Launch Complete

The launch of the book, Why Poetry looked like it was a lot of fun and insightful. It sucks that I wasn’t able to actually attend the event in person. But thanks to technology, I was still able to see/attend the event via Facebook Live. Due to this, it was as if I was really didn’t miss anything. I was able to hear Joe read the poems and the questions everyone had. It was nice to see everything come together. The event looked like it went smoothly, and the book look amazing. Most importantly, Joe seemed like he was happy with how everything came together.

I think that Danny did a great job giving the introduction/warmup to Joe. His delivery was great. He seemed confident in what he was saying. The content of the introduction was also great. It did a good job summarizing Joe. It did a good job of stating his accomplishments and giving general information about him. It also kept the purpose of the event in mind. Doing this gave the audience a preview of what the speaker would be doing.

When Joe began reading the poems, it brought me back to a discussion we had in class. In one of the class sessions, he talked about when poets read poetry out loud. He said that poetry is meant to be read slowly. By reading poetry slowly, it allows the audience to digest what the poet is saying and draw their conclusions. I noticed that when he read his poems, he did just that. He read slow enough for the audience to digest what he was saying and draw conclusions.

I liked that after every poem, he had a few things to say. Even if it was just general background information, an explanation, or a story that related to the poem. It made understanding the context of each poem easier and made him relatable. I also liked the passion he had for allowing our class to publish his book. He seemed to be invested and passionate about allowing us students to do something like this.

This whole semester and project have been eye-opening. Before this class, I had no real idea of what all it took to launch/publish a book. I didn’t know there were so many components to consider when doing something like this. I didn’t consider how hard and important it is to pick out the perfect design, layout, typeface, and marketing. I’m thankful that I was able to be a part of something like this. I learned a lot that I didn’t know about books, publishing, publishers, and typeface.

Update

For the past few weeks, we’ve been working on preparing for the Joe O’Connor event. For this event, we were all asked to sign up for ways we wanted to help. We were able to choose to help with the book cover, interior pages, book announcements, and event planning. I decided I wanted to be part of the event planning. In the event planning group, our responsibilities consisted of choosing the flyers, postcards/pamphlets, advertise on social media, write a news release, get it in The Review, arrange photography and audio, arrange refreshments, and prepare an introductory statement.        

My responsibility is to arrange the refreshments. Danny Whirlow, my team leader let me know that we wanted something simple and no meals. After looking through the catering guide, I realized that this might not be as simple as I thought. There were so many options, but most of the options were meals. While looking at the catering guide, I realized I didn’t know some things. I didn’t know the budget, how many people were coming, or what time of day the event was taking place.

I decided to send professor Gil-Montero an email. In the email, I told her some of the choices I was considering and the questions I had. The choices I sent were to get a feel of what we were looking for. I also sent the choices to Danny. He let me know that one of my choices might not be appropriate for such a formal event. He also told me what they had at other similar events. Getting this information from Danny was helpful. 

With this information, it helped me understand what they were expecting. I looked over the catering guide and came up with what I believe were great options. Options that fit the event and are still simple. I choose to do a Cheese and Fruit Display (or one of them by themselves), Cantina Bar, and Sweet Treats Bar. I sent these options to Danny, and he told me he would get feedback from our professor. 

Through the blog posts, I’ve gotten to see the book covers. I think they look great. This whole experience has been interesting and eye-opening. I never thought that I would be helping publish a book and helping put together an event. This process has opened my eyes to what all goes into publishing a book. Hopefully, everything comes together as Joe envisions it.

Interview with Small Press

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 CarterThe 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. 

Work Cited:

“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.

The Evergreen Review

The Evergreen Review is a literary magazine that started in 1957, with Barney Rosset, Fred Jordan, and a few other people. Today it is currently published by John Oakes. John Oakes began working as the publisher in 1987. In 1987, John was an assistant editor at Barney Rosset’s Grove Press. They’ve worked with Samuel Beckett, Jean-Paul Sartre, Mark Schorer, and James Purdy.

Over the next sixteen years, The Evergreen Review “published writing that launched an assault on American propriety: literary, sexual, and social.” (About The Evergreen). They were able “to mix radical American voices from the literary and social fringes – Burroughs, Ginsberg, Susan Sontag, LeRoi Jones, Henry Miller – with a global cast of writers, many of whom were introduced to American readers by the magazine” (About The Evergreen). The Evergreen was seen as shocking and intriguing. It was known to have “some of the finest writing available, by writers whose influence continues to shape contemporary literature” (About The Evergreen). 

