Tuesday, September 20, 2011

...the typeface sent me...(- - - in progress, Frances Kruk) 

Notes on old new little presses part one & parts two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine

printed zine Herbarium poetry (Capsule Press, 2011) in which present writer contributes, made me think again about 'Notes on an exhibition' written for London's bookartbookshop April 2010 'Home'Baked: literary artzines in the age of the internet' show (see also Openned Zine #1 pdf).

Is Herbarium really a 'zine, or part of a new little press phenomenon? Remembering response to an Ugly Duckling Presse booklet I ordered last year after London's show, I realised I'd left an essential aspect of post-electronic publishing out the picture. The old new little presses.

Dorothea Lasky's Poetry Is Not a Project arrived from The Old American Can Factory in Brooklyn NY, jiffy-packed & mail art address-stamped with brown paper interior wrapping inscribed 'ORIGINAL'. Booklet contained readymade cardboard bookmark; the publication itself part of an imprint Dossier series, quote, The Dossier Series was created to expand the for
mal scope of the Presse. Guest edited by Ben Fama, booklet is stitch-laced collation with content set in arresting sans-serif titles juxtaposed with serif body type plus illustrations by Sarah Glidden. Something old-fashioned, pre-visual poetics about such image/text divisions. Publication First Edition 2010. No bibliographic information, ISSN/ISBN, or catalogue numbering.

The booklet didn't sit well stuffed on a shelf with hundreds of torn and dog-earred comics and fanzines; dozens of Writers Forum (wf) publications; assorted photocopy poetry/art single sheets & zines accumulated over decades.

I felt much the same about Sean Bonney's Crater Press For The Administration (After Rimbaud).Thought and consideration had gone into making a pamphlet that was 'little press' in an older, pre-zine tradition where size, shape, paper, typesetting, stitching, edition numbering, format designation, method of mechanical reproduction and requirement (or not) of paper knife all play equal part in look, feel, overall presentation and reader reciprocity. Can Crater Press Bonney sit comfortably with ziney Sean 1999-2002 wf's, cul-de-qui, quic_lude, and yt's from the 2000's - hang on, yes, that untitled color card cover to Bonney's the Domestic poem (Canary Woof Press London May 16 2001)is a class act alright.

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