In July, 2019, Simulacrum Press was proud to publish knewro suite by Ottawa based poet nina jane drystek. knewro suite, as a print publication is comprised of three stark and striking concrete poems which serve as scores for sound poems. At the time of publication there was no extant recording of the sound poems–the scores could be viewed, the articulation of them imagined. Long awaited, drystek has released a recording of the suite (with an added sound poem, wennow) on bandcamp as performed by Conyer Clayton, jw curry, Chris Johnson and, of course, drystek herself. The delay in the performance and recording of knewro suite was not due to a lack of effort—on the contrary—it was a dedication to a successful performance of the pieces which are, according to jw curry and Chris Johnson, remarkably difficult. Open your earmind and let your ear drum, because knewro suite does not disappoint.
Listen and/or purchase the recording of knewro suite HERE. Purchase the print publication of knowro suiteHERE.
Found Words From Olivetti by hiromi suzuki is an 8.5″x8.5″ 12 page chapbook which consists of 10 typewriter poems. It has been produced in an edition of 40 chapbooks.
The 10 typewriter poems which make up Found Words From Olivetti find hiromi suzuki extracting moods and situations from the typewriter with the same seeming naturalness and ease as we have seen in her collages and gifs. That the typed concrete poems have been photographed lends them an atmosphere evocative of film noir–and indeed, a cinematic narrative does seem to surface as the reader moves through the sequence of poems.
‘Found Words From Olivetti’ by hiromi suzuki (Domestic/Canada)
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‘Found Words From Olivetti’ by hiromi suzuki (International)
Kyle Flemmer’s sequence of Correctional Sonnets is a 15 page, 5″x5″ chapbook bound with fisheye grommets published in an edition of 40 copies.
It is said that mistakes are how we learn, though in the case of Kyle Flemmer’s Correctional Sonnets the mistake is discarded for the materials of correction which are re-purposed as writing tools. Using correctional fluid, pen, and tape on black card stock Flemmer has fashioned a suite of 15 poems that form a heroic crown in which the last line of each preceding poem is the first line of that which follows. The concluding poem, the mastersonnet, is composed of each first line of the preceding 14 sonnets.
beaulieu, derek. Fractal Economies (Talon Books, 2006). Hunt, Ken. “TOP SECRET CALLIGRAPHY,” Space Administration (89+/LUMA Foundation, 2014). sackett, colin. thirty lines (No Press, 2017). Schmaltz, Eric. Surfaces (Invisible Publishing, 2018). Thacker, Eugene. Horror of Philosophy Vol. 2: Starry Speculative Corpse (Zero Books, 2015). Vidler, Catherine. Lost Sonnets (Timglaset Editions, 2018).
‘Correctional Sonnets’ by Kyle Flemmer (Domestic / Canada)
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‘Correctional Sonnets’ by Kyle Flemmer (International)
Michael e. Casteels’ & Jetsam is a loose-leaf collection of letraset concrete poems printed on 4″x5.5″ pieces of 100lb cardstock. Published in an edition of 45 numbered copies.
& Jetsam is one half of a two-part visual poetry collection, with Flotsam (forthcoming from Timglaset) being the other half. Jetsam describes debris found in water deliberately thrown overboard by a crew in distress (often to lighten the load of a ship). The pieces for this collection were composed with a very limited set of Dry-Transfer sheets, which I purchased from Value Village. Presumably, they were donated by someone who was cleaning house, so in a way, the sheets themselves felt like Jetsam, floating through the thrift shop. The more I used each sheet, the fewer letters they contained, and the lighter they became. Now they are as transparent as the water on which a small vessel drifts slowly away, leaving these poems to be discovered by you.
– Michael e. Casteels
‘& Jetsam’ by Michael e. Casteels [Domestic/ Canada]
nina jane drystek’s knewro suite, a series of 3 sound poetry scores, is printed on 10″x7.5″ pieces of cardstock. Loose leaf. Published in an edition of 45 numbered copies.
The 3 scores which comprise knewro suite, bringing us back to the grid, are each striking works of a meticulously controlled concrete poetry where the merging and collision of letters exude their sonic potential. Their strength on the page is matched by the apparent difficulty of their actual performance to which various members of Quatuour Gualuour, the sound poetry group of which drystek is a member, have attested.
