Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Milkweed Editions, Inc.

  • Minneapolis, MN
  • milkweed.org

Mission Statement

Milkweed Editions is an independent publisher of literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Our mission is to identify, nurture, and publish transformative literature, and build an engaged community around it.

Main Programs

  1. Publishing Program
  2. Open Book
  3. Milkweed Books
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

We serve an expanding and increasingly diverse constituency of writers and readers. Our outreach efforts mean we meet writers and connect with readers in Minnesota, across the country, and around the world. Our readership is diverse, with a core demographic of readers across the United States and Canada, as well as a fast-growing audience around the world, fueled by foreign rights sales and an increasing digital presence. In 2016, we launched a new website, which allows us to connect with more readers and writers in increasingly innovative ways. While our digital infrastructure represents a commitment to being a more global publisher, we also renewed our commitment to our local community when we opened a brick-and- mortar bookstore on the street level of the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis.

ruling year

1980

Publisher & CEO since 2005

Self-reported

Daniel Slager

Keywords

Self-reported

literature, literary, art, publishing, book, books, nonprofit, writers, authors, independent

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Also Known As

Milkweed Editions

EIN

41-1365177

 Number

0533265452

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Printing, Publishing (A33)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Publishing Program

Just as the common milkweed plant is the site of metamorphosis for monarch butterflies, Milkweed Editions seeks to be a site of metamorphosis in the literary ecosystem. We take risks on debut and experimental writers, we invest significant time and care in the editorial process, and we enable dynamic engagement between authors and readers. We operate as a nonprofit to pursue these ends without overbearing financial pressure. And yet, though profits aren’t our primary focus, helping our authors succeed certainly is. Just so, since our founding in 1980, we’ve published over 350 books of literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry and now have over four million copies in circulation. We believe that literature has the potential to change the way we see the world, and that bringing new voices to essential conversations is the clearest path to ensuring a vibrant, diverse, and empowered future.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

Program 2

Open Book

Milkweed Editions is proud to be one of the founders of Open Book, the nation's largest literary center. Open Book is a national model for collaboration, and a jewel in our local arts ecosystem. It also offers a beautiful space in which to bring authors into conversation with a wide range of readers and communities. This longstanding partnership with the Loft Literary Center and Minnesota Center for Book Arts, made possible by the generous support of our community, positions us uniquely as a leader among publishers in engaging community. This past year, Open Book welcomed approximately 170,000 visitors, and we hosted more than 50 events in the space. Our Publisher & CEO and a member of our board of directors serve on the Open Book governing board.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

Program 3

Milkweed Books

We opened a bookstore in September 2016 called Milkweed Books, located on the street level of the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis. Though in recent years the American Booksellers Association has tracked an uptick in openings of independent bookstores, retail bookshelves are generally an endangered species. Nearly a third of physical retail space for books disappeared overnight with the closure of Borders, and the number of independent bookstores open today pales in comparison to numbers ten and twenty years ago. Amidst the many potential extinctions the world is facing, physical bookshelves seem like a pretty small loss—until we think about what lives there: poetry, translations, short fiction, experimental and creative nonfiction, inventive and breakthrough novels, new voices speaking across cultures, economic divides, and genders. In short, groundbreaking literature relies on bookstores and booksellers to thrive. While in many ways Milkweed Books looks like other bookstores, it operates to fulfill a mission rather than produce a profit. There’s a reason that many bookstores are unable to stock healthy poetry sections or lots of debut writers — they’re hard to sell. Our store’s role in the bookselling ecosystem is to take risks on great new literary writing and engage new audiences with it in inventive ways. With Milkweed Books, we hope to generate more earned income to fund our operations, open the publishing process to the community, introduce readers to more independent presses and their authors, and provide additional opportunities to promote our authors and their work.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

International

We serve an expanding and increasingly diverse constituency of writers and readers. Our outreach efforts mean we meet writers and connect with readers in Minnesota, across the country, and around the world. Our readership is diverse, with a core demographic of readers across the United States and Canada, as well as a fast-growing audience around the world, fueled by foreign rights sales and an increasing digital presence. In 2016, we launched a new website, which allows us to connect with more readers and writers in increasingly innovative ways. While our digital infrastructure represents a commitment to being a more global publisher, we also renewed our commitment to our local community when we opened a brick-and- mortar bookstore on the street level of the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

MILKWEED EDITIONS INC
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Milkweed Editions, Inc.

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
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  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
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Publisher & CEO

Daniel Slager

BIO

Daniel Slager is the Publisher & CEO of Milkweed Editions. Prior to joining Milkweed as Editor-in-Chief in 2005, he was an editor at Harcourt Trade Publishers in New York. Prior to joining Harcourt, he was the Associate Editor of Grand Street, a leading quarterly magazine of literature and fine arts.

Slager is also a widely published translator from the German. His translations of texts by writers such as Marcel Beyer, Durs Grünbein, Felicitas Hoppe, Dorothea Dieckmann, and Terézia Mora have marked these authors' first publication in the United States. His most recent book-length translation was Auguste Rodin by Rainer Maria Rilke, which was published by Archipelago Press in 2004, and awarded the American Translator Association's Ungar Prize in 2005.

Slager serves on the Boards of Directors for the Ledig House International Writers' Colony, Motionpoems, and Open Book, as well as on the Advisory Board for Archipelago Books, an independent publishing house in New York.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Libby Hlavka

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?