INTERVIEW WITH PETER MONEY
"Poet as One Manifestation of The People's Brigade:
Brownsville, Vermont, 2007"
Peter Money & Saadi Yousef
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Currently I operate Harbor Mountain Press ( www.harbormountainpress.com and teach a
class or two at the relatively new Center For Cartoon Studies ( www.cartoonstudies.org ), and at a
small independent community college called Lebanon College. But to go back: Born, November 6th 1963, Queen of
the Valley hospital, Napa California. Third son of two teachers-a Vermonter and a Californian. Grew up in neighborhoods
in Napa (California, until I was 5) and Centerville (Massachusetts, through high school), and in Vermont
(between 5 & 8; --& holidays). Always thought I'd go into theater, from an early age (when I was 9, for
two weeks I played Fantasy Island actor Ricardo Montalban's "son" in the musical South Pacific). Heard about
Oberlin College and went. I visited on a damp dark October day but the difference--a creative lasting pang &
subterranean energy--was felt as I watched the students. Just the right place. My first night visiting Oberlin
I saw King Crimson (http://www.gnosis2000.net/reviews/kcrimson.htm )
fill an old chapel with echo, reverb, and purple light.
Later, I saw R.E.M. (1983 or 4) & would see them soon in a small audience (in a big hall) in Dublin, Ireland. I could relate
to Stipe's vocals and many forms. Through Oberlin, spent a semester studying in Ireland in the fall of 1984 (then and there
decided to become a poet). Felt a pointed gun in my direction at a checkpoint in Northern Ireland. We looked each other
in the eye. I returned to start an "alternative literary magazine" with other students from that Dublin program. So, the
story: While browsing poetry books at a bookstore senior year, determined to study with poet John Ashbery. At 21, his
poems seemed to be my language. I traveled "around the world" (to New Zealand, Australia, India, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece,
Italy, Spain, France, England and a return to Ireland) after graduating from Oberlin (and after waiting on tables, busing,
painting houses to finance it). Arrived at Brooklyn College to study with Ashbery but he'd received a MacArthur award; he'd
left the college. Beat legend Allen Ginsberg was left in his place (how fortunate!), as well as Susan Fromberg Schaeffer,
Joan Larkin, Lou Asekoff. Ginsberg took particular interest in me, introduced me to my first "little magazine" editors
(David Cope & his Big Scream), gave me a blurb for my first book (These Are My Shoes,1991), and gave me a place in one of
his trademark "snapshots" (reproduced in the Stanley Kunitz issue of Provincetown Arts
While in NY, I worked in a midtown office (the new "railroads"!), first as a "temp", and taught my first English Comp.
classes at Brooklyn College. Married Oberlin classmate Lucinda Walker (now a library director). In 1992 moved to
San Francisco (Carl Rakosi, Jack Hirschman, Lawrence Fixel were at points pivots for me), then across the bay to
Berkeley-where Robert Hass met with students 100 feet from my house. Taught poetry in the schools (WritersCorps),
got a degree in Librarianship at San Jose State since I'd been working in libraries anyway. Have been an "at-home-dad"
(many a stroller in many a used book store) to my son and daughter. Magazines started: Writer's Bloc (at Oberlin, 1985),
Lame Duck (initially in Brooklyn 1989), and Across Borders (Lebanon, NH, 2003). In 2003 I appeared with a nod to poetry &
a wink to comics in James Sturm's Fantastic Four prequel for Marvel Comics, Unstable Molecules. In it, the poet Joey King
spouts Kerouac and inspires the boy who would become the Human Torch
Peter Money books to date: These Are My Shoes, Minor Roads, A Big Yellow, Instruments, Between Ourselves, Finding It:
Selected Poems, To day --- Minutes only, and the "autoseriographic" fiction Che. Due soon is the CD: Blue Square
(see Pax Recordings link below).
Sample publications, etc.: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac, The Sun, The American Poetry Review;
Poetry Salzburg Review, Napalm Health Spa, House Organ.
Personal Fantasy Forecast: possibly old age & dreadlocked, painting large canvases more than writing.
Present Mood: Well, let's dance. www.petermoneypoetry.com
Describe the room you write in.
