Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I've always had a more ambitious goal for Meritage Press (MP) than to be simply a book publisher. If you go to the "About" section at our website, you'll see a statement that begins with:
Meritage Press seeks to expand fresh ways of featuring literary and other art forms. Meritage expects to publish a wide range of artists – poets, writers, visual artists, dancers, and performance artists. By acknowledging the multiplicity of aesthetic concerns, Meritage’s interests necessarily encompass a variety of disciplines – politics, culture, identity, science, humor, religion, history, technology, philosophy and wine.

And so I'm purrred to announce that I've finally concocted another concept that goes beyond just book publishing, to wit -- here's the first draft of an announcement that I hope to formalize later this summer with the announcement of the first project to come out of it:

Meritage Press (MP) is pleased to inaugurate a new series of Tiny Books that aligns poetry with fair trade and economic development issues affecting Third World countries.

MP's Tiny Books initially will utilize small books ( 1 3/4 x 1 3/4") made in Guatemala by artisans paid fair wages, as sourced by Baksheesh, a fair trade retailer. All profits from book sales then will be donated to Heifer International, a group devoted to reducing world hunger by promoting sustainable sources of food and income. Tiny Books manifest MP's belief that "Poetry feeds the world" in non-metaphorical ways. The series creates demand for fair trade workers' products while also sourcing donations for easing poverty in poorer areas of the world.

MP's Tiny Books will be inaugurated aptly by ____[POETS TO COME]____

With Tiny Books, MP also offers a new DIY, or Do-It-Yourself Model of publishing. You've heard of POD or print-on-demand? Well, these books' print runs will be based on HOD or Handwritten-on-Demand. MP's publisher, Eileen Tabios, will handwrite all texts into the Tiny Books' pages and books will be released to meet demand for as long as MP is able to source appropriate tiny books -- or until the publisher gets arthritis. In a universe increasingly dependent on e-relationships, MP wishes to honor the gesture -- the intimacy of the non-virtual hand. Embodied Poetry.

After all, Moi is blind and so your Chatelaine must rely significantly on touching you...


HOUSEKEEPING: This series is supported by Oenophiles For Poetry -- well aren't you all special?! And of course you are!!

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