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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

another fore-parent of the work we are doing

Author Karla Kuskin dies

New York Times
Posted: 08/22/2009 07:06:07 PM PDT
Updated: 08/22/2009 08:50:36 PM PDT

Karla Kuskin, a noted children's author and illustrator whose work combined sly wit and propulsive vitality with deep thoughtfulness about the essential natures of people, animals and things, died Thursday at her home in Seattle. She was 77.
The cause was cortical basal ganglionic degeneration, a neurological disorder, her son, Nicholas Kuskin, said. A longtime Brooklyn resident, Kuskin had lived in Seattle in recent years.
The author or illustrator — often both at once — of more than 50 books for young people, Kuskin was known in particular for the volumes of rhymed verse she wrote and illustrated. They include "In the Middle of the Trees" (1958); "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ" (1963); "The Rose on My Cake" (1964); and "Soap Soup and Other Verses" (1992).
Ideal for reading aloud, Kuskin's poems are known for their stealthy humor, deceptive simplicity and unforced though carefully worked-out rhymes. The listener is buoyed along on a flowing metrical current, as in this verse, from her collection "Near the Window Tree" (1975):
When a cat is asleep
There is nothing asleep
That is quite so asleep
As a cat.
She has finished with darting,
Careening and leaping
Now even the soft air around her is sleeping.
As a writer, Kuskin worked with some of the country's best-known artists. Among her most widely praised books are two she did with the noted illustrator Marc Simont, "The Philharmonic Gets Dressed" (1982) and "The Dallas Titans Get Ready for Bed" (1986).

In both books, Kuskin describes in spare, lyrical prose things that happen when we are not around to see them. In the first, members of a symphony orchestra prepare to go to work. In the second, football players divest themselves postgame of layer upon layer and then, looking "like small wet whales," shower.
Kuskin also collaborated with the American painter Milton Avery. Avery, who died in 1965, left behind a series of enigmatic paintings he had done to illustrate a children's story by a friend, the writer H.R. Hays. Deemed too expensive to produce, the project was abandoned, and Hays' original text was lost.
Karla Seidman was born in Manhattan on July 17, 1932, and reared mostly in Greenwich Village. She attended Antioch College before transferring to Yale, from which she received a bachelor's degree in 1955.
Her first book, "Roar and More" (1956), was born of her senior graphic-arts project at Yale, for which she had to design and print a book on a small press.
Kuskin's first marriage, to Charles M. Kuskin, ended in divorce; her second husband, William L. Bell, died in 2006. She is survived by two children from her first marriage, Nicholas, of Pelham, N.Y., and Julia Kuskin of Seattle; and three grandchildren.
Her other books include "Jerusalem, Shining Still" (1987; illustrated by David Frampton); "The Upstairs Cat" (1997; illustrated by Howard Fine), a verse parable about a long-running feline border dispute that emphasizes the futility of war; and "Moon, Have You Met My Mother? The Collected Poems of Karla Kuskin" (2003; illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier).

Not familiar with this person’s work, guess I have some research to do!

Friday, August 21, 2009

announcing our Fall 2009 line up

we are happy to announce our Fall 2009 releases :

Opening Up the Trees by Jason Venner
Wolf Spider by Michael Fisher
By a Different Ocean by Katy Whittingham

we are very excited about these books and more details will be following in short order.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

congrats go out to Elizabeth Bodien

We want to congratulate Elizabeth Bodien for winner the first annual Lehigh Valley Literary Award in poetry recently in Easton, PA. She won for her chapbook, Plumb Lines. So how does "award winning chapbook" and "award winning poet" sound?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

want to feel better? read a book

Want to Feel Better About Yourself? Read a Book!
According to the results of a survey from the Pepsi Optimism Project, Americans are optimistic—more optimistic, in fact, than they were back in November 2008. Specifically, the surveys shows that people become more optimistic about our personal relationships, health, finances, and overall well-being in the last seven months (although they're a bit less optimistic about their careers these days). What attracted our attention, though, was the sort of things that make people feel optimistic—and might just lift the spirits of those of us in the publishing industry, too.

While the official survey report zeroed in on the importance of a constellation live events like music concerts, theatrical performances, and speeches, the one "optimism booster" cited by more respondents than any other—88 percent—was "books." Unfortunately, that's not broken down by categories, so it's not quite clear whether fiction or non-fiction lifts people's spirits, so you should probably read a little of both, just to be on the safe side.

(Meanwhile, 56 percent of those surveyed say they feel optimistic after attending poetry readings, which was pleasantly surprising as we had not realized poetry readings were so popular—although clearly they should be!)

A few more data points, as long as we're here: Oddly enough, 96 percent of those surveyed expressed optimism about the shape of things to come, but only 25 percent had an upbeat perspective on the immediate future and the year ahead. And though more than two-thirds of the baby boomers, Gen-Xers, and millenials queried said they'd recently witnessed or participated in activities that made them feel optimistic, only 59 percent of those 63 or older would say the same. (Finally, less than a third of Americans, the survey adds, gain optimism from blogs—although, again, it was unclear whether that means reading blogs, writing them, or both.)

Posted by Ron Hogan

Summer In Session

While we are, for the most part, on a bit of a hiatus at the moment, we have been having sporadic bursts of activity; an email announcement here, a book release there. But in addition to that, Mr. President is also writing up important business paperwork, so we should be able to provide you with updates on that this autumn along with our newest releases.

We are gearing up for another jam-packed autumn, about 4 books slated. Plus we are planning on attending a few events as well, including a gig in Baltimore in September and an event at Wolfgang Books in Phoenixville, PA. If you are close to either of those locations, please stop by and check out our press. There will be a handful of our poets present to read, sign books, hobnob, etc. And sometimes, it's just good to put some faces with names, and voices with poems. Please check out our website's events calendar as details emerge.

Lately we've been posting news and Op-eds on publishing and poetry, with links to other sites. We find it's nice to bring a little outside world into our blog. Tell us what you think. Do you like these little blurbs or would you rather stick to PBP-centric stories only?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

we flutter, we twit

a few months ago, I set up a twitter account for myself /the Press/ an upcoming book of mine
under the name "bardwire"

the book is FAST WHITE

last night a good friend of mine from my undergrad daze at Temple University came to visit and challenged me to use Twitter for creative purposes, I said FINE

so I have. In addition to updating activities for the Press I will be composing work on Twitter and writing about what is likely to be seen as a "breakthrough" book, Fast White!!!