Tag Archives: rare editions

Limited Edition: All Ears

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

The Nolan Anthology of Poetry, Volume II: The Modern Era

Nolan VIIThe Nolan Anthology of Poetry, Volume II was published by Fell Swoop in 2003.  The first Nolan Anthology of Poetry was published in 1993 by the same New Orleans publisher.  Volume II (Fell Swoop #64) The Modern Era was printed in an unspecified print run using basically the same 8.5×11 stapled binding format as the first volume though designating them as “volumes” may be a bit of overstatement as each is only twenty pages in length printed on a single side of the page.  The cover design by the author was meant to replicate the pocket poetry books of the French publisher, Gallimard under the NRF (Nouvelle Revue Française) imprint.  Volume II, as did Volume I, represents a sampling from a variety of the author’s poetry manuscript unpublished at the time.  Since then the poems in the tanka sequence Light Years have been included in a handmade limited edition chap book entitled Carved In Stone (Empty Head Press, 2013).  The Chinese style poems were published as a selection entitled Exile In Paradise (Bamboo Leaf Studio, 2009), also as a handmade limited edition.  The prose poems were included in a handmade chap book entitled Intellectual Pretensions (edition de Jacob, 2009).

Click here for The Nolan Anthology of Poetry, Volume II: The Modern Era 2003

A word about Fell Swoop magazine whose stated mission, as per Editor Reverend XJ Dailey, is to destroy contemporary American poetry: this year marks the 30th Anniversary of their fitful yet courageously tenacious low tech existence.  They (3rd person plural used advisedly) will publish their 130th issue this November.  Past featured authors and contributors to Fell Swoop magazine include Andrei Codrescu, Aram Sayroyan, Bernadette Meyer, The Clark Coolidge, Sir Thomas Weigel, Richard Martin, Camille Martin, Lady Alice Notley, and Keith Kumasen Abbott to name just a few.  As an unpretentious and somewhat anachronistic photo copy (xerographic) publication, Fell Swoop harkens back to the more innocent days of the mimeograph revolution when such prehistoric publications as Fuck You, C, Blue Suede Shoes, The End, Life of Crime, and The World roamed the humid fecund swamps of Am Po’s armpit.  Though based in New Orleans, they represent one of the last unapologetic bastions of the New York School of Poets scattered to the four (or five) corners of the poetry universe after the passing of the Grand Himself, Ted Berrigan.  Fell Swoop keeps the flame alive to light another Chesterfield.   Their post-Katrina address is Po Box 740158 New Orleans, LA 70174.  Send them a bunch of cash, in one fell swoop.

 

Limited Edition: Random Rocks

Random Rocks

Haikai No Renga

By The Miner School of Haikai Poets

randrksfcRandom Rocks is a limited edition haikai no renga (linked verse) published by Bamboo Leaf Studio in 2007.  The size of the edition was linked to the number of stanzas in a kasen, a standard renga length employed by Basho and his disciples, and in the memorializing of the 36 immortal poets of Japanese literature.  Random Rocks measures 5.5x 7 (14x17cm), is hand sewn in the Japanese side stitch style, bound in heavy green chiri paper, momogami binding strips and features Japanese silk screen end papers.  The edition was divided evenly among the four haikai poets to distribute as they saw fit.                                                                                        

The Miner School of Haikai Poets have engaged in the practice of haikai no renga over a period of thirty years, written primarily through the mail and more recently, email.  They are Pat Nolan, Keith Kumasen Abbott, Michael Sowl and Maureen Owen. The Miner School’s haikai have been published in numerous magazine including Hanging Loose, Exquisite Corpse, Jack’s Magazine, Big Bridge, and Simply Haiku as well as in limited edition chapbooks and broadsides from Empty Head Press, Bamboo Leaf Studio, and Tangram Press.  Their kasen, All Ears, was included in Saints Of Hysteria, an anthology celebrating collaboration, from Soft Skull Press (2007).   

