Sunday, November 21, 2010

Humble Humdrum Cotton Frock (Interview with Edwin R. Perry)


Humble Humdrum Cotton Frock: A Twilight Teeter Into Organic Esoterics is a hand-bound, silkscreened poetry journal edited by Edwin Perry and Cat Reis of Plumberries Press. The latest issue, which came out this spring, features poems by Jake Acosta, Macallister Armstrong, Ali Boyd, Kathryn Cesarz, Nick Demske, Shannon Marie Kerrigan, Lisa Loew, J.S. Makkos, Monadnoc, Peter Murphy, Brenton Harper-Murray, Julie Strand, Carmen Tracey, the editors themselves (Edwin R. Perry & Catherine Annabella Reis,) and me and Alex, too (Jasmine Dreame Wagner and Alex Reed Wilson.)

Edwin and Cat have been active in the midwestern DIY scene for a while now, making irreverent folk-pop, psychedelic bubblegum, and lo-fi sugar punk music as Perpetual Dusk at Curtsy Caverns, Plum Wife and Plum Union, as well as hosting shows at Chicago's The Radish Patch and Ball Hall. Edwin and his poems recently shared a few tour dates with World History on their way across the midwest.

Four Quick Questions With Edwin R. Perry

JDW: How did Humdrum and Plumberries press first come about?

ERP: Humdrum was a product of imitation and a wealth of raw materials. Both of which were sourced from J.S. Makkos in Cleveland who works under the guise of the Language Foundry. It was a love of process... of making stacks of things, etc., of course it spawned between both myself and Catherine Ries.

JDW: Do you think of your writing as part of your music, or do your songs & writings have separate drives and sources?

ERP: I've been doing a lot of readings lately, and have found that when the room is really poorly lit, I have to bury my face in the paper to actually read... which is no fun for anyone... I have reverted to reciting some lyrics as poems, changing the pace and so on, quite a bit of course. But in general, I tend to keep endeavors sort of separate from one another. It is generally to acknowledge whomever I work with on said project as a definitive partner. I'm really into teams.

JDW: What kinds of things or experiences do you hope to find in a poem?

ERP: All kinds, from confusion to unadulterated empathy... generally all back-lit by a bit of euphoria. I tend to like strange things, shorter things which are allowed to resonate.

JDW: Have you read any other great handmade books that you could recommend?

ERP: Check out Language Foundry, Flying Guillotine, Melodeon, Dancing Girl, and Interbirth.


For more information, check out the Plumberries Press website, and if you're in or near Wisconsin, Illinois, or Michigan, keep your eyes peeled for Edwin's readings and music. He tours around quite often, and isn't one to miss:

Plumberries Press