Secret Carnival Workers
The Paul Haines Reader
Admired as much for his insightful jazz criticism as for his liner notes and lyrics, Paul Haines collaborated throughout his life with some of the world’s most adventurous artists, including Evan Parker, Carla Bley, Derek Bailey, Roswell Rudd, John Tchicai, Alex Chilton, Robert Wyatt, Jack Bruce and Mary Margaret O’Hara. Alternately sly, humorous, cryptic and outrageous, much of Haines’ writing has gone unpublished for years.
Since Haines's death in 2003, his daughter, singer-songwriter Emily Haines, has endeavoured to collect his writings, many of which were known only to his circle of musician friends. Secret Carnival Workers is the first volume to bring together Haines’ poems, short fiction and music journalism – influenced by jazz, Dada and the Surrealists – in all its complex and creative breadth. Including uncollected fictions, epigrammatic poems and lyrics and writings on music composed between 1955 and 2002, this book finally places a major talent under the spotlight.
'Actively associated with some of the most progressive musicians in jazz for almost thirty years, Haines’s writing moves in quirky, unpredictable rhythms, with a love for sound, surprise and tart, understated humor. ’ – Fernando Gonzales, Boston Globe
‘Since 1962 I was the honoured recipient of many wonderful letters, poems and personally composed audio tapes by Paul Haines. I saved as many of these gifts as I could but now to have the poems all in one book is a compound of wonderful. Thank you, gifted Paul. ’ – Michael Snow