Print by Amos Paul Kennedy
On View through May 6th, 2018
April is National Poetry Month, but in the Reading Room, poetry reigns every day. Whether it’s coupled with photography, is a visual narrative without words, a handmade chapbook by an artist or poet, or a suite of poems published by a notable small or micro press, each and every day, these works can be found and enjoyed here.
When I’m not featuring the work of a guest artist, I install various books from my personal collection. Some are available to purchase, some are out of print and rare. Yet they’re all available to be enjoyed on site.
I especially love independent, small, micro and artist-made projects because they fall outside the commercial world and fly below the radar of gatekeepers who attempt to control language and ideas. Sometimes these little books become known and notable on their own and gatekeepers discover them after the fact. It’s satisfying when that happens.
Publishing as artistic practice is growing as a primary means of expression for many artists, writers, graphic designers and printmakers. The choice to produce a book of one’s own or on behalf of others as a micro press is a somewhat radical act in this time. This activity shouldn’t be considered a “vanity press” or project, (a term that should go the way of “spinster”) but regarded as an expressive vehicle and communicative object that’s passed along physically- in person, by mail, or left on a table in a coffee shop or other public place. Indeed, distribution is a challenge, but it’s overcome by social media and relational practices. For the both the maker and the reader, handling is a crucial part of the experience. These books can be hard to locate, but if you search, you’ll find them. I have, and offer them to the public in the reading room.
These installations are curated, but my acquisitions criteria is catholic. I have an open mind and an open heart. I don’t know who’s going to walk into my reading room on any given day, but I like to think I have something to offer them. Come in, pick up a book published by poets and artists and read. Take your time. No glass, no gloves, no hurry is the practice here. All year long. Happy National Poetry Month 2018!
Some featured selections from this installment of Poets as Publishers & Publishing as Artistic Practice
Two little books by James Prez
What to Want by Scott Zieher Ampersand Editions
Egyptian Sonnets by John Yau, Rain Taxi
Burning Deck, DoubleCross Press, Peppercannister, Un-Gyve and OHM Editions
The End, Part One by MC Hyland, Magic Helicopter Press
Books by Nobrow Press, Julia Borissova and Juana Requena