I got all 9 in paperback...and, man, they are SWEET. Blind-stamping under titles, tremendous papers...it staggers the mind to think about what Bill can do with a few days off! I can only imagine the hardbacks...
I had a chance to sit down and take a good look at the nine paper [+ 1 hard back] and am really impressed. There was the obvious similarity in footprint, binding technique, paper texture and exceptional quality. But each book was unique and the cover design, colors chosen, type face all contributed to a very fine set. And great breadth of authors also.
Marvin Malone's Plain Poems with classic black and white, and red letterpressed cover w/ woodblock illustrations and strong hard edge poems culled from another era; Scott Wannberg's airbrushed photograph looking out at us from the cover of this timely volume with S.A.'s memorial tribute; all of them. Thurston Moore's autobiographical Lion with his daughter's cover drawing; Jack Hirschman's Two Arcanes the heavy red and orange cover delicately balanced with the red thread used to sew the paper edition; all these books have benefitted from careful attention to detail in the printing to best enhance the uniformly fine writing. Some of these authors are new to me, Joseph Ridgwell and F.N Wright, while Soheyl Dahi and Rebecca Schumejda have beautiful little books enhanced with Farsi calligraphy and Hosho McCreesh's sketches, respectively. Henry Denander's colorful book, POETraits contains 23 watercolors of other poets plus a self portrait, with an introduction by Samuel Charters.
I ordered Thurston Moore's hardback [I have about half a dozen of his chaps plus Alabama Wildman] and, prompted by yr question, decided to carefully compare the two. The text of the hardback is sewn to the binding, which in addition to increasing the stability and longevityof the book, allows the color scheme of the thread used to sew the books to be a part of these books also [See my comment to Hirschman's paperback Two Arcanes]. The colored endpapers of the paperback are reproduced in this hardback but do not play as prominant a part in the over all color scheme because the outside of the endpapers are glued to the inside of the hardback's cover. But this is offset by the additional stripe of color from the spine and bit of edging onto the covers, which in this book introduces a new color, brown, to the color scheme of white paper [only uniform color in series] black [ink, thread, endpapers] and tan [cover]. The hardbacks are signed.
This hardback continued the theme of sturdy, well crafted and beautiful hand made books of literary significance exemplified by the entire 9 in nine series.
I know money is more often than not a determining factor in what we can afford to purchase through the small press. I am certainly not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but I have somehow found the money to continue purchasing all of the Bottle of Smoke releases to date, especially the signed deluxe versions (for collectability sake but equally so for the hand book binding work and extras that come with those) . I think what Bill Roberts has accomplished to date overall with his press in such a short time frame is just amazing. This 9 in Nine set has raised the bar all that much more for everyone in the small press in my humble opinion. Today, I just received the full set of the soft bound versions of the 9 in Nine series. My clamshell set should be here any day. But if the soft bounds are anything to go on, I am sure the deluxe set will put me in a state of pure excitement to say the least.
All that RJK46 says is true about this series. Bill has really outdone himself. All of these titles are miniature gems. Everything about them from their content, letter pressed covers to the hand binding, which is exceptional. I like this line best from RJK46 which pretty much sums up how I see Bottle of Smoke Press as a whole, "well crafted and beautiful hand made books of literary significance" We are witnessing history here folks. Don't let these titles slip by. For what you get for your money, all the titles are bargains !
I can see through the forum that most of you buy new titles by the authors you are most familiar with (which makes sense), one or two titles at a time here and there. What I would like to add here is, yes, buy your favourites (you don't need to buy everything like I do) but please try a new author here and there. At $5 a book, it aint gonna break the bank. Bill has a great eye for talent. I would have never discovered Soheyl Dahi's work, which I am quite taken with... David Barker has written some fine stuff... all of the BosPress authors and artists have something quite unique to offer. I knew Carol Es for years as an artist and then bought her poetry book from BosPress. She is a f*cking very good poet too. You discover these talents, these gems that may have passed you by. Dahi's "Her" book still resonates with me today. It packs an emotional punch which blew me away the first time I read it. I believe there are still some soft bounds left. If you haven't bought that one, take my advice and get it before they sell completely out. Buy any of the new 9 in Nine titles. They are all good, all unique. Support the small press, buy an author today which you haven't read previously. Lash out, try something new. Any of the authors published by BosPress, is a fairly safe bet. Thanks Bill, for publishing this latest very fine set indeed.
Would love to hear more from others that have received any of the 9 in Nine series.