Small Press Points

From the May/June 2012 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

The brainchild of editor Leigh Newman and publisher Elizabeth Koch, former coeditor of Opium Magazine and cofounder of its Literary Death Match reading series, Black Balloon Publishing ( hasBlack Balloon Publishing created a venue for books whose worlds unfold beyond the paper page. A champion of “the weird, the unwieldy, the unclassifiable,” Black Balloon published its first hardcover title last fall, the cookbook-cum-rock-album The Recipe Project, a collection of instructions for simple dishes set to song on an accompanying CD by One Ring Zero, an indie band with a discernible literary bent (in 2004 they released their “author project” album As Smart as We Are, which features lyrics by the likes of Margaret Atwood and Jonathan Lethem). In April Black Balloon published its second offering, Louise: Amended by Louise Krug, a memoir of the first-time author’s traumatic brain injury and subsequent path to healing. The book is enhanced by images of documents such as medical evaluation letters and therapeutic exercise instructions that illustrate Krug’s rehabilitation. Putting out only two books a year, the New York City–based press promises authors a tailored and innovative approach to design and marketing—producing original book trailers, for instance (one recipe-song from The Recipe Project was adapted into a whimsical short film involving puppetry to tell the story of the courtship of a tomato and a head of garlic). Looking for works that are “risky but not gimmicky…intelligent but not precious” as well as for writing that challenges genre distinctions, Newman and Koch accept two-hundred-fifty-word book pitches and queries for projects, inventions, and collaborations via an online form.