Interview with Locked Horn Press

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Locked Horn Press is a multi-genre publisher founded upon the idea that any space in which conflict exists is an opportunity for discovery and conversation. Striving to publish creative and scholarly work that provokes, inspires, and sparks not only excellent writing, but also dialogue about contemporary issues, Locked Horn publishes works that are designed to speak to one another. Interweaving the creative and the critical, these collections will provide space for writers and readers to engage the various and persistent conflicts that surround us.

Locked Horn Press has published two collections this past year: Read Women, a poetry collection of contemporary female-identifying/gender queer poets, and Gendered & Written: Forums on Poetics, a compilation of diverse writings from working poets–including a selection of poets in Read Women–that explore the relationship between gender and poetry.

You can find more information about the press at lockedhornpress.org.

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Q: How did you establish Locked Horn Press? How did you come together as a team to achieve your vision for the press?

A: We were all in graduate school together, and were inspired by our advisor, Ilya Kaminsky, to start a press. We discussed our poetic and academic interests while sitting at a deli, and discovered how we wanted our books to engage with issues that we perceived in contemporary criticism and poetry.

 

Q: Locked Horn Press currently has two published collections: Read Women, and Gendered & Written: Forums on Poetics. What was your mission in printing these books?

A: Well, Read Women was inspired by the Twitter campaign, #ReadWomen2014, which has since gone on to be known as #ReadWomen. The movement began when VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, noticed how little women were getting published and reviewed in journals and periodicals compared to men. We decided to further the conversation with these two collections. What we wanted to do with Gendered & Written, however, came out of the desire to sit with contemporary poets and discuss gender, regardless of their own personal identification with it. To achieve this effect of actually sitting with the poets, we decided to use a forum structure, where we asked broad questions and braided their answers into what feels like a conversation.

 

Q: What audience does Locked Horn Press seek to appeal to? What message would you like your readers to take away from the books you have published?

A: EVERYONE. But really, everyone! We hope our readers engage with our books enough to where they have to call a friend and discuss these issues in contemporary poetry. Poetry is a living, breathing thing. It’s happening, and totally real. Poetics creates a space where conflict and tension become exploration rather than simply reaction. It’s not about just observing, anymore–it’s really about finding ways to participate in the world within and outside of one’s self.

 

31rhw4fB9OLQ: When compiling these collections, what factors contributed to the work you selected to include in the volumes?

A: Well, we wanted a diversity of voices and contemporary voices. We made sure to be aware of who was already getting anthologized, while also being respectful of what those anthologized poets brought to poetry in the first place. As writers, we are also dedicated to discovering and publishing emerging voices. Those were honestly our factors: we were open to style, to concept, to form, and published what we feel are moving poems.

 

Q:  Where do you hope to see LHP in the future? What types of works do you hope to publish as the press grows and expands?

A: Here, there, and everywhere! Our hope is to continue with the concept that we began with of publishing companion texts, but also we aim to create different series of publications: chapbooks, more criticism, full-length texts. We’re a young press, and we’re open to expansion into new media, fiction, art, amongst other things.

 

Q: What advice do you have for anyone who would like to be published with Locked Horn Press?

A: Don’t be shy. Pay attention to the current theme of our collections. For the time being, write poetry that engages with the world around you.

 

Q: Similarly, what advice do you have for writers?

A: Again, be fearless. You have to put yourself out there. When you find a writer you admire, study their work. Submit to the journals you love, and continue working on your craft.

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