Muse Magazine: Chiwan Choi
Muse Magazines – Editors Lunch 2.
Muse Magazine had the opportunity and privilege to interview Chiwan Choi and his sidekick
“Silent Charlie” this week. Chiwan Choi is a very established writer native to Los Angeles by way of Paraguay and Korea. He is the founder of Wednesday and author of two books of poetry, Dog fuzz on the ass crack, Tim out of space, and Lo-fidelity Lovesongs. He also is the the Chief Executive of his own publication company Writ Large Press, along-side of his wife Judeth Oden Choi who also writes. He has returned to LA after receiving his MFA in dramatic writing from Tisch School NTU. The interview was set in our “Editor’s Lunch” and based upon the questions of our editor’s staff and their inquiries of publication.
The Lunch was as fun and entertaining as any editor’s lunch could be. All the comically and jovial personality Choi conveys in his writing is absolutely amplified within his presence. Through an short afternoon of quick pun, cleaver wit, and blatant realism– we were able to get some key points and direction from the seasoned writer.
- You need a power structure – divide responsibility
- Always get Physical proof copy
- Make sure page numbers and TOC match
- Create a power structure and delegate responsibilities referring to editorial aspects of publish.
- You have to have a perspective
- Stats say it’s going to fail in 2 years, so do whatever you want.
- Editors need to have a little arrogance beyond confidence
- Know what your publishing
- For Self Publication : Go the chap book route first photocopy, fold, staple
- Marketing by readings
- Readers v. profits
- Decide what you want
Through all of the great advice and practical knowledge Choi’s message to our editors was mainly this: what is the purpose of writing and publishing poetry?
You have to have a Perspective and an objective in consideration to publication. “ You are what you publish” was a statement that stuck with me from the interview.
In a recent article of why Choi has chosen to end his 25 year career as a distinguished poet he wrote this: “What I’ve been wondering is how publishing helps/hurts readership. Is a writer going to have a bigger readership by having a book published by a traditional publisher or poems published in a subscription journal or is that actually going to make a writer’s possible reader pool smaller?”
I think this should be a relevant consideration to any publisher or editor when considering content to fill a publication.