Wednesday, September 30, 2009

dgp notes

*I am currently finishing up about 5 books in their final stages, three of which will be revealed at St. Pauls on Friday night, and two more by non-local authors. All that's left is assembly and one cover design and I'm set to go. I 've also been struggling to keep up with the backlog of sale orders, so if you've placed an order the past couple of weeks, the last of them will be going in the mail on Friday. Tomorrow, I'll be in the studio most of the day making books, which will be rather relaxing after an seemingly unbroken string of days at the library.

*I am still at work on wicked alice and am in the process of sending out acceptances. If you've sent anything since the spring reading period ended, and haven't heard back with a rejection, you're still either in my to-read pile, or I am holding for the last round. (a good sign) Everything that has arrived this period September 1st on, is being read for the next issue after that, so bear with me if you can...I will also be making my way through the rest of the dgp inbox hopefully by mid-October, though it is slow going with close to 350 manuscripts to peruse. In this case, it is also a good sign if you haven't yet heard from me with a "no".

*I had some sad news from another dgp poet that Adrianne Marcus had passed away recently. Adrianne was the original dancing girl, our first poet, brave enough to take a chance on letting dgp publish her chance when the whole venture was just a vague idea in my head back in 2004. She was an awesome lady and a talented poet, and it's sad to see the world without her. Here is a beautiful tribute written by her daughter.

wednesday reveal

five luscious flavors (pomegranate, lemoncello, orange blossom, pineapple, and japanese pear) available here.

I whipped up a huge batch of lip balm back in the spring, but was tweaking the packaging since then and only recently got them all labeled with the new label design.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One new and pretty thing daily....

Since I am determined to light a fire under my behind and get to stocking the shop before the Christmas rush, both making new things, restocking things that have sold out, and listing some stuff that's just been sitting here waiting to be listed and/or photographed. My challenge, up until Thanksgiving, is to list at least one new thing (or batch of things) in the shop every day until I get to everything I have either made or want to make in there. So I will be adding updates to this blog, as well as twitter and the facebook fan page daily (hopefully). Today's offering are a bunch of slips that I finally got around to mending this weekend in all sorts of lovely pastels..(I'll be adding some more autunm-like and wintry colors soon, but these are left over from a spring batch.)

Now available in the shop.

Monday, September 28, 2009

this week

The Revolving Door Reading Series

Kristy Bowen and Cecilia Pinto

Oct. 1
7:30 PM
Red Kiva
1108 W. Randolph

KRISTY BOWEN is the author of in the bird museum (Dusie Press, 2008) and the fever almanac (Ghost Road,2006). She runs dancing girl press, devoted to publishing work by women poets. Her third collection, girl show, is due out in December 2009.

CECILIA PINTO received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Creative Writing from Knox College and School of the Art Institute. Through her association with the Poetry Center of Chicago she has been a writer-inresidence at various local grammar schools. Her poems have appeared in Esquire, Rhino, Fence, Quarter After Eight, Diagram, Saints of Hysteria, The City Visible and other journals and anthologies.

Drink specials include $5 Absolut mixed drinks and $4 draft beers.

The Revolving Door Reading Series

A new
reading series
of poetry
and culture.

1st Friday Series presents
dancing girl press

Sara Tracey
Rachel Jamison Webster
Sarah Gardner
Jen Blair

7:30-9:30 PM
St Paul’s Cultural Center
2215 W North Avenue
October 2nd

Now Hosted by the Waiting 4 the Bus Collective!

2+ blocks west of the Damon Blue Line stop
Street parking available

Beer, wine, soft drinks available @ cool-low prices
Free Admission
Donation Requested

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I am still very much stuck on sweater dresses this fall and am waiting for the temps to cool down appropriately. The price on that messenger bag, though is a bit ridiculous...

Friday, September 25, 2009

A couple of night’s ago, I dreamed that my parents were moving back into our old house in on Pennsylvania Ave. I’m not sure why, but in the dream we were slowly moving everything back in that we had moved out in 1985, even down to the same furniture...bunk beds for me and my sister, a horrible green vinyl rocking chair, my white eyelet bedspread. I dream about that house a lot, in fact nearly as often as I dream of my grandmother’s house. They both seem to me like lost places (...places you can’t return to, or that wouldn’t be the same even if you tried.) This house, unlike my grandmother’s is at least still standing, but it seems just as lost to me. In the dream, suddenly we were back in it, and while it was exactly the same on the outside, the same mint green siding, the same front door, same iron eagle above the garage... inside it had been remodeled with wide, white rooms and modern fixtures. I was searching for something in the dream along the wood work, looking for my initial scratched there. It was a ridiculously small house, two bedrooms that we soon outgrew. In the dream though, it felt like we were reclaiming something we had lost. Maybe, because it’s truly the first place I can really remember living.

In the dreams about my grandmother's house, I am always reclaiming it, cleaning it, fixing things and making them liveable again. The house was torn down when I was in high school, but when I dream about it, it's simply been abandoned for years (my cousins lived there for awhile, but tore it down to build a new house.) I am always trying to convince myself to stay there, and usually I make interesting discoveries, like hardwood floors beneath the carpet and french doors covered in curtains (things that weren't exactly there..)

