Champagne splashed across the bow of Clean Sails, Gustave Morin’s new volume of typewriter poetry, during events in Toronto and Windsor recently. Its first taste of open water was during the Lit Bang! Festival in Toronto, when Gustave launched Clean Sails on December 4th and then performed a typewriter poetry demo and spoke with his design collaborator Mark Laliberte (of Carousel Magazine) the next day. The next week Gustave returned to South Detroit (a.k.a. The Sun Parlour of Canada, a.k.a. Windsor) to launch Clean Sails into home waters at Phog Lounge, with a performance by the band Mexican Knives. All events were by all accounts entertaining and well-attended; if, like us, you were sadly unable to be there, you can get a taste of Gustave’s IRL presence by watching Clean Sails the video, by Gustave and his filmic collaborator Jarrod Ferris.
At 160 pages Clean Sails is Gustave’s largest-yet poetry book (possibly the largest single-author typewriter poetry book in the world? Canada? the Sun Parlour, surely…), but several of its constituent parts have trickled into even larger volumes, including Typewriter Art: A Modern Anthology by Barrie Tullett (read an excellent post about it with lots of great examples here); The New Concrete (Hayward, 2015), alongside over 90 other contributors (including Donato Mancini); and, as the lone Canadian entry, The Art of Typewriting (Thames & Hudson, 2015), which was recently reviewed in the New York Times.
And the ripples from all this splash are resonating: Gustave spoke about his work and concrete poetry in general on CBC Windsor’s Afternoon Drive (listen here), and Pearl Pirie chose Clean Sails as one of BookThug’s Best Reads of 2015 (Author’s Edition), and expanded on her appreciation of the book on her blog: “This bounces. This resists. This plays. This refuses its own lines and is a refusnik to bomb-dropping, car-driving, colouring inside the lines.”
Set sail yourself by grabbing a copy from your nearest retailer of fine books, or summon it to your home port here.