Thursday, October 1, 2015

Breaking the Lines Finally Released!

And here's an attempt to explain the project...

Originally, I put out a call to a number of writers who work in different genres to engage in a collaborative writing project. This got a fairly positive response - some sixty-odd people expressed interest. So I was excited! I’d intended to incorporate a number of chance operations to break out pairs from the people who said yes and when that proved more troublesome than I’d hoped, I settled on simply picking pairs, trying to pin together writers who didn’t know each other personally and also who worked in different genres - though this didn’t always hold, as my call list was a bit poet heavy. 

I asked each pair of writers to work together to produce a ten-sentence block of text that engaged the topic of family. The pairs of writers then supplied this content to a person of their choosing who was not someone working in a literary field. The ten-sentence block was to be broken into lines by the person chosen with some notes on line breaking being provided by one or both of the writers. My hope was to get some folks who were not tied into the practice of poetry working within it, albeit in a very limited fashion. 

In talking with friends about this, it became clear that along with trying to gently push people into poetry and trying to play around with authorlessness, or multi-authoring, or whatever, I was hopeful the project as a whole could prod consideration, even if laterally, of who gets heard when addressing certain topics. Given that family is an idea and reality (on some level) that everyone has some experience with, I wanted to try to create inter-textual conversation between the various text elements included on each page, with the collaboratively written content serving as a small anchor. 

As such, what you will encounter as you enter the book is the lineated poems centered on the left-hand pages, framed by content addressing family construction and changing family norms as seen through the varied lenses of experts. Centered on the right-hand pages are translated versions of those same poems. They’ve been run through a translation engine into a couple different languages, then back into English. I’d ask that you consider the ghost in the machine here, as it takes many experts to create the software that can reformulate language into and away from itself. 

Cathy Eisenhower, a writer and psychologist in DC, provided me with a series of questions about family construction which  served as prompts for a number of students who varied widely in age and socio-economic background. The responses those children provided frame the poems on the right side. On the whole, the project is presenting a lived reflection on the topic that frames a ghosted version of a multi-authored reflection that was run through the hands of those who may (or may not) feel comfortable playing with “poetry,” in turn, framed by the language and theory of experts. Or it’s just a lot of language with some really neat poems inside.

It took a long while, but this is finally a thing in the world. My hope is that somehow in the collisions here there is something that sparks and in you there might be something on which that spark can catch. 

Tony Mancus

September 1, 2015

The book is perfect bound and it's available for $12 if you're in the U.S., and $14 if you're outside of the states. 

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Announcing the Release of Cabin Fever/Fossil Record by Dan Brady

Cabin Fever/Fossil Record

Dan Brady's new chapbook is an accumulation and an erasure, it's a mystery and a maze with the key built into its guts. The book contains two poems that are a part of what Brady's been calling Leroy Sequences. He explains a bit about the process here. The form of these pieces really works to amplify and distort the content. It's hard to capture just what the poems do, so you might well have to grab a copy and see for yourself. Just know that it's something that can alter the way you are in the world in the way that good things do.

From Cabin Fever

From Fossil Record

    Cabin Fever/Fossil Record 
is a hybrid, hand-sewn dos-a-dos binding 
with covers designed by Sommer Browning and Tony Mancus. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Announcing the Release of Stephanie Balzer's Chapbook

WED JAN 30 12:58:10 2013 
THU DEC 20 14:16:36 2012 

An Elegy

Stephanie's Balzer's latest chapbook is a naked elegy in fragments. Exactly a year after her comrade's battle with cystic fibrosis, she began to chronicle the events and convoluted emotions of his last month in the hospital. Her witness, told in snapshots posted to Twitter, is an inverted, honest, surprisingly playful narrative of grief and love.

ICUs are violent. one night a person coded in the                                       Sat Dec 29 04:04:09 2012
room directly in my line of sight. an alarm sounded
& bell flashed. i stood up & watched.

holding his hand i narrated it to him, sedated, the                                         Fri Dec 28 23:34:13 2012
people eating live scorpions, in an attempt to be
normal. it was evening.

each contestant dove into a vat of black oil to find                                        Fri Dec 28 23:29:33 2012
a gallon paint container. inside were live scorpions
for opposing team members to eat.

one night “fear factor” came on. i left it because                                           Fri Dec 28 23:28:51 2012
we’d had a convo a few weeks earlier about how
much we hate joe rogan.

WED JAN 30 12:58:10 2013 — THU DEC 20 14:16:36 2012 is a perfect bound chapbook by Stephanie Balzer and designed by Michael Flatt.

Stephanie Balzer earned her MFA from the University of Arizona in 2004. Her chapbooks include Revenant (Kore Press) and faster, faster (CUE Editions).