I'm not sure which issues these dreams are working out..whether its an inability to let go of the past or a borderline disturbing desire to redecorate everything..

(Now that I think about it, this reminds me of this poem from few years ago..)

Monday, September 21, 2009

On "The New Chicago School"...

I was thinking about this over the weekend..especially since I spent Saturday afternoon down at the Series A conference, one of the panels of which was "Poetry and Place." It does seem a rather odd list. I’m familiar with the work of about maybe 50% of it and while I can see some aesthetic affinity among a few of them, I wouldn’t exactly say there’s quite enough in common (beyond being somewhat experimental and living in the same geographic region) among them when it comes to the writing itself to call them any sort of school or even movement. I did like Johnson’s use of the word “constellation” though, which perhaps is a bit more accurate depiction of things going on in Chicago. You can form links between poets, links between certain readings series and presses, each with their own constellations of poets that revolve around them, which in turn overlap with other groupings. There are certain groupings of poets constantly overlapping, and others that barely touch each other, even among people working in the avante-gard tradition. And in the larger paradigm that is “Chicago Poetry” there are other constellations and groupings one would find, even among more traditionally oriented poets like myself. And constellations within those constellations and so on. I have to agree with the sentiment that it is very dangerous and perhaps counterproductive to label something so specifically. No doubt, poetry movements are mutable things, as soon as you try to pin it down it shifts into something else or loses its charm and people get sick of hearing about it.(look at Flarf..) I also agree it’s seems to only propagate the sort of hierarchies, and cause the sort of dissension, which in a perfect world would not exist.

And of course, anytime you make a list, you make decisions of value (unless, I guess, the list is infinite, but then is it a list at all?). Looking at the poets in the blog entry I can’t also help but feel it is predominantly too white and way too academic. There are also seem to be a large number of poets who either no longer really live here, or do so only in a sort of transient college teaching gig sort of way. But then, if I were to make a list myself, it would probably be skewed somewhat as well depending on the poets I know of, my own aesthetic preference, and any other number of factors. I suppose we either have to resign ourselves to the fact that no list will every be both complete and unbiased or just stop making such lists altogether. Again, I don’t have an answer. Just thinking outloud.

It also raises the question of how much any school or movement depends on geography and how that geography becomes an entity in an of itself, ie how "Chicago" plays a role in determing this school of poetics. How is a "New Chicago Poet" informed by the landscape around them in a way that is different from a New York poet, or an Iowa City poet? What is disctinctly "Chicago" about a certain group of writers that would make such a confluence of talent impossible elsewhere? What differentiates that school from any school or grouping of experimental poets that just happens to be randomly tossed together? Perhaps Seth Abramson may be right, that the internet age and the age of MFA programs trumps geography everytime. Looking at any of these poets, I see more circles of influence spreading outside Chicago than inside it, poets linked either by mentorship, or journals/presses outside Chicago, or former MFA prgram peers. Of course, I also think there are more insular pockets in Chicago where perhaps geography and personal relationships do play a greater role, if only among poets who are more likely to socialize together, critique each others work, publish each others poems, etc.

I will say, uncategorically however, that so much is happening in Chicago at any given minute poetry-wise it makes my head spin. That is awesome, and why I am glad to be here.

There is some more discussion both here and here..

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sometimes I feel like, after doing this for the last 15 years, I've simply written too many poems and can’t keep them all straight. (Or maybe I just keep writing the same poem over and over again trying to get it right.) Someone will mention something to me from one of my books, and while I can usually remember the line, and even what comes after it and before it, I sometimes, embarrassingly enough, have no immediate recall which exact piece it came from. My relationship with my work is often a strange one. Some poems I could recite to you verbatim (others I barely remember having written them.) At one point in 2001 when I had the sort of free time for such things , I counted up all my drafts since 1991 and had written (or had an abandoned draft of at least) over 500 mostly awful poems. I've written at least as many since then, if not more, though hopefully less awful. Usually once the poem is drafted, revised, published, and part of a manuscript, I don’t really go back to it unless it’s one of my favorites that I like to trot out at readings. Usually by the time the book comes out (typically a few years after the poems were written), there’s a certain distance between me and the work that makes me want to put the book away and not look at it again. There are days when I can read through it again and love it. Days when I want to hide it on the shelf and never look at it again. I’ve always felt like it’s very important for me to keep moving forward, the next book, the next poem. Sometimes I feel like a really bad mother, having all these children and then leaving them behind .

Anyway, this morning I was working on something that had a line in it that just seemed way too familiar to me, like maybe I had already written something way too much like it, or maybe someone else had already written it and worse, I was just unintentionally stealing it…(I have also READ too many poems and everything starts to blur together.) So as the morning progressed, I became convinced, that indeed, SOMEONE had already written a line like this and I set out to find it. I knew it wasn’t a fever almanac piece, but I checked bird museum and girl show and even the new manuscript (which is much fresher to me) thinking maybe it was in there somewhere. Then I checked all the random odd poems & bits that never wound up in a book. Nothing.

