Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Sending Off the Godhead in the City of Light
Hydrogen Jukebox Press
I received this small chapbook rather unexpectedly from Germany over the summer. The funny thing is I was going to write about the author, Mark Terrill, anyway since a chapbook of his on the now defunct Green Bean Press imprint, Here to Learn: Remembering Paul Bowles, had such an impact on me. Perhaps it was that the chapbook also contained a CD of Moroccan Music, was illustrated by Bowles good friend, Mohammed Mrebet and was signed by the author. The book itself contained photos of Tangiers and Bowles. A real time piece for anyone who is familiar with Paul Bowles work, and for those collectors who love to find ephemeral material on established writers. Terrill is a good writer in his own right, I should add.
So it was surprising to me to receive something from Terrill in the mail. The chapbook contains 5 prose poems writing in and about Paris. It’s a bit of a tease. It’s so short it’s hard to sink one’s teeth into it. I hope this will be expanded into a larger book someday.
Terrill is the author of seven books of poetry, one book of Nonfiction (the Bowles book) and a book of translation. He is an American ex pat currently living in Germany. And the sort of find worth making!
The Angel Poems
State Street Press
Used bookstore find. Nice cover, designed by Ken Morrow, with an angel on the front. This collection of 19 poems was made possible by the New York and Pennsylvania Arts Councils. The writing is strong and contains great visuals. The book was part of the second series of the State Street Press Chapbooks. It’s rare although there were 400 copies of it printed in 1984. One thing about chapbooks I have learned is that they disappear and are generally not cared for as well as ‘standard’ books. That’s a pity. A chapbook like this deserves better.
Toward Morning & Swimmers
Hollow Spring Press
This is two small collections put together in one binding. Hollow Spring Press is under the auspices of the Hollow Spring Artists and Writers Guild, Inc. a non-profit organization. (at least in 1980) and Elaine’s work appeared in their magazine prior to this volume coming out.
She is the author of The Cult of the Right Hand (Doubleday, 1991), which won the 1990 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, and Damages (Copper Canyon, 1996). Her translation of "Iphigenia at Aulis" is included in the Euripides III volume of the Penn Greek Drama Series (1998). Her latest book of poems is The Dog's Heart (Orchises, 2002)
Her mastery is quite evident in this chapbook.
How I Figure
Gilyard is an English Professor at Penn State and an editor, as well as being a fine poet. This 27 page collection is a good example of his work. With cover art by Noel Miles, this book is alive with the art within. No conversation about Philadelphia small presses is complete without mentioning Lamont Steptoe’s Whirlwind Press.