Tag Archives: Japanese style binding

Why Gift Edition?

10 Nov

the thousand marvels of every moment
a tanka collection
by pat nolan

Fall 2018, ISBN 9780984031078, 7×5 inches, 124 pages, $16

~The Gift Edition~

Order Now * Get Free Shipping
(offer good through December 31, 2018)

 

Facing the thousand marvels

of every moment

nothing comes to mind

I pick up the broom

to collect my thoughts

 

Why “Gift” Edition?

As a gift the thousand marvels of every moment is ephemeral and accessible, as undemanding as a tweet yet profound and universal as a meme, not only clever and entertaining but thought provoking as well. At a sleek 7×5 inches, a little larger than a smart phone, it fits easily in the hand like an oversize postcard, but as a book it is ultimately “flippable,” meaning that it is as easy to browse as scrolling through social media.  Its resonant design with trompe l’oeil stitching and decorative endpapers bestows on the book-as-gift a complimentary esthetic that is painless, instant, and memorable—as gifts should be.  An extra incentive for earth conscious gift purchasing is that the text of the thousand marvels of every moment is printed on 100% PCW (post consumer waste) at a printing plant in Minnesota operating on wind power.  Get one for yourself, buy one for a friend.

 

On the phone

outside a butterfly settles

on a leaf

her voice light

shimmering on thin wings

 

Tanka is the modern name for a short poem known throughout the history of Japanese literature as a waka.  The short poems of the thousand marvels of every moment are composed of five lines.  The first stanza balances on the second, sometimes precariously, to pose a distinguishing match. The break between stanzas acts as a gap for synaptic sparks to jump. It also emphasizes its call and response origins serving as a binary exchange of verbal energy.  The two last lines in these poems tend to resolve them either as parallel breaths or as a single run-on semantic declaration.

 

The part of myself

I tend to deny leaks out

the tip of this pen

please say “I love you”

with a neon sign

 

Pat Nolan has long been an avid student of Asian culture, particularly Japanese and Chinese poetry. He published Poetry For Sale (2015), a selection of haikai no renga (Japanese linked verse) written with a number of poets including Maureen Owen, Keith Kumasen Abbott, Gloria Frym, Steven Lavoie, and Sandy Berrigan.  His Chinese themed poems were published as Exile In Paradise in 2017. The poems of the thousand marvels of every moment have appeared in a variety of poetry magazines as well as in collections of privately issued handmade limited editions of tanka that include Thin Wings (2004), Untouched By Rain (2005), and Carved In Stone (2013).  One notable exception is the beautifully realized Cloud Scatter (1994) in an exquisite letterpress edition of 160 copies from Jerry Reddan’s Tangram Press.  Nolan is also the author of two novels, an online serial fiction, and numerous poetry books.  So Much—Handwritten Typewriter—Selected Poems Volume I, 1969-1989, was published in the spring of 2018.

 

Seconds whiled away

or willed away all the same

original instance

desire’s rhetorical question

“how do I get more?”

 

 


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The Thousand Marvels. . . . Free Shipping

17 Oct

the thousand marvels of every moment
a tanka collection
by pat nolan

Fall 2018, 124 pages, $16

Order Now * Get Free Shipping
(offer good through December 31, 2018)

One In A Thousand

Tanka is the modern name for a short poem known throughout the history of Japanese literature as a waka. The pre-modern word, waka, finds its source in ancient oral tradition of call and response agricultural chants as well as those accompanying communal efforts in indigenous Japanese villages.  In its lineated form, the tanka consists of five lines.  In its non-lineated form, the tanka has the syllabic rhythm or pattern of 5-7-5-7-7. 

The courtly love culture of medieval Japan adapted the folk tradition as the exchange of verse between courtiers requiring a cap or response to bring the poem to a subtle esoteric often erotic resolution. Eventually the practice transformed into a unified singular verse, the waka, a poem of two minds as the literary affectation of one mind.


