20th Jun 2012
Milkweed Editions was founded as a journal in 1979 by author Emilie Buchwald and illustrator R.W. Scholes. It is now known as one of America’s largest independent, non-profit publishers.
Based in Minneapolis, Milkweed Editions publishes 15-20 books each year, including literary fiction, non-fiction, poetry and writing for children.
Milkweed Editions is committed to publishing books that engage with and transform communities, both regional and global, and to producing content in a sustainable format.
Since 1993, Milkweed has offered an Alliance for Reading program within public schools, and a Reaching Readers program for prisons, homeless shelters, and rural libraries.
In 2000, Milkweed joined forces with Minnesota Center for Book Arts and Loft Literary Center to purchase a disused warehouse in downtown Minneapolis. Open Book is now a creative hub with an independent bookstore, and space for meetings and performance.
Upcoming events include an appearance by poet Katrina Vandenberg, whose second collection, The Alphabet Not Unlike the World, has just been released.
Milkweed also organises two periodic competitions: the Milkweed National Fiction Prize and the Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature. Among the most recent winners are Kira Henehan’s Orion You Came and You Took All My Marbles, and Lisa Rowe Fraustino’s The Hole in the Wall.
One of Milkweed’s best-known books is Transforming a Rape Culture (1993.) Edited by Emilie Buchwald, this anthology features contributions by bell hooks and Andrea Dworkin. A new, updated edition, published in 2004, contains chapters on internet pornography and rape as an instrument of war.
Poetry publications include Seedlip and Sweet Apple, a collection by Arra Lynn Ross about Mother Ann Lee, founder of the Shaker religion in colonial America; Melissa Kwasny’s book of prose poems, The Nine Senses; and Anne-Marie Oomen’s Uncoded Woman, tracing a Native American’s search for identity in verse.
Among the fiction list are Danielle Sosin’s prize-winning The Long-Shining Waters; The Keening, a historical novel by children’s author A. LaFaye; and short story collections from Susan Power (Roofwalker) and Laura Pritchett (Hell’s Bottom, Colorado.)
Milkweed has published a wide range of literature about landscape and environment, including Janisse Ray’s Ecology of a Cracker Childhood; Homestead, a memoir by Annick Smith; and Alison H. Deming’s Writing the Sacred into the Real.
Other non-fiction titles focus on reading and writing: Lu Chi’s The Art of Writing, an ancient Chinese text; a literary anthology for younger readers, The Great North American Prairie; and The Most Wonderful Books, in which well-known authors select their favourite reads.
Milkweed Editions provides ongoing, unpaid internship programs in marketing, development and editing at their Minneapolis office. Writers wishing to submit manuscripts can do so during their open submission period.
Milkweed publishes novels, novellas and short story collections (not genre fiction); literary non-fiction, focussing on the relationship between humans and nature; single-author poetry collections of at least 60 pages; and children’s novels between 90 and 200 pages (no picture books or poetry.)