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.

Friday, April 25, 2008

in the devilish details

In Dec. 2001, I moved to Philadelphia and a few months later I had the good fortune to land at Robins Bookstore, a Philly independent bookstore ICON, as their poetry and special events coordinator and their first webmaster. I got to host a poetry series beginning in April 2002 called "the Eternal NOW!" which lasted there for 18 months.

When the series began, Katy & I were still coming together as 'teammay' and it wasn't until later in 2003 that Dianne Miller handed us the reins of Plan B Press. In that time, as I was new to Philly and all, I got to witness some incredibly good (and some pretty terrible) poetry at readings across the city. We also got to hear, and later publish, Lamont Steptoe, Ryan Eckes, Jim Mancinelli, Sandy Crimmins, Andrew Bradley, Michele Belluomini; in fact everyone we have been privileged to have worked with...we heard in the lead up to running the Press.

We continue to publish Philadelphia based poets. Or poets with strong connections to the city, like Kristine Grow and in the Fall of 2008, Dan Mcguire .

That's who we are as a Press. Katy and I used to walk through Old City , and I recall many times standing in front of the historical marker on the spot where Common Sense was published. Philadelphia is steeped in our history, in our mythology, in our blood.

At the end of the reading series run, I wanted to capture the moment so I asked all the poets who had been featured to submit a poem for an anthology which we ended up calling NOW!(then) and is pictured above. 33 poets did send a poem in and it was a wonderful collection. Katy's last minute twist was the suggest we print the cover on vellum. Quite literally the first handful of copies were "hot off the presses" as Katy had to apply an iron to the cover the dry the ink . We used the wrong kind of vellum, but hey -it's a keepsake with a trove of great poets included and we might note that it sparked Larry Robin to come up with his own anthologies for the marvelous 100 poet events each year. We like when the ripple effect happens, one never knows what the "unanticipated consequences" will be, but it's always worth the doing of a thing to find out.

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