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A&E | Vol. 20, No. 5, April 1, 2010
(IN's Annual April Fool's Issue)

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PS -- Pensacola

by Hana Frenette

An Anthology of Pensacola Poetry is Bound for Glory and Ready to Read

Lock up your family and warn your friends, especially if they like poetry. "PS -- Pensacola," an anthology of local works released by Patrick Hudson, is sure to excite and enthuse all those who truly appreciate the art of poetry. There might even be a riot -- a peaceful, poetic riot, but a riot nevertheless.

"PS -- Pensacola" contains works produced by the New Poets Society in the past year and features 13 different writers as well as a few artists and photographers.

The New Poets Society, or NPS, is a group founded by Hudson that meets every Tuesday night at End of the Line Cafe to read and listen to poetry. Sign up is at 7 p.m. and the mic opens up at 8 p.m.; anyone and everyone are welcome.

"I love all the work in this book," Hudson said. "It's composed of voices that I want everyone to hear."

The poetry nights at End of the Line were going so well, thus, for Hudson, a published collection of the poems from the entire year just seemed like the next step.

"It took some time to get the support, and to collect works that I thought complemented each other well," Hudson said. "After that, it was a week or two of all-nighters on the computer and then the first draft was produced."

THE CONTENT

Aside from formatting the book, choosing the layout design and finding people to provide illustrations and photos, Hudson had to take on the task of sifting through the submissions for the book.

"For the most part, everyone in the book submitted 6 to10 poems for me to choose from," Hudson said. "There were definitely excluded submissions."

Most of the excluded submissions were works that Hudson felt did not contribute to the theme of the book, or clashed with the previously selected works. Not that all the poems revolve around one topic or idea; they instead bring out the best in one another by highlighting differences and providing contrast.

"I simply tried to show the diversity of the writers," Hudson explained. "Above all, those who have been consistent contributors to the group -- who have held it up when it was weak -- received priority."

After the tedious sifting process came the tedious binding process.

"I hand-designed several binding jigs from scrap lumber," Hudson added. "They simply hold the pages in place, while volunteers spread expensive dual-proxy glue along the side of the binding."

About 60 books have been made and each one has been hand bound by Hudson and a group of volunteers, which usually consists of anyone willing to help after the Tuesday night poetry reading. Instead of printing numbers on the bottom of the pages, volunteers "ink" them by hand before they are sold, meaning each book is one of a kind.

The volunteers vary from week to week, depending on who has the time or a hand to lend.

"We were all standing over a ping pong table, four of us on either corner, each doing something different, joking about this and that," said volunteer Stijl Calhoun. "I was cutting the pages, and we were all trying to figure out what order they went in.

Despite the level of chaos and disorder that comes with a group of random volunteers putting together a page-numberless book, there was still a method to the madness.

"Certain procedures were followed, but each book is still independent," Hudson said. "And after inking, each volunteer signs their name on the back next to the binder."

So if you purchase a book, you're able to go to the NPS blog and check out each of the featured writers and volunteers and see who was responsible for making your book. If the book is unsigned, Hudson was responsible for assembling it.

Thanks to the presale of "PS -- Pensacola," Hudson has been able to make back production costs and will be donating all profits from the sale of the book to Open Books.

"If we do distribute nationally, I think we'll limit the sales to non-profit bookstores," Hudson said. "If there is a charity backing the store, I'd be more than happy to let them keep the profits."

If all goes well, Hudson plans to publish an anthology of work from NPS each year, and is also planning on releasing a book of haiku under his publishing company, Anomic Press.

"The company is still young, but we technically have three publications already," Hudson added. "We're even making blank journals and allowing others to come and hand-bind their own."

"PS -- Pensacola" is currently available at End of the Line Cafe on Tuesday nights and by personal request. The cost of the book is $7.

"We expect it to be available at Open Books, End of the Line, and on the Internet by the end of April, "Hudson said. "I don't mind personal contact though, especially if someone wants to buy a bunch!"

When asked if he is happy with the way the book turned out, Hudson replied, "Naturally. It gets better every time."

The ability to tweak a publication every time it's published certainly has its advantages. The book is constantly being edited.

"I even leave one of my poem pages blank, so a new one can be put in each time," Hudson said.

With several books and the birth of a publishing company under his belt, what would 19-year-old Hudson like to accomplish next?

"I just want recognition -- whether it's national, local, or whatever," Hudson said. "I just want people to see poetry in the same light that we do."

Hudson then added, "And I'd really like to keep paying my rent."

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PS -- PENSACOLA
COST: $7
DETAILS: Patrick Hudson, 748-6749, anomicemail@gmail.com or newpoetssociety.blogspot.com