Pitymilk Press brings the DIY spirit to publishing

Pitymilk Press brings the DIY spirit to publishing

Pitymilk Press is a small book and online publication that specializes in quirky and beautiful writing through appliques, minibooks, and illustrations. Launched in 2012, their material includes love letters, breakup letters, poems, jams, affirmations, and more. Pitymilk Press is operated by Chelsea Tadeyeske and Edie Roberts.

Tadeyeske explains that it all started a decade ago through a combination of several things. “I was living with a bunch of punks at The Laundry Chute, and they were hosting various shows in their living room that were mainly music and that was right next door to the Woodland Pattern Book Center. I was also a college student taking poetry lessons and I took a zen class. One of the people who live In The Laundry Chute at the time is now co-editor – Eddie Roberts – and they gave me a lot of that scene.

“People at the time had a lot of a sense of DIY, and if you had a crazy idea, you’d do it. What was really that extra push for us was when we decided to organize a Midwest Small Press Festival in Milwaukee; it was like a zen fair but for poetry books The small specifically.We felt we had a lot of relationships in the Midwest and wanted to bring them together in a casual way.After I had a lot of friends that I admired who were composing poems, I decided to put it all into practice together and created a little book that we released for this book fair. From that point on the rest is history.”


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Since then, Roberts has since moved back to Michigan where they were originally although they and Tadsky still edit the press together. “Still very Midwest…never left the Midwest,” Tadesky laughed.

In their regulating process, they have recently started moving away from requests in favor of soliciting people they love. “We try not to publish anything overly academic or referential; we also try to focus on voices that aren’t limited to traditional hetero-white men. At one time, we were really into more experimental forms, but that can be difficult when you’re making a complicated book in terms of Design. We want something that is emotionally challenging or has something outside of itself to say about the whole world.”

recurring series

Pitymilk Press has published several recurring series; One such string is “DUETDUET”. Tadeyeske explains, “Pitymilk’s sister press is Bathmatics Industries—and it’s more of an Edie kid. They put this limited book of two short stories together by people who were going to go to school with them, and they tip it upside down, so when you’re done with one story, You flip it over and it’s a new story So it wasn’t one The first story or the second story – you kind of choose your own adventure.I wondered how that would work if we hooked up poets and asked them to send in a few pieces like a blind date, then we design them and put them together and then they meet each other through the process It resulted in a lot of really cool and surprising collaborations.”

Another series of them, “Gritty Silk”, was created as a result of a large number of orders. Tadeyeske recalls, “We were trying to figure out ways we could take in more work. For a while we were soliciting work that was more suitable for a digital platform and could include audio or video. It was fun and I would really like to do it again.”

A little tour of the Midwest

Pitymilk Press went on a mini tour of the Midwest this summer. “Before COVID we were doing extensive tours with our own hair,” Tadeyeske said in reflection. “This year we had this vision of going somewhere for two months and doing a lot of things and doing it, so we were accepted into this art residency in Iceland and we went there for the month of April.” Together. We wrote there what I would call an anti-monogamy text called “What If Love Isn’t About Me?”, and so this mini-tour was kind of a release for this project. We went to Chicago and connected with buds there like Annie Grizzle and Ursus Americanus Press. And then We went to Madison to this cafe called Mother Fools and there was a house full of people which was really cool;we had no idea how to receive it but people seemed really hungry for these kinds of shows.The last show was the opening show of the bell tower, which was here in my flat “.

However, Bell Tower is a new DIY space that Tadeyeske hopes to use for future events. “If you make a little book,” she said, “we want you to walk around with it.” “We want to meet you. We want you to meet people we know. We want you to introduce us to the people you know. We want it to be something where you can travel and connect with broader artistic communities. Poetry can be a very lonely thing at times, but we really want it to be a way to connect.”

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Pitymilk Press just opened a call on September 1 to highlight. For future issues, they plan to return to their roots with innovative, exploratory designs. Visit their website over here.


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