West Virginia University Press (WVU Press) is a university press and publisher in the state of West Virginia. A part of West Virginia University, the press publishes books and journals with a particular emphasis on Appalachian studies, history, higher education, the social sciences, and interdisciplinary books about energy, environment, and resources. The press also has a small but highly regarded program in fiction and creative nonfiction, including Deesha Philyaw's The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, winner of the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, winner of the 2020/21 Story Prize, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, and a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction in 2020. John Warner wrote in the Chicago Tribune, "If you are wondering what the odds are of a university press book winning three major awards, being a finalist for a fourth, and going to a series on a premium network, please know that this is the only example." In 2021, another of WVU Press's works of fiction, Jim Lewis's Ghosts of New York, was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. WVU Press also collaborates on digital publications, notably West Virginia History: An Open Access Reader.
|Parent company||West Virginia University|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||Morgantown, West Virginia|
|Distribution||Chicago Distribution Center|
|Publication types||Books, academic journals, digital media|
In The Chronicle of Higher Education, Rachel Toor described the press as "a new publishing heavyweight." The press has also been described as "a small but intellectually ambitious press that prides itself on placing regional issues in dialogue with global concerns." Writing in the New York Times, Margaret Renkl cited two titles from West Virginia University Press as evidence that "University Presses Are Keeping American Literature Alive."
West Virginia University Press maintains Booktimist, a blog about books and culture, at https://booktimist.com/.
West Virginia University Press was founded in the mid-1960s by Dean of Libraries Dr. Robert Munn, during which time it focused on publishing bibliographies and histories of the coal industry.
In 1999, the press was relocated to within the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences under the direction of Dr. Patrick Conner. In 2008, Carrie Mullen took over leadership of the press as director.
In 2014, Derek Krissoff, previously editor in chief at the University of Nebraska Press, began his tenure as director. In a forum on the future of the university press in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Krissoff said "The book is necessary and important—and, while it's hardly a static artifact, it's proved remarkably durable. Books are also expensive, especially in terms of the skilled labor necessary to acquire and market them. But they're worth it." Krissoff resigned in May, 2023. Sarah Munroe became interim director, and resigned in September, 2023.
The press publishes books in the following scholarly areas: African American literature, Appalachian studies, art, digital writing and literature, energy and environment, geography, history, medieval studies, music, natural history, sociology, sports, and West Virginia, as well as creative nonfiction and fiction. Notable WVU Press books include Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll's edited collection Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy, a new edition of Muriel Rukeyser's long poem The Book of the Dead, Greg Bottoms's Lowest White Boy, Tom Hansell's After Coal, Joshua R. Eyler's How Humans Learn: The Science and Stories behind Effective College Teaching, Andrew and Alex Lichtenstein's Marked, Unmarked, Remembered, Lee Maynard's Crum trilogy, Davitt McAteer's Monongah: The Tragic Story of the Worst Industrial Accident in US History, the anthology Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods, Katharine Antolini's Memorializing Motherhood, Deesha Philyaw's The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, and Neema Avashia's Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain State.
The press publishes series in the following areas: Central Appalachian Natural History, Energy and Society, Histories of Capitalism and the Environment, In Place, Radical Natures, Regenerations, Rural Studies, Sounding Appalachia, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, West Virginia and Appalachia, and West Virginia Classics.
Open Access Reader edit
In January 2016, WVU Press and WVU Libraries launched West Virginia History: An Open Access Reader as a free, online collection of previously published essays drawn from the journal West Virginia History and other WVU Press publications.
- Essays in Medieval Studies
- Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review
- Victorian Poetry
- West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies
See also edit
- "Publishers served by the Chicago Distribution Center". University of Chicago Press. Retrieved 2017-09-12.
- "WV Book Team: WVU press releases, from politics to pepperoni rolls". Charleston Gazette-Mail. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
- "The Secret Lives of Church Ladies | The PEN/Faulkner Foundation". Retrieved 2021-05-13.
