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Derivative Works from Daniel X. O'Neil

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Wherein I Walk Into a Bookstore in Boulder and Find a Copy of My Book from 16 Years Ago

Every time I travel to another city, I locate the best used bookstores and go there so as to build my poetry book collection. I search for books under a number of criteria:

  • Small press chapbooks published in the city or region where I am currently traveling (the goofier, smaller, more obscure the better).
  • Books signed by the author, and hopefully personalized in a very intimate fashion. The best thing about these books is that the book was then sold by the book receiver for circa two dollars.
  • Pretty much any oddly-designed book from the 1970s and 80s.
  • The last thing I look for is any book written by me. The process for that is to go alphabetically in the Os. If I see a book by Michael Ondaatje next to one by Ovid, I know that they do not have any of my books for sale.

As you can imagine, this is almost always the case. But it wasn't yesterday. I was at Red Letter Book Store in Boulder, CO. an I found a review copy I sent out in 1995. I apparently *was* going to give the book to "Mark and Julie", and right now I can't remember who those people are (help?).

One cool thing is that it includes the two things I always put in my review copies-- the "coming soon" sheet for the new titles that were coming out soon (none of which ever came out, btw) and a promotional poster designed by Jonny Stepping.

Sometimes it's nice to have a background as a mildly successful but ultimately failed poet. Yesterday was one of those days.


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Daniel X. O'Neil: Chicago-based writer and internet developer. I am a co-founder of and the People Person for EveryBlock, a site that pulls together local news and public information. I run dozens of personal projects and websites for clients, and also own half of a poetry book company.


EveryBlock: A news feed for your block.
CTA Tweet: Unofficial Twitter tracker for the Chicago Transit Authority.
CityPayments: Database of all vendors, contracts, and payments that have been posted by the municipal government of the City of Chicago
Wesley Willis Art: Site dedicated to the fact that Wesley Willis was an artist.
Wide Right Turn: An incomplete look at the role of variation in a capitalist society.


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