Help us reach our goal of 250 supporters this Season of Giving!
COMMUNITY SUPPORTED LITERATURE
“Trees act not as individuals, but as a collective. Exactly how they do this, we don’t yet know.
But what we see is the power of unity. What happens to one happens to us all.
We can starve together or feast together. All flourishing is mutual.”
—Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
Mission-driven publishing relies on the sustaining support of our community. From the time we acquire a writer’s manuscript, through the development and editing process, through the design of the artful cover and interiors, through the building of a marketing plan—Milkweed works with writers for an average of three years before their book is published and we finally start to see financial returns on all that we’ve invested.
At Milkweed the list price of our books represents just half of what it costs to publish them. Yet we’re stronger than ever today because of YOU! When you give a sustaining gift to Milkweed, you’re investing in the future of independent publishing, you’re building a home for writers—one that can weather any storm—and you’re making books that will last.
A Reciprocal Relationship
“The author-editor relationship feels most exciting to me when it’s a fully reciprocal one, and so one highlight this year was working with Elizabeth Rush. For example: early in our editorial conversation, I’m sorry to say, I suggested that Elizabeth cut Rising’s unusual first-person testimonials about the impacts of sea level rise. These pieces began with the singularly powerful story of Nicole Montalto, whose father died during Hurricane Sandy, and so what followed felt uneven to me. When Elizabeth turned in the next draft, however, she had addressed the problem much more elegantly: by moving Nicole’s story to the middle of the book. It created a center of gravity; suddenly all the other testimonials clicked into place. I felt illuminated and delighted by her vision. And it’s not an accident that the lesson I learned, that she taught me, was about finding new solutions, shifting my perspective, centering other voices. Because Elizabeth listens, at a moment when we need to be listening. She pays attention, when a lack of attention is imperiling our shared future.”
—JOEY MCGARVEY, EDITOR
Creating the Cover for Letters from Max
“When I first read Letters from Max, I envisioned a sheaf of pages flying up into the air. Then, both Max’s mother Ari and co-author Sarah Ruhl reminded me of the meaning behind 18th century Japanese printmaker Hokusai's cranes—Max had a different bird tattooed on his body after each surgery; the one resembling Hokusai's crane appeared on his head. I thought of the tradition of origami cranes being brought to help heal the sick, and I knew I had to make one transform into the other. I made drawing after drawing until I had something that resembled a page, then another page, then a page folding, taking flight, and finally, a crane, in the style of Hokusai. And then another, and another. It felt important to let Max’s imagination inform the design of the book—to honor the buoyancy of their correspondence, as well as the lightness of Max’s spirit and Sarah's care for him through letters.”
—MARY AUSTIN SPEAKER, ART DIRECTOR
to the Stage
“A huge highlight for me this year was the Milkweed Books reading with Danez Smith, National Book Award finalist for Don’t Call Us Dead, and Hanif Abdurraqib, author of They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us. These two writers have been creative lights in my literary life for years now. I first read a poem of Hanif’s in an online journal in late 2015; I saw Danez perform in a school play back when we attended competing high schools. Seeing the ascendance of artists whose work I love and believe in as intensely as I do these two is gratifying in a way that’s hard to describe—to be part of spreading critical work they do through bookselling is a gift I’m grateful for every day I come to work. They were fierce, funny, tender, and incredibly generous. I am touched to have been part of this reading and honored that I get to spearhead this kind of event programming through my work at Milkweed.”
—DALEY FARR, BOOKSELLER
& EVENTS COORDINATOR
My Dad’s First Poetry Reading
“One of my favorite moments this past year was bringing my dad to his first poetry reading. (The event: Ada Limón, William Brewer, and Parneshia Jones in Minneapolis!) He came in unsure of what to do (he asked if he should wear a tie!), but by the end he was laughing and clapping and really understanding what the reading was about, all with no ‘insider knowledge’ or special secret poetry context. On the way out, he commented on how he felt like hearing poetry read to him helped him understand how it works and communicates. I was so happy, not only on a personal level to share my line of work with him, but also to see that he had experienced poetry as an effective tool for communication to a variety of audiences.”
—ANNIE HARVIEUX, ASSISTANT EDITOR
Hosting the Book Launch for Indian Horse
“We lost writer Richard Wagamese before Milkweed published his novel Indian Horse. It can be a challenge to launch a book without the author, but we knew that a Canadian film company had worked with Richard to adapt the into a film, so we teamed up with the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul to feature Indian Horse at their annual film festival. I’ll never forget the conversation after the screening, between representatives of the film and the Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition. An audience of over two hundred people heard from panelists about how the novel and film together depict the horrors of boarding schools in deeply personal ways that need to be made public. I learned that we all carry trauma—victim and perpetrator—and that in order to heal, we need to first know what happened. I am humbled to be part of the organization bringing Richard’s important stories to readers in the United States.”
