Monday, June 30, 2008

summer reading

I think ever since I finished up my degree last year, and no longer feel compelled to read poetry 24/7 (or at least can just read it for enjoyment rather than feeling like I have to “study” it somehow..) I’ve been trying to get back into reading fiction. I used to polish off two or three novels a week back in the day, devouring them rather voraciously on the train, on my lunch hour, in those little in-between times of the day. Granted since I take the bus pretty much exclusively anymore, and the scenery is much more interesting and the ride a bit bumpier and less reading friendly, I had all but given up my novel reading, and really only indulged myself when I had large expanses of free time (almost never) or when someone foisted a book upon me and I felt compelled to read it and return it promptly. Other novels I managed to pick up in the last three or four years still sit rather forlornly on my bookshelves waiting for me to get to them.

It’s funny how poetry, to me, always feels like I’m reading it for gain, to learn new tricks, to somehow apply it to my own work or see what other people are doing. Fiction, however is pure indulgence--akin to movie watching--—(we are talking about a girl who grew up devouring VC Andrews and trashy horror novels.). Years ago, I got hooked on books by Carol Goodman (who is also apparently a poet), and just recently got around to re-reading them, and since I have serious recall problems on just about everything I’ve read in the past ten years, it was almost like reading something new. Lo and behold, I checked the online catalog, and she has apparently written three more of them in the intervening years, so I swiftly ILLed those babies and should be able to settle into some serious summer reading in July. To boot, she has another due out in August. This makes me very happy..

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Yesterday was a rather excellent workshop with Kristina Marie Darling (The Traffic in Women, 2006). I was worried since we got displaced by the Fine Arts Building being closed over the weekend and we had to relocate, but it went off swimmingly. I always pore rather lustily over the P&W special issues, all those retreats and conferences, but ahh..the tragedy of being doomed to day-job hell. Maybe some day..

Otherwise, I have been working on poems, including a piece for a cool project based around the idea of convergence and which involves a sort of round robin of rewrites with a few other poets that should be interesting (it's apparently in conjunction with an art exhibit based on the same thing). I am taking off the week from the usual production frenzy, having well stocked the shop over the last week or so. This week I'll be printing Wiving, finishing layout on the next chap, then heading out to Rockford for the 4th once again for fried chicken, potato salad, and fireworks. I desperately need a break and a change of scenery given a rather hellish past month.

dgp summer sale!!! 5 for $20

5 chapbooks for $20

details here...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

New things in the shop this week include flasks covered in very awesome vintage wallpaper, new cat eye glasses, enough unmentionables to make the studio look like a bordello, plus new paperweights, hairpins, and notecards, oh my...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Today, I managed to finish up the layout on Anne Heide's Wiving and get started on another chap. Why this took me two weeks is beyond me. I blinked and suddenly I'd lost time again. This gets worse as I get older, more ingrained in routines. I'll be going about my daily business, waking up, going to work, spending time at the studio making chaps and filling orders and suddenly I realize it's nearly the end of June and I'm woefully behind. Even more behind than I was before. I think I've also learned to accept that I will always be behind, but accepting that, in turn, also makes me even more complacent. So I sit and write blog entries about being behind instead of, you know, actually trying to catch up...

I've also noticed a tendency toward hoarding...books, paper, art & craft supplies, like suddenly these things will run out and there will be no more and I'll just be SOL. In fact this happens all too often, thus fueling my impulse. It all makes me antsy and slightly ucomfortable. My moods are extremely shifty lately, and I never know what's going to come next. I started out today actually pretty happy, but then one condescending biotch encountered in my first 5 minutes at circ desk this afternoon and I'm ready to murder..

It doesn't help that the last few weeks, actually ever since I got back from vacation at the end of April, I'm stuck again in feeling like possible disaster may strike at any minute, like there's just this thin string holding it all together...that if someone pulls it, it's all going to come crashing down..

Sunday, June 22, 2008


This is the first weekend in a while that has consisted of pretty much total of solitude, and as much as I like having things to do, and that those things keep me out of trouble, I do like having entire sheets of time to myself.

The weekend progressed pretty much as follows:



10:00 wake up, check e-mail

10:30 ignore messages. Go back to bed for two hours.

12:30 lunch on leftover chicen fried rice and an eggroll whilst reading the etsy forums.

1:30 commence my grand plans for vintage wallaper rolls, of which only one out three possible projects actually pans out.

3:30 photograph these and several other items for the shop

5:00 mid-day crying jag over romantic traumas. get over it.

6:00 nap

7:00 order in Thai food and fiddle for two hours on a poem that won't fall into line. Poem wins for the night.

9:00 put in Twin Peaks Season 2 DVD and make earrings until all hours of the morning.


