Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

November 22, 2009

Kaufmann & Shute, “Twombly’s Siracusa” (KSE #151)



The third Kaufmann-Shute collaboration, Twombly’s Siracusa is our attempt to capture in verse the essence of the work of the visionary, revolutionary American painter Cy Twombly. Twombly is someone who simultaneously brought painting back to its origins on cave walls and on animal hides while extending painting beyond the action painters and abstract expressionists into an artistic world like no one else’s. He is truly a genre unto himself, as might also be said about Tapies, O’Keeffe, or Warhol. There is also a classical base to much of Twombly’s work, a core—-often submerged, and often halfway erased visibly on the canvas—-rooted in Roman history-mythology or classical literature. And often Twombly’s work integrates the process of creation INTO the work itself. There’s no one remotely like him, and his work is endlessly fascinating and inspirational.

A.J. and I, being both fascinated and inspired by his work, decided to take on this ambitious project in the Spring of 2009, and we spent six months coming up with the concept, structure, stanza form, pattern of images, historical base, etc. and then doing the actual composing of the stanzas, with countless e-mails and attachments and Instant Messaging between Poznan, Poland, and San Antonio, Texas. Our classical base for this piece is the Siege of Syracuse from 214-212 BC, where the Sicilian city of Siracusa was overrun and conquered by the Romans, and the Sicilians used in the defense of the city a number of odd armaments created by the great inventor-scientist-mathematician Archimedes, who is a strong presence in our piece. But Twombly’s Siracusa also resonates beyond that period in Sicily, all the way up through the present, and as in Twombly’s work, the creation of this piece is integrated into the piece itself.

Twombly’s Siracusa is our most ambitious collaboration so far (and it’s not without humor—-after all, who can use the phrase “cunning stunts” with a straight face!), and it is constructed with as much mirroring and symmetry and balance as a Persian carpet.  After all, as Hart Crane once wrote, “Poetry is an architectural art.” We feel that it will reward multiple readings and that it will remain fresh whenever one turns to it. Try it for yourself and see!

And when visiting Houston, Texas, please stop by the Twombly Gallery at 1501 Branard, near the Menil Collection and the Rothko Chapel. I visit it two or three times a year when travelling through Houston, and it was a visit in early May 2009 that convinced me that A.J. and I just had to do this project now.  And we did!

A.J. and I are presently developing a fourth collaborative chapbook, although that one will be more of a “joint exhibition” than a true collab as the first three were. More on that in early 2010.

TWOMBLY’S SIRACUSA (KSE #151) is now available. 

In the US, books are $4 each postpaid, or you can get any three KSE chaps for $10 postpaid.  Send a check (or well-concealed cash) made payable to Bill Shute, 14080 Nacogdoches Rd. #350, San Antonio, Texas, 78247.  Outside the US, you can get any book for $5 postpaid, payable via paypal. Just write to django5722 (at) yahoo (dot) com and request a paypal invoice. For your 3-for-$10 deal, along with TWOMBLY’S SIRACUSA, you can choose from any of these other in-print chapbooks:

#150, MICHAEL LAYNE HEATH, “Loons of a Dogman” (sound library series, volume 48) ;

#149, A. J. KAUFMANN, “via alighieri” (cinema poetry series, volume 3) ;

#148, MISTI RAINWATER-LITES, “vegas the hard way” ;

#147, BILL SHUTE, “nobody knows, nobody sees” (cinema poetry series, volume 2) ;

#146, MK CHAVEZ & MIRA HORVICH, “pinnacle” ;

#145, A. J. KAUFMANN & BILL SHUTE, “blues for duffy power” ;

#144, ZACHARY C. BUSH, “spin” ;

#143, A. J. KAUFMANN, “symbolisme psychédélique” (sound library series, volume 47). In memory of Sky Sunlight Saxon, issued simultaneously with KSE #142 ;

#142, BILL SHUTE, “plink, plonk & scratch” (sound library series, volume 46). In memory of Sky Sunlight Saxon, issued simultaneously with KSE #143.


