Kendra Steiner Editions

June 18, 2019

the 1980’s Warhol/Munch series

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:56 pm

warhol munch louisiana poster

Though Andy Warhol passed away 30+ years ago, his body of work is so large and so many areas of it remain little-known that undoubtedly for the lifetimes of all reading this post there will be no shortage of deep dives into the Warhol vaults, bringing focus and visibility to some of the many series of works he continued to create up to the time of his passing in 1987. I tend to find the close examinations of limited numbers of thematically related works to be a fruitful approach when it comes to study and appreciation and enjoyment of Warhol’s work. He left us, posterity, an amazing amount of work, and I would encourage anyone with a taste for Warhol to wake up and start exploring and savoring the work. Perhaps the easiest way to do that is through the many specialized oversized books devoted to specific-focus exhibitions, more often than not outside the United States. Regular perusal of the sale lists of online art-book dealers or Ebay can turn up many obscure gems….and on occasion multiple copies of such books will find their way into the remaindered-books stream and show up at Half-Price Books (I’ve written about some of those here on the KSE blog). They usually don’t last long, and six months or a year later, one sees them going up significantly in price.

I generally have at any particular time one or two such books in my reading-and-study rotation, and upon return from my writing vacation in East Texas and SW Louisiana last week, I went through my Warhol collection to dig out a few to enjoy here in the early Summer and found that I own TWO books devoted to Warhol’s 1980’s series of re-imaginings of the art of Edvard Munch.

They are MUNCH/WARHOL AND THE MULTIPLE IMAGE by Patricia C. Berman and Pari Stave, published in 2013 to accompany a New York exhibition at Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, New York (see book pictured below)

and WARHOL AFTER MUNCH edited by Michael Juul Holm and Henriette Dedichen, published by the legendary Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark to accompany an exhibition of the same name (the cover to this book is similar to the exhibition poster, at the top of this post).

munch warhol multiple image book

If I may quote from a definitive account of the genesis of this series, from the Christie’s sale of some of the pieces, “In late 1982, on one of his daily amblings distributing copies of Interview magazine around Manhattan, Andy Warhol (1928 –1987) visited Galleri Bellman on 57th Street. The gallery had recently opened a show of 126 paintings and prints by Edvard Munch (1863–1944), including an impression of The Scream, the iconic 1895 lithograph on loan from the Munch Museum in Oslo….Surprised at how prolific Munch was as a printmaker, he professed at the time to being more impressed by his prints than his paintings. Warhol returned to the Bellman exhibit several times, eventually securing a commission to paint what became known as the After Munch series: The Scream, Eva Mudocci and Self Portrait juxtaposed with Madonna. In 1983 five canvases of each — a total of 15 works — were commissioned….‘Warhol came to this imagery as a function of his respect for Munch, not only as an artist, but as a printmaker,’ says Richard Lloyd, International Head of Prints and Multiples at Christie’s. ‘There’s a long tradition of artists being very invested in Munch’s creative output in this medium. He was not only incredibly prolific, he was also very technologically innovative and experimental, which is something Warhol really responded to.’ The following year, agreement was reached on a related project to create screen-printed versions of each of these motifs. The original idea was to issue 60 portfolios, each containing the three compositions. Warhol began work on the prints by ordering photographs and transparencies of the originals to be enlarged. These were then used as the basis of tracings, whereby he recreated the structure with bold graphite lines. The Pop artist worked with master printer Rupert Jasen Smith, who used stencils to add blocks of colour, producing a series of unique colour versions (Warhol was to select the most successful colour combinations for the edition). The combinations were extremely varied, ranging from two colours to half a dozen or more, from sombre browns and blacks to neon pinks and lime greens. In some the figure is in sharp relief against a muted background; in others the figure is almost invisible, completely subsumed by the landscape.
Unfortunately, disagreements between the directors of Galleri Bellman meant the project was cancelled. The total number of unique Munch screen-prints Andy Warhol produced is unknown, Lloyd says, but it is thought to be small.” 

While Warhol certainly had a history of appropriating and then re-interpreting images from classic art, he was also very much aware of artists whose work involved the kind of series repetition and variation that was so central to his own aesthetic. It’s no surprise that he re-interpreted the works of Giorgio de Chirico, who often re-visited his own works in later life the way a 1950’s rock and roll artist would re-record his early hits decades later for budget labels. Also, Warhol’s Last Supper paintings, one of his last major series projects, which were based on cheap and inexact reproductions of Leonard DaVinci’s original image.