12:00 wake up, drink tea and eat an orange while reading poetry blogs.

1:00 dye a batch of slips the lovelist gray shade.

2:00 Photograph earrings and other new items.

3:00 read some of Claire Hero's Afterpastures (CakeTrain, 2009).

4:00 read some older blog entries and determine that the end of June is usually a weird time for me. Also determine I used to be smarter somehow in my posts.

5:00 Watch a hailstorm freak out the cats and torture the moral majority on the etsy forums.

6:00 weekly long motherly phonecall in which I determined my life, though hectic, is no way near as fucked up as some of my extended family..

7:30 make pasta and iced tea and work on the previous night's poems. Abandon it after an hour in favor of reading design blogs and wishing my apartment had a new paintjob.

9:00 add items to the shop and brainstorm ideas for new stuff.

10:00 spend two hours reading random poetry related stuff online and determine that I'm still not quite sure what flarf is.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Since etsy does it's big vintage Friday hoopla, I give you these...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Inevitably, new starts call for streamlining, organization, and maybe change. The weather is gloriously good and I'm in a good mood... Now I know why women buy new clothes, cut off all their hair to get over things. I am not planning on any drastic cuts, but I am thinking of going back to blonde, or maybe some deep caramel shade of brown, my hair is light enough for it these days. Blonde is a little too high maitenance, and my natural shade is far too blah, but something a little darker and richer might work... but then again I saw a girl with the most gorgeous jet black hair on the bus today. But I'm not in THAT drastic of a mood. I did splurge on five new pretty summer dresses online ...since I haven't really bought any new clothes in the last six months or so...

On other fronts, I decided, in the process of streamlining to dispense of all the blogs but this one. (yes, I know five minutes ago I was saying that I was resurrecting the dulcet blog, but again, I'm just not feeling it.) And since the dgp blog really only gave announcements that I was already posting here anyway, there wasn't much point. So herein you will have to endure all things press & etsy & general writerly angst related. Lately, I've been feeling scattered and disorganized. Maybe this will help.

Meanwhile, after a marathon posting of about 60 backlogged listings last night including new jewelry, paperweights, s&p shakers, and slips, and much, more, the shop is stocked to the brim with new things, which will continue to fill over the course of the weekend as I finish up some projects.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

new @ etsy

These pendants are our latest offering in the shop, made from vintage bird book illustrations. Watch this week for more antiquarian and naturalist lovelies...

Monday, June 16, 2008


1) I have been watching the movie Cloverfield an inordinate amount of times. Since I don't really have tv reception and no cable, I usually put a DVD on, and the last few times it has been this. While I like the movie, I have henceforth determined that if the person you love will not walk back through a burning city to save you under threat of being eaten by a giant Godzilla monster (let alone stop being a lying bastard, leave his wife, or even return your e-mails) then you should probably fall in love with someone else.

2) I have become obsessed with raspberry scones from Starbucks now, so I will soon be very poor. I am also lamenting the lack of tomatoes at many fine dining establishments. A BLT is just not the same without them. Last week, I nearly had melt-down in Subway when I discovered this. The next day I went to the Chicago Carry-outs around the corner, who still had tomatoes, but I'm sure I picked up worse things than Salmonella. The big old pile of bacon near the grill was a dead giveaway.

3)I am also obsessed with vintage wallpaper scraps and am amusing myself with various ideas on what to with them. I have some larger pieces that would make interesting chapbook covers for an as yet unhatched project. Otherwise, I am also making pendants, dyeing slips, and in general keeping myself busy. This is a good thing.


This month, all of our lovely hand dyed and/or embellished vintage slips are only $25, which makes them perfect for layering as a sweet sundress. They also look great peaking out from beneath skirts, layered over jeans or leggings, or as super comfy nighties. Get one, get two, get a bunch...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I was working on some new pendants for the shop today with botanical illustrations and dried if only I could get her to weild the glue gun...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

dancing girl press & studio presents

"Vacations with Expectations:
Planning and Getting the Most out of Writers'
Conferences, Residencies, and Retreats." "
with Kristina Marie Darling

Harold Washington Library***
7th Floor, Meeting Room 7-NF
Saturday June 28th

Bio: Kristina Marie Darling is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. She is the author of four chapbooks, which include Fevers and Clocks (March Street Press, 2006) and The Traffic in Women (Dancing Girl Press, 2006). A Pushcart Prize nominee in 2006, her poems, reviews, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in many journals, which include Janus Head, Rattle, The Mid-America Poetry Review, CutBank, The Mid-American Review, Redactions: Poetry and Poetics, and others. Recent awards include residencies from the Centrum Foundation, the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow, and the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts.

