Saturday, January 07, 2017
The Burden of Time
The Bellevue Press
Like so many books by Bellevue Press, this is an exquisite example of a hand-stitched chapbook on hand-made paper. Just a thing of beauty and quality missing from so many small press books. The poetry is terrific as well.
Sunday, December 25, 2016
Gingko Leaves and Cellograss
Laura M. White
The Bellevue Press
Hand sewn chapbook. I am a bit confused as to why the publisher single-sided the poems. A lot of empty pages. The book isn't thick to begin with. The poems are okay. The cover image is good. Nothing remarkable. Perhaps the publisher should have stayed with bringing Ms. White out on broadsides.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
The Women Who Drink at the Sea
State Street Press
Handsome chapbook of fine poetry. The poet-turned-playwright has lived in the Iowa City area for years. This is her earliest book. It's a gem.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
The Man Who Burned Money
The Bellevue Press
With a drawing by Michael Tanzer. Handsome chapbook. A single poem. This copy signed by the artist. Near perfect blending of art and text. Very fine indeed.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
The Hart Crane Voyages
This is a start of an investigation as much as anything. A few months ago, I saw and became interested in reading a book entitled The Hart Crane Voyages published in 1969 by Brownstone Press, NYC. I got the copy I did because it was signed - and it was, by a family member to another family member basically saying "remember our relative". The fact that it was sold suggests that the relative opted not to remember. Sad when that happens.
It turns out that this book is a "biography" of Hart Crane. Prose/poetry/sumptin'. With footnotes. Also illustrated as well. But the illustrations are absolutely terrible. Like bad kid drawings terrible. Dregs. Ugh. If ever a book needed a redo, this one is it. And the funny thing is that this book by Brownstone is a redo - an original version of this book was made by cowstone press (NYC). I wish I had a copy of that version because once I decided to research this 'Hunce Voelcker' person I came to find out that he published other books of poetry and prose and that his first chapbook was called joy rock statue ship and was published in 1968 by cowstone press. It was designed and illustrated by a Don Lewis.
joy rock statue ship
from a strictly visual aesthetic, the chapbook by cowstone is superior. Every page of the chapbook has an image on it. Beautifully done. This Don Lewis person took great care in putting this chapbook together. It's really something to strive for. I am extremely happy to have it. My research suggests that Voelcker and Lewis collaborated on a few cowstone press books in 1968 - 1969.
Hunce Voelcker was born in Pennsylvania in 1940. He ended up in San Francisco and was part of the Jack Spicer group. There's an established poetry contest bearing his name. He died early, perhaps during the AIDS epidemic.
I will continue to research the man. I am also interested in knowing more about this Don Lewis cat, his work in this chapbook was stellar.
Thursday, November 03, 2016
The Book of Truants & Projectorlight
Joshua Marie Wilkinson
This is the 8th book in the packet from the Octopus - this one a book of prose poems, primarily. Good stuff. Acknowledgments and hat tipping through misty mornings. Now 10 years dated but still fresh as tomorrow.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Another in the 8 pronged attack from Octopus Books. 31 pages of a splattering of ink on mostly empty pages. The book is good, but sparse. As I am reading through the 8 chapbooks, I am noting the sparseness. More empty space than words. Beautiful covers masking few words.