Edvard Munch produced multiple variations on his own iconic images via prints and woodcuts, which is one reason that people who may know little about classic art recognize Munch’s “The Scream”–it’s been endlessly reprinted, and that replication began with Munch himself. That aspect of the Norwegian artist surely appealed to Warhol, who probably felt a kindred spirit, allowing him to bring his patented appropriation-and-reimagining aesthetic to well-known works that in their new Warhol versions would no doubt have wide appeal. The WARHOL AFTER MUNCH book explains the repetition with variation, re-coloring, etc. that Munch himself did later in his career with his earlier images (he even wondered if he had done too much of that and if he was cheapening the value of his work by doing it, but then remembered how the technique was spreading his work and fame far and wide), in detail, and it’s uncanny how such practices foreshadow Warhol’s technique.

denmark-2010

Warhol chose four images from Munch–“Madonna,” “The Brooch, Eva Mudocci,” “The Scream,” and “Self-Portrait” (themselves from lithographs), with “Madonna” and “Self-Portrait” being combined by Warhol into one image. According to Patricia G. Berman, “Warhol painted fifteen versions of Munch’s printed motifs onto canvas, and he produced upwards of thirty trial proofs of graphic versions (it is not altogether clear how many were printed). The prints were never issued as an edition.” The Louisiana book includes SIXTEEN Warhol variations on the Madonna/Self-Portrait image, multiple versions of the others, close-up visual analyses of Warhol’s technique in producing the images, an analysis of the color schemes used in the works, etc. With the exhaustive coverage of Munch’s variations on the images, and then Warhol’s variations on Munch’s variations, the readers can get a feeling of dizziness  and feel like they are looking at a slightly-warped mirror image of another slightly-warped mirror image of another slightly-warped mirror image, all illuminated by colored stage lighting that switches randomly every five seconds.

Andy-Warhol-Eva-Mudocci-After-Munch-1984.-©-Haugar-Vestfold-Kunstmuseum

It’s a unique sensation, and the works themselves are intoxicating via the large and crisp reproductions found in these two books. And let’s not forget the deep and insightful commentaries from a number of disciplines and perspectives found in both books.

Andy-Warhol-Foundation-for-the-Visual-Arts-Photo-Sparebankstiftelsen-DNB

Both books are highly recommended. For those who do not feel like buying art books, all  you need to do is Google the names MUNCH/WARHOL, and you can see many of the images online, a number of them in resolutions high enough that you can close-up on sections of the pieces for study.

Below you can find links to two articles related to exhibitions of the Warhol/Munch prints, which can provide you enough background and basic info to provide the flavor of the project…and perhaps inspire you to dig deeper.

Lux Magazine on the Oslo Exhibition at the Munch Museum

Hyperallergic on Munch and Warhol an Unlikely Pair

Also, you’ll want to read a definitive piece on the backstory and the genesis of the series in this piece accompanying the sale of some of the prints at Christie’s (I quoted extensively from this above).

Christies sale of Warhol After Munch prints

Warhol and Munch continue to work their magic in new century through both their bodies of works and their techniques that open doors which today’s aestheticians desire to walk through and raise questions that today’s art audience want to ponder. Their interaction through this series of works is something that many reading this will find quite worthwhile, providing a lot of food for thought….and beautiful, haunting pieces to enjoy.

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May 29, 2019

2019 writing vacation in SW Louisiana and East Texas

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 11:54 am

You never know what curves life will throw you at the last minute…

I’ve been talking about my two-week writing vacation in Tulsa this June, in a cottage on the banks of the Arkansas River, since I booked it last November. Unfortunately, with the flooding of the Arkansas River in the area of Tulsa where I’d be staying, I needed to make some alternate plans. So, I’ve made alternate plans for a new locale for my poetry work: half on a ranch on the Texas/Louisiana border, and half on the banks of the lake in beautiful Lake Charles, Louisiana, always one of my favorite places.

018_DR

As most readers of this blog know, I evolved from 5-8 page poems to book-length works about two years ago, spending about a year working on AMONG THE NEWLY FALLEN (available now internationally via Amazon–go check it out and order one!), and then spending the last 10 months or so working on a new 60-page long-form poem, RIVERSIDE FUGUE. The latter is about 85% written, and I’ll be finishing it among the cattle (see pic below) in East Texas, a few miles from the state line with LA, and then editing it in beautiful Lake Charles, Louisiana. No horse-racing at Delta Downs this trip, alas, but that will just give me more time to apply to the poetry.

cattle

 

I’ll be gone from June 1-June 12. Text me if you need me for anything—-I’ll only be online once every few days, if that. I hope to have RIVERSIDE FUGUE ready for publication sometime in the Fall.

See you again in mid-June….

