Truth is stranger than fiction. Back in the dark days before Visual Verse began, our editor was (and still is) an avid reader of The Millions, a great books website based in the USA. She was particularly struck by an article called ‘Shutting the Drawer, What happens when a book doesn’t sell?’ published on August 23, 2011. It was honest, it was funny, it was painful – it was absolutely what doesn’t get said among the brouhaha that surrounds debut authors. It was by a Millions staff writer called Edan Lepuki, who has an MFA from Iowa writers’ workshop.
Fast forward three years. Visual Verse is 9 months old and Edan Lepuki’s first published novel is about to be launched in the UK. On 7 August, in just one week’s time CALIFORNIA will be on our bookshop shelves. We are thrilled to publish Edan in the UK a week before her novel comes out, and have her headlining Visual Verse for the month.
The strange gets even stranger, though: after a turn of dream events CALIFIORNIA debuted on the New York Times bestseller list at NUMBER 3. Yes, that’s NUMBER 3. Ironically (ha! see backstory) it was an Amazon Best Book of the Month for July. You can check out that backstory here.
Alongside Edan in our never-been-published-not-even-on-twitter is a young Mexican writer Paolo Torres who usually works in Spanish but has translated a piece for us. This is his FIRST TIME people, and we are pleased to introduce him.
He’s in the best company – Steven J. Fowler a poet, artist, martial artist & vanguardist. He works in the modernist and avant garde traditions, across poetry, fiction, sonic art, visual art, installation and performance. He has published six collections of poetry and been commissioned by the Tate, Reel Festivals and the Liverpool Biennial. He has been translated into 13 languages and performed at venues across the world, from Mexico city to Erbil, Iraq. He is the poetry editor of 3am magazine and is the curator of the Enemies project, so an all round good guy.
And Jennifer Wong is a Hong Kong-born writer now living in London. She did an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She is fascinated by the seen and unseen that lie within images and words and her latest collection is Goldfish (Chameleon Press).
As always we hope you enjoy the reading and enjoy the writing – as much as we enjoy publishing and promoting your work.
The image is the starting point, the text is up to you.
Kristen Harrison and Preti Taneja
Visual Verse: Anthology of Art and Words