Tuesday, June 30, 2009

and your little dog, too

"Well, if you guys are so bothered by that, just wait until I put up the Dancing Girl Press page too. And I will put up a dozen pages, so many that every time someone googles Kristy Bowen they find me instead." :Cj Laity

And with that, I'm closing the comments for awhile. He'll get all riled up and will say I'm censoring him no doubt and, but, really, I'm sort of tired of it all, all the threats and harassment cluttering up my space with all that negativity, let him do it elsewhere..I have more important things to do with my time..

Meanwhile, my little sis says she has started her own hate page for me (I raised her well..) and despite that incident with the fork when she was two, she still somehow has nice things to say about me..



These hair clips are one of my favorite things to make, but I always have trouble finding the vintage earrings at a good price without getting into bidding wars on ebay. I hit the motherload on etsy..well..a few pretty pairs anyway, and finished some over the weekend..I will be adding them to the shop this week.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Last week among my treasure-hunting, I was lucky enough to find this little beauty for mere $5 and it even actually works. And unlike the pretty little grey Olympia I have in the studio, this one doesn't smell like someone's basement.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Some of you may have stumbled across this on Daniela's blog..

Since the usual pattern that I’ve seen with these sort of things (ie anytime anyone dares to disagree or criticize anything that CJ Laity seems to do) typically ends with him twisting you’ve everything said around to suit his own purposes and make himself out to be the victim(SEE COMMENTS BELOW),
I initially refrained from responding to his little jab about my weight. It seemed so puerile, so junior high, and, hell, sort of sad and pathetic that all he could think to level at me was a criticism about my appearance. Not to mention sort of ineffective if he intended to be hurtful, since I pretty much got over any sort of body issues in my early twenties, and having decided that, indeed, since I am a girl who likes to eat, to accept my body whatever it’s size, shape, etc. So being overweight, not really an issue for me. So it was pretty laughable to find that that’s what the argument had been reduced to. Really, almost not any more worth of a response than a wild-eyed ranting man on the corner yelling at everyone as they pass by who calls me a bitch because I won’t give him a dollar. What my body weight has to do with poetry or the calendar blog, I just don’t get… And seriously, wow, who knew as a "young overweight woman" I had so much power to put down "the older man"...perhaps I should add that to our mission statement..

He seems somehow to think that there is this vast conspiracy against him, but, really, I have my own distinct reasons for wanting to avoid him (see here and here). Note: his comments have conveniently been deleted, but you can see some of the tone of it if you follow the initial Time Out Chicago Blog link.) Seriously, no one told me he was a bully because I saw it for myself, several times. Numerous times,actually, and with more people than I can count. This imaginary vast conspiracy? I’m sure everyone, no matter which crowd you hang out with in Chicago, probably has something to say about their bad interactions with him. But I tend to form my own opinions about people regardless of what others say. If he wants to continue to think everyone is out to get him, that’s his choice. Mostly I think everyone just tries to ignore him and go about their business. But sometimes, it’s hard to ignore the hatred masked as “news”. My biggest problem with his site, is the negativity he seems to propagate and thrive on, which was my impetus in thinking maybe there was another way, a better less hate filled way to get poetry news out locally. After seeing him rip people apart during that Small Press Month tirade, again and again, I wanted something infinitely less negative, more open to varying view points, to all different little corners of the Chi Po world, which I thought a group blog would do. It’s not really my blog any more than it is anyone else’s on the contributors list, or anyone else who wants to contribute for that matter. An alternative to the maliciousness, the bullshit, the gossip. I sent invitations to join to every single contact in my address book that edited a journal, ran a press, or a litmag, or would have news of some sort, and the people who joined were the ones who responded. His claim on the phrase “chicago poetry” is absolutely ridiculous . What else is one going to a calendar blog that lists readings and such. The Topeka Poetry Daily. ? But it’s what can be expected I suppose from someone who seems to think he has ownership of "chicago poetry". I also don’t get how it seems that I’m copying or stealing from him when the layout and format of the sites are entirely different, the general tone entirely different (we don’t really feel the need to insult the people whose events we are listing, grandstand, or otherwise be a petty and childish.) And believe me, the blog is hardly trying to benefit from his “fame” in fact, I think it would probably like to get as far away that sort of “fame” as possible.

I’m also not sure how I managed to push out other people from the Small Press Showcase, since I had absolutely nothing to do with the planning besides saying “yes” when asked to be a part of it. Did I call him crazy? Yes, apparently I did... I really have no idea whether he actually is, in the rest of his life certifiably insane or not (only those close to him can testify to that. I do not know him well enough to say ) When you are maliciously bashing people at every turn, have delusions of grandeur about being the sole voice and possessor of “chicago poetry”, and spend all your time thinking up ways to rile people up. Yes, that is CRAZY. There is no excuse for it.

