It breaks our heart--and the hearts of the folks over at the National Book Critics Circle too, apparently--when small presses, obscure presses, university presses and new and emerging presses are overlooked (deliberately or not) when the multitude of year-end "best of" lists come pouring out.
So over at the NBCC's "critical mass" blog, it's become a bit of a tradition for them to deliberately overlook the big publishing houses when they do their list.
This year's "best of the small presses" list includes Carleton College graduate Bonnie Nadzam's novel, "Lamb" (which our reviewer loved) and "Leche," by R. Zamora Linmark, published by Minneapolis' Coffee House Press.
Doesn't this list make you want to find out more about Ig Publishing? Or Salmon Poetry? Or Artistically Declined Press?
Here's the whole list:
1. "A Meaning For Wife," by Mark Yakich, Ig Publishing.
2. "Lamb," by Bonnie Nadzam, Other Press.
3. "Mad for Meat," by Kevin Simmonds. Salmon Poetry.
4. "A Double Life," by Lisa Catherine Harper. University of Nebraska Press.
5. "Ayiti," by Roxane Gay. Artistically Declined Press.
6. "Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas," edited by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, University of Arizona Press.
7. "Chulito," by Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Magnus Books.
8. "Boneshepherds," by Patrick Rosal. Persea Books.
9. "The Great Frustration," by Seth Fried. Soft Skull Press.
10. "Last Day on Earth," by David Vann. University of Georgia Press.
11. "Ciento," by Lorna Dee Cervantes. Wings Press.
12. "Leche," by R. Zamora Linmark, Coffee House Press.