Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Books, Books, Books, ON

Just got the proof book of Prefab Eulogies from Geoffrey at BlazeVox. So, it should be out in the next couple weeks. He did a great job cleaning up my designs inside and outside the book, and leaving alone the images I wanted to look amateurish, as if goofed up by a corporation that sells poetry advice.  It's nice to hold a book in your hands after reading it over and over in pdf form, INDD, etc.  This is true for me regardless of whether it's by "me" or by the authors for whom I've done editorial work.  Each time I hold the book-object I do re-assess my notion that the book can be dispensed with a great deal of the time, that I don't mind the physical book becoming less of a commercially viable commodity and more of a niche market art object.  Yet I still dislike it when someone says: "there's just something about holding a book...." There is also nothing quite like the feel of making your own cheese.  One can go on like this, make a nostalgia list, and it really means very little outside the given fetish.  The difference is in who owns what: the book is part of a dying corporate empire, and so gaining control of its construction is a reclamation of one's work, hence one's work becomes one's passion, as in Geoffrey's case.  Holding a book has nothing to do with regaining control of a dying corporate empire.  Usually it's an act of complicity with keeping it on life support.  Not so in poetry almost always, of course, and so as per my sacrificial trees post, I do not feel anything but pleasure holding the thing and staving off macular degeneration.  

Speaking of editing.  I did some copy for an essay by Amy King awhile back, not knowing what King was going to do with this essay she read at the AMAZING Belladonna Conference on Feminism, Activism, & Poetry (thinking, that is, it was going to end up used for teaching purposes, etc, very mysterious to me at the time as I think I was very busy doing a lot of nothing).  And then, er, bam: it's published in Free Verse and everyone can read it.  Which I would suggest, as I think it's a clear, hopeful essay, or, perhaps more precisely, a poetics of King's What Else in a larger (more encompassing) Queer Poetics. 

Other books received, which I will get to asap, as I'm excited to dig in and dig out of:

--Robert Mittenthal & Nico Vassilakis, Irrational Dude (I read part of this as they were working on it and it was/is gorgeous) (Tir Aux Pigeons, 2009)

--Nico Vassilakis, Text Loses Time (ManyPenny Press, 2007)

The latter work by Nico (who came down with Robert to hear Chris Mann perform for our PRESS series) I'd wanted to pick up for awhile now, as there's been quite a lot of buzz about this big multi-genre book.

Also of note, next week ON: A journal of Contemporary Practice (ON2) will be officially launched at a release party Feb 10.  Please go if in the area.  From Michael Cross:

Dear Friends: Please join us this Wednesday, Feb. 10th for the release party for ON: Contemporary Practice 2 at Moe's Books. My co-editor, Kyle Schlesinger, will be in town to help introduce our stellar cast of guests (reading poetry and critical statements), including Brandon Brown, David Brazil, Dan-Thomas Glass, Alli Warren, Suzanne Stein, Laura Moriarty, Taylor Brady, Jocelyn Saidenberg, and Robin Tremblay-McGaw. Festivities begin at 7:30 pm, and we are sure to hit the bars for family time afterwards. Hope to see you there! Michael 

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