The official weblog of the little-poetry-press-that-could, Plan B Press. Specializing in chapbooks, we have published of over 40 books from authors both local and international.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

1999, our first project - Bardfest99 anthology

The idea of the Press was tied directly to the existence of the first poetry festival taking place in the USA during National Poetry Month (each April). By the time this idea was being acted upon the National Poetry Month concept as presented by the Academy of American Poets was in its third year. Nowhere in the United States, and frankly nowhere on the planet, was there a month-long poetry festival. Only in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Only the one presented by the Berks Bards, only the one called Bardfest.

As the founder of both the festival and the organization to present the festival, I had also come to the idea of creating a Press to showcase some of the poets and the work being presented during the 30 day festival. Across Berks County during 1999, at a multiple of different venues and locations, poets read, shouted, performed, sang, and listen to dozens of poets coming from across the state and region as well as many county-wide poets.

At the end of this thrilling, overwhelming month the Berks Bards, now all of 6-weeks old as an organization, collected poems that were read during the fesitval for our first anthology, Bardfest99. The Heroic efforts of Dianne Miller resulted in the first project to bear the name 'Plan B Press' on it.

This collection of writings by 21 of the participating poets with a list of 30 plus venues on the front cover. It began an instant collector's item in the area, and now is long out of print. But since every Press has to begin somewhere, here is our beginning story.

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