A new adventure for URB

To everybody who donated to our kickstarter, thank you so very much for your support! I’m very grateful. I’m not sure how to express how much hard work goes into making a book, and having concrete proof that people appreciate my efforts is tremendously heartening.

However, after looking carefully at the project, it was pretty clear that we weren’t going to reach our goal, and that I needed to do more to showcase how amazing our writers are and what great books these will be. I’ve been brainstorming with some of my more marketing-savvy friends, and have a ton of new ideas for ways to bring the attention to my writers that they deserve.

We’re going to retool a few things and relaunch the kickstarter on June 1st.

     

I’m also retooling Upper Rubber Boot somewhat. TL;DR: we’re becoming a not-for-profit. (This won’t affect my current writers, whose contracts will simply be assigned to the new entity.)

When I started Upper Rubber Boot in 2011, I thought that it would grow over time until it became a full-time job. I put some money out of every paycheck into the URB bank account to keep it afloat (and I’m still doing that), and I started small. I built up the business to what it is today—a small press that puts out a few good books every year, but, let’s be real, is not appreciably closer to supporting me than it was seven years ago. It has never turned a profit (the closest it came was 2015, the year we published Choose Wisely and How to Live on Other Planets, when we basically broke even). I’ve had all of the challenges of running what it turns out is a non-profit business, without any of the benefits of non-profit status.

      It’s become clear that turning URB into the kind of going concern that could replace my income as an administrative assistant would involve a level of investment of both time and money that I don’t have available to me, and would also require me to make more profitable decisions in terms of what I publish, instead of focusing on the short fiction and poetry that I love, but which is never going to sell bazillions of copies.

I’m lucky to have a fulfilling day job (at a hospital, where I run a clinical fellowship and the lives of four surgeons, and a bunch of other projects including the medical humanitarian work in East Africa and Haiti that I feel so privileged to get to be involved with) where I hope to stay for a long time, so the desire to write and publish full-time that I felt so keenly seven years ago has faded.

 
I’m finding that my priorities in life are shifting. Over a year ago, my best friend and one of the best humans I’ve ever known was diagnosed with cancer. I went back home to Nova Scotia to see her several times, and was able to say goodbye before she died in December. That experience, common as it is, has made me re-evaluate my life in view of what suddenly seems a more realistic mortality. I want to spend my limited time on work that matters. One of the amazing things about micropress publishing is that, because it’s not our main hustle, we can create a space where capitalism is incidental (though not, sadly, entirely escapable) and bring lovely, thoughtful, insightful, and/or challenging writing into the world, without much reference to how well it’ll sell. Doing that is going to be a little easier with not-for-profit status.

Thanks for being here with me. I’m so grateful for all of you.

Add comment 19 April 2018

#SolarpunkChat is back!

Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland (the co-editors of Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation) will lead a twitter chat on “Kinship & Collective Action In Solarpunk” on Saturday, April 21st (Earth Day Eve!) at noon Eastern. Click the image to the right to enlarge and get times across the globe!     

 

Use the hashtag #SolarpunkChat and follow this month’s hosts @pheebs_w and @BeezyAl, plus moderator @upperrubberboot.

And remember, we’re still kickstarting Women Up To No Good! At a time when publishers still release all-male and nearly-all-male anthologies of short fiction, much to our (forgive the pun) horror, we’re providing a counterbalance with short, dark, feminist fiction by some of the best writers out there. Pledge now to pre-order and make these books a reality!

14 April 2018

Kickstarting Women Up To No Good!

 

Projects like the VIDA Count have demonstrated that women account for startlingly less than half of those published, and writers of marginalized sex and gender identities account for much less than their presence in the general population.

To help counteract that—and also because we thought it would be fun—we started the Women Up To No Good series, which focuses on “bad” women, and “good” women who just haven’t been caught yet.

There are other imbalances too, most notably race, and while we have no formal requirement for inclusion of writers of color, we strive for diversity in all of our anthologies.

Broad Knowledge: 35 Women Up To No Good and Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up To No Good are anthologies of writing by women and authors of marginalized sex and gender identities, about female protagonists whose knowledge or appetites are critical to their stories.

We’re raising money to be able to pay our authors professional rates, and to properly promote the anthologies so they get the attention they deserve. Our hope is to get the Women Up To No Good series on a solid enough footing that sales of the books will support all future anthologies.

 

Broad Knowledge authors

Sharp & Sugar Tooth authors

Check out our Kickstarter here.

