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Poetry Sampling

January 24, 1991

Local poetry publications are a varied lot, often available only through libraries and independent outlets such as the Ventura Bookstore and the John Nichols Gallery in Santa Paula. The following list is a sampling, not a comprehensive inventory, and doesn't include publications primarily made up of student work.

* "X: Ten California Poets," a booklet published by George Keenen and John Landa under the imprint North/South Press. In December, Keenen and Landa published 400 copies of the 48-page collection, at a cost of about $1,000, excluding most labor expenses. Eight of the 10 poets included are local, with one each from Santa Barbara and Bakersfield. Copies sell for $6.95.

* rivertalk, published by Ojai poet Joan Raymund, drawing heavily upon work from poets in her writing workshop. Raymund has published two issues of "rivertalk" since 1988, using family money for the $3,000 cost of each publication. A third "rivertalk" is due in May or June, with a printing of 600 copies and a $5 sale price expected.

* Verve, a 2-year-old quarterly with international ambitions and Simi Valley roots. On the evening of Feb. 9, editors, contributors and others will celebrate the publication's second birthday at the Simi Valley Library. Ron Reichick, by day a marketing manager for a Simi Valley aerospace firm, bankrolls the publication at about $500 per issue, printing 250 copies, and recoups costs by selling subscriptions and individual copies at $3.50 each. The winter issue, which carried work under the theme of "Down and Out and Forgotten," came out Jan. 5. (A reading by that issue's contributors is scheduled Friday night at the Iguana Cafe in North Hollywood.)

* Irrevocable Void, a twice-yearly student and community publication associated with Moorpark College but funded by private donations. Adviser Jan Straka--whose full-time job is as an instructional chemical laboratory technician--said the next issue is due in March. It will have 40 pages of poetry, artwork, fiction and essays, she said, with contributions about equally divided between students and area residents.

* Poulter's Measure, an annual student and community publication at Oxnard College. The next issue is due this spring, editor Catherine Chechik said, and will probably include 30 to 40 pages of poetry, short stories, essays and artwork, with contributions evenly divided between students and community members.

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