Sally Ball is the author of three collections of poems, Hold Sway,Wreck Me and Annus Mirabilis. An associate professor of English at Arizona State University, Ball is also an associate director of Four Way Books. She has been with the press for 23 of its 26 years. She has received fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, CAMAC Centre d’Art, and elsewhere. Her long poem “HOLD” has been made into a large-format artist’s book by the Czech printmaker Jan Vičar (2018) and will be featured at an exhibit at the Académie des Beaux Arts in Paris in December 2019.
Don Mee Choi’s Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016) is an intense embodiment of some of the most challenging values in contemporary American poetry: she uses archival photographs of the wars in Korea and Vietnam (many taken by her father, a photojournalist and a central figure in the book), her own childhood drawings, Korean words in ideograms, Korean words in transliterated English spellings (to mean what they mean in Korean and/or what their transliterations mean in English), nursery rhymes, librettos with stage directions, advertisements, newsreel voiceovers, and more.
Join literary agent Kirby Kim, founder of rinky dink press and The Revolution (Relaunch), Rosemarie Dombrowski, and Associate Director of Four Way Books, Sally Ball, in a discussion about the intricate dimensions of publishing including acquiring an agent, working with small presses, and what to expect once your manuscript has been selected for publication. Panelists will demystify the submission process, advise on how to best research what types of writing and manuscripts publishers are looking for, and how to submit to local presses or presses with specific genre focuses.
William Carlos Williams gave us one of Modernism’s competing ideologies: No ideas but in things. Williams, though, is a poet with plenty of ideas; reading him we come to understand the distance between an ideal and anyone’s attempts to fulfill it. What did Williams mean by his compound injunction, Compose. . . . Invent!, and, given the number of filters between most of us and everything we encounter, can a consideration of Williams now yield any useful thoughts about directness, about the way we engage the world in poems today?
The mind doesn’t do what we want it to do. Mine plays speed Scrabble; it sifts pages and pages of pictures of shoes. Palmyra goodbye. Temple of Bel not a pun but a ruin. A ruined ruin, a ruin sent to oblivion on purpose.
MARTHA RHODES: We really began in 1993, with first books in 1995. Brox, Orlowsky and Fremont ceased working for the press early on but have remained treasured friends. And I know that they are hugely proud of Four Way Books and of the time and energy that they contributed to the press. Beth Stahlecker, sadly, passed away in 1991 when the press was but a whisper between us. We published her first book posthumously and established a series in her name, The Stahlecker Series, for first and second books of poetry.