Today begins the first of a series of “Best of 2016” lists curated by the entire CCM-Entropy community. We don’t mean these lists to be definitive, complete, or authoritative, we simply wish to represent some favorite selections as nominated by the diverse staff and team at Entropy and to bring some attention to those who we think deserve it.
This list brings together some of our favorite presses, publishers, magazines, and literary journals that were doing phenomenal work in 2016. This doesn’t mean necessarily those that were founded or started this year, just those we thought were doing particularly exciting & generous things this year and deserve a little bit of extra attention.
In no particular order:
Presses & Publishers.
1. Deep Vellum. Deep Vellum Publishing is a not-for-profit literary arts organization that seeks to enhance the open exchange of ideas among cultures and to connect the world’s greatest writers with English-language readers through publishing international literature in translation, while fostering the art and craft of translation, and promoting a more vibrant literary community in the Dallas community and beyond.
2. Dorothy, A Publishing Project. Dorothy, a publishing project is dedicated to works of fiction or near fiction or about fiction, mostly by women.
3. Cardboard House Press. Cardboard House Press is a 501c3 organization dedicated to increasing access to Latin American and Spanish literature and art for English and Spanish readers. Based in Phoenix, Arizona and Bloomington, Indiana, with global reach.
4. Timeless, Infinite Light. Timeless, Infinite Light is an Oakland-based small press that publishes contemporary writing with a tendency toward the experimental, radical, and mystical. They are committed to promoting critical poetic work by emerging and established writers, and they prioritize authors whose identities are often excluded from the literary mainstream. They believe in the radical potential of collaborative, hybrid, and embodied writing, and promote work that resists structures of oppression, both in form and content.
5. Commune Editions. Commune Editions began with Bay Area friendships formed in struggle: the occupations in resistance to UC tuition hikes in 2009-11; the anti-police uprisings after the shooting of Oscar Grant that continued with the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner; and the local version of Occupy, referred to by some as the Oakland Commune. In these moments, the people committed to poetry and the people committed to militant political antagonism came to be more and more entangled, turned out to be the same people. In today’s political landscape, Commune Editions is a necessary and relevant literary/political project releasing full-length books and free digital chapbooks.
6. Essay Press. Essay Press is dedicated to publishing artful, innovative and culturally relevant prose. “We are interested in publishing pieces that are too long to be easily published in journals or magazines, but too short to be considered book-length by most publishers.”
7. YesYes Books. YesYes Books has been publishing provocative collections of poetry, fiction, and experimental art since 2011. With books that are as beautiful to hold as they are to read, YesYes Books engages an international community of writers, artists, and readers.
8. Future Tense Books. Future Tense Books was started in Spokane, Washington in 1990 and had a brief stint in Arkansas before moving to Portland, Oregon in 1992. We’re committed to showcasing writers who are not just important and innovative, but also accessible and fun. “We’re in this to create real art. We’re in this for the long haul.”
9. Phoneme Media. Phoneme Media is a nonprofit publishing and film production house, dedicated to disseminating and promoting international literature through books and film. Phoneme Media exclusively publishes literature in translation.
10. Graywolf Press. Graywolf Press is an independent publisher of thoughtful and imaginative contemporary literature.
Journals & Magazines.
1. Literary Hub. Literary Hub is an organizing principle in the service of literary culture, a single, trusted, daily source for all the news, ideas and richness of contemporary literary life. There is more great literary content online than ever before, but it is scattered, easily lost—with the help of its editorial partners, Lit Hub is a site readers can rely on for smart, engaged, entertaining writing about all things books.
2. The Wanderer. “We are The Wanderer, a literary website committed to publishing the work of artists whose lens isn’t the straight, white, cis male one that dominates our culture. If you are queer, trans, non-binary, a person of color, a woman, disabled; if you’re a beginning writer or an experienced one, The Wanderer wants to read your work. We refuse to be afraid of fascists, racists, trolls and the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy in general.”
3. fields. fields is a print publication designed to spotlight writers, musicians, poets, painters, illustrators, and creative types of all stripes, with an emphasis on the up and coming and the unsung. “We are interested in the everyday people who create and write and make and express themselves in multitudinous ways. fields is about the idiosyncratic pursuits that occupy our time and enrich our lives.”
4. PUBLIC POOL. PUBLIC POOL seeks to nurture the citizen within the poet and the poet within the citizen. “While we publish original poetry and poetry-videos by today’s best poets – regardless of background and style – we’re also committed to cultivating intellectual curiosity in our community by providing content that combats civic apathy, fosters empathy, and enlarges one’s understanding of the world.”
Best New Magazine… Prelude curates an astonishing array of talent. —Dazed Digital
6. Tarpaulin Sky. Founded in 2002 as an online literary journal, Tarpaulin Sky Online Literary Journal took the form of 12.5 internet issues before deciding to explore anachronism by way of producing its first paper edition in November 2007. Today the magazine continues to publish new work both online and in print. As with Tarpaulin Sky’s books, the magazine focuses on cross-genre / trans-genre / hybrid forms as well as innovative poetry and prose.
7. Angel City Review. Founded in Los Angeles in Fall 2014, Angel City Review is a literary journal that is committed to bringing the cutting edge in fiction and poetry to a modern audience. “This project is a labor of love driven by our passion for the written word.”
8. The Atlas Review. The Atlas Review was founded in 2012 as a way to combat the institutional weight of the literary community. All submissions are vetted anonymously, allowing the work to stand above names, associates, and credentials. They believe that the strongest work will (and must) innately carry the most important elements of identity, elements that go beyond 75 word bios or accolades. Our work is who we are in the world.
9. Black Candies. Black Candies is a literary journal published by So Say We All dedicated to evolving and advancing the beloved horror genre. Each edition is themed, with special editorial attention paid to soliciting works from new voices, many of whom have published previously in other realms.
10. Volume 1 Brooklyn. Founded in 2009, Volume 1 Brooklyn engages and connects the literary-minded from Brooklyn and beyond. Vol. 1 Brooklyn features short and long form content on our website and produces a number of free cultural events to bridge the gaps between various forms of culture and art. Vol. 1 Brooklyn seeks to motivate our community to explore and experience new writers, artists, musicians, and other people and projects we consider vital.