Student-run publishing house, Cornerstone Press, is excited to announce it will be publishing its first international author since it began in 1984.
This year’s release titled, “Meditations of a Beast,” is a collection of poetry written by Kristine Ong Muslim who was born and still resides in the southern Philippines.
Muslim is a seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee, an influential award in the field of creative writing. Along with writing poetry, she has written many short story collections and horror books, of which she has both won awards.
Cornerstone Press is part of the course English 349: Editing and Publishing. Throughout the semester the students select, edit, publish and market a new book.
Dr. Ross Tangedal, assistant professor of English and publisher-in-chief of Cornerstone Press, hopes the students gain a new perspective about the business behind book publishing.
“Publishing is a collection of art and business and most English departments do not have coursework that discusses the business of literature because we focus on the art…but somewhere beneath that is how does that literature get sold, how does that literature get marketed, how is it changed, how is it compromised,” Tangedal said.
Tangedal thinks this particular poetry collection is an incredibly unique piece of work which readers will engage with.
“It has a different rhythm, it has got a flow that is kind of intoxicating…it has this kind of hypnotic quality that is very interesting,” Tangedal said.
Natalie Wanasek, editor-in-chief of Cornerstone Press, agrees with Tangedal.
A junior English major and professional writing minor, Wanasek was drawn to the creative formatting structure of the manuscript which piqued her interest immediately.
“What really sticks out about this collection of poetry is that the last line of each poem is the first line of the following poem, so it has this waterfall effect to it,” Wanasek said.
Being involved in Cornerstone Press has shown Wanasek how detailed the editing of a manuscript can be. She has learned the process is about trusting one’s instincts and feelings.
“There is actually more involved when editing a poetry manuscript because you have to maintain the author’s integrity of their work,” Wanasek said.
Scott Thornsen, senior English major and chief operating officer of Cornerstone Press, thinks the poetry collection is simply fascinating.
“What really excites me though is that this book of poems really speaks to the modern age; banal problems that we experience without really knowing they ever occurred,” Thornsen said.
He hopes this class helps him to develop the attitude and confidence needed to navigate in the publishing industry after graduation.
In previous years, Cornerstone Press has hosted a single release party for its final publications, but this year’s staff has decided to switch it up.
The students are planning on having a week-long series of events promoting the finished book and to accompany the initial release party. Currently, the staff is discussing the possibility of having book readings by local authors and university faculty poets along with a variety of other events.
The release of “Meditations of a Beast” is tentatively scheduled for the second week of December. The final marketing and release details will be solidified as the semester progresses.
For more information on author, Kristine Ong Muslim, visit her webpage at kristinemuslim.weebly.com