Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Small Press Spotlight :: Slash Pine Press

Nate Pritts is the author of The Wonderfull Yeare & teaches at the DWC.

A few weeks ago, I posted about my small press publishing class & introduced a series of Small Press Spotlights. Here's a fascinating entry conducted by Daniel Reinhold (a poet with a new chapbook out called BEYOND METAPHOR) with Joseph Wood, the sparking engine of awesome behind Slash Pine Press:

Interview with Joseph Wood of Slash Pine Press

Slash Pine Press produces limited-run chapbooks of poetry and mixed-genre, and occasionally hosts off-the-beaten-path reading events, including the Slash Pine Poetry Festival held at the end of April.

How are small presses important?

Small presses are important because they allow people to become active in poetry, to start their own conversations about the world in all its manifestations (political, regional, personal, etc)--or continue conversations they've had with other poets, other presses, and other people in general. Having a small press allows one to see the wide swath of visions and interpretations of existance, of forcing you, the publisher, to be curious about other people's lives and their expressions of experience.

What do you see as the future of small presses?

I don't know what the future of small presses are: chapbook presses are a labor of love, often are run on people's own effort and time and money, and so I suppose it depends on if presses can survive the whatever is in store for our economy. I think also it depends if the DIY aesthetic stays alive and strong and necessary (and I think it always will).

What do you see as the advantage of print vs online journals?

Per medium: I like having the tactile presence of book in hand, the numerous envsionments of what a book can be (especially the chapbook)--thus the explosion of book arts. Internet publishing is valid and important, but it also changes the way one reads, and I have to say, as someone who has my own e-chap, I find the act of reading a book on screen distracting and subject to other focii. But I'm also not very tech-savvy, so these are my biases.

What is the mission of your press beyond publishing and community?

The mission of the press: it is community, man, pure and simple. That's why we have so many events, do large events, and involve people of varying aesthetics and reputations. It is so easy to be alone with writing--you write alone, send out alone, etc. And sure, we publish chaps and we love our writers and putting their work out their--to articulate views and experiences that challenge convention and apathy. But that gets lonesome, and I like to think the small presses and the readings allow people who would never come together otherwise to share ideas, to simply be together. We also use undergraduates as interns for us--and not just Creative Writing minors--and we like to think we're giving people an experiential view into what is happening on the ground levels of contemporary lit--if only a small sliver.

What advice would you give to poets new to exploring the world of small press publishing?

Advice for new poets: the typical stuff, I suppose. Read a shitload and without adherence to taxonomy or aesthetic. Look to see who read who, learn to articulate clearly what you dislike as much as you like--and why. But mostly, live life. Be curious.

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