First published in Woodnotes #20, Spring 1994, pages 39.

White by vincent tripi. Swamp Press, 1994,42 pages, hardback and paperback,5½ by 9 inches. Available for $20.00 (hardback), or $10.00 (paperback) from the author at 478 A Second Avenue, San Francisco, California, 94118 [address no longer correct]. This new book from vincent tripi is truly sumptuous, everything that a poet dreams a handmade letterpress book to be. With black covers and endsheets, and gorgeously ridged, ragged-edged white paper inside showcasing fine typesetting, this book is a great delight to see and hold. Of course, one should not assume from the quality packaging that the poems inside are automatically as fine. Fortunately, most of them are. With White, vincent explores the rich whiteness of our lives. He writes about an Appaloosa’s markings, a polar bear and its cub, whitewater rapids, a clown’s makeup, an egret’s sheen, the whitest of flowers, fresh sealing wax, and the clarity of stars. But through it all is snow, always snow, and the cleansing its whiteness. The printing of this book is limited to 100 paperback and 75 hardback numbered copies, and this carefully made book is more than worth the cost. It is unfortunate that more fine self-financed poets cannot afford such sumptuous publishing, but surely vince’s work in White deserves it. There are many exquisite poems among the 69 haiku presented here at one to four per page. Three choice selections from this easily recommended collection:

A starry night . . .

waves washing sand

from the whale’s spout

Never ridden

the Appaloosa’s stillness

in the falling snow

Quiet morning;

fresh snow on

the buck’s rubbing tree