1 April 2018

Congratulations to the 2018 Hugo Finalists

Congratulations to the 2018 Hugo finalists, especially URB authors Sarah Pinsker (Best Novella and Best Novelette finalist and contributor to the anthology How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens), Caroline M. Yoachim (Best Short Story finalist and contributor to the anthology Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up To No Good), and Bogi Takács (Best Fan Writer finalist and contributor to the anthologies How to Live on Other Planets and Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation), and URB artist Likhain (Best Fan Artist finalist and cover artist of Sunvault)!

1 April 2018

#SolarpunkChat

Announcing a Monthly #SolarpunkChat:
3rd Saturday of Every Month

 

We’re delighted to announce that we’re co-organizing a new monthly Twitter chat with Reckoning Press! In broad strokes, a monthly conversation will consider the ideas of solarpunk, hopepunk, ecopunk, eco-futurism, eco-fiction, and climate fiction. Collectively, these terms refer to environmental science fiction, art, and activism that to varying degrees combine the green movement, renewable energy sources, intersectional social justice, and global climate justice movements, and the anti-capitalism and do-it-yourself ethic of the punk movement.

While critics, audiences, and creators have not yet settled on a single label for these works, and disagree on whether a label is even helpful when imagining better ways of being, we needed to choose a chat hashtag so people could find the conversation. Thus #SolarpunkChat was born!

 

First #SolarpunkChat:
Saturday, March 17th
Noon Eastern Standard Time

 

For the first #SolarpunkChat, on Saturday, March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day), Reckoning Magazine‘s Michael J. DeLuca and Sunvault contributor Brandon Crilly will lead a conversation on “Hopepunk And Resistance.” We’ll focus on speculative fiction and art as tools for imagining optimistic futures, and then discuss practical actions to help us get there.

Join us on Twitter at noon EST on March 17th by using the hashtag #SolarpunkChat and following this month’s hosts @michaeljdeluca and @B_Crilly, plus moderators from @upperrubberboot.

(The time conversions for that are 11am CST, 10am MST, 9am PST; 5pm GMT, 6pm CET & WAT, 7pm CAT, 9:30pm IST, 11pm WIB, midnight HKT, 1am JST, and 3am AEDT.)

 

 

In later months, we’ll continue to chat on the third Saturday of each month with other eco-focused special guests, like World Weaver Press, who are absorbed this month with planning for Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers (which includes Sunvault‘s Jaymee Goh, as well as Wendy Nikel, Julia K. Patt, Holly Schofield, and many others).

1 comment 5 March 2018

FG4 release day!

Yaaayyy we have a new book out, the gorgeous and remarkable Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 4, including chaps by Regina DiPerna, Ryan Teitman, and Paisley Rekdal. And! Look at these two great new reviews, one of FG4 and the other of Sunvault:

 

All three poets included in the series use prose and verse forms of poetry. But what they write about, the images and metaphors they use, are as individual as themselves and their themes. Kudos to the Floodgate series for bringing these collections together, providing examples of some of the beautiful poetry being written.

—Glynn Young, “The Floodgate Poetry Series: Three Chapbooks,” tweetspeak, 27 February 2018

 

The selection of short stories is as eclectic and diverse as the authors, drawing from multiple styles and languages. . . . The true genius of this work lies in its essence as a community project, as a labor of love by writers, artists and editors.

—Paul Daniel Ash, “Book Review: “Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” Hunger Mountain, 27 February 2018.

 

LIFE IS GOOD BIRDS ARE SINGING BUY OUR BOOKS YOU’RE AWESOME

 

27 February 2018

Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 4

“I’ll go back to these poems again and again.”

—Maggie Smith, author of Good Bones

Buy indie! IndieBound, Powell’s or the dropdown below. Or if you must: Amazon.



 

Go to: About | Reviews
Released 27 Feb 2018.
978-1-937794-84-2

About this book:

Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 4 collects three chapbooks in a single volume: Regina DiPerna’s A Map of Veins, Ryan Teitman’s Jesuits, and Paisley Rekdal‘s Philomela.

Regina DiPerna’s first collection of poems, A Map of Veins, tells the story of the death of a lover and her healing process. In these elegies, DiPerna faces the guilt of finding new love, death taunts her years after the fact with postcards and gifts, and memory haunts her dreams.

Jesuits, Ryan Teitman’s second collection, explores childhood, fatherhood, and the holy spirit in rich lyrical verse and prose. In often surreal poetry and prose, Teitman’s mother appears as a curtain in the window, he wears a shadow for a suit, and plays on the train tracks with a child version of his father.

