About Boog City

Boog City is a New York City-based small press now in its 23rd year and East Village community newspaper of the same name. It has put out approximately 200 publications, including 35 volumes of poetry and various magazines and a newspaper.

Boog City was started in Albany, N.Y. in August of 1991. We began by publishing poetry chapbooks by local authors. Since then, we’ve published poetry chapbooks by Ed Sanders, Amiri Baraka and Lee Ann Brown, among others. In the fall of 1992, we published our first zine, ManAlive!, which was in print until 1994 and featured work from many writers, including Allen Ginsberg, Jim Carroll, Carla Harryman, and Bernadette Mayer. During the summer of 1994, while studying poetics at the Naropa Institute, we published an instantzine, 1844 Pine Street, every Saturday for five weeks during the school’s 20th anniversary summer. Drawing from the faculty and student body, among the contributors were Anselm Hollo, Anne Waldman and Jack Collom. In 1994, we also published instantzines documenting New York University’s Beat Generation conference and the Insomniacathon in Louisville, Kentucky. The following year we started a new instantzine, JiffyBoog, which has documented the Annual New Year’s reading at the Poetry Project at St. Marks Church and last summer’s First Annual Boston Alternative Poetry Festival. Featured artists have included Wanda Phipps, Tuli Kupferberg, Lewis Warsh and Lisa Jarnot.

In 1996, ManAlive! evolved into Booglit. My intention was to link writing communities from across the country, and we’ve had writers from Albany, Boston, Buffalo, Louisville and Philadelphia discussing the people, places and publications from their necks of the woods. The magazine also put out theme issues, including ones on women’s writing; baseball; Allen Ginsberg; and Louisville, Ky.

In 2002 Booglit became Boog City. Now instead of a 100 copies per issue litzine we’d have a community newspaper with 2,000-3,000 copies distributed free throughout Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn and the East Village and other parts of lower Manhattan. Boog City features sections on art, film, libraries, music, poetry, printed matter, and small presses. We do special annual issues on New York City small presses and The Portable Boog Reader, an anthology of poetry from New York City and a sister city. Past sister cities have been Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C.

We host and curates two regular performance series—the 11-year-old d.a. levy lives: celebrating the renegade press, featuring a non-NYC small press, its writers, and a musical act, and the 12-year-old Classic Albums Live, where up to 13 local musical acts perform a classic album live. Past albums have included Elvis Costello, My Aim is True; Nirvana, Nevermind; Sleater-Kinney’s, Dig Me Out; and Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville. Both of these series are hosted at Sidewalk Cafe.

For the past seven years, we’ve put on the Welcome to Boog City festival, a gathering featuring poets, musicians, political speakers, politics and poetics panels, poets theater, classic albums, and levy lives presses. 2013’s 7th annual festival featured over 100 performers.