The Indie Literary Market
This Saturday marks the 2014 Indie Literary Market, put together by the Meet the Presses collective. The weekend after INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair–where local indie publishers competed with more big budget publishers while sequestered in pavilion corners only to spend the day Tweeting about it–indie and micropress publishers have a day for themselves! On November 22, 2014, members of the public are invited to the Tranzac to interact with micro and small press publishers carefully selected by the collective to participate. The event is free and will run all day from 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The event also celebrates achievements by writers who publish using micropress platforms; the winner of the bpNichol Chapbook Award will be announced at 2 p.m. during the fair and awarded with a commemorative plaque and $4000, twice the amount of last year’s prize. The publisher of the winning chapbook also receives $500. Judges Kevin McPherson Eckhoff and Sandra Ridley selected this year’s shortlist, which included one of The Puritan’s past associate poetry editors, Mat Laporte, who was nominated for his Odourless Press chapbook, Life Savings. Other finalists included Jason Christie for Government (above/ground), Christine McNair for pleasantries and other misdemeanours (Apt 9.), matt robinson for a fist made and then un-made (Gaspereau Press), Christine Leclerc for Oilywood (Nomados), and Phil Hall for X (Thee Hellbox).
The Meet the Presses volunteer collective was originally founded by Nicholas Power and Stuart Ross in the mid-1980s and, after a brief hiatus, reformed and membership has expanded to include Gary Barwin, Paul Dutton, Ally Fleming, Beth Follett, Hazel Millar, Leigh Nash, and, more recently, Eric Schmaltz and myself. All of the collective members contribute as writers or publishers of micro- small-, and independent press. This has informed both the curatorial process and the passion behind the Indie Literary Market. According to Gary Barwin, the Indie Literary Market participants and attendees share a
“joie de livre in a context that is outside the strictures of predominantly market-driven publishing … We don’t need thousands of dollars to continue. Our share-holders are people who share in our work by holding our publications in their hands, and share our mutual appreciation of independent literature and publishing.”
The Indie Literary Market thrives on celebrating smaller works that are interesting, exciting, and demonstrate literary merit. Attendees should expect to come across work they would never see at a more traditional bookstore or book fair.
This year’s Indie Literary Market will include above/ground press, Apt 9., Baseline Press, BookThug, Carousel, Coach House Books, Cough, Frog Hollow, Gesture Press, Idea Fountain, Imago, Junction Books, Laurel Reed Books, Little Brother, Mansfield Press, OUTwrites, Pedlar Press, Phafours, Porcupine’s Quill, Proper Tales Press, Puddles of Sky, Rampike, Red Iron, serif of nottingham, Sherwood Press, Sunnyoutside Press, Taddle Creek, Teksteditions, Thee Hellbox Press, Underwhich Editions, Wolsak and Wynn, words(on)pages, and many more.
This year’s Indie Literary Market promises even more exposure to fantastic new literature that a reader can’t come across anywhere else.