Poetry Flash, the venerable Berkeley-based poetry newsletter, is in financial trouble and faces possible eviction.
As contributing editor Dawn-Michelle Baude has written in an e-mail circulated to supporters, “Poetry Flash is in dire circumstances, partly due to a $600.00 rent increase, taking effect on November 1, 2015.” That’s an increase of 27% over the current rent.
“Unfortunately,” Baude continues, by way of explanation, “Poetry Flash … [is] situated in a live-work space in Berkeley that is EXEMPT from rent control.”
The goal, then, is to help raise rent money in the short term through small donations and also launch “an online Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign to keep Poetry Flash in its current location until grant monies come in.”
Poetry Flash was founded in 1972 and has been edited by Joyce Jenkins since 1978. Originally a monthly tabloid with a circulation of 22,000, it went digital in 2010. A look at the most recent issue reveals the publication’s signature mix of poetry, criticism and listings: an interview with Dorianne Laux by Meg Reynolds, a vivid remembrance of Wanda Coleman by Stephen Kessler, poems by Julia Vinograd, Bill Mayer and Ruth Thompson, reviews and featured events.