subito-detailThanks to Rebecca Kallemeyn, whose investigation of Tarpaulin Sky is part of Subito’s features on various Secret Orders posing as small presses, including Ahsahta, Black Ocean, Burning Deck, Caketrain, Dalkey Archive, FC2, Eraserhead Press, Essay Press, Ugly Duckling, et al.

Here’s a snippet:


(L-R) Lisa A. Flowers, Christian Peet

The cult known as Tarpaulin Sky is headquartered in sleepy Grafton, Vermont, just shy of 700 residents as of 2010.  The Rituals of the Tarpaulin include “resurrecting” fiction and poetry and exhibiting “hybrid monstrosities.”  Publishers Weekly calls their work “hallucinatory…trance-inducing,” and The Nation calls it “warped from one world to another.”  Christian Peet, the founder of the press, “now divides his time between the office, the woodshed, the garden, and the temple, as well as various locations in the astral matrix somewhere between 15th-century Germany and Litchfield County, Connecticut.”

Once a tiny online site dedicated to heretical works of literary transmogrification, Tarpaulin Sky has grown into a propaganda machine conglomerate, disseminating its anti-genre agenda online and in print in a variety of forms.


TS Managing Editor Resh Daily

The first [press] manuscripts, sent in by Initiates Jenny Boully and Max Winter, were edited on MS Word.  Soon Peet wanted his message to reach a larger, more diverse, more persuadable audience, and so began Tarpaulin’s open initiations for those whose literary work also worships monstrosities and seeks to wreak havoc on the mainstream literary global congregation.

Membership in the Family of the Published Tarpaulin has swelled to include Joyelle McSweeney, Johannes Göransson, Joanna Ruocco, and Noah Eli Gordon, to name a few.  Influence of the Family has reached VICE, NPR Books, HuffPo, The Rumpus, Publishers Weekly, and Bookslut….

Peet has since allegedly retired his official cultmaster duties…. Resh Daily is credited as managing editor, but Peet, the website cautions, is still “behind the curtain.”