Anyhow, I just wanted to chime in my 2 cents and thank all the bloggers that have offered their take on this…There is an interesting discussion in there somewhere on how the female body becomes fodder for discussion in a way that a male’s never does..sadly, I think we’re barking up the wrong tree however if we’re in want of rational discourse with this one..

In the end, he can crack fat jokes till he's blue in the face...the logical solution is to just ignore him til he redirects his rage against the next person on his little list, the next person who disagrees or looks at him funny.

But now that I think about it, the more we talk about it, the more he gets to make an ass of himself in public..so really it's a win/win.


*Last night's reading up in Evanston at BrothersK was great fun..I got to meet some new cool poets and see some old grad school peeps..I did miss the correct stop and had the terrible idea to hike (instead of take the train back) to where I was supposed to be, so I was a little late, but it was an awesome time. Today was our salon at the studio on humor with Brandi, Kathleen, and Carol Guess (in town only for a few days, but she's reading in the Orange Alert series at the Whistler tomorrow at if you've missed her thus far.) I realize that I often find myself drawn to humor, but can't quite pull it off in my own work. Kathleen mentioned that her favorite sort of humor was "funny/sad" and perhaps I'd like to strive more for "funny/disturbing"..

*Things are progressing a little slower than planned on the remaining chaps, but they are coming along. I think I just need more hours in the day. I do finally have poet copies finally in the mail for Kate and Talia and Kristen Orser's and Dawn Lonsinger's ready to print this week, plus Stephanie Anderson's needs to go back for a final look. Subscriber copies and all recent orders will also go out before Friday godwilling.

*Today was one of those days where I am in love with Chicago again, warm but not too humid, the lakefront filled, all the shady green little pockets one finds downwtown. Even the morass of Taste of Chicago folks couldn't make me cranky.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

this saturday

The reading went very well up yonder. Woodland Pattern is amazing, and I brought home a few goodies, including some chaps by Arielle Guy and Brenda Iijima, as well as a cool issue of Tinfish/Trout(that had a very sexy map slip cover). We made a day trip of it, wandering up through Wisconsin, stopping for ice cream in Lake Geneva where we always do whenever we happen up there. It was cloudy and rainy, so the lake wasn't quite as beautifully deep blue as usual (the only Lake I'm willing to admit is prettier than the one outside my windows now..) The rest of the weekend was spent vegetating, prowling thriftstores (I will post pics of some of my gorgeous finds on flickr tomorrow...), eating actual food instead of frozen crap or takeout (sweet corn and strawberries and bbq ribs, oh my), and sleeping very late.

Back in the saddle, there are still chaps to finish and orders to process, packages to get ready to send out. Two things are on the board for this week, including my reading up in Evanston at BrothersK and a salon event in the studio with Brandi Homan, Kathleen Rooney, and Carol Guess (rumor has it they will be talking about humor in poetry and reading some things for us..) I am also trying to get my ducks in a row for a few dgp readings in the coming few months.

It seems to be full fledged summer finally (May and June have been unnaturally chilly). It's high 80's and humid now, a drastic shift from last week, and I had to finally nix the down comforter on the bed and pull out the fan. Summer will sadly be over before we know it though, especially amid Sept. wedding plans for little sis (having polished off the save the dates, the invites, and the bridesmaids dress, there is still the shower invites and favors, some jewelry I am making for her and my mother, finding shoes for my dress, deciding what to do with my hair, program design for the ceremony, and some sort of bachelorette party shenanigans...(all of which is only a fraction of the overall extravaganza, which is why if I ever get hitched, I am totally Vegas bound..I couldn't handle the stress of pulling something like together--at least not without going all bridezilla.

