Publishing has been well and truly taking up a great deal of my thoughts of late as I am presently hard at work putting the finishing touches on my latest collection, Ocean Hearted (both book and DVD). I have been reading, reading, reading and one of the articles that has really stuck with me is The Small Press Poetry Revolution by Travis Nichols (The Huffington Post). It is true… with the current technology available, just about anyone can start a small press, but as Nichols points out, after the initial rush of excitement, it proves a very difficult thing to sustain.
What makes it hard to sustain is more than a lack of excitement though, for me it is the constant job of promotion and presentation that becomes the biggest hurdle. Let’s face it, keeping your work in the public eye is a full time job and expanding the scope of that eye… well that is another thing altogether. But after almost 9 years of being involved in publishing ventures, I still get a thrill out of putting new work out into the world. Like Nichols points out, small presses have been at the forefront of the poetry revolution because they are the ones unafraid to question what poetry is and to take the risks, big publishers would never dream of (sadly, it could be said poetry as an art form is now seen as a risk for major publishers).
So tonight’s job of finalising the running order for Ocean Hearted (the book) is one that I am eager to get into… the shuffling of pages, the culling, the excitement of seeing poems in conversation with each other… we need to love this stuff, to value it. It is all part of the creative process, all part of keeping the art of poetry a living, breathing thing.