The 2009 Pilcrow Lit Fest, founded by lit world powerhouse Amy Guth, concluded on Saturday with A Rebuilt Books Auction and Todd Zuniga's Literary Death Match. The Chicago-based festival was truly fantastic and brought together many of the geographically-dispersed members of the online and new-wave print world.
Although the festival stretched its long arms from one end of the week to the next, with Pilcrow-related events occurring each evening, the most intense day for festival was Saturday, when a series of panels took place at two locations: Trader Todd's and Mathilda's/Baby Atlas.
Literary Festivals like Pilcrow are genuinely energizing. While writing and editing themselves are generally lonely pursuits, requiring quiet concentration and a strong force of will to continue, events like Amy Guth's Pilcrow allow writers to regain perspective, see what's going on elsewhere, sniff the air for new literary scents, and realize new distribution methods (take for instance Featherproof Books' "Light Literature Series", which are tiny, stapled storybooks; also, there are Orange Alert's small-scale CDs, containing literary content).
David Barringer has also created a mini-catalogue of his works, another genius idea from an award-winning designer.
We also had the chance to meet speculative fiction author, Mark R. Brand, who regularly publishes with the beautifully marketed Silver Thought Press. He's one very cool guy and an extremely prolific writer! Check out an excerpt of his book Red Ivy Afternoon here. I just bought it from Amazon a few moments ago, and regret that I didn't pick it up while I was at the festival.
What's our next stop on the American Soma tour? Baltimore! June 6, 2009, Savannah will be joining JMWW Editor Jen Michalski and other JMWW contributors at Cyclops Books in Baltimore, where the group will celebrate the launch of the 3rd JMWW Anthology with a reading. Join us at Cyclops 30 W. North Street in Baltimore!