• February 6, 2018
    You couldn't kill this book with a hammer.  Come and watch Elizabeth Catte clip the hollow wings of little jimmy vance.  Stay and behold an enlightened vision, a living solidarity found among the strong and varied peoples of this misunderstood land.  What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia asks Florence Reece's old question: Which side are you on?  Some of us are sticking to Appalachia until every battle's won.  --Glenn Taylor, author of The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart  
    In 2016 headlines declared Appalachia ground zero for America’s “forgotten tribe” of white working class voters. Journalists flocked to the region to extract sympathetic profiles of families devastated by poverty, abandoned by establishment politics, and eager to consume cheap campaign promises. Following the election, demystifying Appalachia and locating the roots of its dysfunction quickly became a national industry, shoring up the success of J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy and the author’s rise to fame as the media’s favorite working-class whisperer with broad appeal to liberals and conservatives alike. Personal anecdotes that demonstrated the enduring failures of American progress spoken through the mouthpiece of colorful and bereaved mountain folk became its own genre of election writing – the “Trump Country” piece – and in its creation reduced the region’s rich and complex history to a series of character studies. What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia is a frank assessment of America’s recent fascination with the people and problems of the region. The book analyzes trends in contemporary writing on Appalachia, presents a brief history of Appalachia with an eye toward unpacking Appalachian stereotypes, and provides examples of writing, art, and policy created by Appalachians as opposed to for Appalachians. The book offers a must-needed insider’s perspective on the region. Praise for What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia: "What are we getting wrong about Appalachia? A lot. And we are not just getting it wrong because we do not know. We are getting it wrong because reckoning with the reality of the Appalachia people and culture serves a historical project of disdain, distancing, and deliberate disinvestment in our nation. Elizabeth Catte has written an essential guide on how to talk about race, class, gender and the cultural geographies that shape our lives. Our discourse on Appalachia has been used a cudgel, much of it designed to obscure more than it reveals. Catte uses data and lived experiences to reveal an Appalachia that is not some 'othered' out there against which we compare ourselves to make inequality more palatable. This is a necessary antidote to the cyclical mainstream interest in Appalachia as a backwards, white working class caricature." --Tressie McMillan Cottom, author of Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy "A necessary response to the bigotry against a much-maligned culture." --Chris Offutt, author of Kentucky Straight "A bold refusal to submit to stereotype." --Kirkus Reviews Elizabeth Catte is a writer and historian from East Tennessee. She holds a PhD in public history from Middle Tennessee State University and is the co-owner of Passel, a historical consulting and development company. For media requests, please contact Michelle Blankenship at michelle@blankenshippr.com.
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    A Detroit Anthology

    $20.00 $10.00
    “While many books have been written on and about Detroit by writers who have visited, this anthology of prose, poetry, and essays is written by the metro area’s residents themselves … it’s the wide ethnic array of voices that truly shows the facets of Detroit life.” — Ebony Magazine Order a copy of A Detroit Anthology, edited by Anna Clark, with contributions by Grace Lee Boggs, John Carlisle, Desiree Cooper, dream hampton, Steve Hughes, Jamaal May, Tracie McMillan, Marsha Music, Shaka Senghor, Thomas J. Sugrue and others. Named a Library of Michigan Notable Book for 2015.
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      Renew your Belt Membership and we will send you a copy of Ryan Schnurr's In The Watershed: A Journey Down the Maumee River and a coupon code for 25% off anything in our store  Instead of renewing as an annual member, you could also upgrade to become a Lifetime Member. You will receive more freebies, and never have to worry about renewing again.  
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    The New Midwest

    $16.95 $7.99
      By Mark Athitakis February 6, 2017 The New Midwest:  A Guide To Contemporary Fiction of the Great Lakes, Great Plains, and Rust Belt A "crisp, engaging guide." -- Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel "… dives deep into Midwestern literature, unpacking the mythology of the region and how today’s writers are complicating our simple idea of the Heartland." -- The Huffington Post In vigorous, supple, and readable prose, Mark Athitakis surveys the 21st century cultural landscape of a Midwest not defined by old pieties or prejudices, or its past canonical literary expression.  Most importantly, perhaps, the scope of this survey will leave its readers hungry rather than sated, anxious to read about a region that might once have seemed familiar, even routine, but can be understood in new and different ways.” –-Bill Savage, Northwestern University

    The very best criticism delights as it elucidates. Athitakis does both with his dead-on look at the fiction of the Midwest, from Cather to Franzen, and Midwesterners’ eternal conflict between person and place. I loved this book.” — Robert Goolrick, author of A Reliable Wife

    "Mark Athitakis is among the greatest of the new critics: the wit of his perception is perfectly matched by the elegance of his expression. He does the thing you need: tells what you need to read, and why. And reminds us why we read -- because his stuff is such thrilling, brain-enhancing fun." --David Lipsky, author of Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace

    In the public imagination, Midwestern literature hasn’t evolved far beyond heartland laborers and hardscrabble immigrants of a century past. But as the region has changed, so, in many ways, has its fiction. In The New Midwest, Mark Athitakis explores how shifts in work, class, place, race, and culture has been reflected — or ignored — by novelists and short story writers. From Marilynne Robinson to Leon Forrest, Toni Morrison to Aleksandar Hemon, Bonnie Jo Campbell to Stewart O’Nan, the book is a call to rethink the way we conceive Midwestern fiction, and one that’s sure to prompt some new must-have additions to your reading list. Mark Athitakis has written on books for many publications. He serves on the board of the National Book Critics Circle and has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, Chicago Sun-Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Barnes and Noble Review, and many other outlets. His Reading the Midwest column appears in Belt. For review copies and publicity requests, contact Bill at orders@beltmag.com
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    Lifetime Membership

