A former member of Vancouver's Kootenay School of Writing, Lary Bremner was an early editor of the late 1980s and early 90s Tsunami Editions, and now lives in Japan. He has published a number of titles under the name Lary Timewell, including two new chapbooks from Obvious Epiphanies.
1 – When did Obvious Epiphanies first start? How have your original goals as a publisher shifted since you started, if at all? And what have you learned through the process?
Just started some months ago. I was making a handmade book for photographer friend Lorraine Gilbert & remembered how much I liked the process. Around the same time, I discovered that American poets Norma Cole, Ted Greenwald, and others were using online services to publish chapbooks. I got the bug again.
2 – What first brought you to publishing?
Peter Culley, Gerald Creede, & Arni Runar Haraldsson & I met in the 80's to talk about writing. We never talked about writing, but Tsunami Editons, Vancouver, got started.
3 – What do you consider the role and responsibilities, if any, of small publishing?
To represent those who, for whatever reason, aren't in 'big' publishing.
4 – What do you see your press doing that no one else is?
Publishing Canadians & Americans, but doing it from Japan?
5 – What do you see as the most effective way to get new books out into the world?
Online, the web, online publishing, e-books, pdfs, blogs.
6 – How involved an editor are you? Do you dig deep into line edits, or do you prefer more of a light touch?
I trust the writer to know what s/he wants, means, intends. I get more hands-on with design.
7 – How do your books get distributed? What are your usual print runs?
Lulu.com advertises. rob mclennan promotes. Printed on demand.
8 – How many other people are involved with editing or production? Do you work with other editors, and if so, how effective do you find it? What are the benefits, drawbacks?
O Solo mio, my own worst enemy.
9 – How has being an editor/publisher changed the way you think about your own writing?
Reminds me I should get back to it.
10 – How do you approach the idea of publishing your own writing? Some, such as Gary Geddes when he still ran Cormorant, refused such, yet various Coach House Press’ editors had titles during their tenures as editors for the press, including Victor Coleman and bpNichol. What do you think of the arguments for or against, or do you see the whole question as irrelevant?
Question irrelevant; aversions personal. Me, I'd much rather have someone else publish my work, but in the internet age it really does not actually matter.
11 – How do you see obvious epiphanies evolving?
Primarily, as an outlet for young &/or unpublished poets. Then I'd like to create a parallel press, as wide as possible, graphic books, novels, kids books, Japanese books, photography books.
12 – What, as a publisher, are you most proud of accomplishing? What do you think people have overlooked about your publications? What is your biggest frustration?
Just started. Proud to have overcome the software.
13 – Who were your early publishing models when starting out?
Our old Tsunamis. The Tuumba series.
14 – How does Obvious Epiphanies work to engage with your immediate literary community, and community at large? What journals or presses do you see Obvious Epiphanies in dialogue with? How important do you see those dialogues, those conversations?
Question too grand for me, but the poetry community is international, in any case. The web certainly is.
15 – Do you hold regular or occasional readings or launches? How important do you see public readings and other events?
Readings are the best way to create a local community. I live in Japan... come over & read your book at the local issakaya.
16 – How do you utilize the internet, if at all, to further your goals?
100 per cent.
17 – Do you take submissions? If so, what aren’t you looking for?
For the moment I will seek out certain writers on my inclination & the advice of friends, but anticipate taking submissions in 2011.
18 – Tell me about three of your most recent titles, and why they’re special.
rob mclennan's 52 flowers (or, a perth ledge) & two small chapbooks of my own, because that's the entire output so far!