Monday, December 31, 2007

through January 31st

2008 Subscription

Get every single thing we publish next calendar year delivered to your doorstep for

$100 (30% off the regular price)

details here

Your subscription includes:

*16 chapbooks (including work by Daniela Olszewska, Melissa Severin, Julia Drescher, Melissa Crowe, Anne Heide, Miriam Pirone/Edward Smallfield, Kristi Maxwell, Leigh Stein, Kim Young, Danielle Vogel, Claire Hero, Melissa Culbertson, Heather Green, Kim Gek Lin Short, Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis/Caleb Adler, and Julia Cohen.) )

*1 full-length book : Dear American Love Child, Yours, The Beautiful Undead / Robyn Art & Robin Barcus (November 2008)

*2 special limited edition projects, including billet-doux (February, 2008) and another TBA.

Plus other various goodies, occasional broadsides, and our endless adoration...

After January, the price will go back up to it's original $150, still a steal, but not quite so much of get yours while the getting is good...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

brief update from dial-up hell

I am being ridiculously lazy the last couple of days, watching movies and sleeping til 1pm. I brought nothing to Rockford poetry-wise to work on, so I needn't feel the least bit guilty about ignoring it. The weekend was filled with many holiday festivities, including a couple different gatherings, then our usual Christmas Eve thing at my aunt's. Lots of lucious presents including loads of bath products, flavored teas and chocolates, a new tv for my bedroom (which recently breathed it's last sigh after 10 years), plus some rather unsexy things like a small drill for bookbinding exploits and a glue gun. We did have a bit of family related medical drama on Christmas--nothing serious--but enough to land us in the ER waiting room a couple hours, a sorry place to be on a holiday, but thankfully I glimpsed no one gushing bodily fluids and only a couple of broken limbs and lots of sick babies. Otherwise, I have been eating chocolate chip cookies, drinking far too many rum & cokes, and attempting to turn off the running commentary in my head about all the things I should be doing that are more productive than lolling on the couch. No luck, but I'll be heading back to the city on Sunday, where I plan to spend a couple days righting the apartment after the pre-holiday tornado that appeared to hit it before I head back into the grind on Wednesday. And of course, it is January, when the grind is ever so much more...well..grinding...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

If you're going to be in Chicago over December 28th (sadly I'm homeward bound), there is an MLA-associated reading happening that includes, not ONE, not TWO, but THREE dgp poets (plus some other fancy poet-types.) You should go....

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

and our final 2007 chapbook

Recovering the Body
poems by Nicole Cartwright Denison
dancing girl press, 2007

get it here


Which means that, yes, another season of awesome books has come to a close, with so much more planned for next year, including winter releases by Daniela Olszweska and Melissa Severin, plus Billet Doux, a special book arts anthology project due out around V-Day (Valentines, not Veterans). Also that pesky overdue wicked alice print annual that keeps getting pushed aside for other things. Plus many, many more goodies throught the year. (See the complete list at the dgp blog.)

All in all, it's been a phenomenal year for the press, including our first AWP road trip to Atlanta (sadly New York is a bit too spendy a stay for us this coming year, but we'll be back in full force when the train pulls into Chicago in 2009.) Some excellent reviews, our lovely feature in Poets & Writers, and now our new studio space with Atelier, where we can finally spread out and offer all sorts of cool programming. Watch for upcoming readings & workshops there in the coming months, as well as a California Clipper shindig/release reading with the lovely ladies of Switchback Books in February.

I've also been working at diversifying the etsy store, our little online retail annex, which has helped immensely in paying the rent on our new digs. Now you can find all sorts of book and papery things, art, and non-literary-related pretty things, both vintage and new there, as well as our usual books.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us and brought our books, submitted manuscripts, or developed an interest in what we publish and spread the word. Thanks most to the great poets who became part of dgp and the artists who let us use their work to make such lovely covers. (and to the CC LIbrary, for allowing me the opprtunity to *ahem* "work" those long circ desk evenings when I get most of the layout stuff done.)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I had seriously given up on getting up the tree this year and any sort of Christmas decorations..chalk it up to being too late in the month, never being home, too busy, not planning to be here over the holiday anyway, the hassle of putting it all away in January. But then I found this little guy (below) and just HAD to put it up. So last night found me battling tangled lights while watching Planet Terror--not exactly holiday fare, but really cool nonetheless (everyone was on my case to go see Grindhouse when it was in the theaters, but it just never happened.) Then I wrapped some gifts and ate peppermint ice cream. Close enough to holiday traditions, no?

After defcon5 at the library in regard to returns, I'm a little achy from all that hefting and checking in of books. Thursday, they were everywhere, sticking out of drops, stacked on the counters, piled on the floor. Yesterday, much the same. This week, since we're technically on break, I get the joy of 9-5 commuting, but at least can hide out in the studio after work and wait a couple hours for it to dissipate. I have lots of stuff to pack and ship in regard to dgp orders and Recovering the Body to wrap up (I just need to scan the cover & check over the galleys one more time, and I will get it up on the website and print it this week.

It's grey and snowy today, but for once I get to stay in. I need to do laundry and work on a couple gifts, but otherwise I plan to just chill. Tonmorrow, I'll be doing a workshop on Approaching Small Presses, so I suppose I should start preparing..

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

poems are not bombs, I swear...

