Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Beyond FUNDRAISING: Helping an Indie Press Publisher-Poet in Need

Journalist, videographer, novelist, essayist, poet, and illustrator Nick Belardes is a busy guy with a big heart whose work has been published to wide acclaim online (including on Twitter, where he published the first literary Twitter novel) and in print.
I met Nick at a Writing Away Retreat in Breckenridge last month. When he read at a retreat reading, I thought immediately of the early short stories of Junot Díaz and the fantastic works in the Latinos in Lotusland anthology edited by La Bloga blogger (and fiction writer and attorney) Daniel Olivas. Nick’s characters are colorful and authentic, their language infused with the complexities of his Latino heritage.

Nick’s first book of poetry, Songs of the Glue Machines, is due to be published by California-based Lummox Press in 2013. In the proud tradition of Philip Levine, Nick’s collection spotlights and honors the working class. His focus: industrial workers in Central Valley factories in California.

Nick is trying to raise funds to help Lummox Press founder and long-time poet RD Armstrong not only cover the publishing costs of Songs of the Glue Machines, but also simply make ends meet. RD struggles with health issues that have plagued him for some time.

“If enough money is raised, we will help him buy a used car,” Nick says. “And if not a car, then something as simple as paying a month’s rent. People need to understand how much RD sacrifices to publish poets like myself. I’m always trying to do something to help the literary community and can’t think of a better cause.”

Help Nick raise the remaining eighty percent of his $2,500 goal for RD and Lummox Press via his page.  Every little bit helps.

¡Buena suerte, Nick!