An Interview about Chicago Publishing

June 26, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

I came across this interview yesterday, in which Danielle Chapman from the Cultural Center talks about what’s up with Chicago Publishers. I’ve included some of the intro below, but you can go here to check out (and even listen! to) the rest. Special thanks to Toby for manning the stand over the Printer’s Row weekend. (thanks toby)

Attendance at the recent Printers Row Lit Fest held steady, even with cold winds and rain. Chicago officials see the throngs of people as a sign that the love of books endures, in spite of a weak economy and the explosion of digital media. So city officials and some local publishers have a plan — let’s turn Chicago into a hub for independent presses.

Along with the usual sights and sounds, like strolling musicians, the lit fair offered something new: A tent for 15 local publishers. The city’s Department of Cultural Affairs wants to make Chicago into a vibrant publishing destination. It’s hired a former editor from “Poetry” magazine,Danielle Chapman, to galvanize the industry.

CHAPMAN: The more vital we can make ourselves as a publishing city, I think the more vital literature can be created here. We’re unique and that should be represented in literature, as well as all the other arts.

She says the city’s already well known for its tradition of famous authors and a lot of reading series. But:

CHAPMAN: There wasn’t much perception of Chicago as a publishing city. Those words didn’t seem to go together.
SEIBOLD: Chicago understands itself as an architecture town, it understands itself as a theater town. People who live here are aware of and proud of our legacies.

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