May 27, 2019

Nick Garrie, Live in-studio performance on Radio Capodistria (Koper, Slovenia), 14 May 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 3:33 pm

Legendary folk-psych troubadour NICK GARRIE recently did an 8-city, 5-country tour of central Europe in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of his classic 1969 album The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanislas. The acclaimed singer-songwriter did a live in-studio set, broadcast of Radio Capodistria, broadcast throughout Slovenia, and it is a beautiful solo-acoustic performance running 80 minutes. Garrie mixes well-loved chestnuts from his back catalogue with more recent compositions (and tells us the backstory of them) and a few well-chosen covers. It’s the kind of show you’d be happy to purchase a CD of if it were available for sale, but you can watch/listen to the show online via You Tube. The link is below the tour poster….settle back and enjoy as you are taken on a journey through a half-century of song….

nick 1

Nick Garrie, Radio Capodistria (Slovenia), 14 May 2019

nick 2

May 20, 2019

coming in September 2019, ‘Gertrude Stein Has Arrived: The Homecoming of a Literary Legend’ by Roy Morris, Jr.

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:10 pm

GERTRUDE STEIN HAS ARRIVED: THE HOMECOMING OF A LITERARY LEGEND

by Roy Morris, Jr.

to be published September 2019 by Johns Hopkins University Press (264 pages)

gertrude in america

Very excited to learn about this forthcoming book on Gertrude Stein’s return to the United States in 1934-1935 for 171 days, a period during which she gave 74 lectures in 23 states, including one right down the road from me at the University of Texas in Austin!

Also excited to see that the person behind this project is Roy Morris, Jr., acclaimed Civil War historian, whose insightful works on Mark Twain and Walt Whitman have the benefit of a writer who knows intimately the cultural history of the eras in which the works were created but also has a fine eye for literary technique….and is one of the more literary popular historians writing today. Stein is truly an author in the “classic American” tradition of a Twain or a Whitman….she certainly viewed herself that way in any number of comments about herself and her role as an author.

Though she wrote mostly in a unique and uncompromising style, it was a style that was not based on the reader possessing any esoteric knowledge or the ability to recognize obscure allusions (as in, say, the work of Ezra Pound), and once readers “got” the concept of the work at hand (there are probably five or six major “styles” within Stein’s arsenal) and began to hear the always-clear voice behind the works, they essentially read themselves to you. They dictated how they would be read. Anyone who could understand then-contemporary movements in the other arts would really not have a problem “getting” what it is that Stein was doing. Whether they wanted to read long avant-garde works by her was another story. How much of the public would want to attend a massive Cy Twombly exhibition, for instance; yet one could explain the methodology of his work in 30 seconds in layperson’s terms to anyone, in the same way that one could “explain” the methodology of John Cage’s Number Pieces easily to any layperson. They are what they are. Of course, upon “understanding” the concept behind these artists’ pieces, some would ask, “why would anyone do that?” And they certainly have a right to feel that way. However, the works are not inaccessible without some kind of “key” or merely acting in the service of some critical theory.

Stein’s best-selling somewhat-fictionalized memoir THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALICE B. TOKLAS made her a celebrity in popular culture, to the point that she is mentioned in books and films and radio shows of the mid-30’s. The Autobiography was written in an accessible style that was still 100% Stein and was a pleasure to read. It surely led to tens of thousands of readers finding and enjoying her other works. Once one gets the Stein habit, it does not go away, and there is such a large body of work to savor and be fascinated and transfixed by. The collection of her lectures from this tour of the USA, LECTURES IN AMERICA, was one of the first Stein books I owned (before I’d read many of the pieces she discusses in the lectures!), and I devoured it. The lectures are written in her characteristic style of expression, and as mentioned above, they essentially read themselves to you, as the reader lets go and allows the powerful rhythms of Stein’s language to carry them along like undertow at a Gulf Coast beach when you’ve gone out thirty or forty feet.

If you’d like to get a basic overview of the Stein American tour of 1934-1935, why not read an excellent article from Smithsonian Magazine in 2011, “When Gertrude Stein Toured America,” by Megan Gambino. Here’s the link to that…..                                  Smithsonian article on Stein’s 1934-35 US tour

Also nice to see that this is a Johns Hopkins University Press publication. Their 1995 reprint of Stein’s LAST OPERAS AND PLAYS, with an insightful introduction by Bonnie Marranca, is never far from my nightstand. Also, let’s not forget that Stein herself was a student at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine at one time, and it put a smile on my face to see that at Johns Hopkins University today, here in 2019, over 110 years after Stein attended Johns Hopkins, there is a student organization called THE GERTRUDE STEIN SOCIETY, “an organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and allied members of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, including the Schools of Nursing, Public Health, and Medicine.” You can read more about that group here: Gertrude Stein Society at Johns Hopkins U

stein lec

May 15, 2019

upcoming reviews for Ugly Things #51

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 9:00 am

Seems like I was just announcing my pieces written for Ugly Things #50….now I’m working on SEVEN reviews for UT #51. They are due in mid-June, but I’ll need to get them done before I take off for my poetry writing vacation in Tulsa in early June–so these pieces are what I’ll be working on the next few weeks, in between job responsibilities, of course.

