We’re kicking off our 2014 Vendor Interview series this week, starting off with Coconut Poetry. We’ve asked them the same three questions we’re asking all of our vendors… and one specific to their press! We spoke with Bruce Covey, Publisher & Editor. Here’s what he had to say to help introduce PHILALIA to what they do and will continue to do for the lit community:
1. What should attendees of PHILALALIA expect from Coconut?
Bruce will be at the book table all day Friday and Saturday with awesome brand new titles by Jennifer Tamayo, Bernadette Mayer, Carina Finn, Natasha Kessler, and Emily Toder. Coconut will also be co-hosting a reading with Bloof on Friday night–8pm at Snockey’s!
2. What has Coconut achieved this past year that you’re most proud of?
Before the year ends, Coconut will have published 11 books this year!!
3. What is something people might not know about Coconut?
When I first launched the magazine, we had a slogan: “Poetry that’s flaky and not all that good for you.” Tao Lin wrote me, however, to say that unprocessed coconut is, in fact, good for you. It’s weird that only ten years ago, dietitians wanted us to avoid coconut at all costs, and now coconut is a super food! I’d like to think the magazine had something to do with that national change of opinion!! (um, jk)
4. Coconut is known (and loved) by many poets, especially for its no fee open submission period– how and why do you keep this free for those who want to send you their manuscripts? And also is this something that you plan on keeping up?
Thank you! I have no plans to begin charging a reading fee–I just don’t think it’s right to ask people to pay for Coconut to read their submissions. I know many poets who spend several hundred dollars a year on contest fees. I don’t want ever to benefit financially from someone’s hopes for publication. We all contribute something to the poetry community. This is my (small) contribution.