Thursday, May 28, 2020

dgp notes | another summer

messes and mascots

The onset of summer usually sneaks up on me.  I'll be busy with books and work and poems and one day I look up and the trees are budding their first leaves and blossoms.  The magnolia near the bus stop is always an early and flirtatious guest, but somehow, usually as my attention is focused on closing out the semester, the other flowering trees flush with color.  I am missing much of Grant Park's loveliness this year hunkered down on the north side, but have been watching the trees on on my block that I can see from the windows of my apartment.  Every day, a little more green, and by now, almost full coverage.  Barring the smaller tree in the courtyard that both gets and loses it's leaves about a month after everyone else, it definitely looks like summer out there, and the humidity in the air and occasional crazy flash thunderstorms confirm it.

Whether it FEELS like summer is another matter, so much of my experience over the past two decades dependent on a certain rhythm that I can't quite get during this strange time.  Normally, that mad dash to the semester's end would be followed by a couple weeks of recoup and settling into summer patterns, but without knowing what those summer patterns are yet going to be, it's hard to feel grounded.  And it being summer, of course, means dgp will technically be opening to submissions next week. I thought about postponing the open reading period until my mind was in better sorts, when futures were more certain on all fronts. But there's really no reason to that, since we don't know that things will necessarily be more a less stable than they are now.  (or my focus more or less promising in the coming months.)

Until the past couple weeks, it's been hard to feel enthusiastic about anything poetry related, which is a poor state to begin reading manuscripts. But then,  I usually let them build up a bit before delving in later in the summer, so it might not matter. (And with a lot of writer's with their minds elsewhere than poetry,  a smaller submission pool might not be a bad thing--the deluge doesn't usually get rolling til August.)  I've been slowly rolling back into layouts and designing covers, though things feel really slow and my mind scattered in a million different places, so it's hard to keep track of all the moving pieces.

I am just not good at life lately, let alone keeping a million cats in the air that is dancing girl press. So things move more snail-paced, but I take comfort in the fact that after a couple months of creative paralyzation, the blood seems to be coming back into my limbs bit.  I was looking forward to being able to work on press things at home this summer instead of the studio in the evenings, so there is at least that one bright spot.   Also, a whole bunch of titles that were set for spring release that are just now beginning to happen. I've been working in my more coherent moments on the backlog of January/February orders, so some titles that were new then are still waiting to ship from then, then I'll be starting on things that came after.

I've read some grim projections on pandemic publishing and we're definitely lower volume than normal sales since mid-March, but luckily I've had some author copy orders that kept me in printing without having to dip into my personal account.  Daily, I am thankful for having given up the studio and those high overhead costs.  Even if sales were super slow we could still survive as long as I can afford toner and cards tock, so it's good to be more bare bones. I still have hopes for things like the swim (aka the mermaid themed box projectanthology to happen this year when things get back to normal.

Until then, watch for new books by Brooke Larson and Sadie Schuck Hinkel I am putting the finishing touches on as we speak, plus about another half dozen coming down the pipeline very soon.   I would love to see what you are working on when we open for submissions, so send it my way starting June 1st...

happy reading and writing!

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