Rose Metal Press

Publisher of hybrid genres, Rose Metal Press is my choice of small press for my term paper. According to the “Who We Are” page on their official site, they seek to publish “literary works that move beyond the traditional categories of poetry, fiction, and essay to find new forms of expression,” such as flash fiction, prose poetry, text and fiction works, and other styles that combine more than one format and mode. Rose Metal Press acknowledges there are creative writing niches that are not always given accommodation or focus. As a result, they seek to provide a publishing vehicle for those that are often overlooked. The Massachusetts press began in January 2006 and has since dedicated itself to publishing literature that is not easily categorized as a way of expanding opportunities for such writers and to further widen the world of publishing. I believe this to be quite an admirable goal; writing is flexible with new territory being explored and original creations popping up all the time. While attempts are made to give the spotlight to unconventional forms, they are still ignored or passed over much too often, due to issues involving classification that might in turn influence the marketability of such pieces. The unique focus for Rose Metal Press is that, while other presses and journals look for a certain kind of content theme, RMP concentrates more on diversity of format, not that they themselves do not also look for unconventional angles within the writing itself.

The cover of Jennifer Tseng’s chapbook The Passion of Woo & Isolde,
published in 2017 by Rose Metal Press ©Rose Metal Press
A page from Tseng’s chapbook The Passion of Woo & Isolde
© Rose Metal Press

Without a doubt, the people of Rose Metal Press are attempting to promote modern niches and styles that are not paid as much attention as broader categories. Their aesthetic, judging from the artwork, is beautifully freewheeling, colorful, whimsical, and, in many cases, fantastical or hinting at such territory with intricate symbolism and abstract artwork. This angle seems to posit the message that “these ideas and concepts are just as lovely, magical, and worth exploring as more mainstream forms! So, don’t be afraid to have a look inside!” From watercolor birds to chess pieces to shaded monster sketches to golden scissors, rich detail and whimsy are frequent adornments of their covers. Interestingly enough, when the book is open, we see that the layout of the interior pages is relatively simple. In contrast with the gorgeously extravagant covers, there are no decorations or borders surrounding the works or titles on the pages themselves. The title is stylized yet clear and easily readable with plenty of space. Part of the first line of the piece below is in all capital letters to grab the reader’s attention before transitioning back into a regular style. There is plenty of white space that allows the piece to stand out that much more; nothing is distracting or pulls your attention away from the piece. The content similarly balanced. It is a short story piece named “Woo,” written with just enough detail to flesh out the events without being detracting or making it feel overloaded. The page’s layout thus fulfills two purposes. It reflects the poem’s own style of balancing character with clarity, and it also provides a foil to the exterior cover’s beautiful imagery: the outside has effectively pulled the reader in, now the work itself will hold the reader there. It needs no further help or trinkets to capture attention; the content itself is enough. This message only drives home further the hopes and goals of Rose Metal Press: mixed, transitional, and newer categories of writing are worth attention if only readers will give them a chance.

2 thoughts on “Rose Metal Press”

  1. Excellent choice. I love the page that you share, as it illustrates their hybrid genre focus. Are they publishing new writers, previously published writers, or a mixture? Is form the focus, or do you notice thematic/topical areas of interest as well?


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