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Monday, 3 December 2012

Eel Pie Island Dharma cracks top 10 Amazon/Honey Novick review

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    Honey Novick's review of Eel Pie Island Dharma

    The touch of the book "Eel Pie Island Dharma" is beautiful and smooth and instantly becomes part of the hands holding it.  That's the way it felts to me as it grew to be an extension of me, the reader.  I thought I would read this incrementally.  That didn't happen.  As I got into Chris' story of hippie remembrance, I took myself on to the road Chris travelled and journeyed with him to England in the 1960's and 1970's.  For me the personal journey was American and Canadian but the sensibility of being young and anti-war and curious and intelligent and creative is the same.  I could not put this book down and cancelled most of the appointments I had the day I read this book.  The writing is fluid as we go to the commune and the pubs and the orgies and nights under the stars.  Chris' love of life and writing is clear as with this book he becomes a spokesperson for a generation.  Kudos also to his publisher for encouraging the telling of this important part of history.  Bravo Chris and readers for embarking on a tale that leads to friendships and knowledge and greater understanding of time universal and seemingly unchanging.
    Dec. 3, 2012

    email thanks to Pearl:

    Hi Pearl,
    Thanks for the support  :  ) 

    I hope I'm not being too obnoxious with my personal promo campaign for EPID. I'm really trying to break out of the traditional pattern which I, & probably almost all other poets, habitually fall into. We send signed gift copies to all our poet friends, & in so doing, we end up circumventing the mainstream, including the media and the booksellers.

    I've even given a few signed copies to friends, with the request (well, stipulation!) that they buy at least another copy thru Amazon. And this does seem to be working, as witnessed by EPID's ranking yesterday at #23 on Amazon's "Canadian Poetry Best Seller List" (surely some kind of misnomer or oxymoron). I didn't even know such a list
    existed until yesterday when I checked Amazon to admire the EPID listing, & discovered the list off to one side. It's a fascinating list in itself - a lot of the old classics are there, & of course some anthologies. Now that I've discovered the list, the competitive part of me wants to see EPID climb for the sky  :  ) & reach the top 10!  Wonder how many copies that will require - 5? 10?  25?  50?  Probably not a whole hell of a lot  :  ) 

    Re LivesayFest next summer, & encouraging more discussion & promotion & appreciation of Canuck women poets & poetry, Virginia Dixon gave me a fascinating CD at our weekly rendezvous at a greasy spoon on Highway #7 last week. It's a CD featuring Gwendolyn MacEwen reading some of her classic poems, with additional readings by a Who's Who of Canuck poets (Atwood, bissett, Dennis Lee, Jim Christy (who is Virginia's partner) etc..

    So I'm thinking of buying some batteries for my decades old boom box & putting on this amazing (& rare) CD for enjoyment at ZenRiver Gardens during next summer's fest. Thanks again for pushing the 'old guy gang' (well, old farts is more accurate) into appreciating Canuck women's poets at the gatherings. I'm hoping you'll consider presenting a paper or a talk, or maybe a reading of Livesay, at the Symposium next summer.

    Trust all well with you & Brian,
    peace & poetry power!
    Chris ... and Chase Wrfffffffffffffffffffff! (man, love those PurdyFest bellyrubs!)

    p.s. I'm copying Montreal literary archivist Marvin Orbach on many of my literary correspondences - he's collecting materials for his special Canuck collection at the Univ. of Calgary - if you have any stuff you'd like to send him, I know he'd be thrilled

    also copying Joyce, as she's going to host the Symposium on Livesay - & Larwill, with hopes he & Wilber will bug you into presenting - Man, Wilber brought the house down at our Imperial Pub gig in TO!


     Conrad DiDiodato has left a new comment on your post "Eel Pie Island Dharma cracks top 10 Amazon/Honey N...":

    Right on!

    I'm proud of you, brother

    and of the people's poetry.

