Thursday, December 28, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
"River" not really a Christmas song, but it references Christmas and I love Joni Mitchell.
"Please Come Home for Christmas": various versions of this, from everyone from the Eagles to Bon Jovi.
"All I Want for Christmas is You" Despite my dislike of Mariah Carey, this song makes me happy.
"Carol of the Bells" Haunting--could double as a horror movie soundtrack in some interpretations..
"Hard Candy Christmas" Dolly Parton and the other girls in the "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" --this one rips my heart out everytime..
Honorable Mention: "The Little Christmas tree" or I think that's what it's called. About a straggly little unwanted tree. This was on a Disney record I had a kid, and apparently I would make my mother play it over and over again while I stood crying in the living room...such a sucker for drama...
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
1). Pens: Pilot g-2’s to be exact. 07’s. A finely engineered piece of machinery.
2) Paper goods: stationary, postcards, etc. I have far more than I will ever send out or write upon. I've recently died and gone to heaven here and here.
3)Tea: Twinings Earl Grey and Bigelow's Plantation Mint stock my cabinets and desk drawers repectively.
4)Jewelry: I have spent WAY too much cash here this month, but they're actually really affordable.
5)Notebooks: I'm typically a fan of your garden variety spiral bound sketchbooks, but I found these recently these that are multi-colored and pertier. I, of course, bought the green one.
6)Music:. Maybe it's all the heartache, but I find myself more in a folk-country-rockish state of mind lately and The Wreckers fit the bill perfectly.
7)chocolate: also good for heartache (and with the above tea). These are my absolute favorite, but Hershey's works too.
8)fine Jamaican Rum: if all else fails.
9)Discount Cashmere: I recently found a cashmere cardigan at WalMart online for $45...it hasn't yet fallen apart.
10)small poetry things: from Dusie's wee books, to Tinysides, to Foursquare, I love getting these in the mail.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Taking something like the Chaucer feels weird when the bulk of my classes here have been rather new poetry-- radical poetics, hybrid forms, new media poetry, contemporary american, and just this semester, emerging american. It was a good way to round out a pretty traditional background from my MA, where my courses were devoted to Medieval romance, Milton, the Romantics, Victorian Novels, 19th Century American Lit, the Modernists, with electives in womens writing across various periods. Basically what I know about the Canturbury tales was gleaned from h.s senior year english class and a bad English Lit I survey as an undergrad. Neither of which I was paying all that much attention to.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
End of the semester, and I’m tired of looking at/touching/moving around books. Did some shelving on the third floor to pick up the slack and realized all that kneeling and bending are not so fun when you’ve passed thirty (well maybe for SOME things, but certainly not shelving books). And of course, end of semester jackasses are rampant and coming out of the woodwork. Angry professors, stressed out students. And it all just keeps coming at you. Plus we’re seriously understaffed, since most of my co-workers have to use all their remaining vacation before January 1 or lose it, so we’re down to the barest bones. I sadly, used the last of my vacation days before Thanksgiving, so am stuck working through next Thursday. But after that, a whole blissful week off…
I have finally succeeded in wading through the dgp inbox and responding to almost all of the chaps. As I've said before, I hate rejecting chapbooks, which feel like a much more serious responsibility than just a few poems--obviously something the author spent a bunch of time on to create. I do it reluctantly, and wish I could publish all the ones that speak to me, but I can't. Such is the nature of the beast I imagine.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
In other news, I can finally breathe freely after having tied up all loose school ends, and now get down to other, more enjoyable poetry things. Last night's last thesis seminar was a fun-time with presents and yummy food, and an end to a relatively pain-free semester (there was a little pain in Emerging Poetics with the papers and all). After horror stories of last years thesis process, I'm a bit glad I waited til this fall. It was a smaller group of people who seemed to be reasonably good readers of my work, helped quite a bit with organization issues, and it all seemed much less chaotic than I imagined it would be.
Monday, December 11, 2006
release reading/party for the fever almanac
2849 W Belmont Ave.
Also, I'll be reading this Sunday night on Wordslingers, 88.7 fm WLUW at 8pm for those folks within listening distance. In a few weeks, it will also be archived here for your listening pleasure.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
And next year? First task is rounding out the Cornell poems and working with Lauren on the final product. I'd like to start sending out girl show after the new year, or at least a version of it. After the whole Tupelo/Dorset fiasco, I'm not so keen on contests, though I could no doubt use the cash for the press once the student loan cushion dries up next summer. Over the summer, I plan to dig in seriously on the newest manuscript, dulcet, and see where it goes (I've messed around with it for a couple years now, but hadn't been able to find the right angle to approach until just recently.) And there all those dgp chaps, and some more visual projects I have my head wrapped around. New poems coming soon in Dusie, WOMB, The Tiny, DIAGRAM and Slipstream.
And of course, finishing the program, no small feat after four years of doing it half-ass (er...I mean part-time). Though no doubt it's done me good in term of opening up my writing, making me better, even with all the grumbling and whining over papers and the occasional vivisection (or evisceration). Also, the whole sort of feeling very much in the fish-bowl sometimes. Like I want to hide my work until it's done. After it's done, even. But this is to be expected I suppose in any workshop-driven program.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
And of course, I couldn't resist THIS for myself when I saw it..
