Monday, December 30, 2013

The Village Painters by David Chorlton (1990)

The Village Painters
David Chorlton
Adastra Press
Easthampton, MA

Handsome chapbook with illustrations by author. Unpaginated. Green cover with image of village on front. Some of these poems first appears in Poets Lore. Nice find.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

November Fires by Tillie Friedenberg (1998)

November Fires
Tillie Friedenberg
WordHouse, Inc.
Baltimore, MD

This is the second printing of this chapbook. 29 pages. A slightly larger chapbook in size. WordHouse is known in Baltimore for some of the chapbooks they have created. Being Tillie's first book, this is as much testament as document considering that she published this later in her life. Shadows of the Holocaust hang over each page, a past not entirely survived. A remembrance sweet as lemons. Powerful writing.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Nancy's magazine : The Mood Issue

Nancy's Magazine: The Mood Issue
San Francisco, CA

Interesting zine. Unpaginated. Pretty cool indeed. Staple-bound.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Cruelty of the Desert by Michael Wurster (1989)

The Cruelty of the Desert
Michael Wurster
Cottage Wordsmiths
Pittsburgh, PA

Handsome cover to this 48 page chapbook. Cottage Wordsmiths is still around, believe or not, not certain about the quality of their other books but this is a good one. According to a listing I found they do "Miscellaneous publishing". Diverse, perhaps.

I am not a fan of author photos in books, not really convinced that they help at all to "sell" the work. This book has one and no, it doesn't. Some of the poetry is good. Worth finding for the cover art alone.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Familiar Sounds by Marjorie Sadin (2011)

Familiar Sounds
Marjorie Sadin
self published

51 page Kinko's special staple-bound chapbook. On the cheapest paper available. Lord in Heaven!!

Any chapbook that flirts with 50 pages becomes awkward. I can't imagine many copies of this one were printed. The poetry is okay, not stellar. No tree should have been felled for the making of this chapbook though.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Gynecologist by Joan Lyons (1989)

The Gynecologist
Joan Lyons
Visual Studies Workshop Press
Rochester, NY

29 page staple-bound chapbook. The following was taken directly from her website "Fanciful historic gynecological representations of women are juxtaposed with a contemporary patient / doctor interview, which reveals the authority a traditionally male medical culture holds in describing and prescribing for an individual body; in this case female. Aspects of the text will be familiar to most women. This book was based on several years of research and was in danger of becoming a ponderous document before I edited it down to what I know best—an artist's book. It echos the structure of historical printed books, with its small text block and illuminated margins."

The work fascinates me. It clearly is an artist book as well as a "historical" document. I am nearly as interested in the Visual Studies Workshop Press as I am in the artist. Ah, they are one in the same. Joan founded VSW in 1971. The Press is still operational. Making fantastic books. A publisher of artist books is rare indeed.

Quite the find!

Friday, December 06, 2013

Greatest Hits 1977-2003 by Mark DeFoe

Greatest Hits 1977-2003
Mark DeFoe
Pudding House Publications
Columbus, OH

This is number 227 in Pudding House 'Greatest Hit's series. Think about that for a second. 227 "Greatest Hits" from poets I have never heard of. 227 self-indulgent masterpiece/train wrecks. "Greatest Hits" my feather-duster! Trite, dribble, a complete and utter waste of tree life UNLESS you are a friend or family member of one of these 227 individuals whom I have never heard of. Mind you, I read a fair amount of poetry, so that's saying something that I haven't heard of these folks. Pudding House exercises zero editorial control, it seems.

This chapbook is 30 pages long. Staple-bound. Cookie-cutter unoriginal cover. But, for folks who know Mr. DeFoe, this one is for you!