I started the Alfred Gustav Press as a micro press for poetry because I wanted to work with my hands and heart in a new way or, rather, in an old way, that is, I wanted to make objects that were lovely to hold, that were made by my hand using the technology available in my home (netbook, laser jet, stapler, steel edge, blade, pen and colouring pencil). I wanted to touch each piece of paper in each chapbook. And I wanted the poems to touch others.
I want to print poems that are accessible and evocative, strong in insight and image—in other words, poems in the lyric/narrative tradition in its deepest sense—with unity of theme and/or focus of form appropriate for the short length of a chapbook.
I named the press after my father, a farmer both serious and taciturn yet not without charm and wit, sometimes melancholy, always hard working and a great lover of winter reading. The press’s selections may or may not reflect such a disposition toward life. The intention is that the poems published will exhibit some of Alfred’s (counsel-to-the-elves) acumen and Gustav’s (staff-of-the-Goths) gusto. I wanted to return to my father’s way of working, especially when he repaired machinery: slowly and precisely, patiently, with the available tools, making what was necessary with the resources at hand.
I produce three chapbooks in the spring, three in the fall. Aside from a few complimentary copies, I print only as many copies as I have subscriptions, and thus I know exactly the number to produce and to whom each copy will be sent. I think of the readership as small but intense. I imagine their pleasure on receiving the chapbooks in the mail as equal to mine in producing them. Altogether, it’s an effort of guild-like pleasure keen to bring poetry to readers.
Better to get drunk and cry
Than show off your learning
Ōtamo No Tabito (665-731) translated by Kenneth Rexroth
Subscriptions for Series Eighteen are available for $15 ($20 outside Canada) in total for the three chapbooks plus the holm (a holm is a small island in the river).
Subscription deadline is October 1, 2017, to be released December 2017.
Connie Braun, Narrow Passageway
Russell Thornton, Stopping the Waves
Bibiana Tomasic, Revolutions Per Minute
holm - Lazienki Park by Rob Taylor
For more information, email David at davidzieroth(at)gmail.com or send cash or cheque payable to David Zieroth at:
The Alfred Gustav Press
1430 Chesterfield Ave. Apt 301
North Vancouver, BC V7M 2N4
Interac transfer is also available - please email.
Patrons are welcome. A minimum donation of $50 payable to The Alfred Gustav Press will be gratefully acknowledged in the next series, anonymously if desired. No tax-deductible donation receipt will be issued. Patrons receive the chapbooks free for the life of the Press.
The ideal submission from you could include a long poem; a number of poems on a related theme or in a particular form; or a sequence of discrete, connected poems out of which we could make a selection. We are looking for work that coheres into a focus in the short space of a chapbook. A maximum of 13 pages of each chapbook is dedicated to the poems, so if your poems were, say, each one page long, you could send us up to 15-20 such poems to select from, fewer if the poems are longer than one page. Please use a readable font, Garamond 11 point preferred. We cannot use any photographs or artwork.
All poems must be previously unpublished, i.e., not published anywhere, not in magazines or online. We've had some discussion about this restriction, but so far it seems to have served us well. We feel that the audience for our chapbooks is often a magazine and journal reader as well, and we want to present brand-new work. Your poems must also be available by email in a .doc or .rtf file. Include a short bio, and send your submission first by regular post with a stamped, self- addressed return envelope to this address:
David Zieroth @ The Alfred Gustav Press
1430 Chesterfield Ave. Apt 301 North Vancouver, BC V7M 2N4
We do not accept simultaneous submissions, and so we try to get back to the poets as soon as possible. Submissions are read all year round (though we tend to pause for summer). A couple of poetry lovers here—co-editors—help to make decisions. If your poems are accepted for publication, a selection is made, and then we work on order, editing, back-cover copy and afterword (focusing mostly on how you wrote the particular poems selected rather than any larger, general statement).
Then I produce each copy by hand. During that process, I arrange for you to sign the covers. When I finish production, I send you ten author copies and send the remaining copies out to subscribers to enjoy. We are a small concern (though a joyous one), and our distribution is through subscriptions only, so the numbers
for each series vary. No additional copies are produced afterwards. You retain all rights to your work. There are no royalties. The time between acceptance and publication varies and can be up to a few seasons or more.
Series Seventeen (June 2017)
Robert Adams, Outposts in Sight
Marguerite Pigeon, What I’m Wearing Now
Marilyn Gear Pilling, Estrangement
holm – A Hidden Bench by Kelly Shepherd
Series Sixteen (December 2016)
Nicholas Bradley, Five Sudden Goats: Rocky Mountain Poems
Leif Vaage, Cariboo
gillian harding-russell, Fox Love: The Joe Fafard Poems
holm – Looking Back at What Will Come by Leonard Neufeldt
Series Fifteen (May 2016)
Ben Meyerson, In a Past Life
J. S. Porter, Of Wine and Reading
Lisa Rawn, Ahead of Winter
Series Fourteen (May 2015, out of print)
Susan McCaslin, effortful / effortless: after Cézanne
Angeline Schellenberg, Roads of Stone
Douglas Burnet Smith, White Corvettes: Winnipeg 1950-1964
Series Thirteen (December 2014, out of print)
Shane Neilson, On Shaving Off His Face
Kelly Shepherd, Fort McMurray Tricksters
Leslie Timmins, The Limits of Windows
Series Twelve (May 2014, out of print)
Catherine Owen, Rivulets: Fraser River Poems
Susanne von Rennenkampff, In the Shelter of the Poplar Grove
Calvin Wharton, The Invention of Birds
Series Eleven (November 2013, out of print)
Ian Adam, Three
Annie Deeley, Brother
Kevin Spenst, Pray Goodbye
Series Ten (May 2013, out of print)
John Donlan, Call Me the Breeze
Maureen McCarthy, Nine Steps to the Door
Tara Wohlberg, ‘Cold Surely Takes the Wood’
Series Nine (December 2012, out of print)
Gerald Hill, Streetpieces
Sandy Shreve, Level Crossing
Douglas Burnet Smith, Nine Kinds of Light
Series Eight (May 2012, out of print)
Dorothy Field, God Is
Cornelia Hoogland, Gravelly Bay
Patricia Young, Amateurs at Love
Series Seven (November 2011, out of print)
Allan Briesmaster, After Evening Wine
Louise Fabiani, Cryptic Dangers
Chris Pannell, Everything Comes from Above
Series Six (June 2011, out of print)
Barry Dempster, Disturbing the Buddha
Richard Lemm, The Gold Flash
John Reibetanz, Laments of the Gorges
Series Five (December 2010, out of print)
Shane Neilson, Elision: the Milton Acorn Poems
Rob Taylor, Lyric
Diane Tucker, Sandgrain Leaf
Series Four (June 2010, out of print)
Jeremy Harman, The Narrow Room
Nancy Holmes, Okanagan Galilee
Leonard Neufeldt, How to Beat the Heat in Bodrum
Series Three (December 2009, out of print)
Brian Bartlett, Being Charlie
Allan Brown, Excursions
John Terpstra, Elder Son
Series Two (May 2009, out of print)
Christopher Levenson, Habitat
Susan McCaslin, Persephone Tours the Underground
Matt Rader, Reservations
Series One (December 2008, out of print)
gillian harding-russell, Apples & Mice...
Richard Therrien, Water, Language, Faith
David Zieroth, Dust in the Brocade
Subscribers have said: 'You have indeed done a superb job with these chapbooks. They are both a pleasure to hold and a pleasure to read.’ ‘I love the look, feel and feeling of the chapbooks. Very inspiring, and magical.’ ‘Instant rare books.’