Fond Farewell

Note from NDSU Press Publisher Suzzanne Kelley

We are elated/sad to announce that Oliver West Sime, our Graduate Assistant in Publishing, has accepted an offer to work at the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting in St. Louis Park. This move is a perfect fit for Oliver, and of course it is the kind of career move we hope for all of our graduates. However, that means his last in-person day with NDSU Press is September 28. We are redirecting e-mail regarding fulfillment, marketing, and publicity from Oliver’s email to ndsu.press@ndsu.edu.

Oliver’s presence will be sorely missed. A master’s in History student, he has also taken part in Public History activities, most recently aiding in interpretation and planning activities at a museum in Minot. His varied roles with Thunder Radio, KNDS 96.3—the student-run radio station hosted by NDSU’s Communication department that features independent and alternative music—landed Oliver front and center as example of how students at NDSU are at the center of hands-on learning.

Oliver at the mic, in just one of his roles at NDSU, captured for the landing page at NDSU.edu website.

Likewise, Oliver’s work with NDSU Press captures his hands-on, real-world, responsibility-driven experience, first when he earned the Certificate in Publishing, followed by his many opportunities to meld his goals and aspirations with the aims of this decades-old university press. The dual mission of NDSU Press is to publish the best books and to provide fabulous opportunities—through our Certificate in Publishing and its unique relationship with NDSU Press—to prepare the next generation of publishers, in whatever form that might take. In Oliver’s case, his experiences here put him in perfect position to work as Communication Director at a non-profit museum.

Practicum in Publishing book team from February 2020. Working on Half the Terrible Things, a novel by Paul Legler, are (left to right) Zachary Vietz, Oliver Sime, Nataly Routledge, and Kalley Miller.

As Graduate Assistant in Publishing, Oliver has overseen all of our shipping operations, and—requiring more creative thinking and professional writing—he has taken on the nomination of books for awards, creating press releases and other physical and digital forms of outreach, and traveling to conferences and book festivals far and near as envoy for the press.

Oliver Sime, pointing out our listing among other stellar university presses at the Western History Association conference, Portland, OR.

Oliver credits his research activity and experiences with the Department of History, KNDS, and NDSU Press for providing him the opportunity for a fully-rounded resume in his job search. We hate to see you go, Oliver, but we’re so glad everything worked out beautifully for this next stage in your career.

Birds of a Feather

Last Friday, friends and fans–birds of a feather, one might say–joined poet Margaret Rogal in a reading in Vermont to talk about birders, birding, poetry, and the North Dakota landscape. Reporting from Middlebury, Margaret shared her after-event thoughts:

a lovely reading [of her Field Notes] at the Jewish community house, outside in the parking lot. Beautiful evening—cool with stars appearing as the skies darkened. Twenty-five people in attendance. One person said I should consider the stage, and another said, “adorable.” Hmmm—rather different comments! I’m struck, as I read, again, how unusual Field Notes is—a combination of natural history, art—thanks to you, Mike [Jacobs] (people comment on the watercolors frequently)­—and language. I’m so glad you brought it into the world! And I still like the poems.

Hope all is well in North Dakota.

Cheers, 
Margi

Congratulations, Margi! Field Notes, poetry by Margaret Rogal, illustrated by Mike Jacobs, is the first volume of our Little Book about North Dakota series. Check out this terrific review of the work here: Mike Jacobs Always in Season: Whimsical poems capture North Dakota birds – Grand Forks Herald | Grand Forks, East Grand Forks news, weather & sports

Margaret Rogal, reading from Field Notes in Middlebury, VT

 

Here is a sample of a two-page spread from our debut Little Book about North Dakota, featuring a full-color illustration by Mike Jacobs and one of Rogal’s poems.

NDSU Press is Hiring! Come work for us and NDSU’s Department of History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Modern Languages.