    Eel Pie Island--
    a hippy with a burlap sack.

    Posted by Conrad DiDiodato to Riffs & Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 3 December 2012 16:05

    Andreas Gripp has left a new comment on your post "Eel Pie Island Dharma cracks top 10 Amazon/Honey N...":

    congrats, Chris. all the best.

    Posted by Andreas Gripp to Riffs & Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 5 December 2012 09:48

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you so much for the gift of the book. Holly and I were very pleased to see how well-produced it is. I’m reading it first, and must tell you I’m engrossed and much impressed with the prose, the haikus, and how they go together. My response is like Honey’s: I get pulled right back into that era.

    I’m also delighted to know that Eel Pie Island Dharma is deservedly high on the Amazon chart. May the good sales long continue, through all channels! I’ll be contributing by buying copies for friends.

    Peace – and Poetry Power,
    Ed Baker has left a new comment on your post "Eel Pie Island Dharma cracks top 10 Amazon/Honey N...":

    I'll toke to that !

    Jus doughnut Bogart the joint !

    I think my mail-man
    who is actually a she

    stole my copy ...

    the little devil !

    Posted by Ed Baker to Riffs & Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 7 December 2012 14:48

       I've read EPID. Thanks very much for the inscription and for the image, I honour those. The piece of you that's been transferred into the book is well captured: an openness and innocence that reads to me as a meditative consciousness, despite the trouble and the drugs and the energy. But I also detect toughness, the supple natural device that is the haiku.

    Dec. 11/12
    Dec. 15/12
    yeah  add this to your observation and we have an abbreviated haibun form ?

    full moon
    here seventy-two years
    big fucking deal.

    nice intro and nice preface....

    Ed (Baker)
    Dec. 15/12

    thanks, Ed  :  )
    Added your 'senryu' to my posting about breaking the top 10 in Canuckery poetry. Hey, I'll cc this to the haijin who wrote the intro (John Hamley/snowflea) - he visited yesterday, & is on his way to Cuba tomorrow for an extended visit until spring. I gave him 2 copies of EPID to deliver to our Cubano cousins.

    I'm feeling a little memento mori sensitive right now   :  (     ...  for the past 6 or 7 years I've felt occasional 'jabs' in my upper left chest. Had it checked by the local nurse practitioner, who said she's 'pretty sure' my heart is OK, but these visitations always scare me into some sort of dharmic/karmic awareness of life/death. Makes me live more than ever in the moment. To treat the issue I do the adult thing & drink a glass or 3 of red wine (chiraz) & pop a slow action aspirin & basically hope for the best :  )   As poets & generally aware people, I think we have some sort of advanced somatic awareness, & these twinges always make me slow down & appreciate the brief lives we've enjoyed on this fucking hillbilly planet among some of the strangest beings in this or any other galaxy or reality  :  )

    hope your cold breaks, & my twinges seem to have been overcome by the Pelee Island red & the aspirin!
    peace, poetry power & Solstice Greetings!
    Chris/cricket & Chase ... Wrfffffffffffffffffffffffff!

    better above ground than below - we can't do shit down there ...
    Oct. 13/14

    Dear Chris

    Part of my Thanksgiving relaxation has been reading your haikus and the memoir Eel Pie Island Dharma. What fun! I was living in London at the same time as you, but in a very different mindset! (LSE, serious student, thinking of career as a social worker.)  Wht adventures you had. Thank you for sending me the books.

    I hope you and Chase had a great weekend in this lovely crisp autumn weather.

    (Charlotte Gray)



Conrad DiDiodato said...

Right on!

I'm proud of you, brother

and of the people's poetry.

Eel Pie Island--
a hippy with a burlap sack.

Andreas Gripp said...

congrats, Chris. all the best.

Ed Baker said...

I'll toke to that !

Jus doughnut Bogart the joint !

I think my mail-man
who is actually a she

stole my copy ...

the little devil !