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For World Kindness Day

More than a handful of the pieces that comprise the first three Stone Gathering Readers have to do with kindness. That’s not surprising, I suppose, since Stone Gathering was named after my grandchildren’s habit of finding, painting, and giving away kindness rocks. And since kindness is so central to our mission at Danielle Dufy Literary, I wanted to find a way to celebrate World Kindness Day with you all. And since I don’t have additional permission from contributors to reprint any of their pieces online, I’ll post something I wrote: it’s my Afterword to the Winter issue. I hope you enjoy it!

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Kindness in Winter  by Deborah Jacobs

Are we more kind in winter? I think we are. In times of scarcity and hardship? Yes, we are. Even when darkness outlasts light? Yes. In spring we may be more exuberant, for sure; in summer more glorious; in fall more colorful. But in winter? We are more kind.

Here in Minnesota, winter can begin in November and last until April: and, while I don’t care for the cold, snow, or ice, I do love the spirit of it all. Because for me (at least until it becomes a cabin-feverish-hanging-on-by-my-fingernails-waiting-for-spring marathon), winter is the season of giving, of generosity, of kindness.

It’s no coincidence that winter is bracketed by and peppered with holidays of giving–whether it’s the giving of food, gifts, light, hope, or love. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, from Hanukkah to Kwanzaa, from New Year’s Eve to Chinese New Year, from Valentine’s Day to Easter which (whether you’re Christian or not) signifies–with its chicks and bunnies, eggs and gift baskets, flowers and all that color(!)–the great nourishing gift of Spring itself: the promise of life, the end of scarcity.

But first, winter–our season to give, even in scarcity, perhaps because of scarcity. Do we have more fellow feeling, are we more protective of each other, more sheltering and nourishing of each other when it seems more necessary? when perhaps we feel mutually vulnerable? We are. And despite our furnaces humming along, our super-thick insulation, our heated autos (and auto seats!); despite our Ugg boots, our moisture-wicking long undies, our extra scarves and mittens; despite our heated garages, our plowed and salted and sanded roads; despite our local (or big box, or online) stores with plentiful groceries at the ready–we humans can’t quite shake our primal sense of winter as a threat, a threat we share with our fellow humans.

It’s part of our human DNA, after all; it’s in our genes to worry about winter. But so, it seems, is the generosity of spirit that kicks in, that seems automatically to accompany winter’s more spare aspects; there’s a settling in of kindness that seems as natural as the settling in of a new season.

There’s a whole school of thought that argues our age of excess, of rampant consumerism is rendering us (especially us Americans) less capable of generosity, less inclined toward kindness. It says because we have too much, and yet never enough, we’ve grown too cautious, too selfish to be generous. Those arguments sure sound like they could be true. But I don’t entirely buy them. My evidence? The human in winter.

We plow out a neighbor or bring in her wood; we sew quilts for the homeless, knit hats for newborns, stock the local food pantry, give books for shut-ins to enjoy; we lend someone our elbow on the ice, invite people in for hot chocolate or hot toddies, read to each other before the fire, make and bake, and make and bake some more. These are great kindnesses, large and small–necessary kindnesses, especially now. And they’re coming soon to a winter near you.

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Now’s the Time to Subscribe!

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Subscribe now! to get the first Special Issue of Stone Gathering absolutely FREE. This is a limited-time offer. The current 4-issue subscription price of $42 will be adjusted on January 1st, 2020 to $49, to accommodate a 5th issue–a special themed issue, an add-on we hadn’t envisioned when the original subscription price was set.

The Special Issue will be the last issue in each annual set of five, following Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring. This year’s Special Issue, The Relevance of Rural: What’s Lost, What’s Left, What Lasts, honors the great poet, essayist, farmer, environmentalist, and cultural critic, Wendell Berry. It will arrive in your mailbox in mid-April. 

And here’s another bonus for subscribing by the end of 2019. Your annual subscription rate will be locked in at $42 into perpetuity…which, of course, means forever. We consider all who have subscribe in the first year to be founding members of the Stone Gathering family. And a locked in rate is our great big THANK YOU for your early and solid support.

Remember, beginning January 1st, 2020, the new subscription prices (for 5 issues of Stone Gathering: A Reader) will apply: $49/1 year and $92/2 years. So, subscribe here now. 

Prefer to subscribe the old-fashioned way? Please send a check made out to DDL, to Danielle Dufy Literary, PO Box 334, Brainerd MN 56401. (Please include your email so we can send you a receipt; your email address will not be shared.)

It’s a great time to join the Stone Gathering community of readers. Thank you for your subscription! And thank you for supporting this small, independent press.

Deborah Jacobs, Series Editor and Publisher

 

 

 

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The ‘Skinny’ for Booksellers

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Fall Issue, out early-mid September!  $10.95 USD

with contributions from William Stafford, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Michael Kleber-Diggs, David J. Rothman, Marjorie Saiser, Dana Gioia, Morgan Grayce Willow, Brian Doyle, Laura Hansen, Bao Phi, Debra Marquart, Sharry Wright, Chad Hanson, Nickolas Butler, and more–writers you know and writers you’ll be glad to know.

order here:  https://danielle-dufy-literary.square.site/

 

  • bookseller discount: 40%
  • free freight with order of 4 or more books (any mix of issues)
  • terms: net 30 days (from shipping date)
  • invoice sent via email and included in shipment
  • complimentary shelf talker and bookmarks included
  • a link from our website to yours, see: https://danielledufy.com/single-issues/ (We can link to your website, your online store, or directly to the Stone Gathering book: you choose.) We sell subscriptions online, but do not ourselves sell single (new or back) issues. We will never compete with you for single-issue sales.
  • return policy: yes. Because our books are so modestly priced, we request (but do not require) that for the first year—through June 2020– you keep one or two copies of each issue in stock. Many customers will come ‘late’ to these gems; and they will want previous issues. Credit on returns is toward future purchases; bookseller pays return shipping.