The Evergreen Review existed in print in 1957 until 1973. It then took a 25-year hiatus, and “was re-launched on-line in 1998, and then again in 2017” (About The Evergreen).

Under the leadership of John Oakes and editor-in-chief Dale Peck, The Evergreen has continued to build on Rosset’s legacy. The legacy “of searching out the stories that aren’t being told or aren’t being heard: stories that challenge our sensibilities and expand our understanding of the way people actually live in the world, and the way their truths can be expressed” (About The Evergreen).

The Evergreen Review is available free of charge in online format only. It features, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from new writers and established writers.

The Editor-In-Chief is Dale Peck. The Contributing Editors are Calvin Baker, Zia Jaffrey, and Porochista Khakpour. The Editor at Large is Miracle Jones. The Poetry Editor is Jee Leong Koh. The Designer and Developer is Poco Meloso.

I read No, No, Nanette: Hannah Gadsby, Trauma, and Comedy as Emotional Manipulation. It starts with three poems, then moves into writings. In these writings, they tackled topics of homosexuality and how it affects people. They specifically talked about how it affected women in comedy. They gave examples of Ellen DeGeneres and Hannah Gadsby. They talked about how being a lesbian affects their standup, how its represented in, and how it affects how they are paid. I think this is a great representation of the legacy of Evergreen. It has interesting and compelling stories. Stories that aren’t often talked about among people, that helps us better understand the way other people live. 

Work Cited:

“About.” Evergreen Review, https://evergreenreview.com/a/.

“No, No, Nanette: Hannah Gadsby, Trauma, and Comedy as Emotional Manipulation.” Evergreen Review, https://evergreenreview.com/read/your-laughter-is-my-trauma/.

Perfect

The title of my book is Perfect. Perfect is also the name of the poem I used for this assignment. Perfect is a poem that I asked my sister to help me write. She enjoys writing and I had trouble writing, I thought I could get her to help me. The inspiration from the poem came from the movie A Walk To Remember.

A book is a “stack of paper sheets and printed on both sides, bound on one end, and encased between two covers”. (Amaranth Borsuk). The look of my book is a folded book. A folded book “also known as an accordion or concertina, was a flat, rectangular volume, and its height came directly from the scrolls that preceded it since the paper sheets used were generally the length of the papermaker’s arm” (Amaranth Borsuk). I also tried to make it a side-bound book. A side-bound book is “portable and durable, it is easy to reference, and its economical pages allow writing on both sides” (Amaranth Borsuk). By look and definition of what a book is, I think Perfect qualifies as a book.

To make my book, I decided to use materials that were around my house. For the cover of my book, I used scrap construction paper. For the rest of the pages, I wrote the pages on the scrap construction paper. I tried to make all my pages look the same. As far as making sure every page had the same number of stanzas on them. Ulises Carrion said when talking about old books. “In an old book all the pages are the are the same. When writing the text, the writer followed only sequential laws of language, which are not the sequential laws of books. Words might be different on every page; but every page is as such, identical with the preceding ones and with those that follow” (Ulises Carrion). Once the pages were printed, I folded them to give it the look of a folded book. Because I used the material that was available to me around my house, I think it is an accurate reflection of the world I live in and what available to me.

Our desired reader for Perfect would be those who enjoy weddings and descriptive readings. Perfect is a poem about a wedding so readers who enjoy weddings should like this book. They would like how descriptive it is. The description would allow the reader to vividly picture what is written. The description would also allow the reader to feel the emotions we were trying to convey. Designing the cover of the book to reflect the content on the inside helps anticipate the desire of my imagined reader.

The language I used in the book is simple and descriptive. This allows our desired reader to picture and feel what it is we’ve written. The simple language also connects to the simple material I used. This also connects to the simple definition of what makes a book a book.

Work Cited:

Borsuk, Amaranth. The Book. (Boston: MIT Press, 2018).

Carrion, Ulies. The New Art of Making Books. Aegean Editions, 2001.

