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The Ibis mission statement reads: ďIbis is motivated by the belief that literary work, especially when translated into a common language, can serve as an important vehicle for the promotion of understanding between individuals and peoples, and for the discovery of common ground.Ē
The goal of common ground cannot be entirely figurative in a part of the world where literal ground is so often disputed. The Levant has seen more than its fair share of history. Ibis Editions books all engage with the hills, the wadis, the villages, cities and ancient ruins of the Levant.
"Down here I drive around all the time with this sense of exile because everything is named for Confederate heroes; youíd think the South won the war. During the flag controversy [a movement in Georgia and elsewhere to ban the Confederate flag from government buildings], there was a letter to the editor saying all true Southerners love that flag. It was his way of saying all true Southerners are white Southerners. It was important for me to say: This is my South; I love it and I hate it, too, but itís mine."
"Even though I wasnít still really thinking of myself as a poet anymore, thatís who I was reading and studying, mostly. When I couldnít sleep at night, when I saw reading more wasnít going to help me to do that, Iíd give in to working on all these poems I had, ones that Iíd accumulated over the years since Iíd been trying to be a writer. The initial writing took place in a lot of locations. Editing all of these poems, though, took place mostly in bed, focused in a way I hadnít been in a long time because of such sadness and not wanting to retreat back to a journal about what was going wrong with me."
"George Bush, Dark Prince of Love and Everyoneís Pretty are books that are encased in a kind of protective seal of cynicism. Both of them were quite planned, structurally. But since I wrote those Iíve moved from writing in a hard way to writing in a soft way. I donít plan and I allow myself to move in and out of satire, to play with stereotypes and also delve more deeply into character, to try to contain both humor and more serious abstract thought in a single volume. In a nutshell, when I was in my twenties I didnít allow emotion to shape my novels, but now I do."
Recently Iíve been fiddling around with the history of religious thought on whether animals have souls. This particular minefield -- so many religious traditions, so many time periods, what is a soul anyway? -- was sparked in part by an article in Best Friends Magazine and in part by Gary Kowalskiís book The Souls of Animals.
Barbara J. King
I was young and I was determined, but I truly needed that one person who believed in me. After that one person, every 'you can't' just became something to rebel against. People said 'you won't be able to graduate from college,' or 'you can't make a living as a writer -- no one makes a living as a writer,' or 'you can't publish a zine -- 95 percent of zines fail,' or 'you can't raise a kid at your age -- teen motherhood will ruin your life and your kid will suffer.' And I said, 'just watch me.'"
Lorette C. Luzajic
"The idea of genuine joy, as a subject of literature, doesnít seem to be at the top of the list when it comes to serious or important subject matter. Which doesnít make a lot of sense to me -- it seems to me that happiness is as legitimate a part of life experience as anything else, but also that happiness and more difficult things arenít necessarily mutually exclusive. I think part of the reason I started thinking about this is that I have become so truly happy in my life over the last five to ten years -- alongside with feeling, at various times, grief, confusion, hurt, anger, whatever -- that I wanted to consider what it really meant to be happy."