When walking down Main Street in Over-the-Rhine, you might notice an interesting, new storefront on the north end with a white neon sign. This storefront is the home of a new independent publisher and bookstore called Midwestern Press. The shop opened in November 2018 when Ryan Khosla, Blake Lipper, and Thomas Wagster (all Cincinnati-based artists) collaborated with the intention of curating a collective space bringing their love of art, poetry, and philosophy together.
The storefront was inspired by their first creative community collaborative called 'Courage Friends,' where they gathered musicians, artists, poets, and creatives from around the city for informal gatherings of the minds to share work and create pieces together. After time passed, they all questioned what they'd do next. The answer was to create a bookstore that shares poetry, critical theory, philosophy, and art in Cincinnati.
Their reasoning behind wanting to bring ideas and books like these to the people in the community is simple: they gathered inspiration from these types of texts in their time at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and inevitably fell in love with the genres of publication. From this passion, they realized there was no place in the city like it. No spaces that sell books entirely from independent presses, fixated on these more niche areas of writing and artistic expression. It was up to them to provide such a space for the people of Cincinnati who share these imaginative interests.
Keeping with the concept of developing and sharing unique works, they're also interested in fostering events where artists can come in and discuss their artistic process along with sharing some of their artwork. Lectures, poetry readings, and other types of workshops are hosted at Midwestern Press, as well.
Now at their storefront at 1411 Main Street, they have a space where they can sell books they love and publish their own. Midwestern Press is not only a shop for the creatively curious, but also serves as an independent publisher and space for creatives to work on their craft together.
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