Small is Beautiful
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Small is Beautiful

Toronto’s Small Press Book Fair runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the Trinity St. Paul Centre, 427 Bloor Street West (just west of Spadina on the south side). Now in its twentieth year, the fair presents about 70 micro to medium-sized publishers and magazines. An archive of some of the fair’s past and present exhibitors links to many of Toronto’s small presses.
You’ll find comics, fiction, zines, word sculptures, artist’s books, and even hand-made soaps with embedded poem fragments like, “I only slipped on the cake of soap of the air / And drowned in the bathtub of the world.” (that’s John Ashbery, and you’ll find the soap at Jennifer LoveGrove‘s table). And seas of chapbooks.
Readings, hosted by Catherine Graham, will take place throughout the afternoon in the Chapel Room starting at 1 p.m. Scheduled to perform are Allan Briesmaster, Ian Burgham, Nashira Dernesh, Mary Lou Dickinson, Gemma Files, Zoe Garnett, Paul Hong, Rene Andre Meshake, Blaise Moritz, and fair co-founder Stuart Ross.
Two highlights we’ve heard about:
If I Were You, a book of collaborations by U.S. poet Ron Padgett and other well-known writers such Allen Ginsberg, Ted Berrigan, and Alice Notley, will be available from Stuart Ross at the Proper Tales Press table.
Sandra Alland will be selling her recent anthology, Some Poems By People I Like, featuring poetry by Andra Simons, Chrystos, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Naila Keleta Mae and Jorge Lara Rivera. Also available is her new collection of poetry, Blissful Times (BookThug), and some poetry cards.
New organizers Halli Villegas and Myna Wallin have brought back one of the fair’s most popular traditions: The Instant Anthology. They invite you to:

Bring one single-sided page of your best work–shortshort fiction, text-based art, a poem–to Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre on the morning of the fair. A trio of editors makes their selection during the afternoon, and the anthology is produced and distributed before the end of the fair. If your work appears in the instant anthology, you’ll get a free copy. Copies will be available for sale to others.

Sign it on the front unless you really want to be anonymous – if the panel chooses your page, it’ll be photocopied as is. Make sure side margins are wide enough that no important things will disappear into the binding. Pass it on–anyone’s welcome to submit a page!

You heard them! Get writing, and get published. After all, Clive Thompson reported in a THIS Magazine editorial that 70% of North Americans will write at least one poem in their lifetime. We’ll see you at the fair!
Photo of past fair booty by Sharon Harris.