Berrigan to read at Small Press Poetry Fest & Book Fair
Let's say your alma mater didn't qualify for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament this year, and the team you drew in your office pool has already gone down to ignominious defeat. What chance have you to participate in this "March Madness" the rest of the country seems overtaken by?
If you're book lover in Buffalo this week-end, you may not even miss the bracket-busting going on elsewhere. At the third annual Buffalo Small Press Poetry Fest & Book Fair you can revel instead in the heady mix of art and commerce the Buffalo area literary scene has long been known for.
The two day event kicks off Friday night at 7 p.m.at Sugar City on 19 Wadsworth Street in Allentown with an evening long marathon reading (with frequent breaks for refreshments and audience rotation) featuring poets representing 10 prominent small presses from communities as far away as Detroit (Lil' Norton) and Chicago (House Press) to the west, Albany (Flim Forum Press), Hartford and New York City to the east, and Toronto (Bookthug) to the north. Representing Buffalo area small presses will be authors from Little Scratch Pad Press, a particularly strong contingent from BlazeVox Books, Punch Press, and Broke Magazine.
In the 9:30 p.m.slot, featured poet Anselm Berrigan--who was forced to postpone his scheduled Feb.19th appearance for Just Buffalo Literary Center owing to family illness--will read from his work. The son of two prominent “New York School”poets—Ted Berrigan and Alice Notley—he lived in Buffalo from 1989 to 1994 while completing his BA in English and Journalism at the University at Buffalo. He is author of Zero Star Hotel (2002), Some Notes on My Programming (2006), and the forthcoming Free Cell (City Lights Books). Berrigan teaches writing in the MFA program at Bard College, and at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he is poetry editor of the Brooklyn Rail.
The parade of over 30 poets will conclude around midnight with musical performance by Shane and the Lonelies.
On Saturday from noon to 6 p.m., the activity moves to the Karpeles Manuscript Library, 453 Porter Avenue in Buffalo where over 70 vendors, ranging from independent publishers and booksellers, to bookpress owner/operators, graphic artists, the staffs of various literary magazines and journals, representatives of several literary organizations, and several book dealers, collectors and/or collections, will display and deal their wares and services in the museum's main concourse. Upstairs in the museum's meeting rooms, a variety of free workshops on bookbinding, screenprinting, and starting up your own "zine" will be offered.
Last year, over 1200 persons attended. The do-it-yourself ethos was everywhere in evidence, and there was no cursing because someone missed an easy lay-up.