Sunday, June 15, 2014

Little by Bob Krech

I normally stay on topic with my monthly blog post, but I wanted to share something fun I found out about very recently.

My daughter, Faith just finished her junior year at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. Faith is an English major so when she announced back in March that she had secured a summer internship with a small publisher in Durham, NC my wife and I were very excited for her. When I asked Faith last month if she had visited the publisher's office building yet she said no, that the office was basically "the basement of this guy's house." Totally reassuring to any parent.

As it turns out, Bull City Press is completely legitimate and very fun particularly it you're into poetry. It is headed by nationally known poet and professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, Ross White.  Bull City is a self-described "micro-press" specializing in small poetry and short prose.

Their quarterly journal is called, appropriately enough, INCH. The physical journal itself measures about 5 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches. It consists of just six pages (not counting front and back cover). The Summer 2014 issue contains three poems and one prose piece. Submission guidelines state that poems can be one to nine lines. Prose has to be under 750 words. Their mantra is "We believe good things come in small packages" and they are definitely living that.

When I got my first copy of INCH I found myself reading slowly and deeply, savoring the three little poems and one story like each was the last chocolate in the box. I read and re-read. I let them melt in my mouth just like the last chocolate. The fact that there were only three poems let each one have a depth of attention that I would not normally give if I were reading a larger collection. The prose piece was nuanced and again, let me ponder and revisit, because, well, it was the only one. This small focus really worked for me as a reader. I think it's particularly good for poetry and short fiction.

I love everything about this concept. It is hard to write "small" but it is also a nice way to begin or a great thing to aspire to as a writer. If anyone wants to experiment with this kind of writing (and we all did a little flash fiction a few months back), I'm thinking this is a great venue. I've urged my daughter to talk to them about maybe considering doing something similar for kids. Don't you think that would be cool?

Bull City Press also publishes poetry collections and chapbooks. By the way, Faith's not getting any commission on sales or anything with this, I was just totally won over by the whole approach and wanted to share with you all.

You can find our more about Bull City Press and their publications at http://www.bullcitypress.com


8 comments:

  1. Oh, I love this! I love everything about it! I even wrote a book called ONE SQUARE INCH about a fantasy world two children create using their grandfather's inherited deeds to "one square inch" of the Yukon. I will look for INCH and join you in savoring its miniature precious pleasures.

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    1. Your book sounds very cool. Great story idea.

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  2. I think this is a great idea for kids and very "doable". Seems reminiscent of the "Chap Books" of yesteryear. What a fun way to get books in the hands of all. Thanks for sharing Bob.

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    1. My pleasure. I hope they do a kid version.

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  3. Congrats to Faith! What a great experience.

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    1. Thanks. I know she's enjoying it already.

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  4. What a great reminder to savor the small things, Bob. Thank you. And congrats to Faith; sounds like a neat experience.

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  5. Love the idea of writing "small"!

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