I’ve seen it for years. Of course I have. It’s published just a few miles from here. But many of you haven’t. And, sadly, many of you won’t.
It’s the Wapsipinicon Almanac. A small independent press literary publication. And it’s a treasure.
Now right off the bat I better say that I felt this way even before the acceptance of my essay for next years issue. (which I simply could not be prouder of!)
Full of essays, short fiction, memoir, and op ed along with some good ole fashioned almanac advice, the Wapsipinicon Almanac is delicious from cover to cover.
“well if it’s such a treasure,” you say, “why won’t I ever hear of it?”
There’s a specialness that goes oh so much deeper than the stellar writing and poignant eco-conscious writing. It’s the physical being of the pub itself. You see, Tim Fay, the publisher, editor, and main man at the controls, prints the Almanac on a century old letter type press. By hand. Once a year. He has some help with the setting, but 99% of the operation is in his hands start to finish. Which results in a fantastic publication of limited number. So get it quick if you want it!!
Liz Zabel at the Cedar Rapids Gazette wrote a nice article a couple of years ago covering all the intricacies of what lengths Tim goes to and what a labor of love it is.
With such an undertaking Tim wants (and needs) to keep it simple. I’m sure it would have been a coast to coast sensation with a little slick marketing and some top pro reviews. He would have been buried in submissions! As it is it’s on the radar of the esteemed Iowa Writer’s Workshop of pubs to watch for current literary voices. (YES! Iowa Writer’s Workshop!!)
He’s stylistically visioned as well. The advertisments in the pub all adhere to the minimalist theme he’s held for 30 years. Simple lines, simple style. Clean. beautiful.
I’ve always wanted to grab the latest issue and do an Almanac Ad Tour and just go visit all these wonderful sounding places that know Tim, know the Almanac, and believe in both. How fun would that be!!
You can read more about it, more about how to get your hands on a copy, and more about the Tim and the letter press process in Tim Fay’s own words here at the Wapsipinicon Almanac’s website
I’m still on cloud nine that I’ll be one of the contributing alumn!!