NA: You have been the editor of Pirene’s Fountain for a few years now?
AK: Yes, and I have enjoyed every moment with the journal! Our first issue went online in January 2008. Starting next year, PF will become a print annual, although we hope to continue an online presence.
AK: I asked myself a dozen times if I really wanted start a new venture at a stage of life when most people are ready to retire, but it seemed like a natural evolution given our positive experiences with Pirene’s Fountain. In December 2011, we published a benefit anthology in response to the March 2011 Japan disasters, and were amazed by the response to our initial call for submissions. All told, it was hard work but we thoroughly enjoyed the process and the ultimate reward of holding a book we had put together. We received terrific feedback from our readers and contributors, and wanted yet another way to continue sharing and spreading the gifts of the many wonderful authors writing today.
NA: How did you come up with the title, Glass Lyre?
AK: I wrote a poem a while back called "In which he finds a lyre" and there is a reference to a glass lyre in the poem. At the time when we were looking for names for the company, I happened to be revising my manuscript and caught the words "glass lyre"—they fit well with the work we wanted to publish: "glass" for clarity, insight, vision and "lyre" for lyricism and language, so I put it to the team and it was unanimous!
NA: What kind of work are you looking to publish?
AK: We will be publishing full-length collections and chapbooks of poetry, short and flash fiction, and the occasional anthology. In fact, our very first project will be “The Best of Pirene’s Fountain, Volume 1,” planned for later this year. After that, we will start publishing from some of the manuscripts—our submission editors are currently reading and making notes. We are looking for a diversity of topical treatments and styles from mature, seasoned voices as well as from emerging authors. An ideal manuscript would be unified and cohesive, with lyrical and substantive pieces that could stand on their own. The exceptional use of language is what attracts us most. It has been less than two months since we launched our website, and we have already received some promising manuscripts!
NA: Are you the sole or primary editor of the press?
AK: No, I am very grateful to work with a dedicated team: editor-in-chief Mark McKay; senior editor Lark Vernon Timmons; web and layout editor Katherine Herschler; associate editor Royce Hamel, and freelance artist Tracy McQueen. Recently Candice Sloan also came onboard to manage business operations, leaving me free to focus on the publishing and editing aspects of the press. The multi-talented, inter-generational dynamics at Glass Lyre makes for a great working environment.
NA: Will you publish translations?
AK: We are certainly open to the possibility in the future.
NA: How many books do you hope to publish per year?
AK: We plan to start off small and slowly increase our output. Depending on the quality of submissions we receive and our team workload, we’ll make that decision as we go along. We would really have to believe in a manuscript before deciding to publish it. I would hazard a guess at a maximum of ten books per year, but one never knows how things turn out!
NA: How will you find your authors?
AK: We have built up a readership at Pirene’s Fountain and hope to get submissions from many of the talented authors we have published— we also hope that PF authors will help spread the word. In addition, we plan to promote Glass Lyre on social media, literary journals and through various publishing events and book fairs.
NA: Will you run contests?
AK: Glass Lyre offers the “Kithara Book Prize.” The winning author will receive $500 and a certificate. Finalists are considered for publication, depending on the number of titles lined up for the year. We are also planning a contest for cover art, and may possibly run open awards at some point.
NA: Are you currently open for submissions?
AK: Yes, we are open to submissions all year round. We take a break from reading during July-August and in December. Submission guidelines are available on the website and it’s a good idea for prospective authors to read them carefully before submitting their work: GlassLyrePress.com
NA: I’d love to close with a poem from either Pirene’s Fountain or a book you plan to publish.
AK: Since Glass Lyre has only just begun to read submissions, it will have to be from Pirene’s Fountain. Let me say that we have received some truly brilliant poems over the past few years, so by no means am I choosing my favorite, however, this poem captures the fleeting nature of beauty, art and life itself. It is by Lisel Mueller, who has been a wonderful friend and mentor to Pirene’s Fountain, from her Pulitzer-winning book, “Alive Together” (LSU Press, 1995):
How swiftly the strained honey
of afternoon light
flows into darkness
and the closed bud shrugs off
its special mystery
in order to break into blossom:
as if what exists, exists
so that it can be lost
and become precious.
Ami Kaye serves as publisher and managing editor of Glass Lyre Press. She has been running the journal Pirene’s Fountain, for several years. Her work has appeared in various journals including First Literary Review- East, Tears in the Fence, Cartier Street Review, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Peony Moon, Scottish Poetry Review, and Diode Poetry Journal, among others. Ami’s work was nominated for the James B. Baker award, and included in poetry anthologies. She is the author of What Hands Can Hold. Visit amikaye.com.
Nin Andrews received her BA from Hamilton College and her MFA from Vermont College. The recipient of two Ohio Arts Council grants, she is the author of several books including The Book of Orgasms, Spontaneous Breasts, Why They Grow Wings, Midlife Crisis with Dick and Jane, Sleeping with Houdini, and Dear Professor, Do You Live in a Vacuum. She also edited Someone Wants to Steal My Name, a book of translations of the French poet, Henri Michaux. Her book, Southern Comfort was published by CavanKerry Press in 2010. Follow Nin's blog here. Follow Nin on Twitter here.