So I thought I was being smart...since the big box containing MG's Secret Meanings took forever to get overseas, I was going to send more copies in smaller, air mailable packages (about 7 each) put enough stamps for them to get over, and just drop them in the mailbox and send them on their way. WRONG. Apparently, over the summer, the USPS decided anything over 13 ounces MUST, in fact be a bomb, and could not be dropped into a corner mailbox (my only option since I do not have a home box and the PO is a pain to get to). So yesterday I arrive home to find all three packages have been returned to me. My question is where they were in the interim week if they never left the post office? Is there a vast conspiracy to stop the poetry trade from the US to Austria? Am I cursed this week? At least I think I can re-use the stamps since they are uncanceled. I will be trying Express Mail this time...(sorry for the delay M)...

Tomorrow, I'm planning on a good amount of studio time in order too get all the press orders out from the last two weeks and printing the cover for Recovering the Body. I intended to go for a couple hours this morning but last night's post-reading overindulgence involving one too many PBRs (I swear beer is like poison to me anymore) made getting out of bed earlier a little difficult..

Saturday, December 08, 2007


I am having one of those days where everything I seem to try to make or do backfires. I was covering flasks for the shop and kept cutting the paper crooked. I was dying slips and every single one had odd spots of color that I had to get off. I was trying to finish a poem and the damned thing just won't fall into line. I think I'll order in dinner or I'm apt to set the kitchen on fire.

In happier news, I may be planning a southern jaunt in April around my birthday to do a reading at GSU, more details as they become available. I 'm featuring here in Chicago on Tuesday night @ the Cafe, so I guess that means I should figure out what I'm reading. I also just added an 8 week workshop to January's schedule for beginner poets. Tomorrow, I have to meet B-Ho down at the studio before her publication workshop (if you're local, you should come, even if submitting is old hat--I'm still in awe of her organization skills). Afterwards, I need to try to get the damned tree up or I may never get it up at all...

There is alot of snow outside, I'm really just trying to pretend it's not there...

These little guys are up at etsy..luckily I finished them a couple days ago, so they do not, thankfully, suck..

Thursday, December 06, 2007


there's an interview with moi about the press and the store....

Monday, December 03, 2007

Saturday's reading, despite the crappy weather, drew a pretty good crowd, possibly the biggest yet. I think, besides having awesome people reading, the success may lie in the Saturday night thing, which you would think might be a sure fire way to NOT get a crowd But this is early enough that you still have time to go out afterwards, sort of a good way to start the night with poetry. I actually wound up catching a cab and going home afterwards since I was dead tired after folding and stapling all day, but it was so worth it (see below). Now, onto the next chap..

My plan to make all my Christmas presents has been slightly abandoned when I realized how much more I'd actually have to spend to get the supplies I needed, let alone get them to do exactly what I wanted them to do, in order to really make what I want. I decided to go ahead an buy other things ..stuff that's mostly handmade, not by me...I wound up getting pretty much everything in under my budget. Of course, as you know, etsy is a very dangerous place and I just might have inadvertently and surreptitiously snagged a couple things for myself (it happens)...

What I'm stuck on is the two little ones, recent additions, a two year old on my mom's side (the younger generation has indeed started procreating and thank god it skipped me *knock on wood*) and a 6 mo. old on my dad's (my older cousin, first-time happy-but-sort-of-oops! mom at 41 *knock on wood again*). They're a little young for books, I think, and clothes are sort of boring at Christmas, so I'm looking for interesting stuffed things, though maybe I should get the 2 year old this given her father's ban on all super girlie things. Thus, she's clad in unusual amount of camouflage and denim. So not fun.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

now available

Bee Spit

Kristy Odelius
dancing girl press, 2007

get yours here...

Friday, November 30, 2007

ask and ye shall recieve

Our first ever DGP Subscription offer for 2008!
details here.

I will also be hosting some drawings and giving away some free titles from THIS year next week, so stay tuned...

tomorrow night

It took some finagling and I possibly had to kill someone and turn over my first born, but I landed my first ever etsy treasury last night (a nifty feature where you get to pick all sort of pretty things and other people can look at it for you non-etsy addicts..) This one is pink and Christmasy, but I want to do a poetry one next time I can nab one. But for now you can peruse some of the folks I'd put in it here, here, here, here, here and here.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Whenever it starts to get toward the end of the year I always feel this sudden, urgent need to take stock. The same thing happens around my birthday in a similar way, but at the end of the year I like to start planning what I want to do in the next year and figure out what steps I need to take to get there…Admittedly, it’s been a pretty awesome year in the writing arena…a lot of journals I’d been knocking on doors at for awhile finally wanted to publish something. feign was released by New Michigan in February, two other chap projects out over the summer, including the four years in the making Cornell thing. Plus finishing my MFA, another four year saga. Three issues of wicked alice put out, 14 chapbooks for dgp, plus some really good exposure for the endeavor and now its own studio space with Atelier, something which I didn’t really have any long range plans for, but something that just sort of delightfully happened in the span of a couple months. Plus the expansion of our etsy store with more visual art and design stuff, which is just a lot of fun for me personally…

Next year, of course there will be more chaps, and the epistolary project, which I’m way excited about. Plus Robyn’s full-length book, the Poetry Center Juried chap, and hopefully some broadsides. Sometime in the next few months in the bird museum, will be done and available. (still working on layout logistics with Susana..) and Lauren and I plan on doing another collaborative thing which is still in the planning stages. I have a cache of new work I will be submitting after the new year. I also want to finish the new manuscript by sometime in the next year. For Atelier, I want to steadily increase the programming, both the free and tuition-based workshops, as well as the readings and events, so that space is in use as much as possible....(I tend to spend my time there working in the mornings & early afternoon, but that leaves nights & weekends free ....)

