One of the most rewarding parts of my internship has been promoting books that I feel passionate about, that I believe people should read, and that discuss important things in meaningful and engaging ways. They are the sorts of books that I hope to publish as an editor myself one day. I work for a small publishing company, OR Books, with a strong personality. I do a little bit of everything, but mostly marketing. The company’s commitment to change—be it political change or social change or change within the publishing industry itself—has inspired me, and I’m proud to help spread their message. One of OR Book’s titles in particular—Women of Resistance—stands out.
Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism is a poetry anthology that pushes boundaries. It celebrates womanhood from every angle and perspective. It challenges assumptions about race, sexuality, and gender. And let’s be honest, the beautiful cover doesn’t hurt its case either. On March 13th I went to the book launch event at Strand Bookstore (located on 828 Broadway, it’s a good place to check out if you haven’t already). I'm the very pale girl smiling in the white sweater and black kerchief to the right of the photo. The contributors are all sitting in the front row. My coworkers saved me a seat near the front row. I ended up seating across the aisle from Denice Frohman (follow the link to a video of her reading): a newer poet to the scene, but one destined for great things. The rare book room was packed to the point of standing room only. The readings from each of the five poets—Rosebud Ben-Oni, Maureen McLane, Dorthea Lasky, Denice Frohman, and Mahogany L. Browne—were impassioned.
It was a special event made even more special by the fact that I was part of the team that made it possible. Books have a unique power to connect people in intimate ways. To hear your own story in somebody else’s might be the most validating experience imaginable. That’s what Women of Resistance, OR Books, and by extension—me—enables. That’s crazy.
Whoever said books are doomed to be a relic of the past are sorely mistaken. Because of companies like OR Books, they’re not going anywhere.