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The small press imprint of The Hudson Valley Writers' Center

Quarterly Newsletter



Officially founded by Margo Stever in 1990, the Slapering Hol Press (Old Dutch for Sleepy Hollow) launched its first publication, the anthology, Voices from the River, edited by poets Pat Farewell and Margo Stever. With its simple and elegant design, Voices from the River, which featured established and soon- to-become luminaries such as Hayden Carruth, Jean Valentine, Dana Gioia, Stephen Dunn, and Billy Collins, set the standard for the chapbooks to come. In recent years, perhaps partially as a result of lack of publishing opportunity for poets in established publishing houses, an explosion of interest has erupted in the chapbook as a forum for poetry.

Besides publishing several anthologies, the Slapering Hol Press is one of the few small presses to present chapbooks by promising poets who have not previously published in book form. Since 1990, the SHP has conducted a national competition. Each year, the SHP publishes one or more of the most outstanding manuscripts out of our average group of over 300 submissions.

During 2004, to give advice and support to the Center, the SHP created the SHP Advisory Committee which consists of poets and others with expertise in small presses or organizational development. Ann Lauinger, award-winning poet and member of the Literature faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, joined SHP as co-editor after long time SHP co-editor, Stephanie Strickland, retired. Lauinger was succeeded in 2007 by Pushcart Prize winner Suzanne Cleary, whose latest collection, Trick Pear, was published in the spring of 2007 by Carnegie Mellon University Press.

Among the many notable achievements of SHP authors, Dina Ben-Lev Rhoden, the first poet chosen as the 1991 winner (Note for a Missing Friend), went on to earn an NEA fellowship, publish a second chapbook, and win a national contest for her first full-length book, Double Helix. Rachel Loden, winner in 1997 (The Last Campaign), subsequently was awarded the 1998 Contemporary Poetry Series Competition of the University of Georgia Press for the publication of her first book, Hotel Imperium, later named one of the ten best poetry books of 2000 by the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review. David Tucker, the 2003 SHP contest winner (Days When Nothing Happens), was recently given the Bakeless Literary Prize by Breadloaf Writers' Conference. A lofty achievement for a first book author of poetry, Tucker's Late for Work will soon be published by Houghton Mifflin. David is also the managing editor of the Star Ledger which won a 2005 Pulitzer Prize.

The distinctive and elegant design of the Slapering Hol chapbooks has continued to be one of its many significant features. SHP chapbooks have been reviewed three times by the illustrious Paul Zimmer in The Georgia Review which is highly unusual and exciting for SHP and our authors. Additional reviews of SHP authors have also appeared in many other literary journals such as Booklist, Calapooya Collage, The North American Review, Gin Bender, and Book/Mark.

In 2005, the Slapering Hol Press created its own literary series which now takes place at The Hudson Valley Writers' Center, with a mission of providing an audience for emerging poets. Furthermore, some additional new initiatives include an on-line quarterly newsletter that targets our extensive mailing list with news of the Slapering Hol Press, our authors, and upcoming readings. The SHP has also organized additional readings for SHP authors and Advisory Board members in established New York poetry venues such as The Ear Inn, Cornelia Street Café, and the Yorkville Poetry Series.

For more than a decade, the Slapering Hol Press has brought to light emerging talent whose diverse themes of survival and hope cross cultures. On a strong foundation of aesthetic quality, the Press has earned a solid reputation and sustained an enduring tradition of discovering some of the strongest voices in contemporary poetry.

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