I feel I've become a vagabond. Upstairs I have a large enough room and a twelve inch wide path gets me to my desk,
but I rarely write there anymore. I've exhausted shelf and file space in twenty-five years of collecting a modest
library and correspondence (although if I were more like my friend Steve Bissette I might build a library storage
annex in my basement (http://srbissette.com/labels/Peter%20Money.html )
. . . My desktop and seat have become storage
spots as well. I go there to get books, mostly before teaching. I do have an office away from the house, about a half
hour away in White River Junction, a couple blocks from The Center For Cartoon Studies, in what used to be the site of
the Lyric theater (where the ticket taker would tap dance for you and where, on the stage in front of the screen, you
could still see Vaudeville). But that office is for Harbor Mountain Press. Otherwise I write (notepaper, journal, the
backs of business cards, laptop) in most any room of the house. Right now, for instance, I'm writing from an old orange
plaid couch while my kids listen to a compilation CD of music I like. To my left is a painting of Lucinda and myself,
somewhat realist-cartoonish, done by a Oregon painter named Mark Daucher. Behind me is a big single pane window that looks
east; to keep the birds from flying into it (as they used to) I've taped a cardboard bird (cut to shape from a Priority Mail
envelope) to the center of the glass. A lot of the writing I've done since I've become a father (my oldest is almost 9 and
the youngest is going on 7) has been on slips of paper. In Berkeley, I had an office in the basement and I could walk out
into the garden from underneath the deck. Even though I live in a country-setting now, with open space and woods, the pace
feels sometimes urban. Many drafts of what I write never make it out of a pocket, a pad, a pile because we're doing too much
(the usual: school, commuting, a string of jobs, preparing for winter, helping my kids--). And we're not even doing
neary as much as the Joneses! The novella I wrote last year was done almost entirely in short usually intense sessions
on a laptop, usually late at night after I'd returned from teaching at Lebanon College or at the cartoon[ing] school.
Talk about your CD, "Blue Square."
Recording poetry came about by chance for me, but I like it. Of course we have a history of recorded poetry:
United States of Poetry, several Ginsberg albums, Kerouac, now all of the Slam product. And long before: even
Whitman! Of course Dylan Thomas. I'm not that savvy with my computers so it never would have happened if I'd
been left to my own technology. I do like presenting my poems live (and I believe poetry readings should necessarily
offer something additional to the page [I did not find Ashbery to be a helpful reader in this sense]), but I'm in a
mode somewhere between traditional and Beat-Post-Beat. I saw Mark Doty respond to a student by saying that reciting poems
("by heart") is simply not in his tradition. After all, our culture encourages the next, the newer, what supplants; we don't
tend to acknowledge the heart-and maybe there's something "Puritan" about rewarding, instead, this idea of
"task" accomplishment; "product" value is largely in the head while the value of "process" may include the continuum
of past/present/ AND future [from the hands, of the heart]). --There's a dialog that happens between poet, poem on
the page, and any listener. And it's there on the page, like a member of a symphony or chamber, for the poet to READ
anew-yet conscious of continuum. The triangulation starts with an object, the poem, which is in secular terms the beginning.
Of course we read into "triangulation" and "beginning" in belief terms too. Each time can be a unique rendering and the page
can serve as a reminder that the words don't only live in the mind of the poet but live on their own as a text that continues
to speak beyond the poet. "Many truths." My friend Theodore Enslin might even suggest the poetry reading is not so much a
performance for an audience but just another rehearsal of the poem. My "tradition" is closer to public speech, sermon, choir,
theater, monolog, dialog. Speaking from memory has always required strain-or drain-which sometimes took away from what
I could otherwise learn from the text. So, to get back to your question, I found the recording process entirely, surprisingly,
a moving experience. The composer, Mike Sal, had invited me to his studio. To be honest, I thought I would just read some poems.
Mike put up his tracks-instrumentals he had already recorded-and invited me to read my poems TO his instrumental tracks.
Now, understand, if I had ever daydreamed about recording my poems it would have been with live solo guitar or cello, probably.
Mike's-although there is one solo guitar track-is what I'd describe as House-Hip Hop!
