Sarabande Books at AWP

AWP is right around the corner and we have all the info you'll need to keep up Sarabande here. This year we'll be set up at Booth 513 next to our friends at DIAGRAM. We're stacking the books high with all our favorite titles from over the years, all our new titles, and a few . . .


Sarabande Celebrates Twenty Years with Giving Gala

sarabande twentieth

Sarabande closed out its twentieth anniversary year with a giving gala on Saturday. The festivities were held at the American Life penthouse in downtown Louisville, where guests enjoyed wintry river vistas with their cocktails. Hustle author David Tomas Martinez treated everyone to a poetry reading of exciting new work, and he was joined at the podium by author Bobbie Ann Mason, longtime friend of the press, who gave a beautiful tribute.

The evening was a wonderful reminder of the many generous participants in Sarabande's success, both in our hometown of Louisville and around the globe. We're deeply grateful to every person who has contributed to our mission these past twenty years, and we look forward with excitement and renewed passion to our next twenty years of independent publishing.

Want to join the party? Visit our donations page to learn more about what your gift can accomplish here at Sarabande. From funding an entire book to sponsoring a workshop in the community, every single contribution counts!


AWP 2013: After Boston

After several cancelled flights, a detour through Detroit, and the blinding snows of “Snowquester,” Sarabande staff made it to Boston just in time to set up for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ annual literary fête. At Hynes Convention Center there was a cacophony of To-Do’s before the festivities even began: Find UPS store, locate shipped boxes of books, hang the too-large-banner, set up tables, and attend the opening Awards Ceremony. This year AWP introduced the Small Press Publisher Award for Excellence, Creativity, and Innovation in Nonprofit Literary Publishing. We were in the running against dozens of other top independent presses and much, much to our delight, Sarabande won! The award includes a $2,000 honorarium, a complimentary exhibit booth, and two complimentary conference registrations for next year’s conference in Seattle. Best of all was the beautiful plaque made of leaded crystal with red highlights to be placed in a significant office location for the rest of our lives.

Thanks to the magnanimous Brown-Forman, we were able to celebrate at an offsite location called LIR. The event featured five of our authors, Lauren Shapiro, L. Annette Binder, Steven Cramer, Cleopatra Mathis, and Elena Passarello; the night was neatly packed in a cool hour-and-a-half with a little taste of poetry and a good bit of prose. To keep up the good spirits we unveiled our signature cocktail, created by BF, “The Bookmark Old Fashioned.” The recipe was printed on a hot little bookmark so guests could go home and do a little mixing themselves. We send loads of love and thanks to everyone who came out; we’re almost at our 20th Anniversary and it was great to have so many new and familiar faces supporting us and our authors. Sales at the bookfair topped a record $4000, with several titles selling out completely – Let Me Clear My ThroatPossibility: Essays Against DespairThis is Not Your CityBook of Dog and Easy Math. Congratulations to David Meischen, winner of the 2013 AWP Raffle! He will receive a full year’s worth of Sarabande titles, absolutely free of charge. 

Also, we’ve picked a winner for the 2013 AWP Subscription Raffle. Congrats to David Meischen of Austin, TX! Next year, AWP will be hosted at the home of the Space Needle; we look forward to seeing you then!

Student Poets, Events

Our Annual Pie Party: Sarabande Celebrates 2012 Flo Gault Poetry Prize Winners

This past Sunday all the Sarabandistas had the chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy a whole bunch of pie in celebration of some mighty fine Kentucky students. Every year we throw a party–yes, a pie-themed party–for the winners of our Flo Gault Student Poetry Contest. Thanks to a handful of local restaurants, pizzerias, and bakeries like Lilly’sCafé FraicheProof on MainStellar Sweets, and Heine Brothers’ Coffee, we’re able to provide delicious pies of many varieties to our honored guests.


Each year we award the students with cash prizes; first place receives a printed broadside of his/her winning poem. Western Kentucky swept the competition in 2012 and Haley Edwards of WKU came away with First Prize and a broadside (see below) printed at Hound Dog Press for her poem, “Portrait of My Mother in Cigarette Ashes.” 

A bonus to this year’s party was the appearance of duPont Manual high school students, Emily McConville and Zoe Schaver, editors of the The Red Pen. Emily, Zoe and other staff of The Red Pen were recently awarded the Courage in Journalism Award for thwarting censorship imposed by their administration to publish a volume of their publication based around LGBT issues. After reading about their struggle and triumph, Sarabande decided to lend a helping hand by awarding the staff with a small donation toward the Pen’s printing costs for their next issue.