Community is a Feeling, Not a People

Turning ideas into action is one of my favorite things to do. So, my elation after Slash Pine pulled off the best poetry festival that I’ve ever been to was palpable. When a person talks about “the community,” they are not talking about fifty people who sit around waiting for other people to put on events for their amusement. They are talking about a feeling, the very particular and inexplicable phenomenon when very different people from near and far come together to create a giant feeling that hangs in the air and causes eyes to sparkle, ale to be drunk, thoughtfulness to be provoked, and bellies to shake like bowls full of jelly. It’s a feeling like no other and it can only arise when a few very dedicated art lovers (like the ones that can be found at Slash Pine Press) try to make it happen in a loving, respectful way. Whenever Slash Pine plans any event, it is with the knowledge that the event will never be as we planned it. It will only ever be exponentially better than we have ever dreamed or worse than our darkest nightmare. I am pleased to say that, in this case, it was the former.

The poetry festival showcased four different environments conducive in different ways to successful poetry readings: Gorgas House lawn (our only outdoor site), the Gorgas auditorium, Green Bar, and Mellow Mushroom. It was an ambitious scope for an event that focuses primarily on poetry. In the past, when I thought of the few poetry readings I had been to, they had all been dark, sometimes a little smelly, and almost always a little over the top and self-congratulatory with little audience participation. The Slash Pine poetry festival, however, managed to ensnare an almost entirely different group of people, and thus a different feeling, at every event site. Gorgas House Lawn happened to be personal; many of our close friends, our teachers, and our classmates were there, but in sizeable numbers, which led to a cozy, warm, happy, outdoorsy environment. Gorgas Auditorium attempted to attract an audience a wee bit earlier than is usually expected for poets and writers to rise. Despite this, the coffee, the chapbook table, and the snacks were conducive to a surprisingly lively and receptive audience to see readers from Slash Pine, Montevallo, and a few surprise readers who turned out to be the best of the bunch. At Green Bar, understandably, the crowd turned in a completely different direction. It was at a more forgiving hour, and friends, family, and people down for a good day-drink showed up, promoting a more responsive, cozy, dark, and thoughtful environment. Like a giant snowball, Mellow Mushroom accrued almost everyone who had been there for the weekend, plus any stragglers looking for something interesting to do with their night. It was a giant, interesting crowd there that night, and the revelry was running high.

By the end of the event, all Slash Piners were completely exhausted, but I went home feeling as though I had gone on a trip that had lasted a week and was now receiving a very well deserved rest, thoroughly exhausted but smiling like a Cheshire cat. All the poets at all the events were wonderful and very different, leading to fast-paced whirlwind of expectancy at every turn. They all created great works to be enjoyed by all, but Slash Pine made it possible for them to all share their work together, under the same roof. I appreciate the wonderful work, but I feel fulfilled down to my toes by the vision and effort that the members of Slash Pine exuded over that long and diverse weekend in October.

-Summer Upchurch


Small Subway Explosions: On “Ten More Poems” by James Hoff


Ten More Poems by James Hoff, printed by Ugly Duckling Presse, turned out to be a delightful read that interacted with its form in a way that made me feel as though I was uncovering someone’s manuscript that they left on the train. I suppose that all chapbooks must feel this way: they usually contain the thoughts of a passionate and thoughtful individual and are wrapped/designed/printed in a way that should make them feel like a walk through another person’s head. The ideology behind this chapbook makes this observation especially true. The content reveals a person who is riding on the subway or stopping to talk to people on the street of a big city. It reveals a certain cynicism about large cities and the suburbs that often surround them, and it especially conveys disdain for people who spend their money inappropriately. Why not give your money to a homeless man, but instead spend your money on a red sports car to park in front of your one-story home in the suburbs? He poses the question in one of the first poems: “Why do street lamps not line the sea?” It’s a cynical look at how big cities try to plan out every corner of the city to the last detail when cities will always have parts that are as untouchable as the sea.

Hoff uses form in a way that makes the chapbook a quick read. He even inserts “Intermission” poems that are shorter and sweeter than the rest. For example, “Intermission No. 4” is simply: “Linda shouted Heck / for the hell of it / Texas.” These give the reader an “Aha” moment amidst vaguer and more specific works. The “aha” moment that readers often get from chapbooks is understandable. As a reader of chapbooks, one expects a certain fluidity in the works and a sense of wholeness when one finishes. Ten More Poems achieves this extremely well. When you are done, you feel as though you understand big cities from the eyes of an attentive observer.

