Small Enterprise is Born.

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IMG_1040After a long day of teaching, I didn’t expect this box on my doorstep, and for a moment I thought I should wait until morning to unbox Small Enterprise, but then realized I’d be up all night wondering what she looked like. I have so much gratitude to Black Lawrence Press, photographer Heidi Thoenen, and many more folks. But for this morning, I just want to share two photos welcoming my 4th book to the world.

World’s Biggest Thank You Note

IMG_0725I don’t even want to tell you how many dreams I’ve had about the University of Akron Press over the past month. Some of them were ordinary dreams, like eating yogurt and scrolling through Submittable, and others were argumentative and involving closed-door meetings where people were angry. Every morning I’d wake up and have to once again remind myself that the press was gone.

IMG_0788Thanks to the amazing activism of our fans, authors, colleagues, and students, the University of Akron Press has now been restored. I feel like I need to find the world’s biggest thank you note (the kind that would put a huge novelty check to shame) and share it with you. This has been a dramatic and soul-wrenching summer, but I am so emboldened by the fact that our efforts were successful in bringing back the press, including the Akron Series in Poetry.

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I’m gradually returning my owl pictures and post-its and books to my office. I may have to treat myself to some new office supplies, just to ring in this next phase. As of yesterday, I can now also say, See you at AWP 2016 in LA. Barn Owl Review and the University of Akron Press will be at table 313. All was lost for us, and we are incredibly thankful to have it back.

Maybe I’m a sentimental and overly dramatic poet, but in the past weeks I kept thinking of my little press office, and empty desk, frozen in time in its home in Quaker Square. Needless to say, after I’d dusted things off and settled in yesterday, it was like old times, but also not like old times. We’re shaken, but we are stronger. I can’t wait to tell my students this semester that poetry really does have power. The revival of the University of Akron Press is proof of it.

Mary Biddinger at NEA Writers’ Corner

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The 2015 National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellow profiles are now available. Much gratitude to the NEA for its invaluable support of writers and artists.

I realize that receiving an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship is not going to have the same kind of momentous impact on the morale and local economy of my Rust Belt town, but nonetheless I feel that it is a victory for all of us here in Northeast Ohio. I write poems about ordinary folks in the Midwest, using everyday artifacts from their lives, and this award demonstrates that someone is listening. –Mary Biddinger