Monday, September 13, 2010

Anonymity Shrugged . . . at the Brooklyn Book Fair

At yesterday's Brooklyn Book Fair I was recognized (by three friends), slouched toward greater anonymity (next paragraph) and made a nice contact (the anti-anonymity) (finale).

Since my filters are few I know better than to think I can walk up to a publisher's or literary review's table and convince them to publish me, let alone ever again admit in the company of decent men and women they've met me. In fact I might antagonize them without ever understanding why.

So I stroll about such book fairs, the inner pep talk being: These are important events and I am happy they exist for newcomers enough unjaded to believe their symmetrical features and bouncy yet important demeanor will hook in an editor.

I did score a free New York Review of Books—I'm the man. And stopped for reasons I'm not sure of at a university press table. Well, the books were good and the press was functional so I talked to the woman in charge. She was the publicity arm of the publisher, strong, smart, directed. Verifying the publisher wasn't tanking, I asked about submissions and the publicicist said, Sure! in a voice that meant, Most likely not!

Thing is, when I told her I had a collection published with BlazeVOX [books] (I didn't speak the "[books]") her eyes glazed, as they say, as if an intellectual glassworker were on-call in her tear ducts. Telling her I wrote poetry and fiction, she responded, icky sweet, A little bit of everything.

A close relative of Fallen Satan is on-call for Sarah Sarai and Fallen Satan stoked fires in my eyes as I said, surly as I could, A LOT, I write A LOT of everything.

I was over it almost instantly, but not up for readings (late-ish Saturday night, which included watching a craps game on Stanton). On my way to the subway I stopped by one more table, a humble (more than the fancy publisher) affair, split between two ventures (a table is $300 for the day so splitting makes sense), both legitimate (which for me means literary-ish, including manga and graphics).

Without going into it, this is not a naming blog, the two at the table and I talked without attitude, exchanged info with the possibility of my reading them and them reading me.
Sarah Sarai is always willing to show up at a book fair, chat with (three) friends, be mildly insulted, and make a few new colleagues. So it is written.

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