“This book is the fulfillment of a long promise. About twenty years ago, Peter Burzyński began giving readings at Woodland Pattern. We eagerly looked forward to his participation in the annual marathon, a mounting recollection of years. He used the store in a way that only a select few used it, as a reading means of education, to develop his vision and writing. When he finally came to work at Woodland Pattern he was fired with a generous enthusiasm (‘it’s like an organized mess / of retired trees’) and an imagination vividly displayed in this book which comes after a pandemic year of isolation in the store.
A consequential year! And excruciating, costly. Yet Burzyński’s eye is light, and nearly jovial, recording things as various as proposed (and ironic) pick up lines, homages and such lines as these: ‘The pandemic’s cruel spittle / is unleashed / and the bookstore closes / for browsing.’ ‘Well, I’m not always alone. / Sometimes Lorine is here / watching.’ And ending: ‘inside of Woodland Pattern— / the only place in which / I’ve ever wanted / to be / so alone.’ As light as these poems seem to be, they are subtle, consider the way that line ‘for browsing’ doubles, the inside and outside of it.
This book really becomes quite personal to me. When I went to work at Boox, Inc. (from which Woodland Pattern emerged) I was mostly alone in the store for a year and a half, thanks to a reconstruction of Water Street. I was frustrated with that – though the isolation gave me lots of time to order and buy and hand distribute books, and to organize and conduct off-site readings and performances. Since the construction was an effective barricade to visitors, I also had a lot of time for reading and contemplation. So the time alone was a blessing of reading and discovery.
What a wonder, then, and to see that such is so richly possible, thanks to this book of marvels from Peter Burzyński.”
-Karl Gartung, co-founder of Woodland Pattern Book Center
This book is hand-bound with a perfect-bound text and stab-bound cover. The text is laser printed on 20lb recycled paper. The cover is laser printed on 80 lb speckletone cover stock and hand-torn. Cover image drawn by Alice Ladrick. This book is made in Milwaukee in an edition of 100.
Peter Burzyński earned a PhD in creative writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MFA in poetry from The New School, and an MA in Polish literature from Columbia University. He works as the book center manager at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee. Burzyński is the translator of Martyna Buliżańska’s This Is My Earth (New American Press, 2019) and the author of A Year Alone inside of Woodland Pattern (Adjunct Press, 2022).
In between his studies he has worked as a chef in New York City and Milwaukee. His poetry has appeared in jubilat, The Best American Poetry Blog, Thin Air, Prick of the Spindle, Thrush Poetry Review, MAYDAY, Your Impossible Voice, RHINO, and Forklift Ohio, among others. He is the son of immigrants who call him on the phone every day.