Deer Bear Wolf Roars, Proclaims Matt DeBenedictis as Curator of Press

Matt DeBenedictis will become Curator of newly minted Deer Bear Wolf Press beginning in early 2015. DeBenedictis has authored three chapbooks, including Congratulations! There’s No Last Place If Everyone Is Dead, and founded the Safety Third Enterprises Press in 2009.


Deer Bear Wolf is a magazine-meets-online store rounded out by a record label and press. The curatorial platform that is Deer Bear Wolf was started in May of 2014 by Davy Minor, creator of the acclaimed music blog, Ohmpark. The blog was reborn a new entity, enveloped by Minor’s expanded focus on the city’s print and literary scene. Minor will continue in his role as Deer Bear Wolf pack leader.

Deer Bear Wolf Press has two chapbooks already slated for release in the spring of 2015, and more works are expected in the coming year. Laura Relyea’s All Glitter, Everything is the wondrous chapbook of tributes and sugar from the creator of Vouched Books. The work sold out during its first run with Safety Third. The acclaimed chapbook will be re-printed by Deer Bear Wolf Press and plans to include 18 additional stories and new artwork by Brett Miotti. Also upcoming is a collection of new literature from Write Club Atlanta, “a lit kick to the back of the skull” that spars monthly at The Highland Ballroom. DeBenedictis promised that it’ll bleed ink within its pages.

Safety Third published ten chapbooks in its five years. Authors include J. Bradley, Mel Bosworth, John Carroll, Tom Cheshire, Tyler Gobble, Frank Hinton, Laura Relyea and xTx. Frank Hinton’s I Don’t Respect Female Expression and xTx’s He Is Talking to The Fat Lady both sold out of their first press run in less than 24 hours, and Hinton’s I Don’t Respect Female Expression was awarded the 2011 Best Alt Lit Chapbook Award by Alt Lit Gossip.

DeBenedictis’ Safety Third hosted The March to the Sea Tour in 2013. The tour lauded the second press of Carroll’s chapbook, Slow Burn, which sold out on tour and featured readings by John Carroll, Scott Daughtridge, and Matt DeBenedictis.

Minor readily supports DeBenedictis to “do his thing,” and declared, “Safety Third has been one of the best literary institutions in Atlanta, and I couldn't think of anyone I'd trust more to put out chapbooks on Deer Bear Wolf.”

DeBenedictis’ association with Minor and everyone in Deer Bear Wolf’s den is a source of pride for him, a culmination of relationships and business acumen within a city of literary candor. He’s confident that the handmade aesthetic he cultivated at Safety Third will continue with Deer Bear Wolf Press. From his vantage, DeBenedictis has seen Atlanta’s literary scene grow “from a few sporadic readings into this collective beast that roams the city delighting crowds with words, yes words.”  

Language suffers under the shifting weight of technology and the new shape of modern living-but not in Atlanta. You can expect some grand chapbook release parties [from Deer Bear Wolf Press], and the words we print will leave an aching presence in a reader’s conscious, but what else would you expect from Atlanta authors?
— Matt DeBenedictis



The standard of an independent press is the camaraderie between author and publisher, an intimate relationship that encourages excellence in reverence for the author’s piece. The conception of the publication, from layout and cover art to marketing and sales, forms an inherent quality, a bridge between writer and beloved readers that is grounded in the publisher’s faith.


A chapbook is a small collection of poetry or prose, typically shorter than a novella. Its diminutive size gained popularity in the 16th century as printing became affordable and allowed writers to share their work with a wider audience. Chapbooks in modern literature are a place of experimentation with style and voice, expanding the literary artist’s foundational platform beyond that of the larger formats.

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Deisha Oliver-Millar