A SH ANTHOLOGY (Fact-Simile, 2009)
featuring work from Elizabeth Robinson, Sara Veglahn, Erik Anderson, Selah Saterstrom, Noah Eli Gordon, j/j/[pleth, Elizabeth Rollins, Andrew K. Peterson, Hayes & Cooper & Geoffrey Gatza and edited by JenMarie Davis and Travis Macdonald.
The book/object includes introduction/table of contents card and ten scrolls. (3.25 x 3.5 x .75 in.)
On my trip home from Rutgers University to New York City, amidst commuters reading their laptops, kindles, and blackberries, I was kicking it old school and reading scrolls. It felt more than a little anachronistic to unfurl these little cigarette shaped tubes which were kept tight by miniature rubber bands that reminded me so much of the ones I had to use with my childhood braces. I almost peeked behind my shoulder to check to see if someone behind me was reading a clay tablet.
With so much recent discourse about the “death of the book” and the emergence of new and attractive options in electronic publishing (I’m thinking about a service like Issuu), Fact-Simile’s A SH ANTHOLOGY puts things into perspective by bringing back the scroll, that writing technology which was eclipsed by the codex in the second, third, and fourth centuries.
Roughly the size and shape of a box of fancy cigarettes, the anthology is small enough to fit in one’s jacket pocket—and instead of lighting up one can unroll a little scroll and inhale some poetry.
Here’s a quote that particularly resonated with me, especially after seeing Phil Metres’ comment this morning about how readers should “struggle beyond their own pre-set version of taste to reach what the work itself offers.”
“…there is very good evidence that we generally don’t truly want good poetry; but rather poetry that confirms our assumptions. We may believe in the clash of opinions; instead we embed ourselves in the reassuring tomb of an echo.”
—Geoffrey Gatza, from Fantasia Lights, Too