Monday, June 23, 2008

I’m pretty sure this is the best thing In/Words has done to date. Aside from Stuart Ross’s Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer (Anvil, 2005), it was the best value-for-money at the fair. And even then, I made Mark buy Ross’s book. So.

A brown envelope of chapbooks. Apparently the result of a class Rob Winger taught on the Canadian long poem of the 1970s, the crew were selling six long poem chapbooks for a seriously underpriced $5. Yikes! I’m guessing this was a deal only available at the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair, but it’s worth harassing the In/Words people for copies, if there are any left.

The writers wear what they’ve been reading on their sleeve — a good place to wear what you’ve been reading. Cameron Anstee’s been reading Robert Kroetsch, for one. Phillis Webb, for another. It’s material evidence that good, thorough reading produces the best writing.

What do you really want?

I want the thing after the coastline
want under and before, want to
see right through to where
all at once is now and now
and now and here
and now

(Cameron Anstee, from Down Staircases, In/Words 2008)