“I wanted to make something that you could go back to and feel beauty.”
The Quieting (Platypus Press, 2016)
Could you share with us a representative or pivotal poem from your anthology? Perhaps a poem that introduces the work of the anthology, or one that invites the reader into the world of the anthology?
A section from the first poem the deer have grown soft by Mary Buchinger:
puttering along footpaths,
nipping on potted petunias,
the wild fed,
no longer wild
and I don’t know
am I hunter or hunted
Why did you choose this poem?
We originally received this poem as a submission for our literary journal WILDNESS, but I found it to be perfect for another idea I had been toying with, creating a small, soft anthology.
What themes and images “bridge” your anthology?
Our description for The Quieting is ‘an anthology of softness and light’ and that’s exactly what it is. All of the poems are delicate in both tone and layout. They take up minimal page space with carefully chosen words.
How did you decide on the arrangement and title of your anthology?
We were originally thinking of calling it Quietness as an offshoot of our journal for smaller pieces of work, but in the end we just felt that The Quieting sounded better as it really is a standalone work. The arrangement took a lot of planning. The entire chapbook is letter-pressed on an old Adana 8×5 machine which we bought specifically for this project, so that was a huge learning curve for us. We also hand-bound the chapbooks (limited to 50 copies) so it was a real labour of love.
What obsessions led you to edit and publish your anthology?
I think my love of all things soft. I wanted to make something that you could go back to and feel beauty. To truly feel that physical aspect in a way you don’t get digitally. And, of course, to experience the words.
How did you decide on the cover image and design of your anthology?
The cover is very simple (with only the title on it) and, I think, reflective of the whole project. Also, the binding takes up nearly a third of the cover, which was intentional for an aesthetic we were trying to achieve.
What are some of your favorite chapbooks?
I really liked Philip Schaefer’s [Hideous] Miraculous, and I’m also really looking forward to Kaveh Akbar’s upcoming chapbook Portrait of the Alcoholic.
If you have edited more than one anthology, could you describe each of them in chronological order?
The Quieting was our very first anthology, but we have been releasing and editing poetry collections through Platypus Press for almost two years.
What are you working on now?
Through the press and journal, we have many projects in progress. However, the next one will be in November. We are releasing an anthology based around identity, gender and bodies (platypuspress.co.uk/apib) which will be edited by jayy dodd.
What’s the title for an anthology you haven’t edited yet?
That’s a great question, but one I’m going to keep a secret for now.
Michelle Tudor is a writer, average barista and wannabe cartographer. She is an English Literature and Creative Writing graduate whose work has been published both online and in print. Her first poetry collection You Are the Map and her debut short story collection Miyoko & Other Stories were both released in 2015. She currently serves as the editor of Wildness and Platypus Press.
The Quieting: platypuspress.co.uk/tq