Coffee House Press to offer residency program for writers



Coffee House Press to offer residency program for writers

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (May 16, 2013) — As part of its continuing effort to put books into action, Coffee House Press has launched an initiative to place writers and readers in residencies at various area institutional and community libraries.

The Writers and Readers Library Residency program places authors in artistic residencies in different kinds of distinguished libraries and collections. With this program, Coffee House Press aims to create a body of work that will inspire a broader public to engage with their local libraries in a new and meaningful way, and to encourage artists and the general public to think about libraries as creative spaces.

Each resident artist will “collaborate with the collection” to create new work. In addition, they will post dispatches on the Coffee House Press blog and partnering library blog during their residencies, chronicling their day-to-day activities.

The end results, ranging from essays, fiction, and poems to old-fashioned book reports, will serve as a resource to help libraries engage with their own constituents and to incorporate arts organizations and educational groups in creative programming. Writers will present their new work in a public reading and discussion at the culmination of the residency.

“For Coffee House Press, we see this as a way to redefine what publishing can be,” said publisher Chris Fischbach, “We’re exploring new relationships between writer and publisher and between writer and reader.”

The Writers and Readers Library Residency program is presented as part of Books in Action, an initiative by Coffee House Press to publish works and develop programs that encourage and nurture literary art beyond the page, highlighting people and organizations working to further interdisciplinary collaborations, reader engagement, and nontraditional means of accessing the reading experience.

The Writers and Readers Library Residency program begins this summer in the library of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis’ largest contemporary art museum, and hopes to explore private and public collections around the city in the coming year. Poet Lightsey Darst, author of Find the Girl (Coffee House Press, 2010) and the forthcoming Dance (Coffee House Press, 2013), will be the first writer-in-residence.

Coffee House hopes to offer writers (and their readers) new contexts in which to consider the place of creative writing in communities and spaces. Both the residency and the public presentation are designed to help institutions reposition themselves to current stakeholders and present their holdings to both traditional audiences and to new ones.

“Our hope is to provide writers an opportunity to create new work in a new and exciting way,” said program manager, Jay Peterson. “In turn, we hope their work sheds new light on the library or the collection itself.”

“We want to help develop a new vision for literature’s role in the public arena,” said Fischbach. “For our writers, we want to open doors to rich, cultural spaces and to create an opportunity for a sort of institutional collaboration.”

Future residencies involving Coffee House Press authors are scheduled for the American Craft Council, Midway Contemporary Art Library, and the Minnesota Historical Society.


For more information, please contact:
Jay Peterson, Program Manager
Coffee House Press
79 Thirteenth Avenue NE, Ste 110
Minneapolis, MN 55413

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