NYU is never short of innovators. From flourishing start-ups to “Diamond” renditions, there’s an inarguable amount of talent here, and NYU Local thinks of itself as the mother who must continually showcase that talent like report cards on a fridge.
What’s our recent maternal plug? CAS junior Willis Plummer has joined forces with 20-year-old Spencer Madsen to run Sorry House, an independent publishing house devoted to finding new writers via the internet.
“By soliciting work from poets who just keep a blog, or post a piece or two to various places, we are able to find poems that may have otherwise continued to fall backwards into backlogs and archives on blogspot and more antiquated platforms,” Madsen said.
Madsen, who founded the Brooklyn-based company, believes the press will best serve as a platform for writers online. Unlike traditional presses, Sorry House will maintain financial transparency with its authors. (Meaning, there will be a live document with all of the “costs, sales and profits” of the press available online.)
But what’s in the name?
“I see the apology as a useless kind of humbling. It’s just two words, I’m sorry, and yet it is supposed to help. It is a bandaid that people take for granted when they say I’m sorry, but–,” Madsen said. “To really apologize requires a kind of communication that is hard to fake. The easiest way of appearing to mean it is to actually mean it. I feel the same goes for poetry and writing in general.”
Plummer, the other in this two-man operation, serves as the Head of Marketing for the press. Haley Stark, an artist and junior in Steinhardt, has also been collaborating with Plummer and Madsen on design elements that will offer signed prints of the books to fund Sorry House future projects.
“Because we’re so small, I’ve been exposed to every aspect of the publishing process from soliciting people for blurbs to book layout,” Plummer said. “I feel personally invested in this project in a way that I haven’t felt about other jobs.”
Sorry House is first set to publish the latest poems from Mira Gonzalez, an LA-moving-to-NY-based poet. In a piercingly modern voice, Gonzalez takes the time to remind us that love is pain, masturbation can be poetic, and we are undeniably alone in this world. Her book, entitled, I will never be beautiful enough to make us beautiful together, is slighted for release at the end of January. See excerpts here and the book’s trailer above.
Gonzalez has already received positive reviews from writers such as Blake Butler and Tao Lin, as well as rapper Kool A.D., formerly of Das Racist (RIP). As Kool A.D. says, “Mira Gonzalez is doing her thing. I fuck with these poems.” Lin describes the book as “poignant, intellectually stimulating, funny, interesting to me,” and Butler describe’s Gonzalez’s writing as “honest, open, like lying naked on the floor with your arms chopped off.”
“In terms of the future, I want Sorry House to be a brand that people trust to introduce them to exciting new work from up and coming unknown authors,” Plummer said. There are no apologies expected from this blooming collective.
Video from I WILL NEVER BE BEAUTIFUL ENOUGH TO MAKE US BEAUTIFUL TOGETHER by Mira Gonzalez from ; on Vimeo.