Paisley Rekdal’s fourth collection of poetry, Philomela, unabashedly parallels the myth of Philomela with her own experience with violent sexual assault in a combination of verse and lyric essay. In these brave, somewhat experimental verses, Rekdal challenges the definitions of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape as she parses out her own experiences with them.

It’s the fourth volume in the Floodgate Poetry Series, edited by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum. Chapbooks—short books under 40 pages—arose when printed books became affordable in the 16th century. The series is in the tradition of 18th and 19th century British and American literary annuals, and the Penguin Modern Poets Series of the 1960s and ’70s.

 

Regina DiPerna holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her poetry has been published in Boston Review, Missouri Review, Cincinnati Review, Passages North, Gulf Coast, Meridian, Redivider, Tinderbox and others. In 2014, she received a three-month fellowship from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Residency in New Mexico. She currently lives and works in New York City, where she is hard at work on a second poetry collection.

Ryan Teitman is the author of the poetry collection Litany for the City (BOA Editions, 2012), and his awards include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He lives in Philadelphia.

Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee; a hybrid-genre photo-text entitled Intimate; and five books of poetry. Her newest collection is Imaginary Vessels, and her latest nonfiction work is The Broken Country, which won the 2016 AWP Nonfiction Prize. Her work has received the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, Pushcart Prizes, and various state arts council awards. She teaches at the University of Utah and is Utah’s Poet Laureate.

 

Reviews:

All three poets included in the series use prose and verse forms of poetry. But what they write about, the images and metaphors they use, are as individual as themselves and their themes. Kudos to the Floodgate series for bringing these collections together, providing examples of some of the beautiful poetry being written.

—Glynn Young, “The Floodgate Poetry Series: Three Chapbooks,” tweetspeak, 27 February 2018

Regina DiPerna’s A Map of Veins begins with the photograph of a dead lover and a decomposing body. What “will he become?” the speaker asks, and in this moving sequence of elegies the lost lover is transmuted into a map—a landscape. In these intimate and ardent poems, absence is prismatic, refracted through our wide and everyday world. It lingers in a slack leather belt, the skin of a mango, and “a fortune // told in fallen leaves across / a swimming pool.” Through dream, memory, and the careful laying of words, we are granted access to the secret and trembling lives of artifacts. Ultimately, the lover revives circuitously through the earth itself, through “an animal’s expelled breath.” And through the breath that has expelled these stunning poems.

—Adam Giannelli, author of Tremulous Hinge

Every moment of Ryan Teitman’s Jesuits feels like elegy, like tribute—not only to a father but to a life that is impossible to hold “in place/ like a specimen slide.” In shapely lines, Teitman twists and troubles syntax to bring these dreams into the waking world. There is a gauze, a film, present in these poems—”light is/ thin, and clothes us/ like linen,” “a mosquito net/ of stars settles/ over town,” and “the dark is pulled/ back like a sheet/ covering a body”—but the experience feels immediate, never diffused. Jesuits hit me in the gut. I’ll go back to these poems again and again.

—Maggie Smith, author of Good Bones

“Sleep was a country / to retire to, an Ecuador” writes Ryan Teitman. Apt phrasing, as one could spend several evenings vacationing in the steam that rises from these well-wrought pages—part wistful noir, part mystic incense (“bluebottle, peat”) emanating from a thurible. Jesuits is the work of a master craftsman, wherein family, fable, faith, and form cohabitate to create art as anodyne. Holy moly are these poems dreamy, healing.

—Marcus Wicker, author of Silencer and Maybe the Saddest Thing

Compelling, appealing, cinematic . . . Rekdal refreshes the meaning and the image of being displaced in this world.

The Boston Globe, on her book, Imaginary Vessels

Rekdal’s work deeply satisfies, for it witnesses and wonders over the necessary struggles of human awareness and being.

Rain Taxi, on her book, Imaginary Vessels

. . . the razor’s edge that always accompanies eros that makes the poems of Paisley Rekdal fresh, intense and ultimately irresistible.

—Jay Robinson, Barn Owl Review, on her book, The Invention of the Kaleidoscope

1 comment 27 February 2018

Sharp & Sugar Tooth

Print (978-1-937794-88-0).
Ebook (978-1-937794-89-7).

 
Go to: About | Reviews
Forthcoming 2018.

