Friday, March 14, 2008

Sze & J: withwords chapbook launch

Gillian Sze and I will be launching chapbooks made by the withwords chapbook press on Monday, March 17th at Kafein (1429a Bishop St.), 6:30pm - 8:00pm. Just across the street from the Concordia U Library Building, between St. Catherine and de Maisonneuve.

If you don't know about withwords, you should visit their website HERE.

In Brief, withwords press is a 'discovery' chapbook press, a montreal-based branch of Toronto's LyricalMyrical Press. The editors of withwords are Sasha Manoli and Ann Ward. They make amazing chapbooks out of books that have been discarded by libraries. They re-use these discarded book materials and reconstruct them into hard cover poetry chapbooks using unique design and binding techniques. These books are really something to see, and I can't wait to see what kind of book they have made out of the poems I gave them.

The chapbook I'll be launching is called The Fruit Man and Other Poems. Artist and writer J.R. Carpenter has graciously provided unique diagramatic 'illustrations' for my poems. The images she came up with are amazingly playful in a manner that is unique to all of J.R.'s art. The idea we had was to do a kind of modern-quirky version of Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862), which had illustrations by her Brother D.G. Mine has illustrations by my friend, J.R. So the symmetry is already remarkable. The chapbook consists of Victorianish poems, a few bout-rimé sonnets using the rhymes of D.G. Rossetti sonnets, poems about Jekyll & Hyde, Ruskin, J.S. Mill and other kooks of the period, a little bit of nonesense verse, plus the long title poem, which is loose(ish)ly based on C. Rossetti's masterpiece, "Goblin Market". If you come to the launch and buy a chapbook you will receive two bonus poems (not in the book) that will be printed on a commemorative withwords press launch bookmark.

Gillian Sze will be launching her chapbook A Tender Invention the same night. I have never heard or read any of Gillian's work, so it will be a special treat to be introduced to her poetry.

Here's one of the posters withwords has designed for the event, integrating some of the arches from Ruskin's Stones of Venice that J.R. played around with (i.e. the lightbulb isn't in Ruskin's original text):