Sacha Archer's third outing with The Blasted Tree, Contemporary Meat, is an erasure poem redacting the proper nouns from a litany of author bios. By removing the proper nouns, Archer reveals how name dropping has become the cultural currency of the literary community; we are only recognizable by virtue of those who recognize us. To emphasize the depersonalized content of the work, Contemporary Meat comes in a stack of 3.5" x 3.5" cut sheets tied up in butcher twine, then packaged in styrofoam and plastic wrap, much like a filet mignon. A limited edition of 40 chapbooks/art books featuring this unusual presentation and binding have been produced, available now from our online store.
A suite of glitch poems by Nathan Austin sampling bits of failed optical character recognition from Google’s search results. OCR is meant to identify printed characters using a scanner and computer software, which proves more difficult in practice than in principle. The poems that comprise “Surround Sound” come from an article about composer Eliane Radigue, originally published in frieze magazine in 2011. The suite as presented by the author appears in the online gallery, and a limited edition of 11" x 17" broadsides featuring the series can be purchased from The Blasted Tree's store.
The winner of The Blasted Tree's third flash haiku contest, held on Facebook last Sunday, is Amanda Earl! We've published her haiku into 2.5" x 2.5" mini-leaflets in a limited run of 80 copies. Amanda's poem was selected for its elegiac tone, multivalent natural imagery, and deeply moving turn. (It's another trick entirely to land an earnest "fuck" in a poem, let alone haiku; bonus points awarded.) We loved so many of the entries this round, thanks to everyone who participated in the contest! Copies of the haiku are available from The Blasted Tree Store on metallic grey paper.
University of the Air is an asemic exploration of rubber stamps of the Varsity typeface primarily. The initial message encoded has now been forgotten, as per sigil work. Three images from Billy Mavreas' exploration can be viewed on The Blasted Tree, and we've made a limited edition of folded leaflets from his triptych of visual poetry. Each of the fifty leaflets comes in a decorative envelopewith a descriptive card, available now from The Blasted Tree's Store.
A long poem simulating the tear-out and replacement of an old deck, or a celebration of manual labour, process, and materials. Zane Koss' verse demands work on behalf of his readers, requiring they repair his disjointed lines as they move through the poem, and rewarding us with satisfaction in a job well done. Filled with the language of labour, job site has been made to look like the invoices and packing slips which accumulate on a foreman's clipboard, all bound in familiar construction site materials like vapour barrier, sheathing tape, and house paint. A limited edition of forty numbered chapbooks is available for purchase from The Blasted Tree Store.
Two witchy poems by Calgary-based author Erin Emily Ann Vance. Spellbinding, incantatory, and downright creepy, these poems invoke candlelit rituals read in the dead of night, "blossoming / worship at the alter of your own skin." Vance's work can be read online (if you dare), and 4" x 6.25" fold-out leaflets featuring the pair of poems have been produced in a limited run of 50, available now from The Blasted Tree's Store.
Selected from a series of brief poems well over one hundred parts long, con/tig/u/us strings together ephemeral, non sequitur thoughts into a fragmentary and ever-shifting stream of poetic consciousness. With only a handful of words, Kevin Heslop writes tiny poems opening upon a world of possibility, and with that in mind we've produced a limited edition of tiny hand-bound chapbooks, a mere 2" by 5.25", opening a window into Helsop's larger poetic practice. Fifty copies of con/tig/u/us have been published, now available from The Blasted Tree Store, and you can preview the collection in the online gallery.
The Blasted Tree's first foray into the publication of spoken word recordings, Verbal Vol. 1, is complete! Each of the eight tracks can be listened to and read on our website, plus now you can download the entire anthology from our Bandcamp. Thanks for listening, and thanks especially to the poets, musicians, and recording experts who contributed to putting this thing together: Audrey Lane Cockett, Anthony J. Gavin, Ilona Martonfi, Laine Pineo, Prairie Chola Ayatollah, Ian San Agustin, Adrien Smart, Michael Smilovitch, Alec Panikian, SHIGETO, and Josh Cunningham.
̶c̶o̶u̶p̶ is a collection of visual poems made from the destruction of a vintage book, The Famous Men and Great Events of the 19th Century (1899). Using a variety of techniques and materials, Toronto-based author Kate Siklosi dismantles and reconstructs the narratives propping up the 'great man' theory and European patriarchal ascendancy, documenting each experiment in historical revisionism with colour photographs. The Blasted Tree has produced a limited edition of 40 hand-bound chapbooks incorporating the materials used in the making of ̶c̶o̶u̶p̶ : torn up maps, pages from a book, red string, and transparent tape. ̶c̶o̶u̶p̶ can be viewed online, and copies of the chapbook, each one unique, can be purchased from The Blasted Tree Store.
The eighth and final entry in Verbal Vol. 1 was written and performed by poet, musician, and scientist, Michael Smilovitch. Chased by Bears Across Marshmallow Bluffs, which previously appeared in Smilovitch's chapbook obscuritysquared, has now been expanded upon and set to music by Alec Panikian. The poem is one hell of a romp, and Smilovitch makes full use of the vocal talents he's developed singing for the progressive metal band Bird Problems. Chased by Bears Across Marshmallow Bluffs can be heard (and read) on The Blasted Tree, and you can download all of Verbal Vol. 1 as it becomes available, one track per week throughout spring, on Bandcamp.