The way forward

I met with a writer two weeks ago. We talked about a potential book-length study on institutional conflict, and he asked me how we at Barclay Press like to work with writers in the development of a manuscript. Which stopped me for a minute. Because we don’t have a set process. At least not yet.

But that’s changing. With three books published this year and three more on the way, we’re starting to figure this out.

I started work as the new publisher at Barclay Press on Monday, January 4, 2016. My second day on the job, I received an email from Vail Palmer about his masterwork on Quaker theology. Vail had been working on the study for decades, and when we met up for lunch in February, I asked if he might let us publish a portion of his unfinished work as a first volume in a series. That volume, Face to Face: Early Quaker Encounters with the Bible, was released in July. We hope to have the second volume available this coming summer.

In March, Nancy Thomas asked if we could meet about a poetry collection she’d been working on, and in the first week of April, we had that meeting. Nancy’s collection, Close to the Ground, was also released in July.

Then, on a Saturday in November, a friend of mine approached me with an idea: a reader with more than fourteen hundred Bible passages – one each day for four years – illustrating God’s kingdom vision for a society in which all are valued as individuals bearing God’s image. We finished that book, Praying for Justice: A Lectionary of Christian Concern, just in time to ship the first week of this month. Since then, we’ve sold out each of our first three shipments and are working through our fourth print run.

Our next book is Presence and Process, Danny Coleman’s study of contemplative practice and process theology. Carole Spencer, Professor of Christian Spirituality at Earlham School of Religion, provided the introduction, and early endorsements are already coming in - Bruce EpperlyTripp Fuller, J. R. Hustwit, Brian McLaren, and Richard Rohr – suggesting the importance of Danny’s work.

We’re also working through Jim Teeters’ collection of devotional poetry inspired by the Tao Te Ching and informed by his Christian/Quaker experience.

Here at Barclay Press, part of the way forward as Publishers of Truth is to publish books that tell the truth. It’s been just over a year since I started as the publisher at Barclay Press, and along with the books I mention above, we have nearly a dozen additional publishing projects in various stages of completion. I still feel like I don’t really know what I’m doing. But we’re doing it.

Eric Muhr