Metatron’s book covers could all be Instagram memes or art show posters. That’s because when founder and managing editor Ashley Opheim launched the Montreal-based independent publisher in 2013, her goal was to produce beautifully designed pocketbooks written by emerging poets and authors.
Metatron grew out of the community reading series This Is Happening Whether You Like It Or Not, which Opheim formerly organized. “I was responding to a lack of publishing support for a new generation of writers that grew up and exist within and alongside the internet,” Opheim says.
Notable Metatron titles include the novella Pony Castle by Sofia Banzhaf, which in 2015 won the press’s debut annual prize for rising authors. (Winners of the Metatron Prize receive $500 and a publishing contract.) Poetry collections include What My Hair Says About You by Laura Theobald, The Title of This Book Is an Inside Joke by Sophia Katz, and Teen Surf Goth by Oscar d’Artois. Metatron also publishes story collections and novels, which can be purchased – along with the press’s “Just Poet” socks – directly from its website and at independent stores across Canada and the U.S.
Opheim’s vision for Metatron is to remain flexible and responsive to the needs of the community it emerged from. “I like to think of our books as an archive of the contemporary concerns and sensibilities of the highly misunderstood millennial generation,” she says. “I feel like what is going on inside our minds and, generally, within our lives, is so important to translate through writing.”