The idea of bringing out the innovative, risk-taking work by women being turned down by editors at male-dominated presses grew, in part, out of the Coop experience. Virtually every literary press in the country in 1974 was run by men, one notable exception being Alice James Books, a feminist press formed on the east coast a year earlier.
At Black Radish, coping means taking responsibility for what we want to make happen. Each member of the collective contributes directly to the funding of the press through annual dues, as well as supplying sweat equity. Recently we have shifted to having a designer to do interior layout for us, though everything else is in-house. After paying for SPD’s services, we plow all sales back into the press to pay for printing, mailing, books fairs, conferences, and readings…
We have liked the idea of a collective from the beginning, and we are always working to put this idea into practice. We continue to ask our authors to be involved past the publication of their books and many want to be. They have participated in chapbook competitions, reading submissions, helping find artwork, etc. We’re always open to their ideas on new things to do at Zoo Cake. We care so deeply about their input because they are the reason ZCP exists.