Rain Mountain Press has evolved from the magazine Skidrow Penthouse. It operates as a publishing collective in which authors actively participate.
Rain Mountain Press has evolved from the magazine Skidrow Penthouse and takes its name from "When The Cicadas Return" a poem by Bill Featherman, an obscure and homeless Minnesota poet and musician. We favor writers who speak the language of storms, the smell of fire after the smoke is gone, styles that are idiosyncratic and grounded, while at the same time suggesting realities far beyond themselves, whether those realities be political, cultural, or of some undefined nature. We want to spread the voice scrawled on the walls of an overpass during a cold Rocky Mountain night, the way Bill Featherman did on the night of his death in 1993. Rain Mountain Press will operate as a publishing collective in which authors will actively participate.
Mission: Rain Mountain Press is an independent publisher committed to enriching literary culture by bringing emerging and often neglected writers to the widest possible audience. Our mission is to: Publish works that fall into the categories of experimental, visionary, and literary writing. Bring back into print important books which might otherwise be lost. Publish posthumous works. Give wider audience and exposure to the art of the novella by publishing contemporary works written in that form as individual books of 80 to 100 pages much the way books of poetry are published. Publish work that falls in between the cracks in terms of style, e.g., poetic prose, hybrids of prose and poetry, memoir/poetry, graphic novels, other kinds of amalgam works, and work that resides in the interstices. Experiment with presentation, print runs, shapes and illustrations. We are a small press and can only publish a very limited number of books each year. We are therefore restricting our reading period to the months of September and October. Any queries received outside of our reading period will unfortunately have to be deleted. When querying during the reading period, respond by email with 10 sample pages in the body of the email or attached as a PDF file. Send to: [email protected]
Rain Mountain Press
Soon to be released from Rain Mountain Press—
Beauty and the Unrequited Landscape by John Goode
“Whether describing a pigeon as a “the soul/of a homeless penny” and a “smoke-filled dove,” or “wondering//when the Sinatra stardust will fall,” John Goode creates a reality that sidesteps physical boundaries. If it were possible to reshape language in the manner of scordatura tuning for a stringed instrument so the note played isn’t the normally expected one, these poems would be the result. The most impressive quality is the consistency with which the images register as being absolutely right as they make connections that freshen all our senses. The lines may fly high but they aren’t random. Here is a poet looking hard at the world we’re in and wringing out its spirit drop by disquieting drop, and all with a flair we’re lucky to encounter.”
The Price of Paradise: A review of Monte Carlo Days & Nights by Susan Tepper
The Price of Paradise A review of Monte Carlo Days & Nights by Susan Tepper Rain Mountain Press, 74 pp. Susan Tepper’s...
Announcing the November 1st pre-launch of Susan Tepper’s novella Monte Carlo Days & Nights published by Rain Mountain Press.
Monte Carlo Days & Nights is the story of a love affair laced with fluid motives and an unpredictable balance of power. Reading these tightly locked, impeccably drawn chapters was akin to sitting with an old photo album that jolts presumption; the slight downturn of lips or lack of wrinkles around smiling eyes tease, invoking questions about passion—its veils and intricacies. Tepper’s details are precise sensory delicacies that beg meaning and lend themselves to a curiosity that grows with each exchange. As soon as I reached the sentences “I don’t feel nervous during sex with him. Only during normal.” I knew I would have to readjust my schedule to inhale this book at once.
–Jen Knox, author of After the Gazebo and The Glass City
Susan Tepper smoothly guides you through a lost world reminiscent of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Cote d' Azur: glitter and glamour and pain, all in gracefully crafted scenes.
–W.F. Lantry, editor Peacock Journal
Available from Amazon and SPD Distributors
Monte Carlo Days & Nights Fiction. Women's Studies. "MONTE CARLO DAYS & NIGHTS is the story of a love affair laced with fluid motives and an unpredictable balance of power. Reading these tightly locked, impeccably drawn chapters was akin to sitting with an old photo album that jol...
