I enjoyed reading all the interviews on Jacket2. My favorite question asked by the interviewer is, what do you look for in writers or books you want to publish. This is my favorite question because the answer each interviewee gave. None of the interviewees have set guidelines on what they are looking for. They all seem to want writers who can intrigue them and their audience. I love that they don’t have any real guidelines for publishing. I think this is great because it allows each small press to diversify itself. Because of this everything that is published doesn’t have to be the same. I think this allows authors and their small press room for creativity.
In all the interviews, the answer to why you decided to start a small press, everyone’s answers were also similar. The first interview was with Johannes Goransson of Action Books, interviewed by Laura Carter. The reason behind Action Books came from U.S. presses not being interested in new and wild poems and writings from another culture. Starting Action Books “would give space for the dark and excessive, the gothic and grotesque” (Johannes Goransson).
The second interview was with Carrie Adams of Black Ocean, interviewed by Laura Carter. Carrie and co-founder Janaka believed in promoting other writers and poets. “We’ve since entered the age of the writer/publisher or poet/editor (as I am myself), where it’s become a community of poets devoted to promoting poetry and each other (as much, if not more, than his or her own work). Janaka and I have always believed there was a hungry audience for poetry—even if they didn’t know what they were hungry for yet” Carrie).
The last interview was with Noemi Press, interviewed by Laura Carter. Though this answer was short and not detailed, it still was similar to the others. “From what I understand, Noemi was birthed in 2002 in the New Mexican desert, from necessity and inspiration” (Noemi).
What I took away from this was, the founders saw a need for their small press to help get people published and their voices heard. I think this was the case for each small press interviewed. They started them as a way to allow people’s voices to be heard.
The need to start a small press came from their need of wanting to establish a community. A community for writers and poets. A community where these writers and poets’ voices may not have been heard or been turned away by others. As Teresa Carmody said, “in the lovely, beautiful world of poetry, community is an ideal. Poets love their communities” (Teresa). I think this is evident in the interview with Johannes Goransson of Action Books. He talked about wanting to “give a space for the dark and excessive, the gothic and grotesque” (Johannes). A space for writers and poets who wouldn’t be traditionally published by U.S. press.
“Action Books.” Action Books, https://actionbooks.org/.
“Black Ocean.” Black Ocean, http://www.blackocean.org/.
Carter, Laura. “On Small Press Publishing.” Jacket2, 25 Sept. 2013, https://jacket2.org/article/small-press-publishing.
Carter, Laura. “An Interview with Action Books.” Jacket2, 22 Oct. 2015, https://jacket2.org/commentary/interview-action-books.
Carter, Laura. “An Interview with Black Ocean.” Jacket2, 8 Oct. 2015, https://jacket2.org/commentary/interview-black-ocean.
Carter, Laura. “An Interview with Noemi Press.” Jacket2, 20 Nov. 2015, https://jacket2.org/commentary/interview-noemi-press.