News / Roundup

Notes from the Field: Hold On Everybody

Milkweed Staff — 03/04/2019

This March we’re in a flurry of excited preparation for the six (six!) books publishing in the next two weeks, which means lots of new poetry in time for AWP 2019 in Portland! The paperback edition of Elizabeth Rush’s Rising—named a best book of 2018 by the Guardian—also arrived from the printer last week, and we can hardly believe how much has happened since that special book first hit shelves. But that got us thinking. Our staff is constantly deep in the weeds of all the news about our books—what’s new or coming soon, new conversations about books published years ago—and if you aren’t constantly on the lookout, it might be easy to miss what’s happening in all corners of the literary internet. Enter this new series, in which our staff rounds up the latest not-to-be-missed Milkweed highlights.




  • News from the big screen! Diane Lane and Kevin Costner are reuniting for a film adaptation of Larry Watson’s Let Him Go. The duo will play a married couple (Costner as a retired sheriff) in this suspense thriller. After the loss of their son, they leave their Montana ranch to rescue their grandson from the clutches of a family living off the grid in the Dakotas, headed by matriarch Blanche Weboy. When they arrive, they discover the family has no intention of letting the child go. Production is expected to begin this spring.
  • Feb. 22 marked 76 years since Sophie Scholl was executed by the Nazi regime at age 21 for distributing her now-famous anti-Nazi White Rose leaflets. Her story forms the basis of James DeVita’s The Silenced, a timely and heartbreaking affirmation of the power of words and art to act as forms of resistance. Milkweed reissued The Silenced (which had long gone out of print by its previous publisher) after receiving a package of 100+ letters authored by local 8th graders, who had formed their own letter-writing campaign in hopes of helping the book find a new publisher. One of those students happened to be Louise Erdrich’s daughter, and Louise had a lot to say about why we should publish the book, too. We’re glad we did.

“Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.” —Sophie Scholl

We are a world of lesions.
Human has become hindrance.
We must be stamped and have papers,
and still, it’s not enough.
Ignorance has become powerful.
The dice that rolls our futures is platinum
but hollow inide.

… .

  Hold On, she says, two million light years away.

She’s right.
Hold On everybody.
Hold On because the poets are still alive—and writing.
Hold On to the last of the disappearing bees
and that Great Barrier Reef.
Hold On to the one sitting next to you,
not masked behind some keyboard.
The one right next to you.
The ones who live and love right next to you.
Hold On to them.

—Parneshia Jones