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Marking 20 years of publishing & literary activism with a special book of knock-your-socks-off poems by 36 astonishing women writers.

"This is an important collection because it demands that we, as female writers, not conform, rather, we must only write the things that are in us to be written"—Natalie Diaz

The Story

Kore (pronounced kor-ay, is Greek for “daughter”) Press has been lifting up the voices of women and girls since 1993. In celebration of 20 years of lifting we plan to publish “The Best of Kore Press: 2012, Poetry”—a special project that is allowing us, all at once, to illuminate 36 talented and unique women poets whose work came to us in over 400 manuscripts during 2012.

Our chief visionary of the project, poet and editor Ann Dernier, tells her story in the preface of the book: "[Kore co-founder/publisher] Lisa Bowden and I have had many conversations about this project over the years. We envisioned a collection that would highlight the exceptional poetry we read each year, work submitted during Kore's annual Open Submission Period and annual First Book Contest. It would offer one more way to publish and support the astonishing and diverse voices we’ve been privileged enough to hear over the past year. So, on the threshold of Kore’s 20th anniversary, we embraced this exciting endeavor. This collection celebrates a milestone and Kore’s enduring commitment to women writers.”

Each year Kore publishes 6-10 titles, generally single author volumes. This “extra,” multi-author book is a chance to focus on a much larger breadth of writers than we are normally able to do. "The Best of 2012” shines a light on 36 female poets and 47 of their poems, in celebration of the work itself as well as the indie publishing house that survived, against all economic odds, for two decades.

Poet and “Best of” editor Natalie Diaz says: "I am grateful for the work of Kore Press for providing a space for the many voices of women's poetry. It is true that we are multitudes, and within this collection, you will hear the many songs and landscapes that help build the world of contemporary poetry."

The Plan

In recent months, seven literary writers, editors and readers have thoughtfully selected poems for “The Best of Kore Press: 2012” from 400 manuscripts submitted to the Press in 2012. The preface (by lead editor Ann Dernier) and an introduction (by Kore inspiration Alison Deming) have both been written. The book is currently in the design phase with a graphic designer, Sally Geier, in LA.

One of the organizing principals around which the collection has been assembled is poet Muriel Rukeyser’s famous proposition: “What would happen if a women told the truth about her life? The world would split open.”

Editor Dernier says, “We did not send out a request for submissions. We read only the manuscripts already submitted in 2012 as a way of showcasing the work that women were sending to Kore within a period of time; we did not invite the writer to choose for us, I read the manuscripts, and with the help of the other editors, made final selections and came up with an order.

Though we each employed a different set of criteria for choosing our favorites, I believe these choices have a commonality: the first would surely be that electrified moment when the poem charges through and lights up the reader. Like the inventor, Nikola Tesla, who used to run the alternating electrical current through his body as a way to support his theory, readers of poetry employ a similar system."

How we will use Kickstarter funds

Here's the budget. Kickstarter will get us about half way there, so we will be raising matching funds offline to meet our entire goal.

Packaging (design, art & manufacturing): $2,900

Project Management (art, editorial, production): $2,600

Honoraria: $700

Marketing (readings, promotion, review copies, website, electronic & print): $3,400

Overhead, Admininstration, distribution: $1,700

Rewards: $1,855

Total: $13,155.00

We're qualified, experienced & committed

Kore Press has the experience to deliver this special volume of poetry during our 20th Birthday year, 2013. We have relationships with artists and designers for book design and layout, a contract with a national book distributor, and a long track record for collaborative book marketing in partnership with authors. Each year over 600-900 manuscripts are submitted to Kore Press, and 6-10 titles are published.

Since 1993, the Press has published 90 women writers, awarded 15 Book Prizes, launched 55 writing careers, lifted up the voices of hundreds of grrls, and helped changed the lives of female veterans by telling their stories.

