Blog Posts by Briana Gwin

20 Posts

Authors / Interviews

A Q&A with Chris La Tray, author of debut Memoir Becoming Little Shell

Briana Gwin — 04/02/2024

At Milkweed, we often discover great books in curious ways, and the Métis poet and storyteller Chris La Tray’s debut memoir, Becoming Little Shell: A Landless Indian’s Journey Home, is no exception. Nearly a decade ago, Publisher & CEO Daniel Slager attended a writers conference in Missoula, Montana. There he crossed paths with La Tray, who was hand-selling books at local indie bookstore Fact & Fiction. Their exchange morphed from pleasantries to serendipitous dialogue revealing that La Tray was writing a book of his own.

Later that evening, Slager learned that La Tray had recently begun interrogating…

Authors / Events

Celebrating the polyvocal launch of Tressing Motions at the Edge of Mistakes

Briana Gwin — 03/11/2024

On February 22, Milkweed Editions hosted a virtual launch event to celebrate the publication of Imane Boukaila’s Tressing Motions at the Edge of Mistakes: Poems. The book is the fourth addition to Multiverse, a literary series curated by—and devoted to—neurodiverse voices. Boukaila was joined by Multiverse editor, Chris Martin, who moderated the event, and four poets selected by Boukaila to “give voice” to their favorite poems from her book. The launch concluded with a dazzling “homing rally,” a collaborative poetry exercise open to all.

Among the many feats Multiverse has accomplished in the years since its…

Authors / Poetry & Migration

On Yalie Saweda Kamara’s Besaydoo: a monument to multiplicity (and home)

Briana Gwin — 03/11/2024

As an Afro-Latina American citizen, I tend to seek stories that center voices, cultures, experiences, and lifeways historically peripheralized by the Western literary canon. But for all the breadth that I encounter still with every new BIPOC-authored book I read, I am routinely enchanted by a sense of what remains familiar. What lands have you been denied, what spaces have you been neglected in—and rejected from—and from what sunless places were you forced to grow? I ponder these questions as I read, acutely aware of the ways longing for BIPOC authors so often manifests on the page as a reaching…


Debra Magpie Earling on surfacing through silence: “The time is now.”

Briana Gwin — 02/14/2024

Debra Magpie Earling wasn’t exactly surprised when her first novel, Perma Red, was banned after its re-release in 2022. She’d already faced more than her fair share of adversity bringing the book to fruition: after spending nearly a decade conceiving of the first draft, she would lose it to a cabin fire. After tirelessly working to rewrite the story, she’d be advised—repeatedly—to adapt the ending of the work to cater to Western audiences. And after finally signing her first publication deal in 2002, the imprint would shutter its doors and force the novel out of print just four years…


The Quickening creates community at the ends of the earth

Briana Gwin — 01/05/2024

On the first day of the new year, we received an exciting and somewhat extraordinary message confirming that one of our books, The Quickening by Pulitzer Prize finalist Elizabeth Rush, is now available in the Little Free Library at the South Pole! For us, the announcement is cause for celebration, as well as gratitude and reflection. We are humbled by the ways in which The Quickening has made waves in the world. And what book could be a better fit for the South Pole’s collection than this one, whose apt subtitle is Creation and Community at the Ends of


The inspiring reemergence of Debra Magpie Earling

Briana Gwin — 12/22/2023

Books often come to us at Milkweed Editions in unusual ways, and Bitterroot Salish author Debra Magpie Earling’s work is no exception. The Missoula, Montana-based writer was highly referred to our Publisher & CEO Daniel Slager by Chris Dombrowski, a fellow Missoulian author who had already published a book with us. Slager was intrigued to learn that Earling had broken ground in the literary world with the publication of her highly-successful debut novel, Perma Red, back in 2002, only for the imprint to shutter its doors four years later, sending the novel out of print. He became even…


One poet's impact, written in the stars

Briana Gwin — 12/22/2023

As an independent publisher, we look at more than just a book’s potential when a manuscript proposal comes our way. We also consider the promise of the artist behind the art, prioritizing transformative potential over profitability. Today, we’re proud to be the creative home of dozens of change-making artists—from international award winners to MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellows, and even a Poet Laureate of the United States. Ada Limón has achieved all of the above and more. We’re proud to point to her impact in the world today as an example of the effects of our commitment to build relationships with…


From Conversations with Birds to dialogues on the world stage

Briana Gwin — 11/30/2023

When Priyanka Kumar began writing her debut memoir, Conversations with Birds, she had a profound realization. Since the dawn of the Information Age, modern Americans have struggled to find fulfillment in their lives more than ever before—but to Kumar, the solution to this problem was surprisingly simple, and could be found in a single word. “We’re at a crossroads in the world,” Kumar says. “Our lives have become fragmented in so many ways by all these devices that we’re basically living inside of now. But there’s something in us that’s very human and wants to break open, that remembers…


When art inspires art; how Braiding Sweetgrass influenced a climate movement

Briana Gwin — 10/09/2023

American conceptual artist Jenny Holzer is no stranger to addressing the biggest issues of our times through art. In the 1970s, her Truisms project elevated political slogans in public spaces across New York City, and a few decades later her Redaction Paintings series staunchly opposed the abuse of incarcerated people of Guantanamo Bay. As recently as 2020, Holzer again set to work with the noble cause of inciting political awareness and activism in America as part of a project called VOTE FOR YOUR FUTURE. But Holzer was far from finished—and just a year later, she set her sights on…

Authors / Events

Celebrating the decade-long impact of Braiding Sweetgrass

Briana Gwin — 09/20/2023

Robin Wall Kimmerer didn’t set out to change the world—or even to become particularly famous within the canon of environmental literature, which was infamously comprised of homogeneously white voices for decades. Rather, the Indigenous ecologist-turned-author seemed to be operating like a scientist from the outset: her observations led her to understand that the world needed a change, and so she proposed an effective solution. In the face of ongoing biodiversity loss and climate change, Kimmerer observed that scientists had the tools to enact necessary change, but Indigenous communities held the spirit and ancestral knowledge vital to doing so with dignity…