Sara Dian on “Hardtail Harvest”
Sara Dian’s sixteen-page poem-zine Hardtail Harvest is out, en route to bookshops from Cambridge (Grolier) to Seattle (Open). Edition of 300 printed on Munken with a cover drawn by Nhatt Nichols. I cherish the result and believe the zine lends itself to repeated reads. That’s always my goal even when, or maybe especially when, the overall word count is low but each line flexes some down-to-earth muscle.
Synopsis: Hardtail Harvest ends up caked under the fingernails of a day that ranges from Pacific Northwest mountain bike trails to corporeal epiphanies misted with the spritz from a freshly pop-topped can of beer.
Above, Sara reads the text we ran on the zine’s back cover, which began as an audio message she left me in the cadence of latent prose. It adds some context concerning the hours, route, and precipitation of the poem.
Some more background: We published Nhatt’s book-length illustrated poem This Party of the Soft Things in December 2021. Sara received a copy from a friend, recorded herself reading an extract out loud on a mountain bike trail, and posted it. Nhatt and I watched the video and were deeply moved.
From there I found out Sara’s a poet herself. One night she sent me a recording of a poem about bikes and weather and beer and being (with a Joseph Cornell cameo). I listened to it six times in a row before bed. It stunned, stirred, and soothed me all at the same time.
The last lines go: “asking how the simple syrup / at the bottom of this Sunday evening / can be put away.”
Well, a zine is a stoppered bottle.