Movie-to-book adaptations are everywhere you turn. Central Press Recovery of Las Vegas broke up the monotony, however, when in May they released a companion title to a documentary about addiction, entitled Many Faces, One Voice: Secrets from the Anonymous by Bud Mikhitarian. Inspired by the documentary The Anonymous People by Greg Williams which was released in 2014 at the Reel Recovery Film Festival, the companion book gives voice to the stories of addiction that did not make it into the documentary. In an article released by Publisher’s Weekly in July, Central Recovery Press’s executive editor Nancy Schenck and companion title author Bud Mikhitarian discussed their motivations for the project.
Central Recovery Press is known for their titles that address the stigmatization of addiction and other mental health issues. While at the film festival at which the documentary was showing, Schenck was naturally drawn to the message it conveyed. After Williams put her in touch with Mikhitarian, a producer on the film who was already working on a book inspired by the film, Central Recovery Press partnered with Mikhitarian to create the companion title that gives voice to the stories that did not appear in the documentary. Being an outsider to the “recovery community” yet deeply connected with the messages from the documentary, Mikhitarian had a unique perspective on the stories and interviews: “As a person outside of the recovery community, I thought the insights I gained from my experience on the film would be meaningful both to those affected by addiction and to those who are clueless about the issues, as I was.”
Mikhitarian’s work marks Central Recovery Press’s first foray into producing products that directly relate to another form of media. Well-known for their work dealing with addiction and mental illnesses, this cross-over between genres introduces new audiences to the press and will allow the poignant messages of the documentary and companion title to reach more people than they would individually. This is one movie-to-book adaptation you don’t want to miss.
“Reading is sexy” isn’t often heard, especially in today’s modern age of celebrity gossip and mind-numbing television programming, but thanks to the efforts of small presses and the luminous work they produce, reading poetry and literature is getting sexy. In “Connections,” a podcast put out by WXXI Public Radio in Rochester, NY, in celebration of their summer book week, two CBSD publishers, Peter Connors of BOA Editions and Chad Post of Open Letter Books, sit down and discuss their publishing philosophy and how small presses fit into the larger industry and the future of publishing. Though Rochester is not widely considered to be a literary hub, these local editors and publishers show how small presses can make a big difference in the publishing world and perpetuate the idea that “people who read are sexy.”
Both publishers aim to produce quality, honest, and enriching work, while providing authors with a home in which they can flourish and expand. Post focused on how the works of translation that Open Letter Books publishes fit into the larger scheme of publishing. Even though three percent of all published works are works in translation, Open Letter Books is a key player in this number and is working on increasing the statistic to provide more English readers with works of literature from around the world.
Peter Connors passionately stated “without small presses, these writers have nowhere to go… presses are where the art is.” While there are misconceptions surrounding the profitability of small and non-profit presses, Chad Post argued that if attention is paid to the balance between grants, donations, and sales, small presses with a focus towards the art of the written word can be just as profitable as larger organizations. Amidst the wails that publishing is dying, BOA Editions and Open Letter Books illustrate just how successful and important small presses are, as they give authors a home and consumers smart works of literature and poetry that not only entertain, but also, according to these publishers, increase sex appeal.
The incomparable Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) has given Janaka Stucky’s poem “WE ARE NOT EMPTY WE CAST SPELLS” the ultimate reading by reciting it while making himself a martini (stirred, not shaken). That poem and many more are collected in The Truth Is We Are Perfect, published by Third Man Books.
Ernest C. Withers, photo courtesy of Time.com
The fantastic picture above showing a young woman receiving her voter registration card is one in a moving collection of photos from Civil Rights and the Promise of Equality, the second installment of GILES’s Double Exposure series, which was posted to the History page of Time.com on June 30 and repeated on Life, Time magazine’s online photography channel. Fourteen photos from the third volume, African American Women, were posted to the Guardian‘s (US Edition) photography page on June 23. In the near future, all three books will be reviewed on the Washington Post photography blog In Sight.