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Indie Press Spotlight: Tin House

I'm starting a new blog series called Indie Press Spotlight, to highlight my favorite small presses, and I'm starting with Tin House.

I discovered Tin House in the mid 2000's, when attending the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. If you've not attended the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, it's a must-do on a book lover's bucket list. It's a massive, sprawling book event that is filled with author panels, book signings, and endless rows of book booths. Plus, a rather impressive selection of food vendors to keep you going.

The Tin House booth was relatively small, but something about their covers and titles drew me in. Do you ever judge a book by its cover? I do, all of the time and it usually works out in my favor. I don't remember the exact offer, but they had a fantastic event special and I walked away with a stack of books, plus several editions of their literary magazine.

The first Tin House book that I read was The Dart King League by Keith Lee Morris. Morris' story about a desperate man who is the champion of his small town dart league, yet crumbling in every other aspect of his life, had me hooked. I read the entire book in a single afternoon while waiting around for jury duty.

One of my favorite Tin House books is Cari Luna's The Revolution of Every Day. Set in the mid-90's, it follows the lives of several squatters in a derelict building in New York City. It's gripping with unforgettable characters.

I love Tin House because they choose to publish stories about people who might not always get a voice. The stories are rarely mainstream and I'm always pleased to discover a Tin House book while browsing at a bookstore. I subscribed to their magazine for several years, and unfortunately, the last edition of their literary magazine was published in 2019. However, their press is still going strong and they also offer both virtual and in-person writing workshops.

Tin House magazine started in 1998 and their book publishing division was founded in 2005. They are located in Portland, Oregon.

I lived in Portland for a year and a highlight of my time in the city was a visit to Tin House. I didn't go inside, although I probably could have knocked and expressed my sincere enthusiasm. Instead, I awkwardly waved to an employee looking out the window, as my friend Rachel snapped a picture of me.

a woman standing outside of Tin House in Portland, Oregon,

If you don't know Tin House, you're missing out!


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