BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

More poetry ...

I wish I could get more excited about these new/old books, but they're more a "things I need to get done before I die" chore than a "new project". This current book, Movement Through Depth, after all, came out in 1990, so it's over a quarter-century old. This is notable in that it has some of my longest poems, leading to a somewhat higher page count than the others I've gotten out.

I'm slightly nervous about this whole "getting out my old chapbooks" project, in that I don't have a precise fix on where I have copies of my first six books (well, five of the first six books, I found one of them the other day). I have a "I'm pretty sure" idea where I can find them (in a shoulder bag in a closet that will require "apartment archaeology" to get into - being blocked by two file things and a stack of random stuff), but I'll be nervous until I have the hard copies in hand. Of course, me being me, I can't imagine any scenario where *I* would have thrown them out (and I should have a box or boxes with multiple copies somewhere), but there's been a lot of change over the years since those came out, and bad things could have happened to old files.

My first of the chapbooks came out right after college (in 1979), and new ones generally showed up every two years over the years I was writing 250 poems per year (featuring the "best 10%"). These generally are in three phases, the first six that just sort of came out when I scraped up the cash to do a print run (via a small press in California that specialized in this sort of thing), then the three that represented my "getting serious" about this (starting with the hot-foil-stamped cover for "Into The Dark"), and then the three that came out under the Eschaton banner. Until I formed Eschaton (in 1993), I hadn't bothered with ISBNs, but bought a block of them when I started the company, and "crossed off" the early numbers to be retroactively assigned to the pre-Eschaton books ... which is making things a LOT easier to do this new series.

Because I've been so broke for so long, I've not actually ordered any of these, so I'm just guessing how the new perfect-bound editions look. Obviously, they'll have a different "look and feel" from the saddle-stitched cardstock covers of the originals, but they're the same size and (as close as possible) have the same graphics.

I just got started (re-created the cover) on the next one yesterday. It is interesting to see how my writing style changed over time ... especially in regards to length of poems (I eventually fell into a pretty regular lockstep of having 5 stanzas of 8 lines each - or something close to that), as the next one after this has a lot of quite short poems, that in my later writing I doubt I would have considered "done".

I try not to get depressed over the fact that (even despite having 16 volumes of poetry available on Amazon at this point) nobody buys this stuff. It was a shock back when I started Eschaton, with "Beneath This Weight of Chain", and spent quite a lot for ads in various magazines (totally about 1 million "readership"), to only actually sell one copy ... but that was what prodded me to "pivot" from being a "poetry press" and turning Eschaton into a "metaphysical press". Generally speaking, nobody reads poetry. The only way poetry sells is if it gets onto a college curriculum reading list, or it gets bought at a poetry reading, in which case it really is more like a "tour T-shirt" at a concert - a memento of the event, and not a book per se.

Anyway ... whoop-de-whoop! ... another poetry collection is out there (saved from escaping down the memory hole as long as Amazon exists) - available both as a hard copy and a Kindle ebook.

Visit the BTRIPP home page!


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