About the Author
An English literature and writing student at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., Aubrie Cox wasn’t originally enrolled to study writing like she wanted; she was enrolled to study literature. But instead of replacing her literature major with the writing major, she decided to study writing and literature. In the end, it seems to have worked out well for her.
“I figured there was no hurt in keeping my literature major,” Cox says. “Now, I'm glad I did because I think the two majors, especially for creative writers, are vital to one another.”
Cox, a native of Blue Mound, Ill., first took a haiku course with Dr. Randy Brooks as her honors seminar course in spring 2008 and has been writing and studying haiku and related forms ever since. During that same semester, Cox joined the team of Millikin’s literary and fine arts publication, Collage, to begin training for the editor-in-chief position in the fall, following graduation of the then-co-editors-in-chief. Cox says that a few people were involved that semester, but Collage basically started from scratch when she took over as editor in the fall.
As well as being editor-in-chief for Collage Cox gained additional publication experience as copy editor for Bronze Man Books, Millikin’s student owned and operated publishing company, in fall 2008 and assistant senior editor in spring 2009. Eventually, she took the reins at Bronze Man Books as well, becoming senior editor in fall 2009, a position that she continues to lead in addition to her role as editor-in-chief of Collage.
She also served a year as an editorial intern for Riverbed Haiku, an online haiku magazine created by fellow Millikin alumnus, Brock Peoples.
Most recently, Cox joined the staff of haijinx, an online haiku magazine, as a contributing editor for the summer issue. She first contributed to haijinx’s spring issue IV:1 with haiku, books reviews and an overview of National Haiku Writing Month.
“Due to my creative style and editorial experience, the ‘haijinx’ team asked if I would be interested in serving as a guest editor for the summer issue,” she says. “I will be part of the editorial team that selects haiku for the issue, emailing contributors, and pitching in with whatever needs done.”
In addition to her publishing experiences, a variety of Cox’s poetry has been published in online and print journals, including “Modern Haiku,” “The Heron’s Nest,” “bottle rockets,” “Acorn,” “Frogpond,” “tinywords,” “Eucalypt,” “Moonbathing,” “Sketchbook,” “Prune Juice,” “Chrysanthemum,” “haijinx,” “mango moons” and “Notes From the Gean.” A member of the Haiku Society of America, Cox also enjoys bookbinding and photography in her spare time.
After graduation in May 2011, she intends to continue her creative writing studies in graduate school at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
How long have you served as Bronze Man Book’s senior editor? And how long have you served as Collage’s editor-in-chief?
I became the senior editor for Bronze Man Books after Mark Beanblossom, our previous senior editor, graduated in spring 2009. My previous positions included copy editor (fall 2008 when I first enrolled in Art of Publishing) and Assistant Senior Editor (Spring 2009).
I was brought onto the Collage team as a literary editor in Spring 2008 for the purpose of replacing Pat Steadman (co-editor-in-chief) when he graduated at the end of that semester along with Brian Blankenship (co-editor-in-chief). Although a few of us were involved in the spring of 2008, Collage was basically starting from scratch in the following fall.
Tell me about being a contributing editor of haijinx.
I contributed to the spring issue IV:1 with haiku, book reviews, and an overview of National Haiku Writing Month. Due to my creative style and editorial experience, the haijinx team asked if I would be interested in serving as a guest editor for the summer issue. I will be part of the editorial team that selects haiku for the issue, emailing contributors, and pitching in with whatever needs to be done.
Why did you decide to take a haiku course?
I took it as an honors seminar second semester my freshman year. For my university seminar, I had taken a science course, and wanted to get back to something within my concentration. I had always been interested in Japanese culture, so it seemed like a good fit. I had also just started writing poetry more seriously toward the end of my first semester freshman year.
Why did you decide to pursue your majors?
Writing is my passion. And I feel to write well, one needs to read well. At the time, however, it was mostly a matter of I loved reading, and I wanted to pursue writing. Somehow I was originally listed only as a literature major, when I had meant to be writing. I picked up the writing major at the end of my first semester and figured there was no hurt in keeping my literature major. Now, I'm glad I did, as I think the two majors, especially for creative writers, are vital to one another.
Why did you submit your chapbook to Bronze Man Books for possible publication?
One thing I knew for certain when I took my manuscript to Bronze Man Books was that they would treat my collection with individualized care and do all they could to make it a unique publication. It reflects both the author's and the content's personality, while holding up to the high quality standards of the company. If you buy a copy (which I certainly hope you do!), please know all profits go directly into the company, which then allows this student-run press to keep going and to offer students hands-on experience in design, editing, and other aspects of publishing. And, of course, please enjoy my humble poems.
I have to talk about the illustrations a bit. And the lettering, yes, the lettering. Katie painstakingly went through and wrote all the poems by hand. I'm still in awe of her ability to keep the spacing between her letters and her lines as even as possible so each word is legible. When we were trying to decide on artwork for the book, Katie's playful pencil sketches caught my eye immediately. The majority of the book's pages contain illustrations inspired by the haiku, and for the collector's edition, she's gone through and colored the sketches with white and gold pencil.
For the binding, as said, we used a Japanese side stitch with red waxed linen thread. It took about two sessions of sewing. It was quite a bit of fun to teach folks how to do the binding, and by the second day, when we had more people, they were able to pass on the instruction. I'm happy to report we had minimal needle-stabbing of fingers during both sessions.
Book by Aubrie Cox
tea's aftertaste, by Aubrie Cox, illustrated by Katie Baird. (Decatur, IL.): Bronze Man Books, 2011, 48 pages, 5.5 x 5.5, hand-sewn Japanese binding. ISBN 978-0-9819591-2-2.
$12.00 and $2.50 postage from the publisher at <http://www.bronzemanbooks.com> or by mail from: Bronze Man Books, Millikin University, 1184 W. Main, Decatur, IL 62522.
Special limited edition hand-colored copies numbered and signed by the author and illustrator are $25.00 plus $2.50 postage.
wilted lilacs . . .
slips from mine
take down the treehouse
the priest confesses
to an empty room
footprints in the snow