Monday, June 22, 2009

(circa Halloween 1978)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

dancing girls everywhere

Vito Carli gives some props to some dgp poets at the Examiner...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I recently had a poem in The Western Humanities Review, an issue which featured, on the cover and inside, a bunch of amazing art (and writing), but, most importantly this artist, Alexis Mackenzie, on the cover. I've been poring over her website and flickr page the past couple days and I am so in love with her work--both lovely and slightly sinister at the same time...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

something new

Since we've been getting a bit unruly over at etsy in terms of shop size and what they can offer in terms of sections (not to mention some recent site and SEO changes have made it harder and harder to get any sort decent reliable random foot traffic over there compared to a year ago..) I've been testing out ecrater as a new shopping cart. I guess since it seems increasingly likely I may have to do all my promo-hoeing myself if I intend to get to get the shop & press to a point where we actually make a real profit, it makes sense to be directing it to a format that makes it easier to shop (and doesn't require users to sign up for an account). I still have a mad addictive love for etsy and will no doubt keep the shop there (to cater to that small amount of internal traffic which is enough to sustain us, but not enough to help us grow) but will possibly be making the official dgp shopfront that links off the main site using ecrater instead of etsy as well as directing some paid advertising that way... I've gone round and round in my head on this. I'm not sure I'm comfortable anymore keeping all my eggs in the etsy basket when every once in a while they all seem to end up in my lap, if that makes sense (hiding vintage, batch loading woes, messing with the Google gods.) And the best thing is that it's almost just as perty as etsy..(and a little easier to sort and find specific things..)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

notes and things...

1) I have two of the new books already up on the site with three more coming in the next few days) I'll make a more official announcement as soon as I've got them all ready on the blog and mailing list. I've been furiously stapling every night this week in the studio, so I should be able to get author copies on most out over the weekend. Good old Stanley Bostitch, my booklet stapler, oddly seems to have decided to work again, very good considering I was hating Stella (okay, yes, I name my staplers), the fussy long arm number that never seemed to land the staple along the fold easily. However, yesterday, I was stapling a galley at the library on our new Swingline booklet number and fell in love with how much less force it took, but at nearly $200, the grass is always greener I suppose..

2) I am also finishing up the layout on the full-length project by Robyn Art/Robin Barcus and it's proving less of a nightmare technologically than I thought previously (at least so far). I am still investigating ISBNs and Distribution and all that stuff that's never been an issue before with chaps, though. I'd like to have it at finished and out before the end of the summer since we're already months and months behind schedule on it as it is...

4)This Friday night I'll be doing another open studio, probably not a wise idea in the middle of chapbook assembly amageddon, but I have Friday afternoon off beforehand to make the place presentable. There will be books and papery goodness, artwork, jewelry, heavenly smelling soaps, and other lovelies, so if you find yourself in the loop that night, stop by.

5) Next week, I will be heading up to Woodland Pattern for a reading in the wilds of Milwaukee. I've never been to Woodland Pattern though I'm hugely excited since it has oft been described to me as the poetry mothership, so it should be fun. After that, I'll be in Rockford for a couple days for a little break.

6)I recently finished X saves the world : how Generation X got the shaft but can still keep everything from sucking , which defines the early to mid 90's as the Generation X cultural "moment,"--all that flannel wearing, Nirvana, listening that sort of ended with a bang in 1999 with mindless vacuousness like Britney Spears and the rise of Reality TV. I had a very surreal moment near the end, though, when they started talking about the Wave Books Poetry Bus, very much akin to seeing a unicorn on a busy city sidewalk, in which poetry culture merged with popular culture. Very weird. The author apparently hopped on board for a segment of the tour and considered it an example of how X-ers were still doing their creative things despite popular culture (well duh I say..haven't they always?).

Friday, June 05, 2009

this weekend

Join the Chicago Tribune for the Midwest's largest literary event! This outdoor festival offers the opportunity to hear authors speak and debate their works. It also features unique booksellers, poetry readings, exhibitors, kids activities, cooking demos, wine tastings, and much more.
Hours are from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on June 6-7.

full schedule and exhibitors list here.

We'll be in Tent J on Dearborn just south of Harrison, so definitely stop by if you're out and about. We just might have a couple of new titles if I can manage to get at least a few printed tonight before my toner runs out..(that little yellow light has been flashing manaically at me the past couple of days. Otherwise, they have to wait until Monday when I'll get my new cartridge..)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Newcity Lit 50

Lit 50: Who really books in Chicago

Once again, New City has named their top 50 in Chicago Lit, this year particularly devoted to editors, publishers, bookstore managers, reading series curators, and other more behind the scenes folk making things happen (and yes, apparently even Oprah...)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


on vintage eyewear. I'm getting a new batch of vintage glasses later this week and I'm running out of room to store them, so I'm cutting the prices by about 15% on most pairs currently in the shop. Most, unless otherwise noted, are in excellent condition and can be fitted with prescription lenses.

go here to check out the selection..

Monday, June 01, 2009

@ the cafe

Tomorrow night, I'll be featuring following the open mic

@ the Cafe
5115 N. Lincoln
$2 admission

I'll probably be reading some old stuff from in the bird museum and maybe some new stuff from the latest manuscript depending on my mood..