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.