Tag Archives: book

Poetry Reading: Muriel’s Journey “Fire in the Heart” book + round-up

Gist: I read a poem at Word Vancouver online event with a splendid group of poets! Thanks to Isabella Mori and Muriel’s Journey folks for including me, and hat-tip to Kyle Hawke for editing.

me and my “set” ready to go (since the book is called “Fire from the Heart” i set up in front of woodstove with fire painting by Timothy Wilson-Hoey and some candles + my cup mug o’ joe) looking sleepy :)

Tip: buy the “Fire from the Heart: Winners of the 2022 Muriel’s Journey Poetry Prize” chapbook and read these poems. Powerful medicine!

Score directly from Amazon Japan for ¥964 {Also available from other country specific Amazon of course}

“Fire from the Heart: Winners of the 2022 Muriel’s Journey Poetry Prize”

Event: On Sept 17 (Sept 18 in Japan), i read at a unique & enchanting poetry event: The “Muriel‘s Journey“ poetry prize reading as part of “WORD Vancouver” (prev announced). I read my poem “Alchemists Confer with Hypnotists” (in a slightly different iteration) as awarded the “random prize” (hooray!)

here’s the whole event, stick-handled by Adam, i’m around the 28 min mark

Rehearsal: Because of a typhoon rolling into our area, I recorded a rehearsal video in my beloved barn studio “just in case” and for my own enjoyment and possibly yours.

me in kura studio doing a take about Alchemists and Hypnotists

Poem: i’ll go into it more than another time if curious, but in brief: the poem is about coming to grips with the onset chronic and complex disease and the conundrum of being in lovely/spectacular places – from Jamaica to Suez – but being plagued by pain, anxiety, ghosts and confusion and misunderstanding of friends who didn’t understand… and just wanting someone to help me sleep after being so frustrated after seeing seemingly every kind of doctor possible (and having to make a big long list of everything for various paperwork) so I laughed to myself, “the only type of doctor I hadn’t seen was alchemists and hypnotists.”

Book: Fire from the Heart: Winners of the 2022 Muriel’s Journey Poetry Prize (amzn)” featuring: Janet Kvammen, Brad Akeroyd, Jacquie Pearce, Kamila Rina, Dave Olson, Natasha Sanders-Kay.

Buy via Azn for only $8 CAD or better, ask you local bookstore (Iron Dog Books for example) to order from Ingram. If you have a fave bookstore who can hook this up, please drop a comment.

Fire from the Heart with some wonderful poets, and me in a hat transiting the Suez Canal

Special for you: if you order a book from Muriel’s Journey, let me know and i’ll send you a postcard to say “thanks” and you can use as a bookplate or bookmark (or put on fridge). For expedited service, please use my Postal Club form and mention “Muriel’s Journey” in the notes.

Continue reading Poetry Reading: Muriel’s Journey “Fire in the Heart” book + round-up

Item: Kevin Kelly’s (massive) Vanishing Asia photo book + bonus advice

I bought Kevin Kelly’s massive Asia photo book series through a crowd-funding-dealio >> [intro at his website] arrived recently and it’s massive, colossal, dense, fascinating, (literally) heavy series – 3 volumes packed in a slip case, plus I got a signed artist proof )carefully flattening now).

Kevin Kelly promo for Vanishing Asia series

Such an interesting layout as (for example) there is a whole page spread of nothing but doors, and another nothing but spires, and another of nothing but women’s faces and so on. Such attention to detail with maps in flyleaf and all sorts of maximalist nuance.

(I took photos of “unboxing“ but heaven help me if I remember where they all are… Drowning in data, but it’s all so wonderful)

[Update: Found the snapshots, here we go!]

You can still get one for yourself, not *cheap* but very worth it as this is an Asia which is very different (coming from a guy – me – who has rambled alot of these places):

Today my 50-year passion project goes on sale on Amazon. The 1,000-page Vanishing Asia is a bargain at $270 with free shipping. Ask anyone who has seen it. You’ll enjoy the long trip.

https://amzn.to/3sVRMgz (no affiliate code)
Continue reading Item: Kevin Kelly’s (massive) Vanishing Asia photo book + bonus advice

Book: Jack Kerouac, On the Road, original sc/roll in Japanese 日本語

For cover collectors and other curious folks, here is the “original sc/roll“ edition of OtR in 日本語Japanese.

