Saturday, December 19, 2009
Post Poetry Campaign of One
This is a campaign of one, but put the word around will you? This is a campaign against posting greeting cards for special occasions when you could for the same price post someone a book of poems. Of course I won’t win my argument with you if you make your own cards, y’know from cut up magazines, recycled wrapping paper, bobby pins, string and belly button fluff. Or if you buy dirt cheap packs of ten dozen made by cheap labour in a far off country.
Have to confess to that one myself last Christmas. Standing in a post office queue for a 55 cent stamp, I also came out with a pack of said cards which were very bright and red and Santa-jolly and wished everyone many sprouts [sic] for the new year. I laughed so much I felt I had to pay for the entertainment somehow. It also won’t work for you if you buy charity cards – and I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to think I was against Oxfam or Community Aid Abroad or other good causes. But it will work for you if you tend to buy individual cards that you think are a bit unique. These seem - I haven’t done any formal research you understand – to average five to six dollars.
Again I confess. I have bought one commercial Chrissie card this year to send to my brother – but it does have Santa peeing the word ‘joy’ in the snow! How could I resist? And I have an ‘any occasion’ card on hand should just the right moment arise, which has something about a lamb being tied to a pylon and its wool being turned to nylon. At least it’s ‘poetry’. Animal lovers please note, only toy lambs were harmed in this experiment – there is a photo to prove it.
But my point is that for the same price you could choose instead to buy very postable poetry collections and save a poet while you are at it. Rush now to Picaro Press. Their chapbooks are only $5 while their Wagtails are a true bargain at $3 each. They are attractive, lightweight 15-27 pagers so won’t cost a fortune in postage either. There is a long long backlist to choose from – bound to be a title for that special event - or simply order multiple copies of mine…er I mean …of your favourite poet or a recent release. If you would like your loved one to receive poetry EVERY month through the post, buy them a gift subscription. Buy yourself one too. [Note to self: renew own subscription.] Order online from www.picaropress.com and have a look at other publications and offers. Hail poets Rob Riel and Judy Johnson who deliver Picaro poetry to us.
Designed to fit right into an envelope are Chris Mansell’s PressPress books. At $9.90 they cost no more than a card that is extra large in size and might sing annoying tunes everytime you open it. Why encourage noise pollution when you could send a ‘card’ that sings of poetry. Send PressPress books when you want to share a non-polluting, extra special creative moment or when you feel a small but meaningful gift is called for - indeed – an objet du désir. Visit www.presspress.com.au Hail Mansell. Speaking of the song of poetry, check out songs for the ordinary mass by Scott-Patrick Mitchell, winner the 2009 PressPress Chapbook Award.
Hail also the Aussie Posties – may they get their improved working conditions and deliver poetry to the world.
Three Doors Down is a newer venture – a ‘Sydney-based tiny literary press’ - publishing among other things two-fold A4 chaplets dubbed Pollets, after the late Sylvester Pollet. Most definitely will fit in an envelope and be cheap to post. I’m still exploring the website: threedoorsdown.wordpress.com and I’m suspecting they might even be free. Gosh. But don’t quote me – especially not on the ‘gosh’. Let you know. Established by Michael Aiken (Aus) and Sean Macinnes (USA) they are the two authors of the first release in the poetry series The Other Feet. Wishing them a smooth and fruitful poetry path.
Please feel free to share other postable poetry title-ettes in Australia or elsewhere. I do like hearing about the whole world out there - makes my feet itch and my pen twitch.