All of the albums are very worthwhile items containing little-known and under-appreciated music (the Reggie Young album does have some hits on it, but it’s meant to be a sampler of his sideman work on various Memphis sessions, so you listen to the music differently when you focus on Reggie’s guitar work, and it contains a staggeringly eclectic combination of artists he’s working with)–I’m  happy to get the word out about them. The Bill Haley biography from Bill’s son (the second book written by one of his sons….John Haley had a fine book out about 20 years ago) has been anxiously awaited, and this review will give me a chance to step back and do the kind of career survey on Bill that I’ve wanted to do for years (I reviewed a German collection of his early 48-51 country material many years ago for UT). He’s yet to receive his proper acclaim, though most people know his name, and I fear that most reviews of this book will seize upon the revelations from his personal life and dwell upon the fact that he was not the model parent to the children of his first two marriages (or the model husband to his first two wives). Bill Jr. has had decades to come to terms with this unfortunate situation, and he’s presented an honest but fair book. Fortunately, as Bill Sr. never received an award for being a model parent (and thus can’t be accused of hypocrisy), we can focus on the music, and fortunately the book delivers an enormous amount of detail on that front (one early review of the UK edition blamed to book for being “too factual”!!).

Here are the seven items, six albums and one book:

THE CHANCES, “Baby, Listen To Me” (Nor-Va-Jak, CD) 

ut51 one

WILLIE AND THE RED RUBBER BAND (Nor-Va-Jak, CD)

ut51 two

BOBBY WOOD, “If I’m A Fool For Loving You: The Complete 60’s Recordings” (RPM, CD)

ut51 three

REGGIE YOUNG, “Session Guitar Star” (Ace, CD)

ut51 four

TOMMY HUNT, “The Complete Man” (Kent, CD)

ut51 five

v.a., “POPPIES: ASSORTED FINERY FROM THE FIRST PSYCHEDELIC AGE” (Craft Recordings, LP/CD), psychedelia from the vaults of Vanguard, Original Sound, and Stax’s “Hip” subsidiary, compiled by Alec Palao

ut51 six

CRAZY MAN CRAZY: THE BILL HALEY STORY, by Bill Haley, Jr., and Peter Benjaminson (UK/US book, released May 2019)

ut51 seven

As always, UGLY THINGS presents a wide variety of exhaustive coverage of lesser-known rockin’ music from the 60’s but also the 50’s and 70’s and is one of the few essential music magazines out there….30+ years and now 50+ issues! Proud to be a part of the UT team for 30+ years myself, working with editor/publisher Mike Stax. Just look for the Bill Shute credit in the reviews section (the book review will be near the front of the mag, the music reviews are always near the back) as you are spending an entire weekend reading the new UT cover to cover.

May 10, 2019

interviews from the Fillius Jazz Archive at Hamilton College

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 2:47 pm

Recently, someone in a Benny Goodman discussion group I belong to posted a link to an interview with bandleader/pianist Skitch Henderson (perhaps best known to people my age as leader of the Tonight Show band during the Steve Allen and early Johnny Carson eras), who discussed his work with Goodman during part of the interview. The interviewer was a knowledgeable fellow, a musician himself (who could discuss specific musicians’ favorite keys and the like effortlessly), Monk Rowe, who knows just what questions to ask and then how to lay back and let the musicians share priceless stories and details which, were they not to tell them in these interviews and have them documented via audio and video and transcription, would probably fade into ashes eventually, along with the musicians themselves.  Jazz history needs to be preserved. 

Doing a little research after hearing the interview with Henderson, I found that there are HUNDREDS more interviews at the Archive’s You Tube channel and many more resources of all kinds at the college’s website.

jazzarchivelogojpg

Here are the links to get you started:

100+ video interviews from the Fillius Jazz Archve at You Tube

audio interviews and interview transcripts at the Hamilton College website

among the hundreds of musicians interviewed, NAT ADDERLEY, RASHIED ALI, BILLY BAUER, JOANNE BRACKEEN, RAY BROWN, RUTH BROWN, BUDDY COLLETTE, KENNY DAVERN, BUDDY DeFRANCO, RAY BRYANT, JOHN BUNCH, JOE BUSHKIN, and hundreds of others with surnames that begin with letters after “D.”