Friday, December 01, 2006
--Lara Glenum, "A DIORAMA OF MY PUCELAGE"
Started reading The Hounds of No this morning, it having arrived in the mail last week. Very meaty and bodily poems, I'm loving it, though all that talk of egg sacks made me a little queasy before breakfast...
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Tsk...tsk...you'd think we attracted that sort of thing...;)
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
On the editing front, I need to get through the last batch of dgp manuscripts, send out responses and finish laying out the next chap, Parapherna, which I'm aiming for a release date of Dec 20. There's also the winter Wicked Alice issue to get up (it's only like ten poets so it shouldn't be too hard.)
Over the break, there are the poems I need to round up for the Cornell project, and a couple places I need to submit to. Plus, the first couple of next year's chaps to get underway.
I know it will all get done eventually, but looking at it at the moment makes me tired. I think I'll go home and crawl into bed and do nothing.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Just discovered this artist, thanks to Brandi, and ordered some notecards and a little book. Also, in the mail, The Radish King, which I can't wait to read...
Sunday, November 19, 2006
My head is dull like a shell with the ocean in it. When you left me in the restaurant, I scoured the dictionary for days. Kissed men until my teeth hurt. Craved margaritas and the salt on the back of your neck. O my barbwire. My broken key. When you went south wearing my blackest dress, I looked in every hotel room from here to Knoxville. Cried in the shower. Found you puking in the backseat and mumbling about metaphor. On good days, you're a mad scientist. On bad, a vain girl with a scalpel. I put out a glass of wine to trap you. Line the drawers with sawdust. You hide my clothes and threaten to riot. Play gin rummy with the neighbors, throw record players out windows. On good days, I can get you to lie on the floor while I chant Light as a feather, stiff as a board.
Light as a feather, stiff as a board.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Last night, my laptop went all wonky again and wouldn't load windows. I wound up using the recovery disc again, which is a huge pain in the ass, since I have to load everything else back in as well--two printers, the scanner, the software for my camera and mp3 player. Bites. At least I don't really keep things saved on there on a permanent basis (for this reason largely), but I may have lost a poem or two if I forgot to e-mail them to the desktop at work, which I'll have to re-type. Double bites. Luckily everything else, images and such are online at least somewhere.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I think it's not so much that it was a form letter. I mean, poets are used to getting those. But that the letters gave the illusion of being an individualized response, and what had been apparently promised in exchange for 35 bucks a pop (high even for a contest fee, let alone open reading). It's just fraud plain and simple. And then to attempt to collect more money, all the while making seductive promises so very much at odds with Tupelo's contest guidelines...which if they're true, constitute one kind of badness, and if not true, yet another..
As the folks at Foetry were saying in the forums, how is this not different from the National Library of Poetry scam? No matter how "respected" Tupelo has been in the past, this is fucking ridiculous...
On other, happier fronts, I got a nice note from the good folks at Rhino that they'd nominated midnight pastoral for a Pushcart. Also in the mail, Kaia Sand's wee book from Dusie and October's Foursquare, as well as Rebecca's new chap, which I'v already read and loved (of course).
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Yesterday, I started making my way thru dgp manuscripts and it's going to be hard to make decisions once again. A couple things have already knocked my socks off and I'm definitely taking them. Everything else is either going into the "no way in hell" pile (less than you'd think) or the "maybe" pile. I have about four or five slots left, otherwise I'm pushing into 2008. Since next year is going to be dgp's last year without any sure-fire funding, we're piling them in, one a month, 12 chaps in the 2007 season. After that we'll likely setle back to three or four, which was the intended number when I started the press. But I'm glad we have the chance to start strong, this year alone 6, not counting the wicked alice print annual and my own.
Since we're publishing more chaps, I'm scaling back wicked alice to smaller issues (ten or less poets) to even out the workload, although oddly it's less time consuming to lay out a chap than to code an issue. I'm also thinking of a subscription system for dgp, to get all the years chaps (plus some extra goodies)for seriously cheaper than buying individual copies.
In other news, Amanda has posted a poem from the fever almanac in her weekly Friday poem feature. I still won't say it in the mirror five times--not when I was eleven, not when I'm 32. On a creepy mirror-related note, I went and saw The Return last night, which somehow marketed itself more as horror than the thriller it was, but it was okay, though I can't see SMG as anyone but Buffy. I have a couple interesting looking horror movies coming from Netflix, now that I've finished Veronica Mars. Hopefully, I get a chance to watch them this week. Still pushing on through to blissful Thanksgiving week, trying to get excited by the lights going up in the trees, the Christmas junk I can already see in some department stores on Michigan ave..
Monday, November 06, 2006
This is just one more in a long-line of stupid comments I’ve heard in the MFA world about publishing. Another recently about contests, someone advising another poet not to enter said contests because it was “small potatoes” and he’d never heard of it or the judge. Does that matter, does it make the prize money or the book any less real? Who exactly are we trying to impress? Who cares if you’re happy and have your book and readers and maybe you, yes you, will be the poet that raises the press from obscurity?
