Kendra Steiner Editions

September 8, 2007

September KSE News; Next Exit Four almost ready…

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:40 pm

We’re up to 525 unique visitors to the blog as of today—thanks!

The present book we’re highlighting is NEXT EXIT:THREE (KSE #64)by Doug Draime and Misti Rainwater-Lites. That is moving well and response is excellent. I’m sure the 89-copy edition will be sold out by December, if not sooner. You can read about it in earlier posts—-just scroll down from here.

Our next release is also ready…almost. NEXT EXIT: FOUR features Zachary C. Bush and Brad Kohler–ten new poems (five from each) on the small towns of the South and the Rust Belt.  Zachary brings an intoxicating fast-moving experimental approach and a superb eye for detail to his uniquely Southern vision (and of course, there’s a piece set in Oxford, Mississippi dedicated to Faulkner), and Brad Kohler (who has done two previous books for us–ENERGY FOOLS THE MAGICIAN and EXACTA BOX—-along with two works in past years published by Backwash Press, CURSED, POISONED, CONDEMNED and the amazing SUCKER BET DOWN IN CLASS) remains one of the great poets of the “Rust Belt”, along with Michael Ceraolo (who published MORE EUCLID CREEK with us earlier this year—-still available for $4, by the way!). Brad and I worked together writing for BLACK TO COMM magazine back in the 90’s (where we first met), and I have always been a great admirer of his distinctive vision of the horse racing tracks, diners, laundromats, dead-end jobs, and short-lived salvations among the working poor of the faded-out towns of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and the like. Brad’s poetry is a window into that world. NEXT EXIT: FOUR will be an exciting combination of two original poetic voices. It will be available September 25–as usual, $4.00 postpaid. That will be KSE #66.

What is KSE #65, you may ask if you’ve been keeping track? Well, that is a small-run and small-sized (half our regular size–it’s 4″ by 2.75″) piece of mine called ALIGNED INTO MEMORY. Recently I’ve been studying  pre-WWII avant-garde graphic arts (especially the work of H.N. Werkman), and I was also very much inspired by the visual art-and-text combinations I saw when visiting the Rhode Island School of Design in August. What I did with this piece was to take an old poem of mine called “Aligned Into Memory” from an early chapbook that had limited distribution (most copies distributed in Canada, never distributed by Volcanic Tongue), do some editing to it, and work it into a visual field, spreading the poem over five small pages. I’ve sent a few of these to poet and artist friends, and the rest will be sent to Volcanic Tongue as a free gift to anyone who buys any Kendra Steiner Editions chapbook from VT.  Stuart and I have integrated visuals into the text of some of our books—-TELESMA CHARGING, FANTASMATA 2007, UPSIDE-DOWN, and PYTHAGORON TWO—-and I expect we will continue to experiment in that area.

Upcoming projects for the fall include a new collection of poems by K.M. Dersley, following on the heels of his June chapbook RETROSPECTIVE FORECASTS, and a new multi-part work from Misti Rainwater-Lites called LULLABIES FOR JACKSON, which is a beautiful collection of poetic “lullabies” to her as-yet-unborn son, Jackson. We’re also at work gathering material for a NEXT EXIT: FIVE, which we’d like to put out by Christmas, if possible. I’m working on a few other pieces of my own, but I’ve learned the hard way not to announce those until they are finished. I listed a book I hadn’t finished in our Summer 2007 circular, CACTUS BARRIER (cinema poetry series, volume 2), and I still haven’t completed that, so I’ll hold off on announcing any projects that are not actually finished–Keith Dersley’s and Misti’s books are actually finished.

Thanks for your support. Check the blog every week or so and keep reading and supporting small press poetry and online poetry. I’ve been reading and enjoying two chapbooks by English poet Adrian Manning recently–REPEATING THE MANTRA and WRETCHED SONGS FOR OUT OF TUNE MUSICIANS, both published by Bottle of Smoke Press (http://www.bospress.net/ ), and the fine books published by Manning’s own press, Concrete Meat Press (http://www.concretemeatpress.co.uk/index.htm ). Adrian has produced beautifully crafted books and broadsides with a distinctive feel and look and a unique aesthetic. In particular, his integration of watercolors into the books is visual poetry of the highest order. One of the books is ON THE BACK PORCH by Ronald Baatz, a poet based in upstate New York. I was familiar with Baatz because of the split chapbook he did recently with my Albuquerque pal and KSE poet Mark Weber (it’s called POEMS & DOODLES, but isn’t yet listed on Mark’s website, which is at http://zerxpress.blogspot.com/ ), but that did not prepare me for this amazing 50-part work which is a brilliant modern updating and extension of the poetic idyll. I will be reading this book for years. As in Mark Weber’s work, Mr. Baatz is able to take seemingly humdrum everyday occurrences and find their cosmic significance, to suggest how each detail works into the mosaic that is each day of life. It’s exciting to read major works such as this and realize THIS IS BEING WRITTEN A YEAR AGO BY SOMEONE LIVING AND PUBLISHING RIGHT NOW. It’s easy to want to sit around praising dead Beat poets, or people who are past their prime and coasting on fumes at this point, but there are masterpieces being written today, and we won’t find them unless we keep looking for new work and keep buying small press books.

Well, I’ve lectured enough for now. Will get back to work on Next Exit: Four and printing more of Next Exit: Three and Telesma Charging.

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