These stories are at once startling and beautiful. The world(s) of these stories is/are weathered… the characters face trying emotional and physical battering, and the weather itself behaves as a character, a deliverer of conflict, or as the element in the stories that interrupts, brings forward, gives resistance. These stories remind me of Don DeLillo at his best — though I think Ryan Call exceeds DeLillo’s talent… the language here is just so excessively beautiful. My heart breaks over and over again in the reading, and yet my lips hurt a bit from also smiling. A beautiful collection!
This year’s AWP in Denver was productive and fun and sleepless and mile high. Highlights include: Ahsahta Press reading off-site at the Magnolia ballroom–especially Ben Doller (new faculty at Mason, we’re excited to have him), Dan Beachy-Quick (always), and Rusty Morrison; Ahsahta reading on-site with Susan Tichy, Sandra Doller, Julie Car, Kate Greenstreet and Rachel Loden; some panels about the MFA and academia that made me feel simultaneously excited to shoot for a PhD and incredibly frightened; Etruscan Press Reading–esp Jennifer Atkinson and Bruce Bond; Orbiting Salt reading with Ryan Call (miss his face) and Blake Butler; off-site randomness with the Typewriter Girls (not that they were good, but the randomness and the company and the escape with too many people in the back-seat of a cab was fun); Joe Hall signing my copy of Pigafetta is My Wife in silver sharpie; hang time with Mason alums and making new friends; talking to authors and editors I like; off-site Denver Quarterly reading with Dan Beachy-Quick, Brian Teare, Cole Swensen and others; HTML Giant festivities (despite the long and blister-inducing walk… I’m dumb); meeting Phoebe contributors; spending too much money on beautiful books (though some I received in trade for Phoebe or was gifted).
Here’s the literary lot:
* Pigafetta is My Wife – Joe Hall (Black Ocean)
* Oh – Cole Swensen (Apogee)
* Bluets – Maggie Nelson (Wave Books)
* Little White Shadow – Mary Ruefle (Wave Books)
* Stone Lyre – Nancy Naomi Carlson’s translations of Rene Char (Tupelo)
* Undersleep – Julie Doxsee (Black Ocean)
* Objects for a Fog Death – Julie Doxsee (Black Ocean)
* New Exercises – Franck Andre Jamme transl. by Charles Borkhuis (Wave Books)
* DIAGRAM’s 10th Anniversary deck of cards
* Ecopoetics no. 6/7
* NO Colony
* Bat City Review
* Salt Hill
* Nano Fiction (x2)
* Bust Down the Door & Eat All the Chickens #9
* Ninth Letter
* Arbor – Melissa Ginsberg (New Michigan)
* Mistranslating Neruda – Matt Mason (New Michigan)
* Our Aperture – Ander Monson (New Michigan)
* mid winter – Matt Reeck (Fact-Simile)
* Point of Intersection – Joseph Cooper (Fact-Simile)
* A snazzy Smartish Pace duct tape wallet (gifted to me in trade for Phoebe, and I am so happy)
Oh dear lord there’s a lot to link in here and it’s 2:30am… I hope I actually get to do that. For now there’s always Google.
While I fail miserably at blogging due to insane schedules, spring breaks, travels, and especially due to exhibit prep and installation (see photobucket shots of Simultaneous Contrast and others in the DIS/ARMING DOMESTICITY exhibit up in Wallingford, PA until April 23rd, see also the facebook page)… there is a lot going on out there, namely by some friends of mine. Here’s the list of awesomeness:
Cheryl’s Gone – THURSDAY, March 18th featuring Susan Tichy, Sergio Waisman, and Will Schutt
Danika Stegeman and Joe Hall featured in the recent Noo
Emily Viggiano has an excerpted Trajectory up on the recent DIAGRAM 10.1
If I’ve succeeded in getting you to these wonderful poets, than this post has succeeded. Back the usual musings soon (I hope!)
This Saturday is the opening of the Call and Response exhibit at the Hamiltonion gallery at 1353 U Street NW, Washington DC. The project paired 16 writers with 16 visual artists – or, rather, 16 visual artists chose to pair themselves with the writings from 16 writers – in a somewhat blind collaboration. The result is bound to be fascinating. See a good set up of the exhibit over at BrightestYoungThings.com
Several friends and friends of friends are featured in the exhibit, and I’m so thrilled to see how it all turns out. Please join me on Saturday to find out for yourselves, too.
