Monday, April 23, 2007

Popular Ink—because everyone needs a shirt and everyone needs a story!

one of each

My new chapbook, All About the Blindspot & Other Poems, just came out the other week. There should be a link to the publisher's site to the right. Popular Ink is a cool company, and I hope they do very well. Below find their press release to find out more about their company.

"The high-concept publishing and accessories company, Popular Ink, is reinventing the traditional literary publishing model for the 21st century with its debut line of five limited-edition books and matching t-shirts. The founders of Popular Ink, a collective of writers and artists who wish to keep their identities anonymous, have created a new publishing approach and online community to share writing and spark interest in reading. What better way to get people talking than with stylish t-shirts printed with enigmatic phrases from portable new works?

Inspired by the affordability and accessibility of the wildly popular Penny Press, Popular Ink tees sport attention-getting lines from the work of new writers. And each tee comes with the matching book—a pocket-sized, perfect-bound cache of poems or a fresh, new story. The writers for the debut line are: Jorn Ake, M. C. Boyes, Paula Champa, Nathan Alling Long and Jessamyn Joy Ross. (Collect the whole set and you'll never go naked or lack for a good read again.)

Popular Ink's first in a series of tees can go from yoga to brunch to Memorial Day barbeques. Choose the washable, giftable tees and mini-books in five limited-edition colors, like lazy-ass yellow, disturbing fin gray and think-tank pink. Popular Ink tees and books are available only at To link directly to the shop: (Shipping is free.)

Cool tees and provocative reads not enough? In Popular Ink's Indelible Kitchen, everyone is invited to join the riff of conversation. Each week, the blogazine Indelible Kitchen will feature writing, art and more. This lightly juried blogazine is a unique place to post new writing and art — with the opportunity to become a permanent contributor. Simply click on the email function to submit posts.

The editors at Popular Ink routinely read the Indelible Kitchen looking for the authors and illustrators for their next set of books. The Popular Ink website also offers a direct submissions link for authors who hope to see their names in bright lights (or at least in print).

Popular Ink features a stand-alone t-shirt, the Popular Monkey, by artist Chris Shrader. In June, Popular Ink will launch the first Remake the Monkey contest. Artists can submit their illustrations in the Indelible Kitchen.

The company plans to debut new shirts, other unusual items and giftbooks in limited editions of collectible colors and a full range of sizes four times a year. Watch for new items and contest announcements."

If you get one of my books, send me a photo of you wearing the t-shirt. I'll start collecting them for later posting here!

Virginia Tech and Baghdad


The irony struck me when close on the heels of the tragedy at Virginia Tech (i.e. the next day) there was a huge series of bombings in Baghdad in which over 170 people died immediately. And this was one day. Earlier in January, 70 students and staff were killed in a bombing at a Baghdad university.

Don't misunderstand me - the presence of violence and tragedy in other parts of the world doesn't make an event NOT a tragedy in this part of the world. The VA Tech shooting, where I have friends and acquaintances who are faculty in the English department, was definitively a tragedy in many different ways. There is no mitigating that fact, nor would it be my intention to do so.

But I couldn't help wondering - must not just about every Iraqi who sees coverage of this event on CNN be wondering if any of the students on VA Tech's campus will connect their experience of violence & its psychological aftermath with the experience of violence that has become a daily presence for people living in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq? I am not of course saying that VA Tech was caused by Iraq. That would be a simplistic misreading of my point. I am wondering merely whether the moment of violence at VA Tech might give the people who experienced it directly & those of us who followed it on television, pause to consider what living in Iraq might truthfully mean to the people we insist we are helping. Can anyone of us imagine what it must be like to live in a country where VA Tech happens every day, if not VA Tech x3 or 4 or 5? Even in this dismal moment of meaningless violence, how many of us are considering how insanely lucky we are that we live in this country?

And given the resultant understanding that might come from careful consideration, what are we going to do now?