Remembering after two years!

I spent a great weekend at the Author U Extravaganza talking with publishers, writers, and printers.  Eric Kampmann, President of MidPoint Trade Books remembered being a part of one of my writing workshops at a conference in 2009 where he was a keynote speaker.  At lunch, Eric asked me to tell a colleague what his story was about. 

Hurray, I actually remembered.  He had quoted Ezra Pound and I had posted this story on my blog and also in my email communications.  Well here it is.  Two years from now, someone might ask you to summarize this story.  If you can summarize it today, send it to me and I will send you a reward*protected email*


Write Words “Fresh and Unfamiliar” 

I had the opportunity to offer a Write Hot! workshop at a conference in 2009. 

An illustrious group of authors and publishers attended my workshop,  including Eric Kampmann, President of Midpoint Trade Books and Beaufort Books. To my great surprise, as a keynote speaker
on Saturday, Eric began his presentation with glorious praise of this  Write Hot! Kitchen Table Writing workshop.  Below is the entry that Eric wrote during our session.  What a great affirmation of the power of our writing. Thank you, Eric for the words of praise.   Anne

Anne Randolph  (click for free writing tips)    
Thurs  PM        
Tues AM,  Wed AM


From:  Eric Kampmann, President Midpoint Trade Books 

On Behalf Of Off the Trail…Thoughts About Life
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 8:01 PM
To: *protected email*
Subject: Off the Trail…Thoughts About Life


Posted: 03 Apr 2009 05:36 AM PDT

I spent last weekend in Denver at an independent publisher conference. Though I was a speaker, I had an opportunity to sit in on a two hour writing seminar lead by
Anne Randolph, an excellent writing coach.
Anne led us through three exercises and the first was to write for five minutes starting with the word “unfamiliar.”  Here is what I came up with:

“Unfamiliar faces crowd the confined space of the stalled car. No one speaks. We are strangers, riding toward our individual destinations. We have unexpectedly paused and the sudden silence causes unease. The faces are impenetrable masks, revealing nothing of the complicated stories lying below the surface. Eyes avoid eyes and some peer out the darkened windows toward grey, soot packed walls that encase us here. Then relief: The train jolts into action and moves forward, slowly resuming speed and carrying each one of us on our singular journey toward an assignation that will add yet another chapter to each of our fragmentary books.”

Ezra Pound is the father of this short piece of writing. In college I had memorized a two line poem he had written early in the 20th Century. It goes like this: “The apparition of these faces in a crowd/pedals on a wet black bough.”

Eric’s blog:
Eric M. Kampmann
President, Midpoint Trade Books, Inc
27 West 20th Street
New York, New York 10011


Eric Kampmann is the President of Midpoint Trade Books. Previously, he served as Vice President and Director of Sales for Simon & Schuster, and held similar positions at St. Martin’s Press and Viking Press. Over the past twenty-five years, Eric has taught at several prominent universities, including Harvard, Columbia, New York University and Hofstra. The main focus of his teaching has been in the areas of book publishing, but he has also taught courses in English Literature. He holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a graduate degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. 
He is the author of three books: The Tree of Life, The Book Publisher’s Handbook: The Seven Keys to Publishing Success with Six Case Studies, and trail thoughts.