Small Fires Press ~ Tennessee
(Friedrich Kerksieck)

The Gould Essays written by Alex Chambers  
By BJ Love and Friedrich Kerksieck
Memphis, Tennessee: Small Fires Press, 2011. Edition of 275.

4 x 8.5"; 9 pages (3 fold-out pages of 3 pages each). Constructed from various handmade sheets pulled at the Lost Arch Paper Mil in Alabama for the front cover, Clearprint Vellum for the text and chipboard for the rear cover. Images and Bell fonts have been reproduced with photopolymer on a Vandercook No 4 Proof Press at Memphis. Sewn binding in yellow thread. Blind embossed title on front cover. Book design, letterpress printing, and binding by Kerksieck.

A collaboration between poets – Chicago-based BJ Love and Memphis-based Friedrich Kerksieck – along with illustrator Cherie Weaver. It has been produced for the Dusie Kollektive No. 5, an online poetry journal based in Switzerland that purports to feature work of emerging as well as established poets (

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Feelings Using Wolves
By Emily Kendal Frey and Zachary Schomburg
Memphis, Tennessee: Small Fires Press, 2010. Edition of 74.

4 x 5"; 44 pages. Images and the Joanna and Arno typefaces reproduced using photopolymer plates on a Vandercook No. 4. Printed on Saint-Armand Cana, a handmade abaca/cotton blend, and a handmade banana trunk/cotton/abaca blend. Edition of 100: 74 numbered softcover copies; 26 hardcover lettered copies
Designed, illustrated, printed, and hand-bound by Small Fires Press.

Collection of collaborative poems by Emily Kendal Frey and Zachary Schomburg. This is the third collaboration of Frey and Schomburg.

Emily Kendal Frey lives in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of Airport (Blue Hour Press, 2009), Frances (Poor Claudia, 2010), and The New Planet (Mindmade Books, 2010).

Zachary Schomburg lives in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of The Man Suit (Black Ocean, 2007), Scary, No Scary (Black Ocean, 2009), and a DVD of poem-films, Little Blind Thing (Poor Claudia, 2010). He co-edits Octopus Magazine & Octopus Books.

Zachary Schomburg, interview with Luke Degnan of BOMBLOG: "Poetry is about connection. It’s about communicating something that’s kind of impossible to communicate directly. You really have to involve other people. I collaborate with other poets, particularly Emily Kendal Frey. It’s a way that she and I are able to communicate with one another. It feels like playing a game. We’re able to play this poetry game with each other and relate to each other through poetry and create these things that I could never have created by myself because I don’t think that way. To be able to bounce my ideas off someone else really produces something that’s impossible."


a planet
that doesn't know

to slow, a belt
of dust to hurl

out of control

last night
you were still

a ferris wheel
between my spinning legs

$ 50 numbered softcover
$100 lettered hardbound



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Abandoned Tales
Stories by Michael Lee
Illustrations by Cherie Weaver
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Small Fires Press, 2009. Edition of 65.

5 x 6.5"; 28 pages. Letterpress printed on handmade cotton/flax paper. Images and typefaces (Bernhard Modern and Rosewood) reproduced with photopolymer plates on a Vandercook #4 at the University of Alabama. Pamphlet bound with handmade linen/hemp endsheets and cover wraps of handmade paper from wool, linen, cotton, mule dung, and modal.

Small Fires Press: "A collection of screwy, perverted, beautiful folk tales by Michael Lee.

"Michael Lee's work can be found in Conjunctions and Denver Quarterly. He lives in New Orleans.

"Born in a warren, moved to a burrow, raised in a barn, Cherie Weaver lives in Austin, Texas, where she's found gainful employment as a yeti genealogist & urban wood-sprite."

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I, NE: Iterations of the Junco
By John Chavez, Megan Gannon, Rachel May, and Joshua Ware
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Small Fires Press, 2009. Edition of 100.

6.75 x 7"; 18 file cards. Letterpress printed. Images and type faces (Casino and Bickham Script) reproduced with photopolymer plates on a Vandercook 4 at The University of Alabama. Text for the book printed on reinterpreted Pendaflex Archival Quality 3 Tab File Folders. Images printed on handmade cotton paper with unbleached abaca and banana added. Handmade paper slipcase of Bristol Board, Brillianta Cloth and "about 40 pounds of banana stalks cooked, rinsed and beat into 5:1 mix of unbleached abaca and cotton."

Poetry from four poets complimented with illustrations by Meaghan Perry. The junco is a small bird found throughout Northern America.

Elizabyth Hiscox, Hayden's Ferry Review, August 2009: "Straight out of the gate this book ... is a captivating package. Printed on a series of unbound file cards peeking from the slipcase, the poems are punctuated by Meaghan Perry’s avian etchings that vaguely illustrate the content: tender juncos, gloried juncos, juncos in distress. The use of the recurring central image of these prints echoes the method of the text, although it should be noted the poems explore a variety of subjects. The individual poems, eleven in all, are assigned to the poets as a group: John Chavez, Megan Gannon, Rachel May, and Joshua Ware. ...