The short poems of the thousand marvels of every moment are composed of five lines.  They also take into consideration the 5-7-5-7-7 patterns as a phonetic rhythm although they do not necessarily conform to the syllabic count.  The succinct directness required of the form lends itself to this rhythm. The first stanza balances on the second, sometimes precariously, to pose a distinguishing match. The break between stanzas acts as a kind of caesura, a gap for synaptic sparks to jump.  It also emphasizes its call and response origins serving as a binary exchange of verbal energy.  The two last lines in these poems tend to resolve them either as parallel breaths or as a single run-on semantic declaration.  Sometimes they function as a pedestal for the preceding stanza, the bass line for its melodic pretext, sometimes as a bowl or receptacle to contain the original intent, or as a decorative garnish to the entrée (think California cuisine), and sometimes at its most basic, the response to the call.


I hesitate to name the poems in this collection tanka as that would presume the mastery of a complicated set of rules and conditions.  They do not observe many of the accepted tanka conventions although they do seek a synthesis and accommodation brought about by translation into a radically different language and culture.  The poems actually owe their method more to the intricate multi-voiced play of a related Japanese verse form, haikai no renga, also known as renku or linked verse.  That similarity is especially true in the relationship between stanzas or the rhythms of 5-7-5 -7-7.  There is, in fact, a term for a linked poem composed of only two stanzas, tanrenga.  As accurate as that may be I am uncomfortable with the label. Tanku, a word of my own devising, would seem to accommodate the Japanese nomenclature (haiku, hokku, renku) but still doesn’t fit my sense of the poems.  Ultimately I find myself preferring tanka as the logical and sentimental favorite of what this type of poem might be called. I do so well aware that the designation is a borrowed one.

(from the introduction to the thousand marvels of every moment)


 

from the thousand marvels of every moment

April Is The Worst!

8 Apr

Watchf Associated Press International News   United Kingdom England APHS52450 T.S. ELIOTSome poets celebrate April as National Poetry Month, claiming that it brings much needed attention to a marginalized art, while others deride the designation, arguing that it is patronizing and trivializing of an ancient (some might say arcane) way of sentience.  Be that as it may, designating a day, week or month for the celebration of poetry has the intent of focusing attention on a timeless art that many see as underappreciated in the greater world of commercial consumerist media.  Any search of ‘poetry’ online will turn up over 300 million hits, many duplicated of course, but all the same a number that is quite close to astronomical.  Some literary elitists might argue that such a large number amounts to a lot of bad poetry.  They may have a point. However, the intent of poetry is always pure; it is often for a lack of skillful execution that it fails.  That doesn’t mean that poetry should be the sole purview of academic busybodies whose only function is to taxonomically classify poetry according to a moldy moth-eaten esthetic.  Poetry lives because language is alive, mutable, and like a stream, treacherous or calm, torrential or stagnant, is a source of consciousness available to all. Perhaps the idea behind designating a Poetry Month serves the purpose of reminding everyone that poetry belongs to them, that poetry is free for the speaking, good, bad or indifferent.


 

FREE POETRY FREE POETRY FREE POETRY FREE 

BCFFrom its inception the Nualláin House, Publishers site has offered free access to the full texts of select out-of-print limited edition poetry titles as downloadable pdf files.  Most of these poetry books were handmade using Japanese papers and bindings in editions of twenty-six to thirty-six signed by the author or authors.  The free titles include Gail ah bolinasKing’s Boxes & Chairs, Pat Nolan’s travel journal, Ah Bolinas!, and Random Rocks, a haikai collaboration with Keith Kumasen Abbott, Pat Nolan, Maureen Owen, and Michael randrksfcSowl.  By scrolling down the sidebar, poetry enthusiasts can find any number of limited edition posts featuring  full text access to that particular out-of-print title.
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Also available for free is a signed limited edition broadside of Advice To A Young Poet by Pat Nolan accompanied by a linoleum block print from his Smoking Poets series. Send $3 for shipping and handling with return address to Nualláin House, Publishers  PO Box 798  Monte Rio, CA 95462

 

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YNHcvrjAnd for all orders placed in the month of April, Nualláin House retail titles, in particular Gail King’s Hello Life and Pat Nolan’s Your Name Here, shipping is free.  See How To Order.