I’m not really a fan of the “poetry career”—the prizes, the grants, the teaching job, wracking up fancy shmancy pub credits, the little piece of fame poet could lay claim to in such a small world (though some occasional cash and ego stroking would be nice, thus I’m not ready to give up on contests, however small fry)...I AM out for a career, though, a readership of some sort, creating work and getting it out there. Perhaps Poet #1’s comments hit a bit close to home since the presses publishing my books are pretty small and newish, but I love them because of that. And I’m a small and newish poet, so it’s a good fit. I’d certainly rather be published by the uncovered jewel than the big and overhyped.
*sigh* the whole conversation just set me grumbling all the way home. I guess I'll just add this to the list of things I continually roll my eyes at, the suggestions that poets :
1) just have to be published in certain “name” journals in order to wrack up credits for their mss. before it will be taken seriously by eds . (It should be the advice to get your work out there as much as possible to garner an audience, wherever you think that audience may lie..)
2) that publishing your poems online is like throwing them in the trash and that you should save your “good” work for print (yes, I actually heard someone say this),
3) that POD is inferior to traditional publishing (I’m beginning to think the exact opposite).
4) That no one will take you seriously if you self-publish. (bullshit.)
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Grocery stores are an even greater trauma. Many a time before I succumbed to the luxury of getting them delivered, you might find me dazed in the middle of the Dominicks', list forgotten at home, 2 out of three ingrediants for what I'm making, frantically trying to figure what I'd forgotten, if I could afford it, how much more could I carry the signifigant distance back to my apartment. It didn't help that unless I wanted to do my shopping at eleven pm (occasionally happened), or get up early before work to do it (not ever going to happen) I had to do it Sunday, with everyone else in Edgewater apparantly, including old surly people nearly running you down with their carts and entire families toting five or six kids running amok. If I made it to the line, it was a good fifteen minutes before I got out of there, only to have, of course, overloaded myself, those plastic handles digging grooves in my hands and messing my back all up. Now, I go online once or twice a month, a few clicks (I pretty much get the same things every order) and I'm set for weeks at a time for like an extra $8 (plus whatever I tip the delivery guy), and it's delivered to my door. No existential crises in front of frozen foods. No tears over the produce.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
The Traffic in Women is now available for sale at the site, and needs only to be assembled which I plan to do whilst watching Veronica Mars, season 2 (OMG--the awesomeness) tonight.
I also have a poem up at sharkforum.org from the fever almanac Thanks to the very rockin Simone Muench for putting it up (and writing me such an awesome blurb for the book..)
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Sour Girl, Stone Temple Pilots (wired out Scott Weiland, SMG, and scary teletubbie bunnies=absolutely terrifying.)
Black Hole Sun, Soundgarden(not even the hotness that is Chris Cornell can keep this from being disturbing..)
Come to Daddy, Aphex Twin
(don't even know what to say about this one..just watch it..)
Also in the running, for freakiness Rammstein's Du Hast (though love the artfulness and visuals on this one) and Push It, Garbage(ditto).
Thursday, October 26, 2006
But all that is not so bad (well everything but the fire), since I arrived home tonight to find a box full of absolutely gorgeous books in the lobby, prettier than I even could have imagine. Major props to Ghost Road design guru Sonya Unrein, and, as always Alaina Burri-Stone, who supplied the cover photo. I keep staring at it it's so gorgeous.
I've also made available a handful of signed copies available over at etsy now that I have them since some folks have asked. For Chicago peeps, I'm going to be reading next Friday at DvA Gallery with the after hours crowd and will certainly have some copies in tow...
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
I’d been going back and forth with it over the summer, since some of the poems were already very happy in their various loosely interrelated chapbook projects (but at least one out of print). This is the whole science, birds, and victoriana mass of poems, some of which were part of errata, some from the forthcoming feign chap. They were once my thesis manuscript, until girl show took off and demanded more attention. In the spring, I was convinced they needed to have some more cohesiveness, and after adding the phobia poems, which sort of served as glue, things were looking a lot more promising, so I figured I’d try it at a couple of places that might be interested. Susana at Dusie graciously accepted it a couple days ago, and I’m psyched to be part of such a great little new press, one which recently published Elizabeth Treadwell’s Cornstarch Figurine, and has books coming from Robyn Art, Logan Ryan Smith, Jen Hofer, and others. Plus a whole DIY vibe I can totally get behind.
There were also a couple poems that were bouncing back and forth between manuscripts, one of which was “in the bird museum,” which wound up in the version I sent and which she thinks makes a better title. After I thought about it a bit, I’m agreeing (especially since I was thinking in the spring that the poem “instabilities” itself wasn’t weighty enough to carry the book, but I hadn’t thought of anything better) Now that I’d moved the other poem into the mss (plus a couple others), it makes perfect sense and is a little more catchy I think…and it ties into the themes excellently.
