Thursday, March 13, 2008

At 1:22 PM, Jilly said...
What did the panel talk about?

I was wearing tasteful gray slacks, a purple/gray/black patterned shirt with a long black knit. For practicality, black ballet flats and garnet earrings to pique the audiences' metaphysical sensual desires.

I communicated my condolences to CJ Evan's (Tin House replacement for Brenda S.) regarding his state's governor.

Regarding the panel: each press spoke for a few moments about how they started, the books they publish, what they look for in manuscripts. Each press has pretty different way of operating. Graywolf, a big "small" press has offices in different cities, paid full-time staff -- and does a fair bit of fundraising. Their books occasionally get national attention. Tin House has a staff too that makes decisions via conference calls and have (I think) one major funder. Barrow House has a small staff, not sure where they get their money. Ugly Duckling is a collective, with several members doing the bulk of the work. No Tell, the tiniest of the presses, is all about me and my garish cultural capital, which everyone reading this blog already knows. I think what the paneled showed is the different ways we can go about publishing the books we care about. Nobody, not even Graywolf, is making much money-- hence all the time they must spend fundraising. But the not making money is freeing because there's not the pressure of trying to find the next bestseller. Matvei discussed the "gift economy" instantly making me want to kiss him, or maybe he was wearing garnets too.

During the Q&A people asked about "cover letters" and agents.

That's what always happens. People want to know the secret to being discovered, not ideas for how they can do something themselves -- and nobody wants to hear about the no money part.

Afterwards a couple people approached me with questions or something nice to say about the press. One woman even bought a book. A young lady asked about finding an agent -- I told her I was a poet and she said that she was too, so I had to explain that to her. It was like having to tell somebody there's no Santa Claus.

Then a few of us talked amongst ourselves about how poetry publishers/editors are sometimes seen by other poets not as poets (just like them), but as publishers there to serve them. Someone noted that Fiona McCrae was on the only publisher on the panel who wasn't also a writer.

Then somebody mentioned Jill Essbaum's thong.



At 4:29 PM, Blogger jeannine said...

Thanks for the download from the panel.
I promise if I had been there I would have asked at least one question about starting a poetry press!

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Shann Palmer said...

I just want a cool crown-
and to be just like you (I already have a substantial ass!)

but I've done the kid thing- my daughter's bedroom ceiling still has mustard and ketchup stains from her art forays on the top bunk- she liked the colors.

At 10:19 PM, Blogger Jilly said...

I guarantee my ass is larger than any of y'all's.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Collin said...

Ah, yes...the sweet delusion of the young poet who wants an agent, big advances and a bestseller. You just have to break it to them gently, pat them on the head and send them off to school.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Yes, Collin, the more condescending the better. :)


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