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The Legacy Series

We believe in the power of beginning a career, publishing a first book, and charting a new course. The Legacy Series promotes new and emerging voices in short fiction, especially those writers who are early on in their careers, or who are seeking to publish their first book.


​Evangelina Everyday

Dawn Burns, March 2022 

Evangelina is as everyday as women come. If she were a landscape, she’d be a patch of woods on the edge of a fallow Indiana field, her edges visible from all directions from miles away. Nothing special on the outside. A disturbance to nobody. One might think her a boring, self-contained Midwestern housewife. Mixing humor and sincerity, Dawn Burns roots her debut collection firmly in the minutiae of Midwestern life, focusing on the inner life of one who suffers the annoyances of a Midwestern lifestyle in a manner all her own, a manner filled with anxious contemplation of the worth of her life.

Steve Henn

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Jamie Lyn Smith, January 2022

Set in Appalachian Ohio, Jamie Lyn Smith’s debut short story collection, Township, explores a region and the rotating cast of characters who call it home. With honesty and empathy, Smith closely examines the strains that intimate family ties put on lives worn raw by collective history. Ultimately, the nine stories in Township interrogate the notion of reconciliation, examining whether people can truly change and if forgiveness is possible.

Kenyon College

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Responsible Adults 

Patricia Ann McNair, December 2020

In Responsible Adults, a mother uses her reluctant adolescent daughter as a model for her art photography. “Your mother loves you best when you are ugly,” the girl comes to believe. A stepfather attacks a neighbor boy for exposing a shameful secret to his stepdaughter. A pregnant and undocumented young woman brings new life to a failing church and its dwindling congregation. Farms fail, families break apart, work is hard to come by, and the characters in these fictional Midwestern towns are fueled by grief and hope, loss and desire. What happens when responsible adults are anything but responsible people? When they are at best, irresponsible, and at worst, dangerous?


New City LitNational Book ReviewLiterary HubChicago Review of Books

Columbia Chronicle Fiction Writers Review  Solstice Literary Magazine  Superstition Review Booklist  Interlochen



Great Escapes from Detroit

Joseph O'Malley, December 2019 

In Great Escapes from Detroit, Joseph O'Malley tells stories of families living in Detroit. In an imperfect city that beckons and repels, these characters probe the ever-shifting terrain of the human heart, where the tenacious pull and push of love, trepidation, and occasional joy plays out as they navigate the opposing impulses that exist in all families: to embrace their circumstances, or to escape. Whether it's the father who fears he may have spawned a monstrously violent child, the woman overwhelmed by dealing with a crazy neighbor while caring for her ailing father, the teenage boy who finds that asceticism won't shield him from the horrors or the joys of life, or the happy woman who can't help her severely depressed husband, these stories reveal the throbbing kernel of hope that persists even in the most dire circumstances.




Nothing to Lose 

Kim Suhr, December 2018

Drawing on the rich complexity of the American Midwest, Kim Suhr peoples her debut book of fiction with characters that we know, carved out of the Wisconsin landscape and caught between expectation and desire. An Iraq war veteran stalks the streets of Madison. Four drunk friends hunt deer outside of Antigo. A mother tries to save her son. A transplanted New Yorker plots revenge against her husband. A man sobers up and opens a paintball range for Jesus. A woman with nothing to lose waits for her first kiss.

*FINALIST, Short Story Collections (Next Generation Indie Book Awards), 2020-2021

Christi Craig Wisconsin Author Review Lake Effect (WUWM 89.7) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


The Appointed Hour

Susanne Davis, December 2017

The Appointed Hour shines a compassionate light on a changing rural America, spanning generations and locations by exploring the emotions that accompany life’s trials. The heart-wrenching challenges draw Davis's characters together in feelings of love, loss, hope, and community, united throughout history by the place they call home.

Carolineleavittville The Day The Daily Campus (UConn) The Heroine's Circle

The Portage Poetry Series

A portage is a pathway, and to portage is to trek across that pathway to get from one place to another. We seek fresh perspectives and new pathways with the Portage Poetry Series, started in honor of the press's first poetry collection in 25 years: Kristine Ong Muslim's Meditations of a Beast (2016).