"After the initial title card, and prior to the first poem, is an image of a songbird with an eruption of [light?] [sound?] lines skyward. Titled 'Report' it carries the call and its response and suitably, subtly pulls us into a work of revelation mixed with repetition. There’s an earnest intelligence here, but there is also a sense that this is a bit of a romp with language. The sincere smile if not the sly wink in its pages. For example, the cards which open and close the collection are tabbed 'hello' and 'goodbye.' It’s as though you, the reader, have been allowed in on a space, a conversation. At times, a heated discussion. And this is, perhaps, the paramount appeal of these poems: that strange tug of shared process – the resonance becoming different each time a word is revisited – heard again and against the tenor of another."

The Poets:
John Chavez
Prairie Schooner Blog: "John M. Chávez, a PhD student in poetry at UNL, holds an MFA from New Mexico State University. This fall he will be a contributing editor for Latino Poetry Review, published by Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Conduit, Xantippe, and Puerto del Sol. His chapbook Heterotopia was published by Noemi Press in 2004, and a collaborative chapbook, I, NE: Iterations of the Junco, with poets Joshua Ware and Megan Gannon, and fiction writer Rachel May, will be published by Small Fires Press in 2009."

Megan Gannon
Nebraska Writers: "Megan Cannon is a graduate of Vassar College (BA) and the University of Montana (MFA). She has worked teaching college English, ESL, and the first grade. Additionally, she has taught in the Gambia, West Africa, as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Gannon's poems have appeared in Third Coast, Seneca Review, New Orleans Review, Laurel Review, Pleiades, Gulf Coast, and Ploughshares. She has been nominated for various honors in both teaching and writing, and she was the recipient of an individual artist's fellowship from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, as well as a prize from the Academy of American Poets. Most recently, her poem 'List of First Lines' was selected by former Poet Laureate Billy Collins for inclusion in The Best American Poetry of 2006."

Rachel May
Poet's website: "Her writing has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, won several awards and been noted in over a dozen contests. Work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Nimrod, Meridian, Indiana Review, Cream City Review, Sleepingfish and other journals."

Joshua Ware
The Walt Whitman Archive: "Joshua Ware is a PhD student in creative writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in many journals, such as 580 Split, Bat City Review, Caketrain, New American Writing, New Orleans Review, Packingtown Review, and Sleepingfish. He is the co-author of the forthcoming chapbook I, NE: Iterations of the Junco (Small Fires Press, 2009). Prior to his interest in studying poetry and poetics, Joshua received a BA in Management Information Systems from Miami University in Ohio, and a BA in English from the University of Colorado."

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some bridges migrate
By Scott Pierce
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Small Fires Press, 2008. Edition of 100.

5.125 x 8.125"; 12 pages. Designed and letterpress printed on a Vandercook #4. Printing, design, and handmade paper by Friedrich Kerksieck. Bembo type and imagery were reproduced using photopolymer plates on Frankfurt Cream paper and a flax/cotton cover stock handmade in the Lost Arch Paper Mill (at the University of Alabama). Illustration by Cherie Weaver (Austin, Texas).

Small Fires Press: "Scott Pierce is toasted in Austin, Texas, and does labor camp time-release tablet by day, and by night produces the sweet pap of the Effing Press.

"Cherie Weaver is an artist who lives and works in Austin, Texas. She is currently under the spell of a Bill Callahan lyric that urges us all to be 'the fire part of fire' and enjoys any opportunity to talk about herself in the third person."

let the dust cover our eyes behind houses
would the streets entrench in our mud
and be stuck ...


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Cob Webs
By Laura Swan
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Small Fires Press, 2007. Edition of 80.

6 x 3.5"; 8 pages. One sheet book. Letterpress printed using photopolymer reproductions with a hand-colored title. Printed on Frankfurt White paper.

A consumer tale told in a cartoon strip. Written and illustrated by Laura Swan.

Small Fires Press: "This is the first in a series of comics / graphic stories."


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When We Broke the Microscope
By Julia Cohen & Mathias Svalina
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Small Fires Press, 2007. Edition of 125.

5.25 x 7"; 33 pages. Designed and letterpress printed on a Vandercook #3 and #4 using photopolymer imagery and Centaur photopolymer type. Printed on Hahnemühle Biblio, Khadi Indian Wool, and Evergreen Embossed Line papers. Poetry by Julia Cohen and Mathias Svalina. Illustration by Cherie Weaver (Austin, Texas). Book design by Friedrich Kerksieck.