Of course, there's still so much to do before the end of this year--one more chap, the pesky print annual that is in various stages of dissaray since the move and still needs to be assembled. Plus I'd like to get a start on the January book at least. December will be busy in general with workshops and readings and sundry holiday tasks..... though come December 23, I'm taking a couple weeks off from everything, so I need to have everthing done, printed, mailed, signed, sealed, and delivered by then.....

Monday, November 26, 2007

Once again catering to all your vices (poetry, vintage lingerie, sparkly things, booze) these are new at the shop. I've been coveting one every time I saw anyone pull their ID from one at the circ desk. So I decided to make a bunch with all sorts of pretty paper.

Speaking of pretty vices, I'm so in love with these and these for my tree, which will hopefully go up next weekend...but have, for the moment anyway, talked myself down from the etsy buying frenzy...

Had an excellent weekend involving way too much turkey and pie, plus thrift store combing, craft store hunting, and mall browsing. Plus a trip to Ikea to get some more folding chairs and different table legs for my desk. I was finding I needed a counter height workspace more than a table height one for functionality. Thanks to the Vika system, all I had to do was swap my short legs for some telescoping longer and voila! instant counter.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

dgp bits

*Kristy Odelius' Bee Spit is in the final production stages as we speak. This week I will be folding and assembling, and they will be available at the Quimby's reading and hot off the press. We'll also have lots of copies of Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney's Something Really Wonderful. Hope to see you there!

*a review of Brandi Homan's Two Kinds of Arson is up at Rattle..

* I will be making decisions on the epistolary project hopefully by December 15th..thanks to everyone who sent work..

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

quite possibly

the most beautiful fabric/paper I've ever seen...(for all you textile and paper freaks...)

A few weeks ago I got some envelopes on etsy made with Amy Butler paper. I saw the name referenced in another listing, and since I had no idea who they were talking about, decided to google it. Damn, it's a good thing I don't really know how to sew yet or I'd be bankrupt...I did order some of the papers from an online scrapbook store, apparently a whole pad of different ones. I think Michaels carries them as well, so I will have to check when I'm out in the suburban wilds this weekend..As much as I like to make fun of the rabid scrapbooking women, they have made it much easier to get beautiful paper.

now available

Something Really Wonderful
Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney
dancing girl press, 2007

get it here...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

some more pics here...

Yesterday was fun, though only a handful of people stopped by, which I knew going in would be the case. I had a brief moment of terror that NO ONE would come beforehand and that I'd be sitting there eating my sad little store bought cookies and crying in my coffee, but, finally they did. I got to meet Kathleen Rooney for the first time, to boot, whose chap with Elisa Gabbert, Something Really Wonderful, is underway and will be available before the end of the week. I was there pretty late last night stapling and folding, and only need to do some trimming, before they are done. Kristy Odelius' Bee Spit is similarly getting it's final layout tweaking and will be out around the first of December in time for the Quimby's reading and then it's onto the December chap. Yeah, not much rest for the wickedpen these days, but I'm having fun--it's a good kind of stress, unlike when I was still in school. I'm excited about the boatloads of stuff I have to accomplish before Christmas... Today I've been polishing up some etsy stuff (flasks, slips, some chokers made out of vintage trim and ribbon), which at least seem to be bringing in a bit of extra income for press and studio. I spent way to much at the fabric store this afternoon buying pretty little doodads, though.

I did finally have to pull out the winter wear for the first time--a couple days the last week i've just been being stupid and stubborn. Of course, Christmas is now pervasive downtown, all the shops having been decked out and trees lit for the big Mickey parade last night, (aka the Festival of the Lights.) It was INSANE down there yesterday, and will pretty much stay that way through the holidays, which means long bus rides and more annoying bag toting tourists.

Friday, November 16, 2007


You seriously know you're spending too much on art supplies and shipping materials when you're credit card thinks it's some sort of fraud. Between buying stuff for the studio, a huge Staples and Uline (packaging) order, a big stamp order, plus the regular dgp paper and random crafty goods on e-bay, I spent over about 500 bucks, which apparently set off alarms--the lady said it was the Paypal e-bay charges that might have raised alarm and made them freeze my acount. What's stupid is I sent a payment to cover those charges completely on Wednesday, since I don't like to carry a balance from month to month..I hardly think I'd be paying my bill if I wasn't me...


Lately, it seems you cannot shut me up. There's a new one at
the local what to wear during an orange alert..

