On May 27, Wilder Voice Press will celebrate the release of its first published books: two anthologies and a collection of poetry written by Oberlin students.
Staff members of the Wilder Voice literary magazine — including Editor-in-Chief and double-degree sixth-year John West, managing editor and College junior Emily Kennedy and business editor and College junior David Ohana — recently established Wilder Voice Press as a way to publish more content written by students.
“[Wilder Voice Press] is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said West. “We’ve noticed that there’s just so much [writing] being done on campus that lends itself so well to this. … People were producing such amazing content that we wanted to come up with a home for. We’ve been having talks among the staff about how much fun this would be for about three years and finally we just bit the bullet and did it.”
Many people, including alumni and students studying abroad, were involved in creating Wilder Voice Press.
“This was sort of a vision that had been in the works for a really long time, and we had the right group of people together,” said Kennedy. “With a lot of support from our friends who are abroad and people who had been involved in the magazine and continue to stay involved in the magazine even so far away. … it seemed like the right time and the right group of people to implement this. So it was fortuitous and kind of a labor of love for all of us.”
College seniors Marlo Barrera and Lauren Clark, along with College junior Galen Beebe, wrote the work in Wilder Voice Press’s first published book of poetry.
“We get vast amounts of fiction and poetry when we make calls for regular submissions, so we went through and picked our favorites,” said West. “And so for these three poets, we picked three people that we think are really three [of] the strongest voices on campus and asked them if they’d be willing to do it. They’re also people who have frequently appeared in our magazine because, through many different iterations of editors, it seems like their stuff has been a favorite of ours.”
Fifty copies of the books, which are printed by a local printing company called Bodnar Printing in Lorain, will be ordered initially. Nevertheless, the editors hope that demand will be high enough to order more.
The editors have high hopes for the future of Wilder Voice Press. Next year, they plan on publishing a novella by current College senior Allie Hirsch and a book of nonfiction by recent graduate Nora Sharp, OC ‘10.
At some point in the future, they also hope to publish coffee table books.
“They’re really elegant and wonderful,” said Ohana. “I honestly think that a lot of people are going to want these.”
The Wilder Voice Press book release party will be on Friday, May 27, at 9 p.m. in the Sky Bar. Hard and soft cover copies of the books will be available, along with other Wilder Voice merchandise, including postcards, tote bags, coffee mugs and art posters.