Kirsten and I spent the weekend in New York City to attend our distributor’s (Consortium) fall season sales conference. New York has always worn a little rough on me and this trip was the usual. Friday evening we were working our way over to St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery on 10th Street and 2nd Avenue to see my daughter, Kristen, play the lead in Sophie Gets the Horns. It was serendipity that Kristen was in New York from Philadelphia at the same time we needed to be in town and it made our jaunt that night a little easier on the nerves. As we walked we noticed a crowd of folks, many with cameras, on what turned out to be the new High Line walkway, all peering down the street to the east and I wondered out loud what everybody was looking at. We grabbed a cab, turned east, and there plunk dead center of the wide street, hanging between the canyon wall of buildings, the perigee moon, the largest in 20 years, was rising. I felt rooted again, back on the planet earth I know, happy and comfortable for the first time since showing up in town. And Kristen was fabulous, of course.
I’ll talk more about the sales conference in my next post. It was a success for us as we continue to learn the trade. The business end of publishing has been much on my mind so as an aside when we returned to Salt Lake I sat down with a little book that had just arrived in the office, Testimony, compiled by Stephen Trimble and Terry Tempest Williams. I wanted to touch base a little with the reason we are doing this publishing thing and read some of these essays. I had heard that President Clinton held up a copy of Testimony as he stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon dedicating the new Grand Staircase -Escalante National Monument and said, “This little book made a difference.” Published in 1996 it is a set of love stories about the land for Congress to read and consider as they pondered adding more Utah land to the National Wilderness Preservation System. No new wilderness was created, but the Monument was. Literature in action.
This morning one of my email alerts was titled “Torrey House Press. Are you listening?” I clicked on the link and found a blog post by writer Libbie Hawker telling us:
I am officially courting you. Yes, you, Torrey House Press. I have a crush on you. I want to go steady with you. I want to writer-marry you. You’re my publishing soul-mate. You with your mandate to protect the West, my place, my home. You with your mission to make people love the land I came from as much as I love it.
How very creative, Libbie. You got my attention. Libbie went on to say that Torrey House is “placed and poised to make Western regional literature A Thing, in the sense that Southern lit is A Thing, respected, revered, sought after.” I like that, of course, a lot. It is a nice aspiration to try to build A Thing and help create a love and appreciation for the land. You can see Libbie’s post here. Thanks for the writerly love letter, Libbie.