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Spork Press is a small press in Tucson, Arizona edited and constructed by Richard Siken, Drew Burk, Andrew Shuta, Joel Smith, and Jake Levine. Beginning in 2001, it began publishing a quarterly literary magazine called Spork, which is often bound hardback.
At one time they were a publisher specializing in hand-made literary magazines with the occasional book release. Nowadays, they are producing a huge output of books and cassette tapes while occasionally publishing the Spork literary magazine.
Spork Press also produces chapbooks and novels. Some of their old books they've published include Roderick Maclean's Tropic/of/Cubicle. Beth Toener's A La Recherche Du Petit Pseudo-Rockstars Perdu (Split E.P.) has been released in serial form.
In 2010 Richard and Drew decided to take a break from the regular publication of a literary magazine, choosing to instead publish issues of the journal when they had an idea they were excited about (Issue 9.1 "The Middles Of Things", was the first along these new lines. 5 authors were tasked with writing the middle of a novel, but were not allowed to write the beginning or the end, they were instructed to treat it as though they'd walked into the middle of a movie, and to simply describe what they saw. Sharon McGill provided the illustrations for each piece, and Amelia Gray ordered the pieces, writing interstitial bits, creating a loose impression of a continuous narrative through the book [Amelia chose to order the pieces from most conventional to least]). In the absence of the regular magazine, they've been publishing a chapbook series, though the term "chapbook" is applied loosely: "This here, this mixtape? It's a chapbook. This novel? It's a chapbook. Everything we do is a chapbook." ←- Drew said that, and it's how things are done. (Chapbooks have traditionally been throwaway items – the guys at Spork subvert this idea with letterpressed hardback hand-bound books, and an inattention to the rest of the things chapbooks usually are.)
Most recently, Ariana Reines' THURSDAY (Spork Press, 2012), Joyelle McSweeney's the Necropastoral (Spork Press, 2011), Lara Glenum's All Hopped Up on Fleshy Dum Dums (Spork Press, 2014) and Zach Schomburg's, From the Fjords (Spork Press, 2011) have received buzz throughout the internet for their quirky design and the text itself.
Mixtapes and cassette releases
The Spork Mixtape series is, contrary to the current habit of referring to playlists and sometimes mixes on CD as 'mixtapes', a mix of music on a cassette. Highest-quality audio is sourced, sequenced and mixed, mastered at 32 bits and then recorded from the mastered source one at a time on a thrifted Sony dual-deck.
- February 2013, Mixtape 1
- February 2014, Mixtape 2
- "King Cobra" by Young Family. Spork's first official release in the slow trudge toward transitioning from a book press to a press and music label.
- "NOTHING" by Isaiah Toothtaker. Spork's second official release, increasing the pace of the trudge toward becoming both a press and a music label.