{As displayed under my “postbox postcard haiku“ painting at Rural Caprine (goat) Farm & Market in Okayama & watched over by Jerry Garcia.}

Pub: “Hemp for Victory” (contrib’d re: Japan), 2006

Pub: “Hemp for Victory” (contrib’d re: Japan), 2006 / cover

Somewhere around 2006 author Kenyon Gibson reached out about a project was co-writing called “Hemp for Victory” asking about the history of hemp cannabis in Japan and related artifacts.

I had recently published my original research about hemp culture in Japan in Cannabis Culture magazine, Journal of International Hemp Association, Hemp Horizons and other outlets and was happy to share my resources and knowledge.

A couple years later, in Brighton England and stopped into a hemp store and saw the book there for the first time on the shelf, opened it up and saw an image from my collection in the flyleaf alongside at foreword by Woody Harrelson.

I got in touch with Mr. Gibson who lives in London and stopped by his flat with Max Freakout and a fella from a hemp shop in Camden. Over tea, we recorded an extensive podcast interview with this gent who can riff on so many topics. I received a copy or two of the book, signed etc. which i suggest is among as well-done a book as there is on the topic.

Pub: “Hemp for Victory” (contrib’d re: Japan), 2006 / flyleaf, signed

I’ve shared snippets from the Japan section for personal archival purposes and to encourage you to track down a copy of this book for your library.

Pub: “Hemp for Victory” (contrib’d re: Japan), 2006 / Dave Olson collection on the left and Woody Harrelson foreword on the right

Continue reading Pub: “Hemp for Victory” (contrib’d re: Japan), 2006

Folio: Pigs Around the World / illustrated book, ca. 1979

Folio: Pigs Around the World / illustrated book, cover

“Pigs Around World” with illustrations of yup, Pigs, in various traditional/stereotypical guises of various countries –including indigenous & colonial representatives for some locales. Circa 1978.

Folio: Pigs Around the World / illustrated book, Table of Contents
Folio: Pigs Around the World / illustrated book, Switzerland (yodelling)
Folio: Pigs Around the World / illustrated book, USA First Nations

Continue reading Folio: Pigs Around the World / illustrated book, ca. 1979

Diary: Pleasant Home Life with baby clothes, rabbit and bocce

My my the pleasant days go by – we fill our days with tending to lists of tasks from gardens to scrapbooks to required paperwork to making pickles and tasty baked goods… with everything focussed on preparing our house to welcome a new human, make our life simple and efficient so we can enjoy art and music and love.

With this in mind, may i offer a few slices of evidence? 

So we are working down the list of stuff for the lil baby coming and doing most all by mail order and also received a few care packages form friends. In this case, a big load of clothes and diapers which we washed (with delicate detergent) and air-dried! Its all so cute.

The little pyjama outfits will be so fun to play dress up and match with. 

Next, our rabbit. This is Maru-chan. He eats and hops and mostly lives indoors but sometimes hangs out outside. 

Continue reading Diary: Pleasant Home Life with baby clothes, rabbit and bocce

Items: Excerpts from “Tintin et le Quebec City” book – illustrations, commercial, and ephemera

At the exhibit “Hergé et Moi” i attended (on opening day iirc) in Québec City, QC, i documented various accoutrements and artifacts and then, whilst exiting through the gift shop, acquired a few notebooks and a wonderful book called “Tintin et le Québec” with photographs of ephemeral pieces including advertisements, puppet shows, test proofs, letters, sketches and so on. Many of the items included were somehow related to the Montréal world expo (not really the ones shared here) and related events. 

I am especially fond of the letterheads, telegrams, commuiques and other stationery type items.

Respectfully sharing a few lousy snapshots of a variety of pages here for personal memory and amusement as well as scholarly research since the book is hard to find (and my copy is in a distant place from my physical location) and to give a sense of the variety within this lovely tome. 