As far as the structure of the actual book goes, the brown paper cover heightens the “found on the subway” feel, and the typeface, letter pressed, a lovely typewriter font, makes the works inside feel deeply personal and are reminiscent of writers who move to a big city to write freelance and instead find a cold, unfriendly writing community. It is easy to convince yourself that, because you are typing on a typewriter, the work that you produce has to be good. It’s the organic, writerly feel that young writers crave in their work. It’s the principle that if you don’t feel like you’re creating something and can’t see a tangible product, then you’re not creating anything. The cherry on top of this chapbook are the bright red stamps that appear on the cover, a car surrounded by sparkling light, and the hand drawn on the back cover which appear to be a broken hanger and chicken scratch. I am glad to have read this wonderful, well-put together and well-written book, which appears to embody the essence of the term “chapbook.”

-Summer Upchurch

Review of Cover Band by Michael Trammell

Cover Band, a chapbook by Michael Tramell published by New Black Mountain Press, is deceptively simple in design and content.  The cover is made out of brown cardstock and is adorned only with a simple record graphic.  The pages are gray. The stitch is a sort of modified loop stitch, bound with one simple knot.  I was completely drawn in by this design.  At times, it is perhaps better to allow a book to be basic, unadorned—sometimes that is the most beautiful type of book.  Certainly that is the case here.  Additionally, the design matches up well with the content, which is direct and conversational. 
            In the first story, “Cool,” Trammell describes a night playing in a cover band at a dive bar, including the patrons, “cement stains on their jean’s knees.”  This struck me as such an amazing detail.  With basic prose, Trammell creates an entire world which unfolds from a wonderfully rendered phrase.  Towards the end of the story, the characters’ places of employment are listed—“Subs-D-lux, Hale Carpet, Tex Roofing.”  He needs not emote about the importance of this one escape for these men.  We understand that this is their passion, not the jobs listed.  Trammell again gives the reader a sense of the characters with one apt detail. 
            The first and last stories both end with a late night/very early morning breakfast at Denny’s.  This is exactly what these stories feel like—late night conversations.  They retain a sense of craft, however, that I doubt is a usual feature of such conversations.  Trammell never falls into clichés, though his topic (the potential for escape or reinvention through music or art more generally) has certainly been covered.  He provides new eyes. 
            Personally, I think the standout story is “Ballet in the Band,” in which the narrator’s brother, a ballet dancer, joins the band and becomes an embodiment of that most fundamental element of rock—lust.  After he plays his Strat, he performs “a perfect arabesque” and falls “into the glassy-eyed nymphs who catch and clutch all they can.”  The women in this poem are so enamored by the dancer/rocker, who is the perfect sort of David Bowie (or even early Mick Jagger) androgynous sex icon.  He is swaggeringly graceful, brutally gorgeous. 
            In “Maple Leaf Rag,” the narrator describes playing a piano loud enough to drown out his father’s clapping in time.  He plays “until the claps are gone.”  The relationship between father and son becomes so important here.  Though we know little to nothing about this relationship, there is an identifiable tension in that line.  Something fundamental and recognizable is at work in all of these poems. 
            I highly recommend this chapbook.  The design works in tandem with the prose to create a finely crafted object, a wonderful reading experience, and a memorable book.  Trammell has harnessed the striving of the weekend rock star perfectly.  He encapsulates the raw sexuality of the musician as well as the 3:30 A.M. still-up-drunk -over-waffles humanity of him. 

-Kyle Dennan

Why Magic Isn’t Stupid

Last semester, Slash Pine participated in an exchange which I found to be mostly fruitless. So it was highly gratifying to, this time around, on our trip to the University of New Orleans, experience what I would call a “successful” exchange. I am basing the success of this trip on how well it satisfied my own personal goals: to further development of myself as a writer and as a person. As most writers know, as writers, we are first and foremost people, people who are consumed by a need to make art on a level that sometimes obscures our very real need to live our own simple lives. Art can sometimes seem much more important than going to the grocery store, writing papers late into the night, going on walks, or having dogs, but our most recent trip to UNO made me come alive as both a writer and a person. It perfectly blended both worlds, and, as corny as it may sound, I was left with an overwhelming feeling of love. Love for New Orleans, a city to which I had never been, love for my home in Tuscaloosa, love for my Slash Pine compatriots, love for our New Orleans counterparts, and love for the written and the spoken word.