- "The Story Prize". The Story Prize. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "L.A. Times 41st Book Prizes Winners Announced". Los Angeles Times. 2021-04-17. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- Charles, Ron (October 6, 2020). "The 2020 National Book Awards finalists are a strikingly fresh group". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
- Warner, John. "Opinion: Deesha Philyaw's 'Secret Lives of Church Ladies' best publishing story of the year, but who else is going unrecognized?". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
- "100 Notable Books of 2021". The New York Times. 2021-11-22. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-05-02.
- "Scholars Talk Writing: A Big Book From a Little Press". www.chronicle.com. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
- Blanchette, Alex; LaFlamme, Marcel (2019). "Introduction: An Anthropological Almanac of Rural Americas". Journal for the Anthropology of North America. 22 (2): 52–62. doi:10.1002/nad.12119. ISSN 2475-5389. S2CID 213600208.
- Renkl, Margaret (2022-11-14). "Opinion | University Presses Are Keeping American Literature Alive". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-11-24.
- "Our Members". Association of University Presses. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
- "WVU Press voted into prestigious national association". WVUToday. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
- Lauren Peretti (2009). "The New Ambassador of WVU Publishing" (PDF).
- "WVU Press director named". WVUToday. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
- "What is the biggest challenge in university-press publishing?". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 4 June 2017.
- "Books - West Virginia University Press". wvupressonline.com.
- "EX LIBRIS -- WVU magazine" (PDF). Fall 2015.
- "Project MUSE - Browse". muse.jhu.edu.
- Garner, Dwight (2019-02-25). "'Hillbilly Elegy' Had Strong Opinions About Appalachians. Now, Appalachians Return the Favor". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
- APPALACHIAN RECKONING by Anthony Harkins , Meredith McCarroll | Kirkus Reviews.
- Stern, Scott W. (May 31, 2019). "Not Dead, Just Poor: Answering back to Claims about a Region" (PDF). The Times Literary Supplement. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
- "Fiction Book Review: The Book of the Dead". www.publishersweekly.com. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
- "on The Book of the Dead by Muriel Rukeyser by Jessica Smith". www.thegeorgiareview.com. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
- Harrison, Margot. "Quick Lit: 'Lowest White Boy' by Greg Bottoms". Seven Days. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
- Bottoms, Greg (July 2019). "Pinball Wizard". Harper's Magazine. ISSN 0017-789X. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
- "Review | After Coal: Two Regions Share Lessons of Loss and Hopes for Renewal". Daily Yonder. 2018-10-10. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
- Boyd, Ryan (27 May 2019). "Beautiful Questions: "How Humans Learn" and the Future of Education". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
- Gonzalez, David (2017-08-31). "Unearthing America's Hidden History".
- "The Importance of Scholarship".
- "Crum: Lee Maynard's 'Love Letter' To His Hometown". NPR.
- Tomasky, Michael (25 September 2008). "Night Comes to the Appalachians". The New York Review of Books – via www.nybooks.com.
- "Returning home, these West Virginians are rewriting the poetry of Appalachia". PBS NewsHour. 2017-05-02.
- "The Forgotten Parent Behind Mother's Day". Time.
- "Strong and Certain: On Deesha Philyaw's "The Secret Lives of Church Ladies"". Los Angeles Review of Books. 12 November 2020.
- "Another Appalachia". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 2022-10-07.
- Freeland, Abby. "WV Book Team: New releases explore collision of environment, culture".
- Freeland, Abby. "WV Book Team: Two new WVU Press series cross into global conversations".
- "Series from West Virginia University Press - West Virginia University Press". wvupressonline.com. 2011-09-16.
- Gibson, Amanda. "MU, WVU history professors collaborate on open access reader of WV history – The Parthenon". marshallparthenon.com.
- "West Virginia University Press Journals - West Virginia University Press". wvupressonline.com. 2011-05-23.
- "West Virginia University Press on JSTOR". www.jstor.org. Retrieved 2016-07-19.