Noctuary Press is a fabulous new press founded by
poet and scholar Kristina Marie Darling.
From the website, their mission:
Noctuary Press is a small independent press that focuses on female writers working with cross-genre prose forms (such as flash fiction, prose poetry, footnoted texts, etc.). All too often, writing that is easily classifiable as “poetry,” “prose,” or “nonfiction” is privileged over exciting literary work that is not so easily categorized. Noctuary Press seeks to create a public space for women writers working across literary genres. We publish writing that does not simply challenge the notion of genre, but engages it in a meaningful way, assessing both the artistic possibilities and the dangers inherent in maintaining genre categories.
F IN has a complicated history. It was originally a novella titled
Willful Machine. It was intended as a ghost story, a mystery,
my attempt to subvert the conventions and tidy plot structure
of those forms. I wanted to appropriate those genres and tell
the story of the (ubiquitous) dead girl from the perspective
of a girl who makes the dead girl up. I was tired of watching
mainstream writers make money from dismembered female bodies,
and wanted to give those bodies agency. Instead I wrote
a book I wasn't happy with, and ultimately pulled the book
a few weeks before publication. Then I picked at it, trying to revise
by making it longer. Then I made it shorter. Then I whited out
the entire manuscript. After erasing the entire manuscript I allowed
a few words back in. Hey you -- you can come in. But you, stay out.
I got to be a bouncer at the club I'd constructed. F IN is an erasure
of Willful Machine. I like it much better than the original manuscript.
I did have moments of wanting to leave the manuscript
blank, all the words hidden in white font. The whole process
took a lot of time and focus and was incredibly pleasurably.
I continue to believe that compression is vital, that less is more,
that the goal must be to use as few words as possible. This is my
obstruction. I feel it within me very fiercely -- not for other writers,
simply for myself. There's an urgency to it. When I write something
I just want to erase it, because the words cancel out the idea
or emotion. If I were a choreographer I'd be obsessed with stillness,
like the moment in Balanchine's Serenade where the women
stand vibrating before suddenly snapping their feet into first:
|Paul Kolnik/New York City Ballet|
Noctuary Press is also publishing books by two
of my very very very favorite poets, Kristy Bowen and Eva Heisler.
I'm so excited about their books and this new publishing
venture! More information about Kristy and Eva here: