Rust Belt Rising Almanac Celebrates Our Cities

Earlier this summer, the Philadelphia-based publisher The Head & The Hand Press released its latest publication, the Rust Belt Rising Almanac, is a compilation of literary and artistic depictions of life in America’s Rust Belt cities. According to company founder Nic Esposito, the book “looks at the beauty, art and value of revitalizing America’s urban core, through essays, stories and witticisms," says Esposito. "This book was made to do two things: The first is to show the world that Rust Belt cities are not just depressing, decrepit shells of what they once were, but that they are centers of innovation and opportunity that can provide some solutions for urban development, and also some great art and creativity. The second part is to remind the people of the Rust Belt that this is true."

Esposito founded The Head & The Hand in order to provide an innovative forum for local writers. “The purpose of this company is to promote artistic collaboration to create books, and really explore and showcase that process,” said Esposito. “Not only do we have the ethic that they should have creative stake in the publishing process, but we also think it makes for a better production process and ultimately a more successful book.”

In addition to his work as a publisher, Esposito has written extensively on urban development and grassroots sustainability efforts. In 2011, he published his first novel, Seeds of Discent, which centers on the experiences of urban farmers in Philadelphia. For more information on the Rust Belt Rising Almanac and other work at The Head & The Hand Press, visit

Christine Dobisch is an editorial intern at Grid. She recently graduated from Ursinus College with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies.