Phil Wood of Ten Speed Press

December 18th, 2010 — 9:53am

Phil Wood, publisher of Ten Speed Press, died last Saturday. 25 years ago, Phil gave me my first publishing job, and what a wonderful and strange ride it was.

I was hired to answer phones and during one busy day, when I was supposed to be saying, “Good morning, Ten Speed Press, how may I direct your call?” — instead, I pitched White Trash Cooking to a producer at the Letterman show.

Phil,” I said, walking in to his then round office filled with books, manuscripts, and Asian art, “I just booked Ernie (the author) on the Letterman show. I have to go to New York.” With that, he promoted to publicist.

So I went to New York, and Ernie cooked chicken feet on the show, toenails and all. I worked on so many other amazing books: Flattened Fauna, Mushrooms Demystified (I got an unmarked package containing psilocybin with no return address one Christmas as a thank you), How to Shit in the Woods, Barbecuing with Bobby (Bobby Seale that is), Still Life with Menu, What Color is Your Parachute, and so many more.

I took Phil out to lunch a few years ago to thank him. I worked on some brilliant, warped books at Ten Speed, and it was Phil who gave me that opportunity. He was a brilliant, odd bird and I was grateful to know him.

Category: Uncategorized Comment »

Leave a Reply

Back to top