So it should appear late next year or abouts. I'm so happy to have found presses where my manuscript totally seems to just "fit" with, first Ghost Road and now Dusie, each book being totally different from the other. I'm also extremely grateful I didn't have to start the contest game again, which seems like such
a long shot, not one or two editors deciding they like your work and want to publish it, but a whole system of screeners and judges having to agree. I hardly stand a chance.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
By the end of this month if I have to kill to get it done. It's big and awesome and well worth the wait (and unbelievably tardy since I'v spent the last month and half awash in papers and projects and myriad romantic drama.) Also watch for Kristina Marie Darling's The Traffic in Women, dgp's latest, which just needs to be printed and assembled.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe (1990)
A Coney Island of the Mind, Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1992)
Ariel, Sylvia Plath (1993)
The Complete Poems, Emily Dickinson (1993)
Collected Poems, Edna St. Vincent Millay (1993)
The Wasteland, TS Eliot (1994/1998)
Meadowlands, Louise Gluck (1998)
An Origin Like Water, Eavan Boland (1998)
Thomas and Beulah, Rita Dove (1999)
Collected Poems, Anne Sexton (2001)
Autobiography of Red, Anne Carson (2001)
And Her Soul Out of Nothing, Olena Kaytiak Davis (2001)
The Air Lost in Breathing, Simone Muench (2002)
Why Things Burn, Daphne Gottlieb (2002)
Last Lunar Baedeker, Mina Loy (2003)
Isolato, Larissa Spzorluk (2004)
Musca Domestica, Christine Hume (2004)
Given, Arielle Greenberg (2004)
Captivity Narrative, Mary Anne Samyn (2004)
The Babies, Sabrina Orah Mark
Steal Away, CD Wright
Mostly women, especially among contemporary poets, but since I'm interested in women's poetics these days, that's who I tend to read. Poe's "Annabel Lee" was probably the first poem I ever memorized, the one that made me want to write poetry. in junior year English (and you wonder where those gothic sensibilities stem from..)I was once in love with the Beats my first couple years of college (what twenty-year old isn't?). My attraction has waned over the years, but I think Ferlinghetti the best in that circle. (Ginsburg fans hate me..) Plath is an easy one. I actually first encountered Plath as icon near the end of highschool (I inadvertently picked up The Bell Jar in the school library and checked it out because it shared a title with a Bangles song and that seemed important). It took me a couple years to "get" it, to understand it. And that Sylvia, the icon, the patron saint of anxious young women writers, with the journals and letters I later read, was what made me want to be a poet. It took me a bit longer to really come to appreciate the actual work, the poems, which came in college, and even now, I read them differently than I did then. Her work is probably the only poet who I can say I have a pretty full grasp on, the work, the biography, the scholarship, the fictionalizations. She's still that patron saint somehow. Dickinson and Millay came a bit later, and for awhile, influenced what I was writing (I'd say in a bad way since as undergrad I was doing wy too many short little rhyming poems). Only later would I come to appreciate Dickinson fully (and maybe still don't).
I talked a bit about The Wasteland below, but I was also reading contemporary poets around then (whatever I could get my hands on and check out at the DePaul library.) Gluck and Boland are ones that stick out as something I was trying to emulate in those days. Thomas and Beulah was on my MA exam reading list and sort of sealed the deal. If I could do THAT through poetry, tell a story like that, I was in it for the long haul. Perhaps it was those failed novel attempts, but if I could do that in poems, which I could already do a pretty good job with, I wanted to do nothing BUT write. That was when my PHD plans, and my brief failed career as a scholar, fell by the wayside. I was already writing in full swing when I discovered the next batch of books, Sexton, Carson, Davis, which sort of formed my voice then. Probably more the Sexton and Davis in this way, Carson, again with the scope and possibilities of poetry. I first heard of Simone's book in early 2002, when we both lost the (well, got 2nd and 3rd place) the 2002 Poetry Center thing. We officially met in 2004 when I finally won the contest (she'd garnered 1st in the intervening year), but her book was already making me write differently two years before that. (The book in particular is also, incidently, linked to the worst online blind date--that wasn't even really a date really--I ever had, but that's one I'll take to my grave.)
The rest--Loy, Szporluk, Greenberg, Samyn, Hume, Mark, Wright-- are things I've discovered over the past couple of years, or since I've been in grad school, mostly things recommended to me (or in Arielle's case because I know her). And for most of them, it extends beyond one book to their whole body of work, but these were the books I hit upon first. All of them having impact in a different way, on a different aspect of my writing. I blame The Babies for my addiction to weird, dark, little prose poems of late.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
I think right after I finished those poems, as soon as the book was finished, all hell broke loose in terms in terms of what I was doing. Alot of it was what I was studying, the hybrid class, working on errata, reading more "experimental" work, utilizing cross-genre texts, studying with Stephanie Strickland. Those poems, which would become feign and instabilities, are VERY different. Or at least they feel like it to me. Not just the collage, the borrowed text, the fragmentation, the very focused thematic concerns, but even the speakers of the poems themselves...a different sort of "I" speaking. Almost as if I was learning what poetry can be in addition to what I always thought it was. And I always had this fear the that people who liked my older work hated the newer stuff an vice-versa. In some cases this has been true. In others I was surprised. I think they both have their audiences, with some crossover.
What's funny is I think I'm circling back around with the newer stuff, girl show especially. It exists somewhere between the other two projects, which is a good place to be. Definitely more lyric, but not quite so narrative, or should I say, resisting narrative. Of course, dulcet is a 180 in the other direction, probably far more out there (though it's still early) than even instabilities.
I still occasionlly still like reading Gluck and Dove and Forche, but also like Hejinian and Harryette Mullin. I like poets on either end of the spectrum and all variations in between. In fact, the only sort of poetry I dislike is BAD poetry...So, it sort of a dicey position to be in..people can't look at you say you're "mainstream", or you're "experimental." Sure, they can talk about the work itself as falling into one camp or another, perhaps, but not the poet. It feels very freeing somehow, not to be "branded", but also a little scary, precarious. Like some freaky no man's land...