Review: “The Absent” By Rosalind Palermo Stevenson
reviewed by Judy Katz-Levine
Rain Mountain Press
Written in prose and poetry, this novel by Rosalind Palermo Stevenson explores the life of a photographer living in the mid 19th century, during the time of the civil war. Written in a dream-like narrative which also captures the broad-ranging style of Walt Whitman, Palermo Stevenson explores the inner life, losses and career of someone like Timothy H. Sullivan, a photographer who was a contemporary of Mathew Brady, the great civil war photographer who documented the battlefields of the civil war. But unlike Brady, Sullivan went on expeditions which documented and explored the lives of Native Americans, and it is the interior narrative of these expeditions of the main character of this novel, William Martin, as well as the intimate loss of a wife and re-marriage, which gives structure to “The Absent”.
While the narrative is not stream-of-consciousness, Palermo Stevenson gives the photographer-narrator, Mr. William Martin, an interior voice which is exquisite and reveals the acute aesthetic eye of a photographer, especially sensitivity to light, shadow and darkness,as he relates the death of his wife Lucie during a pregnancy, and his extended mourning of her throughout the book. The novel is set in Philadelphia, 1859,1860, Arkansas, 1860, St. Louis, 1861, Santa Fe, NM 1873,1874, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1898, and bears interior witness and witness of life passages of William Martin as he continues to mourn the loss of his wife, who was also a photographer focusing on portraits. He remarries a woman named Angeline, but the post-life presence of his wife who is far from absent during each of his many expeditions is a primary theme. The presence of those who have passed is interwoven throughout the exquisite lyrical and imagistic prose which often breaks into poetry throughout each of the seven chapters of “The Absent.” Martin has an aunt who is fascinated by the occult and spiritualism and “The Absent” can be said to be an extended meditation, almost a novel-length prose poem, on the presence of those who have passed in our lives. There is a seance in one scene, and there are explorations of the beliefs in the spirits of animals and those who have departed - the spiritual practices of the Native Americans who Martin photographs- in one of his expeditions.
His wife Lucie has died, but a married couple, friends of Martin, have a baby girl who they name Lucie, after his wife who has passed. A very profound exploration of Martin’s relationship to this girl who becomes his assistant, but then becomes blind in an accident due to chemicals splashed in her eyes by wet-plate photography current at the early birth of photographic techniques, renders her a symbol also of the absence of sight in the household of a photographer for whom sight is all important. This absence, and Martin’s sensual attraction to the young woman who bears his lost wife’s name, is also explored in depth.
In a larger context, Palermo Stevenson utilizes the photography and experiences that Martin has with Native Americans in Santa Fe and the Southwest to make a strong condemnation of the virtual murder of the culture of Native Americans, and that is also an absence which Martin dwells on in his descriptions of the Native Americans, called Indians in keeping with the times in which the novel is set, and there are many scenes that describe without romanticism the circumstances of Native Americans at the time of the Civil War.
It is noteworthy that the author does not explore any expeditions in which the photographer, William Martin, would be photographing civil war scenes on battlefields, though that is how so many photographers of those times gained their reputations. Instead he makes a journey, early in the novel, to St. Louis and photographs a hermaphrodite, to whom he is somewhat attracted, and that relationship is also explored through this interior narrative which is dream-like, and documents dreams as well, and almost serves as a photographer’s diary. The absence of a normally functioning sexual body is another aspect of the theme of presence and absence, which reveals that Palermo Stevenson has an almost masterly grasp of how to explore this theme on multiple levels.
As a novel which is also an extended meditative prose poem on the nature of life and death, vision and the loss of vision, perception and illusion both visual and spiritual, the presence of those who have passed on as active in our lives, and as a historical document which takes a hard look at the genocide of Native Americans in very intimate and visual scenes at the time of the Civil War, and the references and witness to the slave trade are also often included in Martin’s interior narrative, one would emphasize that this is a masterly novel which aims very high and succeeds on multiple levels. I have only described a small portion of the richness of “The Absent”. It is an deep and enlightening experience to read and absorb the many layers and currents of “The Absent” by Rosalind Palermo Stevenson.
From the diary of Octavia Butler
"To hell with every quality in writing I do not possess. Opinions are not going to stop me. Nothing is going to stop me. I’m sick of hearing what it should be. I am the only one to be satisfied."
— Anaïs Nin, from a diary entry featured in Linotte: The Early Diary Of
Anaïs Nin (1914-1920)
Annie Dillard gets us every time . . .
