BurnBooks – Publisher of the Year LUCIE AWARDS 2012


I never enter contests. Sometimes someone else just throws me in the mix. This one is sweet because I was being juried along with three photographers I look up to, William Eggleston and Richard Misrach and JR. I would have been pleased not to have received this team effort award had any of those three been chosen. Aperture and Steidl in particular are publishers I admire deeply. None of us at BurnBooks thought we could have possibly been chosen over the aforementioned…Yet we will take our moment in the sun, because we had no agenda on the book but to make the best damn book we could from shooting to final art object. And this is what we are being honored for. This opens new doors of course, but none of us at Burn want to be more than a small boutique..Our proudest moment will be of course when (based on a true story) is passed out for free as a super hi quality newspaper version in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Only a small gesture of pay back pay forward to the Cariocas who made Rio feel like home.

This award is not for me. This is for Bryan and Eva and Candy and Diego and Michelle and Tonico and Haik and Panos and Kim and Anton and Susan and Chris and Roberta and Renata and Kamila and Viviane and Marjorie and Alejandra and Andrea and Mike and Michael and Claudia and Beto and Mira and Magnum and Mr. Skater and Fernanda and Vi and Sue and Erin and Marcela aaaaand Mom!!

This little boost allows BurnBooks even more opportunity to publish the books of unknown photographers and icons alike. A bunch of stuff is in the works. To be announced. Yet I can tell you for sure we will publish the very best quality books for both the famous and the not so…..We cannot be all things to all people. Everything we do is just but a token. My place on the planet is in Hemingway’s Clean Well Lighted Place. Good not big.

Were it not for this audience none of this would be happening. We give to each other. Pretty damned clear even if you are the worst pessimist in the room. The chemistry of this audience is not the norm I don’t think. We ain’t perfect but collectively we actually ARE something special. Some of this online chat WILL be part of a book someday. Now if only we could find a publisher…hmmm

My congratulations to all in my audience. YOU are the award winners here. Not a doubt in my mind.

A big warm hug to all of our esteemed colleagues and honored nominees in our same book category:

APERTURE for “Petrochemical America” (photographs by Richard Misrach)
STEIDL for “Chromes” (photographs by William Eggleston)
HARRY N ABRAMS INC for “Women are Heroes” (photographs by JR)
21st EDITIONS for “The Prophecies of William Blake” (prints by Mitch Dobrowner)

photos above by Anthony Smallwood, Panos Skoulidas, and Michelle Madden Smith


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