Before the Easthampton Bookfest last week and after gazing in appreciation for a few days at a broadside of one of Jennifer K Sweeney's poems, I decided to try my hand at making one of my own. Truth be told, I'd rather have made a gorgeous broadside of someone else's poem because I'm around my own poems all the time! But I have plenty of poems which lend themselves to the broadside format so I dove in. Let me also say, for anyone who doesn't know me, or read my blog often, I'm crafty bordering on artsy :) I came to craft and visual art late, with wool felting, in my early 30s and it's grown from there. The image on the broadside is a watercolor I painted about a year ago. I don't specialize in one craft or art form, but bounce around as the mood strikes: crochet, collage, needle felting, weaving, quilting, textile art, woodcuts, monotype and collograph prints, photography, watercolor and gouache painting are a handful of menu offerings from the past year. Poetry is the art form I seek to master, visual art and craft serve a different function for me. Visual art is pure experimentation and improvisation. It feeds and strengthens that artistic faculty and I know it's helped me to become a more intuitive poet. With visual art and craft, I just want to make something that aesthetically pleases me (first) and then others. I'm an Etsy shop and craft fair veteran at this point. If I didn't sell the stuff I'd be inundated! I guess all of this is to say I have confidence in my visual/design abilities and I didn't just wake up one day and decide to make a broadside. It's been brewing for a while. And, because I needed (ok, wanted) a little press imprint on my broadside, I went and created a press! Well, kind of. Those of you who were readers and contributors of my mini lit mag Queen of Cups, which lasted for one year and published some amazing writers, will remember that I've been threatening to return! Small Salt Press (Big Poetry in Small Packages) is my typical small, just getting my toes wet, approach to publishing. I have a name, a kind of mission and a bit of a plan, but that's it. No website yet, no publishing schedule or fully-fledged model. I'd like to continue experimenting with broadsides and eventually work up to chapbooks, as well as explore other 'small packages' for poetry. For now, there's a broadside! I brought them with me to the bookfest and sold a few. That was heartening. So, If you'd like one of your own signed limited edition broadsides, they're up in the bookstore right now, printed on a sturdy and beautiful white linen stock. The one above is fettered by a watermark, yours' won't be. I'll be playing around with art papers as I go forward, just trying to get the high-end printer to act like one! That's a rant for another day.