Cleis Press publishes provocative, intelligent books across genres. Whether literary fiction, human rights, mystery, romance, erotica, LGBTQ studies, sex guides, pulp fiction, or memoir, you know that if it's outside the ordinary, it's Cleis Press. Among many lesbian and feminist presses that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, Cleis is one of the only presses that is still run by its founders, Felice Newman and Frederique Delacoste.

They are delighted to announce the release of Swimming into Clouds, by Mary Winfrey Trautmann.

"Mary Winfrey Trautmann is simply a wonderful poet. It is of course, a publisher's mission to promote work we believe in, but in her case, it is even more than that.

"Without Mary, Cleis Press simply would not exist. In the late seventies, as Cleis founders Felice Newman and Frederique Delacoste were working as printers in Minneapolis, dreaming up their part in the Feminist revolution that was sweeping the US in the form of bookstores, book and magazine publishers, activists, consciousness raising and support groups, Mary Winfrey Trautmann, recently divorced and living in Southern California, wrote fierce and beautiful poems, which Felice anthologized in her book, Cameos (Crossing Press 1978). The dream became reality when Mary offered to fund a small feminist press unlike any other. She arrived from California in blizzard-swept Minneapolis in the winter of 1979, glamorously behatted and wearing large sunglasses, and spent 3 days with us. By the time she left, we had invented a company that looked like the three of us.

"Our mission has been feisty: to give women, and a few good men, a platform to express our intelligence, our talents, our history, our fantasies, the joy in who we are, and to grow beyond tolerance and inhibitions. Over the years, we have flourished through many labels: feminist and lesbian, straight and bisexual, and gay and queer and trans, and we know from 35 years of experience that these labels will keep melting into a community where we all feel freer and more joyous to be ourselves.

"Mary, now 93 years old, has been quietly writing extraordinary poems for most of a century. She is a frequent participant to the Los Angeles Second Sunday Poetry Series. With the publication of Swimming into Clouds, we are finally able to take in a panoramic view of her achievement. Mary's work is lyrical, rich with imagery and extended metaphor, and at once contemporary, timeless, and entirely accessible. Mary Winfrey Trautmann is simply a wonderful poet."

Frederique Delacoste, London
Felice Newman, Oakland
January 2014

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