New Star Blogs

Clean Sails finds safe harbour

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clean sailsCham­pagne 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.

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knull” from Clean Sails

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.