Everything has to be special. This coffeeshop in Iowa City has joined the ranks of so many unique mud-slingers of it’s time and refuses to produce it’s regular brew using a machine, instead pouring hot water from a pot through fresh grounds of your choice. This commitment to freshness is not detectable, but it does help cater to the individual attention tea drinkers have enjoyed for centuries. I truly don’t understand why anyone would want to do more work to produce the same result. Regardless, the work gets done, so I’m not sure why it’s so important for me to point out nuance just to set up this post.
The press calendar is somewhat empty until I have to arrive in Brooklyn mid-April for the release of Denise Jarrott’s NYMPH, so I find myself in Iowa both out of curiosity for it’s poetic connections and a desire to avoid being homeless in Milwaukee. Everything is easy here, including living out of one’s car.
In the sacred tradition of independent publishers, my rent check bounced a couple weeks ago after I decided it was more important to pay the authors whose work I’ve published than to maintain the security of housing I rarely use. The financial constraints of traveling and printing books had already led me to the decision of ditching the apartment by June, but the surprising lack of sales last month decided for me that the time to become a full-time poetry troubador was immediate.
I’ve never been to Iowa City before, and the strong tradition of excellent poetry associated with this place makes an excellent starting point for my quest of spreading the VA canon throughout the country. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the marvelous Prairie Lights Bookstore and dropping off some titles to Jan, the owner. Beyond that, I’ve lacked time to find writers or lit-focused events due to an insane amount of hours giving Lyft rides in order to accumulate the scratch needed to print NYMPH on time.
Some kind of festival is going on next week, something to do with missions, which feels appropriate enough, so I’m planning on sticking around to see what that’s all about before making my way somewhere between here and New York. Until then, I hope to become a bit more affected by the hopeful naivety and contentment emanating from this town and its residents.
This is my first ever blog entry. I hope you enjoyed it.