Nothing Is Great
from Book of Nothing by Richard Carella (2013)
Nothing is great-
nothing is so great
it can not be contained;
there is nothing
outside of nothing;
nothing is outside
compared to nothing
the universe is
there is nothing
greater than nothing;
nothing is greater
Poet Richard Carella was born 9 January 1951 in Hudson Falls, NY to John J. Carella and Joyce M. Blake. Carella has wanted to express himself in poetry since middle school. “I have made poetry a priority since college, “ he said. He lives in Hudson Falls, New York, in a house his family has occupied for a century.
Carella is exacting about every detail of his books, which he publishes himself and has printed in limited quantity through printer Robert Walp at Chester Creek Press in Chestertown. The paper editions are hand sewn in a heavy black paper. The Canapeta cloth (a medium weight cotton/linen blend) bound copies are also black, with flecks of gold or blue, and are German lap bound with a leather spine.
According to a 2018 article in The Post Star, the books "have the feeling of a traditional Japanese art — flower-arranging or the tea ceremony — where elegance is sought within narrow constraints."
The Folklife Center has a small collection of Carella's works, including five books, and two broadsides. A long-time friend of another Hudson Falls poet, William Bronk, Carella also donated the bust of Bronk on display in the Folklife Center Reading Room. (A hint- Bronk will be next week's featured poet.)
The poems are clever and amusing, with multiple meanings that emerge with rereading. They are also profound, hinting at greater mysteries — a vast unseen world, a revelation. -Will Doolittle
The images below show the level of craftmanship in these limited edition books: beautiful, textured end papers, thoughtful font choices, placement of print to the page. It's easy to see that just as much care went into the printing and binding, as did the writing of the poems.
Nothing Is What It Seems
from Book of Everything by Richard Carella (2018)
to be something;
isn't what it seems;
April is National Poetry Month. For others in this series, check out
Carella, Richard. Book of Everything. Hudson Falls, NY: Weathered Orb Press, 2018.
———. Book of Nothing. Hudson Falls, NY: Weathered Orb Press, 2013.
Doolittle, Will. “In Short Works, Poet Suggests a Lot.” The Post Star, April 19, 2018. https://poststar.com/news/local/column-in-short-works-poet-suggests-a-lot/article_ae8e8445-081e-5df0-baf0-0688d10cb484.html.
The above cited books are part of the Richard Carella poetry collection held in the Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library which is available for research purposes when the Folklife Center is open, or by calling 518-792-6508 x239.
Tisha Dolton is Librarian/Historian at The Folklife Center at Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, NY. Her areas of interest are suffrage music, suffragists of Warren and Washington Counties, local women and minority populations, and embroidery.