Eugene Publisher Brings Poets to Town

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), October 23, 2005 | Go to article overview
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Eugene Publisher Brings Poets to Town


Byline: Karen McCowan The Register-Guard

A Eugene publisher will showcase three of its award-winning poets this afternoon at Tsunami Books.

Mark Conway of Minnesota (``Any Holy City,'' 76 pages, $14.95), Beth Gylys of Atlanta (``Bodies That Hum,'' 71 pages, $12) and Nin Andrews of Ohio (``Why They Grow Wings,'' 74 pages, $12) will read and discuss their poems beginning at 4 p.m.

Each of their books is distinctive, from their handsome covers to their poetic styles.

``Bodies That Hum'' reverberates with wit and rhythm. ``Why They Grow Wings'' is sensuous and free form. And ``Any Holy City'' addresses Biblical themes of sacrifice and redemption.

But all three were published by Eugene's Silverfish Review Press, an independent, nonprofit literary press that was established in 1978.

The three poets were recipients of the Silverfish's Gerald Cable Book Award, presented annually for a book-length manuscript of original poetry by an author who has not yet published a full-length collection.

Winners receive a $1,000 cash award, publication and 100 copies of their book.

Another Gerald Cable winner, Paul Hunter, just received a 2005 Washington State Book Award for his Silverfish-published debut, ``Breaking Ground.''

For founding editor Rodger Moody, that distinction is another step in Silverfish's long climb from twice-yearly magazine to successful publishing house.

As a graduate student at the University of Oregon in the late 1970s, Moody worked as an intern at Northwest Review, and decided he wanted to start his own magazine. He launched Silverfish in 1978 by publishing two issues and one poetry chapbook a year.

He took his next big step in 1994, when he decided to begin publishing full-length books rather than chapbooks, which are typically limited to no more than 32 pages so they don't need to be bound.

``I realized I needed to publish books big enough to have a spine, because that's important to bookstores,'' he said. ``With<302>out a spine, customers can't really find them on the shelf.''

Sales also picked up when he began working with a California distributor. But he expects that the Washington State Book Award will push Hunter's book to a new level.

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