Kevin McPherson Eckhoff
¶ The requisite reach of poetry to connect with a perspective both philosophical and perhaps even metaphysical too often degenerates into pretention and preciousness (like this sentence); a kind of mystical self-absorption that is more about the poet than the poetry. Kevin McPherson's Circadia, on the other hand, roots itself in the tangible, even mundane details of the everyday.
¶ Compiling one sentence per day for an entire year, McPherson constructs 12 poems that explore and navigate the surprising, poignant, banal, intimate, and tragic moments of a year in the life. While some daily observations are stand-outs that inspire laughter or quite contemplation, it is in the accumulation of detail and repetition, interrupted, often, by the prods and jabs of our hectic world, that leave the reader both smiling, and often cringing, with recognition and connection.
¶ After the long haul of printing Arranging Furniture through 2019 & 2020, returning to a purely typographic production had me feeling, as it turns out, overly confident and foolishly relaxed. After setting all of the type for Circadia in June and July of 2021, I began printing in the midst of the horrifying inferno that was August in the Okanagan Valley. Interrupted first by two wildfire evacuations, including hauling over 50 large containers of books and typographic equipment and matrices to safe storage, and then working with constant hellicopters flying overhead to drop buckets on nearby flames, most of Circadia was printed by the end of the summer. I then set it aside to prepare for the academic year, and when I returned to the printed sheets in November I realized that the entire lot had to go in the bin. It turns out that working while under the strain of living through Dante's hell isn't all that condusive to good printing.
¶ This meant ordering a new batch of paper and starting over again, which had to wait until the paper arrived at the end of December. Starting up again in January, printing went well until the morning after printing the 11th run of the 13-colour title page, when I discovered that the last run's ink had saturated through the paper, leaving a reversed shadow on the opposite side. This meant, of course, reprinting another 80 copies of the entire 13-run title page.
¶ With printing completed (at last) at the end of March, I began binding the books while also setting type for the next book, and by the end of June the run of 65 was finally finished.
Kevin McPherson Eckhoff is a poet, editor, and founding publisher of 'our teeth', a micropress dedicated to making small, weird, bookish objects. His first book, rhapsodomancy, was published with Coach House, while the Winnipeg Free Press called his third collection, Forge, "intelligent yet fun" and "full of melancholy effect from absurd material through clever premises." His fourth and most recent title, our biography, appears from Book*hug.
6.25" × 11", 48pp. 70 copies.
Hand set in Monotype Deepdene and Alternate Gothic, all cast fresh in-house for this book on a mighty and marvelous Monotype Super Caster (with some small Garamont ephigraphs from polymer - a cheat, I know, but I haven't quite sorted out casting small type yet). Printed on a Vandercook 219 into Hahnemuhle Ingres, with handmade papers from St Armand for the endsheets. Sewn onto tapes and wrapped in a stiff paper case (also of St Armand handmade), the edition is 60 copies, plus 5 hors commerce.