clockroot books

about

books

writers

events

blog

contact

“Better a long lawn and a mole. Let the lawman have the mown lawn.”
—Lydia Davis,
A Mown Lawn

 

 

 

 

“Lawn mowing feels like copying the same sentence over and over.” 
—Michael Pollan,
Why Mow?

 

 

 

 

“Literature has always been a step away from ignominy.”
—Roberto Bolaño

clock… root?


A clock is the puffball head of a dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), a delicate invader whose seeds sow themselves in even the most inhospitable soil. A dandelion’s root is stubborn, penetrating, wilier than spades.

A dandelion is a spot of wild, of sunny disorder in the vast green American lawn, an assault against its propriety and “perpetual state of vegetable adolescence,” as Elizabeth Kolbert calls it in the New Yorker.

As there’s a movement of late to return lawn to meadow and wildflowers and vegetable gardens, so we’d like to see the sameness of much of what’s championed in American contemporary fiction ruffled by the disorder of literature that’s wilder, inevitable as a dandelion spotting the lawn, clarifying as its bitter greens at the end of a long winter.

what we publish

Though we take works in translation as a starting point, most importantly, we are looking for writing that confronts us, that feels urgent, disorienting, vivid. We are interested in work that makes its particular innovation in form and language palpable; we also welcome work not necessarily “experimental” but that compels in other ways—perhaps in how it bears the traces of another place, language, politics. Submissions are open from January 1 until June 1 every year; please e-mail the directors.

directors

We agreed with the lament a while back from Helen DeWitt in Paper Cuts, the New York Times blog on books: why shouldn’t “great efforts” be made, she asked, “to match writers with editors with whom they have intellectual rapport”? We hope that through this site, our blog, and our own writing, we can convey something of our aims and predilections for those thinking of submitting a manuscript.

Hilary Plum

Pam Thompson

lauren michelle amy interns

Our internship program and partnerships with the five area colleges and especially the University of Massachusetts/Amherst’s MFA program in writing are important parts of our mission—they express our roots in the Pioneer Valley and our desire to make connections between literature as it’s taught and as it’s published. Internships are currently closed for the 2011/12 and 2012/013 academic years.