The Gilded Age of Kickstarters
Dancing Girl Press, 2016
The Gilded Age of Kickstarters presents a dozen poems inspired by 12 Kickstarter fundraising pages chosen at random. The covered fundraising projects are varied, ranging over gluten-free bakers, a scientist’s documentary, a peace plan by zombies, art and children’s books, eyebrow wax strips, French boot designers, a dance company, a game of plastic bones, a banjo pick, a Sri Lankan cuisine cookbook and a vegetal cyborg. They all attest to our shared zeitgeist!
The Gilded Age of Kickstarters is a collection of 12 poems inspired by Kickstarter—an American public-benefit corporation based in New York that maintains a global crowdfunding platform focused on creative projects such as films, music, journalism, video games, technology and food-related subjects. Eileen R. Tabios chose projects at random from Kickstarter and wrote poems inspired by their pages.
The title hints at what is to come. The gilded age is a direct reference to Mark Twain’s novel of the same name which satirized an era of serious social issues that were masked by a thin veneer of gold gilding—a period that was, beneath the surface glitter, seething with corruption. The phrase also carries with it a suggestion of an age of glamour and superficial attraction. An obscure meaning of “to gild something” means “to supply with gold or money.” It also carries the connotation of glossing over something, of giving it a specious appearance.
… These poems offer thoughtful insights and commentaries on the world in which we live.
—Neal Leadbeater, Otoliths, (May 1, 2017)
How one can rearrange and reimage what has been discovered to be relevant or ironic or funny or emotional or which will trigger something to someone. Tabios’ skill comes from her choice of material as she surfs through the Kickstarter website and the results are stunning in their simplistic power. Read them and weep or laugh or contribute. This is, after all, a book to be enjoyed without trigger….I does believe. And the usual talent by the author is here for us all.
—Jim McCrary, The Halo-Halo Review (February, 2017)
Twelve poems in a book will transform you into a thread tracing places your mind has not reached yet, taking detours to revisit people who are ever-present, and lining the papyrus territory of poetry only few can appreciate and emulate. From a South Korean illustrator’s definition of love to a Sri Lankan food connoisseur’s rants, this limited edition book sparkles and leaves with your own craving. What’s coming next? Are the poems one in intention? The book is like a tour around the globe. But in the end, one would realize that it’s more of an inward exploration.
—Aloysiusi Polintan, Facebook (March 4, 2017)
A SAMPLE POEM: