Anvil Press launched a new book last Saturday, which means I have something to read on the bus this week. Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer is a collection of columns that Stuart Ross wrote for Word: Toronto's Literary Calendar. You get Stuart’s thoughts on small press publishing, poetry, the writerly existence, and so on. It’s a book for the publishing in-crowd, which is not to say that you won't get something out of it. It’s actually full of stuff that any writer can relate to. Better yet, most of the pieces are brilliantly funny. Even though a lot of his jokes and references swoosh over me like an errant Frisbee, he manages to couch them (and repeat them) in a way that I eventually “get it.” Stuart’s also very quotable—Anvil uses a blurb from the book in their spring catalogue. I'd like to quote all of "How Not To Write" (page 76) here because it's so funny and true, but I think I'd be violating copyright. I cracked a smile a bunch of times reading it, a remarkable feat when I've got my "bus face" on.
Stuart writes a bit about music in this book, and I'm on comfortable ground again when I see the names he drops. I definitely get it when he says "Robert Wyatt fucks my brain up." I got inspired to put Cuckooland on when I got up today...sort of like a morning shag for me head.
The launch, though not well attended, was a happy convergence of people and objects. Purolator delivered the books from the printers in Saskatchewan that morning and Stuart arrived at his launch having driven 87 hours from New Denver. Whew! on both accounts.