And, of course, Katerina Stoykova…
Without them Open Burning wouldn’t exist. But also, in broader sense, the person I am today wouldn’t exist.
Some years ago (I’m bad at timelines), I began working at Accents as an intern. My first project was working on Bigger Than They Appear: An Anthology of Very Short Poems.
From there I learned how to collaborate with authors in the prepublication phase of their book journey. I learned about covers and art, blurbs, contracts. My favorite part was learning how to sell books to readers.
tina Andry’s book ransom notes (Accents 2013) continues to inspire people. Just today, I lent it to a poet in my Love Poems workshop who brought it back and said she had read over and over again. Selling that book and others (How I Became an Angry Woman by Bianca Bargo; Broken Tulips by Jeremy Paden; A Brief Natural History of an American Girl by Sarah Freligh; The Sounding Machine by Patty Paine to name just a few specifically) brought me joy.
Put another way: when people ask me to recommend poetry I reach for my stack of Accents’ books.
Accents’ mission is simple. Katerina finds, fosters, and publishes brilliant voices. Former Poet Laureates are pressmates with school counselors, arborists, people without jobs defining them.
I’d say that Kentucky is indebted to her and Accents, but Katerina would never collect it.
A couple of years ago (2015 I think) I took what I had learned from my time at Accents and decided to pay it forward. That’s how Workhorse began. This too Katerina encouraged.
To be reuniting with Accents, now as an author, is an honor. I went back through my photos of my time with Accents and found more than a few gems.