2011 Poetry Contest: Meet Rose Solari

March 1st sees the inaugural SFWP Poetry Contest.  I’ll be discussing the finer details in future posts, but let’s start out with an introduction to Rose Solari.

I first met Rose a couple years ago at a very impressive Christmas party. It was the sort of house party where a bartender spins out of the shadows and forces a French Martini into your hands. A drink I would never normally touch and, by the time I hit the bottom of the glass, I realized why.

Rose and I share the same affliction– we love publishing. We love the art of putting books together. At that Christmas Party, she was on the way towards the founding of Alan Squire Press,  and I’m thrilled to be part of that organization.

Rose has many talents — fiction, nonfiction, stagecraft, you name it.  But she is first and foremost a gifted (and award-winning) poet.  The 2011 SFWP Poetry Contest comes out of a kitchen table discussion with Rose about the overall future of the SFWP Awards Programs, and the mission in general.  The mission has always been “to offer recognition for excellence in writing in a time of declining support for writers and the craft of literature.” Rose pointed out my prose bias. Poetry is also suffering, she said, right along with everyone else.  With the Alan Squire Press juggernaut in full motion — two major releases in their first year, and more on the way — Rose has created a publisher that champions not only the books she believes in, but also poetry.  And we’ll be seeing poetry titles from them in 2012.

The 2011 Poetry Awards Program is inspired by Rose’s defiant belief that writing — whether it be prose or poetry — is not dead. That publishing is still alive in these years of declining support. It’s voices like hers that will eventually change the way we go about things in the industry.

It’s an honor to be working with her, and she’s looking forward to your poetry. You can read more about her, and link through to her webpage, right here.

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