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.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

we haven't reached the "bottom", yet!

Japanese author Koji Suzuki, of the 1998 Hollywood film "Ring," poses with toilet paper rolls printed with drawing of a ghost on them to promote the product in Fuji, central Japan, Saturday, May 23, 2009. The product, dubbed "Japan's scariest toilet paper," carries Suzuki's latest horror story "Drop" for release next month. The toilet paper roll would be "a horror experience in the toilet," manufacturer said. (AP)

Okay, we hadn't thought to go there yet. Perhaps we might have come to this eventually. There is no line between advertising and product "placement" anymore. Everything goes - everywhere!!!
Reminds me of something, say.....

Friday, May 29, 2009

Economics of Poetry

I was sent this NPR article this morning on the business of poetry:

Large publishers have been hit hard by the recession... But one corner of the publishing world has its own strange economy. Poets and those who publish them are used to earning next to nothing for their work... For editors like Bob Hershon, poetry is also a labor of love. His Hanging Loose Press advances poets the money they need to print and bind their volumes. Poets try to recoup that cost by doing readings and coaxing friends to buy their books. Hershon says his friends in commercial publishing are losing their jobs. "But we can't be out of work because we don't take any salaries," he says. "We're nuts, but my co-editors and I work out of our hip pockets.

This sounds eeerily familiar to me.When we took over the press in 2003, my meagre "real job" income was not only supporting us, it was the life support for the press. We considered it a triumph in 2005 when the press was actually supporting itself. There was even a moment when we were almost thinking that one of us might one day be monetarily compensated for our work. But that moment passed and we returned to our routine.

In the six years that I have been co-running Plan B Press, I haven't been paid a dime. I get thank you's and compliments, which are much appreciated, but the possibility of a salary somehow escapes me. When we receive inquiries from graphic designers looking for a job, it makes me chuckle a bit. They never mention the phrase pro bono, nor would expect to see it. But in a business as small as ours, if the only two current employees aren't getting paid, neither would any additional staff. Small arts organizations thrive on volunteers. Without volunteers, many small businesses would crumble.

Running a poetry press is a labor of love. It certainly isn't a money making venture. We can all agree with the NPR article- poetry is recession-proof. As Bob Dylan famously sang: When you got nothin', you got nothin' to lose.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Update on Book Schedule 5/28/09

Moving along at,…well not breakneck speed, but we’ve completed all but one book, and the layout on that one is nearly finished. Ever since getting our computer back from the shop it’s been coming and going, freezing when overtaxed (every 45 minutes or so). I’m growing frustrated with the whole thing. Is it the RAM? It’s all Apple-origin! I just don’t know.
We anticipate Talia Weisz’s book going to the printer on Friday. Bob Marcacci’s book should be back any day now. And the proof for congregations should be with the author soon, once we can get a contract together.

So we’re swimming along nicely.

I will be cutting airplanes out of paper this weekend. At least I won’t be relying on our computer.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

ripples across the pond in Philly (2)

also wanted to mention that Plan B Press poet ryan eckes is the host and curator of the Chapterhouse Reading Series in Philadelphia.

Monday, May 25, 2009

ripples across the pond in Philly

A handful of years ago now, after I stopped hosted the Eternal NOW! poetry series at Robin's Bookstore in Philadelphia, I was discussing the next evolution (as I saw it) in poetry reading presentation with Michele Belluomini and Jim Mancinelli. We all agreed that having poets in art galleries would be an ideal situation.

It took years for the timing to work out but Jim happened into a good situation at Fishtown Airways Gallery where he began curating a poetry series in April 2009 with Plan B Press poets Ryan Eckes and Michele Belluomini. Here's a note from Jim pertaining to his new series :

The Fishtown Airways Poetry Series

LOCATION: Fishtown Airways Gallery
200 E. Girard Ave. (2 blocks from the Girard Ave. El stop)
Philadelphia, PA 19125
WHEN: The 3rd Tuesday of every month (except August)

May 19 JC Todd & Catherine Staples
June 16 Mel Brake & G. Emil Reutter
July 21 Jim Mancinelli & Christian Bullard (winner of the 2009 Plan B Press poetry chapbook contest)
August 18 NO READING
September 15 Liz Abrams-Morley & Courtney Bambrick
October 20 Leonard Gontarek & Samantha Barrow
November 17 Jim Cory & Dan Maguire
December 15 Acoustic guitar virtuoso An Evening with David Falcone
(A FAPS Free event!)

This is a new reading series that will take place on the 3rd Tuesday of
the month. There will be a hiatus for the month of August. The Fishtown
Airways Art Gallery is at the corner of Shackamaxon and Girard, in the
“Riverside” section of Fishtown. The exact address is 200 E. Girard Ave.
and it is two blocks from the Girard Ave. el stop. This is a newly
renovated space and is perfectly designed for readings. The format will
include two featured poets, each having 20-30 minutes, with a break in
between each poet. The last poet will be followed by an open reading
where a participant can read one long piece or two short pieces. I will
moderate the series.

Jim Mancinelli

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

News of our poets

Elizabeth Bodien reports that Plumb Lines is a finalist for the first ever Poetry Award that will be given by the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group. The winner will be announced at a dinner in late July. Congrats in advance to Elizabeth.

Dan Maguire's Finding the Words is going into it's 3rd printing since Nov. 2008.

Ryan Eckes' when i come here is also going into it's 3rd printing.

Jim Mancinelli continues to host and curate the Fishtown Airways Poetry Series, Fishtown Airways Art Gallery, 200 E. Girard Ave. (Philly) If you are interested in reading for his series, please send him an email.

Deborah Filanowski is busily planning for the next poetry festival to occur at Stonehedge in Tamaqua, PA this July. Details to follow.