Meet the New Wolves!



The Graywolf pack has had a recent influx of new wolves! We thought you might like to take a look yourselves and to get to know them. We found them to be pretty magical and mysterious forest creatures and think you will too!



Ana Cristina Alvarez (Publishing Assistant) received a MFA at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and was the designer of Ecotone. She also worked at Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, and Flyleaf Books. She loves typography and has a cat named Claude Garamond.





Karen Gu (Administrative Assistant) graduated from the University of Chicago where she studied English and Creative Writing. Before Graywolf she worked at the Chicago Humanities Festival, The Regenstein Library, for Audrey Niffenegger, and also sold hip clothing and ice cream. 






Trevor Ketner (Marketing Assistant) is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Minnesota. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, The Offing, The Rumpus, Cream City Review, The Journal, Bayou Magazine, Thrush Poetry Journal, Sycamore Review and elsewhere. Recently he received the 2014 Gesell Award in Poetry and was a finalist for the 2014 MARY Editors' Prize and the 2013 Wabash Prize for Poetry. He serves as a poetry reader for Slice Magazine.



What led you to pursue a career in publishing?


AA – As an undergrad, I was one of three people who worked on the university's lit journal. At the time I didn't know if I wanted to be a teacher or historian or something. But I realized that I wanted to devote more and more time to reading submissions from students, determining the content order, the typeface selection, the editing, offering opinions on the cover, etc. I really enjoyed it, even with the long hours, so when I graduated I figured "Well, here's something I really love to do, so I should stick with it." I also write and love that as well, so the two just kind of happened to fit together!


KG – After working at the Chicago Humanities Festival last fall, I fell in love with Graywolf authors Eula Biss and Leslie Jamison. When I saw that Graywolf had a job opening, I applied right away. As a reader, writer, and bookworm, I've always wanted to learn more about the publishing industry, and the administrative assistant position gives me the opportunity to learn a lot as I do various projects around the office and across departments.


TK – Honestly, being a selfish writer first led me to publishing. As a poet I wanted to learn about how the publishing industry works, hoping that this knowledge might help me figure out how to get my dang manuscript published. I started at Graywolf as a marketing / publicity intern after applying for an editorial intern spot. I was lucky enough to get a chance to serve as an editorial intern the next session, but was surprised to find that of the two subdivisions of publishing work, and even though I’d suspected I was meant to be an editor (as so many writers turned publishing professionals do), marketing allowed me to exercise skills I’d developed over time (design especially) and to actively use components of my strong (and chatty) personality.



Has there been anything particularly surprising or eye-opening to you about life at an independent, nonprofit publishing house?


AA – I like how everyone does a bit of everything and helps each other out. It's like an awesome gathering of brainpower!


KG – I am continually in awe of the Graywolf pack, and how hard everyone works to get our books out into the world. We go through coffee at an impressive rate, and there's been a surprising and delightful amount of donuts (Thank you again Mark Wunderlich!).


TK – The sheer number of books we have printed and send out still boggles my mind (I’m thinking especially of Claudia Rankine’s Citizen). Also the willingness of every staff member to do whatever work is required to make our books successful.




Quick! Name 5 authors, living or deceased, who you would like to have at a dinner party.


AA – Julio Cortázar, Lady Murasaki Shikibu, Mary Wollstonecraft, Kafka, Alejo Carpentier, and I'd challenge Voltaire to see who could drink the most cups of coffee without completely losing it. It's on, Voltaire.


KG – Stuart Dybek, Rivka Galchen, Nam Le, Nami Mun, and Jayne Anne Phillips, featuring cocktails from Lost Lake Chicago, Filipino food from Uncle Mike’s Place, and my homemade Oreo truffles.


TK – Oscar Wilde (dude knew how to party), Charlie Baxter (because I know from experience he also knows how to party), Danez Smith, Matthea Harvey, and either Ovid or a second Danez just to see what would happen if he met himself (my suspicion is the universe would implode with all of the awesomeness).




What are you reading right now?


AA – I just finished reading Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life. It's one of the saddest, most intense books I've read in a long time—I was reading it in a café and started crying and probably freaked out the other customers. Hanya is such a talented writer and I'm in awe of her and this book.


KG – When I first moved to Minneapolis a few months ago, I made a beeline to the gorgeous Central Library. Fortunately it’s a mere few blocks away from the Graywolf office, and I’ve made many a lunchbreak pilgrimage there to add to my current reading list which includes: Heroines by Kate Zambreno, Ways of Seeing by John Berger, (rereading) The Boat by Nam Le, Big Questions by Anders Nilsen, Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton, and soon to be reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara because Ana generously lent it to me!


TK – I just finished Heather Christle’s newest poetry collection Heliopause, which still has me a bit entranced, and Louise Glück’s Poems 1962-2012 from Ecco—Glück’s work always inspires me to write. I am also rereading Lyn Hejinian’s My Life and My Life in the Nineties, which I find consistently enchanting if a little bewildering. But what is life without a little wonder-filled bewilderment?