Monday, June 29, 2015

"poem" broadside #333 : "give er" by derek beaulieu

17 years ago I published my first chapbook. A collaborative edition with a then friend in Brampton, Ontario, William S. Burroughs: Ghost of Steel was produced in an edition of 26 signed copies.  Each page was designed and laid out in MS Publisher, printed at home, folded and inserted in to hand-printed covers and sewn using needle and thread. Most copies were given away, I haven’t seen one in years.

That same format – printed at home, folded and assembled by hand, sewn and given away – has remained my modus operandi ever since. William S. Burroughs: Ghost of Steel was became the first of 268 editions that I published through the housepress imprint, followed by over 250 more under No Press.

For seventeen years I’ve averaged a publication every two weeks – each one made by hand as a means of distributing the news to a fluctuating community of readers.

The Calgarian writing community has had a fluctuating relationship with small press publishing – there have been some beautiful editions from ryan fitzpatrick’s ModL Press, Christian Bök’s CrO2 Press, Natalie Simpson’s edits all over press, Paul Zits’s 100 têtes press (and many others) – but I am surprised there aren’t more.

In my opinion writing is a public act, we must learn (even the most introverted of us) to share our work with a readership. See our work as worth sharing, our voices as worth hearing. It doesn’t have to be a huge public gesture; it could 10 copies among friends. Share.

There are a growing number of online print-on-demand publishers like Lulu and Blurb, and many photocopy shops will do collation and binding – but those are far from the only options. Anyone who has a desktop printer or access to a photocopier (or a typewriter, or a silkscreen or rubberstamp letters or any number of intriguing possibilities) can produce her own work. Paper, printer, stapler, scissors.

A challenge to my peers: publish your own work. Start a small press. Find the material that your colleagues are making that impresses you and publish it in pamphlets, in leaflets, in chapbooks and broadsides, posters and ephemera. 

It is all too easy to rely on other people to do the work for you – to allow the means of distribution to remain with book publishers, magazines and journals. Small press builds community through gifts and exchange, through consideration and generosity, through the creative interplay and dialogue with each other’s work.

Small press publishing allows authors to present their work in a way that physically responds to the content – texture, size, shape, colour and binding all become aesthetic decisions that the author herself can shape.

The internet is rife with instructions on how to hand bind books. Make stuff, hand it out, talk to people. The best advice I have is give ‘er

give er
by derek beaulieu
above/ground press broadside #333

Dr. Derek Beaulieu
is the author or editor of 16 books, the most recent of which are Please, No more poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013) and kern (Les Figues press, 2014). He is the publisher of the acclaimed no press and is the visual poetry editor at UBUWeb. Beaulieu has exhibited his work across Canada, the United States and Europe and is an award-winning instructor at the Alberta College of Art + Design. He is the 2014-2016 Poet Laureate of Calgary, Canada.

Friday, June 19, 2015

above/ground press in New York: Wanda O'Connor + George Elliott Clarke, etc

above/ground press will be represented (so to speak) in New York City as part of a Tightrope Books event! See here for information on Wanda O'Connor's damascene road passaggio, selections (2013) and George Elliott Clarke's Selected Canticles (2012), both of which are very much still available (although both in rather limited numbers).
Best Canadian Poets and Authors from Tightrope Books
June 24, 2015
KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street, New York NY
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Join poets from The Best Canadian Poetry series and authors from Tightrope Books for an evening of Canadian writing featuring George Elliott Clarke, Megan Fernandes, Aaron Kreuter, Sonnet L’Abbe, Kateri Lanthier, Ken Murray, Wanda O’Connor, Medrie Purdham, Brent Raycroft and Carl Watts.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Rebecca Anne Banks reviews Amish Trivedi's The Destructions (2015)

Rebecca Anne Banks was good enough to review Amish Trivedi's The Destructions (2015) over at Subterranean Blue Poetry. Thanks, Rebecca! See the original review here.
Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry
Title of Book: The Destructions
Author: Amish Trivedi
Publisher: above/ground press
Date of Publication: 2015
Page Count: 17

“pockets full of shells”
- from Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine

The Destructions is the 5th Chapbook by Amish Trivedi, a Poet, Poetry Editor and Professor at Roger Williams University in America. He has earned degrees from the University of Georgia and Brown University. His poetry has been published in many journals, he writes Book Reviews and is a co-editor of the literary journal N/A.

