Vendor Interview: Texture Press

We’re so happy to be able to have featured so many of our Vendors leading up to and during PHILALALIA. We hope you have enjoyed and are enjoying what we’ve put together, and we’re glad to have one more Vendor Interview with Associate Editor Valerie Fox of Texture Press:

1. What should attendees of PHILALALIA expect from Texture Press?
Texture will feature mostly recent books, both poetry and fiction. Authors include Rina Terry, Rose Hunter, Don Riggs, Lynn Levin, Susan Smith Nash, Valerie Fox, and Evald Flisar. Many of the books featured will be those by our regional (Philadelphia-area) authors.

2. What has Texture Press achieved this past year that you’re most proud of?
Poems for the Writing, Prompts for Poets (by Lynn Levin and Valerie Fox) was selected as a finalist in the academic/education category by Next Generation Indie Press Awards and has also been adopted in quite a few classrooms.

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What is something people might not know about Texture Press?
For many years we have been the English language publisher of Evald Flisar, highly regarded Slovenian playwright and novelist (If I Only Had Time). In addition, Texture has published a YA novel by Slovenian author Jana Bauer and an anthology of contemporary Slovenian writing.

4. Texture Press has been around since 1989– awesome! How has watching the
small press scene evolve since then affected the press?
Susan Smith Nash (based in Oklahoma) began Texture in 1989 as magazine and micro-press in those pre-Internet days. I’ve known her since those days, first meeting her when she was a contributor to 6ix magazine, which I co-edited with other Temple grads. At this stage, Texture was mostly associated with an experimentalist style (publishing authors such as Heather Thomas, Cydney Chadwick, Rochelle Owens, etc.)  We now see the amazing opportunities for featuring both established authors and underserved authors through small batch and print-on-demand companies. Texture published fewer volumes from 2000 to 2007, but we became really energized about what was going on in the small press world and made the choice to revitalize the press. We embrace a cooperative spirit, and to our delight, many authors stay with us over time, not just as authors but as contributors in other ways. For example, Rose Hunter (You As Poetry, [four paths]) tweets for us.  Arlene Ang (Bundles of Letters Including A, V and Epsilon) contributes artistic expertise. Susan calls us a “band of idealists.” The authors we work with send us a lot of positive feedback on the way we do things, and we expect to to be publishing several titles each year.

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Vendor Interview: great weather for MEDIA

We spoke with Jane Ormerod, Founding Editor of great weather for MEDIA for one of our last Vendor Interviews. Last night, Joe Roarty opened up the night at our opening off-site reading at Tattooed Mom, so we’re excited to have them at the book fair today! 
1.What should attendees of PHILALALIA expect from great weather for MEDIA?
Copies of our fabulous anthologies, plus our latest collection Retrograde by the amazing NYC poet and performer Puma Perl. We will also be giving away free stuff with every purchase. And our poetry and prose submission period reopens on October 15 – so be sure to check us out and feel free to ask the editors questions. We are a very friendly bunch.
2. What has great weather for MEDIA achieved this past year that you’re most proud of?
great weather for MEDIA was formed in January 2012. We are thrilled at the ever-increasing support and enthusiasm we have received from writers, readers, and other small presses. This year marked the publication of our first single poet collection from Puma Perl, and October brings Aimee Herman’smeant to wake up feeling. It’s been a joy to work so closely with these writers.
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3. What is something people might not know about great weather for MEDIA
As well as organizing numerous literary and music events across the country, we run an open mic every Sunday at the Parkside Lounge in New York City. One of our regulars, Joe Roarty, travels in from Philadelphia each week. Joe is in our latest anthology I Let Go of the Stars in My Hand – he’s an astoundingly original writer and performer.
4. What has great weather for MEDIA‘s alliance with Poetry Teachers NYC meant for the press since it became a part of 3Po3try NYC earlier this year?
Collaborating with another poetry organization has really expanded our audience. Poetry students learn about publishing and reading opportunities, writers discover more about workshops and honing their skills. And our events showcase totally kick-ass writers and performers!

Vendor Interview: Lori Waselchuk

Today at our event, Lori Waselchuk will be showcasing Them That Do, and we knew you wanted a sneak preview, so we did a little “Vendor Interview” with her, too! Here’s what she had to say in answer to our questions:

1. What should attendees of PHILALALIA expect from your presentation? 

I will show photos and videos that make me smile. I will tell stories about little actions that inspire my respect. Them That Do is about Philadelphia’s block captains – fiercely optimistic people who see a need on their street and respond. Block captains have done their work for decades without much fanfare.

