Students publish historical memoir

A  fugitive in his own country, Miguel Dominguez Soler was made to flee from the forces of Spanish Fascism which had torn his country during the infamous Spanish Civil War.

On Tuesday, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s student-run Cornerstone Press got the chance to tell Soler’s story when UWSP Professor Richard Barker provided excerpts of his newly published translation of Soler’s narrative “Fugitive From Spanish Fascism.” The event was an official launch of Soler’s memoir, and copies of the book were available for purchase.

Barker discovered a memoir manuscript of Miguel Dominguez Soler while in Spain depicting a story of a man affiliated with the Spanish Left on the run from Spain’s fascist regime.

Barker was born in 1945, the same year in which fascism ended in all parts of Europe except for Spain. He was “fated to study fascism in Europe,” said Dean Christopher Cirmo of the College of Letters and Science.

After discovering Soler’s memoir, Barker translated it to English and was keen to publish it so it could reach a wider audience than an academic publication would.

“I had an addiction to seeing the screen fill up with words,” said Professor Richard Barker of the process of translating the memoir from Spanish to English.

However, publishers thought that there wouldn’t be an audience for his book in the United States. Barker disagreed and thought the memoir dealt with issues that are especially of concern to us today, such as illegal detention and torture.

“If there wasn’t enough interest in the U.S. for torture and imprisonment in other countries then we were a country that had a serious moral problem,” Barker said.

The class of English 349: Editing and Publishing or, by its “company name,” Cornerstone Press, thought that it was a story to be told. This semester’s Editing and Publishing class actually inherited the book from the previous class.

Due to the complexities of getting rights to publish the memoir, the previous class wasn’t able to finish the editing of the novel in time for publication.

“The editing process was a little more laborious,” said Aaron Osowski, junior English major, and editor-in-chief for Cornerstone Press.

Since the book was a translation from Spanish, the editors not only had to take into account correct grammar for the English language, but they also had to satisfy Spanish grammar rules.

Cornerstone Press is an actual publishing house, and every fall semester students publish a book by themselves, covering all parts of the process including the editing, marketing and design of the book.

“It’s an amazing class, a great opportunity,” said Per Henningsgaard, the professor and CEO of the class. “It’s so unique.” UWSP is one of the few schools that offers such a program.

“It’s a small publishing house with constraints. With those constraints it has had amazing success,” said Henningsgaard. Since its start in 1984, Cornerstone Press has published books that have become nationally known.

One author published his first book at Cornerstone Press and is now a New York Times bestselling author.

The next publication that Cornerstone Press is currently working on is “Jake the Grizz and the World’s Fastest Snowboard” by Kit Keifer.

“It’s a snowboarding mystery of epic proportions directed at and appealing towards young adults and adolescents,” said Osowski. The book has a unique marketing demographic of 8-14 year-old boys. The book was originally written for Keifer’s son who had trouble finding an interest in books.

To purchase “Fugitive from Spanish Fascism,” contact Cornerstone Press at its website,, or visit the University Store or Book World in downtown Stevens Point.


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