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Posts Tagged ‘sherman alexie’

one of those delicious mornings, where staying in bed and reading is possible. I know this will end soon, so i’m taking advantage of it while I can.

Just reading some short pieces by

Sherman Alexie

Jayne Cortez

Amy Corbin

George Robertson Terry

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bookexpo_america

A few years ago, thinking of a future in publishing, I too attended the massive book fair. Comparable only to a Hog Show (not that I’ve ever attended a hog show), the massive arena is a heyday for publishers, agents, and hanger-oners (ME!) of the publishing industry to network, promote and check out last years trends, and compare the coming year’s trends.

ok, I lied. I went for the free books.

This year, however, the “book world” is buzzing with the new Kindle, that goofy looking device, that allows you to buy and download and subsequently read books, all electronically. There are quite a few out-spoken opponents of the device. According to The New York Times, the writer Sherman Alexie refused to let his books to be published electronically. He called the kindle “elitist” and when he saw a woman near him reading on a kindle near him on a recent flight, he “wanted to hit her.” (He later commented on this statement here.)

KindleBut the fact is, that book sells are declining, in part because of the recession, but also presumably because of the availability of electronic written material. And the fact is, that even if the Kindle goes out of fashion, electronic publishing is not going to disappear. (It really is a goofy looking device. I also have waited on customers and had a similar feeling of revulsion as Mr. Alexie.)

Besides, how elitist is it, really? I will spare you all a long tirade about book history, but I would like to point out that books until recently were an elite form of communication. Until the point of extensive proliferation of written materials, only very few had the means or access to published materials. Literacy in many ways remains an elite form of communication. Poetry especially, I’d like to point out to Mr. Alexie.

I can only presume that the internet and electronic communication will continue to to proliferate and increase in accessibility — free internet access to all, anyone? community computers? Particularly the more “low-brow” forms of blogs and self-publishing. Maybe not with the Kindle, but the internet gives an author more freedom to self-publish, and maybe not be quite as dictated by the publishing “giants” — as the on-line publishing community is still developing and it remains to be seen how written material really will transform in the next few years.

In resumen: kindles may suck, but the internet is great.

Interesting side note, Richard Nash, formerly of Soft Skull Press has dedicated himself to working within this newly developing field, saying that he will be working for his

passionate belief in the future of publishing, in the future of community built around long-form edited narrative texts, in the future of connecting writers and readers, in a Web 3.0 that’s about the filters.

Check out his blog, here.

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check out what i had to say about the sherman alexie and jayne cortez reading on BOMB Magazine’s blog!

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ah! how exciting! i finally saw the mega-amazing poet and fiction author Sherman Alexie (!). He’s one of my favorite writers. maybe ever. He’s written all sorts of things, (all amazing), not to mention he’s super impressive because he was first published at a RIDICULOUSLY young age of 23. (intimidating and inspiring at the same time). Lauren and I saw him at the Poetry Project with poet Jayne Cortez (who i’d never heard of or read before).

While I am clearly ecstatic, not only because i was able to bask in the man’s presence, or because he was near enough to me for me to have a (very) brief converstation, BUT he also signed his new book of poetry, Face (published by Brooklyn’s own, Hanging Loose Press). The only problem is, it’s completely, and utterly illegible. I was too awed, starstruck, and just plain shy in his presence to look it over as he wrote it. Later, sitting just feet away, I remembered that he had inscribed something in my very own book:

(image to be posted)

I’ve only gotten as far as To: Emma. Seattle Wow!!! and after is a series of curly, handwritten words that may involve the word port, or as my father suggested, could be in French and involve the word puer… which makes even less sense.

Alas, I may never know. But hey, i’ll take it. it says my name. and we totally made eye-contact. plus, i still have this amazing new book of poetry to read. i’ll probably live.

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