Colophon: "Julia Cohen & Mathias Svalina's collaborative poems have been published or are forthcoming in the journals Sink Review, Bird Dog, Copper Nickel, Cue, Past Simple and Pilot. Their poems are also featured in &, an anthology of collaborative poetry and photography."

Aaron McNally, review: "In When We Broke the Microscope, Julia Cohen and Mathias Svalina make the subtle (but very notable) distinction between 'crying' and 'saying' wolf. Because of this (and because of many other tiny miracles), their collaborative book locates the immensely mutable truths concerning life in the very fixed symbols of the imagination. Such ironies may sound impossible but the grace of Cohen and Svalina’s carefully-wrought free verse make such discordant sounds appear sonorant to even the most unintelligent ear. It is a book that presents a feast for mythical foxes to prey upon and, because of this, I find this book to appeal to the sincerely carnal beauty of my most sensual literary inclinations."

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Friedrich Kerksieck: "The Gould Essays are written by Alex Chambers - Erasmus Gould got his name through the combination of Erasmus Darwin and Glenn Gould. The essays were written for a lecture series that is still hosted occasionally by Alex and his wife Kit Boulding in their house. The essays are intended to stay somewhat mysterious in origin and surreal enough to exist clearly out of reality. The Editor's Note at the end of each essay suggests something towards these ends, we hope.

"As for the printing I wanted to use the text as the main illustration and chip back the interior of the book back to the simplest form of the chapbook I could create while simultaneously creating something not simple - creating a paradox of meaning and construction paralleled in the essays themselves. I researched title pages and covers of several different chapbooks for the typography and design.

"At the end of the day, the book was intended to be sort of vague in its placement - a piece of ephemera with clear ties to the present and the past without any direct links to either."

Alex Chambers lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he studies and teaches at the University of Alabama.


From Khunk To Chunk
By Erasmus Gold
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Small Fires Press, 2008. Edition of 55.

4.5 x 5.5"; 12 pages. Letterpress printed with photopolymer plates on a Vandercook #4 at the University of Alabama. Bell and Baskerville typefaces.Printed on Arches Text Wove, Satin Vellum. Pamphlet stitched. Illustrated vellum free end pages. Illustration by Cherie Weaver. Bound in a handmade cover stock comprised mostly of recycled blue jeans and shirts.

Written by Alex Chambers under the pseudonym Erasmus Gould, municipal spy and national man of mystery. Essay on the history and ethical failings of corn syrup.
$15 (Last three copies)

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Small Fires Press Out of Print Title:

Live, From The Delay
By Ryan Flaherty
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Small Fires Press, 2009. Edition of 65.

5.75 x 6.375"; 19 pages. Images and Perpetua typeface reproduced with photopolymer plates on a Vandercook #4 at the University of Alabama. Text letterpress printed on handmade abaca/cotton paper. Bound in handmade paper from Alabama Kozo, abaca, cotton, flax, and linen.

Colophon: "This book's structure and design attempts to recreate the original process that the poem was written in. The book is designed to be read like a standard codex (with fold down accordions) or folded out and read as a wall hanging."

Ryan Flaherty: "Rather than composed, the poem was constructed from several years' worth of notes, which were either written for this poem or were pieces that fell off other poems. Over a month long period, I cobbled these fragments together on 3 X 6 sheets of paper tacked to an unused door propped up in my attic."

Bennie Scarton, Jr, News & Messenger: "Flaherty grew up in Manassas and graduated from Osbourn Park High School in 1992. He braved the snows of New England to earn a B.A. at the University of Massachusetts. Learning to love the cold north, Flaherty moved to Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan, where he received an MFA in poetry and won the Hopwood Graduate Poetry Award. Besides poetry, Flaherty has a special skill for chocolate. He and Katie Umans are the chocolatiers behind Two Poet Truffles, being hailed far and wide. Flaherty now lives in Dover, New Hampshire., working toward his MFA in creative non-fiction while teaching at the University of New Hampshire. His poetry has appeared in a range of publications, including Denver Quarterly, Conduit, the New Republic, Crazyhorse, and Columbia."

I had wanted a yellow bird
on a branch in my hand.
What I got was: yellow birding
a hand, the yellow of bird,
a bird yellowing a nest. ...


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The Wheat Wars
By Erasmus Gold
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Small Fires Press, 2008. Edition of 55.

4.5 x 5.5"; 16 pages. Images and text reproduced with photopolymer plates on a Vandercook #4 at the University of Alabama. Bell and Baskerville typefaces. Printed on Arches Text Wove, Satin Vellum. Pamphlet stitched. Bound in a handmade cover stock comprised mostly of recycled blue jeans and shirts. illustrated vellum free end pages. Illustration by Cherie Weaver.

Written by Erasmus Gould, municipal spy and national man of mystery, and edited by Alex Chambers. Essay explaining how corn came to dominate wheat in the national mindset.
$15 (SOLD)

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Page last update: 06.04.13

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