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.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

poetry scene keeps changing, Bowery Poetry Club closed

Bowery Poetry club shuttered I saw this article today and was saddened. At the same time, I pondered in amazement that it remained open for 10 years. This is New York City and the Bowery Poetry Club was RENTING. Not in the Bronx, not in Brooklyn, not Queens; but Manhattan!

AND it was a bar where poetry also popped along with the bubbly. It was a wonderful marketing tool for Bob Holman but was it a wonderful for the art form? That's a debatable point and those who love the energy that Holman bring to everything he does would say that indeed Holman is great. I don't doubt that. At the same time, I was just on the website and noticed that all the items sold on their "store" was Bob Holman stuff. Not poetry, per se, but poetry per Holman.

So, this location is now literally gone from the literary world. Others will open. Maybe not in Manhattan but the world is bigger than Manhattan (shocking to hear, I know, but true!) and perhaps the jolt of losing this space will lead others to open similar or perhaps decidedly dissimilar spaces both in NYC and elsewhere. I vote for the elsewhere. The fact that NYC is a media mecca doesn't always translate in what is happening in York, PA or Towson, MD, or Harrisonburg, VA. People live there too. Many people. Art & culture happen everywhere, not simply in the five boroughs (six if one counts Philly, as some try to do).

One of the points I was trying to make in 1999 when I started Bardfest in Berks County, PA was that art & culture WERE everywhere. We held readings and workshops across the county. In hamlets, in area libraries where no houses stood close-by, in schools, in restaurants. Nothing had been done like that before in those areas. It was novel, it was new, it was decidedly NOT what they were used to. And that was precisely the point. Maybe that is the take-away from this unfortunate closing. Don't try to recreate the wheel in a city with so many wheel-makers, but go where no one has attempted it before and do it there. Make the interaction itself as fresh as the idea sparking across your waking mind.

Then take THAT out to people who would never travel to New York City, least of all to go to a poetry "club". That's a conversation worth starting. Worth having. Worth sharing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

too many oars in the water

it's bloody impossible to keep up with all the platforms that Plan B Press has, especially with two kids under foot and losing EVERYTHING on our Hard Drive a week ago (computer:I don't see a HD) All gone, all fucking gone.

William is obsessed with Star Wars and dance class. Julia is obsessed with going into First grade. I am obsessed with making sense of our incredible loss and putting together our Fall 2012 season, and what the hell else is going on with everything while trying desperately not to think about what was lost. (ie, EVERYTHING!)

it's impossible to keep up, to keep relevant, to keep my 17 oars rowing in something like the same direction - without whacking me in the head. This is where I find myself. Looking to our running man icon and wondering where in the hell he is running to.