“Raymond’s prose often lights up the poetry-circuits of the brain…” — The Seattle Times
I’m pleased to announce that Ashland Creek Press has published the third edition of Midge’s Raymond’s award-winning short story collection, Forgetting English.
In this new, expanded edition of her prize-winning collection, which includes a reading group guide, Midge Raymond stretches the boundaries of place as she explores the indelible imprint of home upon the self and the ways in which new frontiers both defy and confirm who we are.
The characters who inhabit these stories travel for business or for pleasure, sometimes out of duty and sometimes in search of freedom, and each encounters the unexpected. From a biologist navigating the stark, icy moonscape of Antarctica to a businesswoman seeking refuge in the lonely islands of the South Pacific, the characters in these stories abandon their native landscapes—only to find that, once separated from the ordinary, they must confront new interpretations of whom they really are, and who they’re meant to be.
Forgetting English won the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Here’s what two reviewers had to say:
“Raymond has quiet, unrelenting control over the writing; each story is compelling and thrives because each detail and line of dialogue reveals just a little more about the characters and the evocative settings.” —The Rumpus
“All of her stories are heartbreakingly honest … I wouldn’t be surprised if she started getting compared to Alice Munro or Jhumpa Lahiri.” — Seattle Books Examiner
This beautiful book is the result of a unique collaboration among artist, poet, and publisher, all of whom have volunteered their time, skills, and resources to create a full-color art book that will delight and entertain — as well as benefit animal rescue organizations!
In Love Rhymes with Everything, you’ll meet sanctuary animals and beloved pets, rescues and strays now living in peace among their own, or in forever homes with their human families. You’ll meet cows and pigs, dogs and fish, chickens and ducks, cats and goats — and many more.
You’ll see the beautiful faces of these exquisite creatures captured by Dana Feagin’s whimsical paintings, and you’ll hear their voices in Kat von Cupcake’s affecting poetry. In this collection of rescued and beloved animals, you’ll learn that, for these fortunate animals, love truly can conquer all — and, with all proceeds from this book benefiting animal rescue organizations, that love stretches far beyond these pages.
And for all of you in Southern Oregon: Join us for our book-launch event on Sunday, February 26, at South Stage Cellars in Jacksonville. South Stage Cellars has generously donated its tasting rooms for the event, and all proceeds from this launch party will benefit Sanctuary One. Click here for more details!
This is the third year of the Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature, and we’re pleased to see it gaining momentum and awareness. Now more than ever we need a chorus of creative and passionate voices speaking up for the planet and all of its species.
This year, we received more than a hundred submissions, which included a wide range of fiction, short story and essay collections, memoirs, nonfiction nature books, and a number of previously published works in all categories. We began reviewing submissions when the contest opened in September of last year and have been reading steadily since then.
Every manuscript was given careful consideration, and the decision-making process was very difficult, given the exceptional quality of this year’s entries. As much as we love this contest, the hardest part is having to narrow the list down to only a few titles. It’s a completely subjective process, of course, and we thank all who contributed their work to this year’s prize.
We are delighted to announce the finalists and semifinalists:
Three Ways to Disappear
A novel by Katy Yocom
Small Small Redemption
Essays by Sangamithra Iyer
The Heart of the Sound
A memoir by Marybeth Holleman
Published by Bison Books
Song of the Ghost Dog
A novel by Sharon Piuser
A novel by Caroline Manring
Rumors of Wolves
A novel by C.K. Adams
The Harp-Maker of Exmoor
A novel by Hazel Prior
The four finalists will move on to final judging by JoeAnn Hart.
We hope to announce a winner in the next month or so. To be among the first to hear the announcement, stay tuned to this blog or subscribe to our newsletter.
Again, thanks to everyone who submitted and everyone who writes with the goal of making this world a better place. We appreciate your support!
When we were in Australia this fall, we were thrilled to encounter this pair of Sulphur-crested cockatoos while walking around in Manly.
We were especially happy to see these birds in the wild after having previously met them only in fiction in Love and Ordinary Creatures, Gwyn Hyman Rubio’s gorgeous novel about a Sulphur-crested cockatoo named Caruso. In Gwyn’s novel, Caruso had been captured from the wild and sold as a pet (fortunately, this is no longer legal; the novel is set in the early 1990s when this was still happening to exotic birds); having the opportunity in Australia to watch them in their natural habitat, foraging for food, staying close to their mates, and cawing loudly wherever they go, was wonderful.
It also reminded us what an important book Love and Ordinary Creatures is, for giving voice to a species of animal that is so often misunderstood. Gwyn captures this helplessness, longing, and angst so well in this novel, a love story that transcends species.
We were eating lunch in a delicatessen when a young Australian woman with long, tanned legs and tousled blond hair pedaled up and stopped in front of the deli window. A Sulphur-crested Cockatoo was perched on the handlebars of her bike. Dismounting, she walked over to the parrot and learned toward him with puckered lips. Simultaneously, he lengthened his neck and raised his beak. Much to my amazement, they kissed— after which she came inside to pick up her order. While she was gone, the cockatoo kept his eyes on her. Not once did he look away. Not once did he try to fly off, even though his legs, I noticed, were untethered. A few minutes later, food in hand, the young woman left the deli, the cockatoo fluttering his wings and squawking with delight as she approached. “Now, that’s a bird in love,” I said to my husband when the two of them cycled off.
Learn more about Love and Ordinary Creatureshere, and check out the novel’s book club kit for more insights.
When we needed to pick up some takeaway before a long hike from Sydney to Manly, we were thrilled to discover the all-vegan Iku Whole Food in downtown Sydney.
Iku Whole Food has several locations, and the one we went to was in the Westfield Mall on Pitt Street, upstairs in the food court.
We were there early in the day and needed food that packed easily, so we didn’t try any of the delicious-looking soups or big salads on the menu.
Instead, we got easy-to-travel-with wraps, which were wonderful — whole-wheat tortillas stuffed with brown rice, tofu, and veggies.
We also got several raw desserts to go — the peanut butter and chocolate cookies were our favorites.
It is so great to see a place like this — healthy, beautiful, and delicious vegan food — not only in general but especially in a shopping mall food court. Don’t miss this place for anything you need while traveling through Sydney.