Dan Shepelavy "LYDIA TOMKIW POEMS" Book (2019) / Big Skin (Dark Entries)
Details: Lydia Tomkiw "POEMS" is a gorgeous book compiled, designed, and edited by Philadelphia-based editor, illustrator, and designer, Dan Shepelavy. This detailed collection of work features various selections written by artist, poet, and musician, Lydia Tomkiw, of the Chicago-based band, Algebra Suicide. A book such as this; focusing on the sole and brilliant mind of Chicago's Tomkiw, has never been released, prior to now, and so we are beyond excited to showcase this work!
As a very special and rare edition, "POEMS" is not only beautifully designed but, it also includes a digital d/l for Dark Entries' 2020 reissue of Algebra Suicide's 1986 fantastic cassette-only album, "Big Skin." All that we can say is 'Ah-mazing!' "POEMS" is a tremendous deep-dive on the truly avant-garde mind, mission, and vision of Tomkiw, who sadly passed away in 2007. Artist-editor (and super-fan), Dan Shepelavy, of Universal Exports of North America, has put together a truly immersive look into Tomkiw's back catalog.
If you are not familiar with the writing of Tomkiw or the music and power of Chicago's Algebra Suicide, then let this book and its companion album, "Big Skin," be your perfect guide. The music of Don Hedeker (guitar and synthesizer) and Lydia Tomkiw (vocals, lyrics) is a warm mix of minimalist synth-pop, no wave, avant-garde poetry, and introspective, lyrical (tongue-in-cheek) surrealist vision, often readily infused with Tomkiw's working-class and familial upbringing. Lydia Tomkiw "POEMS" is hands-down what every huge Tomkiw and Algebra Suicide fan has been waiting for. To quote lyrics from one of our favorite songs, we can only say this: "Wow! Heaven must be a big place!" (Little Dead Bodies by Algebra Suicide)
READ THE INTERVIEW WITH DAN SHEPELAVY HERE:
Short Description: "In the late 70s, Lydia Tomkiw blazed out from Chicago's intertwined worlds of poetry & punk rock. She established herself as a distinctive and significant contemporary poet, culminating in her inclusion in the inaugural 1988 volume of Best American Poetry. Momentum was gathering behind her beloved, critically acclaimed new wave band Algebra Suicide. Then, after fifteen promising, trailblazing years, things fell apart. This new collection presents all of Tomkiw's long out-of-print work in facsimile editions along with over 180 uncollected poems, joined by critical and biographical essays." - Dan Shepelavy, Author of Lydia Tomkiw "Poems"
Grade: M (new stock)
BIG SKIN TRACK LISTING:
1. After Charles
2. Seasonal Zombies
3. Little Dead Bodies
4. A Proverbial Explanation For Why No Action Is Taken
5. After Rilke
6. No War Bride
7. Tractor Pull
8. Sub Rosa
10. Amusing One's Self
11. Seven Song
12. Please Respect Our Decadence
13. Alphabet Song
Full Description: "In the late seventies, Lydia Tomkiw, a precocious and inventive poet, and a beguiling new wave chanteuse, blazed out from Chicago's intertwined worlds of poetry and punk rock.
Her trajectory stands as a thrilling testament to the independent do-it-yourself ethos - that the journey from Chicago's Ukranian Village to the inaugural volume of Best American Poetry can be made via nightclubs armed with little more than restless imagination, words, office xerox machines, and moxie.
Tomkiw's poetry is both innovative and immensely enjoyable--formally playful, rigorously perceptive, delightfully surreal, and fueled by her singular, sexy charm. Tomkiw emerged from a circle of immensely talented poets, mostly women, including Elaine Equi, Connie Deanovich, and Sharon Mesmer. Collectively they invigorated American urban poetry and cleared paths for more vital raucous and more fiercely female verse. In their scene lay the roots of now-established forms like slam and spoken word.
With her acclaimed band Algebra Suicide--designed explicitly as a vehicle for her poetry--Tomkiw pushed the boundaries of poetic performance, while also leaving behind a series of unassailably ace records.
This new collection presents all of her publications in facsimile editions, preserving the raw sizzle of her early self-published chapbooks as well as comprehensively reissuing the works that secured her reputation. In addition, it gathers together more than 180 uncollected poems, a comprehensive biography, and contributions from Mesmer, poet and teacher Paul Hoover, and music critic Ira Robbins.
Lydia Tomkiw Poems restores to print and posterity an exhilarating and important voice in American poetry." - Dan Shepelavy, Editor of Lydia Tomkiw (Poems)
Author: "Dan Shepelavy works as a creative director, fine, and commercial artist, writer, and advertising executive. He spent his early career amidst the collapsing scenery of the pre-internet music business. He is the proprietor of Universal Exports of North America, which functions as an imprint for various publishing, art, and music projects, and as a creative consultancy. He lives in Philadelphia."