Monthly Archives: May 2013

All Words Are Worthy

(by Christina Anne Taylor)

It’s a no-brainer to me that a publisher publishes books, but I was once accused of not being a publisher by a “real publisher” who told me that “real publishers” are very busy – too busy to promote, too busy to do anything but publish; also that they turn people away (as though this were a virtue). Yet I have indeed been hand-wringingly busy at times, and I have indeed had the displeasure of turning people away due to anthology “quality control” or simply because a poet’s choice of content isn’t what I publish.

I sense that the “real publishers” who were publishing before a new wave of publishers stepped in to assist with the demand might not be happy with being less busy because (according to the “real publisher” definition that I received) having time for coffee would bring their “real publisher” status into question. They also might not be happy with sharing opportunities to know the joy of publishing. Naturally in business we would prefer to be one of several rather than one of countless and counting… I understand that. It’s about power, prestige, greed, envy, all parts of the dark underbelly of humanity.

But let’s consider that there are countless (and counting…) poets out there with words to share who need not stand in line forever to be turned away, to be told that their words are “not ready.” I have come to believe that ALL words are worth printing, worth solidifying if the writer has a desire to share them (though editing might be necessary). It takes a certain open-mindedness and maturity to accept this, or perhaps rather an open heart that derives joy in making others happy. Is it selfish? Maybe a tiny bit, but when dealing with a “real publisher” with an open heart, everyone moves merrily along their life path and that’s what really matters.

Middle Island Press is proud to be a Real Publisher.

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Posted by on May 26, 2013 in News & Reviews



Middle Island Press Release: Sketchbook by Robert Coné

Cone - Cover ScanMiddle Island Press welcomes seasoned author and poet Robert Coné to our growing experience. His newly released Sketchbook (ISBN 978-1-4675-7484-6) is rife with melody: “Black is the knight who owns these black woods / His sharp lance upright in his socket / Sought he the friar who swiped the goods- / The monk who took hold of his pocket”; imagery: “Two black eyes / staring / from among the purple Joe Pyes / were of a fox snake / camouflaged / by the clay baked / in the hot sun”; and wise country experiences throughout.

Coné’s words about his collection:

“It has been said that the expanse of the landscape determines what a man writes. Sketchbook is a sampling of twenty-one anecdotal observations and short pieces written from the author’s unique Midwestern perspective.”

Read “Nantucket Song” at the Middle Island Press website.

Sketchbook is available there as well as

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Posted by on May 26, 2013 in News & Reviews


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“At Home” with Middle Island Press

Green Room window view

Green Room window view

The morning’s coffee tastes of honey & cinnamon; the window is open and the birds are singing; a gentle breeze rustles a happy houseplant, ushers the outdoors in. Newly off the printer and into the sorter goes one of my projects. Shortly I’ll take a break from the table and slide over to the computer to continue layout of yet another project. I await word from a few poets who are almost ready to leap skyward, manuscripts gathered up and held securely within my promises.

Collating Chapbooks at Middle Island Press

Collating Chapbooks at Middle Island Press

Life is good and I am so fortunate to have settled into my literary niche which keeps my mind on poetry and the power of words. It’s great to be able to work from home yet be as professional as if I were sitting in an office. This “Absinthe Room” is my office of sorts, and it is the birth place of over fifty chapbooks between two presses. They began with my husband and me, then my daughter, my sister, and an area anthology which necessitated Middle Island Press, and it just keeps growing because growth is what I see. The more flowers that bloom in my meadow, the more
beautiful it will be, and more will gather
with me for coffee and the perennial scent
of spring and summer.

Charles Baudelaire by R. N. Taylor
Charles Baudelaire watches pensively from the West wall eight feet away. On the East wall near the window, George Bernard Shaw, both painted by my husband.

Much to do today.

I must return to the table and finish collating, then on to layout of another project, then back to folding and stapling. Eventually I’ll get out and enjoy some sunshine, thin the carrot bed a bit, and come back in for trimming; packaging tomorrow. Another gratified poet. Such is life and it is good!

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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in News & Reviews


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Fate Favors the Bold

Those who have published through Middle Island Press know that I like to share one of my husband’s favorite expressions: “Fate favors the bold.” Furthermore, it favors any measure of doing, which is probably why “seize the day” and “seize the moment” are such long-standing expressions. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

I shared a poem here at Poetica~Place recently, a quick penning from the back deck, the first one that I have shared in a long time. A friend of mine [Gloria Wimberley (working alongside R. L. Jones at Raven Publishing Co. here in West Virginia)] read it and approached me about being a contributor in their anthology, Compass Rose: A Poetic Sojourn Home, to the Horizon, and Beyond. (I’ve not seen it yet but a link and further promotion is forthcoming.) The point being, though, that there isn’t necessarily any advantage to keeping work sequestered. There is only now, so if we write something that we wish to share, then we should share it now for our own benefit and hopefully that of others.

