We had a great bundle this month that was packed to the gills with wonderful trinkets of text. And though I can't promise the gills comment will be my last fish pun in the post, I can promise to recognize some of the pieces that stood out to me. In order to avoid turning this into a glowing review of the entire bundle (seriously, everyone was in absolutely peak form in May's bundle), I'm following the lead of our esteemed Webmaster, Dave Tribby, and using a few categories to help shape the selection process.
Standout Periodical - Philamot Magazine
I love the eclectic blending of walnuts, poetry, and different ways to read the April/May 2023 issue of Philamot Magazine. While the excerpt of Grant Allen's essay is a straightforward account that dives deeply into the history of walnuts, the layout of the rest of the journal reminds me James Joyce's novel Ulysses, in that there is a sort of chaos on the page but there is also a structure and rhythm to it that is rewarded by multiple readings.
Most Tactile - Navajo Spirits by Clarence Wolfshohl
Although I initially selected this particular item because of the paper it uses, I'm also quite partial to the Foxfire series of books. Clarence has constructed a booklet that feels great to hold and turning each page to uncover the next poem is a sublime treat for the fingers arising from the texture of the ink and the subtle patterns of the paper itself. Perhaps it is more apt to say that the booklet itself is a form of poetry that is experienced by the body, while its contents are poetry for the mind.
Short Fiction - "From My Window" in Marey Barthoff's The Mareyland Register
It's always wonderful to dive into the comings and goings of the well-lived cast of characters that populate Mareyland, and each issue adds a little bit more detail to the tapestry of words that make up the town. However, this particular piece has a bit more personal resonance than usual because of its themes of academia and work and what comes next. That's because I empathize with the yearnings of Betsy McCall for the future, and I'm going back to grad school next month for my first-ever summer school class! Hopefully I'll learn more than just how to pound out assignments, and learn how to achieve my dreams!
Letterpress Project - Corky and the Cap Bomb by Frank Underwood
The design and quality of this missive is top notch, and told a humorous tale about the misfortune that can befall someone who uses cap gun ammunition incorrectly. Frank, please don't tell my mom this, but finding new and exciting ways to make loud sounds with recreational explosives is exactly the kind of thing I used to do as a kid. Frank's prose is both tight and humorous, and I especially like how the moment when Corky messed up is magnified with lots of little flourishes on the ker-BLAM! I'm glad Frank was safe after that big boom, though! But I must ask: how long did it take Corky's eyebrows to grow back?
I can't wait to see what next month's bundle has in store!
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