Derek White, publisher of Calamari Press, writes beautifully about the operations of the press in its eighth year.
Sleepingfish 8 is out now, edited by Gary Lutz and Derek White, featuring literary text objects by: Ryan Call, Anna DeForest, Sasha Fletcher, Nina Shope, Rachel May, David McLendon, Eugene Lim, The Brothers Goat, Lito Elio Porto, Adam Weinstein, Diane Williams, Dennis Cooper, Elliott Stevens, Tim Jones-Yelvington, Alec Niedenthal, Amelia Gray, Matt Bell, Eduardo Recife, David Ohle, Evelyn Hampton, Émilie Notéris, Ottessa Moshfegh, Cooper Renner, Christine Schutt, M. T. Fallon, Daniel Grandbois, Julie Doxsee, Terese Svoboda, Blake Butler, Stephen Gropp-Hess & Ali Aktan Aşkın.
$12, with excerpts online, including music and textual collage.
January 3rd, 2010 / 1:41 pm
Derek White is entering the new-text-yard pleasingly: || | || CASTing A HEXaGRAM : NEXT ∃XIsT ∀mPIRE ARK N j∩NY || | ||. My man inventing his own languageses n whatnot, blogstyle. Loved. “…left the SKY cracked open like a confetti-egg bleeding pyres, running along the new “highline,” then south along the Hudson UNtil I could see elliIS ISland & the staTUE of LIBerty through the fog…”
I’ve never actually met Derek White in person, but I have read a few issues of sleepingfish and I’ve got a small stack of Calamari books next to my ugly reading chair that need to be read. I did email him once to buy a few books from him this summer right before he moved out of the country. I also emailed him to say that I had liked the novel excerpt he had sent to Phoebe (we had finalized our Fall 2008 issue, my last issue as Fiction Editor, and so I was absentmindedly shuffling through our drawer of submissions and recognized his name and read the thing – had I been around for another issue, it would have been cool to publish). The novel in question? Marsupial. Now Derek lives in Narobi, Kenya with his wife, Jess. The following are some questions I emailed him, and he was kind enough to take some time to respond. Thanks, Derek.
1) In July, you posted at 5cense a 10 day countdown to your move to Narobi. I thought that your paragraph on ‘space’ was really interesting. You wrote, “I’m more about adapting to or exploring public space, not creating my own personal space. Jess is too. Adaptation is key, as is yearning for a new backdrop.” Based on what I’ve read on your various blogs, it looks like you’ve adapted well to the public spaces of Narobi. I’m curious though, could you share a little bit about your personal space? Any photos? Journal entries? Thoughts?
Funny you should ask. When I received this I was posting a piece about just this topic.
[Derek’s blog post is long, but well worth the read]
2) Having left the print remains of Calamari in Michigan with Peter Markus, you shifted publication of sleepingfish to an online format. What have you found different or exciting about that shift? And what do you miss about print, about holding sleepingfish in your hand?
“Print remains.” I like that. I’m picturing carcasses collected in brother Markus’ fruit cellar (where the books are literally living). I miss book objects. That was the biggest sacrifice I had to make moving here. But as far as literary journals, even before I moved here I considered putting Sleepingfish online. It’s cheaper and more timely, and gives more visibility to the writers, which in the end is probably the most important thing about lit mags is showcasing people’s works. You also have more flexibility with formatting online, not that I have taken advantage of that flexibility yet, but you have less constraints on posting color art, videos, sound, longer pieces, etc. And rather than have an “issue,” I like the idea of being able to post pieces on a revolving and evolving basis. It’s also a more environmentally sound model, no paper, no postage, and none of the consequences that come with it. It’s a cleaner more efficient way of doing things, but yes, nothing beats the feel and smell of paper.
Reading period is now open for the next issue of Sleepingfish, which in its new African incarnation will be web-based, a nice node on the face of internet’s reading life.
From editor Derek White:
Having relocated recently to Nairobi, the next issue might have more of a Kenyan or African slant, but not necessarily so. I do however encourage international writers, and writing that takes place outside of the contemporary American psyche, or in fictional places altogether. Despite this skew, Sleepingfish will still retain it’s same skewed aesthetic. If you are not familiar with this aesthetic, please browse some back issues or the recent print issue.
It will be nice to see how the translation occurs, and hopefully we will develop ex-American scourge from the new bruise. Yummy. Send some words, etc.
September 28th, 2008 / 2:50 pm