A loud, stereographic offering in staccato rhythms, with the careful choosing and juxtapositions of a few words, like a bomb going off. Rooted in the sensuality of the physical union, the war economy North America, the sex in a box economy, the violence is presented as ended possibilities. Love/sex outside of covenant is war.

"Fifth Wheel

in a moment
   of regeneration:    thirty-seven    minutes of waiting

in heat. Warnings of
light massacres
    and a manifestation

of detachments."


One set of
words for our
   inside voice:    letters spray-    painted to

appear in
magazines. This
    night is a dream

of violence coming."

Poet Trivedi uses medical images, the disembodied, a love affair as surgery, playing with images of death.

In "Four Destructions

And another
and stationary
    level three coma     and everything     tired of

staying for anyone
other than anything
    beyond neutralities


Also, the Poet plays with language and morphing words that are the titles of the vignette poems: Destructionette, Destructatron, Destructagedon, Destructocution, Destructionista, Destructitarium. I suspect anger at the violence of love life North America, that plays into word constructions and staccato poetry in the Beat tradition. A masculine view with the theme of the “sex as death” oeuvre that is a brilliant excursion in the heat of a Summer evening. The Destructions by Amish Trivedi.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Rebecca Anne Banks reviews Jennifer Kronovet's Case Study: With (2015)

Rebecca Anne Banks was good enough to review Jennifer Kronovet's Case Study: With (2015) over at Subterranean Blue Poetry. Thanks, Rebecca! See the original review here.
Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry
Title of Book: Case Study: With
Author: Jennifer Kronovet
Publisher: above/ground press
Date of Publication: 2015
Page Count: 24

“I was hit hard by the light so bright it burned
And all at once I knew she’d understand . . . “
- from Boy Inside the Man by Tom Cochrane

Case Study: With by Jennifer Kronovet is a brilliant turn on narrative discourse poetry. Poet Kronovet is published extensively in journals, including Aufgabe, Bomb, Review, Fence, Boston Review amongst others. She translates poetry and has taught at Washington University, Missouri; Columbia University and Beijing Normal University. She is also the Co-Editor of CIRCUMFERENCE: The Journal of Poetry in Translation and has published a book of poetry, Awayward (BOA Eitions, 2009).

This poetry exists in the realm of magic. The narrative poetry is enigmatic, with a certain Zen of understanding that weaves the esoteric with reality. The poetry is centered around “the boy”, as if the Poet is raising a young male child and this is her experience of her son from her view inside the world of culture.

“With the Boy, with Myself

He has thoughts he doesn’t think about. Birds might wake him, but they don’t. My thoughts feel like speech – how one animal makes nature – until I speak to him. We use words like a tree uses light: there is a process we don’t see but do.

A kid I don’t know hits another I don’t know. I say stop stop to myself. Speech will keep happening against me. The boy will wake to cry.”

“What the Boy Who Wants to See His Heart

He says the moon comes with us when we drive at night. He says in front of the trees behind the trees in front of the trees behind the trees. He says I have eyes. He says goodbye fish. He says the moon comes with us. The heart is a rumor inside your heart. He says a rumor is a man wearing a mask.”

The feminine mystique of wholeness and creationist mythologies are celebrated. At the essence, this poetry captures the grace of a lost world, a world of magic. The child is the catalyst for the magic of new beginnings, a life being introduced to the “machine.” As if all the hopes and dreams of possibility collide with the Poet’s understandings of the world.

“With the Boy, Inside the Museum

A painting of horses charging in a war. The war is subtle but the horses aren’t. Nouns, for the boy, live in the sounds nouns make. We don’t hear the horses, but the boy makes us. Our war is silent as horseflesh armoring distance. The boy’s future war makes a sound. We imitate that sound by accident.”

Case Study: With, is also protest poetry, perhaps a reflection of the violence of the N.A. war economy. “The fence that became incorporated into the bark. It’s resilient as I bash it against the stones. It fits us to the rules that rule what can fit as we rule them.” And, “The why that addresses me makes me live in because, a place where every answer has an equal but opposite error.”

Ms. Kronovet is a gifted Poet, with a new, forthcoming narrative style, a progression from the Postmodernist School. Such a brilliant poetry read for a Summer afternoon, Case Study: With by Jennifer Kronovet.