Thursday, November 15, 2007

the studio

This gives you a general idea of what the place looks like, albeit rather dark, and this is looking toward the windows from my desk/work area, but you get the gist. The cushions in the corner are in case more than 11 people show up at the same time, since until I get back to IKEA, I only have ten chairs..this pic is from the crappy webcam, but I plan on bringing my good camera in on Saturday, so I'll post much better ones then...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Yesterday was spent making/packaging new things (see above) and filling orders. I'm gearing up for crunch time with multiple chaps due out before the end of the year and an increase in etsy biz for the holidays, so it might take me a couple days to respond to e-mails and such if you need me. The Handmade Show on Saturday was a rousing success and a fun time. I actually signed up for a couple more shows over the winter (through March, except for December which was already booked.) They apparently do it one Saturday a month. It doesn't even feel a bit like work to lay out all my wares and have a couple drinks and hang out selling stuff (though not too many or I'd just wind up giving stuff away..) Plus, I ran into one Maggie Lopez, former MFA program comrade who I hadn't seen in forever, who was selling all sorts of cute things from her shop Clothespin, just across the aisle.

Friday, November 09, 2007

it's live

photo by madelaine adélaïde

wicked alice | fall 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

where I'll be Saturday

Seriously, a craft fair in a bar? I may have died and gone to heaven.

dancing girl press, of course, will be selling chapbooks, notecards/postcards, original art, and other paper-related goodies.


The Handmade Market is an event to connect the makers of beautiful things to people who appreciate the unique and handmade. There will be 32 fabulous sellers at the Market selling jewelry, purses, knitted items, clothing, paper crafts, and more!

The Handmade Market
Saturday, October 10th
noon to 4:30
free to the public
at the Empty Bottle
1035 N. Western Ave.

See all the details and a list of our sellers at


Thus, I am in a serious flurry of making more chaps, more notecards, and more collage thingies for that. On other fronts, I am finishing up the edits on the fall wicked alice and should have it posted by the end of the evening. I am also tweaking the layouts on the November chaps, which should be handed over to their respective authors very soon. Did finally get to some actual production work in the studio this morning and realized how nice it is to not have to chase a cat off the work area every ten seconds and to have some more space to spread out. I still have to actually assemble the print annual this weekend, and get the postcard/flier packets for atelier out to people who most awesomely have agreed to help spread the word. They should be on their way Monday...

With all the whirlwind of the last week, I haven't had time to sit down and plot out my take regarding THIS..which I want to get to very soon.

In the meantime, go read some interview action at DISLOCATE...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

newsie things

*The studio is, of course, awesome, and all the IKEA furniture procured not only fits, but amazingly came with all of its pieces and was, as promised, reasonably easy to assemble. I'll get some photos up soon. Still looking a little bare, but I will be transitioning more stuff from home in the next couple of weeks, plus hanging some art. Right now the printers are not as yet in working order, since I have to load the software into the new laptop. I need to print more Orange Girls and finish the print annual covers as soon as they are. Plus the shipping supplies are in disarray, so things will be a bit behind on orders this week, but everything should go out beginning of next week. I am also happily reacquainting myself with the dining room and may finally be able to have people over to dinner without the scanner and paper trimmer, which make horrible centerpieces..

*I was apparently a finalist in the Cranky chapbook contest, which is cool. It was a small segment of pieces from girl show, which I probably won't worry about finding a home for now, since the whole mss. will eventually be published in a couple years, but I'm happy to be a bridesmaid still…

*I was guest blogging briefly at Rose and Thorn last week and was too crazy busy to point you in that direction, but here it is a little after the fact.

and one sucky thing:

I just got back the samples that I submitted for the staff arts award here at CC, which I did not win, which was not surprising or particularly saddening since prizes have tended to go to the sexier arts. I was a bit disgruntled to find the books I sent had been rendered anonymous by unremovable stickers. This would not quite be so disconcerting if they had told us to submit anonymous materials (last years competition was not judged as such) or if they'd not promised to return them, in which case I would have just submitted manuscripts or photocopies. As such, they ruined about $50 worth of books irrevocably. So not cool…

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I SO have to get some of these...

courtesy of Carol Lee Designs.

one hour later:

of course, my buying something there set me off on a deadly Etsy binge, and I wound up with these and's a vicious cycle, having to sell more things to buy more things...I think that's how the whole drug trade works..

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Every year, the library has a costume judging contest where they line everyone up on the fifth floor amidst various treats and orange tablecloths. Competition is pretty fierce, especially among some of the librarians. I'm usually arriving too late for the contest, but one year I was dressed as an evil fairy with painted black wings and managed second. Things, however, have gotten a bit more competitive since. I usually try to go with things that aren't too far out of my wardrobe zone--witches, black cats, last year, Lizzie Borden. One year I was Little Red Riding Hood.

So I was staring at my closet this morning, and finally decided on a couple of crème slips, a slightly poofy underskirt, a crimson red satin skirt I never wear (rolled up to be shorter) a lacy camisole, and some black stockings, and tried for the whole can-can dancer thing. I think it'd be better if I'd really had time to do my hair and make-up, but it will do I suppose. Of course, I always feel slightly conspicuous out in the world outside the library. I think it would be a much cooler holiday if EVERYONE dressed up, don't you? All those people in their conservative offices dressed in costumes. But then, maybe I've just never let go of being a kid.

