One of my missions these days is to get modern poetry out there in front of new audiences, to show people who have not experienced poetry since the two weeks they spent covering Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson in high-school just what they've been missing.
I cannot do this alone. This is a mission that should unite all the poetry presses of north-east Ohio.
Coming up May 19th and 20th is the Hessler Street Fair in Cleveland. Crisis Chronicles, NightBallet, and Writing Knights presses will be teaming up with Poet's Haven to present the North-East Ohio Poetry booth, which will be in the courtyard behind the Mandel Center, on Hessler Court. All four of our presses will have our publications for sale, and we will have poets performing at the booth through most of the festival. (Our performing poets will be paused while the Hessler Poetry Anthology winners are reading on the main stage.)
As I worked on getting this lined up, one thing became clear: We need one place on the internet where we all share a presence, where folks can find all of our presses on one site, so when we team up and share space at art festivals or work together to organize other public showings we can be listed under one name. So, I dug up that old NEOpoets.org site I tried to launch as an event calender site some years back (y'know, right before the need for such a site went away in favor of Facebook's events and Google Calendar) and converted it to a blog that'll automatically import all our presses' news, giving you, our readers, one place where you can find out what's coming up from all four of us. Check it out at:
If you operate a press based in north-east Ohio and you are interested in joining us in this mission, in taking part in group poetry presentations at area art festivals and organizing some large-scale poetry events of our own (I have a few in the works), contact me. The more of us that get involved in these projects, the more we all can benefit.
We'll see you at the Hessler Street Fair! :-)