Despite frequent refusal to fit into any genre but “other,” Tarpaulin Sky Press authors and titles have been winners and finalists for awards and grants from The Whiting Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Poetry Society of America, PEN America, and Lambda Literary.
proves indie presses deserve your attention (BuzzFeed News); exquisite imagination… (Publishers Weekly “Best Books”); warped from one world to another (The Nation); beautifully startling and fucked and funny and tender and sad and putrid and glitter-covered all at once. (VICE); simultaneously metaphysical and visceral … scary, sexual, and intellectually disarming (Huffington Post); only becomes more surreal (NPR Books); hallucinatory … trance-inducing (Publishers Weekly “Best Summer Reads”); wholly new (Iowa Review); language dissolves into stream-of-consanguinity post-surrealism and then resolves into a plot again (Harriet); horrifying and humbling in their imaginative precision (The Rumpus); a world of wounded voices (Hyperallergic); riotous, rapturous, and radical (LA Review of Books); unapologetic work, so bitch and bad-ass (VIDA); Visceral Surrealism (Fanzine); as savagely anti-idealist as Burroughs or Guyotat or Ballard (Entropy); both devastating and uncomfortably enjoyable (American Book Review); creating a zone where elegance and grace can gambol with the just-plain-fucked-up (HTML Giant); dangerous language, a murderous kind…. discomfiting, filthy, hilarious, and ecstatic (Bookslut); consistently inventive (TriQuarterly); “highly rewarding” (The Stranger); feels like coming (Maudlin House); a peculiar, personal music that is at once apart from and very much surrounded by the world (Verse); breakneck prose harnesses the throbbing pulse of language itself (Publishers Weekly); the opposite of boring…. an ominous conflagration devouring the bland terrain of conventional realism (Bookslut); an orgy … at once sexy and scientifically compelling (The Rumpus); dark, multivalent, genre-bending … unrelenting, grotesque beauty (Publishers Weekly); futile, sad, and beautiful (NewPages); melding and resisting traditional conventions of genre (HTML Giant); refreshingly eccentric (The Review of Contemporary Fiction); a kind of nut job’s notebook (Publishers Weekly); thought-provoking, inspired and unexpected. Highly recommended (After Ellen)
Tarpaulin Sky was born in early 2003, in a remote cabin on the Canadian border in northwest Washington State, when a certain convenience-store clerk bought the tarpaulinsky.com domain and used a Netscape browser to hand-code the first issue of Tarpaulin Sky Online Literary Journal.
Within the year, operations relocated to Brooklyn, NY, where the magazine began to focus on “trans-genre” texts and otherwise innovative or “experimental” fiction and poetry without allegiance to any one style or school, but very much indebted to trailblazers like 3rd bed and Chain and Fence and Slope.
In early 2006 Tarpaulin Sky expanded into publishing books by contributors to the magazine, and by the end of that magical summer the Press released both paperback and hand-bound editions of one love affair by the incomparable Jenny Boully: “blurring fiction, essay, and memoir in an extended prose poem” concerning “mud daubers, Duras, and the deaths of mentally ill and drug-addicted lovers” — a book that remains one of the finer examples of precisely what the fuck Tarpaulin Sky Press is about.
Today, in addition to a second book by Boully, not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them, Tarpaulin Sky Press has published some fifty titles by three dozen authors, including the latest fairy-tale horrors from Rebecca Brown and no less than six mutant-genre occult masterworks by power couple Johannes Göransson and Joyelle McSweeney. The press is proud to have published the debut books of Ana Božičević, Claire Donato, Piper J. Daniels, Steven Dunn, Danielle Dutton, Elizabeth Hall, and Kim Gek Lin Short, among others, in addition to publishing later titles by Aaron Apps, Jennifer S. Cheng, Amy King, Joanna Ruocco, and Lauren Russell. (Please see the full catalog for every author beloved at TS.)
Little else can be said here. The Tarpaulin Sky that can be named is not the Tarpaulin Sky. The Press is darkness itself, that its author-stars may shine.