‘knewro suite’, by nina jane drystek [Domestic/ Canada]
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‘knewro suite’, by nina jane drystek [International]
Reading from Underneath took place at The Printed Word in Dundas, Ontario on May 23rd, 2019. The reading was organized around a visit by Sam Roxas-Chua who had made his way up from Portland and stopped for a few days in Hamilton so that friends formerly acquainted only via social media could meet (and read) in the flesh. The Readers that night were Franco Cortese (whose beautiful chapbook Teksker I’d just published and copies of which that night handed to him,) Jericha Shepai, Gavin Le Ber, myself, Sacha Archer, and of course, Sam Roxas-Chua. It was a truly wonderful night of readings and as such I felt it would be good to make the recording available here. Thanks again to all the readers and to James McDonald for opening the space to us–and apologies to Franco as the recording was only started near the end of his reading.
Franco Cortese’s ‘teksker‘, is an 8.5″x8.5″ chapbook of 18 pages. Produced in an edition of 45.
A chapbook of intense humanity, of the naked body, Franco Cortese’s teksker (a blend of the Proto-Indo-European root *teks- (“to weave; to fabricate; to make wicker or wattle fabric for mud-covered house walls”), *sker-(1) (“to cut”) and *sker-(2) (“to turn, bend”), presents the reader with multilingual lipograms that eschew the use of all vowels entirely; line-unit anagrams and multilingual lipogramatic palindromes to name but a few of the constraints which Cortese wields. If the tower of Babel was a frustration in its flood of languages, Cortese revels in that same noise, conducting it into raw beauty.
mother wretched egg skin divination water stream wither a hole in the ground from which water can be obtained the hollow where a limb joins the trunk of an animal or tree wetnurse to believe that something will happen groping form of address to any man who is elder than you the altar stone where they hunt absent soil soul bruise wing wind to point wood old wives’ tale to egg on thought any altar for sacrifices elder brother a bad smell a collection of things associated with a person or place with love to breed well to fade what period of time half continual up to rim
aba aĉa āda afa aga aha aja aka ala ama ana apa aqa ara asa ata ava awa axa aya aza aza aya axa awa ava ata asa ara aqa apa ana ama ala aka aja aha aga afã ada acá aba
ancestors rotten leather dust to discipline river time within a winglike bone a toxic by-product of improper or incomplete digestion in a direction analogous to up but along the additional axis added by the fourth dimension to devour elder brother blood scepter shadow hole hour to align on an axis palm birthmark a section of a village I to orientate distant opening a hunting deliberately interim uncle stolen to be old ruin to give birth to root cut river to lack effort to be as of fathers
Repetitive Poems by Catherine Vidler is an elegant collection of 4 visual poems, each in full colour. Measuring 8.5 x 5.5″, Repetitive Poems is printed on card stock and bound with a single fastener in a limited edition of 45 chapbooks.
With Repetitive Poems, Catherine Vidler gives us her love of colour and meticulous forms, honing in on the effects of repetition applied to geometric forms. Repetition, of course, is an important poetic device, harkening back to the earliest oral traditions–repetition, yes–but repetitive? Repetitive connotes monotony, something these powerful crystalline logos refuse.
‘Repetitive Poems’ by Catherine Vidler [Domestic/Canada]
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‘Repetitive Poems’ by Catherine Vidler [International]
Hart Broudy’s new collection, ‘Erth’ collects eight unbound 5×7″ pieces of visual/concrete poetry.
The conspicuously absent A in the title of Hart Broudy’s collection Erth gives a hint towards how the reader will encounter the alphabet in this series. While Earth can refer to both soil and planet, and certainly the textures within these pieces connect to such references, the Erth that is presented by Broudy delivers us to a different plain.
Ben Robinson’s Mumbles in Hollywood, California is an 18 page, 5.5″ x 4.25″ pocket size chapbook. Saddle stitched.
Only recently has Ben Robinson begun to experiment with language from the depths of the internet. Mumbles in Hollywood, California extracts language from closed captioned interpretations of mumbles and gibberish within vapid YouTube videos, then re-frames and re-configures that material. As Bern Porter, master of founds, once wrote, “When you are dealing with waste, how do you avoid using crude material? So, you have to find the artistic value in crude” (Found Poems, by Bern Porter).