About MV&V

Meridel LeSueur wrote the first draft of The Girl in 1939, after a decade of worldwide economic misery. John Crawford’s West End Press first published The Girl in 1978 and would release more printings as well as other works by Meridel. In his publisher’s note to The Girl, John wrote: “Her letters, especially during the winter of 1977-78, speak of her joy at rediscovering The Girl, the heat of new creation, and the support of women around her as she rewrote the story.”

And now the book is being published by Midwest Villages & Voices, a small press started by Meridel, her two daughters Rachel Tilsen and Deborah LeSueur, and others in the early 1980s. Since then MV&V published Meridel’s Rites of Ancient Ripening, Winter Prairie Woman, and This with My Last Breath, as well as supporting the production of the movie My People Are My Home by the Twin Cities Women’s Film Collective.

Meridel saw MV&V as more than a vehicle for her books and legacy—she wanted the small press to support other poets and writers who deserved to be heard. This included Molly Culligan’s original performance piece The Girl, as well as poetry readings. Poets published by MV&V include Carol Connolly, Kevin FitzPatrick, Florence Dacey, Ethna McKiernan, and Sue Doro. With Meridel’s urging, we published selected writings of Irene Paull, a longtime friend of Meridel’s and a lifelong activist.

Meridel often said that, after her great-grandchildren were born, she realized that her audience was just being born. And now some of those great-grandchildren and others in the family have formed the Meridel LeSueur Family Circle to join with MV&V to reissue The Girl and keep alive the legacy of Meridel LeSueur. It’s a new phase of an old dream—to bring the stories of the people to the people.