Sunday, March 18, 2012
WWW of Spin Turlock #36: Deep In the Heart of Texas: the Kendra Steiner Editions
Poetry is the toughest nut to crack into computer code.
Part of the problem stems from the fact that poetry - in the best sense of the word - is a multi-sensory experience. You have to see it, hear it, and most importantly, feel it.
And I mean both in the emotional sense and the tactile sense: the feel, colour and texture of printed page adds more sub and abro text better than any shiny computer screen.
Enter Kendra Steiner Editions . In the Kindle generation, they come out with chapbooks made from rigid, coloured stock paper. They print the words in FULL font sizes. And the contenst of said poetry is about a million miles away from the prevailing American Zeitgist.
All of this is collectively a good thing in my - pardon the pun - book.
Bill Shute is the driving force behind KS editions. He fronts his own money to get these things out, usually in editions of 100 or less. Shute deals with metaphysics, that realm of interest that lies somewhere between God & Man, the scope of which encompasses everything from the psychology & economic LIFE metaphors involved in playing the ponies ( "Exacta Box" w/Brad Kohler), to socio-economic musings ("Florentine Dictations") to thumbnail sketches of the people you invariably have to deal with ("is it off--Is it on"). I will - I must - quote from the latter here:
she's the foremost
Civil War Artist
of our time
her stepson's band
spent $5000 to achieve
their signature lo-fi sound
& I pretend to an interest in
and have my brain picked for
Some of the other jockeys who make the KS grade includes Poznan, Poland native, A.J. Kaufman , whose "Love Lions of Paris" strikes me as being almost an exercise in modern Romantic. The modern part would be the form, the Romantic part being the rock n' roll influence. Kaufman pushes the sensory buttons & splashes the word colouring around. Google him to see what else he does (a MySpace page!)
I've known Bill for what, close to 30 years now. I think I sent him a copy of my rockuh fanzine, Mole #4, the one with the Troggs interview. He used to do hour-long guest cassette spots on my radio show. The spots were entitled "The Inner Mystique", which was also the name of his column for the Phfud/Black To Comm fanzine column. Shute's musical tastes are also "metaphysical" in scope: garage rock, psychedelia, free jazz, blues, country, improv. Music plays a big part in what he does: the latter two chapbooks are inspired -or to be accompanied - by specific pieces of music.
KS editions has taken the music aspect several steps further. I'll deal with that in the next issue. In the meantime, the snail mail addy:
14080 Nacogdoches Rd #350
San Antonio, Texas,
On the web: http://kendrasteinereditions.wordpress.com
And yeah, they take Paypal