Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Festivities

I don't think I could have spent more time away from my apartment without being out of town as I did over this past weekend, as I manned the exhibitor's booth for both my literary magazine (well, "my" in that I'm the editor; it's "my program's" magazine) and for the poetry collective of which I am a founding member. The booths were both half-booths, but were sharing the same whole booth, since so many of us staff one or the other of the organizations. The collective's half of the booth was partially sponsored by the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, who had their information on display as well, creating a mega-booth with all-the-information-you-would-ever-care-to-encounter about our three groups.

But the weekend was almost entirely a success. Gulf Stream designed and implemented a "Reducticus" version of our first online issue, which were about 2" x 2 1/4" big, with brightly colored card stock covers holding 16 pages of small-font xeroxed content. People loved them, and we gave out somewhere around 450 of them (it took a few hours during a couple meetings to fold, cut, and assemble all the Reducticuses (Reductici?)). Also managed to sell a handful of back issues, though the main point was just to remind Miami that we exist, and we were certainly successful on that count. If even a quarter of the people who got a free Reducticus go to the website, that'll be a success. (Our next online issue goes live Dec. 15th, mark your calendars.)

More or less, the actual size of the Reducticuses.

The poetry collective was selling its latest anthology, the 5cent journal (our fifth such journal; we've hiking up the price with every issue), and also gave a reading Sunday afternoon of a large group poem, "Eventually We Noticed the Smoke: a poeme-fleuve". An official, on the schedule, part of the International Book Fair reading, so that's pretty amazingly awesome to have done. For that reading we made a special broadside/insert print version of the long poem, which I co-designed with a local artist/collective member and also did the text editing and document design for (page layout/typesetting via InDesign, I'm not sure what the correct verb for that is). The broadside met rave reviews so that was incredibly cool as well. I really feel like I've been very involved and making things down here in Miami this year. So, though busy, and increasingly angsty about post-school considerations, it's been a good time.

In addition to the Powers reading which I already blogged about, another highlight was seeing Dan Chaon read from his new novel, Await Your Reply. I'd read his book of short stories, Amongst the Missing back in college and seen him read at Carnegie Mellon as well, so it was cool to hear him read again. The novel, based on the three excerpts he read, sounds pretty awesome, so there's a second book on the Cosogifexcel list. I also had the chance to to talk to him a bit at Granta magazine's cocktail party Saturday evening, which is also fun to have done.

Between this and last weekend at the FLAC conference in St. Augustine, it's been a quite literary past couple of weeks, and super-busy as well. And it does really let up, either, as the semester is now avalanching toward its completion and the next online issue of Gulf Stream awaits its coding.


Blogger Jack said...

If you bring any of this stuff home for Thanksgiving, I'll buy it. I still want that T-shirt too.

11/17/2009 12:45 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

Unfortunately, all the special fleuve inserts were given away at the reading. If anyone from the collective ever gets famous, though, they'll be a sure collector's item.

I've still got some reducticuses, though they're less special.

11/17/2009 12:54 PM  

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