Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Meritage Press Announcement


Meritage Press (MP) is pleased to announce the fourth title in its series of Tiny Books that aligns poetry with fair trade and economic development issues affecting Third World countries.

MP's Tiny Books 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, an organization devoted to reducing world hunger by promoting sustainable sources of food and income. This project reflects MP's belief that "Poetry feeds the world" in non-metaphorical ways. The Tiny Books create demand for fair trade workers' products while also sourcing donations for easing poverty in poorer areas of the world.

We are delighted to announce that MP's fourth Tiny Book is

               Speak which
               Hay(na)ku poems
               by Jill Jones

Jill Jones' latest book, Broken/Open (Salt, 2005), was short-listed for The Age Book of the Year 2005 and the 2006 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize. In 1993 she won the Mary Gilmore Award for her first book of poetry, The Mask and the Jagged Star (Hazard Press, 1992). Her third book, The Book of Possibilities (Hale & Iremonger, 1997), was shortlisted for the 1997 National Book Council 'Banjo' Awards and the 1998 Adelaide Festival Awards. Screens, Jets, Heaven: New and Selected Poems (Salt, 2002) won the 2003 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize (NSW Premier's Literary Awards). Her work has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, Polish, French, Italian and Spanish.

MP's other Tiny Books, which also are still available, are
               all alone again
               by Dan Waber

               Steps: A Notebook
               by Tom Beckett

               "…And Then The Wind Did Blow..."
               Jainakú Poems
               by Ernesto Priego

Each Tiny Book will cost $10 plus $1.00 shipping/handling in the U.S. (email us first for non-U.S. orders). To purchase the Tiny Books and donate to Heifer International, send a check for $11.00 per book, made out to "Meritage Press" to

Eileen Tabios
Meritage Press
256 North Fork Crystal Springs Rd.
St. Helena, CA 94574

Please specify which of the four Tiny Books you are ordering.

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 tiny books -- or until the publisher gets arthritis.

Dan Waber is a visual poet, concrete poet, sound poet, performance poet, publisher, editor, playwright and multimedia artist whose work has appeared in all sorts of delicious places, from digital to print, from stage to classroom, from mailboxes to puppet theaters. He is currently working on "and everywhere in between". He makes his online home at Meritage Press tapped Mr. Waber to inaugurate the series partly for his work in minimalist poetry.

Tom Beckett is the author of Unprotected Texts: Selected Poems 1978~2006 (Meritage Press, 2006), and the curator of E-X-C-H-A-N-G-E-V-A-L-U-E-S: The First XI Interviews (Otoliths, 2007). From 1980-1990, he was the editor/publisher of the now legendary critical journal, The Difficulties. Steps: A Notebook is Tom Beckett's first hay(na)ku poetry collection. The hay(na)ku is also a form that lends itself to minimalism.

Ernesto Priego was born in Mexico City. He lives in London. He blogs at Never Neutral and is the author of the first single-author hay(na)ku poetry collection, Not Even Dogs . The "jainakú" is Mexico's version of the hay(na)ku poetic form.

For more information:



As of Oct. 3, 2007, Meritage Press' Tiny Books program has sold enough Tiny Books to finance the donation equivalent of two llamas, and is more than half-way there to financing a third llama! Here's what Heifer has to say about llamas:

"When resources are scarce, it's important that livestock don't use up land reserved for people. At home in rough, mountainous areas of Latin America, llamas are a blessing to families with limited pasture land, and they play a pivotal role in the cultural life of indigenous communities on the high plains of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. // Women weave their llamas' fleece into warm clothing to wear or sell. They load them up with goods for market and trek with them across rugged slopes at high altitudes. As they travel, llamas' padded feet don't damage the fragile terrain and their selective browsing doesn't destroy sparse vegetation. // Llamas and their kin, the alpaca, provide Heifer families with invaluable sources of transportation, income and wool, which is prized for making blankets, ponchos, carpet and rope."

Isn't that fabulous about llamas?! Then of course there are the chickens, goats, water buffalos, pigs, ducks, honeybees....all of which can help ease hunger around the world. Meritage Press thanks you in advance for your support and hopes you enjoy Tiny Books -- small enough to become jewelry, but with poems big enough to resonate worldwide.

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