"No black woman writer in this culture can write ‘too much.’ Indeed, no woman writer can write ‘too much.’ Considering the centuries of silence, the genres of writing that have been virtually the sole terrain of men, more contributions by women writers should be both encouraged and welcomed. As a professor I sit in classrooms year after year talking with young women who are uncertain about their voices, who are still grappling with whether they can become ‘authors.’ Many of these young women are afraid to speak, let alone write. When I witness their fear, their silences, I know no woman has written enough."
-bell hooks, “Women Who Labor With Words"
"I think we’re in an exciting literary period when an emphasis on multiculturalism has opened doors that hitherto have been closed. Now we have a world music alive in literature and narratives from all over the globe being published. In America writing is no longer dominated by the white male* and much has been illuminated about the dark underside of our country’s history and presented by writers of color. Once we get past the swagger about our exceptionalism we find the gut-wrenching stories."
Read Stephanie Dickinson's full interview with Susan Tepper here: https://buff.ly/2uA4AIr
Associate Editor Hannah can't put down Last Window in the Punk Hotel
We will help you make $10/hr to check the bomb wiring inside a water lily.
- Rob Cook, Last Window at the Punk Hotel
Susan Tepper interviews Stephanie Dickinson at the storied (and moody) Algonquin Hotel
Stephanie Dickinson--Rain Mountain proprietor, prolific author, and tireless small press devotee--has been recognized in the 2017 Bacopa Literary Review contest! Her piece, "Excerpts from the Trakl Diaries," won first prize in the flash story genre. Congratulations, Stephanie!
Congratulations to our 2017 Bacopa Literary Review prize winners: Flash Story Prize: "Excerpts From the Trakl Diaries" Stephanie Emily D...
In case you missed it: Rain Mountain author Alexandra van de Kamp (Kiss Hierarchy) is the program director for creative writing classes at the nonprofit literary center Gemini Ink, where she has helped organized a four-day writer's conference in San Antonio. Read more about Alexandra's important contributions to the indie lit community:
From July 21-24, nonprofit literary center Gemini Ink will convene local and national authors and publishers for a four-day writer’s conference at the El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel. “We plan to work…
Review of "The Absent" by Rosalind Palermo Stevenson
What is most extraordinary about this book, and there are many extraordinary aspects of it, is the language. I can think of maybe three novels that one can definitively say are extended epic poems: Kate Braverman’s, The Incantation of Frida K, and Toni Morrison’s two novels Song of Solomon and Jazz . Now, there a fourth, The Absent… The language is incandescent, luminous, illuminating in a way that is beyond compelling. The book is almost hypnotic in it sheer ability to captivate the reader, pulling him forward into this world of clarity even when he is lost in shadows… Like Stevenson’s previous work from Rain Mountain Press, Insect Dreams, the reader’s perceptions are most lucid when they are enmeshed in dreams. If the dream is reality, take me to that world and leave me there. Everything else, before those dreams and after, not of these vibrant living, breathing places, is merely the mundane facts of everyday life. This book is timeless, so remarkable, describing it pales beside the experience of reading it.
--Alan Catlin, Misfit Magazine
For full review, please click the link and scroll down to fiction.
Stephanie Dickinson's review of The Petals of Your Eyes is a Drunken Boat Vintage pick this month!
"Dickinson’s review has been selected as today’s vintage feature because even without having read Parkison’s book, her review provides such a captivating examination of the characters, the setting, and the implications of the story’s dark allegory that it makes for a great read on its own."
Associate editor Hannah is doing a bookstore sales tour for Where the Survivors Are Buried on this 90-degree day. 1 like = 1 prayer
ICYMI: Amanda Adams reviews Nava Renek's Where the Survivors Are Buried, available now from RMP: http://buff.ly/2u2nFWQ
Did you know RMP has published 40 titles? Yeah, we're pretty proud of ourselves, too. Explore our catalog:
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Review: Vincent Czyz, Adrift in a Vanishing City, Rain Mountain Press, New York City 2015 Logos Journal
Review: Vincent Czyz, Adrift in a Vanishing City, Rain Mountain Press, New York City 2015 Logos Journal
Not to find one’s way in a city may well be uninteresting and banal. It requires ignorance—nothing more. But to lose oneself in a city—as one loses oneself in a forest—that calls for quite a different schooling.
