Thursday, June 05, 2008

Chap*books 23

6 X 6
Ugly Duckling Presse
Brooklyn, NY

I have written in the past about this great little collective, Ugly Ducking Presse, which hails from Brooklyn. In this series of little poetry journals, they acknowledge their debt to Russian Constructivism with wallpaper covers of a unique shape and size. The poetry by Joe Elliot, Arielle Greenberg, Lewis Warsh, Carlos Blackburn, Mark Lamoureux, and Alicia Rabins is also fantastic. If one were a collector of fine chapbooks, it would behoove them to get the work by Ugly Duckling!

I’m Going Home
Leslie Breeding
Green Zone Editions
Brooklyn, NY

Sadly, I have to say that I wish this chapbook had gone home, or stayed home. The cover art is not the best I have seen on a Green Zone book, and the poetry isn’t the strongest I have ever read in a Green Zone chapbook. SAVE A TREE!

A Hollow Destination
Jim Swill
Self published
© 2006

This is a tree wreck. Worse than a train wreck, trees were felled to make this horror. A pulping I did go, a pulping I did go. SAVE A TREE!!!!

In the Late Summer Garden
Barbara Crooker
H&H Press
Middlebury Center, PA

Barbara Crooker has been mightily busy over the past few decades, having a number of books come out including this well made little gem published by H&H Press. Crooker writes a good deal about Pennsylvania and there is some of that here as well. 23 pages, cover illustration by Natalie Kennedy. A fine little chapbook.

Concerned Poets on the Move
Sharon Leonard Goodman, ed
In The Tradition Press
Philadelphia, PA

This is one of those important collections that captures a moment, this moment is the aftermath of the terrible Osage Avenue fire that was the result of the confrontation between members of MOVE and the City of Philadelphia. This collection, 33 pages of frustration and rage and heartfelt sense of loss, has a clearly Afro-American hue to its writings and stance but it’s necessary to have this reaction to what some have seen as a clearly forceful response against an Afro-American group. It’s an important document and I wish it were made available again for a wider audience.