“Generic Women Handmade Beaded Rhinestone Ribbon Lacing Wedding Belt Lady Bride Waistband Waist Belt(Baby Pink).” Generic Women Handmade Beaded Rhinestone Ribbon Lacing Wedding Belt Lady Bride Waistband Waist Belt(Baby Pink) Price from Jumia in Kenya, https://yaoota.com/en-ke/product/generic-women-handmade-beaded-rhinestone-ribbon-lacing-wed-7-price-from-jumia-kenya.

Zines: Women’s Self Defense

A Zine is “a short for fanzine or magazine, is a DIY subculture self-publication, usually made on paper and reproduced with photocopier or printer” (Zines). Zines are used to share knowledge or experience with “people in marginalized or otherwise less-empowered communities” (Zines). Zines can also be used to agitate, smear, or celebrate. Thomas Paine, who is believed to have originated the concept in 1776.  He self-published the pamphlet, Common Sense. In Common Sense, Thomas Paine “argued for the independence from Great Britain and the ability of the young country to prosper unfettered by the oppressive and economically draining English” (Bartleby.com).

The Zine I picked was Women’s Self Defense by Ariel; which she dedicated to her mother. Ariel is a survivor of abuse. Women’s Self Defense is made up of stories and strategies of survival. The focus of the zine is “how women have kept themselves safe during and after sexual harassment and assault” (Women’s Self Defense). Readers could write or draw about different situations. Some situations they could write about are, “stranger assault, sexual harassment on the streets and at work, multiple assailants, assailants with weapons known assailant, date rape, and domestic abuse (Women’s Self Defense). 

Ariel’s had a few goals in mind for her Zine. One of her goals was to give “women more options to choose from when using self-defense by sharing a diverse range of strategies successfully used by women in real-life situations” (Women’s Self Defense). The second goal was to “help women overcome isolation after an assault and begin to heal” (Women’s Self Defense). The next goal was to expand the notion of what “successful self-defense is and help women appreciate all of the ways we keep ourselves safe every day” (Women’s Self Defense). The last goal was to “break the stigma around sexual harassment and assault so that we can talk about it” (Women’s Self Defense).

One of the reasons I picked this zine was because the goals that Ariel made for it. I believe that all four of her goals are important. I believe all four of her goals are not only to help women who have been assaulted but everyone else. This zine could help inform everyone on sexual harassment, assault, and self-defense. Another reason I picked this zine, was because women saw this as a safe space to share their stories. I know for some women; it can be hard to open up about what happened to them. I think it’s great that women felt open and comfortable enough to tell their stories. The last reason I picked this Zine was because of the look of it. To me, it looked more like a journal or diary, with all the drawings and handwritten headings. This gave it a more personal feel.

Work Cited:

Halliday, Ayun. “Download 834 Radical Zines From a Revolutionary Online Archive: Globalization, Punk Music, the Industrial Prison Complex & More.” Open Culture, Permalink, http://www.openculture.com/2016/04/download-834-radical-zines-from-a-new-online-archive.html.

Paine, Thomas. 1776. Common Sense, https://www.bartleby.com/133/.

“Women’s Self-Defense #1 : Ariel : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming.” Internet Archive, Solidarity! Revolutionary Center and Radical Library, 17 Mar. 2012, https://archive.org/details/WomensSelf-defense1.

“Zine Basics.” Barnard Zine Library, https://zines.barnard.edu/zine-basics.

Bodoni Typeface

The typeface I picked was Bodoni. Bodoni typeface was named after, Giamattista Bodoni its creator. He was an “expert printer who ran a printing-office under the Duke of Parma” (Janee Evans). The design of the typeface was made to showcase “his company’s work in metal-casting, printing and of the paper made in Parma” (Janee Evans). “Bodoni’s desire was a type which was suitable for contemporary times rather than the age of scribe. Instead of the stroke of the pen, his inspiration was the mathematical precision and delicate hairline strokes characteristic of copperplate engraving, which was very popular at the time” (Family Classification of Type). It was designed in the late eighteenth century but has been revised frequently. He got inspiration from John Baskerville and studied French type founders Pierre Simon and Frimin Didot. Though he was inspired and studied other typefaces, Bodoni typeface was his own style.