It's always been my favorite holiday, all those years my dad would drive us to a nearby subdivision (we lived on a street sort of in the middle of nowhere, so there wasn't much loot to be had there.) It was always raining or cold it seems, so we'd inevitably have to wear jackets under or over our costumes. I always looked forward to our naighbors across the street who gave out cans of soda, which in a diet-only household was definitely a treat. Then we'd come home, where my mom had been stationed to dole out the stuff for the few kids who did make it round. Then we'd watch bad horror movies and gorge ourselves on candy. It was better than Christmas. Hell, chocolate and horror movies--definitely two of my favorite things even now. Even when I was in college, there were always drunken costume parties (and the theater crowd I hung out with took it very seriously). Nowdays, I'm usually working on Halloween, so I have to make my own fun....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I'm still rather zombie-like the past couple of days, particularly since staying up til 4 am busily working on things has been replaced by staying up til 4 am watching season 3 of Veronica Mars. This is much better, though not as productive. I still have to finish cutting and boxing Secret Meanings tomorrow, and print the covers for the print annual...Both will be avilable by week's end. Still no ideas for a Halloween costume, though. And the laundry I washed last weekend is still sitting in the cart I've been dressing myself from. I have also ran out of clean forks, so it's probably time to do the dishes. Or buy new forks.

Friday, October 26, 2007


21 Poets Start the Evolution

Saturday, October 27, 2007
7 - 10 PM

Café Ennui
6981 N. Sheridan Road [@ Lunt]


Kristy Bowen
Dina Elenbogen
Richard Fammerée
Chris Green
Omer Hadziselimovic
Ralph Hamilton
Arica Hilton
Larry Janowski
Francesco Levato
Lauren Levato
Samantha Levine
Brent Mesick
Erika Mikkalo
Charlie Newman
Stella Radulescu
Deborah Rosen
Anastasia Royal
Steven Schroeder
Diana Twyman
Rachel Webster

This is a free event.
Please feel free to invite everyone in your extended family.
All donations will benefit

* * * * * *

UniVerse of Poetry

An interactive forum and celebration of international poetry
universal dialogue, compassion and peace.

UniVerse is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to human

and the dignity of humanity. Donations are tax deductible.

UniVerse of Poetry is an artist-in-residence at Flatfile Galleries,
Shakespeare & Company, Paris

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Lately I feel like I've been losing entire stretches to all the craziness. Between the various press projects, crafty stuff, Atelier stuff, work stuff, writing stuff, I have nearly lost the entire month of October. In less than two weeks we move into the studio. Somehow, I looked up one day and the trees were bare. The few that still have some stragglers have completely changed color. I realized it was Monday since I wrote the last entry, it's now Thursday, and I cannot tell you where the intervening days went. I've been staying up til 4 or 5 am working on things, then rolling out of bed around noon and rushing to work for eight hours, then repeating the pattern...That might explain the surrealness of the last two months, though I'm not sure. There are books to make, packing to do, poems to write...when I sleep, it's like there's a constant ticker tape in my head, so it's an odd dreamy half-sleep...

Monday, October 22, 2007


I do love them, god help me, if only for the reason there is more mail, it having been saved up over Sunday. Tonight I arrved home to a plethora of small boxes including some jewelry making supplies, some slips from e-bay, some interesting paperweights and birds for new projects, my copy of [Growling Softly], a couple straggler dusie chaps, and some cover stock for Bee Spit. Am still waiting on paper for the labels on Secret Meanings, which throws me a little off schedule, but I should be able to get a good number finished and posted for sale by the end of the week.

And of course, as if I don't already buy enough from etsy, I was perusing just now looking for inexpensive, smaller vintage owls to use in a new series of shadowboxes I'm plotting, and came across this little guy. Now normally I'd say no, since I have no where to put it, my desk already full of stuff. I even have a green one I found, and while it was too big for a box, I wound up putting him up for sale. And then I thought what a perfect little mascot this one would make for the studio, and had to buy him. Oh the things we can talk ourselves into..

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


[Growling Softly], published by Blood Pudding Press, is now out and available at etsy.

and speaking of dessert-like presses:

Caketrain newest issue is available for pre-order.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

new stuff @ etsy

Yesterday, I managed to finish all four deer shadowboxes and a couple new collages (coming soon.) Whenever it gets cold in my apartment I tend to just want to curl up in bed or on the couch under a blanket and accomplish much of nothing. Did finally get photos of the my new costume jewelry finds and the slips, some of the newest offerings. I've been dying them to mostly sleep in for my own amusement for a while, and picked up some extra ones in various sizes and though I'd give them a similar treatment and see if I could sell them. The shades turned out lovely in this batch, and I love the way the embroidery and the lace takes the color. There are some other goodies due this week as I get supplies, so stay tuned...

Tonight I have some more chaps and some lasagna to make (and by make I mean take off the plastc and stick it in the oven.) Also, the much neglected laundry--I have a bad habit of running down and washing a single load of the necessities while a mounting pile overflows in the hamper of linens and infrequently worn things. Eventually it takes over the closet floor and I have to do something about it. The work area similarly, and much of the rest of the apartment, is a chaos of boxes and paper which likely won't recede until next month.

It being October I've been getting my fill of horror movies, with more on the way. 1408 was rather good, but I watched the directors cut which seemed better than what I've heard of the alternate theatrical version/ending. Also, The Number 23, while not really scary, proved more than creepy nontheless. Last night Unrest, which was surprisingly less horrible than some of it's Horrorfest counterparts. Of course the third season of Veronica Mars (which I have seen, nor heard, none of yet) will be out on dvd end of the month, so there will be a weekend devoted to that. Call me then and I will have to hurt you..