​The Walk to Cefalù

Lynne Viti, September 2022 

Moving and life-affirming, The Walk to Cefalù moves the reader through the family history that Lynne Viti imagines, embellishes, or even invents out of whole cloth, and into young adulthood and coming of age. Striving for universality, Viti creates a durable sense of a speaker limited by an outside force that she constantly has to find ways around, or through, to contentment and ease. Even when limited by separation or loss, her walk inspires us to reach higher.




Dokubo Melford Goodhead, September 2022 

Weaving factual and fictional stories about the lives of his loved ones, and those he looks to for strength, Dokubo Melford Goodhead’s Mourning is a meditation on the magnitude of loss. Powerful, raw, and elegiac, Goodhead’s collection is also a commentary on the plight of the Ijaw island people of the oil archipelago of the Niger Delta region of post-colonial Nigeria, where the country gets almost all of its revenue through the mining of oil and gas. Doubling as memoir and poetic exploration, Mourning sets its sights on nothing less than the human soul, and what we must do to protect it.

The Found Object Imagines a Life: 

New and Selected Poems

Mary Catherine Harper, September 2022 

In The Found Object Imagines a Life: New and Selected Poems, Mary Catherine Harper collects some of her most personal and poignant poems. With precision and gravity, Harper explores a High Plains family struggling with loss, the cracks and fissures of human love, and the celebration and wonder that are part of the human process of living in and through language. Our inner landscapes, outer desires, and complicated triumphs find a home in Harper’s first full-length collection.


Naming the Ghost

Emily Hockaday, September 2022 

A woman has both recently become a mother and lost her father, and a ghost has begun haunting this new family. What is the ghost? Why is it here? In poems of the everyday, Emily Hockaday charts a course toward healing in the face of loss, and living in the wake of death. With heartbreak and striking clarity, Naming the Ghost examines grief, physical pain, and the way chronic illness manifests itself in everyday life.


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​Messengers of the Gods

Kathryn Gahl, April 2022 

Moving and mysterious, the poems in Messengers of the Gods: New and Selected Poems by Kathryn Gahl have such a nice beat, you can dance to them—even if you have two left feet. Let layers of life draw you in—lovers, fondue, a wafer moon, even bee hives—as Gahl hears the scramble of time and catches each beat. Join her. 

Midwest Book Review Mistress of the House of Books

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​After the 8-Ball

Colleen Alles, March 2022 

Reply hazy, try again. All the poems in After the 8-Ball want answers, and so have thrown themselves at the mercy of a black plastic 8-Ball ­filled with dark blue alcohol and a tiny twenty-sided die. Love, loss, and Lake Michigan feature prominently in this debut collection from Colleen Alles, who examines everyday life in the Midwest with precision and depth. From the hound asleep in the sun to the pebbles lined up in the sill of a window facing west, these poems stand ready to accept whatever the 8-ball has in store, hoping, always, for, As I see it, yes.

Ecce Signum

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​Careful Cartography

Devon Bohm, November 2021

Careful Cartography, the striking debut collection from Devon Bohm, doubles as life writing and poetry. With her detailed geographic narrative, Bohm plots out her autobiography through both external and internal landscapes. Strong in style and voice, these impactful free verse poems create a map through wordscapes that equate to topographical locations, a search culminating in the most elusive and unmappable of locations: a home.

Hoffer FinalistMontaigne Medal WinnerMontaigne Medal Winner

The Eric Hoffer Award CitationPoetry Spoken Here

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​Broken On the Wheel

Barbara Costas-Biggs, November 2021

Drawing on the beauty of the Southern Ohio hills and Northern Appalachia, Barbara Costas- Biggs’s debut poetry collection, Broken On the Wheel, weaves together marriage, motherhood, and memory into a
tapestry of creation and reclamation. With bold strokes and striking detail, Biggs mines the messiness of modern life, the reawakenings we strive to experience, and the faith that comes with trying to fix what appears unfixable.

