Monday, January 04, 2016

on the cutting edge by Margaret Gibson (1976)

on the cutting edge
Margaret Gibson
Curbstone Press
Williamtic, Connecticut

A few years ago, perhaps two years ago now, I was reading an on-line article about the influence of Michael and Lee Lally on the publishing community of Washington, DC and at the bottom of the article were some comments and one of them wondered where the anthology of Some of Us Press was. I looked around and noticed that there wasn't one. In addition to all this chapbook blogging I do, I also run Plan B Press and I thought it might be a good idea to purse such an anthology. (I should have read Don Quixote first!)

Most of the poets who were published by SOUP are still alive but due to the fact that the Press only existed for 3 years in the early 1970's, most of those published are well beyond the reminiscing phase of their lives. One of those is the poet Margaret Gibson who has lived in Connecticut most of her adult and has been published most often by Louisiana State University. I had a brief conversation with her while researching the SOUP anthology project but she was overwhelmed with the care of her ailing husband. She was polite enough but greatly disinterested in the project. She did say that she was published by SOUP due to the asking of Michael Lally who seems to have been the linchpin to the organization of the press as well as the primarily talent scout.

Her first chapbook, the one published by SOUP was entitled Lunes and it came out in 1973. The one I am writing about might have something to do with where Ms. Gibson ended up: on the cutting edge was published by Curbstone Press of Williamtic, Connecticut in 1976. (It's not even listed on her Wikipedia page)

The poetry here is strong with slight hints of something in the air at that time: the beginnings of LANGUAGE poetry. Poems like 'Apples', 'on the cutting edge', and 'A Grammar of the Soul' should a range of images and emotions. A Solid early book of her work.

For a variety of reasons I decided to drop the SOUP anthology project. It didn't feel like it was mine to do, frankly. At the same time, I do feel that I owe the poets whose work I did collect some notice for books that came out over 40 years ago, as I shall be doing very soon.

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