This morning the announcement of the Oregon Literary Fellowships (and the Oregon Book Awards) came across my RSS reader. I was happy to see that Bedouin Books got a fellowship! It’s the small press run by Michael D’Alessandro, who taught the production part of the certificate program I did at the IPRC. I loved hearing about his press when he talked about it in class. Everything about it–how he thought about production costs and pricing, how he structured deals with his authors, all the experiments he tried–everything fit with his statement that this was a 25-year project. (Which honestly from most people would sound like BS.) In the letterpress studio all his motions were calm and reverent, and he articulated all the details of what he did, from getting the ink out of the jar with a minimum disruption of the surface area to folding the cleaning rag so it made 16 distinct clean surfaces. I’m pretty sure the $2500 fellowship will be put to optimum use. :)
I was sad that I hadn’t applied for a fiction fellowship this time around. It’s free, and the judges are distinguished (and different every year, so it doesn’t matter how often you’ve tried before). It’s exciting to be in the race. I didn’t have anything I felt good about putting forward last summer, but I really want to try again in June.