from the president’s blog;
Steve Semken of Ice Cube Press will be taking pitches at the upcoming conference, May 2-4. I love his advice for beginning writers. It is so true. Never hide your light under a barrel. I know it seems like there are millions of writers out there especially when you hang out with other writers, but guess what? There aren’t. Writers are a unique bred of folk. We’re obligated to share our gift with the world. So, listen to what Mr. Semken has to say and get your manuscripts ready and polished. He’s attending to conference to find folks to publish!
Q: Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?
A: I was originally inspired by a talk of Barry Lopez’s on nature and the environment. I was captivated by the inquisition to details, the use of words as almost tricks and teachings at the same time. After this I begin to discover devour environmental writing by a many contemporary authors: William Kittridge, Scott Russell Sanders, Gary Synder, Terry Tempest Williams, and the like.
Q: Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
A: I believe you should be brave and not hide your writing. I choose to share my writing with six people that were alive and find out what they thought. There is no better schooling than this to arrange your confidence into an upword spiral. Writers are people who share their thoughts, diary writing, journals are fine, but they aren’t the stuff of be a writer.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?
A: Yes, I have two that guide me all the time and I paraphrase them both here: Matthew Fox, “The environmental crisis is a crisis of the soul.” and Jim Harrison, who writes, “It only gradually occured to me that it’s not people’s problems that interst me, but their solutions to their problems that interest me”
Q: What do you find most rewarding about writing?
A: I enjoy the rapture of the creative process in action. When you are striking what you feel are golden ideas while working on a book it is unlike anything else.
Q: What’s your 5 word memoir?
A: Creatively devising modern environmental myths.
Steve Semken began the Ice Cube Press in 1993 and now bases his business in North Liberty, Iowa. He was one of Radish Magazine’s Top Ten People award winners for 2009. A publisher of well over 50 books, he has focused primarily on place-based writing as a way to better understand how to best live where we do, whether through fiction, nonfiction, poetry, visual arts, or memoir. He is also the author of six books, including The Great Blues (Woodley Press) on great blue herons, which won the Kansas Book Award and Pick Up Stick City (Rivers Bend Press) a novella which Publishers’ Weekly called “funny, poignant and more than a bit whimsical,” adding that “this allegorical tale of small town and environmental care is suffused with wonder.” He was also a writer-in -residence at the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska.