Thursday, April 03, 2008


bill roberts at Bottle of Smoke Press recently began introducing limited run hardback versions of his publications, such as Father Luke's book and the upcoming book by Hosho McCreesh, to accompany the larger print run. they are gorgeous and sell out in minutes after being announced. lucky me, big bill decided he wanted a hardback version of my BOSP book; in the mail today I found one of two copies of And Still The Night Left To Go handbound in red cloth boards with the watercolor typewriter painting fixed upon it. I tell you what: for all the talk of online vs. print in the poetry/lit world, for all the talk of readers and hits and such, nothing and I mean NOTHING compares to holding a work of art like this. I mean, assembled by hand, people. a real live motherfucking book. I say: fuck Kindle and etc. you can't hold a candle to an actual book (heh, seriously, don't) and you can't beat the exacting perfection of a true craftsman who loves his work.

and hell, what happens when the trucks stop moving thru the intertubes? whatcha gonna read then? where's your news coming from? your literature? where are your online mags now? I mean, ease and low cost and visibility is dandy, but it is just so fleeting, so illusory. now, don't get me wrong, online is fine for some things, no question, even up to and including publishing poetry. I do it. I sometimes send work to online mags. here is my blog. I use it ravenously for news and information, for communication. I think the internet is one of the greatest inventions the military industrial complex has generated (especially as it constantly bites them in the ass, no matter how easy it is to track our every move and record the minutae of our lives in an NSA database) it's much like the CIA testing under the MK Ultra program in the sixties yielding culture transforming open minds like ken kesey and robert hunter; sometimes the genie won't go back in the bottle. so it's how you use the tools that matters, I suppose, and what you're trying to accomplish. if you want the cave painting that endures and informs whomever may come after us, if you're leaving it behind to rot for maybe one person to find, if it's a record of our passing like a weathered photograph in an old album you're after, you're gonna need a book. words carved into paper with ink sitting on a shelf gathering dust. no question, the internet is great for getting readers of those words, for helping book makers sell their works of art so they can keep doing it, etc. and if the end goal of most writing is communication on some level, then what a perfect tool.

but in the end, you can't beat items like this:

sorry there are only two of em, folks (click the picture; you can almost feel the cloth under your fingers). but you can get on the list to get McCreesh's hardback edition of Marching Unabashed Into The Weeping, Searing Sun... due out very soon (with original painting). there are only going to be 26 of em I believe [oops, see comments for UPDATE on availability from bill himself]...


Blogger Bill - Bottle of Smoke Press said...

For the record, Hosho McCreesh's hardback books are sold out. The paperback copies are still available, but the hardbacks sold out well in advance of announcement of the publication date.

There are other BoSP hardbacks coming out. I plan a hardback edition with every release. Anyone interested should contact me at to get on the list for all or specific releases. There is no reason to expect that future releases will be available on the day that the releases are announced.


11:59 PM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Bill - Bottle of Smoke Press said...

Upcoming titles are on the website Click on the l;ink for "news". That shows you all of the titles. All releases will have a hardcover edition. Expect that the price will be $20 for regular editions and $150 for Bottle (Hardcover, signed by all).



12:12 AM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

good point bill.

head over here and get on that list.

you won't be disappointed with anything bill puts out. he is a true craftsman...

12:18 AM  
Blogger Father Luke said...

"nothing and I mean NOTHING
compares to holding a work of art
like this..."

The picture of
And Still The Night Left To Go hardbound
stopped me from whatever it was I
was doing.

Bill Roberts, and his Bottle of Smoke Press, is among the
Premier Publishers of our generation, cc.

As you wrote:

"... you can't beat the
exacting perfection of a true
craftsman who loves his work."

Having one of Bill's publications
has become a fix I jones for.

- -
Father Luke

10:03 AM  
Blogger Bill - Bottle of Smoke Press said...

thanks. I'm blushing...

Really. I wish that we could get others into this. I want to know why small press publishers do not publish in hardback? I just want to raise the level of the quality all around. I keep pushing myself to make books better than the last time. It does bother me to see a xeroxed, stapled, untrimmed chapbook as it seems to me that with a little more time and care, they could do somethig special. There is nothing worse that great poems that are presented in a completely lazy and uncaring way.


10:42 AM  
Blogger Father Luke said...


You deserve that and more.

Every craftsman, and artist, I use
the terms interchangeably here when
speaking about you, has every
opportunity to do what you have done.

When I hold the work you have done,
and the work that Chris has put
into all of his books, it sets a standard
that gives me something to aim for.

There are others currently working
with the same commitment...
Carol Es comes immediately
to mind...Amanda Oaks...

By the way?
Just got the new Broadsides.
Fucking great.

- -
Father Luke

4:23 PM  
Blogger Poet Hound said...

The hardcover version featured here is gorgeous! I'm just thrilled to see a small press who takes such time and care with each book. I love that the chapbooks I received from KSE had plastic slip-covers, like valuable comic books, I can now keep them in great condition. (Well, except that I "dog-ear" my favorites, but otherwise, they are safe in their clip-covers)

8:41 PM  

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