There are a lot of excellent independent poetry publishers around.  But one of the very best of the lot is Green Panda Press, based right around here in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.  I first noticed Green Panda in Steven B. and Kathy Ireland Smith’s top friends on MySpace when I befriended the couple in 2007.  I thought it was an interesting name for a press, but didn’t really investigate at first.  Then when my wife and I met Smith and Lady a couple of months later, they bore poetic gifts for us: a copy of Smith’s final ArtCrimes and a 2006 Green Panda Press broadside collection of Smith and Lady’s poems entitled Chaos City.  Double wow!  One of the Chaos City works, “No Prisons” (the one that begins “Borders, where you can’t say fuck”), would end up being part of the inspiration for my poem Low Kay Shun a year or so later. 

Since that first Green Panda publication hit my hands, I’ve grabbed up and devoured a whole lotta others – maybe a hundred.  Green Panda’s works are always a feast for the eyes and poetic spirit.  They possess a unique blend of beauty, brilliance and unfaltering integrity.  And though you never know what you’re gonna get with the next Green Panda publication, you know it’s gonna be something worth getting, worth reading, worth meditating on – and more than all that.  My words just don’t seem sufficient, because in a lot of ways these works defy description.  Better to just experience them yourself….

Green Panda Press has published a whole bunch of fantastic poets/artists, including (and this list isn’t by any stretch of the imagination comprehensive) Jack Micheline, George Wallace, Alex Gildzen, Charles Potts, d.a. levy, Katie Daley, Jim Lang, Tom Kryss, Daniel Thompson, and of course Smith and Lady – as well as many other folks whose names you may or may not recognize so easily.

Anyway, the point of this blog is to let you know that Green Panda Press has just published a new chapbook entitled Identity Crises, which features poetry by Doug Manson, Bree, and me.  Of the various tastes of publication my work has enjoyed (or not) since 1983, this one might very well be the most satisfying.  It is both quite humbling and quite thrilling to be part of such a first-rate family of publications, sharing a book with fine poets, printed by a press that is acquiring a legendary reputation, and by a publisher for whom I have the utmost respect.  I’m especially pleased that the chap includes what I think might be my most important poem so far: “Identity Crisis.”

The price is right, too.  Put four dollar bills (or a check for four dollars) in an envelope addressed to Green Panda Press (3174 Berkshire Rd., Cleveland Hts. OH 44118) to get your own copy.  And check out some other GPP titles as well.  For their latest, follow editor/publisher Bree’s blog at http://www.greenpandapress.blogspot.com.  You can also visit Green Panda on MySpace right here.

I don’t have a copy of the new book in my hands yet (it’s on it’s way), so instead of showing you what it looks like, I’ll share a photo of just a few of my favorite Green Panda Press titles. 


Green Panda Press
Thanks for your friendship and support!

Peace and poetry,
John, a.k.a. Jesus Crisis
2/24/2009

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