Less than a month before we officially kick off the 2014/2015 season, we close the 2013/2014 season with Michele Battiste’s LEFT: Letters to Strangers.
We’d originally thought this would appear during the Summer, but Michele has been promoting her recent book, Uprising (available from Black Lawrence Press). There’s a sort of interwoven narrative in these pieces (all letters) concerning relationships, blurred consciousness/reality, and a mysterious box. Like much of Michele’s poetry, it moves and shakes, soothes conversationally at times . . . and then smacks you (gently). There’s often beauty coupled with a hint of danger. Like:
“I could have left
the box outside but I anticipated
rain and also remembered
the riots, how they started
like a single wisp
of stratus gathering mist.”
This chapbook is available now! Get ‘em while they’re fresh . . . printed in multiple shades of green!
Years ago, because we (er, I) really hate Summer, GBP adopted a policy that we’d not publish anything during the Summer months (which, in Florida, lasts for a long, long time). And then we promptly broke that rule because our publication schedule stretched past Spring. This year, we accepted fewer chapbooks and at least one of those fell off the schedule, so we found ourselves with a break. (Albeit, mostly unannounced.)
So, now we’re waking up from our Summer hibernation. First order of business is the last book from our 2013/2014 season . . . LEFT: Letters to Strangers from Michele Battiste. That will be going into production in the next week or so and available for purchase by the end of the month. The next solid event will be our Open Reading period, which (like last year) will kick off at midnight of Halloween (interpret that how you like) and end at 11:59 p.m. on Bastille Day (a little less open to interpretation).
More updates soon.
UPDATE (10/7): LEFT has been produced and author copies are going out to Michele now. Look for it in the store later this week!cont.
In the first years following college, a Southern refugee living in Upstate New York, I could feel poetry slipping away. As an undergrad, I was writing every day for classes and workshops. I was submitting regularly to journals. But after leaving school, things had slowed. Having left Florida, I was hundreds of miles away from most of my poetic connections. Wanting to re-establish some kind of literary involvement, and armed with my trusty long-arm stapler, I started soliciting poems for a journal that would become bound.
In those early days, I’d post calls for submissions on what was essentially a literary market blog on an Internet still in its infancy. I listed my fragile, rudimentary aesthetic and a P.O. box address. It was the only advertising I ever did. Submissions would trickle in for a week or two and then I’d post again when I needed more. Most of those early issue runs were only read by the contributors who received copies. So, there was a quiet, distantly fragmented community.
It was around this time, a couple issues in, that I came across Karen Fabiane’s poetry. She quickly became a favorite and was featured in one issue. But when bound had run its course and poetry fell back into the background for a while, we lost touch. I actually had a batch of poems she’d submitted that I was never able to publish.
After I’d established Momoware (R.I.P.), I came across those poems again. Karen didn’t have an Internet/social media presence that I could find, but one day, she showed up in my inbox, recalling the earlier journal and asking about submissions. I got her into the final issue of Momoware and told her we HAD to do a chapbook with her. And that’s how we arrived at Seeing You Again.
Karen’s poetry is free-flowing and lived-in and somewhat anarchic. And, at times, refreshingly vulgar. I really can’t say enough nice things about it and how happy that we can bring it to you.
Observe (from “Orphan”):
“No speculative optimism
nor time anyone can follow,
trash of blood, neither abject nor stillborn,
but sensed like the clouded nudity of a goddess passing by,
abandoning shrewd theater.”
Hope everyone’s having a relaxing Memorial Day weekend.
We’re gearing up for a new chapbook, coming this week. It’s Seeing You Again by Karen Fabiane. I’m pretty excited about this one, as we’ve known Karen from back in the early days of GBP when she appeared in several issues of bound. After that, toward the latter part of Summer, we’ll have the latest from Michele Battiste. (Fun note: Michele was also once featured in bound and, when the journal started, both she and Karen were living [as was GBP] in New York’s Capital Region.)
On a more somber (but hopeful) note, there will be no more issues Momoware. In the wake of all the awesome chapbooks we’ve been doing, the journal was becoming something of an afterthought and I didn’t want it (and the associated works) to be relegated to second-tier status. BUT . . . we plan to replace Momoware with a series of mission-driven, theme-based projects that will be collaborative . . . and awesome. We’re planning on the first “mission” coming to fruition early next year.cont.