by Samantha Fernandez
The Lance – News Editor
“They will never look at a book the same.”
Marty Gervais, the owner of Black Moss Press and professor of the editing and publishing practicum at the University of Windsor said his students will always be looking for way to improve upon and change the books they read for the rest of their lives after their book launch Apr. 8. at the Caboto Club.
The editing and publishing practicum at the university is a one of a kind program in Canada that allows students to edit, market and publish books written by local authors through Black Moss Press. Apr. 8 was the launch of three books; Sidelines by Windsor lawyer Peter Hrastovec, Make me, Remake me, by University of Windsor graduate Gillian Cott, and Sunday with the Tigers: Eleven ways to Watch the Game, a collection of essays edited by English professor Dale Jacobs. Each book was assigned a team of both English and business students to put together and prepare the books for this launch day.
After much preparation, exasperated sighs could be heard across the Caboto Club.
“I’m relieved,” said Gervais. “It’s been a great semester working with 28 fantastic students who worked really hard to put on this launch.”
The whole night was entitled Made in Windsor, showcasing not only the books, but local talent in music and theatre as well. The music played throughout the night was by students and there was a dramatic performance by BFA acting students in the school of Dramatic art of the books.
Kendra Kerby, a fourth year creative writing student, worked on Gillian Cott’s book Make me, Remake me, and feels more prepared to work in the editing profession.
“Now that it’s all come together at the launch it is very exciting,” said Kerby. “I’ve just really enjoyed working with my classmates and we have all definitely learnt to work collaboratively; I want to go into editing so this has helped me verse myself in that respect.”
Each author had the chance to make a speech about their experiences working with the students and read parts of their books proudly. It was obvious the students and the authors were proud of the work they created collectively.
“It will change their whole perspective,” said Gervais. “I always try and find authors that want to work with students; it is a learning experience for both sides.”
Sunday with the Tigers was put together by Dale Jacobs and endorsed by J.K Simmons, who wrote a piece to put in the book.
Patrick Parent, a fourth year English major who worked on the book said he would have not gotten this experience anywhere else.
“Honestly it was so rewarding to see everybody’s name on the inside of the book. You really appreciate the work that goes into books in general,” said Parent. “Considering this is the only experience like this in North America, you really get experience in the work environment with your peers. This has been an invaluable experience.”
Next years editing and publishing practicum, according to Gervais, will feature some great books, including a book of poetry by John Wing Jr., a writer and well-known comedian, who has done work with the editing and publishing course before.
The books can be purchased at Indigo, Chapters, Biblioasis, and are available online at amazon.com. They may also be purchased through the Black Moss Press website www.blackmosspress.com.