On December 27, 2012, Torrey House Press, publisher of Steve Peck’s novel The Scholar of Moab, among other fine works of literary fiction and nonfiction, issued a call for environmentally-oriented nonfiction. In its call for submissions, THP noted that while it can’t help but like and publish novels and short stories, the literary fiction genre is huge and thus an extremely difficult field in which to make a mark. THP’s thinking is that “Topical, environmental nonfiction has a smaller, more focused market in which it is easier to identify and reach interested readers.”
Acting on this strategy to achieve a workable balance between literary fiction and environmental nonfiction in its publishing line and to brand itself more conspicuously, THP is
calling for lively, controversial, leading edge manuscripts on topics like water catchment, public land use, environmental health, environmental economics, sustainable living, renewable energy, land use policy, the importance of wilderness, the trans-formative power of natural places, environmental building and landscape design, about how small is beautiful, the local food and business movement and other ideas of enlightened, sustainable living. (Torrey House Press)
This looks like a good opportunity for WIZ readers and writers to send work and see if it makes a good fit with THP’s goals. This little press looks to be putting every effort into becoming a literary mover and shaker in environmental writing and environmentally-based literary fiction and, as far as I know, keeps its authors’ interests in mind. Not every writer can say that’s true of his or her publisher. In fact, early last year, THP forged a new relationship with Minnesota based book distributor Consortium Book Sales and Distribution that it hopes will help it achieve its goals of continuing to evolve in a healthy direction. This is not only something they’ve done for their own good but to my eye appears an act geared toward looking out for their writers.
If you’ve been thinking of launching yourself and are looking for a publisher, try Torrey House Press. Check out their site. Have I mentioned that it was me that put Steve Peck onto Torrey House Press, which match-making resulted in the publication of The Scholar of Moab? In May 2011, THP managing partner and publisher Mark Bailey sent an email thanking me for making the referral. So don’t write this opportunity off. I’m on to something here.
Was that deceiver so lacking
in diabolical imagination that
he appeared loudly, graceless in
I think not.
Rather he brought to mind sweet
cool Spring mornings, mother’s bread
baking thick and moist. Its smell
tickling every corner, happily.
Broken, pulled apart, steam dancing
upward from two hot halves. Honey losing
viscosity as bread and sweetness meet.
“Surely it would be no crime,”
“Take these rocks, you
made them anyway, and
to that bread.
Command these bees:
`Bring honey my friends
for this fast of mine is over.’
The Son of God must have his strength
for the mission ahead. Surely
you deserve this.”
But rising, the Master
smiled at his memories, brushed the
dust from his robe. And walked homeward
over the rocks
tired and hungry.
Steve Peck is an ecologist at Brigham Young University. His novel, The Scholar of Moab, by Torrey House Press was awarded the Association of Mormon Letters award for best novel of 2011. Other creative works include a novel: The Gift of the King’s Jeweler (2003 Covenant Communications) and a novella A Short Stay in Hell was recently published by Strange Violins Editions. He has published numerous short stories and his poetry as appeared in Dialogue, Bellowing Ark, BYU Studies, Irreantum, Red Rock Review, Glyphs III, Pedestal Magazine, Tales of the Talisman (nominated for the Rhysling Award), Victorian Violet, and a chapbook of poetry published by the American Tolkien Society called Flyfishing in Middle Earth. Steve blogs at bycommonconsent.com and has a faith/science blog called The Mormon Organon.
She rests on her grandmother’s quilt,
the Spring air cool, but sun warming €”healing
She, face turned to the sun,
is thinking back on the line of mothers
who gave her being and body . . . She thinks about
an Eve, way back . . .
Out of some Cambrian longing
her distant grandmother emerged
hard shelled, many limbed,
singular in purpose, only a
crustacean of sorts, but a
crustacean on its way somewhere.
What a piece of work, this creature.
There would be many cuts,
restitchings, corrections, additions,
before her story appeared leaping
onto this wet fabric, around this sun, in this
neighborhood of stars,
in this galaxy, in this cluster, in this universe,
in this multiverse, in this embedding,
in this quilt.
She is a small thing compared to a star,
attached to eternity
by only a pineal of complexity €”maybe
netting consciousness from some other
place. Is she some eternal piecework or
does she arise like her
new and shining from lesser things?
On this day, she notices that
a far more distant
relation has shed an apple
leaf, which spirals
downward with grace.
She, saturated in connections, turning
over, leans off the quilt
and breaths in the scent of fragrant
face first, she smells existence
in the loam, and feels some of
wrapping its arms around her and whispering
sentences that that grandmother knew and
passed on to this mammal woman,
her child’s child and so on.
Mothers running backwards, for eons.
This patchwork on which she lies
is of certain origins, and
she can wrap herself in its squares
and enjoy its warmth and the mercy of
the long chain of its history and
Steve Peck is an ecologist at Brigham Young University. He has a novel soon to be published, The Scholar of Moab, by Torrey House Press. Other creative works include a novel: The Gift of the King’s Jeweler (2003 Covenant Communications); a self-published novella A Short Stay in Hell (reviewed here and here), a short science fiction story: The Flaw in the Lord Harrington Scenario, published in HMS Beagle (online journal by Elsevier); poetry in Dialogue, Bellowing Ark, BYU Studies, Irreantum, Red Rock Review, Glyphs III, Pedestal Magazine, Tales of the Talisman (nominated for the Rhysling Award), Victorian Violet, and a chapbook of poetry published by the American Tolkien Society called Flyfishing in Middle Earth. Steve blogs at bycommonconsent.com and has a faith/science blog called The Mormon Organon.