Golden Antelope Press
Golden Antelope Press is a small press operated in conjunction with, or spun off from, its sister presses, the more scholarly Blazing Sapphire and Naciketas Presses. The focus of this press is creative works of fiction and poetry. So far Golden Antelope has published thirty-six books, with another three in the pipeline. We try to do about eight books per year, and have had to turn down many wonderful projects.
In 2018 for the first time we had to stop accepting submissions for several months while we sorted through the wealth and chose our sapphires and diamonds. Since then, we've had to shut the windows thrice, each time for several months. We reopened on October 18, 2020 and were quickly flooded with samples; we closed the window again on January 7, 2021 and reopen sometime this summer. Please see our submission guidelines if you'd like to send us a sample.
We had eight Golden Antelope releases in 2020. First came Bob Mielke's Calling Planet Earth: Close Encounters with Sun Ra, a two-part book which includes Mielke's scholarly study of the musician, Sun Ra, and an original play which dramatizes Ra's unique perspectives. Then came Monica Barron's lovely collection of poems, Prairie Architecture, a meditative tribute to the varied shapes of our dreams. It was quickly followed by James Fowler's The Pain Trader, a wonderfully sensitive collection of Ozark poetry. In Patricia Averbach's brilliant novel, Resurrecting Rain (February 2020), we watch, entranced, as a middle-aged librarian (who had run away from her mother's hippie commune decades earlier) comes to grips with a truly impressive range of life's complexities. And in early March we released Raya Tuffaha's To All the Yellow Flowers. Tuffaha, a queer Muslim Palestinian American woman, is the youngest person we've ever published--a remarkably gifted student who codes political and personal struggles in metaphors which at times become allegories. Hopeful and aware, To All the Yellow Flowers amazes us.
Lucinda Watson's extraordinary collection of poems, The Favorite, came out Oct. 1. Watson's insights into privilege--its assumptions and benefits, its traps and costs--are as precise as they are witty. We're enormously proud of her. Irish poet, Steve Denehan, released Days of Falling Flesh and Rising Moons on October 14. Denehan's sense of humor is sometimes quite dark, but he can pull rainbows out of thin air just when they're needed most. Linda Seidel's Belinda Chronicles, (release date Dec. 1) is our first official "memoir," a set of very short semi-fictionalized pieces about a recently retired professor who has moved her complicated and now divorced parents into the Lucky Stroke nursing home near "Middleville" MO. Check out author pages to learn more about most of our authors. All of our books are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and can be ordered from any independent bookstore.
We're currently preparing three Spring 2021 offerings. Al Schnupp's Goods and Effects, depicts with subtle empathy the complicated adjustments and slow healing which a strong woman sets in motion after her beloved husband and two young sons die in a farming accident. John Young's Fire in the Field and Other Stories features a wide range of protagonists, many of them at odds with their neighbors and families, and some at odds with themselves as well. As with his 2019 Golden Antelope novel, When the Coin Is in the Air, delights in surprises. Gretchen Johnson's Young Again bounces from comedic to serious and back as it follows four faculty members who have (for various reasons) agreed to live for a semester in their college dorm. We are also working through nearly 200 new samples which arrived over the past two months.
Golden Antelope Press started in 2004 with a novella by the editor's mother, Vivian Delmonico: I'll Be Seeing You. The name of the press, Golden Antelope, is mainly a reference to one of the great Indian epics, the Ramayana. The pursuit of a beautiful golden antelope drew the hero, Rama, away from his lovely wife Sita, and allowed the villain to kidnap her. Their long separation drives the epic. (How much does it matter that the golden antelope was illusory--a beautiful trap set by a villain? Or that Vivian Delmonico was from Golden, Colorado?) Sanskrit tradition attributes the birth of poetry to Valmiki, the author of the epic. He'd been living in the forest performing austerities when, one day, he came across a dead bird and her mate. The sadness he shared with the grieving bird was transformed into an aesthetic response--compassion--when he spoke the world's first verse. (Does it matter whether the story is myth or fiction?)
