More Than Soil, More Than Sky:The Modesto Poets
Edited by Sam Pierstorff, Gillian Wegener, Stella Beratlis, & Ed Bearden
On October 22, at midnight, the online “launch” for a new poetry anthology occurred. This anthology SKYROCKETED to become the #1 Amazon Poetry Best Seller, the #1 Amazon Mover & Shaker, the # 1 Amazon Hot New Release: Poetry, and broke through to the top 100 Amazon Best-Sellers in Books — all in under 18 hours since its launch.
Modesto has long been tainted by negative press, in no small part thanks to its rank as one of the top-ten worst U.S. cities to live in due to its unemployment rates, illegal drug production/sales rates, crime rates, gang violence, and education. What those reports can’t account for is the pulsating “underground” cultural community that has existed in Modesto for years and that has experienced a rebirth in the past decade. There is a real and vibrant arts scene in Modesto, created in part as a response to the negative image Modesto portrays to society at large. The astonishing and amazing response to the online launch of More Than Soil, More Than Sky: The Modesto Poets is concrete and unavoidable proof that Modesto can no longer be defined by its negative reputation.
The following numbers are irrefutable:
(based on Amazon.com Sales Rankings, 10/22/11, at 11:30pm)
About the book:
More Than Soil, More Than Sky: The Modesto Poets celebrates the poetry of a place seen more often as a cultural backwater than as a region hugely rich in sounds, words, and imagery. Accompanied by stunning portraits of each poet, More Than Soil, More Than Sky gathers the diverse voices, styles, and subject matter that come from poets living in and around one small town in the heart of California’s Great Central Valley. This anthology documents not only this moment in a vibrant and exciting poetry community, but also stakes a claim in the larger poetry world, making clear that Modesto is more than soil and more than sky. It is an up-and-coming force in the poetry world.