 

 

About

Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up To No Good is a horror anthology of dark fiction and darker appetites, edited by Octavia Cade. Containing 22 stories of “bad” women, and “good” women who just haven’t been caught yet, it features 22 fearless writers who identify as female, non-binary, or a marginalized sex or gender identity. It’s the third in the Women Up To No Good series, and is forthcoming at the end of 2018.

 

Table of Contents

  • Kathleen Alcalá, “The Doll’s Eye” (original)
  • Betsy Aoki, “And When We Die They Will Consume Us” (original)
  • Joyce Chng, “Dear Son” (original)
  • Katharine E. K. Duckett, “Gimme Sugar” (original)
  • Anahita Eftekhari, “The Fool’s Feast” (original)
  • Chikodili Emelumadu, “Candy Girl” (first published in Apex Magazine, issue 66, November 2014)
  • Amelia Gorman, “She Makes the Deep Boil” (original)
  • Jasmyne J. Harris, “What the Bees Know About Discarded Girlish Organs” (original)
  • A. R. Henle, “Strong Meat” (original)
  • Crystal Lynn Hilbert, “Soul of Soup Bones” (first published in Apex Magazine, issue 61, June 2014)
  • Erin Horáková, “A Year Without the Taste of Meat” (original)
  • Kathryn McMahon, “The Honey Witch” (original)
  • H. Pueyo, “I Eat” (original)
  • D. A. Xiaolin Spires, “Bristling Skim” (original)
  • Rachael Sterling, “Alice Underground” (original)
  • Penny Stirling, “Red, From the Heartwood” (original)
  • Catherynne M. Valente, “The Lily and the Horn” (first published in Fantasy Magazine, issue 59, Queers Destroy Fantasy!, 2015)
  • Sabrina Vourvoulias, “A Fish Tale” (original)
  • Damien Angelica Walters, “A Lie You Give, And Thus I Take” (first published in Lightspeed, issue 55, December 2014)
  • Rem Wigmore, “Who Watches” (original)
  • Alyssa Wong, “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” (first published in Nightmare, issue 37, Queers Destroy Horror!, 2015)
  • Caroline M. Yoachim, “The Carnival Was Eaten, All Except the Clown” (first published in Electric Velocipede, issue 27, 2013)

 

 

Reviews

Forthcoming.

25 January 2018

Locus reviewed Sunvault!

The best story here is Lavie Tidhar’s “The Road to the Sea”, an autumnal but mutedly lyrical look at a society struggling to survive and put itself back together after most of the world as we know it has been destroyed by catastrophic climate change. Also good is “A Catalogue of Sunlight at the End of the World,” by A.C. Wise, another autumnal story about the people, mostly older folk, who choose to remain behind on an Earth with a rapidly shrinking habitable zone, while their children set off in generation ships to seek refuge out among the stars. . . . So, a number of strong stories and some good reading here, but there’s no real reason why the majority of the stories couldn’t have been published in an ecological/climate change anthology rather than a specifically solarpunk one.

—Gardner Dozois, “Gardner Dozois Reviews Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation, edited by Phoebe Wagner & Brontë Christopher Wieland,” Locus, 2 January 2018.

 

Buy Sunvault now:

Amazon | IndieBound | Powell’s | or:

Buy paperback (978-1-937794-75-0):



 
Buy ebook (978-1-937794-76-7):


 
Go to: About | Goodreads | Reviews
Release date: 29 August 2017

3 January 2018

Small Press Week Round-up 2017

Oh my, have we had a week! When I founded Small Press Week last year, I didn’t expect it to catch on so big, so soon. Last year, participants included Alice James Press, Book Smugglers, Brick Mantel, Canadian Scholars, Carolina Wren, Comma, Dead Ink, Forest Avenue, Gold Line, Guardbridge, Headmistress, Hix Eros, ink & locket, Kamaria, Linen, Ninja Book Box, Open Books, Propriometrics, Red Hen, Sarabande, Shade Mountain, Steerforth, World Weaver, and Yali Books. This year, we’ve had even more!

Below, a small sample of the richness:

 

Sunday November 19 (#SPWtips)

 

Monday November 20 (#SPWpast)

 

Tuesday November 21 (#SPWpresent)

 

Wednesday November 22 (#SPWfuture)

 

Thursday November 23 (#SPWzoom)

 

Friday November 24 (#SPWreads)

 

Saturday November 25 (#SPWshop)

25 November 2017

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About URB

“Upper Rubber Boot” is slang for a remote place. URB publishes literary and speculative poetry and fiction from (metaphorically) remote places in ebook and print format.

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