Friday, March 30, 2007



Recognition Amidst Mystery
Nancy Wisser, editor
Kutztown, PA

In truth this is the chapbook that got me interested in the artform. I read an article about a collection being put together by a Kutztown area poet, Nancy Wisser, who was gathering work by a array of local poets which became this chapbook. 20 poets are here represented, featuring a variety of voices, topics, and styles. In addition to a number of poems by each poet, there is a brief biographical note about the writing process by each.

Gorse Cottage Poems
Harry Humes
Banshee Press
Philadelphia, PA

In a natural transition, this chapbook by Kutztown based Harry Humes by published by Philadelphia based Lou McKee’ Banshee Press in 1998. Humes is a widely respected poet who was named the first Poet Laureate of Berks County in 1999. His work reminds me a bit of Billy Collins in its use of simplistic words for deep and effecting observations and emotions.

For the Salamander
Git Ott
Slash and Burn Press
Philadelphia, PA

Gil Ott was an institution in Philadelphia. His untimely passing was most unfortunate and his presence is sorely missed. This Slash and Burn chapbook speaks volumes about his versatility and vision, as well as the ability of the publisher of Slash and Burn Press. It’s a thin little slice of nothing and not overly wordy as was his technique at that time but it is complete in its form. A great little gem. Cheers to Sally Jo Sorensen for the design of this book, and for the Press itself. (Sorensen was Slash and Burn Press)

Connie Fox
Kangaroo Court Press
Erie, PA

I found this lonely little chapbook in the back of a crowded stack of chapbooks on the bottom shelf at an old bookstore in Philadelphia, and only years later when this alter ego was revealed to me did I find that the true author of this single long poem about a grandmother was that of…

No, I can’t tell you. It’s a well-made little chapbook. Nice paper. Well designed. I suspect that the Press is gone since it has no e-presence. I Googled, nothing came up.

Wizard Poisonings
Mohammad Ali Niamand
Insurance Editions
Jackson Heights, NY

What is it about Insurance Editions? Such good work. Such interesting poets. So well made.