Whoa. Wow. This ‘Bird is still catching her breath!
You small but dedicated band of followers may have thought we had disappeared entirely from the blogosphere, but that is not the case. The gang at Bluebird Books have just had a much, much busier summer than ever expected!
What was supposed to be a period of repose, reflection and planning during the Florida summer months became a hotbed of activity (pun intended post-June, when our air conditioner died) as we received multiple event invitations that were just too delicious to turn down.
Before we launch into an even busier autumn, it’s time to pause a moment, to look back, and to thank the many talented people who have helped us along the way. Here is a story in images: the story of our incredible Bluebird summer.
A beautiful crew of artists and book lovers joined us to represent literary love at the St. Pete Pride Promenade.
With a blue bus and a bullhorn, lovely librarians in costume, rainbow-hued book giveaways, an entourage of Roller Derby vixens, and a one-man parade float cranking out typewriter poetry, we managed to stand out even in a parade known for its flamboyance.
Our expressions say it best.
We celebrated the one-year anniversary of the day renovation work began on Beatrice, the Bluebird Books bus. This lovely little vehicle would be nowhere without Joe Griffith and his patient, careful ministrations in paint – and Josh and Mike Pearson of Creative Arts Unlimited who installed our shelves – and Angela and Dean Meier, and Shanna Gillette, and Mitzi’s mom, and and and … well, it was a happy birthday indeed.
Later that month we raised a helpful and much-needed $300 at Swingin’ for a Cause, part of a series of very fun fundraising events organized by Ryan Iacovacci (founder of the Birdhouse Buying Club, another great project you should know about) at Mermaid Tavern. Poems, book giveaways and cigarette-pack-sized literature were the order of the night while patrons danced to swing tunes by Six Volt Rodeo:
August brought a burst of constructive activity, as Mishou Sanchez took the lead in building our prototype Book Box for the Open Book Exchange. These miniature free libraries will be planted throughout the Tampa Bay area, encouraging passersby to take or leave a book in a free exchange of literature.
We also began a major redesign of the Bluebird website, led by the talented team of Reuben Pressman and Hunter Payne. They took our love of analog-meets-digital seriously, going so far as to hand-cut elements that were scanned and used in the designs.
Collaboration with a brick-and-mortar venue was next on the calendar, as Bluebird Books secured display space at the new Ybor City gallery Box on 5th, where we will continue to present a curated book selection (and the occasional coloring book) throughout the fall. Look for us to soon bring some great workshops (zine-making, anyone?) to this space as well.
We then stopped off for an appearance at the Tampa-centric Cuban Sandwich Show, where Richard J. (one of our dedicated Captive Poets) performed his latest spoken-word works. Soon thereafter, we shifted from construction to destruction, as The Silverfish Revolution – a project of Joe Griffith and Experimental Skeleton – allowed us to contribute old books as source material for a giant, audience-participation art collage.
September took us to St. Petersburg once more, for the launch of artist Hunter Payne’s awesome, hilarious and inspiring new book, Congratulations You’ve Been Selected to Win Another Day on Planet Earth at The Studio@620. Lots to say about that, which we will reveal in an upcoming blog post.
Meanwhile, thanks for sticking with us and stay tuned for more great things to come, as the next few months carry us to the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg to plant our first Open Book Exchange, and then on to Savannah, Georgia, to hook up with the Unchained Tour, Neil Gaiman (yep), and a traveling band of raconteurs.
See you on the road.