Western Press Books

Western Press Books is housed in the undergraduate creative writing program in Western's CALL Department (Communication Arts, Languages, and Literature) and is distributed through the University Press of Colorado. Students in the undergraduate creative writing program as well as the graduate Certificate in Publishing serve on the Editorial Board of the Press and work each year on production of the annual anthology Manifest West.

Titles from Western Press Books are available at local and area bookstores. To order copies, click on the desired titles below.

Current call for submission: visit our Submittable page at https://westernstatepress.submittable.com/submit.

More information about the Press: contact Dr. Mark Todd, Editor-in-Chief, mtodd@western.edu; and Dr. Elizabyth Hiscox, Associate Editor, ehiscox@western.edu.

Contributor copies: address queries to the Press's admin assistant Dana Lysons, dlysons@western.edu.

 

Recent Publications

Click on the cover photos of any publication below to  read more or to order.

Manifest West #6, 2017

Women and the West, the latest issue of Manifest West, appeared in July 2017. (Ed. Caleb Seeling)

Those of us living in the West’s mountains, plains, cities, and deserts can all bear witness that there is no one type of Western woman. They are cowgirls and office staff, rock climbers and birdwatchers, First Nations members and migrant workers. Some Western women no longer live here, instead looking back on the home they left behind, and others are recent immigrants from the East Coast or the Far East. What connects their identities is the sharing of Western ways of life: family, heritage, a complicated relationship with the land’s utility and beauty. Meanwhile, issues universal to women everywhere—threats of physical violence, societal controls on their sexuality, and varied definitions of femininity—cannot be overlooked, for they also impact Western women. These ladies are individual squares of a quilt, and their interactions with the culture, landscape, and geography of the West, and with their families and each other, offer us a unified variety.

This volume celebrates Western woman as an inclusive category, not a stark label. Both female and male authors and poets share their observations and interpretations. We explore the experiences of Hispanic, First Nations, and even Thai women of the West. Their narratives include mothers, daughters, straight women, gay women, and women whose stories refuse to be defined by romance and family, instead spotlighting their passions as hobbyists, workers, and humans.

Manifest #5, 2015

Serenity and Severity, appeared in July 2016. (Ed. Caleb Seeling)

Serenity and severity form a classic Western dichotomy with many manifestations. Beautiful growth and renewal follow a terrifying and destructive forest fire. Rain upon a hayfield can be interpreted as grace or judgment from above, depending on the season. The unpredictability of nature provides hikers with a breathtaking view one day and a life-threatening scenario the next. Yet the nature of the West does not only imply the outdoors. The people of the West encounter serenity and severity in all aspects of life, and this duality impacts their identity and shapes their lifestyles, outlooks, worldviews, and values. This year’s collection includes political discussions, philosophical ponderings, and lighthearted humor that are all a part of life in the West.

For the fifth volume of Manifest West, twenty-nine writers explore this theme, revealing the duality of Western life through many different narrative trails—including governed environment, overwhelming fires, hiking adventures, and the effect of location on family. Creativity and diversity come to this anthology in both content and form, with flash fiction joining Manifest West’s standard genres of creative nonfiction, short fiction, and poetry. Their combined reflections enable us to see the intense relationship between humanity and nature; sometimes nature directs humans’ lives, to their harm and to their benefit, and other times, humanity abuses the very environment it cherishes as its home. Authors bring their personal styles, voices, and experiences with life in the West to contribute to a balanced and unique interpretation of serenity and severity.

 

Manifest West #4, 2014
 

 

Western Weird appeared in Fall 2015. (Ed. Mark Todd)

The works in this collection reflect both myths and suspected truths about the part of the United States we call “The West.” But this year’s edition focuses entirely on the tradition of the strange. To borrow from Jeff VanderMeer’s definition for speculative fiction’s “New Weird,” this volume creates a new parallel genre for work that subverts the traditional romanticized ideas about place, playing with clichés about The West in order to put these elements to discomfiting, rather than consoling, ends.

Topics included in this collection of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction range from The West’s numinous fascination with E.T., Bigfoot, and ghosts to the West’s uncomfortable relationships with its own marginalized peoples, with the region’s unforgiving and sometimes violent traditions, and with its indigenous fauna and deadly landscapes. The tone of these works ranges from light – even campy – to chilling, but all allow readers to gaze straight into the many faces of what makes The West a weird place.

For the first time in the series, this volume includes solicited work as well as open submissions, including a number of established and award-winning writers in addition to its mission of giving voice to both published and brand-new writers.

WPB's first single-author book

Western Press Books released a single-author work, a collection of essays and poems by (then) Western Slope Poet Laureate Aaron A. Abeyta, in September 2014.

Published with funding from Western's Headwaters Project, for its 25th annual conference, Sept. 19-20, 2014, Abeyta's Letters from the Headwaters is a collection of poems, letters, and memoirs that captures the spirit of the American Southwest in its history, its present, and its future for the region. Edited by Headwaters Project Director Dr. John Hausdoerffer and with a forward by Headwaters founder George Sibley. To order a copy of this book, please click here.

Other Available Titles

Click on the any of the above below to read more or to place an order.

Cover for Manifest West, #1

Manifest West, #1, 2012
(Ed. Teresa Milbrodt)

Cover, Manifest West #2

Manifest West, #2, 2013
(Ed. Teresa Milbrodt)

Manifest West, #3

Manifest West, #3, 2014
(Ed. Larry Meredith)