Note: This article was previously published in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Read the feature on InForum and support local journalism.
By Lonna Whiting
Since then, authors from Minnesota and around the world have been published by the press, while countless MSUM students have gained real-life experience working in the publishing field.
Though the future of the press’s location at MSUM is up in the air since the university’s culling of programs in spring 2020, NRP continues to move forward publishing and promoting its authors who represent the vast and varied human experience.
As the world celebrates Pride Month this June, NRP curated its shelves to bring literature lovers a collection of works by LGBTQ+-identified writers.
“We’re staunch supporters of LGBTQ+ rights,” NRP Senior Editor and MSUM English Professor Kevin Carollo said. “Our increasingly cutting-edge library of books celebrate diversity and inclusion from people of all walks of life around the globe.”
By Gary Eldon Peter
Genre: Short stories—fiction
In these linked short stories, readers immerse themselves in the life of Michael, a young man who endures many family challenges, all while finding his path as a gay man in Midwest America during the AIDS crisis. Through the interconnected narration, “Oranges” addresses not only the topic of growing up gay in an era of less acceptance, but also how to seek connection and love as well.
“Oranges” won the 2019 Midwest Book Award, short story collection/anthology category, the same year it was a finalist for the 2019 Minnesota Book Award, novel/short story collection genre. Peter’s book also earned the 2016 New Rivers Press Many Voices Project Competition in the prose category.
Currently, Peter is a faculty member in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches courses in writing, law and popular culture.
Peter introduces his debut novel, “The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen,” which won the Acheven Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction, and is forthcoming from Fitzroy Books in July 2022.
About Pride Month, Peter said, “Pride Month is a great opportunity to celebrate the amazing and adventurous work created by LGBTQ+ writers, and I’m so proud and honored to be part of that vital literary tradition.”
“Mask for Mask”
By JD Scott
Scott will be doing a virtual event with Hub City Writers Project in Spartanburg, SC on June 17th. Get tickets
In their debut poetry collection, JD Scott addresses the mystical underground nuances of the underground LGBTQ+ culture where they use poetry to analyze queer fantasy and youthful regret. Both formal and experimental, Scott’s poems help bring meaning to the modern queer life using both the mundanity of texting coupled by the profundity of language experimentation.
As in this singular collection, Scott believes in the individual experience, no matter where one is on the spectrum—sexually or otherwise.
“As James Baldwin said, ‘Everybody’s journey is individual.’ ” Scott said. “We are all individuals, and thus we experience our genders and sexualities in multitudinous ways. I hope everyone reading this finds acceptance, compassion, solidarity, liberation, and ways to celebrate themselves this month.”
Scott is also the author of “Moonflower, Nightshade, All the Hours of the Day,” winner of the 2018 Madeleine P. Plonsker Prize; “Funerals & Thrones,” a poetry chapbook and “Night Errands,” winner of the 2012 Peter Meinke Prize for Poetry.
“I Will Tell This Story to the Sun Until You Remember That You Are the Sun”
By Erin Slaughter
Raging with modern-life angst, Slaughter’s collection of poetry is a roller-coaster tell-all spanning a year’s time in which she falls in love for the first time, finds a true circle of friends, only to lose it all. In the months to follow, Slaughter digs deep into her depression, yet learns to overcome her grief and come out on top with a furious passion for hope above all.
About being an LGBTQ+ writer and poet, Slaughter said, “Anyone who has ‘come out’ knows the coming out process is gradual — often, we inch further into owning our true selves with each passing year. My writing is a place where much of my coming out has begun and continues, and I’m honored to share this Pride Month celebrating alongside LGBTQ+ authors whose art portrays the immense complexity, humor, heartbreak and hope that exists in queer life.”
Slaughter’s debut short story collection, “A Manual for How to Love Us,” was recently bought by Harper Perennial for publication in spring 2023, and her second poetry collection, “The Sorrow Festival,” will be published by CLASH Books in summer 2022.
More information about New Rivers Press, including upcoming titles, is available online at www.newriverspress.com.