amongst books

amongst books

Monday, October 18, 2010

small press fair bounty – an incomplete list

these are not movies, screenplays for films that will never be made, ed Adam Thomlinson. those of you who are as old and gap toothed as i am may remember the little big books--stories like Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth in appetizing fat wee books perfect for small hands...the book reminded me of such. there are stories and comix by mostly Ottawa locals with a few guests. So far I have enjoyed the satirical mockery of Thomlinson’s introduction in which he confesses his love for Lethal Weapon films and his Note on the Type, in which we learn that one page of courier formatted script is supposed to be about one minute of screen time, but in this book the math doesn’t quite work out because “we are writers and we are just playing with things…” This shall become my mantra. I am about to delve into Megan Butcher’s “The Lesbian and Larry Boone’s Daughter. I try to pick up Thomlinson’s indie publications at every small press fair because that’s the only place i’ve ever seen them. i also highly recommend his book “We Were Writers for Disastrous Love Affairs.” The man takes the tense out of pretense. and the pretentiousness out of it too.

Barely Their is a gorgeous little full colour chapbook which was sold by Pearl Pirie and features work by those who participated in a recent reading at the Blink Gallery in September. it’s a great opportunity to read work by local writers whose work i haven’t seen much in print, such as L.M. Rochefort as well as a few more publically prolific poets. (alliteration intended)…there are some fine couplets by Sean Moreland, in a piece called “park & locks, blue in green recall” with a few lines that gave me poem shiver, such as “we/sleep rivet-stiff, restless as young rivers”. i’d like to start a poem with that myself…

Sweet and Sour Nothings, William Hawkins (Apt. 9 Press) is a book that somehow slipped through the cracks of Hawkins’ publishing career, being published only as part of an anthology and not receiving any notice. One thing I didn’t buy alas was the Wm. Hawkins Folio which was a folder filled with really neat colour posters that I wouldn’t mind having, but am not so serious a collector that I can justify the cost, well-deserved though it was. It was lovely to see Mr. Hawkins walking about the fair. I am sure he must have been well pleased at seeing his work so lovingly and beautifully published by Apt. 9. I open the first page of Sweet and Sour Nothings and am already happy as I read: “I see an adjectival world/And I consider all/ nouns improper.” Oh this is going to be fun…

eating thistles, Peter Gibbon (Apt. 9 Press). there is something sweetly humble about this work at times both lovelorn and lyric. the opening lines of “Broke” grabbed me: “the plum trees/in our backyard have tumours.” or “As Is”: “there is a drunk inside/getting used to me again”. Peter leaves Ottawa soon to return to his Souwesto roots. he shall be missed.

the Grunge Papers (aka Grant Wilkins): beautiful hand made paper and a great discussion about how much fun it is to do things by hand instead of just pressing print. i mentioned double entry accounting in a ledger, the use of my fountain pen to create visual poems, Grant talked about the processes involved in creating paper. i have five sheets to fondle and ultimately put words or something…again no place else to get these than the fair, as far as i know.

Strange Things: Scenes from a Balcony is a graphic comic by local Colin White who says “These comix were written and drawn in the spring and summer of 2010, in Ottawa, Canada, usually between the hours of 1 and 3 a.m.” this appeals to me for some reason...i also have a balcony and have written a song called “I am in love with my balcony.” sometimes a small element of commonality is all i need to be convinced i should buy something at the fair.

more of my fall subscription from Book Thug including Stanzas by Stephen Cain; Recipes from the Red Planet by Meredith Quartermain; Cop Kisser by Steven Zultanski, The Occasional Troubadour by Victor Coleman; Fieldnotes, a forensic by Kate Eichhorn. I haven’t done so much as fondled the covers on these yet, but they will serve me well when i am recuperating from an impending surgery sometime in the next year…

this time around i didn’t buy anything from Chaudiere, Rm 302 Books and quite a few other vendors, but there’s always next spring. i have my eye on a few things, she says, feeling like Molière’s miser…or perhaps Gollum from LOR...

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