Meet the Presses 2014; a recap
|Residential or reading area?|
|It kills me that I continue posting photos from...|
Wading into the Indie Literary Market’s deep end, I spent some time marveling at BookThug’s glossy and limited chapbooks written by the likes of Lisa Robertson and Nelson Ball. (My plan to snag these titles also went amiss, although I hear they’re throwing quite the sale for Black Friday…) Mansfield Press’ table had its share of surprises as well, brandishing new titles that had arrived just two days prior. In a moment of psychic connection, Stuart Ross handed me a micro-chapbook I’d been curious about, called 4 Tiny Poems I Wrote on March 15, 2014. The immediacy of this two-fold sheet of paper, with its concealed (and yes, tiny) abstractions, resonated my own urge to publish on impulse!
After a series of introductions that had Hazel Millar, Paul Dutton and Jim Smith grace the podium, the bpNichol Chapbook Award went to Christine Leclerc’s Oilywood (as well as its publisher, Nomados Press). Onlookers around me seemed to support the decision. I’d wager a bit of excitement was lost on account of neither author nor publisher making the unreasonable trip from British Columbia, but Leclerc’s friend and fellow author Liz Ross accepted on their behalf. After a thoughtful speech, some applause and photos, the crowds returned to their rooting ways.
|..my iPhone when you can barely discern faces..|
Almost as curious is why I’m still so fascinated with the above/ground press table, manned by rob mclennan, when I can recreate much of his display at home. It isn’t just the visual appeal of seeing a rainbow of chapbooks draped over the table like a quilt, but picking out squares and revisiting favourites, unknowns. Arguably the most eye-catching of the latter category was mclennan's new book of poetry, If suppose we are a fragment (Buschek Books, 2014), which had me hooked within a few pages.
|...or a crisp sense of environment beyond the haze...|
Meet the Presses added a heaping of poetry and imaginative fiction to an otherwise rainy, windy Saturday. And although most of my purchases were planned in advance from a pool of already admired presses, I became familiar with other publishers I'd heard of only in passing. All of this is to say, the event more than lived up to its name.