New Fiction From Rain Mountain Press
By Rosalind Palermo Stevenson
“I had a dream last night of taxidermy. In some strange corner of my mother’s house; that is my mother’s and my aunt’s house—the two of them absent. But Lucie Beale was with me in the dream. We were on the floor sitting talking like Indians, as though we were children playing, the way as a child I used to play on the floor beneath the dining room table. There was a wolf with us on the floor, or was it a fox, if a fox a large one, although remembering the dream it looked more like a wolf. Sprawled on its side like a dog sleeping, but it was a wolf that had been skinned and stuffed. I began petting it in the dream, though Lucie Beale refused to pet it, and as I was petting it,
it came back to life and leapt up and ran away.”
“An astonishing combination of dreaminess and precision.”
—Mary Gordon, author of The Liar’s Wife; Pearl; Final Payments
“…In THE ABSENT, Stevenson has provided the reader with images of light and shadow, of loss and love, of violence and peace. Of the complex nature of the mind and relationships. All of the characters come to life from the page in vivid detail in the haunted mind and life of William Wright Martin.”
—g emil reutter, from North of Oxford review, February 15, 2017
Rosalind Palermo Stevenson is the author of Kafka At Rudolf Steiner’s and Insect Dreams. Rosalind lives in New York City.
Review of The King of White Collar Boxing
The King of White-Collar Boxing David Lawrence
People familiar w/ the small press will recognize David Lawrence as almost a kind of superhero. The guy’s been a boxer, millionaire CEO, jailbird, rapper, poet, & who knows what else. These elements are great ingredients for a fascinating story, & Lawrence tells it here.
As a poet, Lawrence writes lines like he’s throwing punches—blunt, quick, hard. And he starts his book out this way, w/ paragraphs like: “Courage involves the bad public relations of aggressivity. Let love die because love kills. Ooh, but we do get deep or confused. I have a lot to say. I box. It keeps me simple, honest, sincere.”
Like Hemingway. But pretty soon he settles down into a more rhetorical flow.
The story basically goes like this: Lawrence is the Chairman & CEO of his own insurance brokerage down on Wall Street. In 1985, at the age of 38, he decides that he wants to box. “Men are killers. It’s built into the tips of their pen*ses. I had spent the sixties trying to get in touch with my feminine side.
Gleason’s Gym in Manhattan, sparring w/ some pretty good fighters. In the course of these 329 pages we’ll meet Renaldo Snipes, Buddy McGirt, Larry Holmes, Macho Camacho, Michael Dokes, Mike Tyson, rapper Kurtis Blow, Arturo Gatti, & more. Plus he meets Donald Trump, of whom Lawrence says, “He was a chubby, arrogant man with hair that lay over his head like a gull’s wing….He was the supreme egotist. Worse than me.”
Anyway, Lawrence realizes that, despite his being a millionaire, the boxers look down on him as a weakling. He gradually earns the respect of the guys he’s working w/, & he develops self- respect as well. He’s living in an honor society rather than a legal one. And he’s writing poetry.
About halfway through the book the FBI comes knocking. This is in 1990. Lawrence has spent so much time & energy on his pugilism that he has neglected the business, & two office underlings have played loose w/ a lot of cash. He ends up in Federal Prison in upstate New York for just under two years, released in March of 1995. He then focuses on his career as a rapper (which really doesn’t go anywhere) & then as a boxing coach.
Lawrence’s exploits in the book pretty much end in 2001, when he is determined to have a brain injury (due to boxing) & he gets back together w/ his lovely, long-suffering wife, Lauren. Along the way he appears in People Magazine, USA Today, New York Magazine, on CNN & on Phil Donahue. And he’s still writing poetry.
Lawrence tells a good, fast-paced story. There’s a lot of action, of course, & many introspective passages, where he ruminates on people & himself. Like what makes us all tick?
The King of White-Collar Boxing (2016) was published by Rain Mountain Press in NYC & costs only $18.00. The text is typo-free & includes perhaps 2- dozen black-&-white photographs of the author in various stages of his adventures.
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