One of the unique features of Miner School haikai is that it includes a running commentary by the authors on each of their own stanzas as well as a stab at their collaborators’ links.  It functions in a way similar to commentary provided as a special features audio track on a DVD.  The introductory essay to another kasen, Bamboo Greeting, published in Simply Haiku (2008), further details some of the unconventional methods practiced by The Miner School of Haikai Poets.  

Haikai no renga is a form of renga (Japanese linked verse) practiced by Basho (1644-1694) and his disciples.  It consists of a 17 syllable verse and a 14 syllable verse provided in turn by the poets engaged in the collaboration.  In linking verses, a 31 syllable poem is produced, the latter verse of which (the 17 or the 14 syllable) will go on to join the next in the sequence to form its own unique poem, and so on until the requisite number of stanzas has been achieved.  Renga sequences can number into the hundreds.  Basho favored the economy of 36 stanzas.  Renku is diminutive for haikai no renga also known as haikai.  The more renowned Japanese verse form, haiku, is derived from the practice of amassing numerous hokku to vie for the privilege of opening a moon-viewing-sake-sipping evening of friendly literary collaborations.   Renga itself is derived from the courtly form of poetry exchanged by the aristocracy as exemplified in Lady Murasaki’s 11th Century The Tale Of Genji.  The rules of the composition for renga and haikai no renga are complicated and arcane, but like those of chess or go can be captivating and stimulating.  

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). 

A pdf facsimile of RandomRocks 2007can be found here.

 

 

 

 

Limited Edition: Where The Four Winds Blow (translations)

Where The Four Winds Blow
(including Epitaphs)
by Philippe Soupault

  (translated from the French by Pat Nolan)

soupfcvrjPhilippe Soupault , born in 1897, was one of the most original poets of his time.  He collaborated with Andre Breton on the premiere Surrealist document, Les Champs Magnetiques, and was a co-founder of La Revolution Surrealiste, the seminal surrealist publication.  To this day the poems of Where The Four Winds Blow (1920) and Epitaphs (1919) have that modern sense of the personal, the existential observer, always slightly perplexed.  Much of what is conventional in modern poetry today was first realized in the innovations of these early poems.

Where The Four Winds Blow was published under the Pygmy Forest Press (Albion CA) imprint in 1993 by the late poet Leonard Cirino.

Praise for Where The Four Winds Blow

It’s a great pleasure to see two of one’s favorite poets across time and space conjoined in these terrific translations of Philippe Soupault’s early poems by Pat Nolan who catches and plays the haunting and funny early century notes just right. 
— Anselm Hollo

Pat Nolan’s translations get the edge and eye of Philippe Soupault’s witty, shifty and insouciant early poems, often displaying the right touch for the quick change artistry of the poet at work.
— Keith Abbott

It’s a great pleasure to see Philippe Soupault’s graceful, delicate, and gently witty poems getting more of the attention they deserve.
— Ron Padgett

View a pdf facsimile of FOURWINDS

Limited Edition: Fly By Night

FLY BY NIGHT
Selected Poems, 1975 −1992
by Pat Nolan
 

Doris Green Editions originally published Fly By Night as a limited edition specifically for the author’s readings at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and at The Poetry Project in New York City in November of 1992.  In 2006, Re:issue Press reprinted the selection of poems in the original edition adding the subheading Selected Poems, 1975 −1992. A few modest editorial changes were also made, and the biographical information updated.  Surplus covers from the original edition were recycled and cut down to fit the current format, from 8×10 to 5×7.  The hand-sewn Japanese style binding and the folded leading edge of the page are unique to the reissued edition.  A review of Fly By Night by Gabriel Ricard was published at the Unlikely Stories blog.  Here then is the full text of that 1992 selection of poems: Fly By Night Selected Poems 1975-1992

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Nualláin − (pronounced Noo-al-ayne) Celtic for the family name, Nolan, meaning noble or famous.  The Irish writer Brian O’Nualláin was also known as Brian O’Nolan, as well as by his most famous pseudonym, Flann O’Brien, author of At Swim-Two-Birds, The Third Policeman and The Dalkey Archives.
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