Bryan Borland and Seth Pennington, the poetry and publishing couple that runs Sibling Rivalry Press in Little Rock, will be this week's featured poets for Wednesday Night Poetry at Kollective Coffee+Tea, 110 Central Ave.
The regular open mic session for all poets will begin at 6:30 p.m. Borland and Pennington will perform at 7 p.m., followed by another round of open mic. Admission is free and open to all ages.
The late poet Adrienne Rich said, "There's a lot of what I would call comfortable poetry around. But then there is all this other stuff going on -- which is wilder, which is bristling; it's juicier, it's everything that you would want. And it's not comfortable ... it can disturb and enrapture." Inspired by these words, and as a poet and author of four books himself, Borland founded Sibling Rivalry Press in 2010.
In the last decade, SRP has taken the literary world by storm, paving its own way as a publishing house that plays by its own rules, first publishing some of the biggest names in poetry today such as Ocean Vuong and Kaveh Akbar, and seeking out marginalized and underrepresented voices from across the country.
"We signed authors who had broken down doors in the '80s and '90s but who'd been forgotten or ignored by the literary establishment; a generation of gay men who'd written during a time when to publish with one's real name was dangerous. We wanted our ages to be diverse, our faces to be diverse, and our accents to be diverse. We reached into the Midwest and south and built bridges between the American coasts, successfully proving that, while we love our shining cities to the east and west, the dirt from middle America grows some fierce flowers. We turned down distribution deals from big chains and opted to bring our books directly to you ourselves. We did everything we weren't supposed to do and made a lot of people uncomfortable in the process, and always paid our writers along the way. A decade in, we're still here. We publish work that makes us feel electric. We believe the written word saves lives. Why? Because it saved our lives," Borland said in a news release.
In 2012, Borland was invited to read poetry at the United Methodist Church in Conway. In the Sunday school class that day, he met his future husband, also a poet, Pennington. "The rest is a love poem," he said. They were married in 2013, and have written and published poetry together since. Pennington is editor-in-chief at SRP and author of Tertulia. He was editor of Assaracus and poetry editor of Equinox, the literary magazine of UALR, and has been honored by the American Library Association for his editorial, layout, and design work.
In 2015, the Library of Congress acquired all of SRP's printed titles, past and future, for induction into its Rare Books and Special Collections Vault, where they will be "housed among history's greatest writers for all of perpetuity."
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Print Headline: LR's Sibling Rivalry Press publishers featured at Wednesday Night Poetry