Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Broadsider

The Broadsider
A Subsidiary of Yossarian Universal News Service
Limited Edition Issue (numbered and signed) $50.00
Regular Issue (unsigned) $20.00
Individual Broadside signed: $5.00
Individual Broadside unsigned: $3.00

Review by Rene Schwiesow

“The Broadsider” only prints previously published work. Yes, you heard me correctly. Everything that “The Broadsider” publishes has already been found in print or online publications. The concept allows more exposure for a poet’s work and in a unique way. Each work solicited by “The Broadsider” is paired with a graphic and produced as a broadside on 65# paper. The collection of broadsides is unbound.

Broadsides come with their distinct advantages. Incorporating poetics into a poster-style piece of art often creates a wonderful presentation. However, the nature of combing print with a graphic can be a tricky situation for readability. While I found some of the broadsides to be very easy to read, many of them contained sections where letters and words blended into the graphic behind them. Thus, those sections of the poem were more difficult to decipher.

The edition I read re-published notable authors such as Hugh Fox with a work entitled “Dad at 73.” The broadside features a photo of a service man as the graphic, the stock is light blue and, for this particular work, black ink was chosen. The design allows the work to be read easily and Fox finishes up the poetics with wonderful phrases like “crickets like crazy, moon out.”

A piece entitled “teddy,” by leah angstman (No, that is not a typo. I am told she does not capitalize her name), is printed in green ink on a beige-toned paper. The shadowing of the graphic photo behind the poem means that one must expend a little more effort to read sections of the work if the lighting is not “just right.” The poem, however, is fabulous:

maybe now the windmills of
Nantucket can be spinning
on the hills of the sound
where the richies can see

blowin out there with
your legacy your depth
your final great roar as
the last congressional lion

Another notable, poet laureate of West Virginia Irene McKinney, gets my vote for her work entitled “Homage to Roy Orbison.” The piece is printed in black ink over a graphic of the legendary Orbison and, despite the shadowing of his sunglasses in the graphic, the work is very readable.

I think that in the voice’s rise
and wail we finally wake and hear the voice
of an angel, “Sweet dreams baby” Roy throbs.

The sheaf of broadsides makes for interesting reading and visual stimulation and if one or more really strike your fancy – put them on the refrigerator with a poetic-looking magnet, or pin it to the bulletin board above your writing desk. Check out their website at the above url link to read more of “The Broadsider” online.

Rene Schwiesow is a co-host for the popular South Shore poetry venue: The Art of Words. You can reach Rene at

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