This is a treasure trove of material. If you want to hear musicians you love who have worked with and lived with and known both on a personal level and on the bandstand night after night musicians as diverse as Duke Ellington, Bunk Johnson, Charlie Parker, Sidney Bechet, Art Hodes, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, and a zillion others, put the Archive’s You Tube channel on while you are working (that’s what I’m doing), and just wade in the wisdom…let these masters share the trade secrets with you, and let the tradition continue on….

Wess

FRANK WESS, interview from the Archive

rudd

ROSEWELL RUDD, interview from the Archive

April 26, 2019

available Bill Shute poetry books (as of May 2019)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 8:04 pm

I should spend more time promoting my in-print poetry books, but I tend to put my efforts into composing NEW poems and dashing off reviews and columns for BTC, Ugly Things, and the KSE blog (or in the last few months, reading lesser-known works by Washington Irving, Gertrude Stein, and Oliver Goldsmith). Thus, the time is right to list the six poetry books of mine presently in-print. Any or all of them can be ordered online easily. I hope you find them interesting and worthwhile—-a number of people seem to, for which I’m thankful!

As of 2018 and AMONG THE NEWLY FALLEN, I’ve moved into long-form, book-length works. This year, 2019, I am working on a 60-page piece called RIVERSIDE FUGUE, which I will complete and edit this summer during two weeks in Tulsa, across the street from the Arkansas River. My 2006 POINT LOMA PURPLE (published by Word Mechanics, out of print) was a book-length poem, 3300+ lines, in 18 chapters, but it was a narrative poem, and a historical poem, nothing like these recent open-field works painted on a larger canvas, but not a teletype roll.

With the responsibility of the KSE label and its many music releases now in the rear-view mirror, I’m finally able to give the large blocks of time, the months of brick-by-brick and stanza-by-stanza construction, the nights of reading and thought and note-taking, and the drudgery of daily life experience (and the resulting existential epiphanies!)  needed for such more-ambitious projects. I am not getting any younger (trust me, I may be “younger than that now,”  but only metaphorically), and as someone who has admired and studied long-form works such as CLAREL or STANZAS IN MEDITATION or THE BRIDGE or PATERSON or Diane Wakoski’s tetralogy THE ARCHEOLOGY OF MOVIES AND BOOKS, or Warhol’s SHADOWS sequence or Jandek’s THE SONG OF MORGAN or GHOST PASSING or Jackson MacLow’s STANZAS FOR IRIS LEZAK, it’s inevitable that I too would take aim at the target at the farthest end of the shooting gallery, plan a hike up a mountain four times higher than what I’d previously climbed.

Tentatively, there will be a collection of selected poems (JUNK SCULPTURE FROM THE NEW GILDED AGE) spanning the last 15 years coming out in Germany next year–more on that later. Also, I hope to have RIVERSIDE FUGUE in print by the end of 2019 (in time for your holiday gift giving!). The collection of previously published essays and reviews which people keep asking about, NERO’S MOTHER MEETS THE PHANTOM GUNSLINGER, will probably come out in 2020—-I don’t want it to steal any thunder from the poetry books (because, by nature, essays and reviews get more readers than poems)

Why not try one or more of the books below. You should not regret it….and if you do, there’s always RE-GIFTING!

Thanks to those readers who have hung on with me, with gaps and breaks as they or I have to re-adjust and get our acts back together, since the early 1980’s (you know who you are, and I’m glad we are still in touch after 30+ years of life grinding us down)
among the newly fallen, cover

AMONG THE NEWLY FALLEN

44-page book-length poem, composed in Oklahoma City in 2018

perfect-bound paperback available from Amazon at https://amzn.to/2SNdmiV

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sculpture garden KDP book

SCULPTURE GARDEN IN THE SNOW

selected 2015 poems from long-out-of-print chapbooks, including

SATORI IN LAKE CHARLES
FLAGS NO LONGER AT HALF MAST
INVENTING ONE’S OWN LAND
MANIPULATING AMBIGUITY
SCULPTURE GARDEN IN THE SNOW
MONUMENTAL MOVEMENTS
LIARS IN A STRANGE RAINY WORLD

44-page perfect-bound paperback, available from all international Amazon outlets

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satori createspace cover

SATORI IN NATCHEZ

contains 7 six-page open-field poems composed in Natchez, Mississippi, in 2016, previously available in long-out-of-print chapbooks:

GUEST REGISTER
NEW JERUSALEM
MELTDOWN
TIME CRYSTALS
THE DIFFICULTIES, THE IMPOSSIBILITIES
SATORI IN NATCHEZ
ARISING, ABIDING, AND DECAY

