Last December, the Nebraska poet Paul Hanson Clark and I exchanged a few emails about SP CE, which is both an art studio and poetry collective based out of Lincoln, NE. With regard to the origins of the group, Clark wrote:
SP CE was founded by myself, Kyle Crawford, and Justin Ryan Fyfe. We had been doing our writer’s group for a few years, and Kyle thought it would be a good idea to have a more public venue for that, which would also allow us to expand what we were able to do. He put us on the waiting list for a room in Parrish Project, and a few months later the studio that we now occupy opened up.
I didn’t really have any expectations for it, but the idea that has driven me all this time has been to attempt to make poetry a part of the larger Lincoln arts/music/whatever community. Also to be open to anyone/anything.
Soon thereafter, SP CE branched out into the SP CEbooks imprint with the release of limited-edition chapbooks that coincided with a variety of local readings and events. On the expansion into the world of publishing, Clark wrote:
A lot of what we do just happens as a natural result of conversation between a lot of people, but also as a function of one or two people acting autonomously. SP CEbooks came about after a consensus developed that we ought to be doing some kind of publishing. This consensus developed pretty slowly over time, and we did not collectively arrive at “we should do SP CEbooks”; [rather,] we collectively arrived at a general direction to go in. The actual implementation of the SP CEbooks idea, I mean, bringing them into existence, was a process that me and Amanda Huckins spearheaded. I think that is how a lot of things go: collective ideas form slowly over time, and then one or two people take additional initiative to turn them into some sort of reality.
A month ago, I spent an evening with several poets associated with SP CE. This week, I’ll be posting videos from that night. Below are two from the reading (with more to come over the next several days).
Paul Hanson Clark reads “Cough Medicine”:
Amanda Huckins reads “Opening My Other Eyes”: