"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
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."
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
Marketing (readings, promotion, review copies, website, electronic & print): $3,400
Overhead, Admininstration, distribution: $1,700
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
Carolyn Welch Scarbrough
Lisa Fay Coutley
Mary Kovaleski Byrnes
Robin Coste Lewis
Sabrina Dalla Valle
Soma Mei Sheng Frazier
Kore Board of Directors
Adela C. Licona
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
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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