Still: The Journal

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​Sparks and Disperses

Cathleen Cohen, November 2021

The poems in Cathleen Cohen’s Sparks and Disperses reckon with contemporary life through the perspective of visual artists. Drawing on an ancient Kabbalistic myth of the “shattering of vessels,” Cohen explores issues of fracture, healing, and creation; the challenges of poverty, isolation, and the pandemic; and how we can find meaning and joy through artmaking. By building a poetic mural made of cracked ceramics, household items and glass shards, Cohen promotes healing through continuity and hope.

Readers' Favorite Poetry Online Radio BookLife Review The Reading Bud 

Midwest Book Review 

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Holding My Selves Together

Margaret Rozga, May 2021 

In Holding My Selves Together: New and Selected Poems, her fifth volume of poetry, former Wisconsin Poet Laureate Margaret Rozga brings together some of her best-loved poems about Milwaukee’s fair housing marches and her concern for issues of peace and social justice, with new poems that identify with Alice in Wonderland and imagine new Alice adventures. New poems also grapple with issues of recent political turmoil and pandemic-induced uncertainty. These deeply written poems find in language the glue that may hold our selves together.

"Margaret Rozga's Holding My Selves Together: New and Selected Poems is a master class in poetry: its movement, its tension, its bafflement, its power. As I read, I found myself speaking lines out loud, for the enjoyment of their brokenness. . . . I will return to Holding My Selves Together to hear these prayers again." - Jennifer Martelli. Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry

*HONORABLE MENTION, Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award (Wisconsin Writers Awards), 2021

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Highland Park Poetry  Madison Book Beat

Wisconsin People & Ideas Sundress Publications Madison Public Library

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Lost and Found Departments

Heather Dubrow, August 2020

Lost and Found Departments explores the intersections and tensions among many  types of loss and, sometimes, recovery—of words, of people, of memories, of literary genres. Ranging from found poetry and monologues, to reimagined forms and poems of loss and recovery, Heather Dubrow’s collection challenges readers to see beyond the surface of the everyday. With these witty, intelligent, and humane poems, Dubrow encourages us to see and discover the world around us as more than static or mechanistic. To her, the world is poetry.

Kenyon Review Battery Journal
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Marginal Notes (Notas Marginales)

Alfonso Brezmes (translated and edited by Eduardo Gregori), March 2020

Meditative, innovative, and incredibly talented, Spanish poet Alfonso Brezmes departs from tradition to deliver poems that are subtle, elegant, and playfully ironic. He draws upon historical and popular literature to craft poems that both haunt and delight. Brezmes invites readers to experience worlds of love, melancholy, fantasy, and adventure, each ripe with their own symbolism and yearning passion. Translated by Eduardo Gregori, many of Brezmes’s poems are now available in English for the first time. Marginal Notes is an entertaining entry point into modern Spanish poetry, as well as a sterling addition to contemporary world poetry.



The Almost-Children

Cassondra Windwalker, April 2019

Uncovering heartbreak and hope, Cassondra Windwalker takes us on a journey deep into the human heart, set against the backdrop of a beautiful natural world. Her poems are filled with pain and redemption, force and forgiveness, and the responsibility of love. Intense in its imagery, graceful in its style, and keen to the matters of the heart, The Almost-Children will haunt you, heal you, and lift you up. 


Meditations of a Beast

Kristine Ong Muslim, December 2016

"Kristine Ong Muslim is a fearless writer who pushes us to the edge of an abyss and asks us to jump. Meditations of a Beast is a dark, wild, ruthless collection that offers glimpses of worlds and futures beyond our own. Each poem leaves a bruise. Each verse slips right into your ear—eel-like—and never leaves. We are witnessing the rise of a truly singular voice in speculative fiction and poetry."  

 -Adam Morgan, Chicago Review of Books
Selected as one of the "Best Poetry Books of 2016" by the Chicago Review of Books

The Back Home Series

Publishing unique and original voices in nonfiction. When we think of the Midwest, we think about place, region, and home. This series highlights the complexity of the Midwestern experience through the writers that have lived it. 


