ANC027: Raven in Deadhorse by Nathaniel Curtis

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Raven / flew / flew / flew / a black tear / in the stuff / of sky.

Crossing the Bering Strait along with the first wave of old world humans, the raven assuredly brought already considerable mythological baggage along for the flight. In the centuries to follow, this mysteriously intelligent corvid's place in Pacific Northwest folklore solidified as indigenous peoples settled their communities and worldviews. In variations of tales told from Rome to Iran and Wales to Bhutan, raven became both creator of the world and unfailing trickster. For its role in such daring feats, the bird was associated with prophecy, a reputation that has lasted to present times. But what happens when the bringer of ill omens perceives a portent all its own?

Writing from the Prudhoe Bay oil field, Nathaniel Curtis brings a distinct perspective to Raven in Deadhorse, incorporating Inuit and Scandinavian legends to allegorize the raven as witness to the startling juxtaposition of the harsh, crystalline beauty of the north with the grim grime of an industry plundering it. Captured in brief narrative poems, Curtis uses short, sparse lines to emulate the region's treeless moonscape and its shifting packs of ice. Through subzero winds and driving snow, raven calls out its dark take on the encroachment occurring in its primeval home, touching on the invasion of the European, climaxing with a tolling of doom, and ending on a note of wry hope.

Raven in Deadhorse includes a collection of ten photographs originally taken by the author and manipulated to emphasize the striking planar geometry present in the surprisingly harmonious merging of tundra and steel. As this work makes clear, not all is necessarily dissonant in the clash of cultures modern and ancient.

82 pages with ten color cards, handmade and numbered
$18 (US postage paid)

Note: This is a pre-order. Raven in Deadhorse will ship in June.

ANC026: Then by Rick Henry

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These are the whispers of death as they shuttle back and forth, through the tapestry, through the cloak, crossing and double-crossing, through the weave, the weft and warp, warping the soldiers and swords and crosses and fields of red and white and blue and red again.

With his transmission of the first transatlantic radio signal in 1902, Guglielmo Marconi inaugurated an era in which "every day [saw] humanity more victorious in the struggle with space and time." Change came about rapidly, albeit in the form of progress for some more than others. The Bolognese tinkerer would go on to innocently state that the wireless era would make war an impossibility, when in fact it was a short time before he would take up with the Fascists and find himself apologizing via the electromagnetic spectrum for camerata Benito's Ethiopian atrocities.

Rick Henry's collection of prose poems, Then, also serves as a communiqué from the early and mid-twentieth century. The snapshots here are motivated by figures larger-than-life and refreshingly mundane: Einstein, unemployed riveters, Dorothea Lange, a corseted babysitter, Picasso, etc. While McCarthy and Hoover spew their ethics, two friends amass a cadre of refrigerators to lower the mercury degree by degree. Werner Heisenberg inexplicably shoots marbles while languages both computer and cultural are explored. Every outbreak of influenza or syphilis is balanced by frenetic dance practice and exacting piano lessons. Then is a world of lawn chairs and rayon stockings shadowed by battlefields and relentless transformation. It is a world much like our own.

116 pages, handmade and numbered
$15 (US postage paid)

Note: This book is available for pre-order. Then will ship in May.

ANC026 & ANC027 coming soon.

Rick Henry's Then has joined Raven in Deadhorse by Nathaniel Curtis on our list of upcoming spring titles.

ANC025: Letters to Yoko Ono by Sarah Taylor

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I have sent another shard to my mother. Maybe she will call and the machine will record her voice while I pretend to be busy. She is going to die soon.

Published in 1964, Yoko Ono's monumental Grapefruit is recognized today as an archetype of the event score, a text-based art form providing instructions for simple yet transformative experiences. Recontextualizing the everyday as performance, Ono sought to provide her audience with stronger, healthier methods for relating to themselves and their fellow humans.

Using the piece Shoot One Hundred Panes of Glass as a foundation, Sarah Taylor explores the anxieties of a young woman struggling to manage the impending death of her estranged mother. Letters to Yoko Ono is just what the title suggests ─ an epistolary collection of prose poems detailing the increasingly surreal days of the narrator as she performs a fifty-year-old conceptual art piece, and the emotions that linger and resolve themselves like shards of glass put back together. In this debut work, Taylor proves that painful choices are often the most inescapable.

50-page book in resealable string and button envelope, handmade and numbered
$15 (US postage paid)

ANC024: Green by Theresa Senato Edwards

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Lightning in the ground: / sparks from grass when / he ran from his parents’ car / to the front door, slight halos / around each daffodil lining / the steps.

Grief has long mystified psychologists; numerous theories have been put forth, none of which offer a conclusive rationale for self-inflicting further trauma when faced with loss. What function does bereavement serve? Exactly which unperceived benefit is it that outweighs the cost of suffering? All will experience this paradox at one time or another without ever understanding its purpose.

Theresa Senato Edwards does not have the answer to the riddle of sorrow, but does provide an emotive metaphor for the process of grieving and the prospect of hope in her narrative long-form poem, Green. A young man's experiences in his grandmother's house help him to realize his grief in the strange and simple, yet altogether profound manner that befits a man exploring his life and the love that it contains. This poignant story is accompanied by the author's reinterpretation of a piano sonata movement written by herself and recorded some thirty years ago, a metaphor itself for the longevity of warm remembrances.

24-page book with cd, handmade and numbered
$15 (US postage paid)


After a marathon January that saw the release of both Christopher Mulrooney's toy balloons and our first double title, Howie Good's Beautiful Decay/The Cruel Radiance of What Is, Another New Calligraphy is still cruising along as we prepare to bring you both Theresa Senato Edwards' Green and Sarah Taylor's Letters to Yoko Ono in the weeks to come.

We are also currently in the process of adding sample pages from all of our books, past and present, to provide you with an overview of what makes each one so special.

ANC is now accepting writing and music submissions, as always.