Common Ground#733

Publishing-in-Transit: Seven Stories Press

Featuring Daniel Simon, Lee Stringer, Allison Tamarkin Paller, Alex DiFrancesco, Ruth Weiner, and Cole Swensen, with Nana-Ama Danquah


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Seven Stories Press Founder and Publisher Daniel Simon, author Lee Stringer, Seven Stories Web Manger Allison Tamarkin Paller, and Triangle Square Books Publisher Ruth Weiner join Rail contributor Cole Swensen for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Nana-Ama Danquah.

In this talk

More on Seven Stories Press →

Daniel Simon

Portrait of Dan Simon by Phong H. Bui
Portrait by Phong H. Bui
Daniel Simon is the founder and publisher of Seven Stories Press. He is the co-author, with Jack Hoffman, of Run Run Run: The Lives of Abbie Hoffman and translator of Van Gogh: Self Portraits by Pascal Bonafoux.

Lee Stringer

Photo of Lee Stringer
Caverly (aka “Lee”) Stringer is the author of breakout Seven Stories Press memoirs Grand Central Winter: Stories From the Street (a New York Times & USA Today top 10 notable book), Sleepaway School: Stories From a Boy’s Life, and (with Kurt Vonnegut) Like Shaking Hands With God: a Conversation About Writing. Stringer is a two-time recipient of the Washington Irving Award, a 1998 Murray Kempton Journalism Award, and a 2002 Lannan Foundation Writing Retreat. A former editor of and columnist for Street News, his essays and articles have since appeared in The Nation, The New York Times, The Journal News, Newsday, Reader’s Digest, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, and Alternate, among others.

Allison Tamarkin Paller

Black and white photo of Allison Tamarkin Paller
Allison Tamarkin Paller is the web manager for Seven Stories Press. She lives in Ridgewood, Queens, with her partner, her cat named Soup, and her dog named Snake.

Alex DiFrancesco

Black and white photo of Alex DiFrancesco
Alex DiFrancesco has published fiction and nonfiction in The Carolina Quarterly, The New Ohio Review, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. In addition to their story collection, Transmutation (Seven Stories Press), and their forthcoming memoir Breaking the Curse (Seven Stories), DiFrancesco is the author of All City: A Novel (Seven Stories), Psychopomps (The Accomplices), and Bird is the Word: The Iggy and Biggy Cycle (Bone and Ink Press). Winner of Sundress Academy for the Arts’ 2017 OutSpoken contest for LGBTQ+ writing, DiFrancesco was a finalist in Cosmonaut Avenue’s inaugural non-fiction prize. Their storytelling has been featured at The Fringe Festival, The Heart podcast, and elsewhere.

Ruth Weiner

Photo of Ruth Weiner
Ruth Weiner has worked at book publishers Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Henry Holt and Co, and as a longtime freelance publicist and consultant for many other publishers and authors. In true indie press fashion she wears several hats at Seven Stories Press including publicity director and publisher of the children’s imprint, Triangle Square Books for Young Readers.

Cole Swensen

A black and white photo of poet Cole Swensen.
Photo by Anthony Hayward
Poet Cole Swensen is the author of 17 volumes of poetry and a collection of critical essays, Noise That Stays Noise. A book of hybrid poem-essays, Art in Time, was published by Nightboat in 2021. A former Guggenheim Fellow, she has been a finalist for the National Book Award and has been awarded the Iowa Poetry Prize, the SF State Poetry Center Book Award, and the National Poetry Series. She has also translated over 20 volumes of poetry, prose, and art criticism from French and won the 2004 PEN USA Award in Literary Translation.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Nana-Ama Danquah reading.

Nana-Ama Danquah

A portrait of author Nana-Ama Danquah
Nana-Ama Danquah is an author, editor, freelance journalist, ghostwriter, public speaker, actress, and teacher. Her groundbreaking memoir, Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression (W.W. Norton & Co.) was hailed by the Washington Post as “A vividly textured flower of a memoir, one of the finest to come along in years.” A native of Ghana, Ms. Danquah is the editor of four anthologies: Becoming American: Personal Essays by First Generation Immigrant Women (Hyperion); Shaking the Tree: New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women (W.W. Norton & Co.); The Black Body (Seven Stories Press); and, Accra Noir (Akashic) as part of their popular noir series. She lives in Southern California.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.