Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Q and A on Mass. Book Award

With the announcement of the Mass. Book Awards today I posed the question to the executive director: " Can the small press can have a category in the Mass. Book Awards.?" The winners are usually associated with the big publishing houses, and have received much recognition already. ( example this years' winners are Claire Messud, Franz Wright, Louise Gluck) These are all great writers, but how about some state-wide recognition for the alternative presses?

And the response:

Hi, Doug -- I saw this email that went to the Amherst office/Book awards coordinator. I hear you ... and -- as you can imagine -- funding is an issue. At present, we are struggling to support the four categories we have. I have long wanted to add a design and also illustration awards. I hadn't thought about a separate small press award ... for a number of reasons. Primarily, I don't want to ghettoize small press publishing ... b/c I see no reason why small press publications can't compete with trade houses... but another way to promote what is going on with our small presses ... that is desirable. I will add it to the concerns as we discuss next steps with the program and certainly keep you in any loops that start to get traced.
Regards, Sharon
************************************************ Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director Massachusetts Center for the Book Mailing from Boston office: On the web at

Quoting Doug HOLDER :
I think you should have a category for small press authors and poets people who publish chapbooks in the state. There is a great literary subculture that is ignored... Certainly all the people you selected were great writers. But Messud, Wright, Gluck and the like have recieved thousands of accolades. How about a category that would represent the alternative press which plays an important part in literary history?

Best--Doug Holder

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