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Michael Brennan is Publisher of the Month

Online Exclusives

Michael Brennan is Publisher of the Month

Online Exclusives

What was your pathway to publishing?

Sydney University in the 1990s. I co-edited Hermes and started a little journal for a class run by Elizabeth Webby. Afterwards, Elizabeth invited me to work on Southerly. That was my real start. In 1998, I was living in Paris and came across Blanchot’s chapbooks published by Fata Morgana and Fourbis at FNAC Montparnasse. Inspired, Vagabond Press began quietly, releasing two titles the next year. Twenty years of unpaid labour followed. 

What was the first book you published?

Excluding chapbooks in the Rare Object series, they were David Brooks’s Description, Chris Edwards’s Utensils in a Landscape, and Andrew Zawacki’s Masquerade in 2000–01. Vagabond Press started out very cottage industry, running the first Rare Objects through an old Hewlett Packard 4L. It couldn’t handle duplex printing, so I had to print one side, collate, and then print the other. Kay Orchison printed cover images on large sheets of Hahnemühle 300gsm etching paper with a clunky Epson Photo EX, which we then tore and stuck together with gluesticks. Later, we farmed out the printing, but the process for covers remained the same. With Elizabeth Allen and Jane Gibian, we spent hundreds of hours sticking those images on over fifteen years.

Do you edit the books you commission?

Michael Brennan is Publisher of the Month

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