Announcing a full-time job opening with NDSU Press + the Department of History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Modern Languages!
25 percent of the position is for rendering aide to NDSU Press…and we could use your help!
This position provides shared services between the History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Modern Languages department and NDSU Press. The primary duties and responsibilities include budget management, payroll processes; NDSU Press inventory and invoice management and administrative support. Other key duties include managing department projects, scheduling department events, assisting students and academic activities.
Responsibilities:
NDSU Press; 25%:
+Calendar management, scheduling meetings, inventory and invoice management using Dashbook (will train)
+Processing reports such as weekly book orders, weekly credit card report, and monthly purchasing card report
History, Philosophy, Religious Studies and Modern Languages department; 75%:
+Answer phones, schedule meeting rooms, and photocopying.
+Schedule departments’ events.
+Maintain inventory, office supplies, and office equipment.
+Serve as phone, key, and records management coordinator for the departments.
+Maintain departments’ websites (Typo 3, will train)
+Assist with scholarship processing.
+Coordinate travel for faculty, guests and class field trips.
+Supervise student employees.
+Monitor expenditures and track spending in all appropriated, local, grant and development foundation funds.
+Approve funding on all payables to ensure appropriate spending and accuracy.
+Process all position changes, rate changes, funding changes, payroll forms and corrections, and budget changes as needed.
Other duties as assigned
Work Schedule:
Monday-Friday; 40 hours per week.

Little Books with Big Impact

Note from NDSU Press Publisher Suzzanne Kelley

With some frequency, North Dakota State University Press receives manuscripts that are not quite book-length but still significant studies or literary works. In the past, we’ve sadly turned them away. Our new series, A Little Book about North Dakota, provides the opportunity to bring such works to the public.

Several years ago, when I was conducting historical research in New Zealand, I spied the BWB Texts Collection, little books on a variety of New Zealand topics produced by Bridget Williams Books and prominently displayed in nearly every bookstore. Now, with dozens of “short books on big subjects,” the BWB Texts are affordable, easy to carry while traveling, and chock full of interesting content of interest to New Zealanders. Each book measures only a few inches wide and tall and generally has somewhere between eighty and two hundred pages.

Enamored with the idea of the little book, I posed the notion to my Certificate in Publishing students. One of the graduate students, Ana Rusness-Petersen especially liked the idea. She set out to learn everything she could about little books as her publishing research project. Her findings include aspects of contemporary trends in format, content, production, marketing, and distribution, which NDSU Press has ably adopted for this new series.

In March 2020, I set the idea before the members of the press’s Editorial Board, where it was met with much enthusiasm. I suggested Mike Jacobs—retired editor and publisher of the Grand Forks Herald—might serve as series editor, and the board members approved unanimously. When Mike accepted the invitation, the project began in earnest. Our series logo and cover designs are by award-winning graphic designer Jamie Trosen. Deb Tanner, also an award-winning designer and a long-time designer for NDSU Press, takes care of every aspect—aesthetic and technical—of the interior design.

These images are final cover design concepts for our Little Book about North Dakota series. We’ll use yellow for poetry, red for fiction, and green for nonfiction. The back cover wraps over to the front, exhibiting North Dakota’s borders and counties. The series volume number is visible in the lower right corner, and the series logo appears in the upper left.

 

Here is a sample of a two-page spread from our debut Little Book about North Dakota, featuring a full-color illustration by Mike Jacobs and one of Rogal’s poems.

Each Little Book about North Dakota measures 6” x 6” and contains a substantive and/or literary treatment of the history, science, social science, health, politics, literature, culture, or contemporary life in North Dakota. Did we think of every possible category? No. The possibilities for content are limitless, bound only by their connection to North Dakota.

Submissions of such works, which will undergo our blind peer review process for acquisition, may be sent to our online submissions portal at https://ndsupress.submittable.com/submit.

Our first volume, Field Notes, released just a week ago, is available from our NDSU Press online store, Ingram, Amazon, and your favorite independent bookseller.

Here is the cover design for our first volume, a collection of poetry called Field Notes, by Margaret Rogal. When the book is closed, it measures 6″ x 6″ and contains 120 pages, with color images throughout. All of our Little Books will be of this same dimension.

 

NDSU Press Receives Grant

The NDSU Press has received a $15,000 grant from the Literary Arts Emergency Fund, which is administered by the Academy of American Poets, the Community of Literary Magazine and Presses and the National Book Foundation. In total, the fund has granted $4.3 million to 313 nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers across the U.S. that have experienced continued financial losses due to COVID-19.

“Of the 313 presses receiving support, we are one of only seven university presses, including the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison, Letras Latinas at University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies and the University of Arizona Poetry Center,” said Suzzanne Kelley, NDSU Press editor in chief. “With paper shortages, higher costs and delays in printing and shipping, and multiple disruptions in the supply chain, we at NDSU Press are tasked daily to overcome industry challenges and expenses. This important one-time grant provides sure footing for our future.”

