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DIY Poetry Publishing Cooperative

October 30, 2006

Why DIY? (Do what Charles Bernstein says.)

Twenty-five years after Charles Bernstein's first book Asylums was released in a xeroxed and side-stapled edition of "no more than 50 copies" by CB and Susan Bee, Craig Dworkin's Eclipse Archive has made the book available in a choice of facsimile or printable PDF formats here. Cool.

Announcing the release of these new electronic editions, CB has posted a short essay about the history of Asylum's Press, which went on to publish four other books, and more generally about DIY publishing:
I was, and am, committed to the concept of self-publishing; that writing poetry is part of a nexus of publishing poetry, reading poetry, reviewing poetry, writing poetics, teaching poetry. It was important to me not to just “privately circulate” my manuscript – which in a sense is what I was doing – but to publish it, to call it a finished work ready for the world, not waiting for someone else to legitimate. Also, publishing my own work in this way brought me directly in the economy of exchange that has been such a central experience of doing poetry [. . .]

My advice to young poets is always: start your own magazine or press, & publish your own work and those of your contemporaries whose poems seem most crucial for the art. And if possible, respond as much as possible, through poetics and reviews, to this work. Articulate its values, value its articulations.

Well, all right.

Read the rest.

Tags: Why DIY



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