Meet Me in Botswana: What is BLAST PRESS?

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Mar 082016
BLAST logo

A speech for national poetry month about BLAST PRESS.

by Gregg Glory

Ab li dolen in l’air [look up: beauty falls from the air]

“A book should be a ball of light in your hands.” — Ezra Pound

As we all know, April is “International Guitar Month.” But my heart twangs for poetry, and I was invited here to tell you a little bit about a tiny poetry publishing company called BLAST PRESS.

Let’s start with what BLAST PRESS is not. BLAST PRESS is not a community. It is not a community-building venture. It is not by, about, or for “the people.” Unlike the pretentious magazine anthologies that weigh down the shelves and slander the individual by gluing him into some historian’s scripted story, BLAST PRESS is not a collection of individual voices expressing the vibrancy, meaning, and tradition of the creative community–nor of any community. In this respect, BLAST PRESS, as its critics have bitterly asserted, is nothing at all.

BLAST PRESS has published over 100 chapbooks by some twenty authors over the past two decades. Each author’s work stands singularly alone and apart. BLAST PRESS does not take part in the mish-mosh of the magazine market, where a hundred tentative voices are corralled by brute binding into an ersatz herd. We go alone, each of us, to where the crocs swim alertly in the bulrushes and the nights are long. Meet me in Botswana, if you will meet with me at all.

What is a chapbook? A chapbook is a saddle-stapled booklet of plain paper stock folded in half with a sheet of colored card stock for a cover. In the first decade, booklets would be stapled together by hand, each staple closed with a bloody fingertip to save the two-cent per staple cost. All small publishers are unified in this regard: we are exceedingly cheap.

In the next few minutes, for a brief moment, we will hear the voices of some poets that have been published by BLAST PRESS. Their words have been put into chapbooks with a BLAST PRESS logo on the back, and my current address somewhere inside the front flap. Words torn from the air and swatted into print. That is all. But, that is everything.

Jun 282011
Gregg Glory (Gregg G. Brown)

Gregg Glory (Gregg G. Brown)

Gregg Glory [ Gregg G. Brown ] has devoted his life to poetry since happening across a haiku by Moritake, to wit:

float back up to the branch–
Ah! butterflies.

He runs the micro-publishing house BLAST PRESS, which has published over two dozen authors in the past 25 years. Named in honor of the wild Vorticist venture by Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis, BLAST PRESS is forward-looking and very opinionated.

He still composes poems on his departed father’s clipboard, which he’s had since High School.

Published in: BlueLINE, Exquisite Corpse, Blunderbuss, Monmouth Review, Asbury Park Press (60K circulation).

Co-Host of the long-running River Read reading series in Red Bank, which features NJ and national poets.

Associate Editor of the literary magazine This Broken Shore.

Founder and CEO of BLAST PRESS, a literary mirco-publisher that has published over a hundred poetry and literary titles over the last quarter century.

Two-time Asbury Park Poet Laureate awarded by the Asbury Music Awards.

BLAST PRESS is always looking for chapbook-length single-author poetry book submissions (30-70 pages).

My Amazon Author page:

324B Matawan Avenue
Cliffwood, NJ 07721
(732) 970-8409