A student-run publishing company called Cloud City started last spring at Macalester. This chapbook press was led by Ollie St. John ’12 (Washington, D.C.) and Luke Marcott ’12 (St. Paul), advised by English professors Wang Ping, Peter Bognanni, and James Cihlar, and aided by a team of student editors including Angus McLinn ’12 (Middleton, Wis.) and Nick Arciero ’12 (Mounds View, Minn.).

In April Marcott told The Mac Weekly, “Ping told us we should start a publishing company. That was five weeks ago and it’s been taking over our lives.”

After about a month, St. John, Marcott, and the Cloud City team had a product to show for their efforts. Marcott’s chapbook Filmpocalypse was available for sale at Common Good Books and a handful of other Twin Cities stores. Chapbooks are small books made from letter-sized paper that is folded and bound in the center. They are typically used for publishing poetry.

As creative writing majors, both editors-in-chief saw that students were leaving Macalester with 60- to 80-page projects—namely their capstones—to which they’d devoted too much time to not reuse. A capstone project is almost the perfect length for a chapbook.

Although their press was very new, Marcott and St. John immediately found themselves overwhelmed with support from both staff and outside resources

“We have more staff help than we know what to do with … for being the control freaks we are,” Marcott says. “And we have a lot of college connections with other friends and siblings.”

At press time, Marcott and St. John had no firm plans for Cloud City’s future. “We’d like to get younger Mac people to take it up, but if they don’t, we’ll probably just have it be a Twin Cities publication,” says Marcott. “We also might be getting money from Mac to do it, and we don’t really know how that would change the game.”

In the meantime, Cloud City held its first public event: a launch party and reading for Filmpocalypse at Common Good Books in late April.

Exceprted from a story published in The Mac Weekly (April 13, 2012), written by Anna Pickrell ’14. The full story can be found on the Mac Weekly website.

July 11 2012

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