Check out the complete announcement at NDSU News: NDSU Press receives grant | NDSU News | NDSU

 

NDSU Press Seeks Submissions for 7th Annual Poetry of the Plains & Prairies Award

North Dakota State University Press seeks poetry submissions of any style for our annual Poetry of the Plains and Prairies (POPP) Award and letterpress chapbook publication. While authors may call any place home, their submissions must deftly capture the feeling of, as well as the reality of, living on the plains and prairies. Authors may submit any number of poems equaling thirty to thirty-five pages in length, with no more than one poem per page. (Single poems may extend more than one page.) The selected poetry collection will be published as a limited-edition chapbook, hand-printed with antique letterpress equipment. Our finalist judge is Katherine Hoerth, winner of our 2021 POPP Award.

Simultaneous submissions with other presses are not allowed. Authors should include acknowledgment of poems previously published elsewhere. Authors may submit more than one manuscript, but only if there is no overlap in content. Manuscript pages should be numbered, and all work must be of the author’s own composition, free from copyright restrictions. Authors may not win the POPP Award in two consecutive years.

Submissions will be accepted at https://ndsupress.submittalbe.com/submit through March 17, 2022. The winning manuscript collection will be announced in May.

In the case of unforeseen circumstance, the press reserves the option not to publish a chapbook; all decisions of the press in this matter are final.

If selected for publication, the author will receive $200, our standard university press publishing contract with royalties, ten free copies, an author discount on purchases of additional copies, and national distribution. The author(s) must agree to give a public reading at a time and place in North Dakota (or via Zoom), convenient to NDSU Press and the author, the day of, or soon after, publication. There are no fees to enter this competition.

7th Annual NDSU Press Party

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Keep track of new announcements at our
Facebook event page.

 

FEATURED BOOKS AND AUTHORS

In Plains SightBonnie Larson Staiger

In a rich yet often austere setting of the Great Plains, Bonnie Larson Staiger’s second poetry collection–In Plains Sight–brings those realities into full view through the lens of the prairie ethos. In moments when the natural world confounds the objective and logical world, she brings us into an encounter with a coyote, a sub-zero walk after a blizzard, or a humorous swipe at a fast-food restaurant.

Last PoemsTimothy Murphy

As described by the collection editor, poet and translator Catherine Chandler, Last Poems is a veritable journal intime, albeit one that Timothy Murphy wished to share with his readers. In his unmistakable voice, and often in stark language almost too painful to read, Tim chronicles his physical, spiritual, and emotional life during his final months, beginning on the day of his cancer diagnosis in early January 2018, through his various treatments, and ultimately his decision to withdraw from clinical trials. . . . Let [Last Poems] be my Last Will and Testament, Murphy writes in “Envoi.” And so it is. Last Poems bears witness—with grace, grit, and gratitude—to the life and loves of this major North American poet.

The Night We Landed on the Moon: Essays between Exile & Belonging Debra Marquart

Fans of Debra Marquart’s landmark memoir, The Horizontal World, will rejoice over the publication of The Night We Landed on the Moon—shapeshifting essays that travel from the blizzardy Midwest to sweltering Siberia, from a flooding Michigan basement to the panic-inducing Paris Catacombs, from her life as a rebellious farmer’s daughter to hard rock musician to professor and poet laureate. Every page is full of story and insight, laced with wit, as Marquart meditates on the hungers of home and wanderlust, the way her Germans-from-Russia family is “preserved in their hyphenations,” the poetic strangeness of basketball, the insidiousness of fracking boomtowns, and the ironies of a nostalgia called heimat. The individual essays are astonishing, the collection as a whole profound.” —K. L. Cook, author of Marrying Kind and The Art of Disobedience

A Field Guide to Custer’s Camps: On the March to the Little Bighorn Don Weinell

Dust off your bicycle, or muddy it up, however you prefer to hit the trail. Don Weinell, a long-distance bicyclist, biked the trail described in A Field Guide to Custer’s Camps: On the March to the Little Bighorn, keeping a log of his experiences and GPS locations, which inform this travel narrative. Weinell’s on-the-ground method of exploring history puts him in contact with the elements, the terrain, and the physical demands of cross-country travel. For readers not quite ready to don rain jackets, cold- and hot-weather wear, or snakebite kits, this field guide is the next best thing to following the trail in person.