 

 

 


 

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More interested in reading about poetry?
  Try Parole, blog of The New Black Bart Poetry SocietyParole features essays on poetry, poets, and the poetry scene with articles on William Carlos Williams, Andrei Codrescu, Alice Notley, Philip Whalen, Frank O’Hara, and Bob Dylan to name just a few.  Access is free.

Click here to read Steven Lavoie’s essay on Darrell Grey and the Actualists on the West Coast.

 


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Essays not your thing?  How about a fictional poetry soap opera?

Ode To Sunset, A Year In The Life Of American Genius is a serial fiction about a poet who is not quite Charles Baudelaire, not quite Charles Bukowski, who looks like a well worn Alex Trebeck but with the demeanor of a Mickey Rourke.  It mostly takes place in a city not always quite Frisco.  It is satirical, playful, and inevitably deadly serious.

Ode To Sunset has posted installments for six months to word-of-mouth acclaim.  The first section, DAY, is available as individual episodes or as The Complete DAY, a pdf file.  WEEK is now in progress.  For free access go to Ode To Sunset. 

 


 Coming in 2015

Nualláin House, Publishers is pleased to announce it’s 2015 title,

P4Sale12jPoetry For Sale,
Haikai no Renga (linked verse)
Introduction by Pat Nolan
Haikai no Renga with Keith Kumasen Abbott, Sandy Berrigan, Gloria Frym, Steven Lavoie, Joen Moore, Maureen Owen, Michael Sowl & John Veglia 

Haikai no Renga is collaborative verse of Japanese provenance written by two or more poets trading stanza of 17 and 14 syllables according to specific rules governing the relationship between stanzas, and with stanzas numbering as many as one hundred.  A haikai collaboration is as complex as chess, as multi-dimensional as go, and as fast-paced and entertaining as dominoes.  It is as much about the interaction of the poets as it is about what gets written, the forward progress of its improvisation akin to that of a really tight jazz combo.

Pre-orders are now being accepted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Limited Edition: Exile In Paradise

3 Apr

Exile In Paradise

by Pat Nolan

 

EGRET1 title2x3The selection of poems in Exile In Paradise are derived from a lifelong appreciation of Chinese poetry.  Each of the  poems finds its origin in a line from an ancient Chinese poet.  The body of the poem consists of an improvisation from that line with the aim of using elements of Chinese prosody such as parataxis and parallelism while being cognizant that Chinese nouns have no number, verbs have no tense, few if any conjunctions or prepositional indicators, and that each line contains its own integrity, apart from any overarching discursive intent.  Chinese poetry is image rich and largely dependent for its overall effect on the juxtaposition of these images in a discontinuous thread that is not unlike the successive frames of film.  The poems in Exile In Paradise makes use of this ancient prosody to achieve a synthesis between an historically distant culture and the contemporaneous radically different literature of today.
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Exile In Paradise was published by Bamboo Leaf Studio in 2009 in a limited edition signed by the author with his seal.  Most of the covers are made from repurposed ‘stick & strings’ wallpaper samples and vary with each copy. A few of the covers were printed on a distressed heavy weight print paper using a stencil design. The endpapers are Japanese silkscreened patterns imported from Kyoto, as are the binding strips. The illustrations accompanying the poems are reproductions from a nineteenth century block printed Japanese compendium of seals and calligraphic signatures of ancient Chinese painters in the possession of the author.  Exile In Paradise measures 5.5×8.5 inches (14×21.5 cm) and is bound with a traditional four hole Japanese style binding.  The poems were printed on a limited supply of discontinued Gainsboro text stock.  Exile in Paradise is out of print in this edition.

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To view a pdf facsimile click on Exile In Paradise 2009

Limited Edition: Carved In Stone

3 Mar

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Carved In Stone, a tanka sequence by Pat Nolan, was published by Empty Head Press in the Summer of 2013 in a limited numbered edition signed by the author with his seal.  The covers are printed on heavy weight dragon cloud washi featuring reproductions of one of four Japanese prints from the series Imayo sugata (Stylish Appearances) as are the bamboo leaf endpapers.  Carved In Stone measures 4.25×3 inches (10.7×7.8 cm) and is bound in the Yamato style binding.  The 26 text pages (including 5 illustration) are printed on recycled paper.
 carvedend

