Spork’s Six New Books
The handmade books of Spork Press are spreading across the literary universe, leaving the Spork collective ‘more psyched than ever.’
On any given evening, in the middle of any given week, just off of Fourth Avenue, you might stumble across the editors of Spork Press as they dutifully work on their next set of printings.
They might have music blaring out of the carport in which they work while they press ink onto boards using a half-century-old machine. They might be sipping beers, mixing and transferring music mixes onto cassette tapes. They could be listening to audiobooks, evening out the edges of their work—literally, with a belt sander.
(…..from The Tucson Weekly, “An Analog Experience”)
Yes, Spork makes beautiful books and recently debuted their 6 newest creations (“artifacts”) at AWP here in my backyard (Seattle, which is just across the lake from Kirkland, home of Costco, etc). The Tucson Weekly reports that AWP was a “huge success” for Spork, selling “more than 400 books.”
So, anyways, here is a bit of a roundup of Spork’s 6 new books with a bit of verbiage about each book and/or the author. (and, yes, I’m one of these 6 authors so if you think this is uncool, well, go ahead and sue me).
Spork # 11 is Matthew Dickman’s “WISH YOU WERE HERE”
“Toughness with a smile….(Dickman) breathes the air of Whitman, Kerouac, O’Hara, and Koch, each of whom pushed against the grain of what poetry and writing was supposed to be in their times.” —New Haven Review
Matthew Dickman is the winner of the May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a poetry editor of Tin House, and the coauthor, with brother Michael Dickman, of 50 American Plays. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Spork # 12 is Ben Fama’s “COOL MEMORIES”
“Maybe Dennis Cooper and Jeff Clark and Eileen Myles and a few other divinities paved the way for some of Ben Fama’s smartly contemporary tone, but the result is all his own: funny, horny, blasé, insouciant, complicated, allusive, and bristling with mixed messages—like a Baudelairean Dionysus incarnated as a reticent anesthesiologist under house arrest for unspeakable, thrilling crimes.”
—Wayne Koestenbaum, author of Humiliation and The Anatomy of Harpo Marx
Spork # 13 is Brian Blanchfield’s “THE HISTORY OF IDEAS, 1973-2012”
A suite of conceptual idylls–or scenes from an epistemology–these procedural poems by Brian Blanchfield (author, too, of A Several World, Nightboat Books, 2014) are situated variously in an American span, a landscape sloping from 1973 and terminating in the bottom-line platitudes of, for instance, Thomas Friedman and Antonin Scalia. For more about, around, and behind the poems, check out “The History of The History of Ideas, 1973-2012.”
Spork # 14 is Lara Glenum’s “ALL HOPPED UP ON FLESHY DUM DUMS”
“Authentic experience, after all, always involves a myth of origin, and every time Plath goes back to access origins, she finds herself trapped inside a performance of Romantic Sublime, which spells the death of the female subject. Thus by the end of the poem, as in so many of Plath’s poems, the speaker feels compelled to disembody herself. I, on the other hand, insist on embodiment, and on getting a specifically female pleasure into the text.”
—Lara Glenum in a 2009 interview
Spork # 15 is Simon Jacob’s “SATURN”
“I have followed the concept of ‘the scream’ throughout my entire career—decades, hundreds of paintings—yet in the end, my pursuit has led me to this single, indelible image: that of rock’s most peerless shapeshifter, now faced with undeniable, unstoppable age, standing helpless before his own grim reflection in a paint-spattered room populated only with artifacts of his past, screaming, and screaming, and screaming.”
– Francis Bacon
Spork # 16 is Rauan Klassnik’s “SKY RAT”
“The author of this book, Sky Rat, claims to enjoy writing tender, love poetry and that this book, Sky Rat, is the pinnacle of his tender, love poetry. It is a book full of violence, sexual perversion and general abomination. Gleeful and unrelenting. It is a book full of typographical madness. The book of a serial killer, a nymphomaniac, and yet, yes, it is also a gentle book. A religious book, even.”
Spork’s full catalog also includes earlier titles by Dan Beachy-Quick, Gordon Massman, Drew Krewer, Zach Schomburg, Heather Palmer, Joylle McSweeney, Feng Sun Chen, Colin Winnette, John Beer and Ariana Reines.