Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thought: Coffee House Press & McSweeney's

There's a fantastic, lengthy interview with Allan Kornblum and the rest of the Coffee House Press staff over at The Huffington Post.

The editors dish on the press' history and their relationships with authors, the present state and future of poetry, and the publishing industry at large.

Kornblum: "In December 1969, I was working the midnight-to-eight-thirty shift at the Grand Central Station post office in NYC, and attending poetry workshops at the St. Mark's Church Poetry Project. One evening, the workshop leader told us that we had been asked to help collate the pages of a mimeographed magazine. In one of the back rooms of the old church, we were greeted by a group of 2 x 6 foot tables, each with five stacks of 250 pages. When I completed my assigned portion, I sidled up to the editor, told him how much I liked his magazine, asked if he'd like to see some of my work. He looked off in the distance, sighed and said, "I've always thought poetry should be as hard to break into as the Longshoreman's Union." To hell with him, I thought--I'll start my own. I've always been grateful for that kick in the pants, which can sometimes be far more productive than well-intended encouragement."

Also, McSweeney's announced this week that they're launching a half-page of "games, puzzles, comics, and activities for all ages, available for weekly publication in newspapers across the U.S. and Canada."

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