Sunday, October 15, 2006
In other news, I am so totally addicted to the first season of Veronica Mars, which I am now into the fourth disc...I was so tired I was barely able to keep my eyes open, but had to tear myself away from the dvd player and keep myself from watching just one more episode last night. It's not Buffy as I've said before, but a highly enjoyable second nevertheless. And speaking of tv, I'm also completely addicted to watching AMC again before I leave for work. Granted with no cable, and just the antenna, it's a little fuzzy. Since I was working all summer, I couldn't watch, but I'm firmly back in the plotlines again, and barely making it out the door in time to go to work to watch the next day's teaser. It's a sickness.
Later: ugh...finished the paper, but it's all crap, and really I'm not all that upset. It feels like busy work. It feels like something I really don't care about. I'd much rather be writing or reading or sleeping or having sex. It's a good thing wasn't this apathetic toward school ten years or I'd never gotten any sort of degree at all.
On the fun side of thing I ordered enough clunky shoes to last me through the winter and nice soft black cardigan to replace my ratty one. Also, a hatchet for my Lizzie Borden costume for Halloween. Not like I don't have enough black clothes to fashion something Victorian looking...
Friday, October 13, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
I find myself occasionally wishing I didn't work evenings and could go to all the readings and open-mics, and indeed all the stuff I miss doomed to the library during the school year. I don't miss it quite enough, however, to give up my cushy evening circ desk time, in which I get a heck of a lot of stuff done. Also my free mornings for writing. I wouldn't give those up, even miss them in the summer , having to squeeze in the time during the day, since I'm way too zonked from getting up early and the nasty rush-hour commuting. All I do is go home and surf the net or watch movies. Not much more mental energy than that.
My ideal weekday routine is up at 10 or so, do some writing, have breakfast, some tea or coffee, check my e-mail, shower, get dressed, go to work, do work-related things--book billings, tracking overdues, invoices, filing (woo-hoo, exciting stuff!) until around five, get some dinner, putter around with various poetry things, then spend two or three hours on the circ desk, getting dgp and wicked alice stuff done. Then home, where I do some blog reading and various online things, eat dinner, maybe watch some tv, then head to bed around 2am. Occasionally there's breakfast or lunch dates sandwhiched in, but not much happening socially Monday through Thurs--I sort of always hate living in the city amidst all the cultural fervor--lectures, exhibits, plays, readings, films, etc, and hardly ever getting to take advantage. Such is the life of a working girl..well not THAT kind of working girl--though that would probably be more lucrative...
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Art: Britta Fahrenbruch (sleeve), Emily Martin (cover) Poetry: Kristy Bowen, Stephanie Young, Kate Greenstreet and Jennifer Scappettone.
I'm loving the cover art here courtesy of Emily Martin (aka The Black Apple). I will soon be needing to order some more of her postcards, but just a few days ago, I procured these.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
I have maybe 20 or so of these babies left and am willing to trade or hell, just give them away upon request if you ask...October being the perfect time for this slim little volume of ghosty poems steeped in Chicago history and urban legend. About a year ago, I was doing research for this project, taking local haunting tours and hanging out in cemetaries....my sort of fun.
Tried to get tickets for another tour this year, but they were all booked up for October. There is this I might check out, though fake spookiness is never quite as good as the real thing. I am queuing up my spooky movies for the month (actually am in the midst of Veronica Mars season 1 at the moment). Found this movie again, which nostalgia, and a vague fuzziness of what happens, prompts me to want to see it again. And then there is this, which I do remember quite well and used to watch over and over (this is the one quasi-horror movie my mother would actually watch with us...and it's Disney so it's not that scary.) Of course my Dad was taking us to the video store and letting us rent slasher pics by the half dozen, which he would sometimes watch, but usually it was me and little sis alone while they were out bowling and such, always with the instruction "Don't scare your sister." My favorite was pointing behind her, feigning a look of horror until she'd start crying or got mad...
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
The Molly Malone's Open Mic with your hosts Nina Corwin and Al DeGenova invites you to be part of one of the most highly respected open mics in the Chicago area.
Monday,October 9, join us in welcoming poet
The current featured artist in After Hours magazine, Kristy Bowen is the author of the fever almanac, due out in November from Ghost Road Press, as well as a chapbook, feign, forthcoming from New Michigan Press in 2007. Her work has appeared in a number of online and print publications, including Slipstream, Another Chicago Magazine, The Melic Review, DIAGRAM, Agni online, Rhino and others. She lives in Chicago, where she edits the online zine, wicked alice , and runs dancing girl press, which publishes chapbooks by women authors. She is currently completing her MFA in Poetry at Columbia College.
Molly Malone's Irish Pub
7652 Madison Street
Forest Park, IL
$5 if you can, $3 if you can't
7:00 -- open mic sign-up begins
7:30 -- open mic
8:45 -- featured reader
9:15 -- open mic continues if necessary
Poetry/fiction at Molly's is the second Monday of every month.
