In the era of Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster and the rest of the Big Five publishers, it’s nice to promote the small guys.
Towards that end, writing and publishing students at Okanagan College are hosting a Small Press Book Fair on Saturday, Nov. 30.
Local publishers and authors are gathering at Vernon’s Vertigo Gallery to offer their works to the public. Participating writers include acclaimed poets Sharon Thesen and Harold Rhensich, as well as Vernon’s Laisha Rosnau, who recently released her latest novel, Little Fortress, based on the lives of Ofelia and Sveva Caetani, two members of an eccentric Italian-born family who lived in what is now the Caetani Centre in Vernon.
Publishers at the event will include Thoughtweft and Kalamalka Press, and pop-up book shop Read Local Okanagan is coming to represent dozens of Okanagan authors.
Students are also be getting in on the action, showcasing their work and selling small press creations ranging from short story chapbooks to books made from upcycled Polaroid cameras.
From 7 to 8 p.m. the students are launching a poetry anthology called Havoc, with readings by contributors.
“It’s going to be a real event, not just an excuse for me to make new friends,” joked McPherson.
“The students have worked hard on their projects this semester and made some dang beautiful books. And I’m very happy to be partnering with Gallery Vertigo, which has a rich history of supporting Vernon’s literary community.”
The event is free and runs from 1 to 8 p.m.
Gallery Vertigo is an artist-run centre that has been a space for artists of all mediums since 2000. It’s also the home of the North Okanagan Artists Alternative, a registered non-profit society that helps offer free visual art experiences to the public.