Minneapolis has become one of America's independent publishing capitals due to presses like Milkweed, Coffeehouse, and Graywolf, which has been sweeping the major book prizes lately, having just won this year's Association of Writers & Writing Programs' Small Press Publisher award.
The award, according to AWP, "recognizes the important role such organizations play in publishing creative works and introducing new authors to the reading public." Graywolf was chosen from among five finalists including Coffee House, Bellevue Literary Press, Etruscan Press, and Salmon Poetry.
This year, with the AWP conference taking place in Minneapolis, Graywolf is taking full hometown advantage to celebrate its authors. Graywolf editor Jeff Shotts said, "We consider our authors to be Graywolf, so we couldn't be more thrilled to have AWP in our hometown so we can treat them to our arts culture and our weather."
It snowed this morning, when the press invited its authors at the conference to come to its offices for mimosas and donuts iced with the Graywolf pressmark.
In attendance were luminaries and up and comers on the Graywolf list, including Leslie Jamison, author of the bestseller the Empathy Exams; as well as with Matthea Harvey, whose recent collection of poetry and visual arts defies genre boundaries; and new Graywolf authors such as the poet Danez Smith, whose poems written in response to the police brutality cases of the last year have drawn considerable attention on social media.
Associate editor Steve Woodward was particularly happy to see so many authors talking to one another: "It's really fantastic to have this many authors in the office all at one time. It's a chance to meet authors who have been on the list for a long time and new ones."