But this past month my mailbox has been reminding me of what a strong community small press publishing is. I've received a handful of packages this month, some ordered, some traded, some long-awaited, and some completely unexpected.
Here's an inventory of the goods:
Touch the Donkey 16 ed. by rob mclennan, and small bed & field guide by Valerie Coulton-- sent to me from rob mclennan, whose above/ground press is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year. In fact, rob may have even sent me another package this month. It's hard to keep up with what he's doing. And he's been doing it for 25 years!
EXPLOSIVE COMIC-- sent to me and by Mark Laliberte. I'd been looking forward to reading this collage-comic-visual-sound-poem for a while now, and was entirely blown away! Mark is the editor of Carousel Magazine, one of my favorite literary magazines, and one of only a few magazines I read cover-to-cover.
ULULATION by Robert Keith and phiLosophy and untitled visual poems-- by Sacha Archer, from his Simulacrum Press, which is creating beautiful, original, and insightful chapbooks. Having published it's first project in November of 2017, Simulacrum's list of publications has already risen to six titles, from chapbooks to posters to boxes filled cards. I'm excited to see what else is on the way.
Quantum Typography by Gary Barwin, and isostatisk landhojning by derek beaulieu and postcard by Van Jun-- sent by Joakim Norling from his Timglaset Editions. Timglaset is based out of Sweden and publishes primarily visual/concrete poetry. Joakim seems to be filling a space that is relatively unoccupied in that part of the world, and it's exciting to see that his most recent publications are from Canadian small press friends of mine. Also, shipping from Sweden is a lot less than you'd think!
Still Water by bp Nichol-- ordered from Tony Power Books. I'd been waiting a few years to see this title come up through BookFinder. I'd seen it once 5 or 6 years ago, and then hadn't seen it again until just a few weeks ago. I love a publication without a spine. Still Water is a small box that contains 28 cards, printed with short visual poems. It was published by Talon books in 1970, and it makes me think of the 70's and 80's when small presses were producing some pretty wild and atypical publications. Publications that, for reasons to numerous for me delve into in this blog entry, would never get printed today. It reminds me that chapbook presses can still publish just about anything we can imagine, and that thought is pretty liberating.
Faunics by Jack Davis-- sent to me by the author. I don't know Jack Davis, but I consider him a friend. A few weeks ago I received a chapbook order from Jack, and emailed him a shipping confirmation with thanks. He sent me a really nice response in regard to some of my writing, and that was that. Then last Friday, when I was packing for a long-weekend-cabin-getaway and trying to figure out which book of poetry to bring along, the mailman stopped by to deliver an unexpected package. I was thrilled to find Jack's book inside, along with a really lovely letter. I've been reading through his book slowly and thoughtfully, the way I'm sure it was written. His poems are amazingly dense and mysterious minimalist pieces. I'm absolutely in love with them, and highly recommend everyone pick up a copy of this book, even though I'm only halfway through.
I feel so fortunate to be a part of such a thriving and generous small press community. These physical objects help connect me to the outside world, reminding me that I'm a part of it, especially when I get the feeling that my apartment is air-locked, and floating on the fringes of the known universe.