WSFA Small Press Award - Peter Beagle's 2007 Acceptance Speech

  
My notion of a literary award generally involves first-class flights, lavish financial compensations, incredibly costly dinners, and four-star hotel accommodations complete with hot and cold-running groupies. The way I look at it, if it's good enough for Harlan, it's good enough for me. But I gladly make an exception in this case, because (and I know this is a cliche), far more than the mighty international conglomerate, it is the small press, the minuscule press, that remains, and will surely remain, the life force behind what we here create.
The saying, Freedom of the press belongs to the person who owns one, is perfectly true; there is a reason that - even in the age of the Internet - dictatorships, juntas and fascist mobs still physically destroy every printing facility they can reach. In the end, as I'm happy to say, and as every jefe maximo knows, literature and literacy itself are always the enemy. And yet, somehow - call it samizdat, or anything else you like - the small press survives; the smudgy mimeograph, the battered copier, always rises again from the bloody shambles. Always, at whatever cost. Always.
Therefore I am grateful for this award, and will treasure it for everything it represents. Later for the Pulitzer, or the National Book Award. This will do me fine.