F161. In the Middle of Everything: Independent Publishing in the Midwest

Room L100 D&E, Lower Level
Friday, April 10, 2015
10:30 am to 11:45 am


"New York!" he said. "That's not a place, it's a dream," writes Ralph Ellison in Invisible Man. New York may be a dream for many writers, but it's certainly not the only dream. Over the last decade, countless small presses and journals, literary reading series, and independent bookstores have cropped up in minor Midwestern cities. "In the Middle of Everything" will discuss what's going on in Midwestern America to make it one of the most vibrant places to be a writer and celebrate literature.



Naomi Huffman is managing editor of Curbside Splendor, the assistant literary editor at Newcity, where her reviews and essays appear regularly, and an editor at Bookslut.

Ben Tanzer is the author of the books My Father’s House, You Can Make Him Like You, Orphans, and Lost in Space, among others. He directs publicity and content strategy for Curbside Splendor and can be found online at This Blog Will Change Your Life, the center of his growing lifestyle empire.

Jeffery Gleaves is the marketing and publicity director at Dzanc Books, a web assistant for Harper's, and a web editor for the Normal School.

Kathleen Rooney, a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, is the author of three books of nonfiction and three books of poetry, the latest of which, Robinson Alone, is a novel in poems based on the life and work of Weldon Kees. Her debut novel, O, Democracy!, was released in spring of 2014.

Jason Sommer is the managing editor & co-owner of Featherproof Books, and also a founder/contributing writer at the literary blog, Bark (thebarking.com). He lives in Chicago, and can be found at anothersommer.com.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center