Sunday, April 01, 2007

In the Soho at Poets House

Well I am back from the Poet's House showcase in New York City. This is the last year it is going to be held in the SOHO section of Manhattan. This poetry center, with 45,000 volumes of poetry, will be moving in 2008 to Battery Park City. While there I spoke to a number of folks, including Donald Lev the publisher of the "Home Planet News", poet Stanley H. Barkan , publisher of the "Cross-Cultural Review Series of World Literature and Art in Sound, Print and Media," Lee Bricetti, the director of Poets House among others.

I also met an English banker who regularly reads in venues on the Bowery,an elderly poet from France who kept asking me the difference between "there" and "here," a poetry lover who produces a show on Manhattan Cable Access TV and other interesting characters!I also looked at all the new poetry books on display. Fortunately or unfortunately Ibbetson Street Books were located on the shelf next to Poet Laureate's Donald Hall's new book. Of course Hall's book got very prominent space. But our books were there including:

cyclamens and swords by Helen Bar Lev, and johnmichael simon
The American Wives Club Patricia Brodie
Poem for the Little Book Tomas O'Leary
Shadow People Molly Lynn Watt
Bagels with the Bards Molly Lynn Watt
Louise Solano: The Grolier Poetry Book Shop Holder/Glines

(all these books were included in a printed catalogue handed out to the many guests)

I also noticed Bagel Bard Mike Amado's book: "Unearthed from Ashes ( Dorrance Publishing) was there.I was told by the online archivist that all these titles will be listed in the online directory by the summer. Also: a number of taped interviews I sent will be listed as well.Of course I gave out samples of current and back issue of "Ibbetson Street" and talked up the Bagel Bards...

The only event of its kind, the annual Poets House Showcase is a free exhibit featuring all of the new poetry books and poetry-related texts published in the United States in a single year—with more than 2,000 titles on view (including volumes by individual authors, anthologies, biographies, critical studies, CDs and DVDs) from over 500 commercial, university and independent presses. Established in 1992 by Executive Director Lee Briccetti, the Showcase reflects Poets House’s mission to make the range of modern poetry available to the public and to stimulate public dialogue on issues of poetry and culture.

During the course of the Showcase, Poets House offers a series of readings, workshops, and receptions, which are designed to provide insight into some of the trends in poetry publishing, to illuminate the often difficult path of the poetry book from poet to reader, and to celebrate the range and power of the American poetic voice.

Each year, Poets House adds the bibliographic records of all the books exhibited in the Showcase to its free, fully-searchable online database, the Directory of American Poetry Books. With over 20,000 titles, the Directory contains the most comprehensive information about U.S. poetry books and publishers from 1990 through 2006.

Doug Holder/Ibbetson Update

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