Episode 89 – The Blasted Tree

recorded on Thursday, April 21



I speak with Kyle Flemmer of the Blasted Tree about the inspiration for the press, its beginnings in 2014, how it works, who he has published, and what’s in store for the future.

We talked about falling in love with chapbooks. I suggest Kyle could be a superhero of small press poetry. We discuss how small press can contribute to societal change.

We speak quite a bit about the Blasted Tree’s digital content, including Verbal, a spoken word anthology and Feminist Perspectives, a six-part series. We discuss our feminist guides.

We discuss Kyle ‘s article, The Blasted Tree: Where to Stand https://periodicityjournal.blogspot.com/2020/06/kyle-flemmer-blasted-tree-where-to-stand.html

We talk about why women don’t submit their work for publication. I rant for some time (!)

We do a deep dive into design, as we’ve been doing for this series, focusing on a few print publications.

We discuss Ben Robinson’s Without Form. There are still 3 copies left as of this recording. We discuss the various ways in which the Vispo Bible has been published.

Kyle talks about forthcoming publications. Kyle also points out the Blasted Tree print subscription service.

Note of Praise

The Blasted Tree provides a welcome space for creators and a varied collection of work, whether it be in print or digital, graphic narrative, video-poem or massive tome. Kyle Flemmer is aware of his role and thoughtful about the issues of gatekeeping. With queer, trans, neurodiverse, non-binary and BIPOC contributors, it’s clear that the press is working on creating a diverse and inclusive space. Whether it’s Bea Keeler’s wonderful graphic narrative on anger, Amend, to the tactile beauty of Kate Siklosi’s coup, to the strong and vulnerable poetry of Helen Robertson in body of stone, the care exhibited in 100 Petals for Kate Siklosi in which Kyle takes petals from a clematis as impetus to write of the pandemic, and the rehabilitative act of love. The Blasted Tree offers so much good. The first words that come to my mind when  I think of the Blasted Tree are thoughtfulness, care, love and one of my favourite things, whimsy.

Thanks to Kyle Flemmer for being on the show, to Charles Earl for processing, to Jennifer Pederson for the intro/outro assistance, and to all of you for listening and sharing episodes of the Small Machine Talks.

Stay tuned for future episodes with Broken Sleep Books, Knife Fork Book, Hesterglock, above/ground press, Beir Bua, Ethel Zine and Hem Press in the rest of the year.