Wednesday, February 29, 2012

two versions of the same book (Brandon Brown)

Wondrous Things I Have Seen
Brandon Brown
Big Game Books
Washington, D. C.

Wondrous Things I Have Seen
Brandon Brown
Mitzvah Chaps
Lawrence, KS

I have not seen this before : two small chapbooks for the same small collection of poems. From two different publishers, with two different covers. The Text in each book is differently presented. The Big Game tiny-chap is an accordion while the Mitzvah Chap is hand-sewn. Odd to have two of the same, or not-quite same, text make it into two different chapbooks. Something new to record.

I am familiar with the Big Game Book "operation" in Washington and am fortunate to have scored something published by them as it seems they have gone into permanent hiatus, while the Mitzvah Chap is new to me and will need further research. The author has gone on to greater success, ain't life grand?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Auspices by Cid Corman (1978)

Cid Corman
Pentagram Press
Milwaukee, WI

Hand-sewn chapbook. 15 pages. #187 of 210 copies made. Letter-pressed, handmade paper. Beautiful little chapbook.

I was read the biography posted on the Poetry Foundation website for Cid Corman and it talks about how "all of his books are slender ones". In this case, that is true enough. 15 poems long. Each page: a poem. I have mentioned Pentagram Press in the past, they were an exceptional little outfit. This is an exceptional little chapbook!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Your Own Ox-head Mask as Proof by George Kalamaras

Your Own Ox-head Mask as Proof
George Kalamaras
Ugly Ducking Presse
Brooklyn, NY

Unpaginated chapbook, slightly oversized. Hand-sewn. Interesting poetry from the ever interesting Ugly Duckling Presse. Find and read!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Among the Living by J. F. Connolly (2006)

Among the Living
J. F. Connolly
The Comstock Writers' Group
Syracuse, NY

Winner of the 2006 The Comstock Review Jessie Bryce Niles Award.

Staple-bound chapbook. This chapbook seems to validate two points that I often make about chapbooks. #1 - quotes by poets on the back of books does not guarantee success. Especially if the poets quoted are as regional as the poet in question. Get outside of that region and few people care. #2 - regional poetry often does not hold up outside of the region where the book/Press/poet is from.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Another Ordinary Day by Subhankar Das (2011)

Another Ordinary Day
Subhankar Das
Ten Pages Press

This thin chapbook was "published" as an e-book in 2011. I have no recollection how it landed in my stash. Considering the poet lives in Kolkata, India where he runs the Graffiti Kolkata bookstore, it isn't like he knocked on my door one day and hand-delivered it to me. Perhaps in my overactive dreamworld he did, but not in the waking hours.

12 pages, staple-bound. Cover drawing. The poetry is very nice and as I am writing this I am listening to a Ravi Shankar raga randomly selected for me by itunes. Very interesting indeed.

UPDATE: It was sent to me by a poet/friend of mine! Okay, that mystery is solved.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

84 Card Tricks by Hugh Morris

84 Card Tricks
Hugh Morris
D. Robbins & Co., INc.
New York, NY



Before poets embraced the chapbook form, hustlers and low-lifes and ne'erdowells were quite abundant in creating inexpensive booklets to promote, to educate, to inform, and to (sometimes) distract the reading public. Not being a card shark, I am more interested in this item as a FORM instead of delving into the merits of its worth. But the image is awesome and if I were interested in 84 card tricks, I would love to have this chapbook.