I wouldn’t feel the need to gush so much if hadn’t felt so truly enchanted by the city of New Orleans. There were so many moments that I consider to be magical, as in only magic could have been behind them, that I finally understand why magic (or voodoo) and New Orleans are so often equated. For example, one afternoon, after we had done our necessary touristy things: eaten at Café du Monde, bought books at Faulkner House books, bought masks in the French Quarter (it was the weekend of Halloween after all), and after we had suffered a flat tire, we returned to Joseph Wood’s friend’s house to wait for the next exciting thing. I noticed some coins and a book of I Ching on the mantle, and, just because I was vaguely interested, I proceeded to read everyone’s fortunes. Even the most skeptical among us allowed me to read their fortunes. Our group never talked about this, but a powerful, reverant hush fell over the room while everyone tossed the coins and they were deciphered. For those who may not know, the procedure of the I Ching is to think of a question to ask the universe, fall into a state of intense calm, and then toss the coins. The coins then correspond to a particular page of the I Ching. The moment that particularly sticks with me from this was reading the advice that the I Ching gave a UNO student, Alex Munster, who, at 17, was the youngest among us. His advice was something like “to wait for change and to sow the seeds one at a time.” After it was over, he told us that he had asked if he would ever become a great writer. I could see the hope and the relief spread across his face as he sat in front of us, grinning, realizing that he did not have to become famous today. I may never understand why, but at that moment, he needed to hear those words, even if they came from a ratty old book on a mantlepiece.

There were several similar instances that had the same sort of magic to them, one of which being that I bought a $0.25 fortune card from one of those Madame Zora machines that told me that I would “enjoy organ music today” immediately after I had played an organ. The greatest “magic” of the entire trip, however, must have been how much I felt completely at home as a writer and as a human with the UNO students, who we had known for less than a week in a city I had never been to before, causing me to ask myself “why is the impossible labeled as such? As writers, do we expect so little from the world that we are always surprised to find any sort of magic that comes from anywhere but our own heads? And I found that it’s actually the outside kind that’s the only sort of magic I like.

-Summer Upchurch

Poetry will remove your brain gag

This year’s Writer’s Festival helped shape my notions of community as it applies to writing and to art more generally.  We began with a reading on the lawn of Gorgas House.  I read my own work here along with several other interns, and I began to realize the importance of events like the one we put on.  Of course, that is the key to learning anything worth learning—do it yourself, dive in.  This is the essential ethic of Slash Pine.  When reading, I felt a connection to the audience, learned about my own work, my conventions.  I felt the audience draw closer when something worked, felt them lose interest when something didn’t.  This was a workshop experience, but more useful, because the audience could not hide behind quaint phrases and evasions.  There was a fundamental energy in the crowd, a non-verbal communication between reader and listener that was brutally honest and (at times) stunningly rewarding.  People who attended the reading brought lawn chairs or spread out on the grass.  As the reading was happening, they thoughtfully pinched blades of grass out of the earth in tiny clumps.

The next day, we kicked off with a reading at 10:00 A.M at Gorgas Library (I have to specify the time because it seems awfully early in poet time, to those of us who usually go to raucous readings at bars that last late into the night) which included a fantastic reading by Bruce Covey.  He electrified all in attendance with his poetry, which was both insightful and (at times) hilarious.  This reading also included Alabama’s J.M. Gamble, whose work is stunningly beautiful and mature.  I was reminded again why I am so lucky to go to this school and to run in the circles with such incredibly talented people.

Next reading was in the afternoon at Green Bar.  A University of Alabama professor, Ashley McWaters, read her work, which was astounding.  Since her reading, I have reread the poem she included in the Slash Pine Writer’s Festival Anthology over and over, rolling each line around in my head until I begin to understand why her poetry is so effective.  It meant a great deal to just let words topple on me for a couple of hours (well, for the entire weekend).

Finally, we had a night reading at Mellow Mushroom.  In this reading was the incomparable Carolyn Hembree.  She was the most engaging reader I’ve ever seen.  Her work is astounding, and being able to hear it read aloud was a fantastic experience.  It was truly a gift.  The festival closed out with Slash Pine’s own Will Gillette, who is a similarly engaging reader.  His was a standout performance.  He is a poet who seems to have an endless supply of perfect words strung together and tucked away somewhere, and his work was impressive enough to be included with the work of the various professional poets who were invited to the festival.  Overall, this was my favorite reading.  The readers delivered a stunning performance, and I went home exhausted and dreamed lyrical dreams.