Neal and Betsy Delmonico are the owners and operators of this press. Neal created Golden Antelope as a sister press to Blazing Sapphire Press which does works from and about India--including bilingual Sanskrit classics--and to Naciketas Press, which does non-fiction and publishes the Missouri Folklore Society Journal.
In the decade after the first Golden Antelope effort, there were occasional other works, mainly written by people the Delmonicos knew. Ting Tang Tales (humorous short stories) by D.R. Singh came out in 2008, Wandering Eyes (poetry) by Aileen Gallagher in 2009. Vivian Delmonico's more substantial book, Myra Lost and Found, kept us busy in 2011. In 2015 we had three publications: In Short, A Memory of the Other on a Good Day, poetry by Allison Cundiff and Steven Schreiner; Always the Wanderer (novel) by George Koors; and A History of Tree Roots (poems) by Missouri Folklore Society's Phil Howerton. In 2016 Cundiff's second book of poetry--Otherings--followed.
When she retired from teaching in 2016, Betsy became the primary editor and proofreader for Golden Antelope. By then, the three presses had a plan, and a history, and something new--manuscripts sent by wonderfully talented strangers. Graphic design was admirably accomplished by Russell (Rusty) Nelson, professor of graphic design at Truman State University. We enlisted Dave Malone to turn most of our books into ebooks, took on interns, and started getting scholar and writer friends to help us evaluate manuscripts and offer advice.
We had a banner year in 2017, with eight books completed. Poetry collections that year included the engaging You Know the Ones by Dave Malone, and the deeply resonant Live Free or Croak by the Ozark poet/songwriter Larry S Rogers. We published two collections of short stories--the sly yet charming Get Back, by Don Tassone, and the more surreal Anklet and Other Stories by Shome Dasgupta. A delightful new novel, Single in Southeast Texas by Gretchen Johnson, raised a fascinating set of questions. Don Tassone's hard-edged yet ultimately hopeful Drive was released that September, his second Golden Antelope publication. Steven Wineman's astonishingly empathetic The Therapy Journal came out with all its royalties earmarked as donations to three shelters for victims of abuse. And Lisa Brognano's novel, In the Interest of Faye, a cheerful romp through the world of a young art gallery curator, was released in time for Christmas that year.
2018 was equally busy. We released veteran journalist Patricia Watts' uncanny morality tale, The Frayer, in February. Craig Albin's wonderful book of Ozark poems came out in April. Don Tassone's collection of "appetizers, entrees, and desserts" titled Small Bites, hit the stores on June 4. Geoffrey Craig's wise and wonderful The One-Eyed Man and Other Stories came out in September, and Nancy Minor's beautiful, meditative, heart-opening Malheur August was released in mid-October. Jack Powers' poetry collection, Everybody's Vaguely Familiar, remarkable for its humor, precision, and empathy, came out in December.
We enjoyed 2019, too. Holly Day's vibrant and vulnerable poetry collection, Into the Cracks, was released on May 6. We proudly published the debut novel of Jerry Burger, whose textbooks on social psychology are widely taught. The subtle characters in The Shadows of 1915 live with the long-term effects of a terrible trauma--some with generosity, others having developed a taste for anger and a habit of bitterness. It's beautifully written. John Young's engaging When the Coin Is in the Air was released on July 18; the author's son Nick Young did its cover. The Last Skipjack, Mary Fox's canny study of two alert and intelligent girls growing up in a highly segregated Maryland town during the 1950s and 60s, came out on August 16. Mark Guerin's deeply human and ultimately hopeful novel, You Can See More From Up Here, earned impressive reviews. We ended the year with Geoffrey Craig's second Golden Antelope novel, a delightful, mildly erotic, piece of historical fiction titled Shakespeare's Younger Sister, which features William's clever and independent sister Constance as thoughtful observer of life and class in a tumultuous time. The term "bisexual" wasn't used in 1596, but like many in Shakespeare's world, Constance loves deeply.