From the time I was a young high school poet hungry to read books, especially by poets of color, Coffee House was the publisher that put out work by some of my favorite writers. Before the internet, these books made me who I am. A lot of that catalog was formed through the vision of Allan Kornblum.
By the time I was in my mid-30’s, I had been a poet for almost two decades, but I never put together a manuscript to send to presses. Never pursued it, because I believed spoken word artists like me never got published anyway. I figured I should just be happy with doing shows. Allan randomly comes up to me at some literary event, and says to me, “why don’t you send me your manuscript?” I don’t have one, I thought to myself. But because he asked, I put one together, and then suddenly my book was being published by the house that published most of my heroes. While a lot of people helped with that book, it is fair to say that without Allan, there would be no Sông I Sing. And more importantly, maybe none of the books that were instrumental to my development as a poet.
Thank you Allan. For everything.