Why poetry? Why the hardest literary form on the planet to sell?
Ha! I suppose the immediate answer is simply because I love it and believe in its cultural importance. But it’s also because I’m thrawn, and when someone tells me it’s difficult to do (which many people have) I get even more determined to do it.
I also figure that learning how to publish and sell poetry successfully will stand me in good stead for the future. One day I would like to expand Tapsalteerie to be a fully-fledged publisher of fiction and non-fiction as well as poetry. And if I can sell poetry, then that stuff will be easy in comparison.
What kind of poetry are you most interested in – can you comment on what pigeon holes it might be likely to fly into?
Realistically I'll publish pretty much anything that interests me. I will generally look for stuff that’s new, unusual, or hasn’t much been done before though, and I’m usually looking for first collections from young poets, but that’s certainly not exclusive. If something is good and will fit into the list then I’ll be delighted to publish it. Hence re-publishing Tom McGrath's Sardines, for instance.
In terms of kinds, personally I like poetry that has philosophical ideas at its heart, as well as stuff that plays around with form. But my taste is massively varied so I do find it hard to pin myself down to particular types.
One thing I’m definitely interested in is poetry in Scots, and I’m particularly looking for avant-garde & experimental Scots poetry. One of the main aims of Tapsalteerie is to open up space for experimentation in the language. Of course I realise this is a double-whammy of un-commercial madness, but I justify it to myself by saying that it fits into the ‘culturally important’ section of what I want Tapsalteerie to do.