Friday, October 12, 2007

call for submissions

dancing girl press is looking for your epistolary poems for a DIY-inspired book arts anthology project due out in February 2008. This is a small limited edition art book project involving each piece as one of a series of 14 “love” letters by women poets/artists in a 5 x 7 box, each with its own author-designed envelope. We are looking for unconventional takes on the idea of love letters, both textual and visual, and with the widest interpretation. Please send 1-3 epistolary pieces (either in the body of the e-mail or as an attachment) to dancinggirlpress (at) yahoo (dot)com by November 15th. If you are selected to participate, each contributor will need to submit 100 copies of the piece and 100 self-designed envelopes (printed, collage, all the same, all different, whatever your heart's desire) by January 15th. Each chosen contributor will get a complimentary copy of the project after it is released (Valentines Day).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I have decided that the chaos which is my life desperately needs systemization. I now have a system for poetry related tasks---dgp business on Mondays, wicked alice on Tuesdays. My own work/projects and writerly business on Wednesday. Atelier stuff on Thursday. Then whatever I want to work on--random art stuff, crafty projects, poems--over the weekend. So far, I've got an amazing amount done with such focus, instead of just sitting every day trying to do too many things, getting frustrated, then wasting time freaking out or compulsively making to-do lists. On Monday, I got out most orders, (there are still a couple larger ones I need to pull together..)and finished the final version on Secret Meaning of Greek Letters. Luckily the boxes arrived that very day in the mail, so I got to put a mock up together for the full effect. Yesterday, I was able to get through the stuff I was considering for the Fall Issue and design the contents page, plus finish my layout on the print annual. I was also very productive on some new things for etsy last night after work, but more on those soon... Today, I revised the poem I finished last week, and wrote a new one (I tend to scribble notes all week and put them together all at once. I find, after a couple of years of finishing a poem every other day, one a week is a nice rhythm that doesn't make me crazy with it.) Tomorrow, scheduling a reading at Quimby's for December and designing a postcard for the studio.

I've also developed a system for dealing with wicked alice subs. I always feel a little weird when an issue winds up overly heavy with people I've either published quite alot before, or people who I sort of know, be it the real world or the blog world, or whatever, especially when I always roll my eyes at certain web and print journals who don't seem to make any effort to find new voices at all. So I've decided for every person who I know, or know of, I have to publish someone I don't know at all. So since this Fall issue seems to have an ample number of people I have a previous connection to, I had to fill it with an equal number I've never encountered before. Next years dgp schedule somehow tips the other way--there are more people I don't "know" actually or virtually, than ones I do(except for the Chicago people--most of whom I know by circumstance.)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I just got back from the Lillstreet reading, which was an excellent time. It was ginormous crowd, including the opening crowd and fiction fans, lured by Niffenegger, who was hilarious with her non-fiction piece about digging up dead cats and this little essay. Very different from the small audience most of us poets are used to and scary enough to set this one shaking in her boots (or flip-flops in this case--it's damned hell hot here for early October). So I was nervous, which doesn't usually happen, but I lived. Also got to hear poems by a couple of poets hiding out in CC's Book & Paper program, one of whom I'd oddly had a nice chat with in the library a couple years ago.

I was also almost late, tricked into thinking getting a cab along Sheridan would be as easy as any other time on an unusually warm Saturday night I have this weird anxiety about being late I also have anxiety about being too early, which I usually am, because of navigating tricky CTA schedules. I HATE being the first to arrive anywhere, especially when I'm going somewhere alone. I DO howver, like a little time to settle into my surroundings. Someone always asks me if I get nervous about reading and the answer usually is no. But I DO get anxious about going to new places, possibly getting lost, being late, etc. Once I'm there, I'm fine.

Besides the reading, most of my afternoon was spent wresting with my wireless connection, which has been all fritzy the last three days. I would work for a few seconds then lose the connection. This happened once before, and in that case, it was AT&t apparently because it stopped of it's own accord. But this was far, far worse. After messing around all last night with the settings, power cycling the modem, trying a restore point, I finally plugged it in and it worked like a charm, which meant it was either the router or something wrong with my laptop. I tried re-installing the router to no avail. I finally managed to google the right question, which led me to the linksys site, which led me to the solution (I had to change the signal channel.) I always get a little thrill when I figure out how to fix tech stuff know nothing about on my own--without frantically calling my more computer literate friends. So we're humming along nicely now...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

reading on Saturday

Fictional Characters Exhibit
at Lillstreet Gallery
curated by Audrey Niffenegger
October 6 - 26, 2007

After the opening reception on Saturday, October 6 there will be a reading with Niffenegger and others, including Jacob Knabb, fiction editor of ACM, and Kristy Bowen, poet and founder of Chicago based publisher Dancing Girl Press.

Opening reception: Saturday, October 6, 4 - 7 p.m.
Poetry & fiction reading: 7 - 8:30 p.m. - all events FREE and open to the public.

Lillstreet Art Center is located on the northeast corner of Montrose and Ravenswood at 4401 N. Ravenswood.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I’ve been thinking more about something that came up in Monday’s discussion, something I mentioned about subjectivity. I was blasting the New Yorker, as I am want to do, because, though I, like everyone at some point, years ago, thought it the crowning achievement, and now, after actually, like reading other sorts of poetry, realize it most definitely is NOT. Still, I mentioned that really all I have to judge whether something is bad or good IS my personal like or dislike. Sure, there are things, criteria, we can agree on. Dirty-limerik type rhymes for example, or clichéd expressions (though we might disagree what is clichéd after all). Beyond that, I have certain criteria that other people do not. They expect things I do not. In poetry, it is completely true that beyond a few standards that raise a poem from terrible incompetency, no one really speaks the same language when they talk about “good” poems, or “excellent” poems, or “sublime” poems.