(Listen at http://www.petermoneypoetry.com/bluesquare.html )
Some of the tracks I heard many months earlier but I had no idea that I'd be reading my poems to them. So, when it came down to it,
Mike ( http://www.myspace.com/kixkreative )
put up the beginning of an instrumental track and I searched through my books and
found a poem that I felt could fit. Here's the thing: we had a couple hours one evening before Mike left town, the session
almost didn't happen (once I'm home, I'm usually home for the night [those long country miles. . . ]), and yet the result was-at
least for me, and for me in those moments of recording (imagine: I was in a closet, a homemade isolation booth)-a strange
serendipity. In certain places you can hear where voice and music are exactly the same. Yet it was spontaneous! Now,
using House-Hip Hop isn't all that odd. Kerouac used the jazz popular at the time. Ginsberg used punk rock, sometimes,
popular at that time. I like Dub. But any current-different mode leads to a new insight, maybe. Anyway, this was the
effect for me: some of the poems (such as "Firefly" that I had been seeing as a somber poem was, with Mike's music, given
a lighter incarnation [ha! -appropriately!]). Track 3, "Snow, Saadi, nothing but snow" gets a very moving albeit modest
background to what has been otherwise kind of difficult for people to read on the page (it's a prose-poem sequence which
alternates between regular font and italicized portions which are Saadi Yousef's lines). The deep guttural bass you hear
on some of the tracks is something that resonates with me. It's the gulp in the throat that rare poem can make. It's
contact with someone or something astounding which reminds you of the privilege of being here.
Pax Recordings http://www.paxrecordings.com/ encouraged me to bring it out on more than just a demo.
Blue Square is the record of an evening, merging poems written between 1987 and 2003 with a contemporary beat,
the record of an unlikely collaboration, and a record-at least for me personally-of liberation through change, of
delight, of embracing a curiosity.
I noticed on your website, you have poem boxes. I love that idea. Talk about these boxes and your process in making them.
I've loved making visual art since I was a kid. At nine I was taking lessons with the artist Juanita Pierce.
I enjoyed how quickly pigment and dimension could express subject matter. In my 20s I was frustrated that my poems
on the page weren't necessarily as visceral as I wanted. So, I took to collage and paint and print on boxes.
Match boxes. I called them poem boxes (some are shown on my website). These were made mostly in Brooklyn, starting
around 1988. Some were gifts I made. Later, I found out that Harley
( www.terracandella.com ) had worked this way,
only without the poems. It's possible I had seen his. Mine were briefly exhibited and sold at The Berta Walker
Gallery in Provincetown. They started out being artifacts, keepsakes, manifestations of emotion which could be held
in the hand, opened, and in some cases played-or played with. A more personal Cornell box, more closely related to
the Cracker Jack box (a surprise/prize inside). The fact that there is a drawer makes them an erotic/domestic sort of
hybrid. The same energy (or lack of?) which made cut-ups contributes to the poem box. I made one elaborate poem box in
tribute to Harry Smith (the creator of the Harry Smith music anthology that influence Bob Dylan), who I'd met at Ginsberg's
apartment, and whose memorial I attended and innocently recorded (as Harry himself liked to do) at St. Mark's. . . but that
poem box was stolen when I loaned it to someone who claimed he was going to photograph it for the cover of a tribute
anthology about Harry. They always were more ephemeral than treasured. One, made after I attended a Twyla Tharp dance
concert, has a paper spiral that is supposed to spring-out when the box is tilted. On the back is text next to something
that feels a lot like carpet. -Can you tell I admire the sculptors!? Did I say I'd been reading Robert Motherwell's
Dada Anthology at the time? --A book that influenced Ginsberg.
Please discuss your books, Finding it: Selected Poems (2000), Today-Minutes Only (2004), Instruments (1998),
and Between Ourselves (1997)
I'm probably most pleased with Between Ourselves because it was part of the Backwoods Broadsides chaplet series out of Ellsworth, Maine, that included so many names in 20th century/early 21st century American poetry. People I admire had chaplets in that series: Ted Enslin, Carl Rakosi, Diane DiPrima, on and on. Each pamphlet handsomely produced in editions of about 750 (a large run in the world of small press publishing!) and sold for the good sense price of only a dollar. Some of those poems now appear on my CD. I am very grateful to have been included in that series. Now, Finding It: Selected Poems came about because I listed my web page when I submitted my bio to The American Poetry Review. Two little blocky poems appeared there and poet, and at the time Mille Grazie Press publisher, David Oliveira read them and liked them well enough to contact me. Soon he invited me to publish Finding It with Mille Grazie. (I recognize now, by the way, the work a poet such as David did in order to publish others. And I also know it's quite different to publish single volumes. The literary journal seems to me the most like publishing your own work-in terms of the creative process an editor can feel. Single volumes are tougher, I've found.) Instruments was published by John Martone's Tel-Let: three staples up the side. Again, I felt lucky to be included. Martone put out a tremendous