2. What has your project achieved in the past year that you’re most proud of?
I am very proud that my videos were screened at Scribe Video Center’s Street Movies! outdoor screening events this summer. It was great to see the films on a big outdoor screen in the middle of Philadelphia neighborhoods.
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3.What is something people might not know about Them That Do?
Two things:  1.  Frank Sherlock, myself and 30 block captains are collaborating on a block captain video poem entitled “This Block A Garden”.   Stay tuned!  2. Them That Do is on Instagram! I love this visual network.
4.What audience at our book fair do you think your project will most appeal to?
Visual artists, poets, do-gooders  and people who like to keep their streets clean.

Vendor Interview: Lanternfish Press

A few last Vendor Interviews are here for the days of our actual festival! We spoke with Christine Neulieb, the Editorial Director at Lanternfish Press. Stop by and see them today at the PHILALALIA book fair, held at Temple’s Tyler School of Art from 11am-5pm:
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1. What should attendees of PHILALALIA expect from Lanternfish Press?
Lanternfish Press is a small literary publisher founded in 2013. We’ll be selling copies of The Legend of Sherlock Holmes (a selection of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories with new illustrations) and The Afflictions (new contemporary fiction, something like Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, except with imaginary diseases — definitely unusual and worth checking out for yourself!). We’ll have some other goodies like posters & notecards too.
2. What has Lanternfish Press achieved this past year that you’re most proud of?
We had lots of fun working on the Sherlock Holmes book, but the fact that we’re now putting out new original fiction is a huge milestone. We’ve got more great titles in store for 2015!
3. What is something people might not know about Lanternfish
This terrifying creature is not a lanternfish. This little guy is! The fish in our logo has affectionately been named Corwin.
LFP's table at the Brooklyn Book Fest:

LFP’s table at the Brooklyn Book Fest:

4. How did your press get its name?
The founders of Lanternfish Press were both running independent freelance businesses before they joined forces to publish books. Amanda’s wedding invitation company was called Fish on Europa; Christine’s freelance editing business was Lantern Editorial. So we combined the names, and voila — Lanternfish Press!

Vendor Interview: The People’s Library

One day left before the very first day of the very first PHILALALIA! Today, we bring to you this great interview with The People’s Library. Since they’re an atypical vendor, they’ve included some basic information to catch you up on what it is that makes what they do so awesome:
 
The People’s Library is an ongoing collaborative project featuring libraries designed, built and authored by community members. The project transforms and repurposes discarded books into blank canvasses for the production and exchange of local histories.
 
We’re from Richmond, VA but are doing a 6 month residency in North Philly at the Village of Arts and Humanities. For that residency:
 
The People’s Library and Paper Collective works with a multitude of individuals and community partners to start a People’s Library storefront in North Philadelphia that will serve as:

  1. A command center for criminal record expungement workshops, community think tanks, legal literacy and know your rights workshops, voter registration drives, and other interventions that engage collectively with the causes, effects, and alternatives to social  justice issues in North Philadelphia.
  2. A start-up creative business and workforce- development program where re-entry adults and youth create hand-made fine papers and books from discarded paper-based material (shredded criminal records from the expungement clinics), author community histories, host open-mic spoken word and poetry readings, and lead weekly writing clubs that encourage dialogue with incarcerated friends and family. 
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1. What should attendees of PHILALALIA expect from People’s Library??

We’ll be selling our People’s Paper Co-op materials (all proceeds go to supporting our co-op members through the re-entry process), doing public paper making workshops where we’re inviting students to transform materials they want to discard or write about things in their life they want to transform…these will all be pulped and turned into blank paper for Philalalia participants to write on during our presentation and workshop on Saturday

2. What is something people might not know about People’s Library?

When Courtney Bowles and I first started the People’s Library (two years old this coming February!!!) we were undergraduate students and had never made a sheet of paper or bound a single book. Now we’ve helped make over 5,000 sheets and hundreds of blank books for libraries in a multitude of cities…and we’re still really really amateur book/paper makers! 
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3. When was People’s Library born and how has it evolved since its inception?
 
More info on the PL can be found here: http://thepeopleslibrary.wix.com/thepeopleslibrary
 
The project began in Richmond, VA in February 2012. Courtney Bowles and I went to the Main Library branch with a proposal; that their library could be filled with histories written by community members, that those histories could fill books that were totally built from recycled materials, and that those books could be made right in the center of the library, where we’d work with hundreds of community members in free public workshops where blenders are whirling, kids are screaming, strangers meeting, really transforming the space…that was basically what we proposed…and thankfully they said yes!
 
