Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

July 12, 2008

Richard Wink, “All Along The Wensum” (KSE #104) now available

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:19 pm

“I’ve observed that almost everybody who walks past me are wearing headphones connected to an iPod, mp3 player, mobile phone or going back further some may even be lugging around a walkman. These people are missing out on so much, all the sounds. The beeping horns, the sirens in the distance, neighbours’ gossiping, infants crying, birds singing and dogs barking when I walk down a driveway. For a writer this kind of shit is gold dust, for a human you are blanking out your environment. Surely all this is better than listening to the latest Coldplay album.”  

–Richard Wink (column from earlier in 2008 )


No wonder I was attracted to Richard Wink’s poetry with an attitude like that! As the person behind the “Next Exit” series, I value poetry that is rooted in and that evokes place. While I don’t necessarily have a primarily behavioristic view of life and society, there’s no question that people both reflect and are anchored by their environments. Read something by James T. Farrell or Richard Wright or Jimmy Santiago Baca and learn both how this works and how it can be transcended!

Richard Wink’s poetry captures the texture of real life and real people and real voices. In his two chapbooks that I own—-APPLE ROAD and THE MAGNIFICENT GUFFAW—-Mr. Wink presents “core samples” of people and places that are specific to his area of England, but also transcendent and universal like the best  particular  writing.

When I contacted Richard about writing for KSE, he offered a suite of poems he’d been recently working on, and together we’ve assembled a strong collection of 16 brand-new poems that are richly-drawn yet subtly disquieting snapshots of life in and around Norwich, England. By the way, the WENSUM of the title is the River Wensum, which runs through Norwich, England, and like all significant rivers it is the lifeblood of the community and to some extent defines its community. Kerouac had the Merrimack, W. C. Williams the Passaic….for Wink, it’s the Wensum.

Richard is also well-known as editor/publisher of the literary magazine GLOOM CUPBOARD, ,  a ‘zine that offers up an astonishingly diverse variety of work. Richard also has a fine critical eye and is an ace social commentator. In addition, he’s rooted in the punk/DIY aesthetic and his writing is always has the smell and feel of live as it is lived, not of tough-guy posing nor of juvenile fascination with scatology.

KSE is proud to welcome Richard Wink, and Kendra and I feel that ALL ALONG THE WENSUM is a work not to be missed. An edition of 56 copies, we’ve already sent out two dozen of them before this announcement, so act now. See the “available KSE chapbooks” page to your right for ordering information.

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