    $200.00 $175.00
      Become a Lifetime Member! Join once, support local writing forever, and never have to worry about renewing an annual membership. Plus, we will send a tote bag filled with all our published books, including the City Anthology SeriesHow To Speak Midwestern, and more. Plus you will receive a coupon code to receive 50% off anything we ever sell,  forever when you joinThis includes books, merchandise, tickets to events, and more. It's a sweet, sweet deal. Annual memberships are available here. Why become a member of Belt? Go here to learn more.  
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    By Ryan Schnurr Publishing October 15, 2017 now shipping! The Maumee River Basin is the largest watershed in the Great Lakes region, collecting runoff from more than 6,600 square miles in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan and depositing it in Lake Erie—though as the lake’s largest tributary the river's influence is not entirely positive. In this lively, ruminative book, Ryan Schnurr takes us on a journey down the Maumee River, walking and canoeing it from headwaters to mouth. Along the way, he traces the history, ecology, and culture of the river, from the influence of glaciers, through its role in Native American and American history, to its relevance for contemporary environmental issues. Part cultural history, part nature writing, part personal narrative, In the Watershed is a lyrical work of nonfiction in the vein of John McPhee and Ian Frazier with a timely and important warning at the core. "What is happening in Lake Erie," Schnurr tells us, "is a disaster by nearly any measure—ecologically, economically, socially, culturally." Advance praise for In the Watershed: "I am entranced by this slender, luminous volume. Ryan Schnurr has created a subtle monument to a place that we overlook, yet glows with sacredness under his measured gaze. Delightful." — Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil's Highway and Into the Beautiful North "The land surface of Earth is a quilt of watersheds, each one gathering runoff that reveals what humans have been doing in the catchment area. All the poisons we spray or dump on the ground, all the soils we expose to erosion, eventually wind up in creeks and rivers, lakes and oceans. Every watershed needs observers who monitor its health, who care about the quality of wild and human life it supports. The Maumee Valley now has a new and keen-eyed caretaker in Ryan Schnurr, who has written an engaging narrative about a journey downriver from the headwaters to Lake Erie, braiding together his personal observations with history, science, and folklore." — Scott Russell Sanders, author of Earth Works: Selected Essays and A Conservationist Manifesto "Ryan Schnurr is a keeper of the spirit of John McPhee, Edward Abbey, and Annie Dillard — he writes about nature intimately and with a sense of wonder, but he's forever alert to the ways our environment is wounded and reshaped by our greed and neglect. The Maumee River may be relatively small and unknown, but reading this book it'll feel as big and important as the Mississippi: In the Watershed stretches from the glaciers of eons past to this year's algae blooms, from wars with Native Americans to Midwest industrial history. It's a rich, complex, and fragile place, and Schnurr is a superb guide through it." — Mark Athitakis, author of The New Midwest: A Guide to Contemporary Fiction of the Great Lakes, Great Plains, and Rust Belt Click here for more information.  
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    Give your bookshelf a boost of Cleveland with the Belt's Cleveland Bundle. You'll receive The Cleveland Anthology & The Cleveland Neighborhood Guidebook for a cool price and flat rate shipping.    
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      Order The Cincinnati Anthology, edited by Zan McQuade. With contributions by Katie Laur, Curtis Sittenfeld, David Falk, Sam LeCure, Michael Wilson, John Curley, Scott Devendorf and others. For more details, see Cincinnati Anthology.  
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    pre-order by October 15 and we will include a free cocktail recipe booklet!  By Mark Meyer and Meredith Meyer Grelli November 15, 2017 The Whiskey Rebellion and the Rebirth of Rye takes readers on a tour of the spirit's founding, floundering, and current flourishing. Authors Mark Meyer and Meredith Meyer Grelli explore rye whiskey's revolutionary origins in Western Pennsylvania, the role of Gilded Age robber barons in developing the rye industry and the reemergence of craft distilling in the twenty-first century. Featuring an illustrated guide on how to make rye whiskey and delicious cocktail recipes, this short book makes a compelling case that American whiskey's rightful home is Pittsburgh. Mark Meyer and Meredith Meyer Grelli are co-founders of Wigle Whiskey, a family owned and operated craft distillery based in Pittsburgh's Strip District. _____ For media and publicity inquiries, contact Dan Crissman at dan@beltmag.com.
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    Purchase our entire Anthology series: Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology The Akron Anthology Right Here, Right Now: The Buffalo Anthology The Cincinnati Anthology The Cleveland Anthology, 2nd Ed. A Detroit Anthology Happy Anyway: A Flint Anthology The Pittsburgh Anthology Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology Plus receive a free City Anthology t-shirt!!
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    Get yourself some Detroit reading with a two-pack! One copy of 2014's A Detroit Anthology AND one copy of 2015's How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass  
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    Edited by Dani Villela and Ashley Nickels Belt Publishing November 1 2017 While Grand Rapids is known for large-scale events like ArtPrize; major businesses like Meijer, Steelcase, and Amway and the philanthropic and political contributions of its wealthiest residents, there are hundreds — if not thousands — of grassroots activists working day-in and day-out to make Grand Rapids what it is and making it what it can be. This project seeks to raise the voices of those individuals and grassroots groups. Ashley E. Nickels and Dani Vilella have joined forces to compile articles, poetry, and personal narratives about and by Grand Rapids, Michigan’s grassroots activists. Grand Rapids Grassroots: An Anthology is the next book in Belt Publishing’s series of city-based anthologies. Read more here.