Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy
Creative Writing Program
Roger Williams University
Originally published in 1983, this copy was published ten years later. It is a 6th printing. For any chapbook to be printed that often is remarkable. 23 pages. Staple-bound chapbook. Cover is grey. Nothing but text on front. A fairly boring cover, I have to say. The poems are good. Redeeming quality for certain. I do find it curious that these poems held together in chapbook form for a dozen years and 6 printings. I might have thought they would have been sucked up into a bigger work.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Women by Michael Rothenberg
Illustrated by Nancy Davis
2 years before Davis and Rothenberg started Big Bridge Press, this tiny chapbook appeared. Twowindows Press may have been a forerunner to Big Bridge. This handsome chap is extremely rare.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Ellen Arnonsky Cole
Finishing Line Press
If ever a book deserved a different publisher! There is much discussion these days about Finishing Line, much of it having to do with its status as a Vanity Press (which it seems to be) and the recent death of its Publisher.
I have long wondered about the business operation of a Press that had a cookie-cutter approach to the DOZENS upon DOZENS of chapbooks that it publishes each season (or is it month?)
The tell-tale bit of ribbon in each book was enough to make me cringe. That said, the work in this chapbook should be read. It's strong, poignant, and heart-felt. The "prognosis" here is Cancer and the way the author deals with the entire process is remarkable. At the same time, I don't know that the cover image has anything to do with the contents.
It's a good read of well crafted poems, I just wish someone else had published it.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
A Child's Christmas in Wales
first printing - 1954. This is the 12th printing
As often happens when I volunteer at the library, I find interesting items at the bottom of the donation bins; like this book! Designed like a kids book but far too nice, this handsome book with woodcuts by Ellen Raskin is stunning. A joy to hold and read. Mind-boggling to think that New Directions could, when it felt like it, make beautiful near-letter press quality books. This is an example of it. I could hardly believe it, yet there it was.
Unpaginated. 5 1/2" X 5 3/4". Designed and illustrated by Ms. Raskin. A great and rare find.
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Elyria: Point A in Ohio Triangle
Crisis Chronicle Press
I first learned of Alex Gildzen in 2008 when a poet/friend of mine sent me a copy of one of his earlier chapbooks. I was somewhat surprised to see this particular chapbook listed on Paperback Book Swap website since I don't think of chapbooks are items one can swap from there. I was not familiar with the Press but they seem to be pretty active in the North Central part of the state.
Staple-bound, unpaginated on copy paper (bleed-through) with a drawing by author (at age 6) on front.