It's late summer here, air turning cooler, clear starry skies in Buffalo just before dawn, and I'm cleaning my apartment thinking about the weekend coming up: I'm taking the little scratch pad editions and a sheaf of my own verse downstate to Manhattan and Brooklyn. I've got a specially- designed "chap-caddy" for the books. What I love about the small small press bookfair and the reading coming up will be my chance to meet lots of poets and writers. Another bonus of the Boog City events is the amount of music featured. Being the publisher of a small small press means my expectations and hopes are very high, and the reality will likely be a great time meeting writers, musicians and poets, with the chance to make enough in sales to pay for the trip. Music, muses, and poems on the page: Cole Porter and colporteurs.
I'll be posting more about this event in the coming days.
Here is, as far as I can remember off the top of my head, all the little scratch pad books I've ever published:
Self-publishing era (1996-2004):
Eating a Stone. 1996. Single copy of various modes of writing. Maximum pathos, widest set of styles. Really my first attempt at collecting and binding my poems into a book. I gave this to a friend, it went with her to Rochester, and then I asked for her to mail it back.
Snack Size. 1997. Compiled after taking my first official graduate creative writing class, in which I received a grade of "B". I didn't make this book for the class, but rather was influenced mostly by the poets reading at the coffeehouse just over the border from the University. When Starbucks bought the building and ended its long tradition of music, art and poetry, the music moved to an old theater and became The Kent Stage, and the poetry moved to the Standing Rock gallery. There was an education professor who graded papers at the coffeehouse every day, Doc Zuckerman, who helped me design it. I made 25 copies, misspelled Charles Olson's name on the back cover, and then it was photocopied in an edition of 250 by Impetus Press. I've only this year finally run out of these. A month ago I read from this book for the first time in Buffalo in a dark room (Bon Vivant) while reading by candlelight (I had to hold the candle in order to see the text). I was sweating profusely. I felt like a brand new poet somehow.
Pulling the Long Face. (24 poems). 1998. Jayce Renner was crucial to this book. He set up a photo shoot based on my poem "Hats Off to Jacob Nibenegenesabe" a shaggy dog tale of going on the road overburdened by unsold artworks and a giant armoire. I only made 25 of these.
Edge of Perception. 2000. A little book that I don't have an enormous love for, but respect greatly. It marks my first real grappling with my move to Buffalo and the hypercharged atmosphere of intense philosophical and experimental poetry. Mike Kelleher helped me edit it, or at least encouraged me to think of a book as a complete artistic event. He also got me to change the name of the book, originally titled: Douglas Manson Verses Himself.
Topographic Resolution. 2000. Compiled for the Elevator Box Project, so, in a way, co-published with the ephemeral Elevator Press--a "box" project of art & poetry developed by Michael Kelleher and Brian Collier. One of my most favorite books. My text compares our "carbon economy" to the last days of the Aztecs, looks at gender identity, and also includes a catalog of 40 objects collected exactly one mile from my house in 40 directions, each one named for a poet, and given a weather. In the box were works by Rosa Alcala, Chris Alexander, Joel Bettridge, Michelle Citrin, Kristen Gallagher, Ike Kim, Brian Lampkin, Tim McPeek, Linda Russo, Jonathan Skinner and Roberto Tejada. 40 copies made. Ric Royer and Chris Fritton began the Ferrum Wheel art/poetry object-magazines soon after. And Damian Weber then began compiling found text for his "Source Material" magazine.
Love Sounds (Like Perfidy). 2002. Only 25 copies made, but quite a blast. I genetically designed a new letter for this book. I power-drilled every copy. I had great help from Eliza Newman-Saul in design work. The poem ended up as the central work in my book Roofing and Siding in the complete sequence of the "Sines Poem". Sinne's pome. Signs Poem. Synespoem.
The Flatland Adventures of Blip and Ouch. 2004. Sort of like a play. But really a kind of inverted Wizard of Oz TV commercial. I made an audio recording of this.
A Book of Birthdays. 2005. A work from the archives, compiling of lines. Not really a publication, but a way of giving. Cover designed by Theresa Rico.
Small Press era (2005-present):
Autobiography 1: Perfect Game by Aaron Lowinger. 2005. 27 poems organized around the game of baseball. What a work! 200 copies (100 of these with color covers).
Sections in Four Seasons by Douglas Manson. 2006. first part of to becoming normal. 26 copies.
TwentyTwo (first pallet) by Kristianne Meal. 2007--the small edition, "buff & rust" only 22 copies.
At Any Point by Douglas Manson. 2007--the small edition, "buff & rust". 25 copies.
TwentyTwo (first pallet) by Kristianne Meal. 2007. "editions #1". 100 copies.
Accidental Thrust by Nick Traenkner. 2007. "editions #2". 25 copies.
Of Venus 93 by Michael Basinski. 2007. "editions #3". 200 copies.
At Any Point by Douglas Manson. 2008. Expanded edition (text & prints). "editions #4". 100 copies.
NTR P C E ST R by L.A. Howe. 2007. "editions #5". 100 copies. A procedural work on the poem "Easter" by Frank O'Hara.
Words in Season by Tom Yorty. 2007. "editions #6". 200 copies.
Imaginary Poems for my Imaginary Girlfriend Named Anabel by Elizabeth Mariani. 2008. "2.1". 100 copies (green cover). Note: a new edition, with yellow cover, now in print from semperverdi press.
Ever After / Never Under (20 choruses) by Jaye Bartell. 2008. "2.2". 200 copies.
(forthcoming) With Naked Foot by Jonathan Skinner. 2008. "2.3". 100 copies.
Okay, I lied--I had to look up some of these books.