-Kyle Dennan

NOLA, I love that voodoo that you do.

During the Slash Pine Writer’s Festival, our new friends from the University of New Orleans visited us and stayed for a few days.  We all spent every night together at my apartment before they retired to their various corners in Slash Piners’ apartments for the night; so when they left and my apartment remained quiet for a night, it felt great, but lacking a certain firecracker-held-like-a-cigarette soul.  Nothing was loaded, and I slept well.  During that weekend, handshakes were loaded with trick buzzers.  Static accumulated as I didn’t comb my hair.  We headed down to see them a long couple of weeks later.

By the time we met the morning to head down, everyone was giddy.  Even I was giddy, and I don’t get giddy, but by the time we giddied up on out of T-Town headed to the Big Easy, I was practically bouncing in my seat.  We left a few minutes late, in Slash Pine fashion, and wandered on our way down, because our fearless leader Joseph Wood knows the best way to travel.  Travel is best when you do it with people you talk to non-stop for hours, and when you’re with those people, why would you be in a hurry to get anywhere?

We stopped at the Abita Mystery House, full to the brim with homemade mechanical tornados, snapping turtles, out of commission Bar-be-cue joint signs, and an old fortune teller machine that vibrated and spit out your fate and lucky color (“banana-spot brown” was one) for only a quarter, which is a pretty sweet metaphysical bargain.  I saved my fortune in the back of my notebook, but I won’t tell you what it was, because it wouldn’t come true.  I told the other interns though, because that place was all broken glass and two-headed chickens—the rules don’t apply.

Once we got there, we spent some time in Faulkner House Books (my favorite bookstore).  Two rooms, tiny, and once lived in by one particularly luminous Southerner (hence the name); Faulkner House Books is the antidote to what ails the person who buys books to relish every turn of phrase.  No displays here of the latest memoir of washed-up Hollywood.  Everything is intentional, everything has merit.  This is what travel is like.  Time in the new place is limited, time in this place with these people is limited, so every conversation carries a certain intensity.

On our last day, a fellow intern, Summer, did I Ching readings for us at the house where Joseph was staying.  We took the advice.  We discussed our belief in all things:  tarot cards, newspaper astrologists, fortune cookies.  These purveyors of vague fortunes are not meaningful because of what they tell you, they’re meaningful because of what you tell you they tell you.  Fortune telling is like poetry, a mirror.  Like travel, a telescope looked in from the bulbous end.  I lost my paper fortune from the fortune teller machine in Abita Springs.

That night, Joseph cooked for us.  We all took turns helping, slicing tuna into thin strips or mixing crabmeat and Ricotta cheese with our hands.  We ate from one large bowl. We handed each other food.  We read our work to each other.  This is my love letter to all my interns and all our friends from New Orleans, because travel is like falling in love.  It dilates your pupils.

-Kyle Dennan


St. Augustine: A Place for Piners

One of the best and worst experiences that I had as a Slash Pine intern was the trip that I took to St. Augustine, Florida. Being in a van full of people for ten hours each way tends to give those sorts of experiences in my opinion. So does getting to explore a beautiful, historic city by yourself, especially if you are writing while you explore.

The point of this trip was to attend the Other Words Literary Conference, so we got up “bright and early” to meet Lucas Southworth and drive all the way to St. Augustine. Our first stop was a barbeque place called Fat Girls. They had really great food, and this started Blake, Carlos, and Will’s bread pudding exploration. They proceeded to order bread pudding at every restaurant for the duration of the trip.

The next morning we actually did get up early, 6:00 AM our time, and met with Patti White and Karen Gardiner to go to the first panel at the conference. After we listened to the panel, Patti told us that we were free until lunch. Somehow we all still ended up at the Spice and Tea Exchange for “Write St. Augustine,” the writing exercise that the Slash Pine interns partnered with the staff of FLARE: The Flagler Review to provide for the conference. I believe that some of the most interesting found poems that I have ever heard came from that site. Lucas had a particularly amusing one.

Lunch at A1A was one of my favorite food experiences of the trip. They make their own beers and root beer. I do not drink soda anymore, but I made an exception to try homemade root beer. Not only was it delicious, it seemed to be noncarbonated. My least favorite food experience came at Harry’s Bar and Grill. I did not eat very much to begin, but we also lost the game to Texas A&M that evening. That completely ruined the rest of the night for me, but I was exhausted anyway, so I went back to the hotel and slept my blues away.

