Book Publishing During the Pandemic

What are we reading? My latest read is Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake. He brings the reader into the world of mushrooms in such a way that you find your senses come alive as you read. It’s a great book (that I wish I had published).

As a small press owner, I am trying my hardest to bring good books out and into the world. I am proud of our Green Writers Press books, but during the pandemic we saw our sales dip precariously, almost into an abyss of no return.

As I struggled to…

Every day, I hike the trail behind my house. First, I walk down my driveway with my black lab/pit bull rescue dog on a leash, then I take a left and walk down the dirt road that extends from a more travelled dirt road, toward the end of the drivable part up by the power lines. Here, the dirt road crosses underneath the power lines and turns into a woods road, becoming, really, a trail.

I take the dog off leash and stow it next to a tree trunk. Looking up, I am enveloped in green, the only kind of…

April 12

Quarantined at Home Easter Sunday

The early part of the quarantined days are like sponges soaking me up. I wake up and sit on the porch by the empty hammock, the air is still, a woodpecker is busy hammering, the bluebirds hover around their man-made home.

I save gardening for later when I need the space to dig by myself, isolation rolls over me with each shovel of rich earth. Turning over the garden, I would like to tell my mother about it on the phone like I always did. …

Coping with the Pandemic

How do you move through the world now? The distance is palpable: no hanging out in bars and talking to girlfriends over drinks, no poetry readings, no musical events, no gathering at the local coffee shop…

Businesses will no doubt suffer. Especially those like mine which have no benefits. The only good thing I have going is that books are a balm at this time and I am a small press publisher in Vermont.

We are offering free e-books which can be emailed anywhere in the world. People want to escape — they can hike on…

My mother becomes the moon

There she is at just the right time

Shining in the clouds, coming out from the sky, guiding me home.

So clear, so bright. I’ve been away for too long, like the geese that return, but I do not fly, I want to lay my head down.

Back and forth, I hear you calling me,

you tell me which way to go,

and I turn the wheel obediently.

You are more than a star in the sky,

you are light itself.

From the same womb, we have the same blood, and I know it’s true…

How are you? I said to my son calling from his new home in Mexico. I’m good, he said with. just the slightest bit of hesitancy. I was not quite believing that it was in fact good For him to be starting over in a new country.

There’s a soccer game going on. He said it looks like some sort of league. Maybe you should join, I said. You can practice your Spanish. He said My Spanish is getting better every day.

There was a pause. Remembered all those years of watching him play soccer — his. blonde hair bobbing…

In Honor of Indigenous People’s Day, October 14, 2019

The Dalai Lama says the purpose of our lives is to be happy. When you are in your sixties, there is a forlorn quality about the days: you know they are numbered now, your kids are out of the home (but never really gone from your life), your limbs are not quite so limber as they once were.

No matter what—a rainy day, a new breach of anxiety, a president of a country who causes unrelenting gibberish to settle in around the world like a spittoon that nobody can quite believe…

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Dede Cummings, of Brattleboro, who is a poet and publisher, an environmental activist, a member of 350-Vermont, and the founder and publisher of Green Writers Press. It was first published by Vermont Digger on Friday, January 19, 2018.

Yes, the climate is in peril, and most of us are too busy to stop and look through the forest.

You see, in Vermont, we are protected, somewhat. Our proximity to Canada, always good, gives us a northern edge. …

Some of the women I have published through my start-up press, Green Writers Press, and a few who support our work as an independent, women-owned, mission-driven corporation.

I attended the Women’s Convention in Detroit to present a panel on sustainable publishing. What I didn’t realize was how I became energized by a growing national movement of women speaking truth to power . . .

I have a reoccurring nightmare: I’m being chased by a man who is trying to stab me. There you have it. I don’t think I’ve shared this with anyone, well maybe my therapist. …

The Writing Life, Telling Our Stories

first published

When I went to MOMA to see Nicholas Nixon’s stunning photo series of his wife, Bebe Brown, and her three sisters, I placed myself in the frame in my own mind. I am about the same age as the youngest of the Brown sisters, they are from Providence, Rhode Island coincidentally, and they are my sisters, too. One reviewer wrote that the Nixon series makes the sisters look “like buildings” as they age. …

Dede Cummings

Book designer by profession; a publisher/poet/writer living in Vermont.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store