Hitting the Right Note
“Working events often feels like an odd mix of logistics and luck: you order books and receive them, publicize, set up chairs and arrange the space, and hope against hope that there isn’t a snowstorm or Vikings home game. Our event this past September with Kate DiCamillo and Harry Bliss was something a bit different, though, because we don’t generally do kids events and only carry a small selection of those books in the store. Seeing the author and illustrator interact with attendees of all ages and hearing them talk about their work, both in collaboration and individually, was such a joy because it gave us all—including young readers!—an inside look at what it means to make art, and to make art in collaboration with others. Even though they generally don’t travel and talk together, it felt as if they’d done this hundreds of times. A dream event that hit all the right notes, and then some.”
—HANS WEYANDT, BOOKSTORE MANAGER
Do Good, Feel Good
This Season of Giving, please make a special one-time gift or sign up to give a sustaining, monthly gift!
Milkweed is in it for the long haul with our writers—supporting their books for years after we publish them and hopefully earning the chance to publish their future work—and you can be too! If you choose to give a monthly, sustaining gift this giving season, you’re committing to support those books that are in the pipeline now for 2019, 2020, 2021, and beyond. We know that a meaningful gift means different things to each person, each family, and we are grateful for every dollar contributed and for the partnership in this work they represent.
On behalf of our team, the Milkweed family of writers, and readers everywhere: THANK YOU!
Do Good, Get Goods!
Want to do good, feel good, AND get goods? During this Season of Giving, if you sign up as a sustaining monthly supporter, you can also get special limited-edition perks!
$5/month: Put a Pin in It!
Publishers are not normally in the business of making books that aren’t actually books. And sharp readers have known for ages that good taste really just boils down to reading widely and often. To suggest anything else would be tacky—but, dear friends, who could resist a good pin (or a good pun) to announce your bookish elan? Perfect for that denim jacket lapel we know you have.
Super shiny gold metal plating with soft enamel fill.
Classic metal butterfly clutch fastener. 1” H x .75” W. Made in USA.
Available with a gift of $5 (or more) each month.
Ships in January.
$10/month: The Big Deal Mug
Few things say as much about a person as their mug. Why not have yours say “I appreciate the little things”? Like the feel of a wide ceramic base. Or an iconic styled flat-top handle, marked with a perching Milkweed butterfly. Graceful and chic, this is a generously sized basic waiting to deliver both the day’s first cup of coffee and the evening’s last tea. Encircled by the lines of Ada Limón’s “The Last Thing,” growing up the sides: “I can’t help it. I will / never get over making everything / such a big deal.” We can’t help it either.
Fine porcelain. 10oz volume, 3.5” H x 5” W.
Dishwasher and microwave safe. Printed in USA.
Available with a gift of $10 (or more) each month.
Ships in January.
$10/month: It’s Tote-ally Mutual!
This could be it. The last new tote you’ll need this year. Daunting, we know. But this bag is up for the challenge. Bold in black with hand lettering celebrating the words of Robin Wall Kimmerer and a sly peeping pattern of the Milkweed colophon (that’s “logo” to those in the biz), it’s simply the perfect vessel for all the tools of the trade: manuscripts, a laptop, that cozy oversize sweater you cannot leave home without. Keep your book and phone handy and safe from water bottle spills by slipping them into the luxurious 9.5” deep seam-to-seam pocket.
10oz black cotton with 25” spun poly handles.
14” H x 13” W with a generous 3” gusset and 9.5” pocket on one side. Made in USA.
Available with a gift of $10 (or more) each month.
Ships in January.
$25/month: Get the tote, the mug, and the pin!
Need we say more?
We didn’t think so.
Available with a gift of $25 (or more) each month.
All items ship in January.
Milkweed Editions is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
• • • MORE WAYS TO GIVE • • •
DIRECT A GIFT FROM YOUR DONOR-ADVISED FUND
GIVE A GIFT OF STOCK
MAKE A LEGACY GIFT
Remembering Milkweed Editions in your estate or retirement plans is a lasting tribute to ensure the future of independent publishing. Share this sample language with your attorney: I give to Milkweed Editions, Inc., a Minnesota non-profit organization located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, ___ percent of my residuary estate (or the sum of $___ ) to be used where it is needed most by the organization.
Legal name: Milkweed Editions, Inc.
Contact: Meagan Bachmayer