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Gloria Mindock, Editor   Issue No. 117   March, 2024




Welcome to the March 2024 Newsletter.

Hi Everyone...
Welcome to the March Newsletter. In case you missed the last few book trailers, here are the links:


Červená Barva Press, 2024/Book Trailer
"I Tell You This Now" by Daniel Lawless

NYQ Books, 2024
"Forget About Sleep" by Miriam Levine

"The Evil Inclination" by Daniel Victor /Book Trailer
Atmosphere Press, 2023

NYQ Books, 2024
"Dark Souvenirs" by John Amen


When did you begin writing, Renuka?

I began writing after the death of my father in 2008, as a way to process my loss. Then in 2014, I left my job in social work and substance abuse counseling to become a stay-at-home mother. That's when I discovered flash and micro fiction, and it changed my life. I've been writing short-form fiction (and occasionally poetry) ever since.

Any favorite authors and poets?

So many come to mind. Among fiction authors, I have an insatiable appetite for stories by WIlliam Faulkner, George Saunders, Flannery O'Conner, Henry James, Raymond Carver, Shirley Jackson, Eudora Welty, James Baldwin, and Edgar Allan Poe. The writings of Otessa Moshfegh, Jhumpa Lahiri, Toni Morrison, and Alice Munro are splendid in content and remain a study on how to write about the complexities, pitfalls, and struggles of a woman. It doesn't get better than them.

What inspires you to write?

I write when I have a story to tell. Often, it starts with a vague idea and I write to build on it and create something whole and cohesive. Other times, I have the whole picture and it's just a matter of getting it out of me. Unfortunately, these instances are rare.

What was your early life like in India?

My parents emigrated from India when I was five years old, so I don't remember much. When my grandparents were still alive, I would visit them every summer. On the occasions when stories or poems happen in India, it's either fictional or loosely based on people and things I've observed during those summer visits.

Do you travel often? Do your travels inspire you to write?

Yes, we traveled often when I was growing up. Now that I have my own family, my husband and I have instilled the love of traveling with our children as well. Our destinations have occasionally worked their way into my writing. The most frequent one that comes to mind is Iceland, which has been a backdrop in a few of my stories and poems.

Tell us about your latest book "Nothing Resplendent Lives Here?"

It's my favorite collection of stories that I've written. It's dark, edgy, and heart-wrenching. You'll meet a variety of characters full of longing, hope, and uncertainty. The stories and characters will stay with you long after the reading.

Any future plans and projects?

I'm currently working on my fourth collection of short stories. Stay tuned!


Why did you decide to start a small independent press?

We both love books and literature. With my background in library science and bookselling and Bella's background in graphic design with a focus on print publications it occurred to us one day, "Why not start publishing books?"

Tell us about your press. Staff.

We're located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Right now, the press a two-person operation though we could foreseeably expand the staff down the line. Our dream is to open a brick-and-mortar bookshop called Staircase Books but that's a long-term goal. For now, we are most interested in making beautiful books with small print runs and getting them into the hands of as many people as possible.

I love the name of your press and your logo. Who designed your logo? How did you come up with the name of the press?

Bella designed the logo—if you like it, we sell T-shirts and tote bags with the logo on it. We like the name "Staircase" because it is a vehicle of transportation from one place to another, ascending or descending, and we thought that was an apt metaphor for great works of literature that transport you someplace, to a higher or lower realm.

How many books will you publish in 2024?

In 2024 we plan to publish four books—including three poetry chapbooks and a short story collection. Fiction is a new and exciting foray for us!

How many copies do you print of the chapbooks?

Our print run is variable. For our first chapbook we went with an initial run of 200 and when that sold out, we printed 200 more. For our second book we printed a run of 400.

The chapbook, EX MACHINA by Joan Naviyuk Kane is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. The raised silverleaf used on the print on the cover is so stunning against the black cover. The paper used for the cover and inside the book is very nice. I think it is one of the classiest chapbooks I have ever seen and I have seen many. Please talk about your choices and who printed this? Who designed the cover and layout?

Thank you very much, Gloria. Bella designs the cover and interior of all our books. So far she's carried out a simple yet elegant typographical approach to the covers which have turned out very well. A company called Mixam printed the first and second edition of Ex Machina. GHP in West Haven, Connecticut to printed second book, Oracle Smoke Machine.

I loved EX MACHINA. Extremely powerful writing. What type of poetry do you look for? Will you be publishing any fiction?

We seek to publish literature of enduring cultural and aesthetic value: not just work that seems appropriate to this moment in history, but that transcends it. We are publishing a collection of short fiction by Louis Harnett O'Meara sometime later this year.

Do you solicit or have an open reading period?

For the most part we solicit small projects from writers we admire. There are many talented writers we would love to work, with but naturally we have to choose only a few given our small-scale operation.

Please list your website here where the chapbook is available for purchase and where more information can be found. This chapbook is also available at Grolier Poetry Bookshop.

Our website is On our website you can find a list of where the book is currently stocked. We're grateful to have our books carried by many independent bookstores around New England!

Červená Barva Press Staff

Gloria Mindock, Editor & Publisher
Renuka Raghavan, Assistant Editor, Publicity
Flavia Cosma, International Editor
Helene Cardona, Contributing Editor
Andrey Gritsman, Contributing Editor
Juri Talvet, Contributing Editor
John Wisniewski, Interviewer
Karen Friedland, Interviewer
Miriam O' Neal, Poetry Reviewer
Annie Pluto, Poetry Reviewer
Christopher Reilley, Poetry Reviewer
Susan Tepper, Poetry Reviewer
Neil Leadbeater, Poetry Reviewer
John Riley, Poetry and Fiction Reviewer
William J. Kelle: Webmaster

Gene Barry (In Memoriam)

See you next month!


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