Songs of S.
Author and Artist: Robert Seydel
Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse and Siglio Press (2014)
Shortly before he died in 2011, at the age of 51, the reclusive artist Robert Seydel submitted a manuscript of poems to Ugly Duckling Presse. He was uncertain whether to pair these “songs” of one of his many invented personae with (S.’s) collages and drawings, or to seek a publisher that would let the poems stand on their own.
Seydel described his character as follows: “S. occupied an apartment in a house in Amherst, Massachusetts, on a gray street around the corner from Emily Dickinson’s manse on Main Street. Not that much is known about him as a person . . . But he wrote prolifically … and kept a journal, and made collages and drew as well . . . These pictures betray, as do his songs, a certain lack of proficiency, while simultaneously developing a stance of innocence and reverie far from the precincts of the technical. His poems, journals and pictures were found, along with a great library of books, in his apartment, which he abandoned quite suddenly.”
"The magical qualities of Robert Seydel’s work never cease to astonish me."