by Kat Georges, co-director, Three Rooms Press
The tumultuous bitch of a year known as 2020 is certainly destined to be a dividing line: the pre-pandemic vs. post-pandemic; the before vs. the after; the driving urge to make 2020 go away so we can return to “normal.” But even as a world shuddered and lost more than 1.7 million lives to Covid-19; even as the US death toll rose above 335,000—a figure close to the entire population of Iceland; even as the US President issued one incredulous statement after another; even with all this—life went on and things happened. For Three Rooms Press, lots of things: brilliant new books, awards, notable press, and one incredible virtual event after another. Even in times of tragedy—especially then—it is important to remember the moments of joy that help us carry on.
So, with no further ado, here’s our 3RP 2020 Year in Review.
Crushed It with Our New Books
We crushed it in 2020 with six terrific new books. Click on a cover to find out more.
Nailed It in the Awards Department
So proud for our wonderful authors who nabbed awards this year, including:
- Aimee Herman, Author, Everything Grows: A Novel
- Aaron Hamburger, Author, Nirvana Is Here: A Novel
- Foreword INDIE Award Bronze Medal, LGBTQ Adult Fiction
- Alvin Orloff, Author, Disasterama: Adventures in the Queer Underground 1977-1997
- Nicca Ray, 2020 Acker Award for Memoir, Ray By Ray: A Daughter’s Take on the Legend of Nicholas Ray
- Three Rooms Press: Peter Carlaftes and Kat Georges, 2020 Acker Award for Publisher
Bashed It with Ongoing Media Blitz
3RP was everywhere in the media this year! Highlights:
- New York Times Editors’ Choice and Rave Review: The Faking of the President: Nineteen Stories of White House Noir, edited by Peter Carlaftes. “This anthology of political fictions recasts presidential history in some audacious ways.”
- House Calls: Wall Street Journal Interview with Nicca Ray: author, Ray by Ray: A Daughter’s Take on the Legend of Nicholas Ray. “The daughter of famous filmmaker Nicholas Ray reflects on a rocky childhood, why she felt ‘weird’ as a kid and her battle with drugs and alcohol.” Ray by Ray was also featured on Turner Classic Movies and discussed by renowned host Ben Mankiewicz—check out the video below.
- Forbes Magazine Publisher Profile on Three Rooms Press: In May, Forbes Senior Contribuotr Rachel Kramer Bussel took an in-depth look at how Three Rooms Press operates, including how we were dealing with the pandemic. Who knew then that we’d still be dealing with it now?
- LitHub October Book Pick: Loudmouth: A Novel by Robert Duncan. Columnist Bethanne Patrick noted that this debut novel “examines an era that saved him from the torpor of his parents’ dysfunction and gave him an appreciation for different paths.”
- Washington City Paper Rave Review: Scavenger: A Mystery by Christopher Chambers. Noted reviewer Eve Ottenberg drilled to the core in her opening lede: “Novels written from the perspective of homeless substance users don’t come along every day. When they do, it’s a good idea to pay attention, since they offer a window into the casual cruelty of our social economy, which much fiction eschews.”
- Kolaj Magazine Feature: Maintenant 14: A Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing and Art, edited by Peter Carlaftes & Kat Georges. “Dada was born as an artistic protest. An unfettered reclamation of the trenches flowing blood. Along came influenza which couldn’t choose sides. And now‚ here we sit in isolation, 100 years later, still creating. Revolutionaries facing a new form of plague accompanied by demagogic projections.”
Exploded the Virtual Event Concept
Before the pandemic, we had dozens of live events planned for 2020. When the country shut down, we held a two-minute-long pity party, then jumped up and got to work on virtual events, becoming a leading source of innovation that took our events way past your typical zoom reading. Highlights:
- 2020 International Virtual Dada Festival A two-week collection of seven dada sessions featuring nearly 100 performers from 17 countries hosted by Peter Carlaftes & Kat Georges. Check out the complete playlist or tune into the mind-blowing 20-minute finale of the LA reading (with S.A. Griffin, Linda Albertano, Bibiana Padilla-Maltos, Mike Mollett, Doug Knott, Skooter Taylor, & Michael Bruner. featuring a dada chant (prayer?) to change the world. Truly phenomenal.
- 2020 New York Public Library Dada Poetry Special featuring hosts Kat Georges & Peter Carlaftes with Billy Cancel, Cheryl J. Fish, Thomas Fucaloro, Robert Gibbons, Bibbe Hansen, Aimee Herman, David Lawton, Patricia Leonard, Fred Marchant, Paul “Poez” Mills, Jane Ormerod, Pamela Papino-Wood, Puma Perl, and George Wallace.
- Noir, Noir, and More Noir! Check out our Noir features with SCAVENGER author Christopher Chambers & friends here. For political mystery lovers check out these FAKING OF THE PRESIDENT virtual showcase readings and discussions with nearly 20 award winning mystery authors.
- Rock ’n’ Roll Fiction—Or Is It? Former Creem editor Robert Duncan’s LOUDMOUTH was a big hit this year. Check out his virtual readings and podcasts here. These include terrific meet ups between Duncan and rock royalty like Blue Oyster Cult’s Buck Dharma, The Hold Steady leader Craig Finn, cult icon Gary Wilson, and Creem co-conspirators Jaan Uhelski and Corey Levitan, among many others.
- Middle Grade Fantasy Insight: Door to Inferna 16-year-old Rishab Borah took the world by storm this year with his brilliant middle grade fantasy debut THE DOOR TO INFERNA. Check out this collection of reviews and interviews, including a zoom meeting with his high school classmates—all in AWE of his smashing accomplishment.
And to think these are just the highlights of 2020!
Most of all, our heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped support 3RP throughout this tough year. Let’s hope this thing is over soon. And best wishes to all of us for a healthy, creative, peaceful 2021.