She does not know
her beauty,
she thinks her brown body
has no glory – No Images, William Waring Cuney

There are five characteristics used to identify Bodoni typeface. The first characteristic is “high and abrupt contrast between thick and thin strokes. The second would be abrupt (unbracketed) hairline (thin) serifs. The third characteristic is the vertical axis. Next would be the horizontal stress. The last characteristic would be small aperture” (Janee Evans). There are versions of Bodoni Typeface that are hard to read. This is because of the “alternating of thick and thin strokes, mainly as the thin strokes are very thin at small point sizes” (Janee Evans).

When Bodoni Typeface was first released, it was known as a classical design because of the rational structure. It then became known as a “modern serif font. Bodoni typeface has been used for a wide variety of different materials”. (Janee Evans). It was used in Italian Books in the eighteenth century and periodicals in the 1960s. It was used in advertising and books in the 21st century. For example, it was used in the Mamma Mia poster and the Nirvana logo.

The reason I picked Bodoni Typeface, is because I’ve seen versions of it in logos and advertising. Bodoni Typeface was used in Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The U.S.A cover. I also like the look of the typeface; the contrast between the thick and thin strokes. I could see how it could be hard to read. The variation in strokes can make the letters look weird.

Work Cited:

“Bodoni in Use.” Fonts in Use, https://fontsinuse.com/typefaces/229/bodoni.

Evans, Janee. “Typeface History: Bodoni.” Medium, Medium, 14 Sept. 2016,

Families of Type, https://graphicdesign.sfcc.spokane.edu/dzine/tutorials/process/type_basics/modern.htm.

William Waring Cuney. “No Images”. Storefront Church. Paul Breman Limited, 1973.

Press On: The Letterpress Film

The documentary Pressing On: The Letterpress Film is about the survival of letterpress, in a time when technology has taken over. Technology like in everything else has changed the way we print. Printing was a very physical process; you had to find the correct format and rearrange letters all by hand. Printing now isn’t as tedious. It can be done on a computer with just a few clicks.

The film has made me appreciate the work that went into printing. Getting to see the process it took to print back then was interesting. This process consists of designing your layout. In the layout, you bring it into lines. From there, you lock it into form. Next, you move it into the press. After that, the typed is inked. Once the typed is inked, you can make an impression. Lastly, once your impression is made you should have a finished piece. Sadly, as mentioned this process is something many people don’t use today. Because this process isn’t commonly used now, many people would be in awe of what it took to print just as I was.

Though this process isn’t commonly used, I think it is something that should be kept going. Like many of the interviewees, I think it is important to preserve this process of printing. The history of this printing is important. For me, it showed how far we’ve come with technology. But it also showed me the quality and care that went into printing. People cared enough to do things by hand and to ensure the quality you were getting was great.

I think the best way to preserve this process of printing, is by doing what some of the interviewees are doing; teaching the next generation. Teaching the next generation allows the process to live and not die out. This is something some of the interviewees mentioned. They were worried that when they die, what would become of all things. One of the interviewees said if he could help it none of his stuff would be hauled away into a junkyard after he died. By teaching this process to the next generation, his things won’t have to be hauled away into a junkyard. Someone will be interested in it just as he was and want to buy it, just as he did. Hopefully, they’ll be putting it to good use and teaching others.

My favorite part of the film was learning about Hatch Show Print. They were a big part of country music in the south. When going to their website, I found that they not only created posters for country music artist but also great African American jazz artists. “To further secure the historic link, the shop’s home from 1925 to 1992 was directly behind the Ryman Auditorium, where in addition to creating posters for country artists, the shop captured the glory of the great African-American jazz and blues entertainers of the day, with posters for artists such as Cab Calloway, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong” (Hatch Show Print).

Work Cited:

“History.” Hatch Show Print, https://hatchshowprint.com/history/.

“IndiaMART.” Letterpress Machine in Mumbai, लेटरप्रेस मशीन, मुंबई, Maharashtra | Letterpress Machine Price in Mumbai, https://dir.indiamart.com/mumbai/letterpress-machine.html.

THE WAY OF CHUANG TZU

The only physical copy of poetry I have is THE WAY OF CHUANG TZU by Thomas Merton. Thomas Merton “was a Trappist Monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. A poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion, Merton wrote numerous books on spirituality, including his monumental autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain” (THE WAY OF CHUANG TZU). After Merton read translations of classic sayings of Chuang Tzu, he decided to come up with his own version of them. The book doesn’t just contain poetry/classical sayings, it also has information on who Chuang Tzu was and his teaching of Taoism. 

