It is with mixed feelings that I announce that after four years with Quattro Books, I am leaving my position as Assistant Publisher to pursue another opportunity. While the new challenges ahead excite me, Quattro is not a job I can easily leave precisely because it is more than a job: it is home, it is family.
Four years ago, I finished my degree, packed the uncertainties of my future up with all my worldly possessions and caught a Greyhound bus to Toronto. I had no plans and no direction; I only knew that I wanted to keep reading, keep writing, and work with books. Much to my good fortune, my writing professor, Seymour Mayne, had put me in contact with a certain Beatriz Hausner of the publisher Quattro Books, for whom I might have a chance to intern. I am forever grateful to Professor Mayne that he sent that first email, and to Beatriz for replying!
At the time, I was only just learning about Canada’s vibrant small press scene. Reading about Quattro, and their commitment to publishing varied voices to better represent the diverse character of Canada, and their championing of marginalized voices (and indeed, a marginalized genre, the novella), made me eager to work for them in any capacity they would have me.
And so I met the Quattro team – Beatriz, John, Allan and Luciano – and much to my wide-eyed amazement, my dream of working with books became a reality. I began as their enthusiastic, but hopelessly clueless, intern. Their patience with and confidence in me was encouraging; in short time, I was managing projects and learning about all facets of the intricate world of small publishing. Eventually, I moved up to Assistant Publisher, and could devote more time and effort to supporting the press that I had come to love, and the industry that I have come to fiercely believe in.
With Quattro, I began my travels down the rocky road of publishing, living the highs and the lows: the excitement of grants, the reality of costs, the thrill of working full-time, the harsh taste of cutbacks. I have worked with some phenomenal people: Quattro’s own writers, my contacts at LPG, LitDistCo and Marquis, and the interns and staff that Quattro took on [one of whom, Sarah Beaudin, became my irreplaceable business partner and heterolifemate].
What’s more, I have had the great fortune to grow creatively under the founders, who are incredible writers and artists who sincerely believe in and commit to quality literature and honest expression, challenging the status quo, and in providing for future generations. I continue to live by “small is mighty”; in part, the dedication, commitment, and creative energies of the Quattro team encouraged me to co-establish my own small press, Meat Locker Editions. The book industry is one built on and sustained by grace and grit; I have nothing but respect for all who work within it. You are people of remarkable talent, skill and resolve; you assure me that our industry is gonna be just fine.
It has been an honour, a privilege and a joy to work with Quattro. Rest assured that the invaluable Kristen Blank, who is taking on the position of Office Coordinator, will continue to hold the torch (and perhaps burn an even brighter light!)
And so, to the founders John, Allan, Luciano and Beatriz, to Quattro writers, friends and supporters, I raise a glass of our official drink, teQuila. I am eternally grateful to you all.
Happy holidays and all the best for 2014,