Attendees at A World of Voices
Photo by Haley Friesen
On September 8, Graywolf Press, one of the country’s leading nonprofit literary publishers, held its literary salon at Aria. Attendees of A World of Voices discussed the latest in fiction and poetry.
Chris Santiago: I’m a poet, and I grew up here in the Twin Cities and now work at the University of St. Thomas. So many important books have come out of Graywolf. The Twin Cities has always been a progressive environment, and there’s a lot of great philanthropic support for good publishing here as well as a lot of independent bookstores. Maybe it’s all the snow. Everyone is trapped inside in winter, and it gives us a lot of time to read.
Solmaz Sharif: I’m a poet and live in Oakland, California. Graywolf just published my first book, Look. They’ve been generous enough to take a risk on me, which is what they seem to be great at doing. Graywolf has one of the most exciting literary presences in the U.S. right now, especially when it comes to poetry. If Graywolf didn’t exist, my fate as a writer and as a reader would be unimaginable.
Leslie Miller: I’m a poet and have three titles with Graywolf. Graywolf is the leader in poetry nationally, and it’s bringing a lot of attention to the literary culture in the Twin Cities. I teach at the University of St. Thomas, and Graywolf is a great resource for us. We send all of our students to their readings, and our students apply for internships. Outside of New York City, it’s very hard to find those kinds of opportunities for students.
Charles Baxter: I’m the author of two Graywolf books, Burning Down the House and The Art of Subtext. Graywolf publishes the books that other publishers might ignore, and it gives attention to special kinds of fiction, criticism, and poetry. If it takes a while for a book to acquire an audience, Graywolf will keep it in print long enough so that will happen.
Interviews have been condensed and edited.