As part of our Arachne 5th Anniversary celebrations, we’ve asked all of our authors to come up with a blog, that might have something to do with writing or anniversaries. Some of them responded! This one is from Jeremy Dixon who we have published in The Other Side of Sleep and Liberty Tales and whose collection In Retail we hope to publish as soon as we can afford to!
In 2017 we are celebrating Arachne Press’ fifth anniversary, or in another way of measuring the passing of five years (which I had to Google), then we could say that 2017 marks Arachne Press’ Wooden anniversary!
The link with wood feels quite appropriate to a young publishing house. Like the tree Arachne Press has made it through the difficult sprouting and sapling years, all the while avoiding being grazed by passing sheep or snapped in two by inquisitive toddlers and it is now well on the way to the maturity of stature and putting down deep, deep roots. (Books are also traditionally made from trees, although in keeping with these more environmentally aware times Arachne Press prints most of their books on wood-free paper.)
Trees need to be flexible, they must be able to sway in storm conditions and to react to the stresses of thunder and lightning or they will be toppled and their trunk broken. This adaptability seems not too much different to the juggling act Cherry has to perform daily to make sure that a growing list of literary chestnuts meet their copy, proof and print deadlines, that all grant applications follow the correct criteria, down to finding someone who can jump up on stage to replace a lost, or late reader.
A tree is also a sign of strength and support. We climb trees to reach higher, to make it up to the canopy to be able to see the view from the top, which we would not have been able to do on our own. It makes me very proud that my association with Arachne Press began with submitting work to the The Other Side of Sleep anthology. Cherry accepted my long poem In Retail (xxiii) to include in the book, which at 60 lines would have had found great difficulty in being welcomed anywhere else. This show of support and the confidence boost of publication were invaluable to me. There are also many types and species of trees and Arachne Press reflects this in the broad spectrum of society that their writers and poets represent, and although not specifically a LGBTQ press, none-the-less it feels very important to me that it is they who publish my work.
Five years of producing new and exciting writing that would not be published elsewhere is a great achievement that needs to be celebrated – so here’s to the next half-decade of Arachne Press under the guidance of the wonderful Cherry. Who knows what wonderful books may appear next or what fabulous creations will bear fruit will because Arachne Press are here, growing in the world!
Jeremy will be reading at the PARTY on the 8th September. Come along!