Aethel by Donato Mancini


  • Poetry
  • 96 pages, 6×8 inches
  • Price: $21 CAD · $18 USD
  • ISBN: 9781554200306
  • Date published: 2007-09-20
  • Availability: in print & available


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About Aethel

Fascinated by the ligature –– a joining of two letters in a single word –– Donato Mancini chose, logically, to conjure one up in the title of his second book of concrete poetry, Æthel. "Although," as Mancini remarks parenthetically, "it might be the name of the crabby old blue–rinse who calls the police if you cross her lawn."

Æthel, the book, is anything but crabby. Mancini's further iteration of the titular character, now in medieval guise, as "the kind of person who might've razed your village or died as King while still a pup" gives some indication of his poetry's sense of humour. Riffing off the dual meaning of the word, Mancini lastly calls Æthel "a book full of well–developed characters... which has so much character."

The titles accompanying Mancini's exquisite, creative arrangements of recognizable fonts are more than half the fun. The fonts he chooses –– the hands that form the alphabet of sign language, the fat, stubby bulbs of Creampuff –– are another source of pleasure. But it's the shapes the author and artist fashion out of these elements that, in the end, have a strange and enduring beauty.

About Donato Mancini

Writer / critic / visual artist Donato Mancini is the author of You Must Work Harder to Write Poetry of Excellence (2012), Buffet World (2010), Æthel (2008), and Ligatures (2005). Two of his New Star books of procedural and visual writing, Ligatures (2005) and Æthel (2007) were each nominated for the ReLit Award, and Ligatures received honourable mention in the Alcuin Society book design awards.

A long-time member of the Kootenay School of Writing, he was a principal organiser of the interdisciplinary N 49 15.832 - W 123 05.921 Positions Colloquium in August 2008. Other publications include 105 posbL resons 4t ;; of thot, an artist's book from Bookhug (Toronto, 2010); Fact 'N' Value, a book edition from Fillip (Vancouver, 2011) as well as poetic and critical writings in publications such as The Capilano Review, Open Letter, West Coast Line, Rampike, W, The West Wind Review, Parser, ditch, Area Sneaks, Poetry is Dead and Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing.

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