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Eight-Stone Press publishes controversial "Hon" edition

~ Hon: Past, Present & Future expounds on issues brought to light by the trademarking of the word "Hon" ~

BALTIMORE, Md. – In an effort to document and mobilize the public sentiment generated in response to news of Café Hon owner Denise Whiting's trade-marking of the term "hon," Eight-Stone Press announces the publication of Hon: Past, Present & Future, the latest theme issue in its long-running Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore! series.

"Given the sustained public reaction to Ms. Whiting's actions, it was evident that there were deeper issues at play," says William P. Tandy, editor for Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore!. "I felt that many of these issues were being drowned out in the almost circus-like firestorm that ensued, especially online. Hon: Past, Present & Future attempts to offer a platform of reasoned and constructive argument."

From "birthright" to "state of being," many Baltimoreans hold "hon" sacred, something as intrinsic to the city's character as the Orioles, painted screens and Old Bay. In collecting the words and images of 17 area contributors, Hon: Past, Present & Future explores the various interpretations and implications of this simple term of endearment in a city struggling to reconcile its industrial past with an uncertain future.

Contributor and native son Rafael Alvarez (The Wire) leads the charge by reclaiming a piece of Charm City history. "To find out what defines a 365-day-a-year Hon, I swung from the branches of my family tree – where the genuine article hangs like a row of gotchkies on the line – and scratched the genealogy of an old friend from southwest Baltimore," he writes in "Ain't Nothin' Like the Real Thing". Meanwhile, China Martens (The Future Generation: The Zine-Book for Subculture Parents, Kids, Friends and Others) expresses concern over the impact of gentrification on city youth.

"Fifty percent of the community moves out and another 50 percent moves in within just a few years," she writes in "This is Hampden, Not Café Hon Town". "One of the differences in the newer groups...is they have fewer children, as well as different attitudes toward children's concerns, and this affects changes in the neighborhood." Read the issue's introduction, as well as pieces by Rafael Alvarez and Dean Bartoli Smith, online at EightStonePress.com.

This issue also hopes to rally locals to effect positive change within the city. Tandy, by example, is donating a portion of the proceeds from sales of the issue to the Maryland chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). "My oncologist's primary annual fund-raiser supports the Maryland chapter of LLS," he says. "In his words, 'the money stays local,' helping to directly fund cancer treatment, transportation and other incidentals for patients who could not otherwise afford it. As a survivor, I consider it my duty to help others in similar situations."

The submission-based Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore! collects essays, poetry, photography and other artwork loosely centered on life in Baltimore. A two-time Utne Reader Independent Press Award nominee, Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore! has also been dubbed "Best Zine" by Baltimore Magazine (2008) and Baltimore City Paper (2004).

To read Hon: Past, Present & Future in its entirety, order via PayPal to davida@leekinginc.com (issues are $3 each, + $1 s/h per order); copies may also be purchased from Atomic Books (Baltimore, MD); City Lights Books (San Francisco, CA); Cyclops Books (Baltimore, MD); Microcosm Publishing (Bloomington, IN, and Portland, OR); Quimby's (Chicago, IL); Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse (Baltimore, MD); Ukazoo Books (Towson, MD); or via mail by writing Eight-Stone Press, P.O. Box 11064, Baltimore, MD 21212 USA.

For more information, contact:

William P. Tandy, Editor
Eight-Stone Press
P.O. Box 11064
Baltimore, MD 21212


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