Interview with Matteo Chiavarone, head of the Ensemble publishing house

Interview with Matteo Chiavarone, head of the Ensemble publishing house
Interview with Matteo Chiavarone, head of the Ensemble publishing house

Alida Airaghi interviewed Matteo Chiavarone, head of the Ensemble publishing house, which has now reached its tenth anniversary.

  • When and where was your publishing house born, with what aims and perspectives, and how many people does it employ?

Ensemble was born in 2011, with a corporate reorganization in 2012, so this year we celebrated our tenth anniversary. The editorial staff is composed directly by me who take care of the editorial choices; Davide Morbidelli, sales manager; Ignazio Pappalardo, editor in chief; Cristina Loizzo, press office. We indirectly collaborate daily with different people and realities, such as for example Edelweiss by Andrea Carnevale and Roberto di Pietro and the boys of Tributaries. The publishing house’s prospects are to grow and be able to carve out an important space in the Italian editorial and cultural landscape, and to maintain autonomy to continue publishing the books we like.

  • Which necklaces are in your catalog? Do you also publish ebooks, and if so, do you think that the electronic format could represent a winning alternative to the paper book?

There are many. For fiction we have the latest, Solstice, which combines a certain contemporaneity of the contents with an attention to graphics, through a literary and artistic project, and the two historical ones, Echos e workshop, in which there are Italian and international authors, beginners and not. For the poem I point out Wandering, directed by Gëzim Hajdari, in which there is the idea of ​​poets crossing the worlds; Present century who deals with poetry in Spanish and Portuguese (European and South American), directed by Matteo Lefèvre; Alter, which deals with contemporary Italian poetry. For non-fiction I point out Transculturazione, founded by Armando Gnisci and directed by Andrea Gazzoni. Then there are projects like Tributaries, HerChild (female voices with particular attention to the American world), i Classics… In short, we are a breeding ground of ideas and literary projects.

  • How many titles published each year, and which are your publications that have obtained the most critical and public recognition, and in your opinion for what reasons?

We do many, I can’t tell you a precise number, it depends on the year. The title that had the most response was Far from any shore, the poems of Jean-Claude Izzo. A beautiful book by an author who is one of the major European literary voices.

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  • Through which preferential channels are you able to advertise your products, and what goals do you intend to achieve in the future, given that reading is increasingly threatened by other and more aggressive means of communication? Are trade fairs and editorial events useful, or is communication on social media more effective?

We move through classic distribution channels, press and network promotion (magazines, blogs, sites, pages), fairs, festivals, etc. In my opinion the most important channels are still physical, even if unfortunately the virtual is now becoming more and more popular (and social networks are fundamental). Goals? Increase word of mouth through good books, produce ideas and increasingly connect all the parties involved (publishers, libraries, authors, media, readers).

  • Do you have a blog, and how is it organized?

No, and it is not in the pipeline.

  • What are the next three titles you will be releasing?

I report two novels, The mechanics of the sofa by Francesco Dezio e In winter, Venice by Patrizio Nissirio, and a new translation of Rilke by Carlo Ferrucci.

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