why does the rest of the world think “Cat Doctors” are doctors who treat cats, but I think that “Cat Doctors” are cats who are doctors?
”. . . . . .” the drummer chanted.
— Hemingway (The Son Also Rises).
Cynara Geissler (Small Stunted Ways) and her cat, Autumn
CPPC: Tell us about your latest poetry collection, Small Stunted Ways. It’s an illustrated collection of poetry and the format is very interesting. What made you decide to include an illustrative element?
CG: Small Stunted Ways is my first chapbook, published by the wonderful women at Hur Publishing (in Montreal) and illustrated by publisher Tracy Hurren. All the copies are screen-printed on luxurious stock and hand-bound and trimmed. Hur did a tremendous job on the production/illustrations; I still can’t quite believe that it’s as gorgeous and tactile as it is. I’d been really wanting to collaborate with an illustrator ever since I was given a copy of Kryptonite (a completely charming tiny-format book of Ron Koertge’s poem illustrated by Roy Fox and published by Blue Q) as a gift. I adore how Fox’s illustrations capture and enhance Koertge’s funny and poignant little poem about how Lois Lane sometimes wishes her invincible boyfriend had more human vulnerability. Tracy Hurren is a talented book binder who does her own hand-made art books and a excellent illustrator. I’d talked to her about Kryptonite, in h opes that she might want to illustrate a single poem of mine, and then a chapbook of illustrated poems grew out of that conversation. What I particularly love is that the illustrations are inspired by the poems, but not literal translations of them. They are Tracy’s interpretations of extensions of my images. The poems and illustrations are meant to play off and complicate each other adding another layer to the book and the work.
Soft good cat cat.
— Koko (a gorilla, using sign language to describe her kitten, who she named “All Ball”)
Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.
— Herman Melville (Moby Dick)