As a part of the publisher Lee and Low's BookTalk, author Jen Cullerton Johnson (of Switchback) and illustrator Sonia Lynn Sadler discuss their new book Seeds of Change. The book tells the story of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman, and the first environmentalist, to win the Nobel Peace Prize. In particular, the authors discuss Wangari Maathai's achievements, travel, and the environment.
In April of 2010, Elisa Gabbert was interviewed by Switchback's Elizabeth Hildreth over e-mail about her debut poetry collection The French Exit. They discuss, among other things, why Elisa’s poems are like Zoe Saldana, how to give “robots” extra weight in a poem, how good poetry is like good perfume, how writing a poem is like finding the area of a curve, why, in the case that you find your face crashing through a glass door, you may want to stick out your chin, and why you should not read Wikipedia if you want to have fun at slumber parties.
In Bobcat Country, Brandi Homan not only asserts herself as an extraordinary voice in the genre of experimental prose poetry, but also as an inspiration for those of us who write from a desire to activate the transformative capacities of language even in this socio-cultural landscape where mass-produced objects still color our speech.
& Lucy Biederman is lovin' it over at the No Tells blog, too!
Interacting with other small presses as a fellow publisher, however, is a whole other thing. I can’t even think of every press that inspires Tarpaulin Sky, and with whom we conspire. Rebecca Wolff at Fence Magazine was one of my earliest heroes, and remains so. Ditto Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop at Burning Deck—but of course, Black Ocean and Octopus and Tarpaulin Sky grew up together. Where to stop? FC2, Kelsey Street, Leon Works, Palm Press, Slope Editions, Switchback Books, Ugly Ducking Press. Friends, idols, both.
Silence is as important as words in the practice and study of translation. This may sound like a cliché. (I think it is a cliché. Perhaps we can come back to cliché.) There are two kinds of silence that trouble a translator: physical silence and metaphysical silence. Physical silence happens when you are looking at, say, a poem of Sappho’s inscribed on a papyrus from two thousand years ago that has been torn in half. Half the poem is empty space. A translator can signify or even rectify this lack of text in various ways—with blankness or brackets or textual conjecture—and she is justified in doing so because Sappho did not intend that part of the poem to fall silent. Metaphysical silence happens inside words themselves. And its intentions are harder to define. Every translator knows the point where one language cannot be translated into another. Take the word cliché. Cliché is a French borrowing, past participle of the verb clicher, a term from printing meaning “to make a stereotype fr...
Ahhh, what!!! Bell-bottoms she decorated herself and a bejeweled neon green engineer’s cap!? On the first day of seventh grade. Be still my beating heart, Claudia. You’re so psycho & gorgeous & amazing, and I love you so much, more than ever, forever and ever.