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Well, the Alice Spider book from Anomalous Press is fast becoming a reality. You may have met Alice before, but this will be the most Alice there’s ever been in one place. This is how she will look:
The stunning artwork on the cover is by Kristen Necessary.
There is one last hurdle. The lovely people at Anomalous Press are making six chapbooks altogether (small collections of poetry, of up to 40 pages) as a labour of love and have launched a Kickstarter campaign to get the funds together for printing. They need $US5,000. If you would like to support them – and receive books, postcards and other goodies in return (this is a pre-order type deal rather than a charity drive) – here’s where you can pledge the amount you would like to pledge and a description of what you will receive. Yes, I’ve already put my money where my mouth is, and huge thanks to everyone else who is supporting the campaign.
The Kickstarter link shows all the chapbooks being published and they look great!
In the garden of cats
the deserted lover
learns to purr again
& threads the sun around her neck
in a garland of golden oyster shells.
Violets grow quietly
dragonflies come to call
she smells lavender
listens to the sea.
Inside her shut shell
the deserted lover makes pearls
from the gritty bits.
Thinks: If I were a cat
I’d live off parakeets
& keep my love.
This is an old poem I wrote years ago after I’d been house-sitting for my friends Anna-Marie and Mary-Jane in Paekakariki – “the ridge where the parakeets perch”. It was summer and their cats and I spent a lot of time sitting about in the garden.
You can read the other Tuesday poems here.
I have news. It concerns poetry and spiders.
When I was about eighteen, I started writing about the adventures of a character called Alice Spider. And I kept on writing about her, on and off. A couple of decades after I started, I realised all the little Alice fragments were part of a prose poem sequence. Sections of Alice have since been published in Turbine, AUP New Poets 3, JAAM and US-based Anomalous Press. And now Alice is getting her very own chapbook, courtesy of the wonderful folk at Anomalous. And it’s not just any old chapbook – it’s 3 types of chapbook: a limited edition of 26 handmade, letterpress-printed chapbooks with images by Jill Kambs (I’ve seen the proofs and the book looks beautiful), as well as a regular, offset-printed chapbook and an e-book. Very exciting!
This would not have happened without Mary MacCallum’s Tuesday Poem site – the Christmas before last, the Tuesday poets all had a “secret Santa” poem-swapping session, where we paired up with other Tuesday poets and posted each other’s poems. I was paired with US poet Melissa Green, who writes stunningly beautiful poetry. Melissa graciously hosted Alice on her blog, where she was spotted by Anomalous Press and invited to appear in their new journal, and now Alice is moving on to her next adventure. Many thanks to Cat Parnell and Erica Mena of Anomalous Press for this opportunity and to Jill Kambs for making beautiful books. I”ll post a photo when the books arrive.
Also, Anomalous Press has just announced its first chapbook competition. Entry fees are $US15 and all submissions will be considered for publication in the Anomalous Press journal. There is a separate category for translations.
We were lucky to hit surprisingly mild weather – one or two frosty mornings, but mostly crisp and sunny. Perfect for walking about in if you’re well rugged up.
On Thursday (17 November 2011), sometime after 9pm, I will be talking to Veronika Meduna on Our Changing World on National Radio and reading a few poems from Kingdom Animalia: the Escapades of Linnaeus.
- Janis, pingao, Island Bay, wind
The words on the beach, “This is a day for the eating of clouds” are busy settling into a poem now that the tide has swept them away. They originally came from me mishearing “It’s cloudy today” as “It’s cloud-eater day”. I like the cloud-eater version better.
It’s so good to see all the pingao around Island Bay now the council has fenced it off. Many years ago (over the 1985/86 summer) I did a coastal vegetation survey with Yvonne Weeber for the Wellington Harbour Board (best job I’ve ever had!) and it was very exciting every time we found a struggling pingao plant clinging on amongst the marram. Now they’re thriving – hurrah!
This week is Spec Fic blogging week, organised by the Speculative Fiction Writers of New Zealand. Here then, is a science fiction poem I wrote:
lovesnog in blue
I love the cool smoothness
of your tentacles
your triple eyes of Terran blue
let me fondle your mandibles
palpate your maxillae
under the idling moons
through the singing times
through the trembling times
through the wildwinterstorm times
I will love you with
my strobilating polyps
my many radulae of Terran blue
A quick update on Alice:
Alice Spider is a character who’s been haunting my poetry since I was about eighteen. She’s appeared in prose poem sequences in Turbine and AUP New Poets 3 (Auckland University Press) and danced her way through JAAM 28. Now Alice has infiltrated the latest issue of Anomalous Press, alongside many entertaining international writers. Anomalous Press offers audio alongside its text. Downloadable versions are coming soon, but in the meantime, it’s all online.