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Small Press Points

Founded in 2005 by poets Tam Lin Neville and Bert Stern in Somerville, Massachusetts, Off the Grid Press (www.offthegridpress.net) publishes books by poets over the age of sixty in order to “provide a forum for older poets, who are sometimes overlooked by the current marketplace.” The press puts out one full-length collection each year through its annual manuscript contest, and seeks poets “ripened in craft and vision, and sufficiently sprightly to promote their work through readings and networks.” The 2011 contest winner, Peter Nash, a semiretired physician in California, promoted his collection Coyote Bush through Facebook, and
by developing relationships with local bookstores. Elaine Terranova, the author of five previous books of poetry, won the 2012 contest for her collection Dollhouse, which was released by Off the Grid this past spring. The press has so far published seven collections, all of which are available on its website. “We look for books that connect with the ongoing human world,” the editors write. “Lyric poetry is by definition personal, but we’re attracted to poems that also engage the larger world, however individual the approach. What do the poems encounter and reckon with that’s important for other people to read?” The annual manuscript contest, which along with publication includes an award of one thousand dollars, is currently open for submissions. Poets over the age of sixty may submit a manuscript of fifty to seventy pages with a twenty-five dollar entry fee by August 31.

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Small Press Points (July/August 2013)

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City Guide

by Ifeanyi Menkiti


The city of Emerson, Thoreau, and the Transcendentalists has produced many prominent writers in its past, but it is also a city whose literary history is still in the making. Ifeanyi Menkiti, who was born in Onitsha, Nigeria, and moved to Massachusetts eventually becoming owner of the nation’s oldest poetry bookstore, tours the vast literary landscape of the greater Boston area.

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