Saturday, June 30, 2007

chapbooks 17

Kristen Gallagher
Form of a bank
dumbie copy.

Kristen Gallagher is a poet and is the publisher of handwritten press. This small ‘experiment’, this poetic exploration of Buffalo, New York is not identified as a handwritten press book because, at the time of this incarnation of the book, it was not finalized AS a book.
This ‘experiment’ is a combination of text and image that is sparkling the unexpected and the sublime. Worth tracking down, please contact Ms. Gallagher if interested.

About TEN poems
James Hoff
Ugly Duckling Presse
Brooklyn, NY

The history of Ugly Duckling Presse is an interesting one, and their relationship with the author dates to the beginning of the Presse. Ugly Ducking has done some interesting work and used Constructionist materials for covers; wall papering for example.

‘about TEN poems’ is an early effort by the Presse, and it feels that way. It is cheaply made, bound by an elongated rubber band, printing Xerox paper (it seems to me) and typed on a typewriter that needed a serious cleaning. For those familiar with the work of James Hoff, this has got to be a keeper. However, I have to say SAVE A TREE.

Walden Vision Quest and other poems
andy levesque
self published

I found this chapbook in a used bookstore in northern Virginia. It’s signed by the author. Once I googled the author, I found that he is the host of the Walden Pond poetry series as well as a graphic designer. That explains the layout and attempt of the book which has images on each page, presumably to correspond with the text. I have been to the website,, and have seen the way it exists online. However, the book ought to have been in full color to appreciate the complete picture. As it exist as a chapbook, it’s a muddy mess. Neither the web address nor any contact info exists within the chapbook. One does not know that the author has a companion CD, nor that he is the host of the poetry series, or anything else. These oversights are glaring since as I suggest the chapbook by itself is fairly bland.
Mr. Levesque’s work is very naturalistic and reflective. He is trying to carry the torch of Thoreau and mostly does so very well. I would merely suggest that if a reprint were to be done of this book, it be done in full color.

The Homecoming
James Gerald Koch
Old Mountain Press
Vienna, Georgia

I learned of a Press I had not heard of previously here. I was also “schooled” on poetry by someone who was a Gulf War veteran. I don’t appreciate being schooled by someone who hasn’t been to school (for creative writing, much less for poetry). The poetry here is Dr. Suess rhyme scheme with political and moral overtones. Not the least bit interesting. SAVE A TREE!

What’s With Modern Art?
Frank O’Hara
Mike & Dale’s Press
Austin, Texas

Great title chapbook, edited by Bill Berkson, and published with permission by the O’Hara estate. Besides the writing, the coolest thing about this chapbook is that the publishers here, Mike and Dale, went on to form Skanky Possum journal which has become well known in literary circles for the writers they have brought to print and the quality of work they have achieved. 33 pages.
Rare to be sure, but worth it for O’Hara completists.

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