This Thursday, January 21st, at Big Bear Cafe in NW Washington, DC is the incredible reading series that happens the third Thursday of every month, Cheryl’s Gone, run by my friends and Mason alums, Wade Fletcher and Joe Hall. If you haven’t been to one of these and you live in the DC area, you don’t know where it’s at.
Big Bear is a deliciously dark (wooded) and simultaneously light (lots of windows) cafe on the corner of First and R, and its lovely staff helps to make this reading series pleasurable. There is always beer and wine available for a suggested donation, which helps to feed future readings and offers a bit of a stipend for the featured readers and musicians of the evening.
Joe and Wade always bring in an eclectic range writers and musicians to the scene, introducing us to the literary and musical styling available to us – often these featured people are from the DC area, but occasional visitors from outside the belt come to visit. The cafe lights go down and the reader or musician is left with a light from a soft lamp and we’re drawn in for the evening. At the break conversations are robust and engaging, and afterward a mix of presenters and listeners often go for drinks in the area. If you’re a writer, it’s a chance to meet established and emerging talent in an intimate atmosphere. I know I’ve never been disappointed.
Thursday night features: poet Chris Nealon, essayist Mike Scalise, poet Gerald Maa, and a musical performance by The Fall Catalogue.
I’ll be there, you should be too.
Well, there goes blogging Fall For the Book… I kind of made it happen.
Saturday’s Fellows reading, featuring the thesis and completion fellowship honorees and hosted by So To Speak, was a lovely event in Old Town Fairfax. It was supposed to be outside in the courtyard, but it was raining so it was moved to the gallery space currently exhibiting lots of paintings of animals looking creepy. I don’t think that was the intended theme, just the theme that emerged organically. It was otherwise a lovely space… oh, except that we were competing with an industrial air conditioner. I couldn’t internalize the words I was saying, but people said it was OK. I read from The Elements and two poems recounting the trajectory of my mfa… one from first year forms, “Shiver” and one from second year “Catching the Bones.” Both are still out with a few publications that are so far hesitating to reject me… please publish me!!!
I read alongside fellow Fellows Rebecca McGill, Hannah Vanderhart, Priyanka Champaneri, and Allyson Armistead. Everyone read such amazing work and I felt truly honored to be reading alongside such talented people. A very humbling experience. Thanks to all who made it out to hear us, despite the weather!
After that was the Breakthrough Poets reading at the Firehouse Grille (now Miller’s Tavern?), including Cathy Eisenhower, Reb Livingston, Chris Nealon, and Mel Nichols. It was an incredible line up and a great time… but I think we were all a little exhausted at that point… but I wanted to make sure to get out and hear Reb in thanks for her contribution to the panel discussion, and was also pleased to hear Cathy read ASS which we published in Phoebe last year. Mel is always so entertaining and I’d never heard Chris Nealon before but he was pretty incredible – a real wit there that I think is tough to acheive though he did so brilliantly.
Now… coming up… LOUD FIRE!!!
The reading series formerly known as the Candid Yak, which was run by myself and Rebecca McGill for two years, has now been passed on to the capable hands of Aubrey Lenahan, Walt Seale, and Nicole Lee (and other helping friends)… The first Loud Fire is tomorrow, October 2nd, in THE SPACE in Old Town Fairfax. Here are the deets:
Attend a captivating reading by several Masters of the Fine Arts of Poetry, Fiction, and Non-Fiction.
On Friday, Oct 2, we will feature:
Alison Strub – poetry
Paul Zaic – fiction
Ben Wilkins – non-fiction
and an Open Mic for all!
at no other than:
the SPACE at Old Town Village
3955 Chainbridge Rd. Fairfax, VA
above the Metro Diner & across from Panera
Bring your favorite beverage to this smoke-free venue and support your writerly classmates!
Although I, sadly, will be heading up to Allentown for my college reunion (eek), I encourage people to go and support my friends… and would someone please take some video so I can be there vicariously after the fact?