Friday, January 29, 2010
In the Mail: Folded into your Midwestern Thunderstorm
28º and the ice thickens
How does the US postal slogan go? Neither rain nor sleet nor... Our intrepid mail carrier did in fact deliver our mail amid the sleet and ice bullets. And in that delivery was a great surprise. The week got a bit busy and I forgot that I'd ordered Kristen Orser's chapbook Folded into Your Midwestern Thunderstorm from Greying Ghost Press. Honestly, I'm not sure on which blog I saw this mentioned, but the title was too much for me to bear. I had to own it. (Now, after weeks of buying books at will and charging my plane fare for AWP, I have a moratorium on buying ANYTHING besides the necessities for the next month!)
But back to the "surprise." I carefully opened the mailer and was puzzled when I saw that there were lots of little bits of things included with the book. I tipped the book out into my hand. Spilling forth were: an 8 1/2 x 11" numbered pamphlet by Sasha Fletcher (an unknown poet to me until now), an unused postcard with all the words in Cyrillic, a page torn from a comic book written about George Stephenson inventor of the steam engine locomotive, a tiny print of the Bascule Bridge in Corpus Christi, a photo illustration of a potter turning a bowl, and a small black & white photograph of what appears to be a customs boarding crossing between the US and Mexico. And then there was the book! The cover extends about a quarter of an inch beyond the pages and is cut from a piece of blank, orchestral sheet music. There is a beautiful pink stamp of an owl that I simply can't describe. No words on the cover. Opening the cover reveals fuchsia endpapers. All in all the production is superb.
I've only glanced at the first poem (as I feel a headache coming on from too many hours at the computer), but I cannot wait to read this!
Flipping to the back in search of author info, instead I find that this is a numbered production. I'm the proud owner of #15/99. Woo Hoo! The colophon is witty and worth the read. Finally, stacking all my goodies to the side, I went to the website and discovered this:
All of our books are handmade and in most cases, every aspect of production is done in-house. This includes the processes of printing, binding, and shipping. Each cover is hand stamped or pressed. And all of our mailorders are stuffed full with either old photos, fragments of old maps and books, comic scraps, and other ephemera. Greying Ghost seeks to reassure the reading public that printed matter won't vanish.
What a wonderful undertaking. I'm going to take a closer look at their catalog when the moratorium on shopping lifts!