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DIY Poetry Publishing Cooperative

April 29, 2006

New poems by Christine Hamm!

The Animal Husband
by Christine Hamm
Dancing Girl Press
$5.00, including S&H

Hamm's delicious sense of humor, balanced as it is by her tenderness and disdain for sentimentality, makes this collection truly absorbing and intellectually as well as emotionally far reaching...brilliant, severe little dramas." --Small Spiral Notebook

Hamm's familial explorations are daring, often tragic, and the poems are the "dark star" we willingly sail towards. --Amanda Auchter, Pebble Lake Review

Get your copy now.

Update: Might as well take this chance to remind you too that Christine has several other chapbooks available too. Check out her Lulu.com store here & her book The Salt Daughter from Little Poem Press.

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& now Andrea Baker answers Kate's first-book questions

How has your life been different since? Were there things you thought would happen that didn't? Surprises?

First I'm so happy about it and proud of it. "My book. My book!! Oh my God, I wrote a book!!" And that's all very good and never changes, even through all my bleak thought.

But there is a lot of bleak thought. Primarily, my trouble is that the book has no real weight and/or the weight it does have is false and I cannot reconcile this with how important it is to me. One problem is that poetry has nothing to do with my real world, the place I really live. If a book meant that the next time I might get an advance that would pay for time to just write, that would mean something pragmatically. Or if I wanted a teaching job and a book meant I might be able to get one, then it would have an impact. But I don't want to teach.

Though these things are just true and always have been true, I feel more deeply in touch with the fact that hardly anyone cares about poetry and that it really does not matter. For some unaccountable reason it matters A LOT to me--and it also matters to me that I am read, but vanity is the only reason I come up with.

I have also come to understand that I had expected the book to transform me on some level... Make me smarter?? Bring me money?? Make writing easier??

Obviously, it's done none of these things.[...]

Read the rest (& stay tuned for more).

April 28, 2006

A DIY Pub Web Ring storefront?

[your book here]

Since so many of you lovely people use Lulu.com to print & distribute your books & chaps, I am trying to figure out if it's possible to highlight your books in a DIY Pub Web Ring-sponsored store on the Lulu.com site, and eventually here. I've poked around in their help topics & the member forum, & I've also written to ask if any kind of recommended list or affiliate program is in the works (like Amazon's Listmania feature or those "What I'm Reading" affiliate lists with buy buttons + thumbnails).

I do have a Lulu.com storefront, but I can only add product that I have produced myself (which is nothing, at this point, so it's empty). What I would like to do is showcase YOUR books there, & mirror or link to that storefront from here.

Not sure if that kind of function is high on Lulu's priority list, but don't you think it's something they should consider? (There are two Wish List topics on the Lulu.com boards. You might chime in there if you are a member.) Something like this would allow me to link to a bunch of authors & books in one place, and give shoppers the convenience of having a single shop to browse, instead of a million individual links (like I've got now). I've got a feeling more & more people will be turning to Lulu. It's easy, the books look great, & if you go with the Global distro package you've honestly got better distribution through the wholesalers than most small presses!

So this might be what's next. A Lulu.com mall. Why not?

In the meantime, I think it might work if you Lulu'ers put "DIYPubWebRing" (or something else consistent) in as one of your storefront keywords. I could do a search for that, and link to the results page from here. It wouldn't be quite as sophisticated as I'd like, but it'd be a start. Does this make sense? Wanna give it a try?

Some kind of workaround with the "Friends" feature might work too, assuming I could display a list of "DIY Pub's Friends" on that storefront page or here. I haven't looked into that yet.

I guess I will try to sift through and make an Amazon Listmania list for DIY/micro stuff available through Amazon too, but that's gonna take some serious sifting & building. (Something like this might be possible at Powell's too--but their small press poetry section is already pretty well curated, so that might just be redundant!)

Just thinking out loud here, y'all. Any other ideas?


April 27, 2006

Illuminating the Why in DIY

Scott Pierce (of ever effervescent Effing) & Shann Palmer have been talking chapbooks vs. "real" books in the comment boxes dangling from Ron Silliman's blog, & as a result Scott has articulated in an open letter something of his love for making poetry.

