Browsing Barnes & Noble bookshelves, you might have trouble locating the Poetry "section." You might even wonder if there have been any poets or poetry, published in the last handful of decades.
So I decided to put together a special White Elephant Contemporary Poetry Gift Exchange, for the December edition of the monthly poetry reading series that I host at Glendale Community College.
I will ask people to bring one of their favorite poetry collections. One that they would recommend to anyone. They will read one or two poems to the crowd and then they will exchange it for one of the books that I brought, or one of the "in play" books that someone else in the crowd is holding.
I will also bring a handful of my favorites to giveaway to random members of the audience who just came to listen. So you have a chance to walk away with some great new poetry, whether or not you brought something.
Everyone will encounter some great poetry that night and the hope is that anyone could walk away with a new favorite poet. Or at least a little exposure to some worthwhile poetry and presses that they might want to keep an eye out for...
I'm still deciding which poets/books to contribute, so I can ensure some covetable steal-worthy collections. Let me know if you've read any poets lately, who made you want to loan their book to all of your friends and one or two of your co-workers.
If you're in the neighborhood, it will be on Thursday December 8th
Glendale Community College student union
open read starts at 7pm
Post Event Update:
For the record, here are some of the books we ended up giving away on behalf of GCC (especially Johnnie Clemens May), and myself:
Beth Ann Fennelly "Tender Hooks"
Denise Duhamel "Kinky" (Orchises Press)
Aimee Nezhukumatathil "Lucky Fish" (Tupelo Press)
Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz "Everything Is Everything" (Write Bloody Publishing)
Mather Schneider "He Took A Cab" (NYQ Books)
NYQ Books liked the idea of this event so much that Editor Raymond Hammond donated three extra books for me to share:
Grace Zabriskie "Poems"
Monique Ferrell "Unsteady"
Amanda J. Bradley "Hints and Allegations"
Cathy Cappozoli heard about what we were doing, so she sent her latest chapbook "Solstice Windows"
& her husband Sherman Souther's "Surgical Bru-Ez" to give away.
So we were able to expose people to a lot of great work being created
by a lot of great poets and presses that deserve more attention.