I first remember seeing poet Doug Draime’s name in underground magazines and newspapers back in the 1970’s…although I later found out he’d been publishing since the late 1960’s. There was a lot to appreciate in his work: the variety of voices and styles in which he could work equally well; the strong working-class orientation; the street wisdom; the open and tolerant perspective; the brilliant use of detail; the way he could alternate the tragic and the comic…and weave them together into the human. I looked forward to seeing his name in print, but in that pre-internet age, it was hard to actually keep track of his appearances.
Doug finally appeared in his own chapbooks in this new century, and his UNOCCUPIED ZONE (Pitchfork Press, 2004) was my constant companion in the 2004-2006 period. In fact, I wanted another Doug Draime book so much that I actually created one of my own. Since Doug has a lot of poetry available online, I found a lot of it, pasted it into Microsoft Word and in a consistent font and format, printed it out, and put it into a binder. I created MY OWN 40-page book of Doug Draime poetry, and it too was a great companion. What the world needed, I felt and still feel today, is more poetry books by Doug Draime. Kendra Steiner Editions was proud to bring another Draime book into the world with EYESTONE, one of our most popular and praised books, and Doug has collaborated on two others: NEXT EXIT: ONE, where he was paired with me; and the new NEXT EXIT: THREE, where he is paired with Misti Rainwater-Lites, who IMHO has many of the same qualities that I saw in Doug all those years ago. If you want to read more of Doug’s work, here are some links to a number of fine online poems. Crack open a micro-brew beer, settle back, and enjoy:
from WORD RIOT: http://www.wordriot.org/template_2.php?ID=1000
from LAURA HIRD: http://www.laurahird.com/showcase/dougdraime.html
from BLAZE VOX: http://www.geoffreygatza.com/arkv/2k3fl/dd.htm
from RAVING DOVE: http://ravingdove.org/d.draimefallwin06-07
from The 3rd PAGE: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/draimetx2.html
from ASININE POETRY: http://www.asininepoetry.com/hack/182
from JUKED: http://www.juked.com/2006/06/beckett.asp
from THE BEAT:
Besides Doug’s new KSE book, NEXT EXIT: THREE (now available for $4.00 ppd. in North America…see below for address), Doug will have another book featuring 30 of his poems coming out in a few months from Tainted Coffee Press (a division of Zygote in my Coffee). That book will be half Doug and half Michael Estabrook, which sounds like an exciting combination. Thanks, Doug, for all the years of inspiration!