           

Browse this website to learn more about Stone Gathering, French Press Editions, and Danielle Dufy Literary. Thank you for supporting independent publishing and this new small press that heartily and evangelistically supports independent booksellers.  

Deborah Jacobs, Publisher

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A Peek at the Fall Issue

 

2019 Fall Front JPG

Cover photo by Joey Halvorson. And with contributions from William Stafford, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Michael Kleber-Diggs, David J. Rothman, Marjorie Saiser, Dana Gioia, Morgan Grayce Willow, Brian Doyle, Laura Hansen, Bao Phi, Debra Marquart, Sharry Wright, Chad Hanson, Nickolas Butler, and more–writers you know and writers you’ll be glad to know.

Available mid-September at independent booksellers and book-friendly small businesses across the Midwest and beyond. Also sold by subscription.

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A Gift for the Graduate

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It strikes me that a subscription to Stone Gathering: A Reader is the perfect gift for a graduate you hold dear– a young person who, for the first time, will soon be striking off into the world, mostly on their own. As an adult who loves this young man or woman, wishes them well, wants them to succeed, what can you give to help them along the way?

How about the work collected in our quarterly reader? (You can read more about it here and here.) How about these powerful, meaningful and inviting poems, stories and essays by writers from every walk of life, writers who, cumulatively, understand the human condition in most of its varied iterations and circumstances? How about a portable, personal reservoir of strength, comfort, sustenance, and inspiration?

With the Stone Gathering reader, your graduate will never be without intellectual companions, hands to hold, words to live by, to treasure or to share, words that spark thought and sometimes action. And they will have a quarterly reminder that you care, that you know they are smart, capable, curious, multi-dimensional, going somewhere.

What a gift something like Stone Gathering: A Reader would have been for my own dear young self. And heaven knows, I could have used it! A subscription to Stone Gathering is a gift that keeps giving all year and–as collectible literature—for years to come. Why not send a graduate you love on their way with it.

Gift subscriptions are $42 annually. That’s $3.50/month or about 12¢/day: a small price to pay for something that can make such a big difference.

You’ll find the store and subscription page here. And we’ll send the beautiful card above by snail mail to announce your gift to the graduate. If, instead, you’d like to give a single issue of Stone Gathering, here’s how you do that.

Thank you for considering. And we wish your particular graduate the best future ever!

 

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A Perfect Gift for Mom

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The first Stone Gathering reader has exceeded my expectations in its rich mix of poetry, short fiction, and short essays–and in the power, the reach, and the relevance of each individual contribution. I can’t wait for you to hold this book in your hands, to savor its offerings, to know what I mean by short-form literature that is exquisite, welcoming, collectible.  You can read more about it here and here.

It strikes me that a subscription to Stone Gathering: A Reader is the perfect gift for a reading mom, a gift that keeps giving all year and–as collectible literature–for years to come. As a mom myself and one who, at my age, doesn’t need anything, receiving a gift this thoughtful, delightful, inspired and inspiring would be the bee’s knees! (Now there’s a dated expression!  but one that fell delightfully from my own mother’s lips on a regular basis–rest her very sweet soul).

I feel equally certain the Stone Gathering reader would make an ideal graduation or off-to-college gift: a bit of sustenance, succor, armor for the exciting and challenging road ahead.

French Press LogoThe special early bird rate remains available through 5/15 and ordering is seamless. For gift subscriptions, please do fill in your mother’s (or other recipient’s) mailing address, but please put your own email in the space provided, so that you will get the receipt. We’ll send mom a lovely snail mail card  announcing your gift.

You’ll find the store and subscription page here.

Thank you! And Happy Mothers Day!

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Stone Gathering: The Home Stretch!

UPDATE: The crunch is over and Stone Gathering: A Reader (1.1) is at the printer! I couldn’t be more excited!

 

Reader Cover FinalThe first Stone Gathering reader has shaped up beautifully; it has exceeded my expectations in its rich mix of poetry, short fiction, and short essays–and in the power, the reach, and the relevance of each individual contribution. I can’t wait for you to hold this book in your hands, to savor its offerings, to know what I mean by short-form literature that is exquisite, welcoming, collectible.

The Stone Gathering reader could be a perfect breath of fresh air for book clubs, an excellent resource for classroom teachers, a rewarding study for writing groups, and more. If you like books you can fall back on; if you appreciate the way a line of poetry, a strong idea, a meaningful story can shore you up; if you like to hold beautiful, powerful words in your heart, or carry them in your pocket, or sometimes let them stir you to action, this book, this series, is for you.

French Press LogoThe links to our online store are now up and ready for service. Individuals can subscribe to the Stone Gathering reader—for one year or two– at a special early bird rate through May 15th; and independent booksellers can pre-order for June 1st delivery and pay later.

Gift subscriptions for grads, dads, and everyone else are also available.

Go here for more information about Stone Gathering and about French Press Editions. And find the store here.

If you prefer to subscribe the old-fashioned way, throw a check in the mail to: Danielle Dufy Literary, PO Box 334, Brainerd, MN 56401 (early bird rates through 5/15/19: $38/year, $72/2 years–after that: $42/year and $80/2 years). Make sure your mailing info is current and please include your email address. Thank you!

These are heady days for me– perhaps a bit too busy and a little high-pressured, but they’re also fun, exhilarating, joyful, and rewarding. This work I’ve chosen for my retirement is everything I’d hoped it would be and more. Thank you for your encouragement and for your support!