Small Press Festival

Posted: October 21, 2010 by fsucenterforcreativewriting in Events

The chilly mountain air turned a little warmer by Saturday afternoon, but it didn’t really matter since I was surrounded by the warmth of hundreds of books and a group of friendly people at the fourth annual Small and Regional Press Festival in Frostburg, Maryland this past weekend. It was a weekend-long event beginning Thursday night with a poetry slam at Dante’s Bar on Main Street. Friday was a delightful reading by poet Nancy Krygowski at Main Street Books, followed by a reception in the Center for Creative Writing and a community building discussion at the the Frostburg branch of the public library.

So I was all warmed up for Saturday’s Press Fest, and I was not at all disappointed. Some 19 different literary presses set up tables heaped with books, chapbooks, candy, and hot pink toothbrushes in the Lyric Theatre. I spent about three hours going from table to table chatting with regional publishers, gaining insight into the process of each press and the kinds of work they were doing. As a poet seeking venues to offer my work and read the work of others, this was invaluable. It was also a great opportunity to make personal connections with other artists who share a common passion: the written word.

I was so caught up with the amazing publishers and bookmakers who attended that I only made it to one panel discussion—Literature: Online. Though the group was small, we had a lively discussion about choosing to publish work online and how content is still above all else of prime importance. Those in attendance were able to ask questions and received a list of resources and recommendations.

My day was well spent, and I brought home a great stash of books (at greatly discounted prices) and information from all of the presses involved. As I shift through my treasures, I am only disappointed that more people didn’t attend the event. Such a wonderful opportunity so close to home should never be passed up.

Tiffany A. Turbin Santos

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