I stopped by UDP on Monday and had the pleasure of folding, awling and sewing some of the chapbooks with Matvei and Michael McCanne. Matvei and Michael designed the gorgeous, did I mention gorgeous? chapbook all in-house.
Let me just say that walking into the UDP workshop brought on a sense of immediate euphoria. Maybe it was just the thick combined smells of ink and cigarette smoke that met me at the door which always conjures raving bohemian associations for me, but I don't think so. UDP is housed in a big building that they share with several other presses and creative studios out in Brooklyn near the Gowannis Canal. Ahhh...(I sighed) this is what small press publishing looks like. Yes. This feels good, real and immediate. The presence of charming men didn't hurt either. Soon I was bone folding with the best of them, comparing Bay Area and NY poetry scenes and singing the praises of dear, dear SPD champs Brent Cunningham and Neil Alger. All in all, UDP is rocking its own socks and mine, and those of many others by any measure. That day, Monday was the awards ceremony for Aram Saroyan who won the William Carlos Williams award. UDP recently published his Complete Minimal Poems and Matvei was on his way to the ceremony when I left. Hooray for Small Press Literature and hooray for UDP. I was a fan before, from afar but now I'm a...uh....huge fan.