So there’s this book that’s going to happen. It’s not a big-publisher book, but it’s one of those ideas that are just too fantastic to not be published, and this one’s making me extra-cheerful because such ideas are precisely the ones that usually end up not (getting published, that is). So this book – which was created through an online project – contains 33 poems, each by a different writer, illustrated by 33 artists, one poem to one artist. One of the poems is mine, which means I make up only 1/66th of the book’s authorship, hardly enough excuse for my family to send me over to Bombay for the book launch at Wilson College next Saturday.
The book is not going to be available at regular bookstores (only at certain online stores, as far as I understand) but somehow I find myself less perturbed by this than I imagined I would; having observed that the last anthology I was part of – despite being brought out by a more conventional (but small, nevertheless) publishing house – has never particularly been available anywhere except the publisher’s own bookstore. There may not even have been more than one print run. I’ve a feeling that all poetry publication these days is a kind of vanity publication, if not directly the author’s, then the editor’s or the publishing house’s: considering that the books never seem very profitable, and I am yet to come across even a semblance of a standard (but some fanaticism, yes; mostly faulty as all fanaticisms are) that distinguishes good poetry from bad. At times when I’ve had to select poetry myself I have always fallen back on my gut instincts, my personal do-I-like-this rather than any other guideline, and I’ve a feeling that this is what most other poetry editors end up doing. (Which is not to say one person’s gut instincts are as good – or as in-tune with an individual reader’s – as the other’s, of course. Or that being better- or more widely read doesn’t leave its impression on the gut instinct.)
Anyway, not to turn this post into a long ramble on intellectual credibility (yes, to particularly not do that), this is a book that makes me happy and excited. The art for my poem, done by this very talented gentleman, makes me happy and excited and nearly dying to see what it looks like on the book! And it’s being launched next Saturday. =D