I have been remiss. I have the problem of being a poet and small press associate editor who also has to work at a regular day job for a living as well as be a parent, friend, daughter, and someone who occasionally washes a dish or throws a load of laundry into the washing machine.
Suffice it to say that just because I have not yet written about the first annual Midwest Small Press Festival that took place at various locations in Milwaukee from June 1-3 does not mean that I did not have a fantastic time at the event.The book festival mainly took place at Polish Falcons hall, pictured here thanks to the editor at Midwestern Gothic who thought to bring a camera. (No, my phone is not smart enough to take decent pictures.)
I got to hang out with my favorite EIC, Rob Pockat, and peruse a bunch of great publications currently being produced in our region, meet a gaggle of really of friendly, resourceful editors, and also read my own work at a couple different venues during the course of the weekend. All that in addition to meeting someone who might just be a contender with Jim Giese for the world’s best brownies (that would be Theresa KilKenny who catered the event). Sorry Jim, but you have gone to Alaska, and I must continue to eat brownies, somehow.
There are quite a few things that stand out for me, aside from the brownies and the spinach artichoke wraps that Theresa offered. At this rather late hour—12:33 a.m.—I won’t go into massive detail, but here are roughly three things that I got:
- I was impressed by the number of people doing small editions of really beautiful handmade books like DoubleCross and Rabbit Catastrophe
- Rob and I were thrilled to learn about CreateSpace and talk to several publishers who are using it with great success, including Cowfeather Press and Midwestern Gothic. This may be useful to us here at Stoneboat as we look into expanding our own fledgling imprint, Pebblebrook Press.
- I was intrigued by Poetry for the Masses, Rescue Press, Strange Cage, Curbside Splendor, Sunnyoutside, Xexoxial Editions, Red Fez and I visited my first online poetry bar, The Camel Saloon. That was really cool.
Two summers ago, we were sitting in Rob’s back yard around the fire pit downing some beers, coming up with names for our journal like “Angry Dog” and “Mergatroid’s Dream.” Who would have imagined that in a short time, we’d have four issues of Stoneboat under our belts and the wherewithal (some chutzpah and a mere $15 for a half table to display our wares) to include ourselves in this very creative and innovative community? You can do a lot when you simply go forth and take a chance. It helps to have three smart, inventive, and diligent friends on the case. And brownies. It is always good to have brownies.