I believe that we can measure life considerably according to who crosses our pathways, who walks alongside us and why. What a privilege it’s been to become acquainted with so many fine people in the literary realm of life!

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Posted by on May 19, 2013 in News & Reviews


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Middle Island Press Release: A Time for Change by Casey Brown

Casey Cover JPEG 1Utah poet Casey Brown (formerly Casey Stockard) presents her third compilation of poetry published through Middle Island Press. A Time for Change “…delves heart-first into the trials of relationships, the pangs of maternity and illness, and the joy of new love. This country verse is underlined with lessons learned and experience to pad a gentle soul’s imminent footpaths along the bumpy roads of the rural desert West.”

Casey introduces herself in her book book as follows:

    “In my life I have been married and divorced and re-married again, become a mother of three and a mother to many more. I have been on movie sets and had modeling jobs, ridden my Harley 120 mph on the freeway, and gone skydiving. I have discovered the true meaning of family and felt its rooted connection in another country. I have fought and live with a medical condition, have had a lot of great times and made some big mistakes. I am the girl who takes your photographs, paints you a picture, or styles your hair. I believe above all else that, quite simply, you get what you give in this life. Everything turns full-circle. When you think you are alone, you are not. When you think it can’t get worse, it can. When you think the rain will never stop, it does, and when life just can’t get any better than this, it does. This book of poetry is a small glimpse into moments of my journey when I felt the need to express my emotions onto paper.”

A Time for Change is available through and the Middle Island Press website.

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Posted by on May 19, 2013 in News & Reviews


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How To Get a Better Book from Your Publisher

(by Christina of Middle Island Press and The Red Salon)

It’s true that not all publishers are perfect. That’s where each author comes in and does his/her part to shape this malleable wave of publishing companies, and it’s clear to me that authors don’t spend enough time making requests and/or suggestions for improvement by the marginal quality of much of what is newly in print – not the words, mind you, but in the physical product, the books. If I (as both a publisher and a poet with words in print) were to offer five quick suggestions for getting better books from your publisher, they would be:

1) If you don’t see it, ask for it. This applies to fonts, margins, paper type, everything. In some cases, publishers hire printers and might not be able to offer more without a price, so results might be more successful (and financially reasonable) with micro-publishers that do their own printing.

2) Communicate your vision with utmost clarity. While mind-images never translate perfectly from one person to another, poets of all people should be able to paint a clear picture for a publisher, right? Nevertheless, expect some disparities unless you are highly telepathic or create your own concrete example to send to the publisher as a reference.

3) Trust your publisher. This applies in general but particularly applies if your vision is vague and you are open to suggestions. The publisher likely enjoys the design process most of all, so be patient and see what they come up with.

4) Don’t just sweep. Scrub! Rewind to manuscripts. I cannot stress enough that no editor is perfect. I have found blatant errors in work that has been run by at least three people. If you don’t want typos in your book, then it’s best not to have them in your manuscript, so send it to a literary friend for further “scrubbing” before sending it to the publisher.

Last but not least…

5) Respect the publisher’s schedule. We get busy. Our minds get clouded in a swirl of must-dos. Work always looks cleaner when it is not rushed as though the product on a factory assembly line, and it is more likely to showcase “designer’s marks” and other such elements of unique presentation.

So not all publishers are perfect (so sorry for them) but authors can do their part to improve the process from manuscript submission to printing and beyond, and therein improve the overall quality of books. Whose words are worth it?

Middle Island Press is one of America’s best poetry chapbook publishers.

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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in News & Reviews


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Seeking Chapbook Reviewers for the Love of Poetry

Robert Champ - Nova Scotia Road

We remain surprised at the percentage of our titles that have not been reviewed online, and we are talking about some wonderful heartfelt poetry collections that deserve some recognition. That said, we are looking to generate a list of enthusiastic reviewers who would do so in exchange for a gratis copy of that which they are reviewing.

We would like to see more reviews at
We would like to see reviews elsewhere online.
On occasion we seek back cover reviews from credible professionals.

Leave a comment or send me a note at
if you are interested in supporting today’s poetry.


Posted by on May 11, 2013 in News & Reviews


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