Tea & Gin is a book of poetry, prose poetry, and docupoetry structured around the history, culture, and topography of Tianjin, China.
Tea & Gin is a book of poetry, prose poetry, and docupoetry I started writing in 2009, after returning to the U.S. from Tianjin, China. During the nineteenth century, and early twentieth century, a number of foreign powers (Great Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, and Japan) had concession territories within Tianjin. My book is divided into sections named after the foreign concessions and other locations in Tianjin. I am maybe 30% finished with the book, and now, I need to travel back to Tianjin in order to finish it.
Rewards for Backers:
The Kickstarter funds will pay for the design and production of a limited edition chapbook of poetry and prose poetry, titled Concessions Contained, that I will create specifically for you, the backers of this Kickstarter project, while I am in Tianjin. If you back the project at the $30 level or higher, you will be able to choose one of the eight Tianjin concessions, via e-mail (I will contact you and ask you to choose your concession the day after the Kickstarter deadline, if the project makes its funding). I will then go to your concession in Tianjin, photograph something I observe there, and write a poem for you in response to the photograph. The photograph and the poem will appear together in the chapbook. This will be your poem, sponsored by you, and you will be listed as the poem's donor in all of the copies of Concession Contained (unless you would rather remain anonymous, without your name appearing in the chapbook).
Where does the money go?
Funds for this Kickstarter project will pay for me to travel back to Tianjin this summer, in order finish writing Tea & Gin. It is absolutely crucial for me to be physically in Tianjin in order to complete the book, because the structure of the book mirrors the structure of the city.
The Kickstarter funds will also pay for the design and production of the limited edition chapbook of photography, poetry, and prose poetry, titled Concessions Contained, that I will create specifically for you, the backers of this Kickstarter project, while I am in Tianjin.
Here's a more detailed list of specific costs for the project*:
Flight from Kansas City to Beijing/Beijing to Kansas City $3,000
Expedited travel visa $305
Ground transportation (airport shuttle, trains, taxis) $500
Bicycle in Tianjin (I know a guy...) $40
28 days lodging in Tianjin $400
Food & daily expenses $400
Design and production of limited edition chapbook $3,000
Packaging and mailing expenses for rewards $500
Kickstarter & Amazon fees (10%) $814
* Any additional funds, beyond the project goal, will be funneled, joyfully, into creating the best possible version of Concessions Contained for you. For example, if funds beyond the goal are generated, then that might mean I will be able to hire an amazing letterpress printer in Kansas City to produce the book, rather than going with an online publishing option, or that I might be able to pay artist friends of mine to design unique bookmarks, or other personally crafted items, to include with your rewards.
Do I REALLY get a postcard? I mean I KNOW Benjamin Cartwright and have NEVER known him to send a postcard. I am just putting that out there.
Yes! I will overcome my historical aversion to the mail and happily send you a postcard.
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Flying Pigeon Bicycle: These donations, like their iconic namesake, are intended for everyone. If you back the project at this level of support, you will receive full access to the project updates from Tianjin, and my undying gratitude.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
Three-wheeled Motorcycle Taxi: Welcome to the death-defying world of motorized transportation in China! At this level of support you will receive full access to the project updates from Tianjin, a personal shoutout from me on the project blog, and my undying gratitude. I couldn't do it without you!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $20 or moreYou selected
Green Tianjin Taxi: Is it raining outside? Who cares! You are relaxing in luxury in a green, Tianjin taxi. You have a roof, there is probably some incense burning, and maybe a picture of Mao on the dash. At this level of support, you will receive full access to the project updates, a shoutout on the project blog, and a digital copy (PDF) of the limited edition poetry chapbook CONCESSIONS CONTAINED. Your name will also appear (if you choose) in the acknowledgments section of the chapbook.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $30 or moreYou selected
Huali Dafa van: Need to move a couch, or drive all the way from Tianjin to the Beijing airport? No problem. You're in a Huali van! (otherwise known as a "bread" van because of its shape). At this level of support you will receive full access to the project updates, a shoutout on the project blog, a digital copy (PDF) of the limited edition poetry chapbook CONCESSIONS CONTAINED, a physical copy of CONCESSIONS CONTAINED mailed to you, and (most importantly) you get to choose a Tianjin concession and commission a poem of your very own, to appear in CONCESSIONS CONTAINED. Your name will be listed (if you choose) in the acknowledgments section of the chapbook, and on your personally commissioned, individual poem.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Beijing--Tianjin high-speed rail: Congratulations! You are rocketing forward at 217 mph (350 km/h), enjoying your complementary, stubby-sized bottle of water, traveling 117 kilometers in a mere 30 minutes. At this level of support, you'll receive all of the previous rewards (access to all project updates, a shoutout on the project blog, PDF version of the chapbook, physical copy of the chapbook, you get to choose a concession/commission an individual poem, your name listed in the acknowledgments section of the chapbook and on your individually commissioned poem, if you choose), AND a postcard, from me to you, mailed from Tianjin during the project.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
Shenzhou 5 spacecraft (神舟五号): Unbelievable! You have successfully launched yourself into space,and are orbiting the planet. From this vantage point you should still be able to see the Great Wall. With satellite technology, you might just be able to make me out, on the ground, pedaling a bicycle in Tianjin and writing your poem. If you support the project at this level, or greater, you will receive all of the previous awards (project updates, shoutout on the project blog, you get to choose a concession/commission an individual poem, your name will appear in the acknowledgments section of the book and on your poem if you choose, you'll receive a PDF copy of the chapbook, a physical copy of the chapbook, a postcard from me), AND I will send you a t-shirt with the project logo on it.Estimated delivery:
- (22 days)