Body Talk

Takwa Gordon, April 2022 

Blending poetry and nonfiction prose into a hybrid memoir brimming with humanity, Takwa Gordon’s Body Talk explores being bipolar, Black, a refugee, a woman, a Muslim, a child sexual abuse survivor, and a first-generation college student in America. At once a narrative of trauma and disruption, Gordon also investigates the power of love and community, and ultimately what healing looks like for a Black-American trying to carve out a story, and a future, of her own.

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North Freedom

Carolyn Dallmann, April 2022 

With the clarity of sharp memory and the innocence of youthful charm, Carolyn Dallmann takes readers on a nostalgic journey through family, farming, and growing up in North Freedom. Dozens of interrelated stories weave a narrative of promise and hard work, built on the backs of three generations of Wisconsin farmers within a thriving, small town community in the 1950s and 1960s. Dallmann’s raw, immediate style illuminates the past and reminds us of the vision and vitality of remembrance.


The In-Between State

Martha Lundin, April 2022 

The essays in The In-Between State forward a compassionate analysis of bodies: queer bodies, bodies of water, bodies that are hated, and bodies that deserve love. Martha Lundin, in fifteen moving, finely-crafted essays, attempts to understand the ways in which people try to shape landscapes—how this can be a violent act, even as it seeks to be loving in some ways, and that this violence is not so different from the ways in which queer people shape their bodies to fit in or live outside of a norm. With essays both personal and progressive, The In-Between State forms a love letter to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and, ultimately, a love letter to Lundin’s queer body and queer bodies across the United States.



Ohio Apertures

Robert Miltner, March 2021

The inaugural volume in our new "Back Home" series, Robert Miltner's Ohio Apertures is a collection of brief pieces of creative nonfiction that turns its attention to northeast Ohio's position as both a Great Lakes state and the north coast of America. Its dozen selections, which include flash memoir, lyric essays, narrative nonfiction, literary nonfiction, travel writing, and historical excavations of place, trace the author's life from early childhood onward, offering a template for understanding the impact of place, region, family, literacy, and cultural influence on the shaping of a Midwest identity.

Rust Belt Girl The Boom Project

The Wisconsin Heritage Series

Cornerstone Press is committed to reprinting important and forgotten Wisconsin texts, as well as texts of the American Midwest, especially those published before 1924. New editions feature annotations, introductory historical essays, and forewords by contemporary scholars.

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The Wisconsin Idea

Charles McCarthy (Edited by Ross K. Tangedal and Jeff Snowbarger)
Publication Date: 1912 (new edition, 2019)

Charles McCarthy’s The Wisconsin Idea, originally published in 1912, made the phrase “the Wisconsin idea” famous throughout the state and the country. Grounded in thorough research, meticulous detail, and a steadfast belief in the public good, the book is an important historical document of the state of Wisconsin, the Midwest, and the United States. McCarthy’s chronicle of progressive state craft in practice charges those in government to invest in “hope, health, happiness, and justice,” in order to build up, rather than exploit, the resources (both human and natural) of the country, that we may truly prosper as a free people.

This new edition, with informative annotations for contemporary readers, is a must read for scholars and students of progressivism at the turn of the nineteenth century, as well as a must own for those who believe in the power and responsibility of the Wisconsin Idea.

Middle West Review

The J. Baird Callicott Environmental Humanities Series

Named for famed environmental ethics scholar J. Baird Callicott, this new series is a lecture and peer-reviewed book series designed to provide scholars the opportunity to reflect on environmental issues as they relate to the scholar’s academic area of specialization.  The goal of the series is to engage the community, faculty, and students through environmental awareness.  

The series publishes one volume per year and is directed and reviewed by an interdisciplinary editorial team and advisory board of full-time faculty in the humanities and social sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point.

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Callicott Enviornmental Humanities lecture and book series has been suspended until further notice.



