100 Colorado Creatives 4.0: Catch Business

Poets and presses gather at the Next Lit Fest.
Poets and presses gather at the Next Lit Fest.
Photo by Mary Boo Anderson
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#4: Catch Business
In the infinitesimal world where zines and small presses collide, you’ll find souls like the Denver poet Catch Business, who support and participate in a literary underground that thrives online. Catch, whose Witch Craft Magazine and Sad Spell Press are part of that network, took a giant step toward pulling the tight but scattered community closer together by founding the Next Lit Fest, a gathering in Denver of micro-presses and their people to share poems and publications in person. We asked Catch Business to define this movement for the rest of us by answering the 100CC questionnaire.

Joseph Parker Okay and Paul Hanson Clark at the Next Lit Fest’s Bring Your Own Books Fair.
Joseph Parker Okay and Paul Hanson Clark at the Next Lit Fest’s Bring Your Own Books Fair.
Courtesy of the Next Lit Fest

Westword: What (or who) is your creative muse?

Catch Business: I wouldn't say that I have a muse, but that my muse is love, which can be embodied in many people. But mostly I find it in myself.

Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to invite to your next party, and why?

I like keeping invitations open because I used to be afraid of not being invited to parties. I'll probably never be the answer to a question like this.

What’s the best thing about the local creative community in your field — and the worst?

The best thing about my community is that it’s actually non-local. I can connect with people in any place in the world, which only expands our perspectives of each other’s and our own art. Paradoxically, that’s what also makes it the worst, because there is a limitation to interacting online. That’s why I started the Next Lit Fest.

How about globally?

When I think about the literary community on a global scale, I think about all the people who probably aren't a part of a community but still write to process the experiences in their lives. When I think about literature on a global scale, I think of every person as a poet.

Reality Hands reading at the Whittier Cafe during Next Lit Fest.
Reality Hands reading at the Whittier Cafe during Next Lit Fest.
Courtesy of the Next Lit Fest

What is the Next Lit Fest, and why do we need one?

The fest is important for me because I can see all the people I love and admire, and see those same people show love and admiration for each other. The fest is a chance for all of us to get to know each other on a level the Internet doesn't allow. This opportunity to just hang out makes all the time we spend working on literature feel worth it. Our efforts become tangible. Our voices tangle up and make a new kind of art.

What’s your best or favorite accomplishment as an artist?

Witch Craft Magazine, Sad Spell Press and the Next Lit Fest.

You’ve come this far in life. What’s still on your bucket list?

I want to make poetry popular. I want to make love popular.

Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?

I love Denver because it's my home, but I'm not satisfied living here. There’s nothing wrong with what Denver has to offer; it's just not what I need. This city seems to cater to more established artists, entrepreneurs, etc. If I wasn't renting from my family, I wouldn't even be able to afford to live here. Since I've been here for so much of my life, a part of me doesn't want to leave. But my growth is limited to what I'm able to accomplish where I am, and here it feels like there's no room for new creative life. Because the creatives here feel more established, so does the community. I'm not an established artist, and I have yet to establish what I want my life to be. I'm still trying to figure it out, and in Denver that journey feels pretty lonely. I have to be here, though, for a while, and that’s why I’ve tried to bring in what I need.

Fae Gehringer at the Next Lit Fest poetry party.
Fae Gehringer at the Next Lit Fest poetry party.
Courtesy of the Next Lit Fest

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

There are a lot of writers who live here that I adore, so it wouldn't feel as easy for me to just pick one, but a visual artist whose work really inspires me is Sophie Lynn Morris.

What's on your agenda in the coming year?

Paying off my debt.

Who do you think will (or should) get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?

Small-press poets and publishers.

Find Catch Business’s poetry chapbook Quick Fix online at 2fast2house. Learn more about Witch Craft Magazine and Sad Spell Press online.

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