Prairie Madness Katherine Hoerth

About a year ago, Katherine Hoerth moved to Nebraska from Texas; her poems chronicle the experience of adjusting to life on the Great Plains amid the isolation and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. The term “prairie madness” feels, Hoerth observes, particularly fitting as it was once used to describe the “madness” of women pioneers of Nebraska and Kansas who endured extreme isolation.

Prairie Madness is the sixth volume of our Poetry of the Plains & Prairies letterpress chapbook series. Each copy is unique, with hand-assembled pressed flowers.

The Trouble with Daydreams: Collected and New Poems Mark Vinz

An icon of literary culture on the northern plains, Mark Vinz observes the details—be they dreary or delightful—of real life. Through concise language and powerful imagery, he conveys his memories, marked more by the present than the past, with clarity and affection.

We Are Called . . . To Do the Right Thing: A Practical Guide for Leaders Based on Personal Reflections & Experience from a Longtime Higher Education Leader Prakash Mathew

Prakash Mathew’s debut guide on leadership offers a compelling invitation to principled leadership with prudent and practical habits, gleaned from his almost four decades of student affairs work in higher education. We Are Called illustrates lessons in leadership with stories from a life well lived. Expounding on his 80/20 Principle, Prakash provides a plan for doing the right things for the right reasons.

We Are Called is of interest to leaders in higher education institutions (public and private), business leaders and organizations, religious organizations, start-up companies, search firms, and any organization seeking a change process, and as a training resource for boards, councils, and commissions.

Price Per Barrel: The Human Cost of Extraction Robin Lynn Behl

First responders, once called to duty, refuse to abandon their posts, even when their towns change around them. They rise far and above their job descriptions, putting aside their own PTSD until the boom is over. But the trauma they endure at the hands of newcomers and outsiders is real, persistent, and contagious. Emergency response is the kind of work that will change a person, the kind of work that leaves an indelible mark. Each person in that profession finds some way to cope with the horrors of mankind. Or, they don’t survive.

Robin Lynn Behl’s means of coping was to drive. For years, she drove long distances across the country, across the continent, until she had seen all fifty states and every province in Canada. Her years on the road included six months living in her truck and talking to the people on the front lines. Along the way, she ran into friends–her brothers and sisters—in the badge. She found the other people who were still doing the work she had done, and they started to tell her their stories. By telling their story, she can tell hers, and maybe be rid of the burdens.

A Song for Liv Wayne Gudmundson

A Song for Liv by Wayne Gudmundson is a love letter to his daughter, Liv. Serendipitously, the modern Nordic name Liv also means ‘life.’ As well as a gift to his daughter, A Song for Liv, is a personal meditation on place, the search for personal and ethnic identity, and the complexities therein, much of which is located in the mists (and myths) of time with only the ancient landscapes of those stories remaining. Combining travel notes, Icelandic history and lore, and family relationships, Gudmundson’s form here—best characterized as hybrid—weaves a tapestry that is at once inviting and accessible, each page entry a stanza-like lyric of the larger song.”
—Thom Tammaro, three-time Minnesota Book Award recipient and author of When the Italians Came to My Home Town and Italian Days & Hours

“Written as a gift from a father to his daughter, A Song for Liv gathers up what wisdom and understanding a father can offer. His story begins its search for ancestral places in the Faroe Islands, where Gudmundson explores his investment in the larger Scandinavian world, having claimed a portion of the Faroes as his own. The narrative of the Norse invasion of Scandinavia continues on through Iceland to Canada to the settlement of Gimli, Manitoba, and from there to a small church in North Dakota, the home of Gudmundson’s grandparents and the protean poet K.N., whose spirit hovers over the entire narrative.”
—David Arnason, writer, professor, and Viking from Gimli, Manitoba

 

 

 

 

Tune in Today at 5:00

Note from NDSU Publisher Suzzanne Kelley

Tune in today for this weekend’s edition of Prairie Public Presents, and you’ll see author/artist/academic Denise Lajimodiere read from her newest book with NDSU Press: His Feathers Were Chains. The program is a recording of Denise’s recent performance at the Plains Art Museum, kicking off local programming for the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read.

I had the good fortune of attending Denise’s reading, with fabulous musical interpretations from musicians and composers at Concordia College AND drummers and jingle dress dancers. Here is a link to tonight’s program on Prairie Public and, below this message, you’ll find some photos I took on the night of the original performance.

A Ponder & a Podcast

a note from Suzzanne Kelley, Publisher, North Dakota State University Press

 

These cold and blustery northern plains days are perfect for sticking around the home-front, preferably indoors and near a fireplace. Friday is a work-from-home day for me, and I look forward to hearing the washer agitate and the dogs snore as I edit and write and read and ponder the business of publishing.

