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poetry for poets
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 05:44PM
This a thought I have been brewing...

Given that one measure of a poet's worth is the degree said poet influences others, one way of getting word of Smith out there would have to be finding receptive poets, introducing them to his work, and encouraging them to share with others, poets and other creative people. Likewise with his fiction amongst fictioneers.

i have seen this basic idea work again and again, and from my own life I would not have read Ashbery without first encountering him via the work of John Tranter.

So: what can we do, who are not poets and writers (if I may ask this as a poet)? With out creative friends, we can introduce them to Smith. With our contacts we can do likewise; say we have the chance to gain the attention of a Gaiman or Will Wheaton via Twitter, we can compoe a fitting tweet and ask them to retweet it. What we need is the creativity of which fandom is famed for, even if we only find ourselves cosplaying Tsathogghua.

Anyway, I diverge: I swerve as do the atoms; how do you feel about this thought?

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 30 April, 2013 10:16AM
A possible block of getting CAS' name out there to a wider public is the lack of a relatively concise and affordable selected works out there... as things stand the Complete Poetry and Translations is probably only for those already convinced by his work and is probably a little intimidating for newbies due to its sheer size... The Last Oblivion seems to be out of print on Amazon these days and is fetching a high price. I'm sure the Penguin collection will help to some extent, but I think a relatively slim selection of CAS' best poems and prose poems would only help his widden his reputation and make him more accessible.

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 30 April, 2013 02:31PM
The English Assassin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A possible block of getting CAS' name out there to
> a wider public is the lack of a relatively concise
> and affordable selected works out there... as
> things stand the Complete Poetry and Translations
> is probably only for those already convinced by
> his work and is probably a little intimidating for
> newbies due to its sheer size... The Last Oblivion
> seems to be out of print on Amazon these days and
> is fetching a high price. I'm sure the Penguin
> collection will help to some extent, but I think a
> relatively slim selection of CAS' best poems and
> prose poems would only help his widden his
> reputation and make him more accessible.
Another way to promote, though small, is to dedicate some work of our own to him and open with a quote -

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 1 May, 2013 05:57PM
A Selected Poems would be likely to sell, however the Collected Poems that we already have is just as likely to sell, despite the perception that its price tag is intimidating. I say this because it's a truism that those two species of titles are usually the best sellers for any poets, even when their print run is restricted to the single digit.

I can see some potential arguments against a Selected Poems coming out: it would have to be given the nod by the literary estate, who may well view it as direct competition to the current Collected Poems; the textual work would need to be done from scratch, rather than just relying on the texts in the Collected Poems, as the editorial work of having established them would mean that the editors would need to consent to a product that would take customers away from their hard work, and into the arms of a competitor product; and most of the poems are copyright, and the organisation of the books, the order of the poems in the currently protected books, are also copyright.

So I am less than sanguine about the chances of a Selected Poems.

That said: there is room for a series of authorised reprints of the original poetry publications, with critical apparatus and (for example) selections of contemporary reviews. These, if produced with economy of scale, as quality perfectbound items, may provide some buzz among afficionados of verse.

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 2 May, 2013 02:29PM
phillipAellis Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A Selected Poems would be likely to sell, however
> the Collected Poems that we already have is just
> as likely to sell, despite the perception that its
> price tag is intimidating. I say this because it's
> a truism that those two species of titles are
> usually the best sellers for any poets, even when
> their print run is restricted to the single
> digit.

I could be wrong, but I think the Collected is more likely to sell to those already in the know (to some extent) rather than to those who are merely curious. Indeed, a reasonably priced Selected Poems might generate more long term sales for the Collected... I'm speculating tho... After all, I assume that the NSB's Collected tales will sit quite happily alongside the new Penguin edition and the previous Masterworks edition. In fact competition might be beneficial.

I don't think a new Selected Poems would have to be a reprint of the original volume of that title... indeed, I think something altogether slimmer would do better for newbies... Maybe with a few well chosen illustrations and biographical bits and pieces. Admittedly, maybe this is unnecessary in light of the Penguin edition, as that (hopefully) will introduce the breadth of CAS' writings to a new audience including his poetry. Anyway, just thinking aloud.

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 3 May, 2013 03:55AM
Nothing wrong in thinking aloud.

i get what you mean regarding the attractiveness (and its lack) of the Collected for the curious. That's where the previous Hippocampus edition, as well as the Penguin editions are useful, and where your vision of a new Selected would be welcome. it is also where this website comes in handy, as it was the chief way I first started reading the poetry (I had read a number of the paperback selections in my teens and twenties), and it served me well until I started collecting the poetry books.

I was wondering: which do you see as having the potential for the greater audience -- poetry-only books, or poetry & prose books (as per the Penguin edition)?

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 3 May, 2013 04:35AM
That's a hard one... I suspect the Penguin edition will have the biggest pull, but I suspect that some of it's readers will mostly be drawn by the tales over the poems... not an entirely bad thing, because it might turn on non-poetry readers to poetry who might otherwise not be exposed to it. Indeed, I think the mix of prose and poems is what makes the Penguin collection really stand out as something a little special - it really could help define CAS as the heir to Poe... although I wonder what effect the Penguin Machen collection has had on Machen's popularity? Has it been that great? Anyway, I wonder if it might be ignored by the poetry community, who might assume that it's just a story collection... whereas a dedicated poetry paperback might not.... I could be wrong. Saying that, I'm not complaining... I think CAS' time has really come. I doubt he'll ever have quite the appeal of Lovecraft, but things are looking good.

Does anyone know if Last Oblivion still available? It seems it is on Hippocampus' site but Amazon UK seem to suggest not...

