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This Is For The Night People
Format: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2" Trade Paperback, 128pp.
Publisher: Madrigal Press
Pub. Date: December 2000
Prestige printing, 2 colour duotones throughout.
Includes previously unpublished poetry, photos, artwork.
Illustrations by Tom Bagley, Molly Kiely, Colin Upton, Ken Steacy, Philip Street, Scott Saavedra, etc.
Photos by Wayne Hoecherl, Barry Gnyp, etc.
... coffee, jazz, poetry, confessions, rock'n'roll, humour, opinions, diaries,
punk, pop culture, pirate radio, beat generation, Kerouac, Billy Fury,
New York, John Coltrane, Small Faces, Vox guitars,
God, Leonard Cohen, Paris, Picadilly Circus...
and that's just for starters...
Here's what the critics have said:
Mr. Alfonso continues his quest for world domination with a handsome paperback collection. You're invited inside his world of the lost. The cover photo of Ralph is reminiscent of Paul Newman in The Hustler, that poolroom film that was one of his early and very best films. A collection of poetry, travel diaries, general observations on life in North America for people living on the fringes and on low income. He's a fascinating cottage industry. And his books look so stylish.
Beat Scene, #38, UK, July 2001
Ralph is the poster child for this almost spiritual Beatitude. Dressed in black, pontificating coffee and cigarettes, joy of love and melancholy of sadness, he personifies the ecstatic in many of us who wants to break free from the 9 to 5 day job and beat a drum. (Now that I know about him, he is, in my mind, as essential to the character of Canlit as Carol Shields, and proof positive that Canada's lit scenes have got to share with one another - who knows what else we might be missing out on!)
Not much has been said in reviews about the actual poems; maybe because they're hard to define. Honest peaks into Ralph's world, the theme here is life. Like life, they're many things earthy and urban. It's an oil lamp and a neon sign, but it's all light. Reality of the content is smoothed out and jazzed up by Beatstyle lingo. This makes it palatable to the hip audience who don't want to swallow Shakespearean mouthfuls on their Saturday night.
Don't get me wrong - it's not written in dialect. The beauty of it is that anyone can understand, identify and appreciate, whether you're into the verse of Margaret Atwood or PJ Hunnicut and all in between. It's universal. And yes, there are real shining moments of literary wit and humour.
Laurie Anne Fuhr, Blue Moon