HISTORY & VISION
Monster House Press was a nonprofit publisher & circuit of literature, art, & thought in the Midwest from 2010-2019. MHP existed in print & online, as well as in the corporeal world via the organization of readings, events, & tours intended to connect via an intentional being-with through the container of literature & art. MHP published work that fuses, deconstructs, grafts, (re)imagines, connects, & disentangles the myths, customs, language, narratives, ideologies, apparatuses, & presuppositions of the contemporary milieu & moment. Emergent voices & writers make home & collaborate alongside established ones in books that illuminate the quotidian to raise it up into an eternal. MHP’s publications included constantly evolving, challenging, accessible, multi-faceted & pertinent books + texts. MHP wishes to graft a new world with what is most monstrous & necessary to continue. MHP was born in Columbus, OH on W. 10th Ave from 2010-2011 and lived in Bloomington, IN from 2011-2019.
“For Monster House Press, “book” is both a noun and a verb — they make books and book events. Informed by the aesthetic of the overshare and the DIY show…self-described ‘amorphous collective.'” － Columbus Alive
MISSION & EXPERIMENT
Monster House Press is an experiment. As a small collective, an amorphous mass of humans and non-humans, we care for each other, our authors, and our communities.
Our press eschews industry and institutional norms. We disagree with the ways that these norms embed and conceal the production of value. The value of a book, like any commodity, is a curious thing. It's not objective, and it's not subjective. Economically, the book's value is an expression of the social relations affecting the labor's value. Because certain people's work is worth more than others', we see that social relation manifest in the value of the book. In literary publishing, we also see how awards and niche markets narrow the affective experience of writing and sharing one's work.
We are looking to make clean breaks with these value paradigms, and as we step away as best we can, our steps may look a little strange, a bit different.
One step is that we do not tier our publications: we give equal consideration, care, and labor to a text whether its final form will be print or digital publication or a live reading, whether the product will be free or exchanged for $.
Another example is that we share access to the entire process of editing, design, and distribution with our authors.
Another is that our collective, our amorphous mass, publishes work by its members. This is not self-publication, and this is not not self-publication.
We think of publication itself as an expression of value, because we put a material and emotional stake in an author's work. We want to live in a world where we can value ourselves openly and in many ways.
Another example is that we publish some texts--in print and digitally--with the intention that we will not receive any money for them. That's not because we don't want to make money, but rather because some day we want to make books that cannot be brought about through money. Publishing some books so that our labor is not for money, so that half of the monetary exchange is missing, is a small step toward that future.
We live in a time where there are the wealthy and everyone else, and complacency in this dynamic is absurd. We use commerce to redistribute wealth.
Economic disparity and the experience of sustained economic hardship affect society destructively and, through this rending, create many gaps in resources for all of us to fill.
To fill in the gaps and concern ourselves with people as a whole, we fund raise for other groups through publications and public events.
Often the author picks the beneficiary, because they have volunteered with that group previously. ♡
Below is a short list of groups to whom we have donated time, energy, and $. We value their activities and encourage anyone with means to volunteer or donate food, $, clothing, or other apt resources.