Kathleen Rooney remembers being exposed to poetry at an early age when her parents read her rhyming books like Mother Goose and “I Wish I Had a Computer That Made Waffles.”
“I never had the experience which I think a lot of people had of only encountering poetry in high school, and then with teachers who maybe present a limited swathe of what it consists of,” Rooney said. “So I never thought poetry was just Shakespeare and thees and thous and archaic language and dead people. I understood it as a living medium.”
Rooney is the author of six books of poetry and nonfiction, teaches poetry at DePaul University and is the co-founder of Rose Metal Press, a non-profit publisher that specializes in non-traditional, hybrid genres like flash fiction and prose poetry. Rose Metal Press publishes an average of three books a year in smaller print runs, and also releases books digitally. Distributing publications in a digital format is important, Rooney said, because it makes the work more accessible and shareable, allowing authors to grow their audience more quickly and easily.
“The common misconception – like video killed the radio star – is that e-pubs are killing or have killed paper pubs. That’s abundantly, proveably not true,” Rooney said.