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 3 May, 2013 05:06AM
From what I understand, The Last Oblivion is still available from the publisher, though Amazon UK may have run out of copies. If you're in contact with Gavin Smith, the bookseller, he may know, otherwise I recommend contacting Derrick at Hippocampus via the website.

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 3 May, 2013 03:10PM
Oh, don't worry - I've got a copy :)

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 5 May, 2013 06:45AM
Good to hear.

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 2 June, 2013 04:41PM
A little off-topic, but I've just spotted this...

[www.hippocampuspress.com]

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 2 June, 2013 05:46PM
Off-topic? Not at all: anthologies are excellent ways of introducing readers to poets they may not know. There are poets--Brennan, Dowson, McCrae, Sterling, and others--I first encountered through anthologies, and that I have gone on to collect. And, speaking of that anthology in particular, I can say that my advocacy of Brennan to Joshi has paid, seeing Brennan's represented by one poem.

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: Frederick (IP Logged)
Date: 12 June, 2013 09:25PM
Along the lines that Phillip refers to, one effect I hoped for by creating the International Clark Ashton Smith Poetry Award was to make more poets aware of him and his works. Plus, when news of an award named for someone gets around, sometimes it gets people in general interested in the person the award was named after.

Frederick J. Mayer

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 14 June, 2013 09:50PM
The award can, at least, help make his name familiar among weird versifiers, if only as something long for.

As well, since you're starting the process of getting the award going again, it can already serve as the basis for press releases to the appropriate venues and blogs.

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 3 August, 2013 08:44AM
I thought this might be of interest to some of you: membership of the Friends of Arthur Machen this year comes with an attractive hard cover limited edition of Arthur Machen's first published work, his poem Eleusinia, compiled with several essays by Machen and others. Of course you also get a subscription to Faunus, a journal on Machen, making it pretty good value.

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 4 August, 2013 05:28PM
I have a copy of the reissue of Eleusinia that is part of the deal (and am a paid-up member of the Friends as well) and it is a very attractive edition, a keeper for definite, and has a special place in my Machen collection.

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: HPLovecraftian (IP Logged)
Date: 12 August, 2013 05:23PM
Well, English,

I am actually a little interested in The Friends of Arthur Machen. But 'making it pretty good value' is rather a vague statement; I 'd like to see a few facts and figures, so that I can make up my own mind on whether The Friends of Arthur Machen is 'pretty good value' or not.

Again, I 'd like to know a little more about this hard-back edition of Eleusinia, particularly about the essays by 'others'. And what is 'attractive' about the volume, apart from the poem (Mr. Machen's first publication) inside it?

Mae'r hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi.

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 19 August, 2013 01:32PM
HPLovecraftian Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well, English,
>
> I am actually a little interested in The Friends
> of Arthur Machen. But 'making it pretty good
> value' is rather a vague statement; I 'd like to
> see a few facts and figures, so that I can make up
> my own mind on whether The Friends of Arthur
> Machen is 'pretty good value' or not.
>
> Again, I 'd like to know a little more about this
> hard-back edition of Eleusinia, particularly about
> the essays by 'others'. And what is 'attractive'
> about the volume, apart from the poem (Mr.
> Machen's first publication) inside it?

Well, Mr Lovecraftian, "pretty good value" is perhaps a little ambiguous - I shall endeavour to define my meaning. The cost of membership to the FoAM varies depending upon your location, so you'll have to decide your own threshold of good value, but standard annual membership includes two volumes of Faunus, a journal dedicated to Machen. I have only read the one issue, but the contents included (but not restricted to): various articles by Machen, including his Evening Standard pieces on the siege of Sidney Street and a piece on old churches, amongst others, a short story by Rosalie Parker, and some letters by Gawsworth relating to Machen. It's a handsome slim hardcover volume. I believe that membership also includes Machenalia, a newsletter. I do have a couple of old editions of this picked up at a ghost story event, which had plenty of informal nuggets of information about Machen. What the current issue looks like I don't know as I have yet to receive one. All of which may or may not be good value to you. Annual fees for the UK are £17. More if you live outside the UK.

However in this 150th anniversary year price of admission also includes a new edition of Eleusinia. I have yet to read it, so I can't vouch for it's quality, although Machen was himself very critical of its merits. The book itself is a hardcover, blue boards, slim (60 pages) with an attractive if understated dust jacket. The book includes said poem, plates of the sole surviving copy, Beneath the Barley by Machen and about six other articles by vary authors. Again I can't vouch for their quality because I am currently reading something else.

So let me define my "pretty good value" statement by saying I think it represents better value than usual, especially if, like me, you were considering tracking down the Necronomicon Press chapbook edition. I have seen a copy on eBay for as little as £8 plus a couple of quid postage, but when I last looked Amazon prices were starting at £28... So the way I broke down the value to me of a years membership, was like this: say, £10 for the Eleusinia, which contains more content that the Necron.Press edition and is a hardcover, with the remaining £7 giving me two issues of Faunus and Machenalia. My figures are arbitrary of course, but I think however I broke them down it would represent "pretty good value" to me. How you value it may differ. And of course, the value of Machen is more than monetary... much more.

Here's some links that may help you decide:

[aklo.blogspot.co.uk]

[www.arthurmachen.org.uk]

Hope that helps

Re: poetry for poets
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 22 August, 2013 03:04PM
Well, I've read the poem. The content is better than the poetry tbh, but it is basically juvenilia, so I read it with kind eyes. It reads well enough tho... The companion pieces are all pretty interesting. I wouldn't call it essential reading, but it's a nice volume and I'm glad I made the investment.



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