I invite the editors of 12 journals to participate. I ask them to each invite two poets to represent their journal. The event is always held on a Sunday, 1:00 - 5:00 PM, a day the library is closed to the public. However, the library opens for the event and the public is invited to come. The Assistant Director works with me during the planning stages of the event and is present throughout the day. Volunteers man the book sale area.
The editors and journals set up in the Reference area, two journals per table. Computers are turned on around the perimeter of the room so that journal websites can be displayed. Editors answer questions and provide subscription information and submission guidelines. Journals are available for purchase.
The readings are held in another room, The Community Room. I divide the afternoon into four 30-minute sessions. Three journals—6 poets—read during each session. I introduce each editor who then describes his or her journal and introduces the two poets. Each poet is asked to read two poems, totaling no more than 5 minutes. Following each reading session, there is a 20-minute break, during which time people browse the journals.
There is also a Book Sale area at the front of the library where reading poets can offer books for sale—one title per poet. Book sales were down this year which was my one regret. However, journal sales were up and that's good news as the primary function of the day is to honor the journals that make it possible for us to publish our work.
We had a really good turnout, and everyone seemed to have a great time. Here are some photos which tell their own story.
Cookies donated by the West Caldwell Shop-Rite. These and the candy added to the fun.
Adele Kenny reading for the Paterson Literary Review
Anthony Buccino reading for the Paterson Literary Review
Audience. Notice the extra chairs at the back and the people standing in the doorway and hallway. Don't all these people look happy? Imagine how happy the poets were to read for an audience like this!
Peter Murphy reading for The Literary Review
Quincy Lehr, editor of The Raintown Review. Prize for best pants.
Ray Hammond, editor of New York Quarterly
Tables with journals, crowd browsing during break
Crowd browsing. Much excitement stirred up over the brand new Stillwater Review