Monday, October 02, 2006
In the mailbox, my copies of Backwards City and a package from one Juliet Cook, complete with a lovely collage, some fixins for collages, a wee little notebook, some yummy looking teas, and a “reading is sexy button,” all in exchange for archer avenue. I’ll be making some more available soon, it being Halloween season and all, and a good time for ghosty poems. Stay tuned.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Tomorrow, whilst working, I plan on digging seriously into laying out the all-alice issue. I missed my deadline by miles, but it's a giant issue so I'm not all too upset. Plus I've been preoccupied lately with much ordinary life stuff. I did secure the cover art to use on The Traffic in Women, so we're in business there. And did some preliminary designs for the fast on its heels Parapherna.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
It's not really about publishing your friends really, or even yourself that irks me (OBVIOUSLY), but a kind of myopia that puts oneself, and one's cicle, however falsely at the center of poetry as we know it, and using that as an excuse for all sorts of badness.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Today's tasks included tweaking the layout on the print annual (which I plan to print tomorrow if all goes well) and updating the dgp website, plus messing a bit with cover ideas for the next few chaps. Also took a perusal through this week's manuscripts for thesis seminar, which got me thinking about projects as poets. I realize at some point I really became focused on individual projects, which has no doubt spurred me to write more, since I have a goal, a direction. It also helps me to be able to "finish" things, for the most part. To be able to move onto the next thing. Maybe it's that practical nose to the grindstone Taurean side of me, but if left to wander aimlessly, writing poems about whatever moves me, I'd never write a damned thing. Too little focus. Or maybe it's those fiction writing roots, to stay focused and work through to completion. To get at things from a bunch of different angles. Sure I often fall off into interesting little diversions, but those things eventually become projects themselves. Right now, there's pulling together girl show, the the barest bones of dulcet, the Cornell project, the phobia poems, and a new fledgeling little project called a brief history of fire, mostly city/Chicago poems. Of course, I get so many things rolling and I never finish anything, but getting girl show in shape is the priority (I think I might like to begin submitting it over the winter.) And the Cornell stuff, since we're planning an April release. And then, who knows..
Thursday, September 21, 2006
This third annual issue features selected work from the online issue over the past year, including poems by Arlene Ang, Robyn Art, Elizabeth Glixman, Juliet Cook, Rebecca Cook, Susan Cronin, Alison Daniel, Lightsey Darst, Gillian Devereaux, Brett Griffiths, Liz Dolan, Melanie Dusseau, Katie Fesuk, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Ona Gritz, Lauren Levato, Heather MacPherson, Maurice Oliver, Jayne Pupek, Carly Sachs, Erin Elizabeth Smith, and Susan Yount.
(ps. contributors copies should be in the mail late this week)
By its nature, I think the poetry world is way too large for anyone anthology to claim to have a handle on it. And no one should probably even claim to--thus my difficulty with “Best.” Anyone can have an anthology, and all of them are going to be slanted in some way. Think of Legitimate Dangers (which we‘re using for a text in the Emerging Poetries class), a volume which has a lot of poets I really like, but it’s obvious the sort of crowd you needed as a poet to be in with--certain MfA programs, certain presses.. etc. Not even taking into account Lehman’s picks, think of how often a rather unspectacular Gluck or Oliver or *insert big name here* poem makes it in, simply because of that big name. It’s not democratic, and everyone in there probably has an edge of some sort--be it they know Lehman, the GE, were in the right publication at the right time, have made a big enough name for themselves that the editors know to go looking to include poems by them. However, I do agree it’s sort of skeezy to not be upfront about it though on Lehman’s part, to continually insist it’s all democratic and no one has an edge. Someone always has an edge. And in something like BAP, which is percieved as the big leaugues by so many fledgling poets, that seemes unfair. If Lehman were choosing his assistants for an issue of a magazine, there probably wouldn't be any complaints, but the anthology has a certain weight, an obligation that Lehman obviously neglects.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
In other news, the wicked alice print annual, long awaited as it is, is almost done being laid out..I just have to do the bios at the end, some tweaking, and we're set. If I would just stop being sick and feel better, things would progress much faster. What I thought were just allergies seem to have been a cold, which evolved into a rather nasty sore throat, which went away, but now I'm still stuffy and croaky, and not feeling at all like doing much beyond surviving and drinking lots of mint tea and eating soup. I think I've tackled everything I let slide in my inbox, as well as filled all the outstanding dgp orders from the last couple of weeks. Next, it's getting that print issue done, then onto laying out the all alice anniversary issue. And then, our next dgp book, Kristina Marie Darling's The Traffic in Women, which we've just started batting around cover ideas for, which should be released in late October.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
I've been working most of the day on school things--I have to prepare a short little presentation on a literary magazine that publishes "emerging american poetry" as per the class's nomer. I chose The Tiny, since there seems to be lots of emerging and nigh emerging folks in there. Also we have some reading to do in some little bitsy book on literary theory, (so small I seem to have lost it on my desk). Start talking theory and I have bad first round of grad school flashbacks--that hulking copy of The Critical Tradition, glowering at me from the bookshelf a few feet away. I'm all down with the feminist/marxist theory stuff, but alot of the other just confuses the bejesus out of me. We had a whole semester course devoted to it at DePaul, but I remember sort of absorbing it, spewing it back out in a couple of essays, then just never thinking about it again. Too hard to wrap my head around. Definitely, why I'd never make it as a scholar.