Things went kablooey last week, over the weekend, and on into this week. There are five of us holding down the fort at the Press—none of us full time, and some of us just a very little bit of time, but all of us pulling our weight . . . except that two tested positive for Covid (and a third had a scare this morning) . . . and one of our designers injured her back . . . and our other designer was out of town . . . and I accidentally deleted ALL of my emails (which are slowly being recovered) . . . which meant very little went according to my master plan. It is only now, at the end of this week, with everyone returning, slightly bedraggled but smiling and ready to pitch in, that I feel like we’re in forward motion again. In fact, this afternoon I turned off my email, shut my office door, and left my office only to refresh my coffee. I got enough good work done to lift my spirits. Supply-chain challenges and Covid be damned . . . we can do this!

In fact, we have all kinds of exciting happenings to share in the coming days and weeks. Here’s one piece now!

Check out this just-out-today announcement—featured on the NDSU News page!—about our brand-spankin’-new podcast: NDSU Press announces new podcast | NDSU News | NDSU

Announcing our brand new NDSU Press Podcast!

 

Words by the Minute

note from Suzzanne Kelley, Publisher, NDSU Press

How fast do you read?

How about fifty pages in fifteen minutes? That is a pace with which I cannot compete, but Kyla Vaughan–an undergraduate at University of Wisconsin, Madison–consistently reads at that pace, and in the past year, she read 392 books, averaging more than 7 per week! Even when I shift from editor mode to just-enjoy-the-story mode, I cannot read that fast.

An exercise my Practicum in Publishing students will complete in a few weeks is to time how long it takes to read a chapter from the manuscripts they’re working from, and then to time themselves again when they are editing those same pages. In this fashion, they can mark an estimate for how many hours they need to block out in order to read and edit their manuscript projects. From my days as a freelance editor and from experience in teaching students to edit, I know that this exercise is an essential beginning to bidding out a job or completing a project by end of semester.

Practicum in Publishing book team from February 2020. Working on Half the Terrible Things, a novel by Paul Legler, are (left to right) Zachary Vietz, Oliver Sime, Nataly Routledge, and Kalley Miller.

The students think they are ready, and I know they are eager to begin, but we have some preparatory work to do. For example, in the upcoming weeks, they must become proficient at several tasks. Among those tasks are to:

  • practice awareness. Based on terminology coined by Karen Judd, editor and author, students will learn to attend to cognitive aspects of reading. Some readers are naturally observant, noticing and remembering where on a page some detail of a story appeared; catching that a name was spelled one way in an early chapter and another way in a subsequent chapter; watching for red flags of a factual nature. My students must double-down on being aware and observant.
  • become familiar with The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition. My publishing mentor, Mary Ann Blochowiak (long-time editor for The Chronicles of Oklahoma), tasked me with reading the first one hundred pages of the CMOS many years ago. This exercise formed my understanding of how books are published, physically and in accord with standards of practice. The reading assignment is a gift I pay forward to my students. Students will also be tasked with learning how to consult CMOS when formatting a manuscript for publication and when searching for guidance in matters of copyright, editing, punctuation, and proofreading. (Really, it’s all fun!)
  • learn to use standard proofreaders’ marks. As in all matters for book publishing, we rely upon the guidance of The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition. Using the CMOS Proofreaders’ Marks, we’ll practice posting carets, circling and underlining, and implementing various curlicues.
  • build a style sheet. We’ll draft a style sheet together for practice, and then students will be able to devise style sheets built upon their specific manuscript projects. Style sheets are records of the choices we make when editing. They are documents made to ensure the book interior is consistent throughout. 

This short list hardly encompasses all the actions students will take, but you can see they are in for some close reading in the coming weeks. As we carefully scrutinize every sentence, this will not be the year to set any book-reading records, but it is the semester to dive deep into the process of transforming a manuscript into a book. 

 

Related notes:

Article about Kyla Vaughan: “Need a New Year’s Resolution? Read a book a day. This undergrad did.” by Doug Erickson, University of Wisconsin–Madison, January 14, 2022.

Karen Judd. Copyediting: A Practical Guide. Menlo Park, CA: Crisp Publications, 2001.

The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2017.

Paul Legler. Half the Terrible Things. North Dakota State University Press, 2020.