Small Flame 77 is a new laboratory for writing and publishing poetry books, a nurturing flowerbed for women writers. It was born out of my job as an editor, during which I’ve met women who have been writing short texts in the margins of their intensive lives, texts which we call poems. My job was to be the midwife of these writers: to listen to the first blasts of the trumpet, which slowly discovers the rare abilities of the coper it is made of; to identify the small flame burning between the written lines, and to help it grow into a bright lit fire of its own.
During our editing sessions we lean over the chunks of texts in the earnestness of lab women: lift our heads up over the pages, share experiences, talk, confess and extract the poem together in an intimate and attentive read. My job is to point out, trace, and validate through processing, checking, subtracting, spacing, arranging and conversing. Every session is a poetry lesson.
“I only knew to tell about myself” wrote the known Israeli poetess Rachel. This seemingly modest saying is the opening line of the poem. If we place it in relation to the ethos-filled times of the pioneers it was written in, we can immediately recognize the performative, declarative and defiant status hidden in it. History has missed out the enormous political value of this statement, just as it distorted and erased many women’s stories.
I invite women writers and offer a dialogue-based editing model, which leans on personal encounters. The book will be a byproduct of the space of our conversation, in which we will execute a close and attentive reading, brought in by you, the writer.