This morning I received a call from David Messineo who runs Sensations Magazine in New Jersey. He has invited me to attend a festival in June that will showcase 80-100 small press operators in New Jersey. All donations will be going to help various local food banks in New Jersey.
The event is called PHANfest 1, does take place Sunday June 13, 12-5pm at Secaucus Public Library, and is intended to provide a summer boost to 5-10 New Jersey food banks. Invitations have been extended to all 40 known active poetry publishers based in New Jersey (not 80-100), which includes print and online literary magazine publishers, poetry book and chapbook publishers, and poetry societies and reading groups that have a published anthology for sale (publications limited to high school and college students will not be represented). Roughly 30 of these 40 publishers are also poets, and will be invited to read one poem apiece. Along with them, 40 ADDITIONAL poets will be invited to share the stage with one poem apiece – those 40 (invitations to go out after May 1) will be handpicked by Mr. Messineo, and will include poets who have run reading series in NJ for over 10 years, and those who have been published in a New Jersey-based litmag or online site during 2009 or 2010, with the dual goal of having at least one poet from each NJ county.
Expect 80 readers, one poem apiece, across the five hour event, among our goal of 100 attendees. All readers and attendees are asked to make a minimum $10 financial contribution, due in advance of the event, which should raise $1,000 to be fully allocated to select NJ food banks, and will translate into approximately 2,000 single serve cans of food, to be disbursed among 5-10 food banks and pantries. All participants are offering their time as unpaid volunteers.
While we don’t know how many publishers will accept our invitation, this is the first time in 25+ years that ALL of them have been invited to be part of what could be an annual event. Even if you aren’t selected to read, please plan to set Sunday, June 13, noon to 5, aside and come to this rare gathering – to see the publications, purchase books and magazines, get submission requirements to the publications, meet the publishers, and most important, donate to alleviate the dire summer need of select New Jersey food banks.
To learn more about the host/organizer of this event and Sensations Magazine, see http://www.sensationsmag.com. A “PHANfest” button will be added to our website around May 2, and details will be posted there. Thank you for the quick publicity on the event, and we look forward to including Amanda as one of our 40 invited publishers – and extend to her a gracious welcome to the New Jersey poetry publishing scene.
-David Messineo, Publisher, Sensations Magazine