29 July 2014
This might be one of the most beautiful books I've ever owned! What's going on in Salt Lake City?! Tons of amazing book arts and poets converging, etc. Here's Craig Dworkin's contribution to Tristram Shandy from Red Butte Press. I don't know how to get one, as it's not listed on the website, but maybe if you write and ask nicely? This one's immediately finding its home on the top shelf...
28 July 2014
It's almost always a great time to be a poet in Oakland, but the current constellation of folks residing in the East Bay boggles the mind. And with great people come great small presses and little magazines doing the work to capture a snapshot of this activity.
2014 might mark the busiest year of small press activity in the East Bay in, like, forever, what with the recent inauguration of Mess Editions, talk of a fledgling press connected to the Public School, and the recent incredible publications from Timeless, Infinite Light. Most everyone in the world has probably heard of the new anthology It's night in San Francisco but it's sunny in Oakland, but I thought to post some excerpts here as I read through it to entice folks to pick it up. You can already see the exquisite wear in my tattered copy (scanned above), mostly scarred as I stumbled through the East Bay Poetry Summit, granted; however, its wear should also speak to how often I dive in. I'm including scans here of a few favorite pages from the beginning: I especially love stanza #4 from Amy Berkowitz's "San Francisco Poem," and below that you'll find a page from Zoe Tuck's "Answering Machine." Get it here.
And folks love to talk shit about a "book trailer," but I've got to say that T.I.L. is making a super compelling case for why your press should have one! In fact, I'm going to go so far as to say that they invented this shit (though that's probably not true!). Someone at T.I.L. (Otis Pig?) is a branding wizard!
Timeless, Infinite Light Info Session (trans-temporal) from Timeless, Infinite Light on Vimeo.
26 July 2014
Here are the covers for the three newest chapbooks in Aaron Cohick's (mostly) dos-a-dos series through his New Lights Press featuring (mostly) two poets who he invites to his (and Noel Black's?) Say Hello to Your Last Poem! reading series in Colorado Springs. If you care at all about books, you need to seek out EVERYTHING that New Lights Press releases. These books are incredibly beautiful, and I'm especially digging what Aaron's been up to with lettering and titling. Get them here.
25 July 2014
It was a pleasure to have David Grundy in town this past week visiting from the UK. He gave a useful introductory lecture at BAPS on the uncollected Amiri Baraka volume he's working on with Rich Owens for Punch Press, and then he handed off these three new poems on the way to the airport this morning. Take a look and keep your eyes out for the Baraka soon....
17 July 2014
If you've passed through the Bay Area in the past, say, four years, you've probably also passed through David Brazil and Sara Larsen's comfortable and welcoming apartment in Berkeley. If you've passed through said apartment, there's a good chance you've seen the worn copy of The Heart Sutra affixed in their bathroom. For me, this text has become a kind of objective correlative for their love, so I printed a version as a party favor and distributed it at their recent celebration in Alameda. My goal was to highlight the the wear of the document as a testament to the difficulties and joys of domestic labor.
As a preface to distributing the broadside, I read the following text by Judith Butler from her incredible essay "To Sense What is Living in the Other: Hegel's Early Love," which was printed in the Documenta 13 catalog:
"...the development of the phenomenon of love involves a displacement of that purely subjective point of view--some dispossesion of the self takes place in love. Internal to the singular and living feeeling of love is an operation of life that exceeds and disorients the perspective of the individual. That operation of life has to be followed as a process or development that is instantiated in the absolute singularity of that perspective that it also exceeds...each is understood "to sense what is living in the other." This is an important formulation, since there is something living in love, and has to be, even though love can never be the whole of life."
The whole essay is incredible and worth reading (especially in light of Leslie Scalapino's injunction, in Front Matter, Dead Souls, that it's time to reevaluate love as a concept). And it's worth mentioning that Judith Butler is incredible.
The broadside's colophon reads: "This broadside was produced in July 2014 to mark the happy union of Sara Larsen and David Brazil. It is an exact facsimile of the photocopied Heart Sutra that has hung in their bathroom for the past many years, and its wear speaks to the challenges and joys of domestic labor. May it hang in your bathroom and bring with it domestic bliss."
I'm all out of these at Compline HQ, but David and Sara should have extras if you're a friend from "abroad."
May this broadside work as a talisman to fight domestic strife of all kinds...
