Two local literary forces will unite Saturday when The New Book Corner Loft hosts a free poetry reading featuring Slipstream Magazine editors Livio Farallo, Dan Sicoli and Robert Borgatti.
The loft, located on the second floor of the Book Corner at 1801 Main St., offers an airy, plant-filled space grounded by the hardwood floors of the bowling alley once housed there, opened to the sky by oversized windows and warmed by overflowing bookshelves.
When Farallo, Sicoli and Borgatti wanted to showcase the 19th issue of their poetry magazine, they looked to owner Pete Morrow for the perfect setting.
Said Farallo, "Since Pete had refurbished the upstairs there, we asked him if he'd be interested in doing the reading in conjunction with the magazine, and he said he'd love to do it."
Founded in 1980, Slipstream is a locally based small press magazine of poetry and short fiction that draws manuscripts from around the globe.
"We get submissions year-round from all over the country and from other countries too, from Europe, the Mideast and Canada," said Farallo.
The magazine features the work of writers just starting out, as well as more established names. "We take the best of what we get, so it's not necessarily an anthology, just the best of what we feel we get. We put together a magazine once a year," Farallo said.
Some issues do develop themes. Farallo said, "Past themes we've had have been nightlife, an ethnic issue, we've done one on 'Sex, Food and Death,' and one on 'The Working Stiff.' "
Some issues, like Slipstream 19, which will be highlighted at Saturday's 1 p.m. reading, are of general interest and don't follow a specific topic.
Each year, Slipstream, which is funded in part through the New York State Council on the Arts, sponsors a poetry chapbook competition as a way to raise money. Entrants may send up to 40 pages of poetry and $10 to cover the reading fee for the opportunity to win $1,000 and 50 professionally printed copies of the chapbook.
"Whoever enters this contest, just for entering, for your $10 reading fee, you get a copy of the winning chapbook and a copy of Slipstream, so it's a pretty good deal. And we're still able to raise a couple bucks to help with printing costs and mailing costs and stuff like that," said Farallo.
Morrow has made the Book Corner's loft available to local groups since it opened in the winter of 1998.
"The Book Corner welcomes usage of the space. We accept just about anybody using it, depending on time situations and so on," said Morrow. He added that while the Book Corner has and will continue to host authors for readings and book signings, "We want it to be used by other people, and others have used it. Some on a one-time basis and some more regularly. It doesn't have to be a Book Corner function."
More information about the chapbook contest and guidelines for submitting work to Slipstream can be found at their Web site, www.slipstreampress.com.
Anyone interested in making use of The New Book Corner Loft can contact Pete Morrow at 285-2928.