Friday, December 20, 2013
Interview with the founder and publisher of Leaf Press Ursula Vaira
Ursula Vaira founded Leaf Press in 2001 as a poetry chapbook publisher. Since 2007 she has been publishing trade poetry while continuing the chapbook tradition and the weekly on-line Monday’s Poem.
"Poetry, paddling and west-coast wilderness camping are my passions, and they show in my writing (And See What Happens, Caitlin Press) and in the works I choose for Leaf's list. This year I am so proud to have published Poems for Planet Earth, a round-up of poems from readers at internationally renowned Planet Earth Poetry in Victoria BC; Surge Narrows by Emilia Nielsen, in which 'words rush like cold, clean water over the skin' (Anne Simpson); milk tooth bane bone by Daniela Elza, 'an open armature for wonder' (David Abram); and Dark Matter by Leanne McIntosh, an invitation to 'listen, listen as though the moon/has just pressed her face/against ours.'
Publishing is not for the easily frightened. The hours are long. The money is spare. The printing bills come due. Invoice payments arrive late. Contracts are signed long before the granting agencies approve or reject funding applications. No one lasts long in the biz without a passion for the work.
But the rewards! Money aside. Glory aside. But being able to work so intimately with these amazing poets, to spend hours and hours inside their words during the editing and design and typesetting until I know nearly every word by heart--and then to sit in an audience during the book launch, watching the effect of the poet's words play on each face ... I don't know, it just does it for me.
Ursula Vaira, Publisher