This past year Wiseblood Books brought four new books into being: Dana Gioia’s The Catholic Writer Today and Other Essays; Nathaniel Hansen’s Measuring Time and Other Stories; Ryan Wilson’s How to Think Like a Poet; and James Matthew Wilson’s The River of the Immaculate Conception. We partnered with TAN Books to give Gioia’s book wider distribution, and the Benedict XVI Institute provided extraordinary patronage of James Matthew Wilson’s long poem, including this beautiful video HERE.
We staffed a book booth at and participated in the Catholic Imagination Conference at Loyola University-Chicago and had a presence at events surrounding the Mass of the Americas in Washington, D.C. We offered local readings, lectures, and workshops, and selected our first Wiseblood Writer in Residence—Katy Carl—who will spend two weeks with us in July of 2020. Our residency offers authors of significant promise a stipend, room and board for two weeks, and intensive, daily, one-to-one editorial and craft advice, as well as the prospect of a publishing contract. Keep your eyes wide for our 2021 Wiseblood Writer in Residence Contest: call for contenders coming soon through Submittable.
Although the entirety of our 2020 publications calendar is not determined, I am happy to announce a number of forthcoming Wiseblood Books: Minor Indignities: Confessions of a None, a new novel by Trevor Cribben Merrill; Boundaries of Eden, the sequel to Glenn Arbery’s novel Bearings and Distances; Jazz and Other Stories, by Dena Hunt; the Collected Prose and Poetry of John Finlay; as well as a Wiseblood Essay in Contemporary Culture by R.R. Reno. PLEASE NOTE: for the past several years we have been accepting submissions through solicitation only. Next year we will establish a Submittable account, which will open seasonally for general submissions.
After several years of steady but quieter work, Wiseblood is gaining considerable momentum. This coming year promises more of the same, with a string of events (including the Windhover Writers Festival and several readings in collaboration with Houston-based Catholic Literary Arts), interviews, and speaking engagements already filling the calendar. One merits special mention: Wiseblood Books is a proud co-sponsor of Colosseum Books’ Summer Institute for Writers of Poetry and Fiction. In June I will travel to Villanova University to run the fiction portion of this Institute, which is dedicated to raising up a new generation of writers whose work is marked by artistic excellence and saturated with a Catholic vision.
I am wholeheartedly devoted to seeing that these yields continue. Thanks to the unprecedented liberality of several major donors, I will be reducing my academic load at Belmont Abbey College, where I am Assistant Director of the Honors College, in order to increase my editorial, supervisory, and promotional work with Wiseblood Books. Our editorial team, which includes our excellent new copyeditor Mary Lang, is lean but remarkably capacious--and efficient! We need your monetary support to ensure that our stubborn commitment to publishing new books in the Catholic literary tradition continues to bear fruit. Please consider making a tax-deductible Donation of Constantine, or offering even a Widow’s Mite, HERE.
Thank you for reading, and for all you do to help us bring books into being.
With great gratitude,
Joshua Hren, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief of Wiseblood Books