Day two of the conference brought on more panels and more food. I also managed to do some shopping and exploring. I sat with Patti and Karen at a panel of writers speaking about the writing that they do as a group. They each have sketchbooks or journals, and they contribute and pass it on to the next writer in the group. Some of the drawings were absolutely beautiful. After the panel, I went off by myself to do some more writing for Write St. Augustine. It took me forever to find the Love Tree on Cordova Street. Looking at the trees themselves is not so impressive, but knowing that the two trees’ symbiotic relationship is so vital inspires the love letters that the prompt called for.

Some of my family lives very near St. Augustine, and they drove down to visit me. That was definitely a highlight of the trip for me, considering that I only see these family members about once every three years. That meant not having lunch with the rest of the Slash Pine crew at Columbia, but Patti agreed that Conch House was a very nice alternative.

The evenings were very interesting. We all went to the readings in Ponce de Leon Hall on the campus of Flagler. This building is absolutely gorgeous! It was refreshing to come listen to everyone read after a full day of writing, exploring, and listening to panels about writing. This may have been the part of the trip that made the biggest impression upon me. Hearing all of the people involved with the conference read, whether they were students or editors of reviews, was very inspiring. Learning how intimate the writing world can be was probably the most valuable experience from this trip in relation to being a Slash Pine intern though. All of the writers at the conference seemed to know several of the other writers. Seeing Patti interact with her publisher is only one example of how closely knit the writing world can be.

-Amber Brown

Slash Pine Festival 2012

When I think about the 2012 Slash Pine Writer’s Festival, I do not feel that it had anything to do with Tuscaloosa. I do believe that it functioned as “community art,” but that “community” was not Tuscaloosa; it was the community of writers that came together, and it just happened that we came together in Tuscaloosa. Place did not seem to matter as much as the atmosphere that the community created. This community was the audience of itself. The writers that came to visit, the students and faculty that came to participate, and the interns and sponsors that came to host the event made up both the audience and the community.

I am not sure what this festival brought to the general public, but I know what it brought to the community of writers that participated. The festival brought out a self awareness in us that can only come from being surrounded by like minded individuals. We grew together as a community of writers during the time of the festival; we bonded in ways that only writers can. We listened to what each other had to say, and not just passively, we actively listened and engaged with one another.

As an intern, I had a different perspective on the festival than someone that just came out to hear one of the readings. I was there for the preparation meetings. I helped with the anthologies that we would be selling. I even sold books at the book table.

I remember one meeting that we had about the venues. We kept trying to decide whether or not to have chairs at the Gorgas House Lawn. Eventually we decided that we should all bring blankets. This presented us with the relaxing atmosphere that seemed to permeate throughout the festival. Sitting on the front lawn made for such a beautiful reading; the pink flowers framed each reader, and the sunshine seemed to melt away all the jitters that we had preceding the festival.

Even getting ready for the festival as an intern gave me more insight than other participants. I helped proofread the manuscript for the festival’s anthology. I went with Laura Flowers and Kyle Dennan to look for paper.  Then I got to learn the “dreaded” loop stitch that we used to sew the chapbooks together. I felt very proud after I finished sewing my first book. That must have been my favorite part of organizing the festival.

I also enjoyed reading and meeting all of the writers that came to the festival. I was so enraptured by Bruce Covey’s work, and it meant a great deal when he complimented me on mine. Some of my friends were at the festival as well, and I was pleasantly surprised when they acknowledged my reading too.

While we were at Green Bar, I managed the selling booth with Judah Martin. It felt great when people from our community of writers were buying each other’s work. I bought several books myself, and it was an amazing experience to have the writers there in person. I made a point to speak with everyone who’s work I purchased, and they all signed their books for me. I was so excited that Ashley McWaters remembered speaking with me two years before the festival. That made me so thankful to be a part of not only this community of writers but the community of the University of Alabama.

-Amber Brown

A Mutual Understanding: A Review of The Black Telephone

Coming into Slash Pine, I had no idea what a chapbook was. After an entire semester as an intern for a press that prints chapbooks, I still did not have a concrete definition. Maybe that is my partiality toward novels, or prose in general, and Slash Pine typically prints poetry, but I finally had the idea to look up the definition of ‘chapbook.’ According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it is “a small pamphlet containing tales, ballads, or tracts, sold by pedlars; North American a small paper-covered booklet, typically containing poems or fiction.” Now that I feel that I understand what a chapbook is, I feel better prepared to offer a review of one.

