Design: Zille Sophie Bostinius
Print run: 200 copies
36 pages, softcover, linen band
How does thought relate to the form in which it appears? Is its material appearance simply a constraint or does thought realise itself in matter? Can philosophy help poetry think about its physical presence on paper? The chapbook January explores these possibilities of the poetic automaticity of thought, released from the immediate pressure of the pen or the digital remove of the screen by the distributed but manually exacting apparatus of the typewriter.
Typed between the evening of January 9 and the night of January 10 2016, the series is composed of dialectically reflective poems written in sequence. Modest and slender, they retain a material attachment to the typewriter that determined their lineation, spacing and train of thought. At times, they pause to reflect on this form of composition, which in turn relates to their ontological, existential and historical concerns.
As a record of writing's weakness and contingency, the sequence has been printed as originally typed, unedited and preserving imperfections, typos and varying degrees of intensity. It is best read in one sitting, as a series-poem articulated through a process of thinking at once divergent in its concerns and unified in time. The publication design and layout by Zille Sophie Bostinius furthers the feel of a diurnal manuscript, an exercise notebook, or indeed the score of a series-poem borne from the passage of a night.
Nathan Brown lives in Montreal with his wife and two cats. He is the author of The Limits of Fabrication: Materials Science, Materialist Poetics (Fordham UP, 2017) and the Director of the Centre for Expanded Poetics at Concordia University.