See, I don't see the problem with handwork. Exercise and serious intent are for you, and you, and you. There is an issue of outsourcing here in our complainy poetry world too, see. It fits into the big-ass picture. I don't see how it is vain to go to the end of what you've started. What if, bear with with me, what if you are an artist. Say a mind and body not wholly satisfied or sated by merely writing, by merely seating the buttocks in the chair at the machine and its hypnotic glow. What if the artist writes and then the artist wants to do more with the words, wants to wrap them in silky cornleaf too, wants to make art of the vessel, maybe extend another of one's interest in the arena of graphics and textile manipulation to blend together in a thing called Book? What is a book.

A business so small and crucial you will be allowed to keep your day job. You will be allowed to think of others.

Is the choreographer that performs her dance vain for doing so? Is it a vanity dance?

Vanity art: a new movement in the age of inkjet?

I wonder if the inventor who tests her own creations is vain. Did not the Lumiere bros not make their own films with their own cameras? Wright bros? Did Ford drive a car?

Chefs cook vanity meals when they taste their own recipes?

To read Scott's letter is to vicariously settle your butt in that chair & feel your beer growing warm from the extended concentration of printing, trimming, binding & burnishing. Even simple bookmaking is a meditative experience, repetitive but not dull, exacting but exhilarating, that is difficult to convey. Hooray.

UPDATE: Kristy Bowen adds her thoughts about books vs. chapbooks, legitimacy & vanity here. An excerpt:
The vanity thing is complicated too. I think it's a loaded term with negative connotations. And I agree with Shann, we're all vain in the creative arts, and maybe there's nothing wrong with that. In regard to the other arts, the means of delivery are not quite so dependent on distribution and legitimacy bestowed by a third party. Visual art, while yes, getting into a posh gallery is one way to show your art, another is to rent out a space and show by yourself or with some fellow artists. End result is the same. Same with music. A hit record is nice, but no one calls it "vanity" if you put your own record out, or filmmakers vain when they shoot an indie without a big Hollywood budget. Literature, in general, seems so fucking squeamish about this. And maybe it's all the bad things that are passed off as poetry these days. Some of them ironically published by big presses (And how much of an advance did Billy Corgan get for his book with Faber and Faber? Does that make him a legitimate poet?) . We feel like we need that sort of legitimacy or we're no better than the woman writing and publishing poems to her cats.

Have I mentioned that I've got an essay about these very things in the latest issue of the Tiny? (I'll reprint it here, eventually, but not until their next issue comes out, & that's several months from now. Anyway, you should subscribe!)

PS: If you're interested in letterpress book arts, stay tuned for a week of daily notes as I take this class at the Center for Book Arts in May.

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April 26, 2006

Kate Greenstreet's first book is coming out soon...

...and she has been asking other poets what the first-book experience was like for them (including me). (& an extra heap o' thanks to Kate for making our multiple emails seem like one seamless, coherent answer!)

Once I heard Jenny Boully sing "Me & My Bobby McGee" karaoke-style...

...& that was impressive. But her second book's just come out, from Tarpaulin Sky Press, & I bet it's even better than that was.

[one love affair]*
by Jenny Boully

*A million wallowing anemones, a thousand eyes peeping through, a thousand spies shivering, unnamable endless flowerings, countless empty bottles, twelve flowers, eleven trees, eight fruits, four vegetables, four peppers, two enemas, two kidnappings, one accident, one suicide, one soothsayer, one drowning, one nightclub called Juicy.

ISBN 0-9779019-0-4
5" x 7", perfectbound, 76 pages

$12 in stores
OR $11 incl. U.S. shipping, direct from Tarpaulin Sky

Click to order
Get a peek inside.

And there's a beautiful hand-bound limited edition, too!

25 copies numbered and signed by the author.

Japanese noble stab-binding with 100% hemp twine
Cover: Lokta paper, handmade in Nepal from the plant Daphne cannabina.
End pages: Blue cornflower in 100% cotton tissue; handmade in India.
Interior pages: 60# text; natural, opaque vellum finish; 30% post-consumer recycled content.
No adhesives used anywhere in the book.
Title insert is slit into cover.
76 pp.

Not available in stores.
Exclusively from Tarpaulin Sky.
$20, incl. U.S. shipping

Click to order
Get a peek inside.

