This is the twelfth in Entropy’s small press interview series, where we ask editors about their origins, their mission, and what it’s like to run a press. Find the other interviews from this series in our small press database here and under the Resources tab at the top of the page.
Interview with Editor Derek White
How did Calamari Press start?
Guess it just sorta started spontaneously. It started w/ Sleepingfish magazine + people starting sending me longer book-worthy things so started making books…1st chapbooks + then perfect bound…things that at least at the time seem to be falling thru the cracks.
Tell us a bit about Calamari Press. What are your influences, your aesthetic, your mission?
There’s no preconceived aesthetic…I’d rather just let the books speak for themselves. But there seems to be a bias towards language-driven works + works that mix text + image. Stuff that challenges classification + ideas of copyright + authorship. Text that is art, art that is lingual.
Can you give us a preview of what’s current and/or forthcoming from your catalog, as well as what you’re hoping to publish in the future?
Just out is ‘SSES” ‘SSES” “SSEY’…a sort of personal project of my late brother’s work i put together last year. The other 2 things in the works are The Gotham Grammarian by Gary Lutz + No Moon by Julie Reverb. Don’t really have anything planned beyond that.
What about small/independent press publishing is particularly exciting to you right now?
I just read Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish, put out by NY Tyrant which gave me hope for «small presses»…otherwise i can’t get too excited about most of the stuff coming out now…not that i consider myself remotely aware of what’s new + hip.
How do you cope? There’s been a lot of conversation lately about charging reading fees, printing costs, rising book costs, who should pay for what, etc. Do you have any opinions on this, and would you be willing to share any insights about the numbers at Calamari Press?
I can’t complain really….i don’t worry too much about financial matters…maybe i drink more than i should to cope?…or that i just stopped caring about such things. Never thought reading fees were a good idea…if i could i’d just give books away. I typically operate in the red….usually give a full disclosure of «economy of words» on my 5cense blog…here’s last year’s.