The book starts with A Tribute To Thomas Merton, which takes up one page. The next part of the book is A Note To The Reader, which takes up about two full pages. In A Note To the Reader, it tells why the book was written, what the book is, and brief information on Chuang Tzu. The books then moves into The Way of Chuang Tzu, which takes up about nine full pages. In these nine pages, it explains the teaching of Chuang Tzu. The next part of the book makes up the poetry/classical sayings. The poetry/classical sayings take up sixty-one pages of the book. The next part of the book is the Glossary, which takes up one page of the book. The fifth part of the book is a Bibliography, which takes up one page. The last part of the book is the Notes, which takes up one page of the book.     

The book is yellow, with black text on it. The front cover has the title, (THE WAY OF CHUANG TZU) the author, (Thomas Merton) and the words Preface By His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In the middle of the title and the author, there is a picture of two men sitting on the ground. The back of the book has two paragraphs on what the book is about. The next part of the book is three reviews of the book. The third part of the book is information on the author. The last part of the book is information on the Dalai Lama. In one of the corners, it has who designed the cover, information on the publisher, and price. The other corner, it has a barcode.            

The book has 159 pages. The parts, A Tribute To Thomas Merton, and A Note To The Reader all have titles and subtitles. After the subtitles, it moves into the body/information. The rest of the book just has a title and the body. The cover nor the pages are glossy/smooth. The pages are thick, not flimsy. Because the book is sturdy, I’m able to be rough with the book. I can bend the pages and the book without really damaging it.   

Work Cited:

Merton, Thomas. The Way of Chuang Tzu. New Directions Books, 2010.

“The Way of Chuang Tzu (Second Edition).” Amazon, Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/Way-Chuang-Tzu-Second/dp/B07MMWP4RP.

To Read Aloud or Silently?

I noticed a difference when I read the essay out loud and silently. When I read the essay silently, I noticed that I’m not connected to what I’m reading. It seemed as though I was just skimming through the pages. I’m more focused on the words than what they mean. Because I’m skimming, I tend to miss what I should be taking away from the reading. Skimming also causes me to reread what I’ve read so that I get what I’ve missed. Also, I found reading silently, I tend to be more distracted. I’m more focused on trying to figure out words mean, length and random things that come into my head due to word association. Reading out loud, I’m thinking about the meaning of the text. I also think about what it is that I should be taking away from the text. The biggest thing for me is, when I read out loud, I believe that I understand what I read more.

Back then, reading silently was considered strange because it was something everyone wasn’t doing. According to qz.com, before the 17th century, reading was something that people did out loud. The website goes on to say, “silent reading was in fact rare or rude in ancient times” (Thu-Huong Ha). Another reason people read out loud then was because everyone wasn’t literate. Reading out loud was not only a way to inform everyone, but also a way to teach and learn. It was in the 17th century, the idea of reading out loud shifted. This was due to the spread of literacy and the different types of reading materials. Because literacy was more common, there wasn’t a need to read out loud.

I believe that books should be read out loud. I think reading out loud, allows the reader to get a better understanding of what they are reading. However, I do agree with St. Augustine comments he made while observing St. Ambrose reading silently. Specifically, I agree with these reasons to read silently, “We wondered if he read silently perhaps to protect himself in case he had a hearer interested and intent on the matter, to whom he might have to expound the text being read if it contained difficulties, or who might wish to debate some difficult questions” (On The Cult). These reasons can take up your time from actually reading the book. Or they could make reading less enjoyable. I do find myself torn on the comment on the debate. I do think it can take up time from your reading. But I also think that a healthy debate can help you better understand what you’ve read. Someone challenging you forces you to support what you said. So, you have to think about what you’ve read to do that. This may not be possible unless you read out loud or they’ve read the book.

Works Cited:

Borges, Jorge Luis. “On the Cult of Books.” Trans. Eliot Weinberger. A Book of the Book, eds. Jerome Rothenberg and Steven Clay. (New York: Granary Books, 2000). 

Ha, Thu-Huong. “The Beginning of Silent Reading Changed Westerners’ Interior Life.” Quartzy,Quartz, 20 Nov. 2017, https://qz.com/quartzy/1118580/the-beginning-of-silent-reading-was-also-the-beginning-of-an-interior-life.