National Poetry Month Feature: Geoffrey Gatza of BlazeVOX [books] Talks About the NEA Ban on His Small Press by Anis Shivani
A big controversy in the poetry world these days is the discussion surrounding Buffalo-based small press BlazeVOX [book]'s (now discontinued) model of charging some authors a portion of the costs of publishing their poetry books ($250, as I gather). In the closing months of last year, the revelation of this practice inflamed passions in the generally staid world of independent literary publishing. The controversy just got an enormous boost with the recent decision of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) banning poets from listing books published by BlazeVOX on their grant applications.
Questions arise about the viability of poetry publishing in an age of narrow audiences and little financial reward, and about gate-keeping, quality control, editorial integrity and the technologies of dissemination.
Read the whole interview here