Interview With Ink Press Productions
How did you come up with the idea for Ink Press Productions? What makes Ink Press Productions a unique part of the publishing community?
We (Amanda McCormick and Tracy Dimond) met as first year poets at the University of Baltimore, in the Creative Writing & Publishing Arts MFA program. Tracy was hosting a workshop group, Gin & Ink, and Amanda ran a journal, espresso ink. We immediately bonded over our use of the word “ink”, and in a short period of time realized that we had similar views on publishing and what creative writing can do for a community. We merged under the umbrella, Ink Press Productions, which continues to publish espresso ink, hosts Gin & Ink, runs a chapbook press, organizes community events, and anything else we concoct. We are open to creative endeavors that expand the limitations of art and what the written word can be. Check out our most recent video, a monologue Amanda wrote about books & being an artist in this economic battlefield.
How did you begin to gather materials for espresso ink? How did you go about the process of solicitation and advertising the press?
These feel like two very separate questions…
1) We gather contributions for espresso ink through the regular channels: calls for submissions, social networking, and soliciting to people that we meet / know that we believe in their writing. Through espresso ink we hope to create an annual anthology of writers & artists we endorse and want to give voice to. espresso ink began with the intention to build a community with a collected book of awesome art that promotes community involvement, sustainability, and support. We hope to carry that into the future.
2) We advertise for the press through hand-to-hand interaction, word of mouth, and the Internet.
Tell us a little bit about Gin and Ink. How did this begin?
Gin & Ink began after Tracy finished EMP Collective’s Cans n Drafts Workshop in December 2011. She and Cari Peri wanted to keep writing and editing in an informal setting. We started meeting at Liam Flynn’s Alehouse in January 2012, inviting writers we knew in the area. The first few meetings consisted of us talking about our cats, but it has expanded to a rotating group of 5-12 people showing up with work to share. We encourage people to share any thoughts about a written piece, only requesting that each person receive respect. A workshop is a place to learn and grow, not be cut down.
What reader do you hope will happen upon in a book for Ink Press Productions? What do you hope they’ll find there?
We hope people read and hold an Ink Press Productions book saying “wow.” Readers for Ink Press will be people interested in great writing & art.
What do you look for in a publishable piece of writing?
There are so many ways to be a book. For the chapbooks, we really look for something that inspires the design and material. We are interested in creating a book that is an experience—art at each stage—in conception, content, construction, and real life interaction. Our books aren’t just a way to transfer information, they are meant to also evoke a response in the audience.
What is the next exciting thing happening at Ink Press Productions?
In addition to planning the next few chapbooks, we are getting our own letterpress printing machine. We are so excited to have the chance to experiment and expand our abilities within our apartment. We want to run a “factory of awesome.”
Our next big project is espresso ink 5: an audio & visual collection of rad writing. It will be a CD with a handmade jacket and lyric booklet featuring local artists & beyond, combining the audio and visual experience of art & writing. The vision is like when you would buy a CD, go home, and sit on the floor and read the book while listening to it.
Beyond that, we are organizing a reading with several writers from DC, upstate New York, and San Francisco and promoting for our next major chapbook scheduled for release in mid-January.
As we do more and more, we keep in mind the goal to run a “factory of awesome.” INK PRESS PRODUCTIONS aims to be a sustainable organization that explores the many different forms of art through paper, performance, and literary production.
Thanks for interviewing us!