Kendra Steiner Editions

July 11, 2018

Summer 2018 Poetry Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:57 pm

A few months ago, we announced on the KSE Facebook page that all in-print poetry chapbooks in the standard 5 1/2 x 8″ format would be deleted when they were sold out and that it would be advisable to grab them sooner rather than later. They are now gone—-thanks to you who picked them up in May and June! The seven volumes of Natchez Poems will eventually be collected in book form, but never again in the original format, with the original cover photos, and with the original epigraphs–I’m proud of that sequence, and hope you readers will also find them entertaining and worthwhile. The John Sweet collection is also sold out.

This year I took my annual late May “writing vacation” in Cleveland County, Oklahoma (SW Oklahoma City area), and produced about 46 pages of open-field poetry. However, instead of my usual method of creating six or seven of the six-page KSE chapbooks, this work was cast as one long-form work, and that’s the way it will be published–I hope that it will be available by the end of the year. Tentative title for that book is IN ORDINARY TIME.

There will also be a joint book, half Michael Casey/half Bill Shute, published by a Western Massachusetts press, which should be out within a few months. It was scheduled to be out when Mr. Casey and I did our joint reading in Easthampton, MA, in June but hit a few snags that delayed it. It will be done in the classic “69” style where there are two fronts to the book and one flips it over to get what is essentially a second book. My half is titled CULTURE OF COMPLIANCE, and the entire book runs about 40-50 pages. When it becomes available, I’ll post ordering information, and you should purchase it directly from the press, NOT from me, as we want to encourage them in their excellent taste in poets!

Speaking of Michael Casey, I was privileged to do another joint reading with him in the greater Amherst area (we last did a reading together at the now-defunct Flying Object Books in Hadley, MA, in 2011) on June 22nd at White Square Books in Easthampton, MA. This was a different kind of reading for me. To provide a little background to that observation….the night after the reading, Mary Anne and I saw a play in Pittsfield called CAKE, which was a comedy with dramatic elements, but it had many very funny elements to it. Here in Texas, this play would have gotten a foot-stomping, hooting response to the comic scenes, but in Western Massachusetts, it garnered only the occasional laugh–and most of those laughs were from the two of us and maybe one other couple….although it was clear from the “feel” of the audience that they were very much INTO the play, just not being very demonstrative about that.

I experienced a similar phenomenon at the reading. As with a stand-up comedian or a teacher, I always try to “read the room” when I do a poetry reading, and my reading of THIS room during my introductory comments (and my seeing/hearing the response to Michael Casey’s set, before mine) told me that doing my pieces with the intended long pauses between the stanzas would NOT work. Thus, I read the pieces without the pauses, almost as if they were narrative poems, which turned them into something quite different. I don’t think anyone recorded the reading, but the poems struck me as almost moving into John Ashbery territory (but with wider tonal shifts) when read in that manner. Of course, that’s not the way they are intended to be read–either on the page or in a reading–but it’s always interesting when any kind of art is recontextualized and put into a different vessel for its delivery….maybe not a revelation, but interesting. Thanks to all who came out for that reading. It’s a small venue, so it was packed, and people did smile in all the right places and gasp (though not audibly) in all the right places, so I did manage to do what I went there to do. Below is a pic of Mr. Casey and yours truly, holding each other’s books. Casey was in fine form, as always, and his funny and true-to-life character-driven pieces tend to win over any audience that experiences them either on the page or in a reading. He and I were asked to submit new material, pieces composed in the last year, for this duo book, so I’m looking forward to seeing what pieces  of his those are. At the reading, many of the pieces seemed to be from his recent collected works volume, THERE IT IS.

BILL AND MIKE 2018

BILL SHUTE (L) and MICHAEL CASEY (R), holding each other’s books, after the 6/22/18 poetry reading at White Square Books, Easthampton, MA

My next solo poetry book (in addition to the Casey-Shute book) will be another 8 x 11 full-sized mass-market collection, available from Amazon both in North America and Europe, formatted by Wyatt Doyle of New Texture (who did such a fine job on my earlier collections DOWN AND OUT IN GULFPORT AND BILOXI and BRIDGE ON THE BAYOU), collecting pieces from 2015: SCULPTURE GARDEN IN THE SNOW. There is a CDR album of me reading these pieces presently available, so the printed collection, in a large format that allows the pieces to breathe in the way they are meant to, is perfectly timed. I’ll post an announcement and a link to order when that book is ready (a few months, I’d guess). Until then, the previous two mentioned above are still available. You can find them here: http://amzn.to/2jxJaZc   As these are print-on-demand,  wherever you order them from—-Canada, France, Germany, Italy, etc.—-they will be treated by Amazon as a LOCAL purchase with local postage, saving you a lot of money. I don’t sell these books directly, except at readings–please by them via Amazon, which is convenient for you and for me.

So there are two books to look forward to in the coming months, and I’ll be editing and formatting the Oklahoma-written material through the summer, and that material will become another full-sized book (not via KSE-format chapbooks–that format will be given a break for a while). Thanks to all for your support over the years–back during the period of TWELVE GATES TO THE CITY and POINT LOMA PURPLE, all the way up to the present, and into the future.

And don’t forget that my poetry is also featured on the recent album CAMPANULA by ALFRED 23 HARTH  and  JOHN BELL on the German “Moloko Plus” label–my voice is reading on the album, and the poems are re-printed in the lavish booklet which is part of the package….and I also wrote liner notes for the album. Just Google the title and the artists and you can find how to order a copy of that excellent album.

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