60-page perfect-bound paperback, available from all international Amazon outlets

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bridge book

BRIDGE ON THE BAYOU

contains the five six-page poems I composed in St. Landry, Louisiana, staying on the banks of Bayou Teche, during May of 2016, which initially appeared as five separate 41-copy-edition KSE chapbooks, all of which are out of print:
Bridge On The Bayou
Revelation In Slow Motion
Reconditioning
Satori In Opelousas
Scrapple

8″ x 10″ perfect-bound paperback, a size that allows these open-field poems to fully breathe…available from all international Amazon outlets

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DOWN AND OUT IN GULFPORT AND BILOXI

contains three six-page poems composed on the Gulf Coast in 2015, previously available as separate KSE chapbooks:

DOWN AND OUT IN GULFPORT AND BILOXI 

THIRTY SECONDS OVER PENSACOLA 

PANAMA CITY BLUES

8″ x 10″ perfect-bound paperback….available from all international Amazon outlets

down and out book



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and still available from The Ruminant Press, in Massachusetts (though they are down to their last dozen copies), the shared book with Michael Casey, published to commemorate our joint reading in Hadley, Massachusetts, in June 2018, CULTURE OF COMPLIANCE….half poems of mine, half poems of Michael Casey’s….the link to order that is below
culture book

order from The Ruminant

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BILL AND MIKE 2018

Michael Casey and I hold each other’s books, June 2018

April 15, 2019

13 Links to Recent Posts at BTC

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:49 pm

BILL SHUTE COLUMN EVERY OTHER TUESDAY AT BLOG TO COMM!

I’ve been writing for two punk-rooted magazines for over 30 years, BLACK TO COMM (now known as BLOG TO COMM in its online form) and UGLY THINGS. I went on hiatus from both in the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s as life events got in the way, but I’ve been back on board with both for many years now.

At BTC, I now have a column that runs on alternate Tuesdays. If you subscribe to the Kendra Steiner Editions Facebook page (and if you don’t, you should!), I send a link to each BTC piece when it appears online. For those who don’t do FB, here are links to some of the recent pieces, going back to mid-December. The schedule presently is APRIL 9, APRIL 23, MAY 7, and then every other Tuesday after that. Hundreds of people read these every week they are out, and I wind up getting more immediate feedback about these pieces more often than about anything else I write. UGLY THINGS comes out only three times a year, so I get feedback for the 6-8 week period after each issue comes out, and when I issue a new poetry book, people find those gradually, so response is spread over 12-18 months….and also prose sells better than poetry in the current environment.

Some of these pieces are not just reviews but have a faux-memoir element to them (I announce upfront that these are somewhat fictionalized in case I am ever on Oprah—-as if that would ever happen in this lifetime!—-and someone calls me out, saying “that didn’t really happen”), and those tend to get even more of a reaction than the straight reviews (though even those, in the tradition of one of my literary heroes, Washington Irving, are written in the voice of a persona who is a character–think about how someone like Roy Rogers would “play himself” in a film–he was playing his public persona). I should point out that the BTC pieces generally appear about 4 months after they are written.

Chris should be commended for keeping true to the punk spirit, which was always more of an attitude and stance than anything doctrinaire and certainly never about a specific musical form….not even exclusively about music. From pub-rock bands like Eddie and The Hot Rods or the Count Bishops through Throbbing Gristle and Metal Machine Music and Z’ev. Casting the net wider, as was always the intention, Andy Warhol and William Burroughs were totally punk. Was there ever anything more punk than films such as BLOOD FEAST or PINK FLAMINGOS? Literary figures from the past such as Gertrude Stein and Wyndham Lewis were certainly role models for any aspiring punk….as were LaMonte Young and Harry Partch and John Cage and Sun Ra. As were Johnny Carroll or The Swamp Rats or Chet Baker. Chris “gets” that. Those of us who lived through that era “get” it. The period was kind of like a boot camp that you lived through, it toughened you and deepened you and extended you beyond what you’d ever have imagined, and then you were released to go your own way and APPLY what you learned in whatever way you felt was true. If you are trying to re-live 1977 or 1979, you didn’t learn a thing. Each of us had our own unique trajectory out of those years and into the future and into everyday life. The beauty is in the diversity, the multiplicity of trajectories. Every generation has its own analogous cultural experience and its own analogous set of epiphanies, and some presently in their teens and twenties are in the midst of that now, and I wish them well and look forward to the ways in which they will grow and evolve and deepen and extend their range, building their foundation from the flotsam and jetsam of previous generations. I have faith in the future….they certain can’t screw things up as badly as most of my generation and the one before it did!

