Interview with Simon Defeo and N Jewell, Co-Editors
How did glo worm press start?
the orgin story of glo worm is a friend (Goode Bye) and simon were chatting one night abt small presses and simon said a great press name would be ‘glo worm’ and than they got so excited by that name, they created a website and started publishing stuff to the archive. NJ came in later.
Tell us a bit about glo worm press. What are your influences, your aesthetic, your mission?
glo is influenced by emo, cowboys, nature pix, racing, wrestling, critters, dirt, and water. aesthetically we are chaotic good. we want to bring really drippy/sensitive/empathic art to the world—we’re hyperpersonal.
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?
we’ve just re-released Idle Cosmopolitan a web series by Joshua Byron, with a different trailer and an interview from the two of us, and we’re working on putting together a reading for Lit Fest in Denver this August—we’re hoping to have some people in our pre-hiatus catalog come out to read, and to start doing more physical copies of books—maybe “Aron Ralston” by maia dolphin krute? maybe some more people. we’re expanding!!! we’re open to a lot of different kinds of ideas—we’ve never said “no” to trying to do something crazy if we like the art, so we just wanna keep doing that, keep expanding the wildness in the lit scene.
We used to ask, “What about small/independent press publishing is particularly exciting to you right now?” We’re still interested in the answer to that, but we’re even more interested to know what you think needs to change.
we feel constantly excited abt how small and independent press publishing, and how the sort of attitude seems to be like, well we want to do this, or we want to see this kind of work or this kind of press, and its people who thought that, and decided to just do it. so much of it feels like artists lifting each other up and really showing up to support each other. it feels like this rly bad ass and punk rockness that permeates independent presses, and everyone’s doing their own thing and following their own vision and we love that, its subversive in that way. but it can be more subversive, we’re obsessed with irreverence towards capitalism etc etc etc, but we haven’t really pinpointed what deeper subversion in independent lit would look like. if u have pls email us.
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 glo worm press?
right now glo worm is funded by simon & i—we give all the money we can back to the artists, except for &thriving which we crowd-funded with our co-editor for that project, dani planer. we’re just trying to act as a facilitator. we’ve never made profit as editors. actually quite a few of our releases have all digital sales being donated to different social justice organizations per request of the authors, so i feel like that also says a lot abt the $$ ethos over @ glo worm. were never going to charge a reading fee. we always put our releases up for pay what u can downloads. its funny bc we feel like, grateful to be able to do this work for glo worm, and dont wanna get paid from it, some days when we’re at our day jobs what gets us through is thinking what we can provide for ppl through the press, and using my paycheck to help support glo worm. we are never going to charge a reading fee.