Monday, March 19, 2012

Small Press Book Fair turns writing to art

 Printers, poets, bookmakers and more will gather at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum for the sixth annual Buffalo Small Press Book Fair on March 24.
 The purpose of the fair, scheduled from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., is to give these independent publishers and writers the chance to collaborate and share their work with a larger audience, said Chris Fritton, the founder and organizer of the fair.
 It’s also about turning writing into art.
 “It’s indie lit so to speak, it’s all entrepreneurial, small-press publications, which is where literature and poetry makes its initial leap forward,” said Michael Basinski, curator of the University at Buffalo’s rare poetry collection.
 During the fair Basinski will hold a presentation on visual poetry, which he described as any mixture of art and verse.
 Other presentations will show attendees how to operate their own printing press, or print their own T-shirts.
 Over 100 vendors will be selling their work during the one-day event, which is free and open to the public.
 “Buffalo has had a strong independent publishing scene and underground literary scene since the ‘60s,” Fritton said. “Somehow, we're still riding that wave, people here are still doing innovative work, and they're still very attached to the idea of publishing it themselves.”
 “It’s a blast, it’s one of the biggest in the northeast,” Basinski said
 Afterward there will be a free communal dinner at Rust Belt Books, followed by a music event called “Electric City,” where writers and poets perform original music at The Vault art gallery downtown. By Michael Canfield and Jacob Tierney