So check out where I’ve landed, via these prose-blasts. I hope you all find these BTC pieces entertaining and informative and enjoyable reading! And check back there every other Tuesday.

btc 1

PRAIRIE PALS (1942), PRC western with the Frontier Marshals (Bill “Cowboy Rambler” Boyd, Art Davis, and Lee Powell)

prairie pals

DOCTOR BLOODBATH (1987), slasher film from director Nick Millard

Doctor Bloodbath

MY CASINO CAPER (2014), audiobook written and performed by Edd “Kookie” Byrnes

My Casino Caper

btc 2

WANTED: SABATA (1970), Italian western starring Brad Harris

Wanted: Sabata

I WANT TO BE ALONE….AT THE GAS PUMP, essay

I Want To Be Alone

WYATT EARP FRONTIER MARSHAL, VOLUME FOUR, Gwandanaland reprint of Charlton “Wyatt Earp” comic books from 1960-1961

Wyatt Earp 4

THE RINGO KID #24, early 70’s Marvel western comic, reprinting 1950’s material

Ringo Kid

GUNFIGHTERS #72, 1982 Charlton western comic, reprinting older material

Gunfighters

THE WHISTLER, VOLUME 10, Radio Archives CD set of 1945-46 west coast radio mysteries

Whistler

MR. EDISON’S CHRISTMAS, special Christmas column, reflecting upon a Document Records collection of holiday recordings from the Thomas Edison Archives, 1906-1927

Mr. Edison’s Christmas

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SPEED SPAULDING COLLECTION FROM ‘FAMOUS FUNNIES’, Golden Age Reprints collection of vintage 1940-41 comics

Speed Spaulding

OUTLAWS OF THE WEST #82, 1979 Charlton comic reprinting earlier material, most of this piece is devoted to my one-time room-mate who went to Vegas for the weekend and came back with a new wife

Outlaws Of The West

PATTI’S GOOD LIFE SWEET POTATO PIE, comments on Patti LaBelle’s fifty-cent sweet potato pie and Bob Dylan’s October 2018 show in Sugar Land, Texas

Sweet Potato Pie

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April 4, 2019

Jack Kerouac in the Public Domain???? Hmmm….

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 5:04 pm

It’s hard to believe that ANY of Jack Kerouac’s published works would have fallen into the public domain, and when they eventually do, I’d assume that THE TOWN AND THE CITY would be the first one to assume PD status, as it was the first one published.

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Recently, I saw two of my favorite Kerouac works offered in low-priced reprints, billed as a “facsimile of the original 1960 edition,” available from both Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well as other online book retailers. I had a feeling that “these won’t be available for very long,”  so I took the plunge and bought both, SCRIPTURE only $4.95, and TRISTESSA only $7.50. There is also a low-priced “facsimile” of MAGGIE CASSIDY available, though I did not purchase that.

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The texts of each certainly are exact reproductions of the 1960 versions of TRISTESSA (published by Avon) and SCRIPTURE (published by Totem/Corinth). The TRISTESSA one I know very well as it is clearly taken from the same printing used for the 1970’s version of the novel published by McGraw-Hill, which I owned as a teenager and carried around with me and read probably 15 times and almost memorized.

TRISTESSA is presently in print from Penguin, available everywhere. SCRIPTURE is in print from City Lights, available everywhere where quality Beat literature is sold.

These two new “facsimile” books are clearly print-on-demand editions. Does anyone know what’s going on here? Is there some loophole that allows these publications–some kind of domestic protection-gap? Or were they licensed from the rights-holder? SCRIPTURE is a relatively short book of 66 aphorisms and will never have wide appeal. TRISTESSA, though, is a novel, and this is a handsome edition, selling for about half of Penguin’s. It will surely cut into their market. I’d be tempted to order a dozen copies and give them to friends….

One wonders what the backstory is here….I’m sure the Kerouac estate would be interested….I will not name the publisher here, in case these are proper and legal (you can easily Google them and find out for yourself), because I do not intend to cast any aspersions….just wondering….

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NOTE: Above is the 1970’s McGraw-Hill edition of TRISTESSA. The new “facsimile” printing uses the same text layout of the book.

April 3, 2019

ANGORA FEVER: THE COLLECTED SHORT STORIES OF EDWARD D. WOOD, JR. (Bear Manor Media, 2019)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 4:17 pm

ANGORA FEVER: THE COLLECTED SHORT STORIES OF EDWARD D. WOOD, JR.

Edited and with a foreword by Bob Blackburn

available in both softcover and hardcover, 451 pages

published by Bear Manor Media, issued 15 March 2019

AngoraFever-230x305

Stop the presses! Those who enjoyed the OR BOOKS collection of Ed Wood’s short fiction from a few years ago, BLOOD SPATTERS QUICKLY, will be very excited to learn that the film and popular culture press Bear Manor Media has just issued a new 450-page collection with even more Wood short pieces, 60 of them, with NO repetition from the OR volume.