We are a Tucson-based, nationally-recognized non-profit that has received awards for innovative programming. As a community of literary activists invested in a diversity of voices and works that meet the highest artistic standards, Kore publishes women’s writing to deepen awareness and advance social change.

Niki Herd, Kore poet and "Best Of" editor, says, “Kore Press supports the voices of women, a revolutionary act even today, and does so with the utmost craftsmanship. They slay dragons with beauty and skill.” 

We have published some of the finest literature available, in the form of handmade limited edition books, chapbooks, audio CD’s, bilingual editions, broadsides, ephemera and trade paperbacks. We have designed large-scale, multi-partner community collaborations, including producing and touring a play.Kore's work is to help achieve gender equity in public discourse and establish a more accurate historic record.

You can see us here: korepress.org

The Kore "Best Of" team

7 editors and writers Ann Dernier with Lisa Bowden, Gail Brown, Natalie Diaz, Niki Herd, Rebecca Seiferle and Joni Wallace.

Introduction  Alison Deming

Cover photograph Valerie Galloway

Designers Sally Geier and Lisa Bowden

Marketing & fulfillment Lisa Bowden, Therese Perreault, Maria Moreno, Laura Van Epps, Amelia Marsh, Carol Blomstrand & Monica Sufaro Spigelman

Video Bob Demers

Poets 

Amy Ash

Anna Ross

Anne-Marie Turza

Brenna Lemieux

Carolyn Welch Scarbrough

Cristina Carlson

dawn lonsinger

Donika Ross

Elizabeth McNeil

Eva Heisler

Ilyse Kusnetz

Jen McClanaghan

Keiko Lane

Kimberly Alidio

Kristen Eliason

Laynie Browne

Lindsay Illich

Lisa Fay Coutley

Lynne Potts

Maggie Schwed

Mary Kovaleski Byrnes

Maud Poole

Meg Day

Melanie Braverman

Natania Rosenfeld

Paula Finn

Robin Coste Lewis

S'Marie Clay

Sabrina Dalla Valle

Sara Henning

Sarah Carson

Sarah Sousa

Soma Mei Sheng Frazier

Stacy Kidd

Stefanie Wortman

T. Hetzel

Kore Board of Directors

Amrit Donaldson

Adela C. Licona

Aubrey Burgess

Beverly Werber

Peter Goldman

Ruth McCutcheon

Sandra Um

Tracy Crouthamel

Our Progress

At this point, 47 works of poetry have been identified, compiled, and ordered to create a working manuscript.

Permissions have been received by all the writers. The preface and introduction are written. The cover artwork has been selected and the cover layout drafted.

No payment has been made toward any expenses of the editorial or artistic staff, or for production, printing, marketing, or overhead.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

As a non-profit often run by thousands of volunteer hours each year, we are familiar with the risks of working with large numbers of well-meaning human beings holding key pieces of a project puzzle: life happens, and stuff comes up! Schedules shift to accommodate, alternative solutions are creatively constructed---we are artists, after all, and thrive on innovation. Another potential snaggle might be the flip side of having such a long list of fabulous authors: it’s a lot of communication, getting approvals, and coordinating for mailings, events and readings, etc.

Experience matters and we have 20 years worth. So, we know when and how to roll with the challenges life can bring all the while maintaining the integrity of the project.

And that's what's kept us going for 20 years. Not just the publishing, but knowing what to publish. We've got quite a lovely herd of cats, but again, we are used to such challenges and in fact, have a new operations person who is a logistical genius with lots of moving parts. Finances are always a potential obstacle: in this case we will be raising matching funds to meet our full project budget.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $11 or more
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    16 backers

    Thank you: welcome to the Kore family! (11 is for the 11 annual poetry contests Kore has conducted to date.) We'll happily give you thanks and welcome you to the Kore fray with a hearty social media group hug with shout outs on twitter, facebook and the website.

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    20 backers

    Hello friend! Big e-hugs coming your way. Thanks for 20 bucks for 20 years. ! A "Best of Kore Press" editor or poet will pick up the phone and personally thank you with her voice reaching out to your ears. Plus, social media group hug and your name added to Kore website!

