Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in retrospect

I am having a decidely low key New Years Eve this year. I've been busy playing catch-up this week, and today, after some mid-afternoon debauchery with R and a nap, I intend to settle in with some Meditarranean food and some new little things (pendants and paperweights) I need to work on, and perhaps even a little bit of writing. I'm feeling more anti-social than usual and I totally blame the weather and recovering from the week with my parents which is always a little draining. Luckily I'm library-free this week and have spent the last couple of days in the studio catching up on orders, finishing the chaps on which I am perpetually behind, and working on some lovely new notecard designs to soon be unveiled.

The holiday was the usual round of various visits over the course of the week, lots of family I hardly ever see, loads of delightful presents --bookstore and Starbucks gift cards, a new saucepan to replace the one I threw away after being too lazy to wash it, yummy soda flavored lipglosses, last season of The Office, and a new dvd player which will no longer necessitate me watching everything on my laptop. There were bad cable Christmas movies and too many cookies, and one night, a bit too much Southern Comfort. The entire time, I was uneasy with the snowfall and ridiculous cold and a general cabin-fever restlessness that always surfaces when I visit and so anxious to get back to the city.

Once again, it has been a crazy wonderful year (okay parts were not so wonderful, including the middle part which sort of sucked) but in retrospect, alot happened. There was much poetry & awesome chapbooks, lovely crafty things, thrift stores, antique fairs, gorgeous art, the new book, a handful of poems in journals, awesome readings, lots of trashy novels and pretty dresses. Not perfect, considering a big chunk of romantic drama (which for the moment has worked itself out) unusual malaise and uneasiness both related and unrelated to the above , and pretty much perpetually being behind schedule on just about everything and a bit overwhelmed at times, but *sigh* such is life in general.

For once, however, I am unusually excited about the new year. There is so much to do in getting chaps out, both the stragglers from 2008 and new ones from Susan Slaviero and Kristen Orser, plus gearing up for AWP (we're sharing adjoining tables with Switchback and Featherproof, which will be fun.) I've also started working our much anticipated full-length poetry/photography extravganza by Robyn Art & Robin Barcus, which will be out in the next couple of months.

In terms of my stuff, I plan on whipping the kissing disease into shape, and possibly sending it to a couple of contests, probably moreso for the possible prize cash and ego boost, since if nothing pans out in the next year or so, I have no problem with just doing it myself eventually. I am also hatching some new collage and shadowbox series projects, and am hoping now that the pre-holiday production & shipping frenzy has slowed, I can work a bit more on these. And always, new ideas for little things for the shop, including map and postage stamp pendants, little conversation heart necklaces, and if I can get the iron-on sheets to work, some canvas totebags.

Until then...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

now available from dancing girl press

The Residents
Kim Gek Lin short
dancing girl press, 2008

available here.

Monday, December 29, 2008

When I was 19 and in my Beat worshipping, black turtleneck wearing phase I scrawled this in one of my journals. Though I've only retained my love of Ferlinghetti, it still holds true and is somewhat beautiful..

"the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..."

-jack kerouac

(okay, I still wear the turtleneck sometimes...)

Monday, December 22, 2008

we already know they rock..

but it seems the rest of the world is definitely starting to notice...

dgp gals Kathleen Rooney and Daniela Olszewska get major props in Time Out Chicago's Best of 2008...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


limbo (not the fun kind with the pole)

It's been a busy, busy week, and since the weather has sucked and my sinuses are still wonky, plus I am working the dreaded day shift, I am pretty much just hanging in there til Friday. We did survive the massive deluge of returns, so at least my arm isn't sore anymore from hefting art books across the desk to check them in. Otherwise there is much looking busy and really just staring at the computer and moving stuff around on my desk waiting for the weekend. I had intended to get the wicked alice issue up before I left town, but I don't think it's going to happen until after I get back, since it's a pretty hefty issue (30+ contributors.) I will, however, be getting three dgp chaps up for sale in the next day or so, and another couple laid out and ready to go when I come back on the 28th....Meanwhile I am still packing orders and folding books, wrapping presents, chasing the kittens away from the christmas tree with a squirt bottle, and eating peppermint ice cream, all whilst trying not to fall asleep....