Continue reading Items: Excerpts from “Tintin et le Quebec City” book – illustrations, commercial, and ephemera

Diary: Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing in Okayama, 2019

Christmas isn’t really an “event” in Japan, more of a marketing campaign and a prelude to New Year’s Eve which is laden with tradition, nostalgia and routine. It’s kinda my speed as i am def turned off by rampant commercialism quasi-religious sabre-rattling which comes around. 

Regardless, with new family (and more family arriving in 2020) i wanted to wrangle a bit of festiveness – also acknowledging been a long while since i had vaguely “regular” christmas and while this was atypical, established some new routines, scratched an itch… after all, with the turmoil in my life the last years, there is admittedly some misgivings and rather tough emotions which come around during all this hoolpa. Most importantly, got to show love and respect for wife and in-laws. 

PS You can see a bit of building up for Christmas and read a riff between a friend and i about this holiday in Japan in: Diary: Christmas Forthcoming / out n about and at home in Okayama, 2019

What follows are a few poorly-photographed artifact of activities from Dec. 24 – 26 JST. Carry On!

First off, Dec. 24 (christmas eve) we made dinner of grilled mackeral, squash, pickled cucumbers and tsukemono carrots, greens, miso soup, tea, rice, lotus root, and whatnot. Yup, not off to a very traditional start – ha!

Christmas morn, we opened our stockings (pictured above) purchased from a 100yen store ($1), nothing but the best! and enjoyed toast with cream cheese and my kaki (persimmon) jam which i am always talking about, and nashi (pear). My sock had snacks, Ryoko’s had expired 35mm film and a necklace and snacks. 

Then we went to post office (one of my fave activities of course) and i wore a Santa cap (borrowed from Ryoko who wore at Mae Maes Christmas concert) to the amusement of the post office staff and the kids at the grocery store which was our next stop. Folks are stocking up for New Years time during which many stores are closed or scaled back hours and folks generally wanna hunker down. 

Then we picked up a pre-made feast from a great lil cafe called Sakura-mi we had ordered a while back when we went on a little lunch date. Here’s the café’s post box.

And i got to make a fire in the wood stove. So yeah, post office and fire making in the same day! Pleased. 

Took the grub home and set up at parent’s house (next door).

Continue reading Diary: Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing in Okayama, 2019

Diary: Christmas Forthcoming / out n about and at home in Okayama, 2019

Some kind of phone… possibly from a battlefield or remote office

We headed out on some errands to return the felt sheets used in the tea ceremony at assassinated Prime minster Inukai Tsuyoshi’s home to a strange little office in a corridor with the cigarette smell cemented into the cracked linoleum floors which all evoked the lost Showa times.

Along the way, a saw some shops, ate ramen, developed film, checked out cameras and whatnot. 

First though, along one of these covered shopping arcades which i totally dig (how does Vancouver not have these everywhere?), continued my rather absurd documentation of phone boxes.

I would call you but haven’t figured out where to buy a phone card. Also noting these “midori denwa” (green phones) are abundant and in beautiful condition but i (not shockingly) never see one in use. 

PS Did someone call a doctor? #joke My friend in Adelaide Australia made the snap into a fun cartoon-y image. I might do this with all photos in future. 

Continue reading Diary: Christmas Forthcoming / out n about and at home in Okayama, 2019

“Posted: Letters from Elsewhere” – book now available

“Posted: Letters To Elsewhere “
by Dave Olson
Available for Purchase

I made a fun book of postboxes, letter slots, post offices, and letter writing “still-lifes” resplendent with stationery, inky stamps and whatnot.

Order it up for amusement and edification. https://www.blurb.com/b/9807308-posted-letters-to-elsewhere

“Ideal for armchair-travelling kids and adults alike, this portable geography primer includes 42 pages of delightful, lovingly curated and collected letter boxes, stationery, post offices, plus other postal artifacts gathered from: Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, The Vatican, Nepal, Greece, Canada, United States, Oman, Australia, Italy, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, a few other locales and the high seas.”

Fits handily in a rucksack and doesn’t use too much space on a shelf. It’s pretty! Order several

Continue reading “Posted: Letters from Elsewhere” – book now available