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Bearing Imagination: Etruscan Press Expands Academic Outreach Program
by Wayne Benson

Since the wake of the global pandemic, every profession has had to try new and innovative methods to remain connected with their audience/customer base. Now more than ever, and especially in the world of literature, we have found ways in which we can have a more far-reaching impact, even from the confinement of our homes. 
 
When we think of the Etruscan Press tagline, “Bearing Imagination,” it’s easy to think of the words that get published, but bearing imagination reaches much farther than the page. It’s the responsibility we share to cultivate a community of other writers, editors, and academics to come alongside one another and live out this mission. 
 
During the past two years, Etruscan Press has remained at the forefront of connecting the literary world through our Outreach Program. Partnering with the YSU Poetry Center to conduct interviews with numerous writers, publishers, editors, scholars, literary agents, filmmakers, and program directors from the U.S. and abroad, Etruscan was able to compile these interviews into one accessible archive. Dr. Phil Brady, Director of the Youngstown State University Poetry Center and Executive Director of Etruscan Press, has spearheaded this collaboration, which features nearly 60 interviews, ranging from spoken word poet Angelique Palmer, to discourse on grant writing from Fran Reilly. Truly no literary stone has been left unturned. 
 
These interviews are an integral piece of the Outreach Program, and many people were involved in making the expansion of this program come to fruition. Etruscan Associate Editor Jason Miller curated the online part of the Outreach Program, edited the interview descriptions, and created the interview catalogue copy and study guides. Etruscan website designer Douglas Martin and Wilkes University Intern Shawn Stone created the new look of the Etruscan Outreach Program website, and Etruscan intern Heather Jenkins along with Etruscan Outreach Coordinator Andrew Wilczak copy edited the narrative descriptions, study guides, and website copy. 
 
Etruscan’s Co-Founders (Dr. Robert Mooney and Dr. Phil Brady) are both educators and have always been invested in academia. Each Etruscan title is accompanied by a study guide for course adoption in the classroom. Outreach Coordinator Wilczak says, “As a professor myself, it's important to me that access to knowledge in all its forms be more publicly available. With the Outreach Program, our goal is to get Etruscan authors into more classrooms and in front of more people in the community—not just in Pennsylvania and Ohio, where Etruscan has its strongest ties but also in the communities all over the country where our authors live and work.”
 
In the arts community, networking is the number one tool for success. We have all had to reach out to someone for advice or guidance or be directed to the right person to contact. With this effort, the outreach program will become that middleman.
 
Wilczak has also “begun interviewing Etruscan authors about their work and their careers for a series of podcasts and is looking at possibilities for virtual events to get more eyes on the amazing work Etruscan authors are doing.” 

The Etruscan Press website has been revised to showcase the outreach program. When visiting https://etruscanpress.org visitors will see two tabs under the banner Bearing Imagination: Outreach and Visit Our Bookstore. Once the Outreach tab is selected, it is easy to scroll through the list of video categories. The videos that accompany each person serve as a guide, but the goal is “to engage you, your community and classes in the national dialogue on contemporary literature by inviting you to invite any of these speakers into your class or group at a time of your convenience at no cost to you. Just contact Etruscan Press at outreach@etruscanpress.org and we’ll arrange for the literary professional of your choice to visit your class virtually,” says Brady.
 
If a professor wants to network with a literary professional to bring into their classroom, whether it be face-to-face or through Zoom, they have the resources to make that happen through the Etruscan Press Outreach Program.
 
The Outreach Program is truly one of a kind, and what sets it apart is offering such a robust service at no cost. This initiative exemplifies just how dedicated Etruscan Press is to the empowerment of literary arts. 
 
Wayne Benson is a poet, and podcaster from Easton, Pennsylvania. He has recently completed his final term as an M.F.A. candidate with the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University. 

New Releases from Etruscan

We are pleased to welcome Tim Seibles’ Voodoo Libretto: New and Selected Poems to the Etruscan Press collection.

