We Have Actually Wept Several Times Already

Here is the introduction that Katherine Fontaine read in the redwood grove on March 15, 2014

The Carville Annex is a small press. It is a commune of sorts, where we embezzle time from ourselves to have meetings over the internet and make a magazine and publish books and take walks. The three of us are the CEOs without the salaries. Sarah, Alexis, Katherine.

We publish words and drawings. These words and drawings come out of conversations. And sometimes lead to more conversations. And conversations are the way that we commune. We print these things on actual paper for a couple of reasons: Recently while driving to Oakland, we saw a bunch of billboards for what appeared to be a new fancy tech company that we do not know anything about. Upon seeing the billboard, Sarah said: “maybe, we should get into the data cloud server business. They probably make $60 an hour.” The phrase “data cloud server business” should clarify why we stick to actual paper. Paper is what we know. When we print on actual paper, it feels real. We get to hold it in our hands and send it to people in the actual mail. So thank you for holding these things with us. You are making them real.

Today we are releasing two books to you, the masses.

For the past couple of years Jordan Karnes has written essays for our maga, Actually People Quarterly. We would tweet her the theme of the issue and she would write. (We don't understand twitter so when we say tweet we really mean text or say.) At a certain point, before we even said it out loud, those essays started to become It Hasn’t Stopped Being California Here. Eventually we all said it out loud to each other and with the help of Molly Prentiss, Ryan Funk, Sarah Fontaine, and Junior Clemons (the editors), and Alexis Petty (the designer) it became a book of essays. And we feel so honored we could weep forever and actually have wept several times already at the fact that Jordan let us publish it.

Actually People Quarterly, the place where It Hasn’t Stopped Being California Here began, is the place where most things start for the Annex. It is a place for conversations and question asking. It is a place for advertisements for things that cannot be bought or owned. It is the place that seems to connect everything we are doing, even though most of the time we are unable to articulate how.

While we were working on the last APQ issue of 2013, Sarah started a series of interviews with people from our community who grew up on communes and small-scale farmers and people who have fantasies about living on communes. That interview series became bigger than we imagined. So we created a new form for it, which we are calling an Inquiry. It is more than a maga but not quite a book. This special edition Inquiry is taking the place of the Spring APQ issue this year. It is called This Eventual Future Amazingness.

It feels really special that these two things, It Hasn’t Stopped Being California Here and This Eventual Future Amazingness, are coming out at the same time because the process in creating them feels so connected. They both have come out of conversations with Actual People. Which is the communing that happens through everything at the Annex.

So thank you all for coming here today and communing with us.

This event is supported by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it received from The James Irvine Foundation.

Posted on September 30, 2014 .