updates connected to the book Idylls for a Bare Stage
& to performances of the Idylls
& other initiatives related to the Art of the Poetic Monologue

Thursday, April 19, 2012

SPD and PiC: Strength of the Small Presses

Good news for Idylls for a Bare Stage:  Small Press Distribution accepted twentythreebooks as an SPD publisher, so soon the idylls book will be available through bookstores and outlets nationwide, and you'll be able to find it with my other published books at http://www.spdbooks.org

The SPD website is an excellent resource for readers to explore what's going on in independent publishing.

About the unparalleled level of support and dedication only possible through the small presses, one picture (even in a literary context) says it all.  I wasn't there, but here's twentythreebooks publisher Douglas Mowbray at  Baltimore's CityLit Festival - where else but with the indies can an author find such personal publisher attentiveness to a book?

Doug Mowbray with the Idylls in hand

And it goes beyond promotion and marketing, this attentiveness of people involved in the independent publishing world:  it starts, and follows through, and makes an end of itself of the creative process itself, with energies squarely pressed into the service of artistic values above all. Thus, with regard to such personal publisher involvement in the poetics and purposes of the work, Doug recently posted a quote about the Idylls from another publisher of mine, Christophe Casamassima. 
When the arts, the approaches to art, the interpretation of art—poesis, or the subjective—and the world in its totality of forms, genres, disciplines—the objective worldview—are in sync, then life and art disintegrate into ways of thinking and knowing. Idylls for a Bare Stage is the only book in which poetry, theatre, philosophy, philology, psychology, myth, history take precedence—an always spiraling inward precedence with no one discipline taking the foreground. No other book does this so eloquently and purposively. This is the soul of the Idylls—an exploration of knowing and how to know with the knower at the center point, struggling with being and meaning and what it is to know. It is not empirical. It is not quantifiable. And for the sake of students and humans everywhere, it’s time to unveil the cloak that keeps us rooted, no, subjugated, to the past. Let the Idylls open the way, compassionately and expansively.

-Christophe Casamassima, poet; proprietor, Furniture Press Books; co-founder, Poetry in Community
Acts and Words:  these are serious, energetic, outspoken instances of (multiple) publisher support for an author and the work - the intense take, interpretation and belief exhibited here are an above-and-beyond engagement with the book's artistic intention.  Nothing less has been my experience with both publishers as publishers, Mowbray for Idylls for a Bare Stage, and Casamassima for Heraclitean Pride and my soon-to-be-published book-length poem The Re-echoes.

The quote above was posted on a Facebook group page for Poetry in Community; and you can join the group on Facebook PiC page on Facebook; Mowbray and Casamassima worked together to create Poetry in Community, devoted to poetry as a way of life and living and knowing.  Or, as it says on the PiC page itself, "Poetry in Community will be both a physical center of activity (a meeting place, workshop, classroom, event space, library) and a virtual center of activity (web presence, catalogue, blog, forum) dedicated to creating and coordinating a community that will sustain the aesthetic and professional endeavors of emergent poets and publishers. Poetry in the Community will work with local communities—at the street, block, and neighborhood level—as a partner in community growth and sustainability efforts. Poetry in Community will create a more expansive tradition in which the whole of the community is invited to be present and represented. Poetry in Community will foster poetic practices as a collaborative effort to foster creative literacy and personal growth."

PiC is Baltimore-based, as are all of my publishers so far (although I'm based in the D.C. metro area):
Douglas Mowbray, twentythreebooks
Christophe Casamassima Furniture Press
and Justin Sirois (author of the Iraqi war novel Falcons on the Floor, just out!), Lauren Bender, and Jamie Gaughran-Perez, all three of Narrow House
I don't know what it is about Baltimore, but it has fostered an incredible scene for lit, and nourishing soil for what I do...

and so it's fitting The Idylls will come to Baltimore in a week and a half,
to wrap up the Cruellest Month Poetry and Performance Festival (CruMoPoPerFest)
on April 28th at the Waverly branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library
400 East 33rd Street, Baltimore Maryland 21218    11-4pm
I'll post the cast list and exact Idylls performance schedule soon...

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