February 13th, 2012 / 11:02 am


  1. Bobby Dixon

      I just imagined Gary Lutz sitting next to a stack of his books printing mailing slips. The thought was powerful. 

  2. Anonymous

      Is it difficult to make a book that is bland in design but durable and cheap?

      Why do people care so much about how a book looks? Who gives a shit? When did image supersede the text? When did image supersede getting words to as many people as possible? This bothers me a lot.

  3. barry graham


  4. William VanDenBerg

      Yes, but it makes me sad that he can’t afford minions. Because he deserves minions.

  5. Bobby Dixon

      I just pictured Gary Lutz as a drug dealer on The Wire w/ “minions.”

      “If I go so far as to say that at this point I had a minion, the most it can possibly mean is that once a year, toward the end of it, I had to drive from wherever I was letting myself be lived, wherever I had given for my life to keep being done to me, and this minion-person had to drive from his own whereabouts, where we could meet at a sandwich shop, where, years earlier, while overseeing his minion training, we had flirted w/ each other impatiently, wrongheartedly.”

  6. Michael J. Martin

      Derek is very cool. I remember he befriended me on facebook when I was 18 and still in high school. We chatted through messages. I thought he was cool because he had a monkey in his profile picture. And then I checked our Calamari, and I thought, “Why is this guy talking to me when he should be all high and mighty like nearly every other publisher I’ve met” except Craig Snyder, who was, I think/feel, one the first person to publish online and make it hella cool. Officially up to 3 cools in this thing, so I’m at my limit. Word up to Calamari!

  7. leapsloth14

      Damn good stuff

  8. Sugar Bear

      Supercession only happens when you imagine text/object as two separate things. The written word is not just an abstraction, it is actually required to be written. You’re undervaluing the power of the cooperation.

  9. herocious

      i’m going to read this with great pleasure first and then great concentration.

  10. Anonymous

      I am undervaluing the power of cooperation, maybe, but only because I might be, in your perception, overvaluing the power of affordability and readership.

      I concede that image and packaging are inevitabilities of writing. I concede that a bound book turns more heads than a stapled book, and I concede that I prefer a bound book to a stapled-together book. But I do not agree with caring about the image so much that you are ok with making writing only available to exclusive readership. There is a limit, I think. Books aren’t Faberge eggs. They are practical means of distributing information. Being ok with consciously cordoning off art is something I’m not ok with.

  11. Sugar Bear

      Here’s where we have to disagree then: Books aren’t Faberge eggs. Unless they are. And a book as a practical means of distributing information is pigeon-holing it. A book can do that. But it can do other things.

      And, to be certain, there are definitely presses that aim for minimalist, “let’s not let anything interfere between text and acquisition,” helvetically-minded pragmatic texts. There is no press-tyrant who’s forcing every published book to look a certain way regardless of content, as if that matters more, and thus supercedes, the text.

      The exclusive readership is no different than the exclusive art collector. The point may not be recklessly spreading art to as many consumers as possible, but to create something that transcends the unfair notion that text is text first, image second. They’re both bound in the same visual culture as a unity. You should not be punished or condemned for allowing the imagistic side of writing to shine through.

      Remember illuminated manuscripts?

  12. Anonymous

      I don’t, but I like how you expounded here.

      It’s definitely an admitted personal preference on my part. I like writing so much because it is so bare bones, leaves so much to the imagination, so every time I see more focus on the stuff surrounding the text, or the manner of presentation of the text, I bristle.

      Good talk!