April 25, 2006

An English Pointer w/ some pointed English: Bird Dog #7

Bird Dog
ISSN 1546-0479
7 x 9, perfect-bound, tipped-in art

Subscriptions $15 for two issues.
Individual copies $8. (For international shipping add $8)
Checks payable to Sarah Mangold

Bird Dog
c/o Sarah Mangold
1535 32nd Ave, Apt. C
Seattle, WA 98122

The latest issue of Bird Dog (Seattle, WA) contains new work from derek beaulieu, Raymond L. Bianchi, Anne Boyer, Valerie Coulton, Gale Czerski, Patrick F. Durgin, Lisa Fishman, Brad Flis, Karla Kelsey, Sueyeun Juliette Lee, Michael Leong, Cleveland Moffett, Doug Nufer, John Olson, Danielle Pafunda, Nate Pritts, Francis Raven, Edward Smallfield, Joshua Marie Wilkinson & Max Winter, art by Patricia Hagen & a cover design by C.E. Putnam.

Bird Dog is also seeking innovative writing and art: collaborations, interviews, long poems, reviews, collage, poetry, poetics, graphs, charts, nonfiction, & crossgenre work for issue 8. The deadline is September 15, 2006.

April 23, 2006

Crack open Coconut 4 & slurp till you make yourself sick

Coconut 4 is up, with milky sweet poems by Charles Bernstein, Anne Boyer, Joyelle McSweeney, Andrea baker, Adam Clay, Theresa Sotto, Alan Denir, Jenny Boully, Heather Brinkman, Matthew Henriksen, Jan Clausen, Julie Doxsee, Justin Marks, Ken Rumble, Joshua Beckman, Mary Kasimor, Kristi Maxwell, Peter Davis, Kari Edwards, Michael Farrell & Todd Colby.


The Whole Coconut Chapbook series has just put forth two new 'nuts, to read onscreen or print-&-assemble yer own dang self!

Pterodactyls Soar Again by Reb Livingston & Journals by Jenna Cardinale

Effing does it again

Jim Goar's new chabook Whole Milk is just out from Scott Pierce's supercool Effing Press in Austin, Texas.

Whole Milk by Jim Goar
3.75 x 5.75
40 pages
cover & interior illustrations by Josh Riosw
handmade Korean endpapers

A few of the things some people have said about the book:

"I don't know what the words in it mean but the book fits in my back pocket and I look hotter and thinner when it is there." -- girl on street

"Jim Goar writes some good English for a Korean." -- guy at bus stop

"When I get high with you in the near future this little book of Jim Goar's is what I'll want to reach for" -- Farid Matuk

"Any book with two poems that begin with the line 'a tree sprouted from my penis' is destined to break new ground. " -- publisher's mom

Here is a sample poem.

Also, this monkey likes it.


Chapbook review roundup!

Recently spotted:

Allen Bramhall's review of
Brandon Brown's PDF e-book My Life as a Lover
(Detumescence, 2005)

Nate Pritts' Burning Chair review of
Matt Rasmussen's Fingergun
(Kitchen Press, 2006)

Zachary Schomburg's Burning Chair review of
Chris Tonelli's Wide Chair
(Kitchen Press, 2006)

Geraldine Kim's CutBank* review of
Stephanie Young's Telling the Future Off &
Chuck Stebelton's Circulation Flowers
(both Tougher Disguises, 2005)

Sarah Trott's Cricket Review review of
Stephanie Young's Telling the Future Off
(Tougher Disguises, 2005)

* The new issue of CutBank also includes Joshua Corey's review of my book Down Spooky, which you can see and, um, purchase here.


Announcing failbetter 20!

Fifty-thousand unique visitors can't be wrong: after six years online failbetter continues to offer great poems, fiction, artwork & interviews in every issue.

Issue 20, Spring 2006 includes:

An interview with Anne Tyler

Fiction by Benjamin Krier, Keller+Kuhn, Kevin Sampsell, Colleen Mondor

Poetry by Sally Ashton, Jenn Habel, Richard Norman & Max Winter

Paintings by Shawn McNulty

Click happy

Fresh links have been added to the list of Chapbook & Micropress Publishers:

House Press
Narrow House Recordings
Slack Buddha Press

...to the mags link list:

Poetry 365
Practice: New Writing + Art
Small Town
Spell Magazine
Wicked Alice

...& to the roster of authors with DIY projects:

Kristy Bowen
K. Lorraine Graham
Richard Grayson
Bill Knott
Tree Reisener