LET POETRY FEED THE HUNGRY
Ever since Heifer’s founder, Dan West, came up with the phrase “not a cup, but a cow,” in 1944, Heifer’s approach to providing global assistance to struggling communities has been characterized by long-term development, rather than short-term relief.
As writer Cal Thomas recently stated, “One doesn't 'tackle poverty,' like a football player. One shows the way of escape and provides sufficient role models along with capital and moral and educational structures that serve as ladders so people who want to climb out of the hole can do so.” Heifer couldn’t agree more. It’s what the organization has been doing since 1944.
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From poor or devastated harvests to rising food costs to continued cruelty by dictatorial governments, the news are full of sources of hunger. One of my favorite poetry projects is Meritage Press' Tiny Books Program which supports Heifer International.
It's worth noting that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $2.5 Million Matching Grant to Heifer, which means every dollar donated (e.g. through "Tiny Books") can be doubled! And now, Heifer has received another $1.4 million Matching Grant from its Ambassador Council members. And so Moi would like to remind her Peeps:
Meritage Press Announcement
TINY BOOKS OF POETRY FEEDING THE WORLD…LITERALLY!
Meritage Press (MP) is pleased to announce the first “Tiny Book” release for 2008, following on five releases in 2007. MP’s "Tiny Books" are structured to align poetry with fair trade and economic development issues. The first 2008 release is
from “The Tradition
by Juliana Spahr
Juliana Spahr is a poet, editor, and scholar. Her most recent book of poetry is This Connection of Everyone with Lungs (University of California, 2005), a collection of poems that she wrote from November 30, 2002 to March 30, 2003 that chronicled the buildup to the latest US invasion of Iraq. Atelos also recently published the Transformation (2007), a book of prose which tells the story of three people who move between Hawai‘i and New York in order to talk about cultural geography, ecology, anticolonialism, queer theory, language politics, the academy, and recent wars.
MP's Tiny Books utilize small books (1 3/4" x 1 3/4") made in Nepal by artisans paid fair wages, as sourced by Baksheesh, a fair trade retailer. Photos of a sample "Tiny Book" are available HERE as well as at Crg Hill's Poetry Scorecard. Another illustrated review by Geof Huth is available HERE.
All profits from book sales 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. Note, too, that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $2.5 Million Matching Grant to Heifer, which means every dollar donated (e.g. through "Tiny Books") can be doubled!
Each “Tiny Book” costs $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
256 North Fork Crystal Springs Rd.
St. Helena, CA 94574
Please specify which of the “Tiny Books” you are ordering, since the following “Tiny Books” from the 2007 Series also continue to be available:
all alone again
by Dan Waber
Steps: A Notebook
by Tom Beckett
"…And Then The Wind Did Blow..."
by Ernesto Priego
by Jill Jones
by Lars Palm
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 or debilitative carpal tunnel syndrome.
In addition to providing livestock, Heifer International also provides trees. In, 2007, Meritage Press' Tiny Books program sold enough Tiny Books to finance the donation equivalent of at least seven sets of tree-gifts. Here's what Heifer has to say about trees:
One of Heifer International’s most important commitments is to care for the earth. We believe development must be sustainable — that projects should be long-term investments in the future of people and the planet.That’s why in addition to livestock, Heifer often provides families with trees. On a steep Tanzanian hillside, Heifer International helped a family learn to plant trees and elephant grass to keep the soil in place. Today, they have flourishing rows of leucaena trees and corn.Through training, families learn how to keep their small plots of land healthy and renew the soil for future generations by planting trees, using natural fertilizer, and limiting grazing.By helping families raise their animals in harmony with nature, you can fight poverty and hunger while ensuring a healthy, productive future for us all.
Then of course there are the chickens, goats, water buffalos, pigs, ducks, honeybees, llamas....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.
ABOUT THE 2007 TINY BOOK AUTHORS:
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 logolalia.com. 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.
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.
Lars Palm lives in southern Sweden where he works in health care, writes (mostly smallish) silly poems, translates some Swedish poets, edits a blog zine called skicka (in english) & at times publishes the first broadside series in the country. He's the author of mindfulness (moria, 2006), on stealing lips (The Martian Press, 2006) & is beside the point (Big Game Books Tinyside 34, 2007), and death is (skin of me teeth press, 2007).
For more information: MeritagePress@aol.com