Okay! We’re back from our foray into the world of B-Corporation small presses and are in the more familiar world of nonprofit small presses. This week: Les Figues Press!
The first thing that jumped out at me on their website is that they have a link for membership. Become a member? Of a small press? Hmmm. Something’s going on here. Something about this press must personally resonate with people.
And indeed it does! Les Figues has a clear mission:
Based in Los Angeles, our mission is to create aesthetic conversations between readers, writers, and artists. Les Figues Press publishes five to seven books a year and favors projects which push the boundaries of genre, form, and general acceptability. We also curate and host literary events, including readings, conversations, performances, and art salons.
Excellent! Now I now why membership makes sense. The press is only part of a larger drive toward building a community of like-minded, forward-thinking people.
How does that translate into the works they publish?
Les Figues Press embraces a feminist criticality and editorial vision. We are interested in work that is aware of itself as a textual body within a history and culture marked (like physical bodies) by constructs of gender, race, class, and sexuality.
Cool! I read a ton of books and essays like this in college, and I’m glad I did. Although I admittedly have gotten away from works like that since then, I wish I’d known about Les Figues, out there fighting the good fight, surrounding intellectually challenging works with context and community.
This is what small presses can do! They can slide themselves into society, helping to make the world a better place. All this in addition to helping writers get heard. And of course, impacting readers. Bravo, Les Figues!
Here’s the other thing that jumps out at me from their website: the size of their books. Take a look at +|me’S-pace by Christine Wertheim:
That’s a 9.25″ x 4.25″ cover! (And yes, I’m noticing these things because of my own recent experience in trying to get a book out there.)
Here’s another one, the cover for By Kelman out of Pessoa by Doug Nufer, which stands proudly and invitingly on the page, like a tall, cool glass of something fun to drink:
“By Kelman out of Pessoa”? Not sure exactly what that means, but I know I like Pessoa! I’m intrigued!
Suffice it to say, there’s a lot going on over at Les Figues. You can keep up with their announcements here. And of course, check out their full catalog.
You can check out my own adventures in small pressing, or indie publishing, or whatever it should be called, by picking up a copy of The Race: A Novella, now available in paperback, or my latest e-book, The Promotion! And do give Little Pickle Press (our last shoutout) a little love as well!
Previous Small Press Shout-Outs: