I recently purchased a copy of Matt Love’s latest book, Of Walking in Rain, which is part essay, part journal, part treatise, part list, part history lesson, part poem, and all heart. It’s a beautiful meditation on all things wet–rain language, rain’s physicality, rain in literature, rain as a major feature of Oregon, rain as described by Matt’s students. The cover etching is by artist Frank Boyden, the founder of the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.
Matt is a–or dare I say the–quintessential Oregon publisher. He founded Nestucca Spit Press in 2003 and has been writing and publishing Oregon nonfiction ever since.
He’s also an inspiration to me as a new small press publisher with a regional focus. Matt is a tireless promoter, and when I interviewed him in Brave on the Page, he said this: “The only real way I ever found success as a writer/publisher was to take the stories/books and my passion for them out to a reading public that was interested in Oregon. I’ve gigged at bars, barns, bookstores, galleries, coffee shops, theaters, utility closets, fairs, fields, parties, prisons, libraries, parks, and historical museums and met thousands of fantastic Oregonians who have responded enthusiastically to my personal, somewhat eccentric approach to telling Oregon stories. I put 320,000 miles on a truck–and never left the state.”
Talk about a mission–and a mission statement. Matt’s grassroots, high-energy approach with Nestucca Spit Press has definitely colored my vision of what it means to be a regional press, what it means to put stories into the world, and although our subjects are different, my events-based approach to publishing is all due to his incredible example.
And now, with Of Walking in Rain, Matt is forging his own path yet again by offering readers the chance to buy copies direct through the press, and at select coastal bookstores, before the official September launch. He’s offering a special limited edition for $40 as well as the regular edition for $20. So please consider supporting another independent Oregon press, one that’s made a huge impact on the state by reflecting on and commemorating many of the things that make Oregon, well, Oregon.