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Black Mountain Press and the Worthiness of Lofty Ideals

What is it about Western North Carolina that inspires independence, creativity, and a desire to buck the system? What is it about those hills?

In Swannanoa, the Flood Gallery Fine Art Center houses fine art in the Courtyard Gallery; hosts a monthly open mic; and is home to the venerable Black Mountain Press, established in 1994.

Black Mountain Press turns a steely eye toward the publishing world and takes some uncomfortable truths as givens.

First, that our modern media consumption—movies, streaming television, and the like—means that most “art” these days is created to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Second, that plenty of as-of-yet unpublished authors have plenty of important things to say.

Third, that these same writers are often ignored by corporate publishers who are “more interested in serving up their chain store consumables for a public lost in our mass produced fast-food induced art world.”

Heady stuff!

As a result, Black Mountain Press strives to publish poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that strive for a higher ideal, which raise the level of public discourse, which are written for people who want a transformational experience while reading. And they’ve been doing this for twenty-four years.

Recent titles include A Poetic Guide to Puerto Rico for Gringos by Jorge Potter; a short-story collection, Artists’ Tales, by Joseph Meigs; and the novel Cut by Adam Cushman.

Out this Spring? Country by North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee and current NC poet laureate Shelby Stephenson, as well as Night, Sleep, and the Dreams of Lovers by David Brendan Hopes, who won Second Place in the 2018 Doris Betts Fiction Prize.

Black Mountain Press accepts submissions year ’round:

For the next ten years from 2018 through the end of 2028 our focus will be in collections of poetry, memoir, novels and collections of short stories. Our editors are looking for the highest quality literary fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry that combines a distinct voice and vision.

There also is a new literary magazine, The Haylcone, which offers opportunities for writers.

Visit Black Mountain Press on the web at or follow them on Facebook.