In October 2013, the every-growing Small Press Poetry Library found a permanent location at LitMore, a beautiful and enormous community arts center located in the heart of the Mt. Washington neighborhood in Baltimore.
After seven months of moving, organizing, weeding, and ordering, I finally got a chance to alphabetize and catalog (via Excel) the books by authors whose last names begin with the letter “A,” which amounts to about 5% of the collection. Over the next few months I will finish the A to Z of it all, then move on to the remaining sections (as of today: poetics, anthologies, serials, chapbooks, pamphlets, unbound ephemera, broadsides, fliers, and the uncategorizable stuff that makes archivists sloppy with happiness).
As of my last count, the collection consists of over 4,000 objects, including donations by small presses (Ugly Duckling Presse, Black Lawrence, Calamari Press, Plan B Press, among a host of others), the archives of The Harford County Poetry Society, and the extent of my own collection and Douglas Mowbray’s, Alan C. Reese’s, Minas Konsolas’, Clarinda Harriss’, and too many others to list now. Because the catalog begins to look more real, and will eventually become a reading library for the public, I am composing a formal donations letter for individuals and institutions from which we hope to create THE LARGEST SMALL PRESS LIBRARY IN MARYLAND. It’s a big step for us, but it’s also our passion. And no doubt this is going to be the best and more important resource for writers, students, professionals and lovers of poetry and great literature. And one of our future goals is to work in tandem with the Baltimore City Mayor’s office in order to make LitMore’s small press library a destination point for all tourists and visitors.
Stay tuned for pictures, stories, sounds and updates, plus a close look at the oddities and wonders of this terrific collection. Thanks for paying attention, and for paying a visit.