Red Beard Press
Red Beard Press
Red Beard Fans! We need your help! This week two of the Neutral Zone's Marys, Mary Moffet and Mary Gallagher, and I discussed the idea of bringing older authors back for readings. H. Melt's book has been doing so well in Chicago we thought Ann Arbor might want to bring them back for another reading/workshop on LGBTQ+ spaces & communities. We also are considering asking Angel Nafis to come back for another promotion of BlackGirl Mansion. I wanted to open this decision up to our followers, there is a list of our books on our about page in case any of you missed them, let me hear what poets you would love to see again!
Red Beard fans! I visited Volume again tonight for the first time in a while... I encourage you all to join Alex Kime and other literary arts teens on Thursdays @ 6:30. I forgot what an amazing program it is and how much it helps me process/release myself from anxieties I have. This week Hannah Mitchell talked to us about imagist poetry like William Carlos Williams. I hadn't thought about the poem "The Red Wheelbarrow" in a long time and I was really interested by the way she re-taught it. Though not always at a convenient point in the week and sometimes a bit sleepier than necessary, Volume continues to remind me that poetry and literature are not separate from everyday life. I wrote our fans a poem in the hopes it will sway you to join Volume next week with Fiona Chamness and her fantastic attitude!
So much depends
The copy machine's double
Its futuristic origins which
confuse most people
but the water cup sitting gently on its edge,
whose quaking ripples yawn silently, has mastered
(Here is an additional very helpful map that shows the location of "Animal Planet" if you put it in google maps. X marks the spot! The map also may bring you to the Neutral Zone.... Who knows? Follow it tomorrow to find out!!!)
At the Neutral Zone we take pride in our ability to have teen leadership rolls. Since Carlina Duan, our former supervisor, left to teach in Malaysia, we have been noticing how much was left in her hands. We now have a consistent staff of somewhere around ten teens and we decided it was time to start giving the teens some of the roles which Carlina used to handle and now has handed to Mary Gallagher. We separated into a few categories: Financial/business, Communication/PR, Event Planning, Editing/Design, and Promotion.
Hopefully with our new system of putting our separate efforts into different areas we can focus more on our growth and dynamics with outside communities and also hopefully improve inner-press communication. We have in the past worked as a group on large projects but it usually boils down to one or two people working hard, hopefully this will help us spread the effort in order to establish our style & voice as a press.
I was talking with my mother when she was driving me home today. She was telling me how she wished people taught each other the things they know how to do more often. The way societies share is definitely evolving and the ways families hand things down their lineage is different than how our parents experienced it. Jeff Kass teaches poetry in his creative writing class where poets discuss learning how to cook from their parents or how to be strong from their ancestors. I've been seeing learning and the transfer of knowledge moving more into the hands of public spaces.
At the Ann Arbor youth slams and MLTAB, the poets teach about life in Michigan as youth. At home our parents teach us how to argue and be angry and still love. Our bosses and teachers teach us how to handle unfairness, how to waste and use time effectively. Randos (Randos: Noun. from latin word for confusion: formerly, the favorite form of acquaintance for the collective blog of Red Beard Press) teach us about the way other people think in blog posts and articles we see on the internet.
To be honest I think Red Beard is a really important press who is promoting learning within Ann Arbor. Recently there have been a lot of people who have been the target of national attention who really don't know what they are talking about or how to understand their relation to other people and their experiences. The writing we are putting out in the world helps promote the voices of those in Ann Arbor who don't have the ability to be heard, or people from outside Ann Arbor educating us on what it is like living elsewhere. Angel Nafis teaches about what it is like to grow up in Ann Arbor as a black queer woman. Jeff Kass teaches us what it is like to be an educator and father. Eli DeLing speaks from the perspective of growing up in a country hostile and violent towards women. And H. Melt gives us wisdom from Chicago on the issues and daily life of those struggling with gender queerness.
Hopefully we will be able to improve/strengthen our relationships with local bookstores and small businesses around the country such as Women & Children First Bookstore in Chicago.
Keep spreading the word, help us promote! Share the words of Ann Arbor's overshadowed authors and friends!
If anyone has suggestions of local businesses or authors/writers where Red Beard might find some support, our PR and Promotion staff members would greatly appreciate it. Also, if you have anything you are well versed in, please leave us a comment! Any knowledge/stories/ideas are great to hear.
"Poets should bring poetry into all the places where it allegedly doesn’t belong, to all the so-called ‘non-traditional’ audiences that are actually the most traditional audiences of all, from prisons to drug treatment programs, from community centers to urban high schools. (I once gave a reading at a boxing gym in Willimantic, Connecticut, to a team of young amateur boxers, mostly Puerto Rican. Their coach liked poetry.) I don’t know if writers have a collective purpose; I do know that our purpose should include a commitment to the collective." -Martín Espada, interviewed by Nicole Sealey for PEN America.
About Red Beard Press
Red Beard Press is an independent, youth-driven publishing company dedicated to creating cutting-edge literary arts projects, publishing emerging voices, and inspiring passionate literary communities.