Pop-Up Book Fair Recap & An Anthology Update


A still from the video I shot at the Pop-Up Book Fair on Sunday, April 14th. My apologies for the somewhat poor quality — lighting was tricky.

On a particularly nice Sunday this rainy April, I had the chance to attend the Pop-Up Book Fair at the Empty Bottle in Chicago. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, local book publisher Curbside Splendor hosts this event with partners every few months or so, inviting other local book publishers to join in. The place is full of literary types (my people), table after table of locally-published lit, and there’s a bar — could there be a better combination?

I was able to connect with a lot of those who I had already interviewed for the Independent Press Anthology, and also met knew presses to add to our ever-growing project! As always, being around these individuals is inspiring, and not only from a writer’s perspective. These are true entrepreneurs pursuing their passion for good art and literature, and many of them are so dedicated that they continue to run their press as a second job, in their “spare time.” Every time I talk with a new press, I find more and more to admire about these individuals. And it is amazing how many more them are forming and growing every day.

Some of the presses I met for the first time, and am excited to learn more about, include: Criminal Class Press, Anobium, 7Vientos Press, Convulsive Editions and Burial Day Books.

Yes, it has officially been one year since I started doing all of these interviews. I can’t believe time has gone by so fast, but our project is still progressing — and growing even larger. I’m sure many of you have been wondering, “Whatever happened to that?” Here’s where we are now:

After a lot of careful thought, we’ve decided to create a local literary website, and possibly an ebook component that will be sold on the site. Since we have collected a number of video interviews, this would be the best way to share both the written and visual data we’ve collected. In addition to sharing the stories of independent presses, we will also share the stories of local independent booksellers and live lit series/events. This second portion of the project has not begun yet, but I hope to be headed out to interview and profile the individuals who help run these sometime this year. There will be many components to the site, including an event calendar for local literary events and possibly job postings. The plan is continuing to evolve — as is an official name! — but I will share these with you when I have them.

Until the website is up, I will continue to write and post updates here on my personal website. Stay tuned!

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