If poets and lovers of poetry don't write, publish, read, and purchase poetry books then we will have no say in the quality of our contemporary culture and no excuse for the abuses of language, ideas, truth, beauty, and love in our cultural life.
Poetic Matrix Press Newsletter Winter 2021-2022
“Genius is nothing more nor less than childhood recaptured at will.”
– Charles Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays
The past 2 years in this pandemic has had consequences for all of us. Just as we hoped that we were coming out of it another new variance arose and put us back. I hope all of you are doing well and getting through it in a most propitious manner. As with so much of the social order book sales have been affected. Bookstores, because they depend on people being able to slowly browse, looking for that perfect title, have not fared well. In store readings have all but disappeared. Some of you have found Zoom readings as an effective way to reach out. Raphael Block has been quite active in this regard as has Joe Milosch and others.
Our book sales have been modest this past 2 years and especially this year. We have done quite a bit of outreach, offering significant discounts to bookstores, and have gotten little response. We have placed PayPal Buy buttons on most all of our books on the Press website and have started to get some response.
Heather Estes and Lee Underwood have been active with their books and we continue to support them. We are running a continuous ad on Poetry Flash online, changing it every 2-3 months and will continue to do so. We have just now changed ads to support Lateef McLoed's book, Whispers of Krip Love, Shouts Of Krip Revolution. If you haven't seen this book yet please do, it is quite extraordinary. It is filled both with the most righteous anger and the most beautiful compassion. I have been deeply blessed to have been able to work with each one of you.
I will continue to keep our books in print and available to bookstores: Amazon, our website, and other sites. We have placed a number of titles that have had no sales in the past few years on our back list. All of these titles will remain on our site and Amazon etc., as long as they are available but new printings will not occur. We have stock on most of our titles and so they will be on our website for the future. We have done this because there is a yearly cost to maintain titles in our print source data base. With as many titles as we have produced that is a significant yearly cost. With sales this cost is covered, without sales it is not.
We are a small press operation and with the loss of James Downs a couple of years ago and others who have moved on we operate at a modest level. Joe Milosch has been extremely helpful, and Devon Peterson continues to consult when needed. Miles Peterson, with his company Atomic8Ball, have taken on maintaining our website pro bono and we thank them. I am now reaching an age where the presses future needs to be considered, I am doing that. Young, working poets would be nice, we shall see.
"The Bigger the Publishers, the Blander the Books."
– Dennis Johnson, The Atlantic
Our books are not bland!
In the Spring Newsletter I will have a bit of a breakdown on book sales over the past 25 years and some of where our books are collected. If you or someone you know would like to use any of our titles (including your title) in a classroom setting, please get in touch with me. We can supply any number and at costs that would be manageable for students. This is a way to present these quality works to a larger public. Art Campbell and others have utilized his three volumes, Trial & Error - The Education of a Freedom Lawyer; Volume One: For the Defense; Volume Two: For the Prosecution; Volume Three: Return to the Defense in classrooms over many years. Art has also donated all Roya5lties over the years to the California Innocence Project. We thank Art!
If you would like to donate books to libraries, schools or other cultural organizations I would love to talk with you. This is something that is dear to me and is one of the purposes of this literary project. In the spring I'll have more on this.
Books are available to you at little more then the cost of shipping. Do let me know.
“The beautiful is always bizarre.”
– Charles Baudelaire
Finally, I have recently published a new work of essays with poems titled Exploring the Poetic Matrix - Musings on Us and the Planet and How we are in the World. It speaks to many of the topics that James Downs and I explored as we approached creating Poetic Matrix Press. It has come out in hardcover with an optional leather jacket created by my brother Craig Peterson a leather craftsman who once had a leather shop in the Height Ashberry district in San Francisco back in the day. When I came back from Vietnam, in the summer of 1967, he took me to Speedway Meadows in Golden Gate Park to listen to The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and others, yes in the Summer of Love! He with long hair and me with a shaved head and a broken heart among all that beauty! It will be out in paperback soon.
LOVE TO YOU ALL - be safe, stay healthy