Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Nativity of BookThug

It seems I played a part:
“The milieu that BookThug comes out of is the late ’90s and early 2000s, and there’s this famous argument that was going on at the time after Christian Bok won the Griffin.Carmine Starnino had his famous response review to Eunoia, ‘Vowel Movements.’ There was this very curious thing that was going on where people were choosing whether something was good or not based on style.

"So you had the experimental poets over here saying these people were wrong because they were doing what they were doing and then there were the New Formalists … There was The New Canon which Starnino edited and there was Shift and Switch which was edited by Beaulieu and Christie and Rawlings,” Jay Millar told me. “There was this mad grab of defining that was going on, but it had to do with camps. What I was interested in was that poetry is a very vast spectrum between these things, and I don’t think that just because something has a stylistic experimental thing or a stylistic New Formalist thing, that it is better than the other things. There’s good examples of both and there’s a really interesting place in the middle. That’s the most fascinating. The good examples of things on the extremes are also fascinating, for different reasons. That’s kind of the aesthetic that I was interested in curating at BookThug. The discussion between things is much more interesting to me than what everything is, which is why I set up the press the way that I have.”

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