Small Press Points

Poets and Writers - - Trends -

“To fea­ture the work

that amazed us,” Richard Siken says when asked why he and Drew Burk started the literary mag­a­zine Spork in 2000. “A par­al­lel goal was to show that it was pos­si­ble to start and run a mag­a­zine, and even­tu­ally a press, with­out ex­ter­nal or in­sti­tu­tional sup­port and to maybe start chip­ping away at the no­tions of gates and gate­keep­ers. If you’re not ask­ing for money or per­mis­sion, then no­body can tell you no.” For the past nine­teen years Siken and Burk have thus forged their own path through the literary land­scape and in 2010, with the help of Jake Levine, An­drew Shuta, and Joel Smith, ex­panded the mag­a­zine into Spork Press (spork­press.com), which now pub­lishes chap­books and full-length books of po­etry and fic­tion. The ed­i­tors, who are “in­vested in voice-driven work that evokes rather than re­counts,” make all the press’s books by hand in Tuc­son, Ari­zona. “We’re look­ing for nar­ra­tors that in­habit and en­act,” the ed­i­tors say on the web­site. “We want speak­ers that can ren­der their in­vest­ment in the sub­ject mat­ter.” Spork has pub­lished books of po­etry by Kazim Ali, Sophia Le Fraga, and Ari­ana Reines, as well as books of fic­tion by Casey Han­nan, Kath­leen Rooney, and Colin Win­nette. Re­cent ti­tles in­clude Jen­nifer Juneau’s novel, ÜberChef USA, and two po­etry col­lec­tions, Rae Gouirand’s Glass Is Glass Water Is Water and David Welch’s Every­one Who Is Dead. Look­ing ahead, the ed­i­tors are ex­per­i­ment­ing with new pro­duc­tion tech­niques—blind stamp­ing, full-bleed wrap­around cov­ers, and de­signs that use over­lap­ping trans­par­ent inks, for ex­am­ple—and are con­sid­er­ing print­ing ma­chine-made edi­tions to meet de­mand. Spork will be open for sub­mis­sions in the sum­mer.

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