We decided to purposefully “blur lines” because that is what we were doing naturally. We are influenced most by the people and materials we work with. Materials come in many different forms—writing, color, personality, paper. Materials come in ink and we are inspired by the tracks. Right now, we enjoy our openness—not knowing what next five years will bring. We love the fact that our aesthetic and mission will evolve over time—as we grow and invite more people into the collaborative process.
I will shut Hyacinth Girl Press down before I charge a reading fee. If someone wants to support my press, I ask that they purchase a chapbook and I am incredibly excited and grateful for every order I receive. If someone cannot or does not choose to support my press, I do not begrudge them.
My press will never be one that sponsors AWP (though that’s for more reasons than money related ones), it will never be a press that awards a $5,000 chapbook prize or gives a 2,000 copy print run (though we do give chapbooks print runs and reprints—we are not print on demand). But I make no airs about any of that. I will love your chapbook and I will try to do right by it and you so long as you (the writer) are a decent human/otherwise creature to work with. I will send out review copies and I will wrestle with university bookstores and I will give myself callouses to put your chapbooks together and I will never, never, never ask you for money.
The idea of a set mission might rankle the three of us a little, despite our Olson-influenced name. But we do have goals—one of those, which is surely true of all small presses, is to participate in and encourage the growth of the poetry community. Another is to insist on the value of the “small” in small press. We value the handmade, the patience and attention to detail that the crafts of printing and sewing require. As objects, the aesthetic of our chapbooks lies happily between the DIY aesthetic of zines and the gorgeous history of book art and fine press. In content, we look for work that is formally experimental, but we try not to fall too firmly into one aesthetic niche. We don’t want everyone to write the same way! So some of our books will be austere or minimal, while others will be manic and exuberantly expressive.