Tanka ,meaning ‘short song,’ is an unrhymed poem with a fixed thirty-one syllable pattern of 5-7-5-7-7.  In Westernized stanza form, it is a five line poem.   Tanka, one of the oldest of Japanese verse forms, dates back to before the 11th Century.  Tanka gained renewed popularity in the late 19th Century among radically modern young poets who brought its diction and subject matter up to date.  Historically, tanka is a precursor to renga, haikai, and haiku.
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The poems in Carved In Stone do not follow precisely the fixed syllabic count nor do they conform to many of the accepted tanka conventions but seek a synthesis and accommodation brought about by translation into a radically different language and culture.

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A few copies of Carved In Stone are still available from the publisher for $20 each plus shipping.  See How To Order for more information.

Limited Edition: All Ears

4 Feb

All Ears

haikai no renga by Keith Kumasen Abbott, Pat Nolan, Maureen Owen & Michael Sowl

Renku PoetsAll Ears, a haikai no renga or linked verse, was the first of the collaborations between Maureen Owen, Keith Kumasen Abbott, Michael Sowl, and Pat Nolan to be made into a limited edition handmade book and was published by Empty Head Press in 2004.  Subsequently, Random Rocks and Poetry For Sale, both haikai no renga, were issued as limited edition handmade books(see Nualláin House archives for July 2013 and October 2012).  All Ears was also included in the anthology Saints of Hysteria, A Half Century of Collaborative American Poetry (Soft Skull Press, 2007).   

All Ears was composed through the mail over a period of a year and a half beginning in early 1992.  Once the 36 stanzas (kasen) of the haikai-no-renga were completed, each poet was asked to comment on the process in general, and on their own stanzas and those of their collaborators.  The arrangement of stanza follows the standard haikai form of 8 stanzas on the first sheet and 8 stanzas on the back sheet with the remaining 20 stanzas taking up the central text.  Following the haikai no renga and the commentary by the poets is the sequence showing the stanza assignment as well as which poets had the moon and flower stanzas.   

All Ears was bound using repurposed “sticks & strings” wallpaper sheets from a wallpaper sample book as cover stock and backed with Japanese silkscreen endpapers.  Each cover was unique in itself. The pages were folded vertically with a folded leading edge as is common in Japanese books.  Each book was hand sewn using a Japanese side stitch style known “tortoiseshell.”  The dimensions are 4.25×10 inches (10.5×16.5 cm).  Only a limited number of All Ears were produced and it is out of print. 

For more on the intriguing subject of Japanese Linked Verse, see Earl Miner’s Japanese Linked Poetry (Princeton, 1979), Hiroaki Sato’s One Hundred Frogs (Weatherhill, 1983), and Haruo Shirane’s Traces Of Dreams (Stanford, 1998).

To view a PDF facsimile of All Ears, click on ALL EARS 2004

Limited Edition: Jacks Or Better

3 Oct

Jacks Or Better

by Pat Nolan

Jacks Or Better is a travel journal (kikobun) in the tradition of Basho’s Narrow Roads To Far Off Places.  The narrow road followed in this journal is the iron road, from San Francisco to rural Florida with stops in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.  It is a poet’s journey expressed as haibun in which descriptive or expressionistic prose is capped by a haiku-like poem that continues the thread, elucidates it, or offers a disparate juxtaposition.  Published by Egret Moon Press in 2011 in a limited edition of 36 copies. 38 pages hand-bound with Japanese stitching between grey repurposed paper covers, 7×7.25 inches (18x19cm).

 

jobfcvrfrom Jacks Or Better 

Although this is my first trip to New Orleans, I’ve taken trains across country before and have always found that if you’re on a schedule they are the last place to be.  But if you’re not in a hurry, they enforce a leisurely pace that is fast becoming antique. My final destination is Florida where I will visit with my parents.  The first leg will take most of three days. This trip is ostensibly about the anatomy of a friendship and the relationship between generations.  I will visit with Andrei Codrescu in New Orleans and lecture to his MA classes at Louisiana State University. 

Baton Rouge
“only place in America named
         after a dog’s dick”

 

 To view a pdf facsimile click JACKS OR BETTER 2011

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