series-including poets like Enslin who must have encouraged me to submit some work to Tel-Let. I like that those poems are "quiet"; they're much shorter, and in some cases a little less direct. You see, I was corresponding dedicatedly at that point: Cid Corman, David Miller. . . and I was doing some work for the writer Lawrence Fixel. Everyone was helping everyone, a little here, a little there. Fixel went as far as to share his British publisher with me (Cloud). The result was A Big Yellow. To day --- Minutes only is a different story. That book is a loner (well, Minor Roads too). I had started to write a children's biography of the exiled Iraqi modernist writer Saadi Yousef (sometimes written as Youssef)-because I was horrified about the invasion, which seemed likely-just as some unnecessary overt act does now with Iran, given the way the administration is inserting little tid-bits about Iran into their press conferences (they're trying to build a case, all over again-it's out there; listen. . . ). Now, Saadi Yousef had been in exile since 1979. I was attracted to him because of his mode (modernist) and because he'd translated The Little Prince and Whitman's Leaves of Grass into Arabic. He also seemed to be absolutely individual. So, as I got to know Saadi (which is itself a journey with many doors, for he had to move around a lot) I began taking notes which turned into this "prose-poem dialog": my lines, his lines, my lines, etc. I present his voice in italics. Well, you see I wanted desperately to "humanize" Iraqis in the eyes of Americans before the invasion (not that Iraqis needed any "humanizing"; it was all the fault of our upbringing, perception, media, dictates, ignorance. . . that we could view Iraqis as the "Other"). Up the road from the post office in my town is a letterpress printer named Peter Mittenthal (married to the poet and printer Brita Bergland). Peter and I would see each other at the post office: "What're you working on?" he'd say. I'd tell him and then I'd put it back to him, "What're you working on?" We determined that we should do something together and my "dialog" book was just the thing because Mittenthal had been publishing translations. His Goats & Compasses Press brought it out. . . but it did take several more months. I like that: as if poetry takes goats and compasses (decades to distribute!). I'm not sure Mittenthal meant that interpretation. --Track 3 on the CD excerpts a section of To day --- Minutes only. I finally met Saadi in NY at the PEN International Voices Festival last spring. We had been corresponding since 2002.
You have traveled extensively, how has this affected your writing?
When I was 16, I worked as an apprentice at The Cape Cod Melody Tent, a summer theater-and I worked with a guy who was about eight years older who had come from India, from what was then still called Bombay. He was a singer. One day we were overlooking Nantucket Sound, saltwater Melville knew, and he said "Peter, one day you will come and visit my family." It was an enchanting challenge and I felt I really did want to know what was on the other side of the Atlantic. It was my whale, then. I was determined to travel more extensively when I decided to become a poet, a decision I made in Ireland in 1984. I realized the scope of my observations to that point were limited--and by traveling I had hoped to "find more stories"-and maybe grow up more intensely by putting myself geographically "in my field." Of course there are stories at every turn and I have also used the news, films, the newspaper to show my eyes what my sympathies didn't know. In the case of my little novella, Che., a combination of still media (catalog art posters from the Whitney) and direct observation while traveling contributed to the evolving story-which is image driven. But it was in Ireland that led me to the epiphany, if I may put it that way:-the music in the accents, the particular smell of the city, peat burning in the country, the damp, its literature, storytelling, kidding around, the landscape, and earnestness. In India, for example, the things that shocked me also brought me closer to earth. I no longer needed metaphor, as Ginsberg noted ("the ordinary is made extraordinary by your attention to it"). Direct observation itself provided "the luminous." When I visited India was, like Ireland at the time, a poorer place than it is now, generally speaking. Again, the air (streetside fires), the grouping of voices (a kind of domestic song otherwise unheard), and the charms-bright clothing, jeweled noses, painted foreheads-made me realize this theater was real! One didn't have to stretch their imaginations too far to hold something extraordinary and often unseen because it blends with the ordinary. I now have geographic comparisons for everything I encounter ("oh, this is a lot like Rome, this is a lot like Auckland, this reminds me of Cairo"). In this way something in Vermont can become "Roman"-or I can imagine relating to someone in a mosque as I take off my sandals inside my mudroom, even. Or you pick up a shell in the tropics and there's the answer to the Greco-Roman busts you saw in Europe! We can all have these insights but if we have the visual cues and the emotional correlatives to connect juxtaposed images (lines) I think we are able to make more poems, or any art, with authority. We the common ground but we also see the clichés coming. We don't choose the superficial representation but the accurate one-because we've seen enough difference, enough distinction among people and landscapes. And then their phrasing broadens your own. The whole language grows. And poetry is pushed further.
