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Lena Dunham  

 

(Editor, Dead Horse Review)  

 

 

Lena Dunham was born in New York city in 1986. She is now a student at Oberlin College, where she majors in creative writing and minors in anxiety. She has held various jobs, such as dog groomer (although she never had any client twice) and contributing editor at Teen Vogue magazine. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Saint Annís Review, Deep Cleveland and Melancholiaís Tremulous Dreadlocks. Besides poetry, she also enjoys making plays and movies.  

 

 

 

 

Q: How has publishing changed with the advent of short-run printing and print-on-demand possibilities? Does this negate any need to sell a specific number of a title? Is this a freedom from traditional print expectations/values?

A: My only experience as a publisher is online and not-for-profit, so these issues have never really affected me. I can tell you this: last summer I was an intern at Soft Skull Press and the amount of print-on-demand chapbooks people submitted was shocking. They werenít all good but the fact that every man, woman and child can have a professional looking book for a pretty modest fee feels somewhat revolutionary.

Q: Why does poetry continue to create schools and movements who feud?

A: As with all art forms, people have different ideas about what constitutes poetry. There's also the basic human desire to belong to a club, I think, and artists with similar habits can stick together for warmth. At the end of the day, I'd guess that nearly every poet working now faces the same basic issues.

Q: With POD possibilities, including various organisations that will take on anything without a set-up fee and simply send royalties to the author, do poetry publishers need arts council subsidies any more?

A: The fact is, my knowledge of what it takes to run a real-world poetry press is way lacking. I do know that it's not a lucrative business and making it work is near-impossible. Small presses have to take help where they can get it.

Q: If poetry presses are concerned with cultivating a wider readership, could this not be done more effectively via the Internet (where there are thousands of potential readers) rather than worrying about sales of printed poetry?

A: I can only speak to my own experience, but I think my Internet habits are pretty typical for a college gal such as myself. I web-surf the way I used to channel surf as a little kid. I find completely insane websites all the time and often have no idea what Google-chain got me there. I share this to illustrate the point that the Internet leads people who don't consider themselves "poetry people" to poetry sites. To me that's the main attraction of publishing in that medium. There are, of course, a million more benefits to publishing online. Thereís the double-delight of minimal overhead and maximal availability. The web is the way to reach the masses no matter what artistic medium you're working in, although there's always something to be said for a live music performance, a trip to the movie theatre or a poetry chapbook that you can hold in your hands.

   

copyright © Lena Dunham