FEATURES

Three of my poems from my upcoming collection, Muse (Tightrope 2013), were featured on Canadian Poetries. One of the poems is found below.

The Canadian Poetries website has been taken down as of 2015.

A Victorian Beatrice

Beata Beatrix, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1864-1870. Oil on canvas.

He chose you as his favorite model,
made you both mistress and student.
For hours you sat motionless,
the feeling in your arms gone dead,
while he drew you thin and pale,
with hands and mouth curled shut
like a bud not yet bloomed.

The illness that kept you weak, withdrawn
into darkened rooms with blinds snapped shut,
did not affect your splendour. The dove
places a poppy in your hands. Your hair,
an ecstatic red.

            He told you
you looked most beautiful while sleeping,
painted you languid and heavy-lidded,
as if your eyes had nothing to say
except when mirroring his own.


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INTERVIEWS

Rob Mclennan interviewed me for his series on small press publishing. A snippet can be found below. Read the entire interview on rob's blog at http://robmclennan.blogspot.com/2011/11/12-or-20-small-press-questions-dawn.html

1 – When did Palimpsest Press first start? How have your original goals as a publisher shifted since you started, if at all? And what have you learned through the process?

Palimpsest began in 2000. At that time I was publishing a literary journal called Kaleidoscope. It wasn’t until 2004 I began to publish trade books and then later chapbooks. It was a very gradual process for me. It took me a long time to view myself as a publisher, and then even longer to do things like get proper distribution, hire editors, and apply for grants. It wasn’t until 2008 that I first applied for a grant. I was very conflicted about this leap. Funding meant that I could afford sales representation, warehouse storage, and hire editors and designers. When I received funding I started doing more and more, because I could, and then when my funding was decreased, I was left with a lot of debt. My first four years of relative calm anonymity in publishing suddenly turned into a thrilling and terrifying rollercoaster. It’s a lot of ups and downs and I never know what is around the next corner. At this point, I am just trying to hang on. In the beginning I had no business savvy, no five year plan, no funding — I did it because I loved it — but I had to learn to strategize, create marketing plans, do inventory valuations and balance sheets. I’m exhausted all the time. The stakes and expectations are higher, and yet I still do it because I still love it. My original goal was to find and publish great poets, and although publishing great authors is still my overriding goal, the growth of Palimpsest has paradoxically made survival much more precarious.

2 – What first brought you to publishing?

My love of poetry and books. I’ve always admired the writer/ artist, who both writes and produces his own beautiful editions. What a lovely bringing together of talent and vision, to be able to make the object, the book itself, say something about the words it contains. The way the design, typography, and materials all work together to communicate the author’s voice truly fascinates me. I started a press to learn more about the process, to be involved in something I found exciting and important.


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The interview was published in Amphora (no.146, June 2007) entitled Vocational Soul Searching. A couple questions and answers are below.
The entire interview can be found on my blog at: http://dawn-marie-kresan.blogspot.ca/2008/01/amphora-interview-2007.html

Q: Your development as a writer coincided with learning some of the book arts - letterpress and binding. What was the connection?

A: As a writer you realize that the words, the way they look on the page, the space that surrounds, all plays a role in how that work is interpreted. Poetry, in particular, cannot be disassociated from its visual context. Listening to someone read a poem is completely different than reading its form on the page. Some lines are longer, extending past typical margins, or extremely short, perhaps only a word. They could be indented at the beginning or enjambed or dropped down at the end. Poets break their lines to create pauses, emphasis, or a distinct visual pattern on the page. The text of a novel flows from page to page without visual distinction until the end of a chapter. Not so with poetry. Poets are very aware of spatial connections on the page. I have always been drawn to poets like Blake who blur boundaries, meld images with letterforms, disrupting easy distinctions. He was someone who did everything himself—the writing, plate-making, printing. I don’t think many people realize how many stages a manuscript goes through once it has been accepted. It really explodes the notion of authorial intent. So many people have a hand in the process that there is something appealing in the idea of a poet/ artist, someone like Blake, who follows through on their own instincts and innovation without interference. Of course, I am no Blake, but one day I’d like to design and produce my own chapbook rather than handing my poems over to someone else.


Q: Why were you interested in learning about the production of books?


A: The production of books does not happen in isolation—there are many cultural, historical, and technological forces at work. I find it fascinating how different printing technologies have affected the production and distribution of texts. Moveable type not only made work available to more people, it also created a stable text. For the first time, a text could be duplicated without the mistakes of a scribe. The internet, once again, is revolutionizing how we read. The linear top to bottom text is being replaced with hyperlinks that create a jumping text that once again is unstable. No two reading experiences are the same. Binding also greatly affects how we read. Most books are left bound codices, but there are so many other options. Books bound at the top so the pages flip up, a segmented book with many binding points, or one that has no binding at all. Binding affects how we turn pages, and how we experience the text. With creative bookbinding, reading becomes more performative and individualized. As a writer, the ways in which design affects interpretation and technologies affect not only distribution but the reading process itself, is of great importance.