One by One Press is publishing a literary journal. But not like any other that you’ve read or bought before.
One by One will send subscribers a new poem every week or so, letterpressed and mailed as a postcard. Poems to be found between the bills and the bank statements, to be read in the moments between the mailbox and the doorway, on the front steps, standing over the kitchen counter before dropping the other letters in a heap by the phone.
From the One by One site:
This journal was born from a compulsion to pay attention to things that become real in the moment: a friend’s handwriting. Seasonal shifts in the wind. The silence that comes after truly singular poems. We publish one poem at a time, pulling each one by hand on an antique Kelsey letterpress. We take them to the post office ourselves, and know that the readers who find their imprints in their mailboxes are divinely unique individuals who read and write and think forward, carrying poetry into all of life. We hope to contribute our efforts to the slowing down of the world and help all poetry find meaningful reception.
In an age when books and journals are easily bypassed by blogs and other internet finds, smart literary-leaning folks are finding ways to either use technology, or bypass it altogether, to engage us in the written word.
For example, these guys at Electric Lit maintain one of the most active literary Twitter feeds and produce their journal as an iPhone/iPad app. Because it should be just as easy to read poetry and fiction on your phone as the weather or the New York Times. An approach that is equally genius, yet so completely different, from the One by One gals, who will set and press each letter of each word, then stamp and send the poems by hand.
Long story short: it isn’t a time for business as usual, in the literary and publishing worlds. It’s a time for innovation. Phone call, text, email, Push notification, blog, IM, in-person, letter, facebook feed, tweet. So many ways of communicating, each with its own nuances and merits, suited towards specific messages for certain types of people. For us writers it’s all about possibility.
* Images courtesy the One by One website.