**please note that, due to the Fine Arts Building being closed for electrical work over the weekend, this event will take place at an alternate location, at the main CPL a couple blocks west of the studio.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


How to Mend A Broken Heart With Vengeance
Leigh Stein
dancing girl press, 2008

get it here...

Monday, June 09, 2008

new poems

in the latest blossombones...
Printers Row, even though we got a bit rained out yesterday, was a rousing success otherwise. The highlights included selling lots of chaps, plus some notecards and paperweights, and in general giving out lots of business cards, etsy postcards, and little info sheets, in essence, spreading the word far and wide... Plus I got to see quite a few people I never get to see anymore and meet some new ones. The lowlights were, of course, the torrential storms and wind that closed us down mid-day yesterday. Our little trio of presses (FeatherProof, Switchback, and dancing girl) also kept getting yelled at by security not one, not two, but three times for various paltry infractions like having a canopy, taping things to the brick wall, and apparently having banners covering the Tribune logo on our tables...we're such trouble-makers...:)

I am exhausted however without getting a real weekend, though. After it rained, I had lunch and did some shopping with my sister & company (who is, as of this morning, betrothed to the "& company", which means a wedding is, in fact, in the works..)then I went home and just slept for hours and hours, so long I put the cats to shame. Today was spent finishing up the layout on Anne Heide's wiving, musing over cover design, and trying to get my bearings on all the stuff that needs to be done now that I'm not quite so deadline bound.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Guess who made New City's Lit 50? That would be me..amazing considering who else is on there..I was 49, so it was apparently just barely, but I'm psyched nonetheless...and on the subject of egomania (me!me!me!) Talia Reed was kind enough to interview me for her column on space and writing in a cool new zine Oranges & Sardines..

Once again we seem to have skipped any real sort of spring and plunged headlong into summer--a hazy 80's with ridiculous humidity. But I won't complain (ask me again in August how I feel about it). Right now, as long as I'm not shivering in the cold and can wear my flip-flops, I'm happy enough...

There is much underway getting ready for Printer's Row this weekend, including finishing up How to Mend a Broken Heart with Vengeance and reprinting some others. Plus getting subscription copies of the latest titles out, as well as some books to a couple of bookstores. I've sort of been manipulating the dgp schedule a bit (we're a little behind, and I've been moving some things around due to author schedules--readings and such for which books are needed.) I am also working on a special project of my own for fall release, but I'm still fleshing it out...a collage/poetry/appropriated text thingy...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

A couple months ago, I found this adorable little bird pincushion from Southern Patina on etsy. It's ever so pretty and make sit much less likely that the pins will invariably find their way onto the floor and into my foot...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

dgp is officially open for submissions throughout this summer. Already the manuscripts have begun trickling in. We will be making final decisions as soon as the reading period closes at the end of August and I'm intrigued to see what this year's crop brings us. We will likely be taking 6 or so longer length chaps and a handful of shorter collections (14-20 pages).

This weekend we will be out at the Printers Row Book Fair with the Switchback folks. We'll be somewhere on Polk Street near Dearborn Station from 10-6 on both Saturday and Sunday and will have all the books I can haul over from the studio in one trip, including the very newly released How to Mend a Broken Heart with Vengeance by Leigh Stein that is being assembled as we speak.

I am so much in love with these box little vintage purses, I just had to track down a bunch for the shop. Part picnic basket, part beach bag, but oh so urban chic. Some I've left plain and some, like the one above, I've added a little flourish to (including those peony blossoms that are, I swear, the size of my head). Find them here in the wanderlust section. The piece de resistance, the find below, but sorry folks, that etsy find is MINE..:)

Monday, June 02, 2008


Just a note that dgp is open for submissions again , bring them on. I won't actually be looking at submissions until the fall (a task that seems incredibly daunting to me and nearly has me on the verge of hysterics at this very overwhelmed moment, but alas..) There is too, too much drama in these parts. Plus, the weather ups and down are making me feel physically like crap. It is so going to rain, I can feel it in the that dull throb in my work, now the 11-7 shift seems to drag on interminably, with neither my mornings or my evenings REALLY free

But, on the brighter side, after this weekend my apartment is so clean you could eat off the floor (not advised..) and even though I almost poisoned myself with bleach fumes, I feel a bit more orderly now that everything is in it's place...

I am also reading tomorrow night @ the Cafe, 8pm, which will save me from staying home and freaking out and feeling sorry for should come on out...I promise to be nice, despite my current desire to bit off the head of every single library patron I deal with ...grrr...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

As a kid, our neighbors had peach trees and every summer their kids would load up a wagon full of brown bags full of the most luscious, sweetest peaches and go door to door throughout the neighborhood selling them. These noteflats are just as delish, printed with an antique botanical book image on luxurious linen paper complete with brown bag envelopes. Just looking at them makes me hungry..

get them here.