#140, BILL SHUTE, subtraction ;

#139, A. J. KAUFMANN, antiquewhite rain (sound library series, volume 45) ;

#138, BILL SHUTE, the stumble (sound library series, volume 44) ;

#134, RONALD BAATZ, headlights from the otherside of the world ;

#132,  DOUG DRAIME, knox county (photographs by Lena Ozuna) ;

#130,  MISTI RAINWATER-LITES, odd years .


November 20, 2009

A.J. Kaufmann, “Via Alighieri.” (KSE #149)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 9:30 pm

“Via Alighieri” (Cinema Poetry Series, Volume 3)
Kendra Steiner Editions #149.

The bleak industrial and emotional wastelands found in Antonioni’s classic film “Il Deserto Rosso/Red Desert” are created anew in this haunting, disquieting, yet strangely beautiful ten-page poem from “The Bard of Poznan.” Available NOW from KSE.

The third in our Cinema Poetry Series.

Vol. 1, ROCKET ATTACK USA (inspired by the Barry Mahon film of the same name, out of print).

Vol. 2, NOBODY KNOWS, NOBODY SEES (inspired by the 1971 film VANISHING POINT, still available from KSE).

Volumes 4 and 5, by AJ Kaufmann and Bill Shute, will appear in the first half of 2010.

Ordering information at

Read Paul Corman-Roberts’ essay on A.J. Kaufmann at Full of Crow:

Read a review of NOBODY KNOWS, NOBODY SEES at The Ragged Edge:
(it’s the 20-11-09 entry)

Thanks for your support of the KSE family and of independent artists.


November 13, 2009

the original edition of FOUR TEXAS STREAMS

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:56 pm

four texas streams

Here’s a rarity for you, one which I just found a copy of in my garage. This is the original, pre-KSE edition (12 copies printed, 10 of which were inscribed and given to friends and fellow poets—I kept 2) of FOUR TEXAS STREAMS, which later became the FIRST Kendra Steiner Editions chapbook in March 2006 (see the Bibliography page for the history of this work). KSE moved over 200 of these, many sold at the readings I did in support of my 2006 Word Mechanics book 12 GATES TO THE CITY.  FOUR TEXAS STREAMS was also a good seller at Volcanic Tongue in Glasgow, whose blurb about it read,

Great short companion piece to Shute’s newly-published Twelve Gates To The City, four poems that combine the always affecting personal detail that defines much of his work with an appearance by Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys illuminating the night/day dynamic of a solitary shift worker on the fringes of consensus reality. Privately-printed hand-numbered edition. Highly recommended.

Without KSE #1, FOUR TEXAS STREAMS,  and the excellent response it received, we might not have continued the KSE imprint and thus we might not have issued the 150 chapbooks we have so far. I credit the influence of musicians who ran/run their own labels such as Jandek with his Corwood Industries, Paul Bley with his Improvising Artists Inc., and Big Bill Bissonnette with his Jazz Crusade (and not forgetting Fred Cole out in Oregon) in providing me both the inspiration and the model for KSE.

While FOUR TEXAS STREAMS is long out of print, it was included as a bonus at the end of my book-length poem POINT LOMA PURPLE, issued by Word Mechanics in 2007, and there are some copies of that still available. As we reach our 150th chapbook, it’s nice to remember how this all started… Thanks to all who have stood by KSE by buying and/or talking about and/or writing about our chapbooks. We have some great work lined up over the next few months and the next year that won’t let you down. Stay tuned…


November 10, 2009

3 new chapbooks from KSE

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:37 pm

We’ll have individual write-ups about each of the 3 new chapbooks within a week, but these are now available for ordering (see the “kse ordering information” page to your right), so here they are:


“twombly’s siracusa” (inspired by the work of Cy Twombly) ;


#149, A. J. KAUFMANN,

“via alighieri” (cinema poetry series, volume 3) ;


#148, MISTI RAINWATER-LITES, “vegas the hard way” .


Remember, $4 each, or 3 for $10 postpaid in the US.

$5 each postpaid outside the US.

Each is a limited, hand-numbered, hand-assembled edition of under 60 copies.

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