Kendra Steiner Editions

September 21, 2008

A Poem Moves Forward…

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:39 pm

A poem moves forward,

        Like the passages and percussions of trains in progress

        A pattern of recurrence, a hammer of repetitive

             occurence

 

 

         a slow less and less heard

         low thunder under all passengers

 

 

Steel sounds tripping and tripled and

Grinding, revolving, gripping, turning, and returning

as the flung carpet of the wide countryside spreads out on

              each side in billows…

 

 

 

                                from “The Journey of a Poem Compared to

                                          All The Sad Variety of Travel”

                                by  Delmore Schwartz (1962)

                                           included in Last and Lost Poems

September 19, 2008

A. J. Kaufmann, “Poznan City Gospel” (KSE #111), now available

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 3:33 pm

KSE has a particular interest in poems rooted in a strong sense of place: The NEXT EXIT series; Hosho McCreesh’s 37 PSALMS FROM THE BADLANDS; Doug Draime’s LOVE & BLUES IN OREGON; my own SHORE ACCESS or SAN ANTONIO GOOD FRIDAY; Jim D. Deuchars’ forthcoming ALLEGHENY RISING. Every community, every neighborhood; every stream, every strip mall; every worn-down home and roominghouse, every out-of-business restaurant; every organic back-yard garden, every crosswalk and parking lot—-we grow out of and live our existence in and among these places, so it seems inevitable that poetry should be steeped in the reality of place.

The indefatigable Polish poet A. J. Kaufmann is such a master of particularity, often presented in a swirling and kaleidoscopic manner, that he seemed a natural to take on a multi-part poetic work dealing with the place he calls home, Poznan in Western Poland. I asked him to think Jack Kerouac and Lowell, or William Carlos Williams and Paterson, New Jersey, or Paul Blackburn and the subways and bars of New York, and then to produce an original work in an original form that somehow nails the Poznan he knows, so that we who have never been there will feel and taste and smell and hear and see and sense Poznan in a deep way. That’s what Mr. Kaufmann has achieved in his new nine-page, eight-part long poem POZNAN CITY GOSPEL…the buskers, the cobblestone streets, the seagulls down from the Baltic, the pollution, the cheap cigarettes, the moon over Poznan hanging in an orange sky.

POZNAN CITY GOSPEL (KSE #111) is A. J. Kaufmann’s third chapbook for Kendra Steiner Editions. He and I are presently finishing up what will become his fourth: the Kaufman-Shute collaborative work BEYOND THE BLUE ROCKS: MEDITATIONS ON THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD, which should be out in mid-to-late October. His first, SIVA IN RAGS, is already sold out, but you can still get his second chapbook, EAST-WEST TRAIN.

POZNAN CITY GOSPEL is available NOW for only $4 postpaid in the US (see Available KSE chapbooks page to your right for ordering information) or $5 postpaid overseas. As AJK puts it in the closing lines of the poem:

I love the blues as I love this city…

only when it burns

September 18, 2008

MK Chavez named “Beat Museum Poet of the Month”

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:19 pm

WOW! Congratulations, MK! The Beat Museum’s web page can be found here:

http://www.thebeatmuseum.org/index.htm

and then read MK’s exciting new poem “Mission Street Love Story” here:

http://www.thebeatmuseum.org/august08winners.html

What puts MK into a special category is that she has gone beyond  Beat poetry in her work, using it as a springboard or a catalyst to do new and original things in her work. I know—I was reading about 15 of MK’s poems yesterday as I was assembling NEXT EXIT: NINE, the chap that she is sharing with John Sweet that will be issued in about 3 weeks. There’s a sexual tension and a smoldering, disquieting undercurrent in a number of her pieces, yet there is also a crying out for joy, wherever joy may be found and in whatever minute quantities.  “Mission Street Love Story” has all the immediacy, the rich and intoxicating rush of detail, the spotlight on the outsider that one would see in Kerouac, Corso, or Wantling. This poem is not particularly avant-garde and post-modern,  but MK can work in a number of different styles and has also produced fine experimental works rooted more in the Burroughs/Berrigan side of the Beat experience.  No wonder Ms. Chavez was selected…

