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NewPages Interviews

In these interviews, writers who also teach discuss publishing, teaching, the business of editing and managing literary journals, and, of course, their own work and process. They offer advice and hard-won wisdom for burgeoning writers and their teachers. We also ask them about their favorite music, and who knows, maybe a favorite writer or two, and a great coffeeshop or beer to add to your "must try" list.

Interview with Sam Hamill

Published October 21, 2006

As presses age, as it were, the major problem is dealing with boards of directors and the eternal fundraising problem, and it’s cyclical, and it’s infinite, and it’s consuming, and it really isn’t very healthy, this perpetual begging for money. I’m not opposed to it—I’m a good Buddhist—but I also think you need to work in the garden. The “garden” is the labor- and time-intensive investment in our future, whether as working artists or as publishers. What I plant and nourish this year may bear fruit five years down the line. It’s work done for its own sake, for investment in one’s convictions.

Interview with William Pierce

Published October 21, 2006

Ironically, this is an era in which books are not prominent in the culture. But they remain of utmost importance to a diverse subset of the population—and no doubt will rise again. I don’t know if the physical book will ever dominate as it once did. But the book in the wider sense, the edited thing that is put together and stays together—we’re living through a momentary, experimental time when technology has made us particularly hungry for new forms, but nothing can displace our need for objects consciously built, for words, images, and characters chosen and assembled into works of art. The problem with a world that publishes 100,000 books is the same as the problem with a world that has an infinite number of websites. You need some help negotiating the variety.

Interview with Allan Kornblum

Published June 21, 2006
A publisher is providing a service to writers and to a community, and that community can and should be partly local, and it can and should be partly a community in/through time. I want our books to reach readers today, and readers in some future I can’t imagine. As a publisher, I’ve tried to use my abilities and the resources that have been made available to me to turn words in a manuscript into books, and to get those books in front of readers. I’ve tried to use the capabilities of a publishing house to make a difference in the lives of the writers we’ve published, and to make a difference in the communities in which I live, both local and national. I think the impulse to publish is the impulse to share enthusiasm and that is universal.
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