Interview With Spooky Girlfriend

Author: Nate Logan

What makes Spooky Girlfriend a unique part of the publishing community?

We’re not sure publishing women authors exclusively makes us very unique because some other presses that have been around longer do the same (e.g. dancing girl press), but one of our goals is to publish the work of women who live in/have strong ties to the Midwest. We know that women continue to be underrepresented across the spectrum, from journal publications, to inclusion in anthologies, etc. We hope to make a tiny dent into this.

What sort of qualities do you look for in a manuscript or piece of work that you are considering for publication? Why do you focus on authors from the Midwest region?

It is hard to pinpoint these qualities because they are intangible in a way. If someone were to read from one chapbook to another, the work would not necessarily be similar in style or tone. We like lots of different kinds of poetry and that’s really the fuel that feeds the fire. If we like it, we want as many people to read it as possible.

We think the Midwest gets a bad rep. Lots of poets seem to gravitate toward (or actually move to) either coast because these places have been the traditional haunts of poets. This leaves out a large part of the country where great poets also live and write. In our own little way, we hope the press acts as a sort of soapbox on which the poets speak.

How has Spooky Girlfriend evolved over time?

It is hard to put this in perspective, but the press has evolved a lot since our beginning. At the start, we were making chapbooks at Kinko’s—learning how to do double-sided printing on the copy machine, stapling the chapbooks together, etc. Shanna Compton’s posts about her first micropress were really helpful for us when we got started.

Through a lot of trial and error our methods have gotten a lot better. Now we use a print-on-demand service and are able to offer better looking chapbooks to the authors and readers. It doesn’t take as long to put the chapbooks together. In general, things run a lot smoother, but of course we’re still learning. We are only four years old.

What is the next exciting thing happening at Spooky Girlfriend?

Soon we will be publishing Amy Berkowitz’s Listen to Her Heart, which we are really excited about and think a lot of other people are too. There are some other things planned for the future as well, including an anthology with women poets who don’t necessarily have ties to the Midwest.