SLAPERING HOL PRESS
chapbooks & anthologies

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The small press imprint of The Hudson Valley Writers' Center
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About Slapering Hol Press

 

 

Slapering Hol Press (Old Dutch for "Sleepy Hollow") launched its first publication, the anthology, Voices from the River, in 1990. With its simple and elegant design, Voices from the River which featured established poets 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.

After publishing several anthologies Slapering Hol Press began focusing its mision on new authors. Since 1991 SHP has held an annual competition which features promising poets who have not previously published a collection of their work. Since 1990, the SHP has conducted a national competition. Each year, SHP publishes one or more of the most outstanding manuscripts from the average of more than 200 submissions.

During 2004, to give advice and support to the Center, the SHP editors 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 English Department at Sarah Lawrence College, joined SHP as co-editor after long-time 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 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 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 given the Bakeless Literary Prize by Breadloaf Writers' Conference. A lofty achievement for a first book author of poetry, Tucker's Late for Work was 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 Paul Zimmer in The Georgia Review. 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 February 2011 Garrison Keillor read "Driving Montana, Alone" the title poem from the 2010 SHP Chapbook Copmetition winning manuscript by Katie Phillips on The Writer's Almanac.

In 2005, Slapering Hol Press created its own literary series, which takes place at The Hudson Valley Writers' Center, with a mission of providing an audience for emerging poets. Additional initiatives include an on-line newsletter that targets our extensive mailing list with news of Slapering Hol Press, SHP authors, and upcoming readings. SHP has also organized additional readings for SHP authors and advisory committee members in established New York poetry venues such as Cornelia Street Café and Blue Door Gallery.

For more than a decade, 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 strong voices in contemporary poetry.