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, May 23, 2008

The Chapbook Format

The Chapbook Format

As a poetry chapbook publisher, we feel that we fulfill a vital need within our industry – producing high quality chapbooks by talented poets. Many other poetry chapbooks, though not all, may deliver one aspect or the other (and in some cases neither), but very few that we have encountered succeed in both of these areas. Tell us, what have your experiences been with poetry chapbooks?

Katy Jean May
Creative Director

Monday, May 19, 2008

up & coming

At the time I was completing my Grad degree in Arts Management two years ago, I made a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish - this was right before our daughter, Julia, was born. Of course the items on that list were placed directly onto the frig and promptly buried beneath coupons for diapers and baby formula, grocery lists and daily to-dos, all the hub-bub of parenthood that swipes away the best laid plans ....

On that list was the idea of doing a series of poetry readings in different states over the same period of time (as we now have poets in several areas of the country) and that idea is going to reach fruition the first week of June 2008 when there are 3 "Plan B Press presents..." events taking place in three different locations in two different states.

Beginning on June 7, 2008 with our swan-song reading at Wolfgang Books in Phoenixville, PA featuring C L Bledsoe, Jim Mancinelli, and stevenallenmay. We decided to end the series there as a monthly concern as it was becoming too difficult to manage for us from northern Virginia. The owners of Wolfgang Books have been very supportive and will continue to carry Plan B Press books. This reading begins at 7:30PM and will have an open reading to conclude the festivities.

On June 10, 2008 will be the first event at St. Elmo's Coffee Pub, 2300 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA. "Plan B Press presents..." is fairly open at the moment. These events will be taking place on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, from 7-9PM. I can confirm that on July 8 the features will be Mary Ann Larkin ("gods & flesh" 2007) with her husband Patric Pepper, and C L Bledsoe ["___(want/need)" 2008].

Then on June 12, 2008 at Robin's Bookstore in Philadelphia, PA beginning at 6PM will be Kristine Grow reading from her brand new ("Petal Whispers" 2008), along with Joyce Meyers ("Wild Mushrooms" 2007) and Ryan Eckes ("when I come here" 2007)

more events coming soon!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

no, we are a little ball of nervous energy.. our running man, always on the go. Always on the move. 

And now, on to the next new thing - "Plan B Press presents......." lands in Alexandria, VA at St. Elmo's Coffee Pub beginning June 10, 2008. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

We are not a zine

We're not a zine!

From time to time we get submissions of one to four poems for our poetry zine. The fact of the matter is, we don't have a zine. We never had one. We have no plan to have one. The closest we have come are our occasional anthologies, which we haven't ever opened up submissions from the public.

The poetry of these zine submissions might be good, but we really only read collections or masses of poetry that need pairing down into a collection. That's our focus.

Katy Jean May
Creative Director

Friday, May 09, 2008

Plumb Lines by Elizabeth Bodien

We had the good fortune to have been invited to the first two poetry festivals held at Stonehedge Gardens outside of Tamaqua, PA. Last year, among the poets who had attended and read there, was a lady named Elizabeth Bodien. I liked what I heard I told her so. She sent me a mss., we liked it and published it this season.

Her book is called Plumb Lines. Learn more about Elizabeth and read one of her poems here.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

a new series is brewing

in Alexandria, VA
details coming very soon.

Monday, May 05, 2008

from the recesses of our past

s-a-m by pyramid, reading poetry

As I was preparing for this entry, I wanted to use other images; some of those created by Katy Jean for the redesigned little chapbook or images from the original chapbook done by Dianne Miller when she published it back in 1999-2000. Alas, all traces of it have momentarily slipped into the recesses of our past.

What I am talking about is Curious Jane Meets the Man, a mostly-accurate retelling of an incident which occurred at Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County, PA on the third day of the first 30-day poetry festival held anywhere during National Poetry Month, Bardfest99, The event was a poetry reading scheduled to be taking place by a stone pyramid which was built (ILLEGALLY) along the banks of Blue Marsh Lake. My audacity was to promote a reading at this illegally build structure and to go ahead with the planned reading without seeking to get permission from the authorities that were in charge of the lake and the lands surrounding it. I didn't feel that I needed permission to have a poetry gathering by the lake. The brown shirts of the state game commission were directed to escort the half dozen or so poets off the land and then followed by car until we had driven off the state land.....which is curious as we all were also citizens of the state, so essentially we were forced off land left in trust.... FOR US.

As fate would have it, one of the citizens who was there for the poetry reading was a local radio personality, whose went on the air a few days later and retold the story, making it a bigger story indeed. A front page article followed, with photo of the pyramid, and the festival and organization cracked into the consciousness of the community. Those dang artists! What are they doin' now?

Well, the festival did in fact make it's way into the record books. But that was hardly the end of the story. Dianne Miller, co-founder of Plan B Press, was also attending the pyramid reading, er, police action, with her daughter who was 8 years old at the time. The daughter was the curious Jane of the story, Curious Jane Meets the Man. It was she would asked what we had done wrong, and the book was Dianne's way of trying to answer that. (the answer is, of course, NOTHING!)

Dianne made a handful of copies of "Jane", using clipart images, creating a basic "kinko's job". And that was it - but not. Fast forward a few years to Katy Jean, the design queen, who recreated the book images for a future reprinting of the book. Fantastic artwork. But, as I stated in the beginning of this entry, not to be found this second.

When this project surfaces, I will alert one and all.

postscript: the rest of the story, and you knew there would be one, is that in late 2000 or early 2001 "the powers that be" bulldozed the pyramid and pushed the stones about a quarter of a mile away from the site. For those of us who once spent time at the pyramid, we sometimes go back stand along the edge of the lake and remember.

anyway, Katy is looking for the proofs. One day the book will be revived.

s - a - m

Sunday, May 04, 2008

new presence - on facebook

as promised, Tommy Tavenner has quickly made his mark on the Press. We now have a Facebook presence.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

new book : ____(want/need)

We are proud to announce the new collection by C L Bledsoe, ________(want/need) which is freshly off the presses.

With the framework of a puzzle book, ________(want/need) contains poems in three formats: fill in the blank, multiple choice and crossword. This clever, innovative format creates the perfect playground from which Bledsoe can showcase his already clever use of language. The overall mood can be a bit a bit chilly and damp, but Bledsoe keeps his humor at all times and can be bitingly sharp when you least expect it.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

and we have a winner.....

The winner of the 2008 Plan B Press poetry chapbook contest is

W R Hastings of Northampton, MA for his collection "Stones Rounded by Years of Conversation".

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's contest, and our judge - Kimmika Witherspoon Williams.