Monday, December 15, 2008

procrastinator's special

All this week, through Friday, we'll be upgrading all orders to Priority mail to ensure pre-holiday delivery for any order over $20...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

monday night

I will be one of the features (w/Joe Roarty) at:

Waiting 4 the Bus

Monday, December 15th
Jak's Tap
901 W. Jackson-7:30-10pm

Thursday, December 11, 2008

the portal

On the third floor of the library, we recently punched through the wall into the building next door, the latest CC aquisition, in order to make more room in the library for both books and people...Since there are staff areas in the new annex that need to be accessed, though the building itself (the old Spertus Institute) is not officially open, we've been required, if we want any access at all from this side of the wall, to post a guard, a sentry all hours during which the library is open who will sit there and not let anyone not suppsed to be in there through the door until it's officially open. We've been calling it "The Portal" and part of me wonders whether the urge to open the forbidden door by our patrons is not exacerbated by the fact that we seem to be guarding it so closely. Were it simply a nondescript metal doorway, surely no one would find it half as enticing as one closely guarded with a sentry complete with a sign-in sheet and a well placed it not sort of like the button that says "Do not push this button..."

I've been amusing myself with thoughts about what the random person might possibly guess could be hidden behind such a door. The secret to the Dewey Decimel system? a super computer? The gateway to the underworld? (actually the reference staff, newly relieved of their cushy offices to make way for group study rooms and now relegated to cubicle-land are now housed there. Given how most of them seem to get along, and now the complete lack of their former privacy or any ability to get away from each other, I'm guaging we may one day open the door to bloodied librarians strewn far and wide...)

Hmm..Perhaps it IS the gateway to evil...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

snow day

okay, well not really. It's actually only about an inch and a half, but it's enough to talk me out of going downtown to the studio to take photos of my new vintage goodies(too dark and dreary anyhow) and just stay home. I was going to sneak in some chapbook folding, but that can wait until Monday I suppose if I just go in earlier. I will reiterate once again how much I hate winter and it gets a little harder to bear every year. (Last night, I walked outside and swear it was so cold it made my eyes a little blurry, and that was before I stood at the bus stop for a half hour. Bites.) It might just be pre-Christmas stress and craziness. It might be just a general sense of anxiety and malaise in just about everyone I know around me that's starting to creep into me. I am trying to concentrate on the very good things going on in my life and not sweat the details. But winter makes it harder to do this. I find myself continually telling myself under my breath that everything is going to be fine, that things will work out, that this all isn't some awful downward spiral into bad badness.

I always feel more vulnerable in the winter, since bad things things tend to happen then more than any other time--car accidents, sickness, crises. I used to be convinced that my neighboorhood would unearth at least one good tragedy shortly after Christmas. Once, our neighbors garage burned down. Once, a prostitutes body was found in a hedge of trees. When I was in college, another neighbor nearly fatally burned himself to a crisp while working on his car. Even my own mental health takes a turn for the worst in winter. In grad school, there was an entire January I spent, besides going to my classes at DePaul, sitting in the dark in my apartment and crying (or at least it seemed like it..) Another December about 5 years ago where I was convinced my upstairs neighbor had killed his girlfriend and that her body was lying up there decomposing (I heard somoene breaking down a door, two men's voices arguing, a woman screaming from otherwise quiet neighbors). Obviously not true and rather ridiculous in retrospect, but in my head, it constantly bothered me, even though I heard her clicky heels walking around above me after that, I was still convinced she'd been did not help that I had just seem Mulholland Drive. That was also the winter of the leaky radiators the landlord would not fix, which was resulting in a few Dark Water like moments of despair while they managed to ruin my beloved hardwood floors. Tragic, no, but overwhelming to me, yes..that constant dripping was enough to drive me insane. And of course, let us not forget the great Starbucks crying melt down a couple of years ago right before Christmas..

Everything is just HARDER these bleak months. Maybe it's some weird cabin fever restlessness..argh..just wish I could be free of it...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

dgp, 2009 style!

