Blue Edge Books

A new poetry press! Here is an interview with editor Kathleen Lee.

Miriam’s Well: I’ve been a small press lover and editor most of my life. Still, it can be challenging and sometimes annoying. At this point in life, what inspired you to start a poetry press?

I was thinking about a couple of things – the many good writers I know who have failed to find publishers for their work, and my possibly obscure area of experience reading and editing poetry. I thought that I could combine those two things. I regard Blue Edge Books as a kind of donation to poetry, and if the endeavor absorbs and entertains me, I’ll consider myself lucky. Maybe it’s only ‘at this point in life’ that I have the tolerance for running a small press. I didn’t know anything about how to run a small press before I began so it didn’t seem daunting. I like doing things at which I am a novice; being a beginner is kind of relaxing.

MW: 2. I know you as an inveterate and dedicated reader of both fiction and poetry. And a writer of both. What made you decide to focus solely on poetry for Blue Edge Books?

It’s a little embarrassing to give a very prosaic answer to this question: poems are short (not all poems, but still). Plus nobody expects to sell a lot of poetry books, so the stakes feel manageable.

3. What can you tell us about the first book you’ll be publishing in 2022?

On the Mercy Me Planet is Maya Janson’s second book. Her poems are warm and witty, balanced by an appreciation for the trouble and chaos of life. Her sentences wakes you up to the pleasures and possibilities of language and image. “Beware the urge to haul everything you own/ to the top of a mountain in order to hurl it,” she writes in “Pushing the Dead Chevy”. “In mythology the pomegranate/is said to signify the underworld. In real life,/ a simple granite headstone will do.” The poems are substantial and also fun to read, loose and a little mysterious.

4. And as you are the Editor–what kind of poetry do you like? And want to publish?

I think like everyone, I want to be surprised, impressed, entertained – by language, images, sensibility, insight, content. I like a little imperfection; I like gaps and mysterious corners where there’s space for the reader’s imagination. A sense of humor is always a good thing. Probably I have taste – certain kinds of poems that I like or dislike – but I can be won over to any kind of poem by pleasure and surprise.

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About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well ( The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

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