Stranger, Creature, Thing, Other

Clint Jones, 2019

Clint Jones delves into the problematic nature of human Being by examining how we created the climate crisis and what it will take to change they nature of ourselves to save the natural world. Using the motif of monstrosity, Jones examines consumption, domination, historical inheritances, alienation, and competing social epistemologies to provide a richer understanding of the human element in nature and develop a new philosophical paradigm: ecostentialism.

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​Ecological Reflections on Post-Capitalist Society

Clint Jones, 2018

Ecological Reflections provides an intellectual roadmap for deciphering the difficulties facing civilization confronted by the destabilization of late stage capitalism. Drawing upon a variety of resources, Dr. Clint Jones argues that it is of vital importance that traditional ideas about the human-nature divide be systematically broken down, not merely along the typical socio-political divides of race, class, and gender, but at deeper ontological and metaphysical levels.

Select Backlist Titles   

The Great Cat Nap

A.M. Bostwick
Publication Date:  2013

Ace is a hard-core newspaper reporter. He's tenacious, confident, and assertive. He's also a cat. When the famous show cat Ruby the Russian goes missing, Ace is on the story. But Ace bites off more than he can chew when he agrees to play detective and find the show cat, believed to have been stolen by animal smugglers. He'll need to call on help from his feline friends, a few dogs, and even a boastful rat nemesis in order to solve this mystery.

Among the Leaves: A Collection of Outdoor Essays

George Rogers
Publication Date:  2012

From fish to deer, places to people, and everywhere in between, George Rogers captures the essence of Wisconsin’s wildlife and history in Among the Leaves. “What happened to THE State Park?” and “where have all the passenger pigeons gone?” are some of the questions answered in this captivating description of what the outdoors has to offer, both in Wisconsin and beyond. As a writer for the Stevens Point Journal and the Portage County Gazette, Rogers wrote an expertly crafted, widely read outdoor living column.


Elizabeth Caulfield Felt
Publication Date:  2012

In nineteenth-century France, a woman’s role was explicitly defined: she was a daughter, then a wife, then a mother. This view was held by novelist and poet Victor Hugo, but not by his daughter, pianist and poet Adèle Hugo. Under such constraints, what’s a woman of passion to do? Syncopation, by Elizabeth Felt, breathes life into the unconventional thoughts of this controversial female figure. An elderly Adèle recounts her desperate attempts to gain personal freedom. Her memoir blurs the fine line between truth and madness, in a narrative that is off-kilter, skewed,…syncopated.


Whipped, Not Beaten

Melissa Westemeier
Publicaton Date:  2011

Sadie Davis is craving change. Recently dumped and working for a boss she despises, she is determined to shake up her life as a single woman in the city of Madison. She takes a side job as a home party consultant selling kitchenware, hoping that it will be the spice that turns her life around. Through failed recipes and cold ovens, Sadie works to create something that’s a bit sweeter, a lot richer, and oh, so very delicious.


Fugitive from Spanish Fascism: A Memoir by Miguel Domínguez Soler

Translated and with an Introduction by Richard Barker
Publication Date:  2010

Miguel based his memoir on the diaries he kept his entire life, including the dangerous years when he was a fugitive. His account of the Fascist repression is a valuable addition to recent works on the suppressed history of the atrocities committed during the Spanish civil war that brought General Francisco Franco to power.

Wisconsin River of Grace

Kyle L. White
Publication Date:  2009

Ghosts and kielbasa. Blow guns and flying whitetails. Abraham Lincoln and the Wisconsin-Illinois Truce of '07. Aldo Leopold's warning. Icelandic immigrants who wave. These are just a few of the mysteries of Wisconsin River of Grace, a book that explores the irresistible pull of God's Country.

Your Annotated, Illustrated College Survival Guide, Volume I

Patrick J. Rothfuss
Publication Date:  2005
Patrick J. Rothfuss, with illustrations by B.J. Hiorns, brings us his first volume of Your Annotated, Illustrated College Survival Guide.
"Pat approaches everything with a childlike, almost infantile wonder. His wide-eyed amazement is so young and fresh it would be crispy, yet tender, if it was a vegetable." -B.J. Hiorns​
Availability: Out of print

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