While MK’s KSE chapbook VISITATION is now out of print, her earlier Zeitgeist Press chapbook VIRGIN EYES is still available, and you can order it here:

http://www.zeitgeist-press.com

And of course NEXT EXIT: NINE (KSE #112), featuring MK Chavez and John Sweet, will be available from KSE in about three weeks. Check back here at the blog around the first week in October…

KSE “Last Poems” chapbook authors selected

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 11:53 am

We had nearly 100 submissions, and about 35 of them were worthy of being published somewhere, but selections have now been made for the Kendra Steiner Editions “Last Poems” chapbook, which will be KSE #115 and appear in mid-November 2008. To remind you of the concept of this project (which I borrowed from Ted Berrigan and adapted somewhat), I asked poets to imagine that they had 6 hours to live—-in that situation, if you could write only one poem, what would it be?

The ten poets who will appear in this chapbook are

LUIS CUAUHTEMOC BERRIOZABAL
EDWARD CHURCHOUSE
GLENN W. COOPER
ALEATHIA DREHMER
DOROTHEA GROSSMAN
MELISSA HANSEN
JACK HENRY
ADRIAN MANNING
DAVID E. OPRAVA
RYAN SMITH .
Six of these ten poets are new to KSE, and five live outside North America. Talk about bringing in some new blood! Thanks to all who submitted.

September 14, 2008

next four KSE chapbooks and the rest of 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 10:59 am

The following four KSE chaps will be appearing over the next six weeks, through the end of October:

KSE #111, A. J. KAUFMANN, poznan city gospel   (available around 9/20/08 );

KSE #112, MK CHAVEZ & JOHN SWEET, next exit: nine   (available around 10/1/08 );

KSE #113, A. J. KAUFMANN & BILL SHUTE, beyond the blue rocks: meditations on the tibetan book of the dead   (available around 10/20/08 );

KSE #114, JIM D. DEUCHARS, allegheny rising (available around 10/15/08 ).

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Also planned for later in 2008, but not yet slotted for a particular release date or number, are the final volumes in two ten-volume chapbook series we’ve been running for about two years each!!:

MISTI RAINWATER-LITES, next exit: ten (the final volume in the NE series, a Misti solo chap);

ZACHARY C. BUSH & BILL SHUTE, shanti (creel pone sound study #10—–the final volume in the Creel Pone series of poems inspired by electronic music, and who better to close the series with than Zachary C. Bush, who worked with me on the much-acclaimed INTERVALS, volume 6 in the series, a reader favorite and once described by Doug Draime as the best of the KSE collaborations!).

I’d expect those two around Thanksgiving or so, certainly before Christmas. I’d like also to get out the LAST POEMS chapbook, the one for which I threw out a call for submissions that closes tomorrow night,  by the end of the year.

So that’s what’s up here. In addition, San Francisco’s Michael Layne Heath is working on a new solo chapbook of material for KSE as is Jersey City/NYC’s Zachary C. Bush (ex-Georgian), and it would be great to get those into readers’ hands by the end of 2008.

September 11, 2008

two more KSE chapbooks sold out, #109 and #102.

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 8:20 am

The following two chapbooks have now sold out and are no longer available:

#109, STUART CRUTCHFIELD / BILL SHUTE, electronic myth (creel pone sound study #9 );

 #102, A. J. KAUFMANN, siva in rags.

September 10, 2008

KSE mentioned on Ron Silliman’s blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:37 am

Was I suprised when I saw a link to the KSE blog (specifically, my post about why I don’t enjoy blogging) on Ron Silliman’s poetry blog (http://ronsilliman.blogspot.com/2008/09/robin-blaser-at-83-rae-armantrout.html —-the 9/9/2008 entry, scroll down for a while below the pic of Robin Blaser), perhaps the most distinguished American blog dealing with contemporary poetry and an incredible resource for daily links to articles on all things poetic. Was it a slow news day in the academic poetry world? In any event, thanks to Mr. Silliman and welcome to any of his readers who are visiting this blog. We are a small D.I.Y. poetry publisher and have issued 110 chapbooks in three years. We do not feature academic poetry, nor do we champion what RS might call “the new Brutalists” or the “school of quietude.” We offer a different way. When Paul Blackburn or Diane Wakoski or Stuart Z. Perkoff or William Wantling or John Wieners were offering their great works to the world (and of course, DW is still offering them!), they were unconcerned about labels and cliques. They wrote, they pioneered, and they did not look back. I’m certainly not claiming that any of us at KSE are great in the manner of those poets, but like them we stay outside the common cliques and schools of verse, and we write and publish a wide variety of new work on a regular basis, oblivious to what’s in or out or selling or being reviewed. San Antonio, KSE’s home base (with a sister office in Scotland), is certainly off the beaten path in terms of trendiness, and we have featured work from all parts of the USA, from England and Scotland and Poland and Australia. We feel that poetry should be a vital part of the contemporary arts community, right alongside music and film and visual arts, and we use that premise as the foundation of everything we do here. Check out the “available KSE poetry chapbooks” page to the right of this post. Try out a few chapbooks—only 3 for $10 ppd. in the US. How can you go wrong?

