Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

April 19, 2008

KSE discussed in LE BATHYSCAPHE magazine (Quebec)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:16 pm

The December 2007 issue of the bilingual Quebec newsprint magazine LE BATHYSCAPHE contains a fine article called BLABBERMOUTH LOCKJAW (OF THE SOUL), discussing the work of visionary deconstructors of the word such as Vito Acconci, Aram Saroyan (his late 60s/early 70s period, documented in the recent COMPLETE MINIMAL POEMS), and Wallace Berman. Imagine my surprise when, after discussing the greatness of Wallace Berman, the next paragraph begins,

Also great is the work of Bill Shute and the press he runs, Kendra Steiner Editions. Bill is a guy who has been around since the early 80s, doing music fanzines, putting on shows, and delving into various literary enterprises. He was quiet for a good bit of the 90s, but he has returned in a huge way in the first light of the new millenium. Kendra Steiner Editions has been responsible for 50 poetry booklets over the last couple of years that are wonderful examples of DIY art. Printed in editions of less than 100, the books arrive like presents, delivering one mouthful at a time of delicious words. Many of the titles showcase Shute’s own fine work. There are various series written in response to music that are particularly evocative. Whether free-associating to the latest Creel Pone avant-garde reissues or biting deeply into the piano style of Lennie Tristano, Bill really manages to capture the flow and rhythm of his chosen soundtrack, nailing essential points with swift strokes, and eyes keen to detail. Bill has also published such poets as Glaswegians Stuart Crutchfield and David Keenan (including a lovely tribute to David Meltzer); Thomas Michael McDade (whose genius lies in manifestations of the deified motorhead); Brad Kohler (a reborn Meat Poet), and great gawps of other worthy stuff.

Bill is also the author of POINT LOMA PURPLE (Word Mechanics, 2007), a long verse biography of Katherine Tingley, a utopian Theosophist of the early 20th Century. It’s rich material for Shute to explore, and he does so in a style reminiscent of Ed Sanders’ great histories of the 20th Century sequence. A couple of early Kendra Steiner volumes are appended to POINT LOMA, making it a very cool introduction to Shute’s work. I highly suggest, however, that you take the full plunge, contacting Bill and ordering a random selection of these lovely books. They’re all extremely rewarding and provide intimate examples of viral-word dissemination at its best.

Beaucoup grâce à M. Byron et M. Thurston pour l’article gentil.

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