I’m reading a story a day (they are often just 5-7 pages), and after the first eight of them, I’m quite impressed. The shorter format allows Wood to basically riff on a theme in a unified way—-it would not be surprising to learn that these pieces were each written in one surge of work, fueled by coffee and/or bourbon/vodka/whatever Wood drank. Wood was fortunate in that he was a known quantity to the people who paid him to write these stories for porn or fetish or soft-porn magazines, and that if the stories managed to strike certain publisher-requested chords somewhere in them, the rest of the story’s content did not matter, as long as it fit into a generally sleazy or fever-dream-like kind of mood (for instance, one early story was published in a garter-oriented magazine, so Wood grafted some details about garters onto a story he was probably planning to write anyway). The publishers knew the man would deliver the goods.

Wood loved crime stories–not only were some of his films explicitly crime films (JAIL BAIT and THE SINISTER URGE), but others had a strong crime element (GLEN OR GLENDA’s police investigator, the police in PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE or in NIGHT OF THE GHOULS), and his novels often relied on the conventions of paperback-original crime novels or pulp crime stories as a frame on which to hang the sexual content. That feel is present here too, as is his other favorite field, horror.

Quickly written fiction or magazine pieces have a kind of flow and dynamism to them—-think of Jack Kerouac’s THE SUBTERRANEANS or TRISTESSA—-and one often finds this quality in the pulp-magazine genre fiction that Wood so clearly loved reading when he was growing up (its influence is all over his films and writings). The pace of the writing picks up and carries along the reader as if the reader is caught in a flood-water and carried downstream–you go with the flow, a dynamic flow that pulls the reader along, almost like a surfer riding a wave until it crashes. The writer has a central motif, and he works it at a pace beyond rational thought until the piece is over.

To use the surfer riding a wave until it crashes analogy for Wood, the stories I’ve read so far tend to “crash” with twist endings, or violent endings, or depressing fatalistic endings. Wood would have liked the end of EASY RIDER, where the heroes get blown away, or the various Al Adamson films where the nominal “heroes” get killed in the last 15 minutes of the film. They deliver a cheap thrill, and these stories are all about cheap thrills.

I generally do not review something I have not finished reading or watching or listening to yet, but I wanted to alert you to this existence of this book. It’s extremely un-PC in pretty much every way, but it’s a window into a world that no longer exists the way it once did (the attitudes linger, though), and of most value, a window into the amazing mind of Edward D. Wood, Jr.

It’s a shame that Wood did not live until the advent of the SOV slasher films of the 80’s and 90’s, as some of these stories are cut (no pun intended) from that cloth, and of course Wood’s 1960 feature film THE SINISTER URGE is a forerunner of those….and the first two stories in this collection could be adaptations of gruesome, fatalistic slasher films, one with a male slasher who hates women, one with a female slasher who hates men. I could see Wood perhaps getting some regional financing (were he still alive in the mid-to-late 80’s) to shoot 3 or 4 SOV horror-tinged slasher films (with some police procedural elements and a Kelton-esque local cop investigating) back to back in three weeks, and going to, say, Texas or New Mexico or Wisconsin and having a late-career revival, not unlike Andy Milligan did with the made-in-Los-Angeles-films he finished his career with. There would have been a feature story about the films in CULT MOVIES or some similar magazine, and Ed Wood would have been back in the driver’s seat, where he belonged.

With the publication of the earlier Wood collection from OR Books and now this massive collection from Bear Manor, neither of which has been taken off the market the way some of the reprintings of Wood’s novels were a number of years ago (and I was told by someone close to that situation that they were ordered off the market by legal entities representing Wood’s estate), perhaps we can see something like a comprehensive republication program of Wood’s books, the way the now-defunct Woodpile Press attempted to do it. These red-hot, grungy, vodka-fueled prose-blasts are the literary equivalent of some lo-fi home-made 1977 punk 45, whose sole raison d’etre is to offend, but which is catchy in an abrasive way and makes you want to play it over and over.

Though today they’d be offending different people for different reasons (how ironic!), I’m sure Wood’s prose writings still would have that effect today. Wood was proud of his these pieces and listed them on his resume (those listings are cited in this book, where available). I hope that wherever he is today (and wherever that is, let’s hope he’s having dinner at a celestial version of the Brown Derby with Lyle Talbot, John Agar, and Reed Howes), he somehow is aware that his old banged-out-quickly-for-a-deadline-and-pocket-money stories are back in print from legitimate presses and are being enjoyed by new generations today. I can just imagine him offering to write some more for you and asking when you need them by….THAT is the Ed Wood spirit!

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