Upper Rubber Boot Books

Publisher info

In Canadian vernacular, Upper Rubber Boot is slang for a remote, possibly unhip, probably insignificant place, much like America’s Podunk. Upper Rubber Boot Books was founded in July 2011 to give a voice to writers working from a (metaphorically) remote place, and to that end we publish fine literary and speculative writing, with a special focus on poetry and short story collections, genres which have a particularly difficult time finding a home in the publishing world. Our editions are available as ebooks only.

Smashwords Interview

Tell me a little about yourself.
Joanne Merriam (Publisher, Upper Rubber Boot Books): In addition to being a small press publisher, I’m a writer (primarily poetry and science fiction) and work a day job as an administrative assistant to three surgical oncologists. I’ve always had the idea of running my own press in the back of my mind. What solidified it, for me, was something that the poet Molly Peacock said to me. She’s an American who immigrated to Canada, and I am a Canadian who immigrated to America, so when she gave a reading at Vanderbilt here in Nashville and I had the opportunity to talk to her afterwards, I asked her how she found moving to another country, because adjusting to the American literary culture has been a real challenge for me. She said that one of the reasons she started The Best Canadian Poetry in English series was to help with that disorienting adjustment, and advised me, “Start something! Then they’ll have to come to you.”

I started Upper Rubber Boot Books in the summer of 2011. In Canadian vernacular, Upper Rubber Boot is slang for a remote, possibly unhip, probably insignificant place, much like America’s Podunk. Upper Rubber Boot Books gives a voice to writers working from a (metaphorically) remote place, and to that end publishes fine literary and speculative writing, with a special focus on poetry and short story collections, genres which have a particularly difficult time finding a home in the publishing world.

I had been editing Seven by Twenty, a weekdaily online journal of pieces that were short enough to be published on Twitter (that is, that fit into 140 characters), so our first titles included a best-of anthology of 140 pieces from the journal, called 140 And Counting. I also did a reprint of my own poetry collection, The Glaze from Breaking, which was originally published in the UK by Stride Books, and a poetry chapbook by Heather Kamins called Blueshifting.

Our most recent titles include the anthology Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days, edited by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum and Alexander Lumans, which contains short stories by the likes of Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates and Paolo Bacigalupi and poetry by writers like Brian Barker, Kevin Prufer and David J. Daniels; and Peg Duthie's Measured Extravagance, which contains a lot of formal poetry; and a dystopian collection of short stories by New Zealand's RJ Astruc called Signs Over the Pacific and Other Stories.
Which genres do you prefer to read?
Joanne Merriam (Publisher, Upper Rubber Boot Books): For Upper Rubber Boot, I like speculative (that is, science fiction, fantasy, magical realism) work with a literary feel, or literary work which exploits some of the tropes of speculative writing.

In my personal life, I read just about any genre — I like mysteries and romances and science non-fiction, too, but I don’t like them enough to spend months on one manuscript, so I don’t publish them. I read a lot of poetry, too. Most recently for poetry, I finished Wayne Miller’s The City, Our City, which is so, so good. The last prose book I read was Caitlin R. Kiernan’s excellent ghost story The Drowning Girl, which features a mentally unstable narrator, so you’re never quite sure what’s real in the world of the book, which made for a really compelling read.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Upper Rubber Boot Books online

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The Sky Needs More Work
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 7,110. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2014 by Upper Rubber Boot Books. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
With poems like “Strictly Blowjob” and “The Cancer of Believing You’re in Control,” acclaimed writer Corey Mesler has made a book that adjoins sex, love and social connection in their many manifestations, from meditations on The Beatles, death, pharmacology, and infidelity, to “the holycow feeling/of just being human and/satisfied like a goddamn poem.”
The Mask Game
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 118,010. Language: English. Published: December 7, 2013 by Upper Rubber Boot Books. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
In this irresistible novel, Ukrainian author Sergey Gerasimov tells the tale of a man with fourteen twists of fate embedded in his arm: the child of a man who had cheated death and a woman who had despaired of having children until she buried a pear seed in her garden.
Marilyn Monroe: Poems
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 13,350. Language: English. Published: November 30, 2013 by Upper Rubber Boot Books. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
Lyn Lifshin has written an astonishing portrait of the real Marilyn Monroe, inside the icon. These poems imagine Norma Jean Baker’s inner thoughts about Hollywood, love, her work, her memories, her hopes, and the sorrows that eventually led to her overdose from sleeping pills in 1962. Lifshin gives us Marilyn the toy, Marilyn the mother, and Marilyn the survivor, in a remarkable tour de force.
Signs Over the Pacific and Other Stories
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 44,710. Language: English. Published: June 22, 2013 by Upper Rubber Boot Books. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
In this enchanting and sometimes gruesome collection of short stories, New Zealand author RJ Astruc tells several intertwined tales, about a whole cast of airship dwellers, Interpol agents, geneticists, mutants, holograms, and others living on the cutting edge of morality.
Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 97,340. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2012 by Upper Rubber Boot Books. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » General
Every society and every generation has its version of the apocalypse: swine flu, genetic mutation, global warming, nuclear fallout, the second coming, peak oil, mass extinction, giant irradiated ants, zombies… Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days brings together the poetry and prose of some of America’s finest apocalyptic authors.
Hiss of Leaves
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 900. Language: English. Published: August 11, 2012 by Upper Rubber Boot Books. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
Explore the subtle beauty of beetles, trash in the wind, cigar boxes, snail trails, bottle caps, sheets snapping on the line, and more. This contemplative haiku chapbook by T. D. Ingram will help you cultivate a greater awareness of the magnificent in the everyday, and open your heart to the beauty inherent in everything.
The Glaze from Breaking
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 6,460. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2012 by Upper Rubber Boot Books. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Canadian Poetry
Oranges as an offering to the dead; a purple hippopotamus wading pool in a strip club; hoar frost and aurora borealis and bail bondsmen and road kill: Joanne Merriam‘s inaugural collection of poetry catalogues morsels of experience. The Glaze from Breaking overflows with lovely, vivid poems about the aftermath of a breakup, and the redemptive power of travel, nature and love.
Measured Extravagance
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 6,010. Language: English. Published: March 11, 2012 by Upper Rubber Boot Books. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Female authors
Employing sonnets and sestinas as well as open forms, Measured Extravagance lyrically documents the messiness of grief and explores the complexity of devotion. Peg Duthie throws jump shots with Shakespeare, plays duets with Heisenberg, and finds out what relish trays and rifles really have in common.
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 2,080. Language: English. Published: March 11, 2012 by Upper Rubber Boot Books. Category: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
Clocks and galaxies and streetlights; urns and deadbolts and petroglyphs; sweating lemonade; contrails; the spider strings of memory; rocky winter ground, the great blue heron with its neck tucked up under it like a wish, and the vanishing stars: Heather Kamins‘ inaugural chapbook of poetry reveals a deep curiosity and insight into the repressed and irrepressible energies of our world.


140 And Counting
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 6,580. Language: English. Published: March 10, 2012. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction
140 And Counting is a collection of the best twitter literature from the first two years of online journal Seven by Twenty’s history, on relationships, nature, work, animals, seasons, science fiction and fantasy, and mortality: 141 clever little allotments of literature by 119 authors in 1 exquisite ebook!

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