We also, for the thesis seminar, have to write up a contract on what we hope to accomplish, what we want from the class, given that people are at various stages with their manuscripts at this point. I've got the whole mess that is girl show, which has just been sort of pouring out since the bginning of the year, without any rhyme or reason, so I'm looking for help mostly with organization, and getting it work as a book as whole. I did discover last Monday that they have miraculously done away with the critical portion of the thesis, which will infinitely make my life a helluva lot easier in the coming year. At first I was a little hesitant (is this just another way of dumbing things down--separating the creative writing and literature curriculum even further than they already are). Then I was like, seriously, I'll willingly be dumb if that means one less half-assed essay I have to write. Color me happy.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Saturday, September 09, 2006
As for me I will be shoving books into the hands of the willing and unwilling, and trying to prod folks into the direction of NMP's table to buy feign. The rest of the time I'll likely be either delightfully drunk listening to to other delightfully drunk poets or in the pool-side bar at the Sheraton getting that way. You know where to find me...
B) Failure to refrain from the above behavior will necessitate not the presence of a sympathetic RA and campus security rent-a-cops, but several of Chicago’s finest. Mom and Dad will certainly frown upon hauling your ass out of jail and may just confiscate that extra kegger money.
C) Contrary to the age you typically behave, this is not your parent’s house. Please keep your trash, junk, and expulsion of all bodily fluids limited to your own apartment.
Friday, September 08, 2006
And maybe this isn’t a print vs. online discussion at all, since in the last few years I’ve stumbled across a host of awesome, non-university tied/funded, publications--many of which can be found over there in the sidebar, and many of which I’m stoked to have work in, and oddly seem to be read by more people than the heavyweights. It might be just a blog thing..but that‘s cool. I definitely hear more people talking about the latest issue of The Tiny or Pebble Lake Review (I’m totally biased since I have poems forthcoming in both) than I ever do the so-called biggies. I wish there were more of these sorts of journals to satisfy my occasional lust for paper over pixels…
Then there’s the web.., where there’s a lot of good stuff being published, and better yet, it’s free, accessible, like a broadside handed out on every corner, everywhere in the world. I’m thinking especially as I start sending out all this newer work, the girl show poems mostly, I’m sticking to the web, mostly with a few exceptions of little mag print faves. But I’m not going to be clamoring for that bottom rung on the level to poetry stardom, whatever that is, if it exists at all. What matter is finding readers, and I really don’t think mine are there anywhere on that ladder.
When I used to publish more on the web, when that was pretty much the ONLY place I published since I couldn’t afford all those SASE’s , people were so nice. You’d get a lot of support for your work from editors, and even occasional fan mail. A certain instantaneousness of response. I myself am much quicker to offer feedback with an e-mail link than having to write a letter, address it, stamp it, etc. The web poetry world seemed smaller, though ironically, it was much bigger. I had a feeling people were reading my work, responding to it. (Maybe it was all in my head..) I like that. That’s what keeps me working--not sending things off into the abyss to maybe have them shoved into an SASE two years later with a generic “sorry“, when the poems so old and you've moved on to something else.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
This above series is not yet available at etsy just yet, since they'll be in the fall Art of the Library Extravaganza (coming to, or just outside, a bathroom near you). There are two new pieces, however, over in the dgp studio in the same vein. once again, I'm working in conjunction with the newly revived instabilities manuscript (thanks to the phobia poems), letting the poems manifest themselves visually--not exactly literally, yet thematically. Sometimes it helps me get out of rough spots in figuring out where I want to go.
I'm always way to excited by back to school sales, clothes, and supplies (I just recently bought a whole pack of Strawberry Shortcake ones just for nostalgia's sake--I don't really use pencils to write at all..). That feeling of trepidation, and possibility, of newness. New clothes. New shoes. Shiny new virginal notebooks and backpacks. Those hefty textbooks they handed out, their slightly glossy pages. The excitement of first year we were allowed to use ink. I miss being a kid sometimes so much it make my chest hurt. Not that I've given up my back to school pleasures entirely. I plan to go shoe shopping this week. I need a new sketchbook/notebook for classes (which actually start this week, though since both of mine are on Monday I have to wait). I've traded thick text books in favor of slim poetry volumes. Trapper Keepers in favor of loose files full of manuscripts and poems. Mechanical pencils for my Pilot G-2's.
Maybe I'll start something wonderfully new this week. Write a new poem, start a new project. Go somewhere I've never been. One day, instead of defaulting to Subway, take a smashed pb&j sandwhich in a rumpled paper bag. A thermos of chocolate milk. A shiny apple.
