome Theater in Rosslyn, Va. at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, February 3rd. The event marks the 35th anniversary of the esteemed journal: Since 1976, Gargoyle has been publishing undiscovered or underpublished poets and fiction writers and producing beautifully-designed volumes of writing and art. I’ve always found the writing in Gargoyle to be both top notch and truly edgy--reminiscent more of Exquisite Corpse than of McSweeney’s.

Atticus Books, a press of literary fiction since 2010, was featured on this blog in December. They’ll be hosting a Happy Hour reading with at least five of their authors at a bar called Bourbon on 18th Street (Adams Morgan), on Friday, February 4th from 5:00-7:00pm.

Gival Press publishes titles in short runs but gives each book a long life in print; they’ve been around since 1998. They publish three formats in three languages: literary fiction, essays, and poetry; in English, Spanish, and French.

Beltway Poetry Quarterly runs four online journal issues a year and has since 2000. They feature exclusively poets who live or work in Washington and the immediate area.

Potomac Journal (not to be confused with Potomac Review) is a publication that juxtaposes, and sometimes blends, poetry and politics. Around since the early 21st Century, Potomac runs smart articles next to wise verse, and poetry reviews next to brief fictions.

Beltway Poetry Quarterly also provides this longer list of DC area publishers: