Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This Not Poetry, By Emily Dickinson Or Anyone Else

I love poetry.  I spend way too much money on it.  I have at least 500 dollars worth of poetry in my room right now (about 50 books, some were free, some were $30, this is an average of $10 a book, plus about 20 chapbooks which I'm not even figuring (what can I say, I'm a poet and not good at math)) and at least another 50-100 books of poetry in storage.  So this whole BlazeVOX, nobody buys poetry thing, doesn't really fly with me.  Anyone who's ever got an MFA in poetry has spent a few hundred dollars on it.  Anyone I consider a "poet" has spent about a thousand dollars on poetry.  Most of my professors obviously spent well over $2000 on poetry.  I spend a shit ton on it with very little regret for my purchases.  There's a lot of good poetry out there for sale.  There are some people making really beautiful books out there.  Buy some of it.  Here's my faves right now:

Making beautiful handmade books, Small Fires Press is run by Friedrich Kerkseick, a University of Alabama Book Arts MFA alumni.   They sound really expensive, but when you consider that every page is letter pressed and even the paper is made by hand, it's a great purchase.  You own a piece of art, not overpriced shit.  Think about this: if you had to make the paper you were printing a poem on, would you even print your own poem?

Just pick one.  They'll all make you squirm for one reason or another.

I read this book right before I moved to Portland and Goddamnit, I fucking miss this book.  It's one of the ones in storage.  Pick this up.  It's ten years before it's time and somehow managed to win a prize.

They feel really good in your hands.  Like really good.  Letter pressed covers.  Unique designs.  Sleep's Powers and A Plate Of Chicken are highly recommended by me.

Do I even need to tell you why?  For one, they don't charge for submissions...

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