Tavern Books Announces New Poetry Series

Tavern Books, headquartered in Portland, Ore., has announced a new poetry series for women writers that honors the memory of late poet Greta Wrolstad. The Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series will begin reading original manuscripts by women poets under 40 years old this autumn. The editors of the press will both screen and select the winning manuscript.

Tavern Books has specialized in out-of-print books by authors such as Charles Simic and Tomas Tranströmer and has also published a selection of work by Wrolstad, including Notes on Sea and Shore and Night is Simply a Shadow. In 2005, during Wrolstad’s first year as an MFA student at the University of Montana, she was killed in a car accident while heading out for a day on the Blackfoot River.

Carl Adamshick, co-editor and co-publisher of Tavern Books said the press decided to expand its catalog with younger writers to tap into what’s happening in contemporary poetry right now and to breathe some new excitement into the press, as well as attract a larger market.

He also said the series was established to honor Wrolstad’s memory and this contributed to the decision to gear the books toward younger women writers.

“Many of the editors at Tavern are writers and some of us watched Greta working on getting her poems published — we all know how hard it is for a lot of people to get published, especially women,” he said.

Adamshick said the decision wasn’t necessarily political, however, and the decision was mostly to keep the series dedicated to the memory of Wrolstad, “a young, bright and talented person.” He also suggested because of the difficulty that poets contend with in terms of publishing, the press intends to support the poets who are published through the prize as they progress in their careers.

“A lot of presses publish one or two books each year through contests — and that’s it. They don’t stay with an author or publish his or her work again. It seems to benefit the press more than the author,” he said.

The series will begin accepting new, unpublished manuscripts from women poets under 40 October 1. The reading period closes January 15, 2014 and the book that is selected will be published in 2015.


Crystal Curry