Apocrypha / Susan Slaviero
Squint / Kristen Orser

The Nested Object / Dawn Lonsinger
Choral Mimeographs / Stephanie Anderson

This Admirable Miry Clay / Talia Reed
Amelia Earhart: Fragments Found in a 1937 Aviator’s Boot / Kate Durbin

Outgrowth / Jen Blair
Sawdust, Sugarcube / Sarah Den Boer

Blue Grotto / Rachel Webster
The Mae West Defense / Julie Strand

The Calculus of Owls / Sarah Gardner
Raid Your Own / Brooklyn Copeland
Silt / Erica Wright

Lost Colony / Jacqueline Lyons
We Sing You, Jimmy Sky / Deirdre Dore
The Chainsaw Bears / Erin Elizabeth Smith

Elpenor Falls / Elizabeth Barbato
Land Wide Enough to Get a Hold Lost In / Shelly Taylor
TBA (by Erika Mikkalo)

Flood Year / Sara Tracey
Picking Cherries in the Española Valley / Leah Browning

The Plath Poems / Nava Fader
The Classic Game of Murder / Katie Capello
My Imaginary / Laura Madeline Wiseman

This Room Has a Ghost / Stephanie Goehring
Amplexus / Melinda Wilson
People who Are in Love Will Read this Book Differently / Cindy St John

Lucy Design in the Papal Flea / Renee Angle
View from My Banilla Vanilla Villa / Eva Schlesinger

January 2010
Dear Darkest Sky: Postcards / Jessica Bozek

seventh grade slow dance

for your viewing pleasure:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

sunday night

UniVerse of Poetry presents a series of events in partnership with Chicago Public Radio, recorded live by Chicago Amplified for archiving and broadcast

Chicago Amplified/Chicago Public Radio

Green + Free
A Solstice Celebration of Poetry & Music

featuring :
Kristy Bowen
Kevin Coval
Onam Liduba
James Reiss
Cin Salach

Pont des Arts Ensemble

The celebration of "future now" continues in Chicago with Green + Free, featuring
nationally renowned performance and page poets Kristy Bowen, Kevin Coval, Onam Liduba, James Reiss and Cin Salach. “A sensual banquet of poetry & music, passion & spirituality,”

Pont des Arts Ensemble is the finest example of the global renaissance of the marriage of poetry and songs and new performance media. Pont des Arts features Richard Fammerée, Carrie Ingrisano, Meg Lauterbach, Zara Zaharieva, Victor Sanders, Meg Thomas and guest poet Rachel Webster.

Sunday, December 7, 2008
8 PM
Uncommon Ground North
1401 W. Devon Avenue

773.465.9801 (reservations recommended)

Start the Evolution!
Free & open to the public

UniVerse of Poetry is pleased to be a partner of Chicago Public Radio's Chicago Amplified, who will be in attendance to record this event in its entirety.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


I had a rather glorious week off from work that began with my very fun reading last Saturday at Quimbys, was followed by the usual fun holiday festivities (turkey, family, shopping) but ended this weekend with 24 hour flu that laid me flat (literally) and involved all sorts of badness (including a nasty knot on my forehead from passing out in the bathroom at my parents house and an unfortunate collision with the furnace grate..) I am just a little shaky, but back at work, and looking rather bewildered at the mountain of things that need to get done before the end of the year. I have two chaps on the verge of being ready to go, two others in the process of layout, and another to start. Also, there is the issue of wicked alice that is in the works, with (finally) all the work selected and due to debut on Friday if all goes well. Not to mention a general holiday swell in the shop, which has me happily packing and shipping like a madwoman the past day or so. (I am also a bit behind in the sudden rush of chapbook sales as well since the beginning of November, but if you ordered something, it will be on its way soon.)

I will have next year’s lineup of dgp posted in the next day or so, though, as soon as I hear back from a couple authors to confirm. Final cuts were messy, messy, and I still had to turn away more books than I would have liked, but we wound up with about 8 books per season –a total of around 30 for the entire year. (I’m aiming for seasons these days, not months, since I’m always off by a couple..) I will say again I am continually shocked and amazed by the work we get, and even whilst working today on an upcoming chap (Kim Gek Lyn Short’s The Residents), astounded at what we get to publish. It totally makes all the extra work, the juggling, the insane stapling marathons worthwhile.