Since then we’ve held over 60 workshops at the Main Branch, worked with hundreds of individuals from all walks of life, brought books into jails, senior citizen centers, worked with teens, refugees, and many others to author the handmade books that are now part of the library’s permanent collection.  As the project has grown and gotten some much appreciated press! Libraries across the country have asked to start their own branch. Working with our People’s Librarian internship program we designed a ‘how-to’ guide to starting your own branch and have it free and available on our website.  Branches are starting in NY, Chicago, Indiana, Oakland, and many others.

We’re currently raising funds to build a mobile People’s Library paper-making studio/micro library (our bio-diesel People’s bookmobile!). We’re planning to do a national tour where we work with branches in cities and towns to start their own branches.   
 
In the mean time we’re doing a ton projects in North Philly where we’re working with individuals in re-entry, civil rights lawyers, teens, and a variety of amazing people to creatively and collectively engage with the impacts of incarceration in North Philadelphia. We’re always in need of volunteers, supporters, and future collaborators…more info at: www.peoplespaperco-op.com
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Vendor Interview: INK BRICK

We talked to Alexander Rothman, co-editor in chief, from INK BRICK today for our Vendor Interview. They perfectly embody and encourage something PHILALALIA hopes to encourage as well: collaboration between forms and artists. Find out more:
1. What should attendees of PHILALALIA expect from INK BRICK?
INK BRICK is a press and eponymous journal dedicated to work that blends comics and poetry. We’ll have copies of our debut issue, as well as books by journal contributors and friends of the press.
2. What has INK BRICK achieved this past year that you’re most proud of?
We just opened shop in May, so willing ourselves into existence probably tops the list! Since then we’ve debuted a journal that we’re incredibly proud of, fired up a distribution service for other creators’ comics poetry, and are getting ready to release our first INK-BRICK branded mini comic.
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3. What is something people might not know about INK BRICK
Our colophon image probably seems random—a cat with its face scribbled out. It’s is actually an homage to two major influences. The first is C: Comics, a short-lived comics-poetry anthology from the 60s produced by Joe Brainard and various New York School poets. A piece by Brainard and Frank O’hara in the first issue featured a dog with its face scratched out. Our image includes a cat instead in a nod to George Herriman’s lyrical, weird strip Krazy Kat.
4. The genre of your focus is so distinct–and awesome. What do you think the future holds for  poetry comics?
We couldn’t be more excited for the future of the form. Cartoonists have never been freer to push creative boundaries, and every day we learn about new creators turning comics’ visual language toward poetry. We’re here to gather and promote that work.
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Vendor Interview: Bloof Books

Today, we’re featuring our brief interview with Bloof Books, a collective micro-press from nearby New Jersey, the Garden State. Shanna Compton, Bloof Poet & Publisher helps us to better understand what that means and also get ready for what they’ll be showcasing at our upcoming book fair! Be on the lookout– we may be posting more than one Vendor Interview per day now that our book fair & lit/art event is within reach!
1. What should attendees of PHILALALIA expect from Bloof Books?
We’re bringing our full catalog of books and chapbooks—so, expect really good poems—plus a few special ephemeral things. The Sonnets by Sandra Simonds will be on display (it’s not out till November) and available for a preorder discount. We’ll have mini broadsides not available elsewhere, and a limited-edition handmade poster created exclusively for the fair.
I’ll be giving a chapbook-making workshop on Friday at noon, so bring your questions. I’ll have examples of materials, demo some binding styles, and talk about how you can start a press at your kitchen table. That night, we’re co-hosting a reading at Snockey’s with Coconut.
2. What has Bloof Books achieved this past year that you’re most proud of?
We seem to be reaching new readers with every book and chapbook. It’s great to hear from people how they heard of Bloof and which book got their attention first.
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three recent Bloof chapbooks, as they were in progress: Amanda Montei’s The Failure Age, Natalie Eilbert’s Conversation with the Stone Wife, and Dawn Sueoka’s Little Uglies.

3. What is something people might not know about Bloof Books?
We’re a collective. When people ask about our “business model” I can explain it, but I prefer to think of what we do as a group art project.
4. Bloof Books is not quite a small press but a micropress– and a collective micropress at that. Why are these designations important to what Bloof does and aims to continue to do?
Before founding Bloof, I worked for one of the largest trade publishers as well as a good-sized independent. One thing that became clear in both situations is that poetry is different from other genres, in terms of the best way to publish and promote it, so I decided to specialize. Bloof is tiny by design, not only because we’re trying to specialize, but also because that allows us (the poets) to be really involved with all the decisions about a book. There’s nothing remotely impersonal or corporate about the way we work together, and it feels really satisfying to be working this way. We do as many books and chapbooks as we can each year, but I never want to do so many that any of them get lost in the noise, or to burn through our (growing) readership’s attention. Our small size and friendly relationships also allow us to be flexible and experiment, as we come up with new ideas, or as various technologies change.