27 June 2014
As many of you know, I co-edit ON: Contemporary Practice with Thom Donovan. Today we launched two PDF publications in celebration of the East Coast launch of Robert Kocik’s incredible monograph Supple Science. At our website you’ll find A Book of Protections, amulets hand drawn by Kocik for early supporters of his book, along with a facsimile edition of AUKSO (gain), one of Kocik’s earliest publications (which was originally published by Rob Fitterman’s “Object”). If you are in NYC tomorrow, check out Kocik’s Ubiquitous Dividend performance at Poet’s House from 2-8pm and pick up a copy of Supple Science! Information about the event and the new PDFs can be had here.
23 June 2014
I'm very pleased to announce, after months and months of manual labor, that David Brazil's Holy Ghost One and Two is finally available! Printed in two signatures from photopolymer plates on Compline's trusty Heidelberg, the book features letterpress printing through and through in order to faithfully showcase the first two sections of Brazil's incredible long-poem Holy Ghost.
Originally planned as a quick one-off fundraising chapbook in an effort to reprint Brazil's mind-altering full-length The Ordinary, this book quickly became the focal point of my bookmaking practice in 2014. That said, it still promises to fulfill its purpose: all proceeds from the sale of this book will be committed to reprinting Brazil's long-player which will feature the following way-more-metal cover in its second edition:
By purchasing Holy Ghost, you're helping to ensure that The Ordinary will reach as many people as possible (while scoring an incredible book for yourself thanks to your efforts!).
There are a couple of ways to do this: you can purchase Holy Ghost by itself for $15 (which will directly fund a few copies of The Ordinary), or you can order Holy Ghost and the new edition of The Ordinary together for only $25 (including free shipping). Further, let me know in the comment box if you'd like me to include a copy of the new CRUX project, CJ Martin's LAND, gratis.
Thanks as always for your support!
Order Holy Ghost here.
Order Holy Ghost and the new edition of The Ordinary here.
20 June 2014
I’m very pleased to announce the launch of Compline’s CRUX series. CRUX chapbooks are short, urgent interventions produced using only the materials at hand. Despite featuring elegant letterpress covers, they are produced and distributed for free (and will always be free!).
I’m honored to count CJ Martin’s incredible and devastating poem LAND as the series’ opening gambit. I found this poem so moving and technically interesting that I was compelled to share it with as many people as possible, especially given the endless and monotonous debates about poetry’s efficacy (or lack thereof).
I will not mail these books as the cost of shipping would make this project untenable, but you can get one from me in person at Compline HQ (2556 Frances St., Oakland), at a reading in the Bay Area, at a distribution site in the Bay Area (see list below), or you can ask for one when you order another Compline book.
That said, in an attempt to get them in as many hands as possible, I’m partnering with friends across the country (and internationally!) to help distribute them outside the Bay Area. As a result, I’ve established “distribution sites” in most of the major poetry centers across the country to ensure that they’re readily available (while remaining free). As a result, CRUX books can now be had via the following bookstores, reading series, art spaces, and roving human distribution sites. When you pick one up, please thank our friends for their help, and let me know if you’d like to help distribute these in your city. CRUX books are currently available (or will soon be available) here:
San Francisco: The Green Arcade
Oakland: The Bay Area Public School
Berkeley: Small Press Distribution
L.A.: Poetic Research Bureau
Portland: Spare Room Reading Series (c/o David Abel)
Olympia: (c/o David Wolach)
Seattle: (c/o Robert Mittenthal)
Vancouver: (c/o Stephen Collis & Amy De’ath)
Salt Lake City: (c/o Craig Dworkin)
Austin: (c/o Kyle Schlesinger)
Colorado Springs: Say Hello to Your Last Poem! Reading Series
Pittsburgh: (c/o Charles Legere)
Milwaukee: Woodland Pattern
Princeton: (c/o Orlando Reade)
Brooklyn: Unnameable Books
Brooklyn: Berl’s Poetry Shop
Providence: (c/o Kit Schluter)
Northampton: Flying Object
Boston: (c/o Boyd Nielson)
Maine-ish: (c/o Rich Owens)
United Kingdom: (c/o Sean Bonney & Frances Kruk)
10 June 2014
COMPLINE SEWING PARTY AT BAPS!!
I'm pleased to report that the Compline sewing party is going down at the Bay Area Public School this Sunday, June 15th from 7-9 pm. We'll be sewing David Brazil's Holy Ghost One and Two in anticipation of a fundraiser to get The Ordinary back in print, and I'll bring pizza and beer for all who attend. Please RSVP so I know how much stuff to bring? And don't worry about a lack of sewing skills: we can train you all quickly! All helpers get a free copy of the book, too!
You can find BAPS at 2141 Broadway in Oakland. Come out and support your local small press!