Today is a bittersweet day at the press—it is our last day as interns, but also a day to reflect upon the great accomplishments of the year.
Our biggest event this year was the Women’s Anthology Tour that coincided with the release of The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry. As satisfying as it was to finally publish the book after months of proofing, the opportunity to meet four of the poets in the anthology was the ultimate reward. The release of the book coincided with the national tour that, naturally, began with its first destination right here at Wake Forest University. Being an intern during the tour was a crazy experience. Each of us had to abandon our usual duties for a couple of months to instead focus on tour tasks such finding locations, brainstorming food, creating invitations, and obscene amounts of PR: blog after Facebook post after tweet. It all more than paid off though, and the experience was invaluable.
In addition to the publication of the Anthology was the creation of a brand new product for us- broadsides! Broadsides, I learned from this experience, could be described as poetry posters, but much classier. Never before has the Press created or sold a broadside, but with the creative mastery of intern Ashleigh DePetro, these beautiful works of art were developed and have since been consistently selling on our website.
A constant topic in our blog posts and daily discussion at the Press is the effect of technology on poetry, and in particular, poetry publishers. This topic was approached on a much larger level at the Tools of Change Conference in February. Jeff and Candide returned from the New York conference with lots of frightening updates from the technological world. Their talk of “the cloud” and reports of the popularity of e-books led to a panicked couple of weeks where we were all certain we were facing impending doom. However, three months later, we are still alive and running. The conference was a necessary warning about changes to come; while scary to us, it was still interesting, and may even have been considered exciting to publishers with less at stake. The balance of tradition with technology is one the Press is always striving to maintain.
One of the interns’ most exciting achievements this year was the launch of our revamped blog. After evaluating our posts, reading online tips, and researching other poetry blogs, we came up with a list of potential improvements and began transforming the blog. Our new blog has an attractive layout, new topics, and an organized posting schedule. We are all very pleased with it and have immensely enjoyed watching our followers increase. Be sure to check it out for past posts about all of this year’s happenings!
This spring, we have made the big switch from paper newsletters to electronic ones, which we are circulating via email. This cool electronic format enables us to reach more followers and save paper, and gives us exciting new opportunities to include media and interactive links for our readers. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter using this link: http://wfu.us4.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=bf736eb888addfccf38a53a24&id=9d7b4f0a5f
This week, we received copies of John Montague’s new book Speech Lessons, which we have been proofing and editing throughout the semester. It is a beautiful book, and we highly recommend that you get a copy! We are currently finishing up Harry Clifton’s new collection of poems The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass, which we look forward to releasing very soon! Currently we are proofing the book Legend of the Walled-Up Wife, a collection by Romanian poet Ileana Mălăncioiu, translated by our poet Eiléan Ni Chuilleanáin. Keep an eye out for its release in October!
Last week, we organized a poetry reading on campus by WFU poet-in-residence Caitríona O’Reilly, who was featured in the Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry, which we published in the fall. O’Reilly read to a packed auditorium of students, faculty, and community members, who all stayed to enjoy festive refreshments after the event. The reading was a great success, and we all enjoyed putting it together. O’Reilly will be heading back across the pond at the semester’s end, but she will be greatly missed by all of us here at the Press!
Though we’ll all be parting ways for the summer, we encourage you to continue checking our blog, Twitter, and Facebook page for updates!Posted by Chrissy and Maura