By Robert Dana

Opposed to the Grain is a suite of interviews with 9 small press publishers, every one characterised via energy of get to the bottom of and a commitment to strong books. each one press displays, possibly extra at once than any huge exchange writer may well, the nature of its founder; and every has earned its personal position within the decide on team of vital small presses in the USA. This assortment is the 1st of its sort to discover with the publishers themselves the historic, aesthetic, functional, and private impulses at the back of literary publishing. The publishers incorporated are Harry Duncan (the Cummington Press), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (City Lights), David Godine (David R. Godine), Daniel Halpern (the Ecco Press), Sam Hamill and Tree Swenson (Copper Canyon Press), James Laughlin (New Directions), John Martin (Black Sparrow), and Jonathan Williams (the Jargon Society). Their ardour for books, their trust of their person visions of what publishing is or will be, their encouraged mulishness crackle at the web page.

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I don't know if you've seen his stuff? DANA: No, but it seems to me that that is the direction really avant-garde literature is moving in. The formerly clear, or what we thought was a clear, distinction between prose and poetry seems to be breaking down. LAUGHLIN: Right. Now, there has always been prose poetry which was a kind of heightened, imaginative prose, but what Antin is doing is something totally different. It would take a semiotician to explain what he is really up to. And I would urge you to go to the library and read one of those talk pieces and see if you can figure out what he is driving at.

He was interested in everything-in jazz, in baseball, in almost any subject you could mention, and yet that didn't keep him from his enormous output of work in the monastery. He'd get up at two o'clock in the morning and start writing, and his output was tremendous. Not only the books published, but he wrote over a hundred and fifty of what they call "Conferences," or sermons on tape, which were sent to other Catholic religious institutions for the nuns and monks to listen to. DANA: What happened to those tapes?

And I am still convinced that some such system is the only solution to the mess we have gotten ourselves into by the pyramiding of debt. You see, our whole economy is based on debt. Borrowing, stocks, whatever you have-debt; private debt, government debt. New York City almost went under last year because of debt. DANA: Oh yes. You can't save any money on your income taxes unless you're in debt. LAUGHLIN: Right. DANA: It's crazy. LAUGHLIN: I am still convinced, although I don't see any chance that it is ever going to happen, that we have got to get swung over to some kind of a positive economic system, where credit is issued as a social right rather than borrowed from some bank at fifteen percent.

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Against the Grain: Interviews with Maverick American by Robert Dana
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