Our book is being censored. What is it, you ask? Porn? A reprint of The Anarchist Cookbook?
Well, no...it's a book of poetry. I contains some of the finest poets in the country. The introduction, in fact, was written by Ursula K. Le Guin and Judith Barrington.
After weeks of editing and sending out for bids from book manufacturers, we though we had found the right company, with the right price, to print RAISING OUR VOICES: AN ANTHOLOGY OF OREGON POETS AGAINST THE WAR. We sent it off early last week, and have been waiting patiently for our blueline. Instead of a draft, today we received a package with our book in it, a returned check, and a letter from the company, Color House Graphics, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The letter said:
We appreciate you sending the job materials for RAISING OUR VOICES. Unfortunately we will not be able to accept the order.
After reviewing the laser copy we believe that our employees may take offense to the content of the book. We would also risk
offending our customers who do not share the same point of view as portrayed in the book.
We regret any inconvenience to you and trust you will understand our decision.
Director of Sales
I understand Mr. Knight's decision all too well. It is censorship, pure and simple. Mr. Knight tries to paint it as a "bottom line" issue. I'm sure many of his employees and customers will not care for the content of our book. But I also suspect that many of Color House Graphics customers, and potential customers, DO share our point of view. Furthermore, most independent publishers are very sensitive to issues of censorship, whether or not they agree with us about the war in Iraq.
This kind of censorship is of particular concern to writers and tiny publishers like us. There are only a few dozen affordable, small-run (less the 2000 copies) book manufacturers in the U.S. Our options are now one less, and our publishing schedule has been set back at least two weeks.
If you would like to tell Color House Graphics what you think of their business practices, here is their contact information:
Color House Graphics, 3505 Eastern Ave., Grand Rapids, MI 49508. Toll Free Telephone: 800-454-1916.