One of Chris’s points was that, in limiting subs to women, we might miss out on something “great,” with the underlying position, I’m assuming, that the aim of publications should be to publish the best of the best—the greatest—the sublime, and that somehow we might miss that by our limitation. I think one of the reason I’m not particularly bothered by this is that, to me, the idea of greatest, some universal standard of awesomeness, is completely unfathomable to me. Great according to who and what standards? The canon? What literary mag X or Y says? And aren’t those standards subject to suspicion?

In the end, I publish what I like. What interests me. I publish books that I want to read. I’ve said this before. That doesn’t mean I expect everyone to like then. But I wind up publishing those books and poems I love enough to devote time to wind up w/ sore hands, and an occasionally cranky back, from stapling and folding to bring them into being. I do it out of love, not for some grand idea of the “best” or what literature should be, but because I love these books and want to put them into the world. I’m not trying to change literature, or contribute to some grand culture (though I DO somehow, as any press does, it’s inevitable, but a delightful byproduct.) And I would gesture most small presses are driven by a similar subjectivity—at least the ones not driven by the bottom line. I am saying, these are books I adore, you should read them, too. Words like “best” and “greatest” just don’t mean anything to me. According to who?
The pretty much final line-up of next years chaps..all 16 of here. I wound up doubling up a little in the later months, it's not that terribly hard to work on two at a time, having done it a couple of months this year. I will need some time getting the studio off the ground the first few months of the year, so the double features don't start til summer.

We also have another addition to this years's schedule in November, Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney's Something Really Wonderful. I am in the midst at the moment of laying out Michaela's Secret Meanings.., which is going to be awesome and very cool design-wise. I tried about four different things in terms of how to go about it and wound up back at my initial impulse.(boxes, M, in case you were wondering...)

I've been sleeping better this week. Not quite so many racing thoughts. I'm in promotional and info collecting mood for Atelier at the moment. Toward the end of the month, there'll furniture buying and scavenging and planning to move all this crap. Of course the compulsive listmaking is still going on. There's still the print annual and the fall Wicked Alice that needs tending to. And a piece of my own that needs to be gussied up and submitted. I'm still processing orders that are coming faster than I can keep up. There's only about a week's backlog, but it's bigger than I would like.

(also, a happy B-Day shout out to my little sis, who is now only one slim year away from thirty...)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

calling all midwest dwelling poets

I'm super excited about being asked to be a part of this again this year (I was a jury member in 2005 after winning the year before). You have to admit $1500 for some poems is pretty sweet.

from The Poetry Center of Chicago:

CHICAGO— Literary activist and award-winning poet E. Ethelbert Miller will be the final judge for The Poetry Center of Chicago’s 14th Annual Juried Reading Competition. First prize winner will receive $1,500; second prize, $500; third prize, $250; five finalists will receive $50. Poetry by the eight finalists will be published in a chapbook by Dancing Girl Press and all eight poets will be invited to read at an award ceremony in the spring of 2008.

The Juried Reading is open to all poets residing in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Poets may be unpublished or have published no more than one full-length book of poetry, not including self-published books. All submissions are blind; the jury and the judge will have no access to identifying information about the submitting poets.

To submit, mail:
1. A cover sheet including your name, address, phone number, e-mail address and titles of poems submitted.
2. Four copies of a packet, independently stapled, of no more than five single-sided, typed pages of unpublished poetry. Your name should not appear on any of the pages containing poems.
3. $15 jury fee, check or money order made payable to “The Poetry Center.” The contest is free for Poetry Center members.

All entries must be postmarked by Friday, January 25, 2008. Poems will be accepted by US mail only. Send poems to: 14th Annual Juried Reading, The Poetry Center of Chicago, 37 S. Wabash Avenue, Suite 704, Chicago, IL 60603. E-mail and fax submissions will not be accepted.

Founded in 1974, the award-winning Poetry Center of Chicago is an independent not-for-profit arts organization that is committed to building Chicago’s access to poetry through readings, workshops, residencies and arts education. The Poetry Center is currently in residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. For more information about the 14th Annual Juried Reading, please contact Francesco Levato at 312 899-7483 or For general information regarding the Poetry Center visit This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

That is, if you're not against these sorts of things..:p

Monday, October 01, 2007

poetry and feminist dick-tater-ship

Okay, that’s it.