I have written more travel-related (or site specific, I suppose you'd say in visual terms) poems than not, probably. My journals
contain loads of fragments and orphans which record the place but for one reason or another don't rise to the top of my manuscript
pile. Sometimes the task of documenting a place itself will give way to "a keeper" by sheer length, energy, attention. I published
a long poem about the Na Pali coast in The Hawai'I Review. . . and that was casually "commissioned" by a boat captain. A trip to
Point Reyes with friends resulted in another long piece, "Memorial Day", which is part of my book Minor Roads. The concept of
"minor roads" is also a traveler's (we kept to the minor roads! --one does this especially easily in a country such as Ireland).
Now that I have a family traveling makes me a little more anxious. There were times, journeying on my own around the world,
I wished I had been in the company of others. But it's also slightly harder to be fully attentive to what's unique about
traveling because of the role. A father and a husband must be differently attentive, or dividedly attentive (hence all the
scraps of notes!). Yet I want to show my children parts of the world that will be part of their further education.
It's a privilege to travel but it's also a choice, often at a sacrifice. There's the money involved-so you save all
year to spend a week somewhere now. So, I got a lot of traveling done in order to get me going, to help train my
observation skills-both ear & eye & all sense. In my 30s and now 40s I have had the benefit of combining some committee
work (various locations) with pleasure, and being included in extended family sojourns. Now and again I get to travel
for teaching purposes. I enjoyed being in the Outer Banks (NC) with students from St. Andrews college, for example.
Still, you're away from home, and the pull of your own children's voices is strong. You miss your partner. But always
there's choice involved, and always I try to engage that opportunity in my work (even if it's to fill a section of
notebook and seek out the local music and poetry). When Ginsberg (through William Carlos Williams) said "the local
is the only universal," he didn't mean you must stay home-he meant there is "local" everywhere! And what's specific
will have its own reference, in any tongue.
What do you do at Lebanon College and the 2 year cartoon college?
Lebanon College began just in 1956 (a good literary year! [Ginsberg's Howl]) to re-train mill workers. It stayed a sort of
adult education center until only recently. I adored the whole story of the place: founded by a few friends over cups of
coffee, space rented from civic buildings, they offered some of the first computer classes for the community, and now it
occupies a former Woolworth's department store (totally renovated). It's always been a unique place with a regular, returning,
student body. The college is also along a pedestrian mall near an Irish Pub, the Lebanon Opera House, and an ample town green.
It's a William Carlos Williams sort of place, industrial past and quaint present
( www.lebanoncollege.edu). They call Lebanon
"the crossroads" (since it borders Vermont's White River Junction), and I think Williams and Ginsberg-and Whitman while we're at
it!-would like the modest falls that run through it, almost away from view. There's even an airport in Lebanon, and many of the
presidential candidates visit Lebanon. We're only ten minutes away from Dartmouth College. Anyway, I was a chair of the Writing
and Lit. dept. for a while, & I started Lebanon College Press Series and Across Borders (lit. journal). I teach the poetry
workshop and sometimes a film class (a poet's film class!).
Now, The Center For Cartoon Studies is the new latest-greatest two year cartooning school and students can get an MFA there
(see the film: http://www.cartoonstudies.org/images/tarawrayCCS.mov ).
I was brought in, as a poet, to offer "economy of form"
in language and I use a lot of Ginsberg (his "three-fold logic"/American haiku: reaction, response, synthesis), Williams
("No ideas but in things"), and Dada (to help push the edges). So there's an emphasis on slowing down & giving attention.
The artists who pass through that place are extremely gifted: Chris Ware, Art Spiegelman, Ed Koren, Garry Trudeau,
Harry Bliss, Alison Bechdel (also from Oberlin) and co-founder James Sturm. From a "having your day" perspective, I'd say
cartoonist are having a better time of it than poets, although it all depends on the day of the week. . . . Twenty paces from
my office is the vintage clothing store, Revolution. We sometimes have readings & performances there. In fact, it was Kim,
RevoFashionEmpress, whose use of "Che" as a term of endearment got me thinking about the novella I'd write. So, there's a
whole organic arts impetus going on in White River Junction Vermont now.
Filmmakers, bands ( http://www.myspace.com/pariahbeat ),
actors, mild mannered eccentrics ( www.mainstreetmuseum.org )
-hard to notice sometimes but there, amid another injured blue collar town.
You are editor of Harbor Mountain Press. Are you the founder? If not, when did you start as editor?
What has this experience been like for you?