The Black Telephone by Kari Larson is a beautiful chapbook published by Unthinkable Creatures, a chapbook press based out of Gainesville, Florida. This is the first chapbook that I have read that I did not have a hand in making, and it was quite refreshing to see work done by other people.

The first thing that caught my attention about this chapbook was the cover. As I mentioned, this book is beautiful, but not only in content. The cover is a lovely cream color with a delicate background photo and striking fonts. The black glitter outlining the photo is a wonderful design choice, and it is even more beautiful in person than it was on the website from which I purchased it. Then you open the book, and you find a black page between the cover and title page. It contrasts well against the cream cover and stark, white paper. The pages of the chapbook are very smooth, and they are much thinner than the cardstock cover. The font on the inside of the chapbook looks like “Arial Narrow,” and it works well with the overall design of the book. The book is bound by unwaxed, black thread using the simple saddle-stitch, but instead of tying the thread on the inside of the book, the thread is tied and the tail is on the outside of this chapbook. I really love the black thread binding, but I wonder if there could have been a more decorative knot, perhaps even a bow, made for the tail, since it is on the outside of the book.

Just looking at the cover or glancing at the title gave me no indication of what this book was going to say. So, without further adieu, I began to read The Black Telephone by Kari Larson. Right away I felt connected to the narrator, which is a vital part of my pleasure while reading. When I came across the lines, “I don’t want to implicate someone, so I would go as far as I could to give them their own experience that they won’t doubt the veracity of and keep them out of mine. But I will frighten them, I will make them concerned for me,” on page two, I knew that I was under the spell of this narrator. I needed to hear everything that she had to say. This chapbook shows a side of depression that is difficult to convey; it reminds me of British playwright Sarah Kane. I would argue that this chapbook would function as a wonderful introduction or even companion to Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis. I would highly recommend this chapbook to anyone, if for no other reason than to get a glimpse at the beauty behind the madness.

-Amber Brown


I have recently developed a new appreciation for an old art form. Hand-stitched chapbooks are a beautiful way to express creative works. I love knowing that someone once touched pages, marked with familiar words, and wondered what kind of hands would touch the same pages in the future. I wonder the same thing when I press pages with a whale bone and bind the spine with a needle and thread.

Today, I am holding a Projective Industries chapbook. It arrived in a sandpaper-colored cd mailer. Inside the mailer, the chapbook had been wrapped in turquoise tissue paper and finished off with a pastel green inch-wide paper closure. I would have felt the need to unwrap it delicately; however, my husband was the one to open it. I just watched blankly because neither of us realized that it was intended for me. He unceremoniously ripped off the little closure and crumpled the tissue paper in one hand before throwing it to the floor. He flipped through the book briefly with a confused look on his face.

“Ah. This must be yours,” he said, before handing it over.

I felt slightly robbed of the opportunity to open something, but I got over that quickly at the prospect of inspecting my new book.

ImageThe cover is 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches and gray-scaled. Tiny horizontal lines overlay a sketch of what I believe to be a map, or clouds. The title, displayed on the cover, reads Novel. It turns out to be a dust jacket. Nice. The flip side of the jacket is a bigger version of the map/cloud cover design sans title. The interior cover is black. Two sections are stitched together with a dark reddish-brown thread in a simple stitch with two loops per section. The jacket is glued to the edge of the back interior cover. The fact that it was glued bothered me at first, but I convinced myself that this is for my own good. This will prevent me from losing the dust jacket, which I will inevitably do otherwise.Well played Projective Industries- well played.

Lucy Ives is the author of Novel. The work begins with a quote from George Oppen. “Written structure /Shape of art /More formal” led me to believe that the intentions would be evident in the format of the poems. The format was inconsistent throughout, but purposeful within each respective section. I am assuming this was a stylistic choice by Ives and not an error by the chapbook editors.

Ives writes with an aversion to cohesion. However, she doesn’t seem to thrive on chaos like some of her contemporaries. The language is soft, yet unromantic. Her overall approach is confusing, but there is something simple and intriguing in the delivery. I would recommend this chapbook if you like more abstract poetry. 

For this chapbook, or to view an array of other hand-stitched chapbooks by Projective Industries, please visit


—Debra Logan