A. J. Kaufmann’s EAST-WEST TRAIN featured at Orange Alert

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:21 am

The “orange spotlight” over at WHAT TO WEAR DURING AN ORANGE ALERT is turned on A. J. Kaufmann’s EAST-WEST TRAIN (KSE #106) this week. Jason had this to say about Kaufmann’s latest:

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A.J. Kaufmann East-West Train: Sound Library Series, Vol. 35 (Kendra Steiner Editions #106, 7/08)

“… departing as scheduled luggage racks empty unfilled w/ your rain & your rain… how it adds to the morning…”

I believe I have said this before, but I really enjoy KSE’s Sound Library series. I know many of you out there can not listen to music while you read, but I suggest you listen to the song or album first and then read the poems. The subject for this chap, AJ Kaufmann’s second KSE release, is the wonderful album Trans-Europe Express by Kraftwerk. I don’t want to delve to far into the album itself, but if you can recall Trans-Europe is such an airy and epic journey that seems to glide along the hillsides and meadows, towns and villas, with songs like “Franz Schubert” and “Endless Endless” and of course the title track. Yet for all their beauty there was that disconnect, the electronic coldness that loomed in the distance. Kaufmann’s poems have that same feel as he rides through Paris, Vienna, Dusseldorf, Warsaw, and Prypiat, looking at the world through glass. In a world of synthetic coffee, showroom dummies (or mannequins) dance and the train moves on to new discoveries. AJ does not only relive the album, but adds an even stranger view as he translates the music into words. It really is magical.

There were only 54 copies of East-West Train by A.J. Kaufmann printed and I hold copy #20 in my hand. To order you copy send a check for $4 (or well-concealed cash) made payable to Bill Shute, 8141-B Pat Booker Rd. #399, San Antonio, Texas, 78233.

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You can read the piece in its original context at http://wearduringorangealert.blogspot.com/2008/09/orange-spotlight_09.html  .  Scroll down below the Dylan Champagne album and you’ll see it.

Congrats to AJ—this is, truly, a “magical” collection of poems. Check out the ordering information to your right at the “Available KSE poetry chapbooks” page. A.J. first KSE chapbook, SIVA IN RAGS, is almost sold out, so be sure to order that today along with EAST-WEST TRAIN.

September 7, 2008

upcoming from KSE for September/October 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 3:53 pm

Now that we’re back up and running again and have some positive momentum fueling KSE (I was a bit burned out and run down in August and early September), let me tell you all what is coming up in the next two months.

KSE 111 will be A. J. Kaufmann’s suite of poems about his hometown, Poznan, Poland, called POZNAN CITY GOSPEL. I told AJ, “William Carlos Williams had Paterson, Kerouac had Lowell, you’ve got Poznan. Go for it!” And he did. That should be out in a few weeks. It’s completely edited and formatted and the front cover is done.

KSE 112 will be NEXT EXIT: NINE, featuring MK Chavez and John Sweet, West Coast vs East Coast. I’m still making the selections for this one, and then I’ll need to program the poems in the best running order, so we’re looking at around the first of October, but the pairing of these two powerful poets, both of whose works often present a kind of disquieting beauty, will truly be an event.

October will also bring a chapbook of all-new work from JIM D. DEUCHARS, whose first KSE chap PIECES OF EIGHT just sold out. These pieces are rooted in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, and anything from Jim’s pen commands attention. Watch for it.

Finally, the collaborative chapbook of poetic meditations based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead that I’m doing with A. J. Kaufmann should be ready sometime in October.

