I’m so excited to be greeting you for the first time as Director of Small Press Traffic. For the past ten years, Samantha Giles held this role with poise, humility, charm and a sense of openness and experimentation. I’ll do my best to emulate these qualities in my work here too.
When I moved to the Bay Area almost 15 years ago, SPT was at the center of the poetry world that I fell in love with, thanks to the efforts of past directors Bob Gluck, Dodie Bellamy, Jocelyn Saidenberg, Elizabeth Treadwell, Dana Teen Lomax, and Samantha Giles. I remember the thrill of sitting in the same room with so many of my writing heroes, some of whom I already knew and read, others who I'd come to discover from being in that room. I’m grateful for this channel of generosity and glad for the chance to contribute to it too.
For over four decades, Small Press Traffic has managed to stay afloat while so many of its counterparts — small artist-run endeavors from the ‘70s with a communal, radical, and queer bent — have folded. It isn’t easy, and we’re in a more difficult place now than ever before. In this critical period, I’ll be working for a modest stipend. I will ensure that SPT stays rooted in our core mission: to provide a space for poets and artists outside of the mainstream to congregate and dialogue across social and aesthetic lines. At the same time, we'll look to revitalize aspects of the operation to better serve the needs of the current moment. With your feedback and support, I look forward to honoring Small Press Traffic’s history and present, into the 2020s.
Things will be pretty quiet this year as I’m doing a lot of back-end work, but you’ll start to hear more from us in the spring with a couple of programs, and then more in the 2020-21 year. If you are able to help support SPT during this transition we’d be immensely grateful for anything you can give: become a member, subscribe as a monthly contributor through Patreon, or make a one-time donation.
Finally, it feels impossible to imagine an SPT without Kevin Killian. He was a great supporter of the organization over the decades. We will miss his generosity of spirit, his unique way of being in the world, as a poet among poets, as a champion of poets. There is no replacing him. But I’m diving in with this in mind: for Small Press Traffic to remain a champion of poets.
Small Press Traffic