With its luridly pulpy name and a roster of punk luminaries, it's easy to dismiss Punk Hostage Press as a publisher of shamelessly tawdry tales of unrepentant rock hedonism and inevitably morbid self-destruction. While some of those themes do pop up in their books, co-founder Iris Berry thinks of the phrase “punk hostage” less literally, saying it means being “a slave to freedom, doing whatever we want.” A member of Beyond Baroque's board of directors, Berry co-founded the nonprofit imprint in January 2013 with prolific local poet A. Razor; it has already published 20 books with another 19 scheduled for release in the next year. “Our writers are part of our machine,” Berry says, adding that writers keep the rights to their works and split any profits with the press. The roster ranges from Beat-era veterans to young alt-lit authors alongside such local literary lions as S.A. Griffin and Rich Ferguson, as well as Pleasant Gehman's glittery belly-dancer confessions, Berry's clear-eyed ex-junkie revelations and T.S.O.L. lead singer Jack Grisham's refined yet absurdly unsettling glimpses into semi-human misbehaviors. —Falling James

P.O. Box 1869, Hlywd., 90078. punkhostagepress.com.

LA Weekly