Jake Kennedy


Greenboathouse Press, 2015


Designed and printed by Jason Dewinetz at Greenboathouse Press, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada.

Published in an edition of 35 copies, plus a handful of unbound sets of sheets for private distribution.


Yet another stunning publication from Jason Dewinetz. Kobayashi is the finest looking book to date published by Greenboathouse Press, which is no easy position to take, as the editions are always particularly handsome, rightfully winning awards on a regular basis.

The presswork is the best I’ve seen so far from Dewinetz, with a crispness and depth of black rarely encountered. As for design, the edition is typically Greenboathouse’, but taken a little further than usual. For starters it is printed across seven different colours of paper; all printed with a different complimentary second colour for the poem numbers at the top of each page. The considered use of soft, muted and usually bespoke colour is something I love about Greenboathouse Press editions, and this book takes it so much further by having a range of similarly soft and muted colour papers to print on. It looks wonderful. There is also a rather fine wood engraving by Wesley Bates, based on a drawing by Christopher Hoy, described by Dewinetz as an unfortunate little mouse’ (it’s dead!).

The binding is very handsome in an understated style, with its blind-lettered leather spine and leather-tipped corners on the paper covered boards. Nothing particularly extravagant, just thoughtfully different to the normal and well executed.

As with Jake Kennedy’s previous Greenboathouse outing, Light & Char, Kobayashi is an exceptionally well-written collection of prose poetry, with the first three pieces particularly fine. Showcased here is a highly skilled individual’s ability to craft extraordinarily rich visuals using very choice, minimal language. It is a style harder than my usual fare, frequently stark and harsh, but such is Kennedy’s ability to grab hold with his unique voice that I am most taken. It is a volume that I shall be revisiting frequently.




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