Finally. I just googled it, hoping I had either published it on the blog or in some online place, and found THIS:

It looks like she just lifted the text from feign and errata, with a little bit of her own words mixed in. I'm' not one to get all proprietary over words, but I don't know whether to be pissed, horrified, amused, or slightly flattered....

(oh, and incidently I was right, I'd used a similar line before, not exactly the same, but a similar metaphor, so back to the drawing board..)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

odds & ends

*The weekend's wedding festivities went off fabulously and pretty much without a hitch. Everything was lovely, bride, bridemaids, decorations, ceremony, even the weather held up. While it was only a mere hour or so away, it oddly felt like one of those sexy expensive destination weddings since we got to stay in a hotel (okay, DeKalb isn't exactly sexy. Believe me, I take what I can get these days in terms of travel.) Plus, I might quite possibly have had the most definitively delicious wedding cake with perfectly not-too cloyingly sweet frosting ever. I am currently trying to figure out how to turn my floor length eggplant bridemaids dress into my Halloween costume this year. Witch? Evil Queen? Zombie Princess?

*I am still struggling to keep afloat the chapbook schedule and have a few books I'm wrapping up before the end of the month, as well as the very late wicked alice issue, which seems to keep getting pushed aside while I put out other fires. Tomorrow I'm hoping to get some time in the afternoon to get the last few poems ready and the issue up, barring any poetry, publishing or shop related emergencies..

*Saturday, I will be here most of the day and it looks like alot of great discussion. It's also a busy couple of weeks coming up and I'll be reading at a couple of places as well as taking some dgp poets to the St. Pauls first Friday's series on Oct. 2nd. More details to come..

Monday, September 14, 2009

This Saturday

Please come to the Series A Conversations mini-conference on Saturday, Sept 19 in Chicago at the Hyde Park Art Center. The HPAC is at 5020 S. Cornell in Hyde Park. It has a parking lot and free street parking and is close to both Metra and the CTA (only 15-20 minutes from downtown).

BYOB. The conference is not associated with any university or organization except for Series A (which is not really an organization at all). Feel free to come and throw your voice into the conversation and perhaps join us afterward for food and drink.

All events take place in the 4833 studio room.

10:00-11:15 New Media Poetics--Film and Poetry (with a film screening)
Francesco Levato, Moderator
Kurt Heintz, Julia Miller, Eric Gelehrter, and Nate Slawson

11:30-12:30 Other People's Poetry
Tim Yu
Srikanth (Chicu) Reddy
Judith Goldman

12:45-1:45 Poetry and Place
Raymond Bianchi and Garin Cycholl

2:00-3:00 Poetry Publication--Founding, Editing, and Distributing a Print Journal
Chad Heltzel, Moderator
Jennie Berner, Garrett Brown, Tasha Fouts,
Jennifer Moore, Sara Tracey, and Snezana Zabic

3:15-4:45 Rapid Poetry ReadingBill Allegrezza, Moderator

Larry O'Dean, Tim Yu
Kristy Bowen, Srikanth (Chicu) Reddy
Quraysh Ali Lansana, Ray Bianchi
Kristy Odelius, Garin Cycholl
Chad Heltzel ,Dan Godston,
Simone Muench, Nick Demske, and many others.

For more information, contact Bill Allegrezza at

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I will be off in the morning to Rockford, and hence to the hinterlands of Dekalb for the big event. I'm still not certain of all my maid of honor duties since I somehow missed out on that eerie genetic knowledge most women seem to inherently have of wedding etiquette, so I am totally winging it. At this point I'll be lucky not to trip or do something embarassing at dinner. At least my bridemaid dress is oh so pretty (see above)....

now available from dancing girl press


Monday, September 07, 2009

Fall Chapbook Sale

Yes kittens, it's that time of year again. The leaves are turning, the air is cooler, and it' about time for a sale.

Through the end of September, get 5 dancing girl chapbooks for a mere $20, your choice from a list of over 50 titles.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

long lazy weekends

There is nothing quite nicer. Of course, the semester starts on Tuesday and already the campus is full of wide eyed freshman who every year get younger while I get older and older. Already some of the trees are yellowing, the days noticeably shorter, and the light different. I will be going back to my noctural hours (actually this is a good thing, I'm so tired the last couple of weeks I can barely focus most of the day.) I will actually be working two days this week and then I'm off for wedding festivities that will involve margaritas and bachelorette party drunken mini-golfing Thursday, the rehearsal dinner on Friday, and the actual wedding on Saturday. The programs are printed and ready to be folded this weekend, the jewelry for the bride and my mom finished, a couple other little crafty things accomplished, and everything ready to go..

I've been having odd dreams, one involving the cats, alien invasion, and the plot of Lost, but which was a novel and not a tv show..and or some reason, especially lately, my mother is always angry and dissappointed in me in my dreams, though we get along and are pretty close in real life (once I was out of my hellion teenage years that is.) Of course, there is so much about more private stuff she doesn't know. I probably just have a guilty conscience..