15.November.09 - A few items here... the publishing schedule has changed from Feb/Aug to May/Nov.... the online store for both back issues and chapbooks is now available... and First Class #33 will hit the streets in a few days. We are also very much available for chapbook projects through Lockout Press. So, check it out here, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
15.April.08 - First Class #30 has been out for a while now, and I'm reading for #31. How's that for an update???? All is well. Lockout Press is back in action, so let me know if you need this killer chap-for-hire service. Please roam the site, and give some attention to the samples from each issue, and the "Killer Words" section. If you like what you see, please do subscribe. It's cheap.
20.June.06 - First Class #26 has been out since February, but I've been remiss in updating the web page. Now it's updated, so enjoy the latest and greatest samples!
30.September.05 - OK, First Class #25 is out. Loads of killer short fiction -- a kick ass issue. See the samples by clicking on the issue on the main First Class page. Also, TWO NEW CHAPS THAT ROCK: Charles Ries, the Bad Monk has released a revised version of "Odd" and Michael Newell's new perfectbound beauty "A Long Time Traveling" is now available. See the "Chapbooks" page for full info. Now read!
17.April.05 - No news is good news... I've been letting the site speak for itself with the new chaps appearing, new issues of First Class, new Lockout Press books, etc. I think I'll leave it at that rather than blathering on about the already apparent. This'll freshen it up a bit: First Class #24 is the latest and greatest, out this past February. Also of note: First Class now publishes February and August. Now go poke around the site a bit and find something cool to read....
18.November.03 - First Class #22 is out this month (in about a week!). Also, there's a new book full of Stepan Chapman's odd illustrations that should be out before the New Year. Life on Earth is loaded with over 40 drawings that sprawl through a grim, spiraling narrative. More info when it's ready. If you liked Common Ectoids of Arizona, you'll want to get a hold of this one.
15.November.03 - Loads of new chaps out from Lockout Press. Especially notable are a long series from Randolph Nesbitt which he is collecting in a special edition, packed into a cigar box. Jack Saunders' special "Root Doctor" is a good read - the Word Mechanic focuses on the family folk band Dread Clampitt (he would say Americana Music Band). Michael Gause's experimental, yet straightforward "Law of Fives" is worth sending him 5 bucks as the concept piece is thought-provoking and well-developed. So check out previews and cover art here.
31.May.03 - First Class #21 shipped out to all subscribers and contributors - great art from Stepan Chapman and killer short fiction and poetics from well-known and unknowns alike. Samples are available here.
27.March.03 - Robert Roden's latest chap finally released! Click The Bitter Suite for details.
13.March.03 - Big, new collection of 13 stories from Spiel, click Insufferable Zipper for details.
13.March.03 - B.Z. Niditch now out with an epic trilogy, click 3rilogy for details.
01.February.03 - Charles Ries, the Bad Monk, has a new chap available, click Monje Malo for details.
17.November.02 - First Class #20 is now out. Samples are available here.
24.July.02 - Alan Catlin's The Leper's Kiss is now available for $6ppd. Mention the Web page and include Killer Cocktails and/or Hair of the Dog That Bit Me for just $3ppd each with your order of The Leper's Kiss.
23.May.02 - Alan Catlin has just finished a fourth round in his Killer Cocktails series: The Leper's Kiss, to be released in July through Four-Sep. Killer Cocktails and The Hair of the Dog That Bit Me, the first and second of the series are available through Four-Sep, check out the chaps page.
18.May.02 - Fans of Michael L. Newell, the globe-trotting English teacher, will be pleased to learn that three new chapbooks will be released chronicling his various experiences. Following his return from Cairo, Newell heads off to Estonia. More information on the chapbooks as they develop. A late June release is expected. Two other Newell chaps are available from Four-Sep, check out the chaps page.
15.May.02 - First Class #19 features 60 pages of killer short fiction, poetics, photography and illustrations. B.Z. Niditch drama and shorts, Jack Saunders, Alan Catlin, Gerald Zipper and many newer names add to this heavy collection of words that is also a tribute to the late and sorely missed Albert Huffstickler. The issue leads off with 5 pages of his words and images with a preface by John Bennett, and includes his very last poem. As always, it's just $6ppd or subscribe for $11/year.
18.April.02 - Masks and Beards, by the inimitable B.Z. Niditch is a killer collection of short absurdist character studies that flows constantly through 26 pages of this mysteriously cool chap. You can order both of Niditch's new chaps (see below) for $8ppd as a special Four-Sep offer. Mention this section.
03.April.02 - Clay Molded Insane, the latest Wade Vonasek chap features 26pp of his fantastic and creative words leaping from poetics rife with mood and cutting splendor. Especially killer is the artwork by Dee Rimbaud, Michael Labash, and Stepan Chapman.
Two cool new chaps just released. The first chap Neither Here Nor There by Charles Ries, the Bad Monk out of Milwaukee, comes with a free pull-out broadsheet that makes a great bar-time read. B.Z. Niditch, an independent press mainstay and frequent contributor to First Class, offers up his Dictionary of the 21st Century.
First Class #18 is now out. This issue is a major departure from the format I have used since First Class #5. Amazingly, in the change from full-size pages to the new format, I can fit as much, if not more, material into each issue. I am eager to hear your responses to the new look. After thirteen issues in one style, it was time for something new. Enjoy the read.
STEPAN CHAPMAN, well-known and respected illustrator and writer has a killer new chap Common Ectoids of Arizona. It's a stunning 42 pages of illustrations culled from the field drawings and notations of "Doctor" Chapman. If you've seen his work in First Class or elsewhere in the small press, you know his bizarre renderings are humorous, twisted and ultimately creative. This one is a great read and Four-Sep Publications is proud to feature this Lockout Press champion. Half-legal-sized pages allow the full breadth and depth of his art plenty of breathing room, and it's a steal at just $5ppd. Limited run.
There are several new chaps from Lockout Press. Check out the previews and ordering info here.
Effective with the following issue (#18) First Class will become a bi-annual, rather than a tri-annual publication and will publish in November and May, times of seasonal transition, into and out of the cold months. Two reasons contribute to the decision: the sheer volume of submissions received and the desire to publish a greater number of top-quality chapbooks.
I need to give justice to every submission that arrives in the pobox. It is my duty to read every word.
Chapbooks are an exciting art form that I have the ability to create and produce quite reasonably. Four-Sep chaps and Lockout Press productions deserve more time.
First Class will increase in size to close to 60 full-size pages and sometimes more. Four-Sep Publications will continue to publish First Class as an artistic and creative extension rather than a cash-centered endeavor. There have never been, nor will there ever be such gross insults as reading fees, contest entry fees, or minimum purchases in order to get published. You also don't need to join a club or be a dues-paying member. No. Why insult art? It's enough that we all bear the burden of increased postal costs. Readers will fork over their dough if they are given something good enough to earn it, but it should never be a prerequisite to being published.
Remember, illustrations and photographs are always desired. Stepan Chapman, Albert Huffstickler, Peter Magliocco, Walt Phillips, Jennifer Stanley and others have added to the aesthetic appeal of FC. What about YOU?
Recent 15% postal rate increases on "book rate" postage has led to a modest increase in postpaid cover prices, the first in 5 years.
Lockout Press continues to be fairly popular for those who would like to take advantage of professional layout, design and production of their own chapbook. Total costs end up being less than you would spend at Kinkos and you get top-quality first generation output.
New Four-Sep chap of note: Ed Galing's "Tales from South Philly" a thoughtful, earnest and gritty look at growing up poor in a tight-knit neighborhood can be had for a mere $5 ppd.