I co-founded Harbor Mountain Press at the request of my first publisher, Richard. I've been at it a couple of years
now, although it feels longer. We've done a lot in a short period of time. Putting out six books a year has been a
fulltime job, although it is not technically supposed to be my fulltime job. I feel I owe it to the authors to keep
up, and so once the books are out the relationship continues. Add six more titles to the first six and soon you're
fostering twelve beings! It's a lot of work, I need an intern, but it is great to see the books in Poets & Writers
and in the Small Press Distribution paper catalog. It's something added, not taken away, when you're a publisher.
That's a big deal in this day in age. - But it's been incredibly hard to get to the mail, and I regret that. It's just
the last thing to be done, and there are plenty of first things. In fact, I received a letter from an author who sent
a submission two months ago and I got the feeling she was a little annoyed with my pace, which I fully understand-having
been there. But, really, there are people who have been waiting for a year! It is an area that needs improvement. . .
but even The New Yorker takes six months to respond. I used to complain about the response rate. Now I don't. Or maybe
I stopped once I became a father.
I'm lucky to have a great "right hand man" in my book designer, Barbara Jones, and a good rapport with my distributor,
Small Press Distribution ( www.spdbooks.org ).
These first two years have been all about getting out twelve excellent books, so almost all our energy goes into that
(ads for them, contracts, review copies, a lot of back and forth, artwork, design and layout, and a lot of continued
fostering where and when possible [e.g. awards, readings]). But I'm also in the middle of solidifying HMP's non-profit
organization status. So, I feel the rewards of publishing poets whose work I believe in and whose work is helping to
frame the HMP tone. Sinan Antoon's book, The Baghdad Blues,
(Reviewed in Time Magazine:
for example is an important book. It's slender, but it was
necessary to bring out when we did. It is the companion to Sinan's novella, I'jaam, published this year by City Lights.
So, I get to meet poets I wouldn't otherwise know (e.g. Norman MacAfee and Mario Susko). But they're all important--even the books
I cannot publish, some of the ones in our large manuscript pile. I'm realizing small press publishing is more a matter of timing
and circumstance than anything else. This is a hard truth.
Also, because-as you can witness-I'm long winded (another reason why learning things by heart is difficult), I can
spend a long time on one task. It's maybe a poet's delight, but it doesn't help when other people are waiting for you.
Meanwhile, my own book of poems, When We're Not Dying, reflecting about a decade's worth of selected poems, is waiting to
be published. I've so far resisted publishing it through HMP, although there's certainly a model for that and I don't
object to it (Ferlinghetti at City Lights is one of the most notable examples). But, even though I don't have a huge
readership, I feel I've been fortunate already. My poems can and cannot wait. Because they couldn't wait they were written.
What comes next, well, maybe the poems themselves will determine that. So. . . I'm really trying to connect the dots between
people, between works of poetry, and while my own work may fit within that emerging community, I have a job to foster what's
coming in to the press. Mine will always be there.
What sort of work do you look for?
I think I prefer the vulnerable speaker's voice. I want to feel the writer needs this, needs these words.
Well done isn't enough for me. I'd rather have emotional fragments, threads, something that says-like bird bones:
OHMYGOD. I have to feel the stake in it, not just the arrangement, not just the intellect. I admire George Oppen but
I also admire Elizabeth Bishop. I think how we handle the image may be different but you can tell when the images have
been "placed" there instead of "needing to be placed there." I like to see how the words have become aware of each other,
through a poet who depends on it. Each poem must answer: does this help me survive?
The books are beautiful. Talk about the design and layout of these books.
They are some of the nicest I've seen.
Well, thanks. We've been getting a lot of compliments about the design, quality, and unity of the books. I use what
I understand is a "high end" print shop in Ann Arbor, and their production is 95% to my satisfaction. I also use a shop
in Minneapolis for certain advance reader's copies-and they are quick. In terms of being "Green," I'd prefer to think
there'd be a shop closer to home that would do the work as well. Perhaps there is, but this is how it happened for me-based
on recommendations-and I'm happy with the books. It sure beats spending the fuel on war.
In many cases I've sought specific artwork. Harley Terra Candella is an example of that. I love his work and his
paintings and stamp art should be in major museums. Right now a lot of it's in his garage, hundreds and hundreds of them,
in northern California. I try to connect poets and cover artists for tone. They wouldn't necessarily be in a position to
see it. This is one of my greatest joys as editor/publisher.
Any last comments?
I just want to thank you for listening. I have so few readers. I appreciate your having opened the door, just a
little wider, to what I've been trying to do.