Published June 8, 2010 by Molly
Holy smokes, Ditto Press is so cool we could plotz. The UK-based independent publisher produces the most beautiful books imaginable using Risograph technology (do we sense a growing sector of Risograph devotees?) and incredible bookbinding techniques. The shop and blog are practically epilepsy-inducing in its variety and desirability, offering books that range on topics including academia, fine art, photography, popular culture, literature and poetry. Zoinks? Zoinks.
Selected highlights include a revisited Edgar Allen Poe story (designed and produced in-house), prints by WLYS favorite Jiro Bevis, a limited edition book by Joseph Clayton Mills, “Herschel’s Telescope”, a 2-color riso printing for Laurence Barber with exposed-sewn single page sections and 9 digitally produced gate-folded inserts…and so much more.
Published May 13, 2010 by Molly
Heart On Stage is a book-length collaboration between a Brazilian artist and illustrator (Luiz Risi) and a Finnish writer (Leena Yliportimo). The aim of the book isn’t simply to pair illustrations with poems, but rather to meld the two into a mutually-informative data stream that provides both intellectual and visual pleasure. A heady goal, but, from the looks of it, one that’s bound to be successful.
The project started with 400 poems “and the will to do something entertaining with them,” in the words of the two masterminds, both of whom currently live and work in Amsterdam. Check out the book’s progress here.
Published September 10, 2009 by Molly
Published July 16, 2009 by Molly
My parents allowed me to read anything in the house. If it was on the bookshelf, it was fair game. This is how I learned many things: how to cuss, how to use the dictionary as a demystifying tool, how to develop a distinct taste in literature.
The cussing part came courtesy of Charles Bukowski, the poet and novelist deemed by Time to be the “laureate of American lowlife”. His books were on the shelf because they were good, for one thing, but also because Bukowski was a compadre of my grandfather’s. I don’t think either of my parents dipped into the stash of novels and poetry often, but I sure did: the stories were rough, plainspoken and filled with salacious details and philosophical tangling. It helped that the volumes, all published by Black Sparrow, had remarkably cool covers.
I started with 1971’s Post Office and, since it suited my tastes, moved on to 1982’s Ham on Rye. From there, it was a short hop to the writer’s accessible poems and letters. Any way I came at it, an hour spent reading Bukowski was an hour spent inside the mind of the dirtiest (and cleverest) old man I’d ever met.
If my parents only knew.
Published June 23, 2009 by Molly
The descriptor “outsider”– as in “outsider art” or “outsider music”–is a loaded adjective. Whatever you think it means (and even if that’s “nothing”), we can all agree that it points to some indefinable quality of strangeness in a work. Any definition beyond that gets thorny.
Safe to say, then, that Brandon Scott Gorrell is working in the vein of the outsider artist. His full-length book of poetry, during my nervous breakdown i want to have a biographer present is a thoroughly confounding collection of pieces with titles like “gmail” and “today i empathized with the top of a tower”. It is either extremely easy to understand or extremely befuddling; I’m still not sure which. Published by Muumuu House, Gorrell’s work feels like the kind of poetry that very few people will like but those few people will like it immensely. Faint praise? No, just praise with an advanced warning.
Published May 29, 2009 by Molly
Reorienting your reading habits toward the internet makes for a certain reduction in clutter (no more Wall Street Journals to recycle; no more Betty Crocker cookbooks moldering on the pantry shelf), but there’s something to be said for keeping a reserve of printed materials on hand. Occasionally you want to read without a phosphorescent machine lighting up your face and toasting your lap.
CapGun is a poetry magazine out of Brooklyn. Tidy, well-curated, and filled with young writers of note, the magazine is produced in limited editions that tend to sell out quickly. For good reason, too. CapGun is far too lovely to outsource to the internet.