But when I read his little break down of what’s good poetry to what’s crap, it made me snort, considering my ratio, at least among what’s typically published in the sorts of journals mined for BAP, would be more like 50/50, the bad fifty definitely being Collins and all the poets who write just like him. Admittedly, I’m not a real big fan of most of the work in the bigger, more popular, mostly academic journals precisely for their publishing poets like Collins. Yes, there are good poets in those journals, poets whose work is exciting, surprising, dynamic, but I have a hard time finding them amidst the sea of mediocrity, and usually only find them when I know to go looking. But I’m also aware that my qualifications for poetry to be good poetry are different from other peoples. I can respect that it IS subjective to a degree (mind you the “to a degree” part.) The blandness of language, the lack of imagery, texture, innovation, the predictable “I came, I saw, I wrote about it” attitude in a Collins-like poem turns me off. Maybe another reader wouldn’t be, depending on your tastes. (Though I‘d argue I have better taste..). When I say “This is crap” I mean of course, you’re free to argue why it’s not. It’s all sort of grey where the line is though, and on occasion I’ve found something to like in poets I might not think I would, and in work that I might readily dismiss. And there’s a large continuum between the truly awesome work, the begrudgingly okay, and really bad, terrible, never should have hit the page stuff.
So to dismiss that much poetry, standing on such shaky ground oneself, makes me revile Collins even more. Granted, he hints at the subjectivity of the process, later on (although I do wonder how much Lehman pulls the strings), but I assume he’s talking about the 17%--what he chose from that. And the argument is moot anyway, considering what’s published in those sorts of journals is probably about 20% of the poetry output of serious working poets, 2% the output of all poetry (the good the bad the ugly) written everywhere. Which leaves out A LOT of work, especially in more indie and online journals. But then since this poetry probably isn’t anything like his own (THANK GOD), it would no doubt be lumped in that other 83% .One thing I liked about Hejinian’s BAP a couple years ago, was it’s mining into unfamiliar territory (albeit a rather aesthetically langpo limited, east coast sort of territory) I’ll bet BC doesn’t know fuck about the amount of good , great, even competent poetry published in any given year in literary periodicals.
Grrr..I’ll let up on the invective to say that I hate the haters. The people who continually bemoan the fact there’s too many writing program, too many poets, too many journals, too many voices. That everyone who writes poems like me is groundbreaking and all the rest of you suck. I’m thinking there aren’t enough journals, aren’t enough presses to gather all the good work. I’m thinking there can never be too much poetry happening. I’m thinking I have my preferences when it comes to the work I choose to value, my criteria, but they are just that. Preferences. And I vote with my readership, don‘t I, the books I buy, the journals I choose to purchase, subscribe to, and even submit to. And that doesn’t necessarily make me hesitant to place things in a ranking system,but to always question the motives behind ranking and dismissal. Who’s ranking and based on what? BC amazingly skirts the issue here--his real criteria, which makes me think he doesn’t really have any…which explains alot….
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Friday, September 01, 2006
In honor of wicked alice turning five, I thought I'd point you (well the six or so of you actually reading this) all in the direction of some damned fine poems we've published throughout the years, often my first intro to the poets we publish pretty regularly, or have published through dgp, some of who will also be gracing the pages of the anniversary issue. Shann's comments below led me back to her poem, one of the first we published. And there's Rebecca in the second issue. In others that first year, Taylor Graham, whose chap we published in 2005, ditto Christine. Also a fiction piece by Adrianne Marcus, author of the first dgp book we published.
Check out those mad design skills. That first year, I didn't really vary beyond angelfire's basic template. With their basic editor you just plugged the info in. I remember being amazed when I figured out how to make the text italicized. I SO had no clue what I was doing. Though I was definitely loving the pre-raphaelites in those days.. We were also publishing alot of other things, since we didn't become a solely poetry zine until a couple years later. I reviewed alot of fiction back when I had the luxury to read alot for fun (pre MFA days), and we published essays and fiction, but I always wound up scraping to find stuff from others and to write reviews half-assed of my own. And there was lots of poetry coming in, so I just gave over to it eventually. I also have trouble reading really long stories on the web, so it was even harder to make sure they were edited and formatted properly, which took longer than doing just poems. Thus, we changed the format completely by the third year.
coming soon, year #2....
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
But it was such a tiny issue anyway, a couple actual real submissions and others from people I knew from school and such. And don't forget my sister's Art History 2 Essay on the Pre-Raphaelites. When I took that Small Press Publishing class a couple years ago, the hardest thing they said as an editor at first was getting work, which is funny since poets would say the hard thing is getting published. And I know newish journals that are struggling with this. And now, here I have too much good work, more than I need, more than I could ever publish, which makes us incredibly lucky. (Or at least it feels that way until my inbox starts to look a little feral.) One of the arguments about whether or not to accept e-mail submissions is the fear of being inundated by bad work, which can be sent much wider and faster than by snail mail. But I don't really find that to be true at all. It might be the fact that we're sort of small and word of mouth, which weeds a lot of crap out. Or maybe that the people who submit to online journals are a bit more savvy in terms of actually reading the publications and submitting wisely. Anyone else experience this? Or are we just really lucky that way?
Of course, there are the duds who don't read the guidelines, can't follow the simplest directions, and send terrible work, but I've learned to spot these a mile away… The former are definitely usually a red flag of the latter. But sometimes I'm surprised. I'll forgive just about anything, except general prickishness, which I remember only encountering a couple of times. (sorry, guys, but both times it came from men.) Haven't encountered any extreme bitchiness (except my own).
Still it's hard to believe this little baby will be five soon, though, 21 issues. I love it most of the time--(except when I'm cutting and pasting code sometimes until my fingers go numb.) But that's only a couple days per issue. Otherwise, I love reading the work, being introduced to new poets, putting the final product out there.