And let’s not forget that “Last Poems” project that people are submitting poems to over the next few weeks…who knows what that project will wind up producing?

As always, thanks for your interest and your orders.

Christopher Cunningham, “In Gambler’s Blood” (KSE 110) now available

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 3:17 pm

Anyone who’s known or worked with a problem gambler knows what a fascinating phenomenon gambling is and what a great metaphor for the human condition it provides. KSE previously published EXACTA BOX, which dealt with horse racing, but that work focused more on the details related to the track and its hangers-on rather than the psychology of the gambler. Now Christopher Cunningham, one of America’s most distinctive and instantly recognizable poets and co-founder of the Guerilla Poetics Project, has created a new chapbook, IN GAMBLER’S BLOOD (sound library series, volume 36) that investigates the strange and sweet power that gambling—-in this case, poker—-holds over the players.

This work has an interesting history. When Mr. Cunningham wrote his previous KSE chapbook, NEXT EXIT: FIVE (at the point, the ONLY solo entry in the NE series), he mentioned to me that it had been composed under the musical influence of Calexico and Ennio Morricone (and knowing CC, I’m sure Miles Davis was also in there somewhere). I filed that information somewhere in the back of my brain, and one day while I was blasting Ennio Morricone’s NAVAJO JOE soundtrack on the way to work, I thought, “Christopher Cunningham…Ennio Morricone…Sound Library volume.” CC is the kind of writer who appreciates a challenge, so he immediately rose to the occasion, dug out the Morricone albums, and listened through the music until he found an internal narrative: the story of a poker game from the perspectives of the different players. That, in a nutshell, is IN GAMBLER’S BLOOD, a brand-new nine-poem suite that has all the qualities one associates with Cunningham at his best: the tension, the understatement, the understanding of life and of people, the passion, the diamond-sharp precision of the finely chiseled language.

Beyond the thought-provoking poetry, though, KSE 110 also features a haunting and beautiful original B&W cover portrait from noted photographer Cynthia Etheridge, and if that’s not enough, each sale copy comes with an original mini-painting by Mr. Cunningham, inserted into the book on a card. Yes, each chapbook has a unique artwork in it, not a copy! And all for four dollars postpaid ($5 outside the US).

Chris’s previous KSE book, NEXT EXIT: FIVE, was one of our most-acclaimed and fastest-selling items, so please act now on this. Ordering instructions can be found by accessing the “available KSE poetry chapbooks” page to your right.

Why not pay a visit to CC’s always interesting blog RIGHT NOW!   http://savageheavens.blogspot.com/       

And don’t forget that as its second literary offering, Orange Alert Press will be issuing in early 2009 a volume of Christopher Cunningham/Hosho McCreesh correspondence entitled Sunlight at Midnight, Darkness at Noon: The Cunningham/McCreesh Letters. As described by the publisher,

At first glance these may seem like simply a few letters between two nobody poets slowly becoming friends. But a deeper look reveals a kind of autobiographical novel, a long-form poetic snapshot, an independent document, a written record of two artists struggling with life in America at the beginning of the 21st century. It is a discussion that explores poetry, craft, politics and social criticism in intimate and stark detail. What unfolds here in these pages is the story of two lives as they struggle and search for meaning, for understanding, for some small measure of sense in a cold and often brutal, senseless world. Sometimes scathing and brash, sometime vulnerable, sometimes self-assured, the conversational threads are woven into a constant, furious tapestry covering the landscape of the American South, the desert Southwest and all the way to the cold mountains of Switzerland. Here are two writers clinging desperately to typewriters as war in the Middle East breaks out, as fear and terror motivate and penetrate the culture at large, gouge into its electronic eye, as the artistic mind is flattened, anesthetized. These letters represent a refusal to submit and a wild shout to the heavens that art can still matter.

I’ll certainly be ordering my copy as soon as pre-orders are accepted.

Although not an example of “crime poetry”, IN GAMBLER’S BLOOD reminds me, on some level, of the great existential crime films from previous decades such as Walter Hill’s THE DRIVER and Jean-Pierre Melville’s LE SAMOURAI, and those two works are beyond compare. They haunt the viewer and are models of high-octane understatement. IN GAMBLER’S BLOOD fills me with a similar feeling. Thanks to Chris and Cynthia for taking on this project—if you buy only one KSE chapbook this season, this one would probably be it.

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