Monday, February 25, 2008

Chase Twitchell on Copper Canyon Acquiring Ausable Press

"On a final note, I’d like to say something about the future of poetry publishing. Starting a press is something I always wanted to do, but for financial reasons was unable to until new technology made it possible. Nowadays, with print-on-demand (now almost indistinguishable in quality from traditionally-produced paperbacks), and the magic tools of the internet, it’s possible for someone to start a small press for a few thousand dollars. There’s no money in it, of course; it’s a labor of love. It’s my hope that the editors of the future will find in themselves the kind of passion that will make them do something as irrational, irresistible, and fulfilling as the publishing of poetry. The world desperately needs it."

I met Chase at AWP New Orleans, not long after she started Ausable. She told me how she always wanted to start a press and that when she turned 50 it was her time to do so. Now that was back in my 20's, 50 seemed practically ancient (I know better now), and I thought, wow, to have to wait that long to do something one always wanted to do. Well, for some things we do have to wait and for some things, we don't really have to. Luckily for me, advancements in technology allowed me to start my own press in my 30's.

Ausable's aesthetic is pretty different from No Tell Books, but I've always admired the press and what Chase accomplished -- and while I never met her again after New Orleans, she stayed in my thoughts and was one of the inspirations years later when I finally embarked on my own press.


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