About CHP in the Stacks
As part of its continuing effort to put books into action, Coffee House Press has launched an initiative to place writers and other artists in residencies in libraries and archives around the country.
CHP in the Stacks 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 new and meaningful ways, 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 In the Stacks blog.
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 event at the culmination of the residency.
This project is indebted to the Library as Incubator Project for inspiration. The mission of the Library as Incubator Project is to promote and facilitate creative collaboration between libraries and artists of all types and to advocate for libraries as incubators of the arts. In Spring of 2014, Coffee House Press published The Artist’s Library: A Field Guide from the Library as Incubator Project.
Over the course of these projects, residents immerse themselves in a vast array of source materials, including books, recordings, photographs, and ephemera. Residents are encouraged to explore their own interests and develop new work within the context of the archives. They are given no restriction other than to provide multiple dispatches from their experience and to give a public presentation on a topic of their choosing.
Lightsey Darst, Sarah Fox, Chris Martin, Heather Hartmann, Ed Bok Lee, Eric Hanson, Andy Sturdevant, Eireann Lorsung, Hans Weyandt, Valeria Luiselli, Stephanie Watson, Nor Hall, Kao Kala Yang, Emily Stover, Eric William Carroll, Steve Healey, Ander Monson, Free Black Dirt: Junauda Petrus & Erin Sharkey, Steven Lang, Ted Mathys, Victoria Blanco, Matthea Harvey, Su Hwang, Valérie Déus, Moheb Soliman, Kathryn Savage, Casey Deming, Leslie Grant, Lara Mimosa Montes, and Miriam Karraker. Read more about the residents here.
Partnering Libraries and Archives
Walker Art Center, American Craft Council, Minnesota Historical Society, American Swedish Institute, Poets House (NY), Hennepin Country Library, Saint Paul Public Library, Opus Archives (CA), Dept. of Transportation & Army Corps of Engineers, The Bakken Museum, The Floating Library, Kinsey Institute Library and Special Collections (IN), Givens Collection of African American Literature, Silverwood Park, St. Louis Central Library (MO), East Side Freedom Library, Reanimation Library (NY), Dickinson House (Belgium), Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, Gullkistan Center for Creativity, and Carleton College Gould Library. Read more about the participating libraries and archives here.
Books in Action
This project is presented as part of the Books in Action program. With this exciting new initiative, Coffee House Press seeks 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 project was initially made possible in part by a grant from the McKnight Foundation and is sustained by the individual donors who have supported the Books in Action program. You can support the program too, by making a tax-deductible donation here.
A special thanks to the librarians and other staff who have helped facilitate this program.
- Lakeshore Weekly, November 2014, “Ridgedale’s writer-in-residence is successful children’s author.”
- TimeOut NY, October 2014, "The Library as Source Material with Valeria Luiselli."
- Poetry Foundation, October 2014, “Coffee House Press: In the Stacks Presents Valeria Luiselli."
- Library Journal, September 2014, “Libraries Welcome Writers in Residence.”
- MPR’s State of the Arts blog, November 12, 2013 “Writer Chris Martin finds literary gems in Minnesota’s errant history.”
- MinnPost, February 2014, “Ed Bok Lee finds poetry in the basement of the American Swedish Institute.”
- MinnPost, April 2014, “LGBT history is lovingly preserved at Quatrefoil Library on Lake Street.”
- Star Tribune, March 2014, “The poet in the library.”
For More Info
For more information, please email Chris Fischbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or Claire Fallon at email@example.com, or call (612) 338-0125.