I have always found that the proposal to make something together was one of the great proposals. I wanted to know some of the poets whose work has been important to me, and by starting this press I found a way to contact them in order to ask to make something together. And now I am writing you to announce a new group of books from fivehundredplaces with chapbooks by Donika Kelly, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, Melissa Buzzeo and Katie Farris as well as an essay by the poet Ilya Kaminsky with drawings by Sanya Kantarovsky.
The approach I have taken with poets has been similar to the way I am approached by curators. Sometimes with a specific interest of specific works, sometimes a proposal of an idea or conversation, and sometimes with an open invitation to use a space in a particular time. I have not taken a traditional editing approach with each poem, but rather with the poet and specific group of works. I try to deal with the space of the book and the pages in a way that poems are on them as things in a space, even sometimes shifting the orientation of the page as to not interfere with line breaks as they are written. Every time I am in awe of the poems, and poets I work with, working with the poems themselves evokes great feelings of care, handling something that was made with great intensity, and exactitude.
I have chosen the poets in this series for different reasons, each year I try to build a constellation of different ways of making poems, different perspectives, and often of different scenes of poets. Some of the poets I make books with are winning major prizes and have published many books, while others are in the beginning of their careers, and seem exciting to publish in the process of developing. With this group of books, I have chosen poets with vastly different approach to form, but each with intense force of language.
This year, I am asking for your support for fivehundredplaces. I set out to make this series with the idea that books can make books. The funding of the press is completely from the sales of books and myself, and I hope you will order the new series from the website fivehundred-places.com to have a part in making the future series.
Right now feels like a time where poems can be used to blow our minds in this wildly misaligned world.
Fivehundred places was founded in 2012 by Jason Dodge.
With a single printing of 500 copies, each book will find itself in one of 500 places.
On the cover of each book is a dead scissor by Paul Elliman.