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    36 backers

    Whoa, bookmaker, you are helping to make this a reality! Thank you, you lovely human being you! (40 is the number of feminist presses that used to exist in the US in the 80s. Now there are 10; 8 are non-profit, 3 have lasted over 20 years, Kore is one!) For you, dear backer, we will kindly mail one autographed copy of the genuine article ("The Best Of" book) hot off the press to you, or a recipient of your choice, creatively list your name in materials for Kore's 20th birthday party on September 29 and send you a memento of the event. Plus, social media group hug.

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    18 backers

    You. Are. A. Super. Star. We bow down 55 times to you in gratitude, with admiration in our hearts! (55 is the number of women writers, to date, whose careers have been launched by Kore Press.) We will design your name into "The Best of" bday book promo poster, and send you a copy of said poster (signed by the uh-mazing photographer Valerie Galloway whose artwork graces the book cover). Plus social media group hug and your name on Kore's website.

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    12 backers Limited (12 left of 24)

    Three cheers for three digits and the lovely backers who give them! A virtual smooch on your forehead! (Kore’s first address was Steinfeld Warehouse, 101 W 6th St, Tucson.) Your name will be included in the book credits as a "KEEPER OF THE LIGHT." This is a limited reward with a deadline of July 15, 2013—to keep our publishing date on track! After the 15th you will still get a signed book "hot off the press," but no name on the credit page. You will be on the guest list for the private book launch with Kore friends, family, poets, and editors and lovely treats for all guests, August 23, in Tucson. We'll send you a signed book and poster. Plus, social media group hug, and your name on the Kore website.

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    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    Hip Hip hooray and gajillion thanks for being a true believer in women's voices! (1993 is the year the Press was incorporated, but we can't enter the 30 cents in the rewards layout here.) Your name will be included in the book credits as a "LUMINARY." This is a limited reward with a deadline of July 15, 2013—to keep our publishing date on track! We'll send you a copy of “The Best of Kore Press” hot off the press. After the 15th you'll get a signed book but no name on the credit page. You will receive a special phone call from the publisher or a poet, and two tickets to Kore’s September 29, birthday party in Tucson. You will be on the guest list for the private book launch with Kore friends, family, poets, and editors and lovely treats for all guests, August 23, in Tucson.. We'll send you a signed book poster. Plus, social media group hug, and your name on the Kore website.

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    Wow, you are astonishing: a round of applause, please, for the 300 club! (300 is the number of manuscripts a year that Kore editors provide critical feedback on.) For you amazing wonderfunders: a creative momento of dried flower petals and snap shots from Kore’s 20th birthday party taken for you and artfully delivered. Two tickets and VIP treatment at Kore's September 29 party in Tucson. Your name will be included in the book credits as a "GORGEOUS FUTURE MAKER." This is a limited reward with a deadline of July 15, 2013— to keep our publishing date on track! After the 15th you can get a signed book, but no name on the credit page. You will receive a special phone call from the publisher and a contributor, with a reading of a poem for you. We will name you in a creative way at the September 29 birthday gala in Tucson. You are on the guest list for the private book launch party with Kore friends, family, poets, and editors and lovely treats for all guests, August 23, in Tucson. We'll send you a signed book and poster. Plus, social media group hug, and your name on the Kore website.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Well, just doing some California dreaming here, but we must dream, must we not? (Speaking of dreaming: the conversation between founders Karen Falkenstrom and Lisa Bowden out of which Kore Press emerged, took place in 1992 at the Cup Café in the Congress Hotel.) For the imagineer helping make a dream come true at this level: one million blessings & huzzahs! And, a full page at the front of the book with a dedication to you (or someone of your choosing). Also, dinner with poets + all of the above. Should our paths ever cross in person, huge hug and high fives from the 61 people working to make this book real.

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- (30 days)