Looking Back on 2016

We saw our flock change – saying goodbye to some great colleagues and welcoming new ones.  We started an internship program.  We celebrated the achievements of many talented authors – from new releases to grants and awards to radio appearances.  We obtained nonprofit status.  We started a weekly online feature, resumed publishing pamphlets, and released 30 chapbooks.  We placed books for sale in galleries, bookstores and art shops locally and nationally.  We hosted several author readings and book launches.  We celebrated the beginning of our seventh year with a picnic in the park in early August – complete with live harp music, cento bingo, author readings, food and activities for the whole family.  We wound down the year with appearances at Rain Taxi’s Twin Cities Book Festival and MCBA’s Love Local event.  2016 was a busy year for everyone here at Red Bird. 

Our editors spent the summer and autumn months reading the 370+ chapbook possibilities we received during the two months of our open reading period.  Each editor was able to select up to three manuscripts for publication and from their selections we have 20 new chapbooks forthcoming in 2017.

At the end of the year we still had six chapbooks and one pamphlet in the works, including the newest addition to our Editor Series, On Passing by Josh Hegarty.  Remaining titles included: It’s All Tangled in the Sweat on My Neck by James Croteau, Looking to the Sky by Natalie Cunningham, An Alphabet for Aging by Joan Johnson, A Guide to Strange Places by Kelly Magee, If You Wave a Chicken Over Your Head by Alison Morse, and Walking in Beijing by Diana Xin. 

We’re grateful to the authors and artists who are our reason for being; to the donors who contributed to our mission; to the editors, designers and interns who shepherded possibilities to finished publications; and to the many volunteers who generously spent hours folding and sewing so many pages. Thank you for the words, the art, the time, and for the many other forms of support – from donations to equipment to technical expertise to notes of gratitude and even cookies.