After ten years of helping to create Buffalo Rising, I was happy to hear that there was another “Rising” publication coming out of Philadelphia called Rust Belt Rising (RBR). It was Marketing Coordinator Claire Margheim who reached out to me to see if we were aware of the RBR publication. I told her that we were not, and she offered to send along a copy. From Claire:
“With our first publication, we have joined a literary movement of people and entities — like Buffalo Rising — trying to bring light to the Rust Belt.
“We just put out the Rust Belt Rising Almanac, a contemporary almanac telling stories of growth, change and loss in the Rust Belt though short stories, poems, essays and art. This anthology draws creative inspiration from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Detroit, to name a few.”
After taking some time to read through the 150 page almanac, I contacted Claire to let her know that the efforts of The Head & The Hand Press in Philadelphia were something that Buffalo Rising readers would probably be interested in hearing about. In a follow up correspondence, Claire wrote:
“We have just opened up submissions for our next quarterly the Asteroid Belt Almanac on science and technology, which we are looking to publish in April 2014, then the Corn Belt Almanac on food and farming in June 2014 and Rust Belt Rising Vol. 2 in October 2014.
“Also, we are launching a pretty exciting program next week called Community Supported Publishing. This program is similar to the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, in which the consumer pays the farmer forward in the beginning of the farming season for weekly boxes of vegetables, meats and other staples throughout the year. In our CSP, for an upfront annual investment of $50, shareholders will receive bi-annual boxes (October and April) of all our creative work, including our latest novel(s), latest almanac, chapbooks, book art, and extras, as well as exclusive insights into how the work was produced, plus special access to our events and release parties.
“We are doing a sort of “shareholder membership drive” from September 1 – October 15 with the goal of reaching 150 memberships. We are beginning by reaching out to our local community, but shares are certainly not limited to the Philadelphia area. We are treating this like a Kickstarter, and anyone with an interest in signing up and supporting our company can be a shareholder — no matter where they live!”
“Also, the Rust Belt Rising Almanac is now available for purchase wholesale through Small Press Distribution, as well as Baker & Taylor. Individuals can buy through Amazon or our website.
RBR is designed to pique the interest of all those who are eager to hear the stories of people who have in one way or another identified with a Rust Belt city. Sometimes these connections tell the story of heartbreak and hope, while others talk of a certain grassroots fortitude that ultimately becomes the building blocks of a city on the rise. Through poems, essays, photos and art, our Rust Belt cities come to life through the eyes of a new generation of enthusiasts who are eager to share their thoughts. At the same time, there are others who stuck it out when the times were toughest (for some that time might still be now), and who want to tell their own stories of trials and tribulations.
In the end, we can all learn from one another, as individuals as well as a collective of Rust Belt cities. I encourage Buffalo writers to contribute to Rust Belt Rising, in the hope that our story will be told (and read) by as many people as possible. Speaking for a city that is on the rise, “Thanks to the efforts of those at Rust Belt Rising who are helping to publish a collection of works that tell the tales of their respective cities.”