Saturday, May 26, 2007

Lost Nz 3: Here Comes E

Continuing the trend of filling in, the above anthology of interviews edited by Lance Phillips w/ Geoffrey Gatza (on BlazeVox) was the subject of a lot of discussion/controversy a few weeks ago, but while all the hullabaloo over who moaned & got the big shit cancelled & why & so on went on, I sought to seek out a copy. I haven't heard how many of these may have gotten out there, maybe just a few or maybe more like a few hundred,* but I know BlazeVox is operating in the print-on-demand mode, so I thought there was a good chance of tracking one down. & on about day two of the hoopla one show'd up on ABEbooks. At $25, the volume is far from cheap, but it is huge (742 pages) & the cancelled status made it nigh mandatory as far as collecting goes. I have secret plans to get both Eds to sign it then sell it for $1,000,000 in thirty years. But in case this doesn't go off, the big honking thing is a lot fun to read. The volume includes interviews from about 150 authors, but the interesting part is that each writer is asked the same 10 questions. While this tactic has its downfalls, as the questions are pretty broad (some word associations, first poem you loved, etc) & thus not specified to the poet at hand, it makes for extremely interesting comparison work. Once the reader becomes familiar with the questions & answer types, flipping around in the book, seeing how this or that poet tends to answer, becomes quite revealing, & in a way that I have not yet encountered elsewhere. Thus it more than totally sucks that the book got cancelled, especially given the fact that a good majority of the poets included are less than well-known. Creeley & Ron Silliman are there, but along with them are Simon Perchik, Kaia Sand, Jonathan Skinner, Joseph Lease, Sarah Manguso, Dan Beachy, Ton Van't Hof, Barbara Tran & on & on & on. So the culmination of the ingenius format along with the fact that the majority of the poets are not (yet) famous makes the book's short life quite disappointing. The interviews are still available online though, but the unique & informative phenomenon of this specific book has been unnecessarily lost.

*a search of the usual online places reveals only 1 copy for sale at $75, from Revaluation Books located in the UK

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