Thursday, February 08, 2018

The Hancock Shakers (1961)

The Hancock Shakers
Edward Deming Andrews
Shaker Community, Inc.
Hancock, MA

The history of the Shakers is fascinating in the US. Shakers were more than a community of believers, they were also craftspersons of distinctive and original works of furniture and art. This 39 page booklet is in actuality the first publication of previously unpublished manuscript records including the documents "A Book of Records kept by Daniel Goodrich" and "Manuscripts found among the writings of Deacon Daniel Goodrich, Senior after his decease." Deacon Goodrich, one of the principle founders of the Hancock Society, died in March, 1807, at the age of 68.

This is a gem of a booklet and especially collectible among members of this community. It was also beautifully done.

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Tokyo Stroll by Herschel Silverman (2002)

A Tokyo Stroll
Herschel Silverman
Sisphus Chapbook Series #5

Sometime before 2007 I had a postcard exchange that led to a packet of chapbooks arriving from NYC - based poet Steve Dalachinsky. One of the items he sent me was this tiny chapbook by Herschel Silverman. Part of the same series that produced his own chapbook which I mentioned back in 2007 (chapbook #16), the cover art was by Yuko Otomo. Since it was signed, I prompt put it in my collection without - unfortunately - another thought until today when I was reading the original article by John Clellon Holmes in which he first used the term "Beat Generation" and along the border on the first I saw this piece and said to myself "Hey, I know that name!" and then I went into my catacomb of chapbooks and found this gem.

As if often the case with talented but mostly forgotten individuals - once the spotlight has been turned off, so too does the attention. This chapbook consists of two poems: Lift Off #21: A Tokyo Stroll and Cittee Cittee Cittee #2 which first appeared in Talisman #13. The article by Levi Asher does him more justice than I could possibly and it is interesting to note that a book of his collected work does use the same title as this "little sliver of nothing". He is not forgotten.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

all small caps Anthology 2 (2008)

all small caps
Anthology 2
Wendell, MA
(c) 2008

This is a regional publication for the reading series that was located at the Deja Brew in Wendell, MA. These publications are very good to have since they give one a breath and depth to the poetry happening in areas outside of NY or SF (or wherever popular opinion would suggest that art happens). This particular volume is dedicated to a recently deceased poet named Doris Abramson. Some of her work appears in the anthology, along with poems by Heather Willey, Mark Hart, Janet MacFadyen, Bill O'Connell. Mathew Kane, Adam Golaski, Candace Curran, Howard Faerstein, Dina Stander, Andrew Hughes, Dustin Williamson, and bg Thurson. The only poet in this collection I heard of is the last poet in it. Brenda Iijima - Yo-Yo Labs. It's a worthwhile regional collection to have.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Christian Liberty by Martin Luther (1967)

Christian Liberty
Martin Luther
Fortress Press
Philadelphia, PA

This is a booklet with a little (Philly) history to it. Augsburg Fortress is the merged Press that in 1967 was still an independent Lutheran publishing concern headquartered in Philadelphia. Fortress Press was the publishing arm of the Lutheran Church of America after 1962 when the denominations merged to make the "unified" Lutheran Church as it is known in the US today. The forerunner of Fortress Press was the Henkel Press which was named by the son of Paul Henkel. And suddenly we are in the 18th century. And one opens this booklet and they are in 1520 at the dawn of the Reformation.

I have, somewhere, another booklet by Fortress Press but I can't locate it at this moment. Amiss, shuckens and heck.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The First Book of Japan by Helen Mears (1953)

The First Book of Japan
Helen Mears
illustrated by Kathleen Elgin
D. C. Heath and Company
Boston, MA

8 years after Hiroshima, 8 years after the end of WWII, this "children's book" appeared. Beautifully illustrated throughout by Kathleen Elgin. The book is an introduction to Japan and its culture less than a decade after the carnage and horrors of the war. In these 68 pages, a story of Japanese culture is revealed as told by two children. Great care is taken in the presentation of the various aspects of Japanese culture that were shown in the book. Timely as ever.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

To Darkness by Beth Martinelli (2007)

To Darkness
Beth Martinelli
Finishing Line Press
Georgetown, KY
(c) 2007

Not a fan of Finishing Line Press but the poems here are good. Worth the effort to find and read. Definitely.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Trees of West Virginia Farms and Woodlots (2000)

Trees of West Virginia Farms and Woodlots
West Virginia Dept. of Agriculture

Detailed listing of trees to be found in West Virginia. For what it is, is impressive. Not poetry : not all booklets and chapbooks that I mention are. This one, not poetry, is full of images and names of trees which I have both heard of, and not.