The Surly Bonds of Earth is my first book publication. It was selected as the winner of the 2010 Lettre Sauvage Chapbook Contest. Lettre Sauvage, is a letterpress publisher in Santa Paula, California owned and operated by Fiona Spring. Of the manuscript, Stephen Dunn, who selected it, so kindly wrote:
In Grace Curtis’ The Surly Bonds of Earth, we feel in the presence of a voice richly capable of blending image and statement as it explores its various concerns. Behind that voice is an intelligence we learn to trust, and a sense of narrative tact (most evident in “Weeding”) as she thinks her way down the page. The “outer seriousness, inner humor” quality that Frost championed is hers as well. Many pleasures here, many tones.
When Fiona called to let me know that I had won, I was ecstatic. First, Stephen Dunn had picked it from among the manuscripts submitted and second, the book was going to printed using a letterpress printing technique. In letterpress every part of the process is done by hand. Each sheet of paper is hand-fed to the press. The pages are hand-folded, the binding hand-stitched. It is quite literally a work of art. Who wouldn’t love that?
Now it is here. And to me, the poems look and read even better upon seeing them in this book. The print of each word is actually pressed into the magnificent paper Fiona chose— Mohawk Superfine eggshell white, Rives BFK gray and Arturo Book red end-sheet. There is even a center fold-out page that arrays a series of short poems titled, Written on the Back of Speedway Gas Receipts.
To Order a Copy of The Surly Bonds of Earth go to Lettre Sauvage.