What happens when a venerable poet chronicles the personal and the political? Voodoo Libretto is driven by a restless and wide-ranging imagination—the poems are sometimes humorous, sometimes deadly serious, sometimes erotic, sometimes mystical, and occasionally all of these things at once. In language that is both frank and emotionally charged, this book wrestles with issues of family, race, religion, sexuality, and more generally, the journey from innocence to hard-hearted experience. Voodoo Libretto affirms the worthiness of the human heart in its rages and tender revelations. 

Seibles is the author of eight previous collections of poetry, including Fast Animal (2012) and One Turn Around the Sun (2017), also available from Etruscan Press. A thoroughly engaged ambassador for poetry, Seibles presents his work nationally and internationally at universities, high schools, cultural centers, and literary festivals. He recently completed a two-year stint as Poet Laureate of Virginia.

A New Face for Etruscan Press
by Darren Martinez

I’m a 21-year-old senior at Wilkes University in the English program. In the maelstrom of the past two years, I ended up going to school for longer than I anticipated. Despite my lengthy stay in the program, I felt like I still did not have a clear grasp on what work was like in the English world. I owe a great debt to Dr. Mischelle Anthony for getting me in contact with the folks at Etruscan. Because now, I am one of the folks at Etruscan. As the new blood, it seems only fair that I get to comment a bit on Etruscan’s new face.
 
I started my work with Etruscan at the start of the 2021 fall semester. Much of my work has been focused on the new website. As is the case with web design, hyperlinks tend to break when you transfer all that data from one interface to another. The changes are warranted, as Etruscan’s sleek new website is comprehensive and clean. I am thankful to have just the smallest part in its maintenance, populating the event page or doing minor editorial work. Etruscan’s website overhauls also work as the bait to reel in a new generation of interns, which I imagine I’m somewhat a part of.
 
I consulted with Shawn Stone, an Etruscan intern responsible for some of the behind-the-scenes work on the website. Stone gave me an idea of the website’s previous state, and what he’s been doing to fix it. In his eyes, the update “shows that Etruscan is a capable and modern literary press.” The fresh look also helps to accentuate the variety of books Etruscan publishes. Stone felt that “the old website presented itself as outdated and not organized well.” I have had to compare other websites to Etruscan’s and can confirm the importance of a website’s appearance. The nature of upgrading websites means that changes must be universal. When he updated the look of one page, every other page would have to follow. Stone helped organize both the Outreach and Newsletter pages. Outreach specifically was made to be sortable and categorized. Featured on the home page, Stone sees Outreach as part of Etruscan’s new face. It is “a way to give back and show who Etruscan is.” Thus, the Outreach organization is made even more important.
 
Updating a website might seem like a superficial change, but it reflects the overall attitude of the staff. Etruscan’s Tribus imprints are a new addition to Etruscan’s catalog, uniting three authors and their pieces to create an interlocking experience. When I first heard of it, I thought “Oh, like an omnibus for manga?” I thought maybe it was three volumes together, not by different authors. Etruscan’s new face means new ground in publishing.
 
In conducting an analysis of Etruscan’s internship opportunities, I was able to compare them to other like presses. Etruscan is, in my findings, ahead of the game. And still, Etruscan endeavors to make the internship page even more appealing. We have worked to improve the old internship brochure. The wording of the current internship page seemed a little weak in areas, which was duly-noted in my analysis. The Etruscan staff were very thankful to have an intern’s insight on their internship page, encouraging me to dig deep and lay my criticisms out plainly.
 
Despite my own impostor syndrome and lack of confidence, Etruscan has trusted and supported me the entire way. I have been given varied work, ranging from editing to writing study guides. They have trusted my judgement, giving praise where I deserve and advice where I lack. I could not ask for better guidance. I highly doubt this is ‘new,’ for lack of a better word. This is not Etruscan’s new face, as far as I can tell. They have been this supportive since Etruscan’s inception.
Darren Martinez is an upcoming graduate of the Wilkes University English program. He loves manga, video games, and poetry.

About Etruscan Press:

Housed at Wilkes University and partnering with Youngstown State University, Etruscan is a non-profit literary press working to produce and promote books that nurture the dialogue among genres, cultures, and voices.

For the latest Etruscan events, please visit our website.
Copyright © 2022 Etruscan Press, All rights reserved.


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