Guest Post at the American Bookbinders Museum Blog

ABM Guest Post Screenshot

We’re excited to announce that we have a guest post up on the American Bookbinders Museum’s blog this afternoon. LR editor Iris writes about the history of the chapbook and its importance to the modern poetry scene and describes four chapbooks by some of the poets who are featured in our ongoing collaboration with the museum for National Poetry Month:

“Four Beautiful Chapbooks by Asian American Poets to Read for National Poetry Month”

Click on over to read about Monica Mody’s Travel and Risk, Barbara Jane Reyes’s For the City that Nearly Broke Me, Candy Shue’s You Know Where You’ve Been By Where You End Up, and Debbie Yee’s Handmade Rabbit Society, and please don’t forget to stop by the museum tomorrow night (Thursday, April 21st), where we’ll be taking over their Third Thursday event series with more work by Monica, Barbara, Candy, Debbie, Jason Bayani, and Brynn Saito.  You’ll get the chance to view pieces that each poet read last Saturday, to respond in writing, and to construct and bind a mini chapbook of your own to take home.

For more information, please see the Facebook page for the event as well as our previous blog post that describes our collaboration with the museum in more detail. And if you’re enjoying our focus on the chapbook, stay tuned for a dual interview about the chapbook with poets Margaret Rhee and Chen Chen next week. There’s plenty of goodness still to come before National Poetry Month is up!

Digital Broadsides: R.A. Villanueva’s “Vanitas,” Designed by Debbie Yee

Download the "Vanitas" Broadside
"Vanitas" Broadside (Click to visit the download page)

Happy Friday, everyone! As we explained in our update on Monday, we’re celebrating National Poetry Month this year by offering a series of free Digital Broadsides, designed by Asian American designers (many of whom are poets themselves), and featuring poems from past issues of LR. Today’s broadside, which showcases R.A. Villanueva’s “Vanitas” from Issue 4, was designed for us by the talented Debbie Yee, a poet, Kundiman Fellow, and print artist who lives and works in San Francisco.  Debbie’s design for “Vanitas” is available for download in two formats—as an 8.5″ x 11″ printable .pdf, and as a desktop wallpaper (in three different sizes, to fit screens with 4:3, 16:10, and 16:9 aspect ratios, respectively). Click here to visit our new “Digital Broadsides” page, where you can download the broadside in your format of choice.

As a multi-disciplinary artist, Debbie often combines her interests in the visual with her writing and knowledge of bookmaking in order to produce beautiful short-run chapbooks and other pieces of literary art. For her latest project, which is funded by a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission, she has committed to giving away 100 copies of her own handmade chapbook, Handmade Rabbit Society, in exchange for each recipient’s sharing the name of a self-published or small- or micro- press chapbook that he or she has purchased in the last 18 months. The goal of this exchange project, Debbie writes on her web site, is to turn more “people on to the chapbook format and [introduce] the work of emerging poets and writers.” You can read more about Debbie’s project and find out how to participate on her site, Linocat.

We hope that you’ll take a moment to download, print, and post Debbie’s beautiful interpretation of “Vanitas” somewhere where others can see and encounter it—perhaps a bathroom stall, a classroom, a bulletin board, a door, a refrigerator.  If you post a copy somewhere public or have stories to share about what happens when you do, we’d love to hear about it.  Send us an email (editors [at] lanternreview dot com) with a photo and an explanation, or, if you’re on Facebook, upload a picture of where you hung the broadside, and tag us! (@Lantern Review).  When National Poetry Month is over, if we gather enough stories and photos, we’ll do a little feature post highlighting some of our favorites here.

LR News: Happy National Poetry Month!

PB 1 - Vanni Taing
Pocket Broadside #1 - Vanni Taing

April is National Poetry Month, and as usual, we are celebrating it on the LR Blog with two new special projects.

Digital Broadsides for National Poetry Month

Whereas in the past, we’ve run a prompt contest during April, this year, we’ve decided to do something a little different. Because, in our view, National Poetry Month is as much about encouraging the reading of poetry as it is about encouraging the writing of poetry, we wanted to produce a project that would enable the sharing of  Asian American poetry beyond the confines of our magazine and blog.  To that end, we’re thrilled to be able to announce our very first series of Digital Broadsides.  Every Friday during the month of April, in lieu of  a regular prompt, we’ll be offering a free, downloadable broadside featuring a poem that’s appeared in a past issue of LR.  Each broadside has been designed by a different Asian American artist (most of whom are also poets and LR contributors), and will be offered in two different formats: as a desktop wallpaper, which we hope will inspire you to write each time you open your computer,  and as an 8.5 x 11 printable .PDF, which we hope you’ll print out, post, and share.  You can look out for the first of the series—featuring poet/artist Debbie Yee‘s design for R.A. Villanueva’s poem “Vanitas” (from Issue 4)—this Friday, when we’ll release it on the blog.

Pocket Broadsides on Tumblr

The Pocket Broadsides project (about which I wrote extensively in my AWP reflection post) is now on Tumblr!  Since many of the Pocket Broadsides are miniature poems, we thought that April would be the perfect time to launch an online archive of the project. Starting today, we will be posting images of up to two pieces a week—of both the Pocket Broadsides we brought to AWP (in serial order), and the visitor-written pieces that we received in exchange.  The series kicks off with Pocket Broadside #1, a short poem by LR Issue 1 contributor, Vanni Taing.  At least through the month of April, we’ll be posting notices on the LR blog each time we post a new poem to Tumblr, but to read each Pocket Broadside as soon as it’s released, please add to your list of RSS subscriptions. If you’re on Tumblr yourself, please follow us and re-post!

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That’s all of our special announcements for April.  We hope you’ll join us in helping to spread the word about Asian American poetry this month—both through the Digital Broadsides and by linking to and re-posting the Pocket Broadsides as they appear on Tumblr.

Do you have any special celebrations or project planned for National Poetry Month?  We’d love to hear about them.  Drop us a line in the comments or via e-mail.  If we like your project and you’re documenting it online, we’ll link to it on Facebook or Twitter, and maybe even post about it here!