Author Spotlight Q&A: Michael V. Smith | Book*hug Press

Author Spotlight Q&A: Michael V. Smith

Today we are spotlighting Michael V. Smith, author of Queers Like Me and co-author of Body of Text!

B*: What does being part of the Book*hug author family mean to you?

MVS: Every step of the publishing process with Book*hug has been so relaxed, with both my books. Hazel and Jay are the sweetest of people; they always make me feel so seen and validated. They’re so easy to work with and their team is amazing too.

B*: Can you share another title from the Book*hug catalogue that has left a lasting impression on you as a reader?

MVS: I love Kristen Renee Miller’s translation of Marie-Andrée Gill’s Heating the Outdoors. It’s a gorgeous translation, which is so tricky because Gill’s work is very spare. It’s hard to capture nuance and depth in so few words on a page, but this book defies the odds, delivering power and profundity. These are also great poems to teach with, because of their rich metaphors. They show how much you can do with a well-placed word.

B*: When we see more large publisher consolidations and huge conglomerates dominating the marketplace, what does it mean to you to be published by an independent publisher like Book*hug Press?

MVS: Indie presses are where the real experimentation happens, as well as the real community-building. I can’t imagine anyone else would have published my first concrete poetry book, Body of Text, but Jay didn’t hesitate when I pitched him my kooky idea. Indie publishers are also the backbone of publishing for young writers; it’s where they get their start. Indie presses like Book*hug often give their authors way more say in the design and distribution of a book—from cover design input to book tour funding and support. I can’t imagine any press treating a poet better.


Michael V. Smith has published six previous books, which include three collections of poetry, a memoir, and two novels. Also an award-winning filmmaker, drag queen, and professor, Smith teaches at UBC Okanagan, in Kelowna, BC, where he lives with his brilliant husband.

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