Lisa Bickmore was working on her fourth book when she met some challenges and limitations in the by-now-familiar but always-arduous traditional process of publishing. She was inspired to take a different route.
NAME: Lisa Bickmore (publisher, professor English SLCC)
WEBSITE: lisabickmore.com AUTHOR OF THREE BOOKS OF POEMS: Haste (Signature Books, 1994), flicker, 2014 Antivenom Prize from Elixir Press, and Ephemerist (Red Mountain Press, 2017), published in Tar River Poetry, Sugar House Review, SouthWord, Hunger Mountain Review, Terrain.org, Quarterly West, The Moth, MappingSLC.org. In 2015, Eidolon’ Ballymaloe International Poetry Award.
As member of literary arts and film boards, a writer and avid reader, Bickmore noticed an increasing number of authors who were supplementing their books with links to digital and other modal content. She was especially inspired by an interview with the indigenous American poet Jake Skeets about the photo on the cover of his book, “Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers.” The article explored the reasons the portrait of his uncle—murdered two months after the picture was taken—was chosen, and delves into the complexity of the project and Skeets’ writing. Bickmore shares, “I realized that other people might not have bumped into that essay, and how much more interesting the book would be to those who encounter that material.”
Her ideas led to the foundation of her own literary press. She gathered a board of diverse and leading-edge literary artists to help build a new expanded way to engage readers from multiple entry points: visual, spatial, gestural and alphabetic. The goal is to enrich the printed word with video interviews, audio content, readings and insights that go along with the poems.
“ONE THING REALLY IMPORTANT IS TO REALIZE THAT BEING RECOGNIZED IS VALIDATING, BUT YOU HAVE TO DO IT FOR THE REASONS THAT ARE INTERNAL TO YOU.” –LISA BICKMORE
She calls the idea “the book and.” The press’s metaphorical name, Lightscatter Press, was inspired by her father’s work as an optical physicist: “When light encounters an object, it bends and scatters: as a form of energy, it passes through the air, then shifts and deflects in ways not entirely predictable.”
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