Buffalo Small Press Book Fair

I’ve just returned to Asheville from Buffalo, NY where I attended this years Buffalo Small Press Book Fair. Organized by Buffalo artist/poet/printer Chris Fritton, “the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair is a regional one day event that brings booksellers, authors, bookmakers, zinesters, small presses, artists, poets, and other cultural workers (and enthusiasts) together in a venue where they can share ideas, showcase their art, and peddle their wares.” The fair also functions as a kind of reunion for poets, book artists, and friends in general who live, or at one time lived, in the Nickel City. I lived in Buffalo for a few years and it is always a great pleasure to return to such a physically lovely, socially warm place. I have the great fortune of being involved with a small collective, House Press, which started in Buffalo at the end of 1990’s, and has now moved with its members to New York City, Chicago, Bloomington, and Asheville. A few of the founding poets, including Aaron Lowinger and Damian Weber, still live in Buffalo, along with House Press filmmakers Scott Puccio and Ekrem Serdar.

Although the book fair itself is a one-day affair, the peripheral events turn the weekend into a festival. This year, the inaugural event was a long reading (6 hours), showcasing the work of a number of Buffalo publishers and writers. There were several other reading events around town, as well as printing and publishing workshops during the fair itself. Contrary to other book fairs I have attended, such as the sprawling, exceedingly professional AWP, this fair is a very active event. Rather than focusing on the interest of marketing one’s career, the atmosphere is one of collectivity, material production, and general celebration of the fact of making things. Most of the publishers present were themselves writers, poets, illustrators, of book binders. Local independent favorites Talking Leaves and Rust Belt Books were there as well. I encourage you to look into some of this year’s vendors through the links below to see what I am getting at.  Better yet, consider visiting beautiful Buffalo, NY next year to see it all in person.

Some of this year’s vendors:

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