I have tried to be civil and engage the argument on rational premises. Did not bat an eyelash when it was implied I have three books because I’m a woman, basically, and it’s harder for men to get published. Did not pounce on the condescending & personal little digs against myself, Brandi, or Danielle. Did not point out, that while he seems to enjoy playing the victim here---that no one allows him to disagree, that he had to know he would bring down some serious shit when he started bashing niche presses when two of the people who regularly read his blog happen to run them. Did not say that really, from someone who regularly bemoans his lack of success in the publishing arena ad nauseum, it does seem a bit like sour grapes to attack the presses that won’t publish you and the people who HAVE had the success you so desperately crave. I tried to play nice.

afternoon addendum, a summary:

I realize now that sounds a little harsh and overly personal, but really, his points are shaky, not backed with fact, and the tone behind them whiny and self-entitled. I think this is the central argument: CA seem to think niche presses are exclusive of people who do not fit into the group, not only as writers, but as readers and audience. I do not agree, given my experience as a publisher and as a reader myself, who reads all sort of books by presses that would not publish my work for whatever reason--aesthetic divides, race, location ,etc. I tend to seek things out because I like the poet or have seen their work somewhere, not because of who published them. For all of his arguments on why niche presses are detrimental to poetry, I can give you a reason why they are actually better for poetry, or if not better, then certainly not harmful to it, whatever their particular leaning. I can give you a list of the people who buy our books, 1/3 of whom are (gasp!) men. I have no idea whether they are feminist males only that they apparently read & enjoy poetry by women in the same way I read and enjoy poetry by people of other genders, races, sexual orientations, than my own.

And now, really, that I think about it, at least in regard to feminist presses (which he was not solely referring to, though he admits that's what spawned the initial post), even if, say, his theory was correct (and it so obviously isn't) that our books will only appeal to a narrow demographic of women writers. 50% can hardly be called a niche. Now that I think about, to even make the gesture of calling poetry written by women a niche is putting in place a male paradigm where anything that falls outside of that, or excludes it, is therefore an "other" or a specialized niche. And that sort of thinking, I'm afraid, is why we need feminist presses.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I’m still convinced there needs to be more hours in the day. Of course today I slept til after 2, having stayed up til 3 am making yummy bath products. My hands and apartment smell like apples and orange buttercreme. So I’m seriously craving cupcakes and apple cider right about now (though not together..). I’ve been extra crafty lately, for a combination of reasons, one of which I’m finding I need a creative outlet that is not poetry-related in anyway, and therefore not laden with its inherent stresses. Visual art works somewhat, but I’m even occasionally self-conscious about that—is this important? What am I saying with this piece?

No one can be critical about bath oil. It either smells good and makes your skin soft or it doesn’t. No hairsplitting. I’m also hoping my craftiness will bring in some extra funds, which is nice. I’m also psyched about etsy’s vintage category. I have this perverse love of things like costume jewelry—it reminds me of my grandmother’s giant collection that my aunt and mother, in their grief after she died, sadly tossed in a bonfire with alot her clothes and personal belongings—thinking if their mother couldn’t wear it, no one should. Now with jewelry, I don’t wear on a daily basis (I’m lucky to leave the house fully clothed, let alone bejeweled.) Therefore, to avoid junkiness and clutter which is near anathema in these parts, I don’t buy it, even when I see pretty, dead cheap things I’d love. Solution? them then sell them on etsy. Therefore I get the charge from collecting objects, but they don’t live here permanently. So look for lots of brooches and such in the coming months, as I’ll be combing ebay and thrift stores by the dozen. Also my new sewing machine, bought because I was trying to fix something on a skirt I didn’t like—now I feel like I need to use the damn thing for something productive.. As you can see here, I've redone the shop to accomodate all this craftiness. It's still dgp's home on etsy, but also home for lots of other goodies.

Speaking of shopping, today I found THIS on etsy, something I’ve been looking for for collages.

Yesterday, I was stuck in the library most of the day at the circ desk, but I got a lot of stuff done for Atelier, including my lovely teaching questionnaire, which I sent to everyone local I know to have an interest in teaching in general in my address book. Anyone else out there, contact me and I’ll send it to you if I missed you. I’m trying to get a feel for everyone’s interests, strengths, and availability in the coming year.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The last couple of days I've been drowning amidst budgets, tax info, my wee business plan and all that unfun stuff you need to do to get to the fun stuff. Plus, I managed to get the website up and running, which in writing the content for it, helped me iron some things out. Next week, I'm starting to plan workshops and schedules and the like. I'll no doubt be seeking out all you Chi-town poetry ladies to come teach a workshop or read or both. We're going to start out slow, but by next fall, I'd like to have something going on in the studio every day of the week. And of course, I'll be in-house at least a couple hours a day doing press business even on the days I'm not teaching. I've also been perusing the Ikea website and found the perfect table set-up.

Yesterday was actually spent more on dgp submissions. When I counted we had over 300 submissions (luckily I kept up on reading them as they came in), about 25 of which were in final contention, and of which I wound up choosing 11 (in addition to the five I'd already had lined up). So next year will be packed full of great poets (see the list here in the side colum). We also did some shuffling and will be doubling up in November of this year because of some scheduling issues. So I'm actually hoping to have those almost ready to go before the chaos of moving into the studio starts in November. Of course all this means October will be crazy as well. Despite all this, I'm surprisingly not all wired out just yet, though I end up not sleeping with all the racing in my head (it doesn't help I had an idea for a little project for my own work that I'm now so excited about I could scream). I've chosen to focus my excess energy on making things for etsy and attempting to make all my Christmas presents. I tend to have mixed results on these, so we'll see.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

women of the web

I'm there, along with an increasingly awesome group of gals.
Go see.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

New poems in Prick of the Spindle.

Hard to believe it’s officially fall and September is on the wind down. Now starts that rather brisk plummet toward the holidays that goes by ridiculously quickly. (If only the yukkyness of Jan-March were similarly brief.)

I am still hashing it out over press submissions, and of course still want to publish way more than we have room for. I should be able to have final decisions this week. In other dgp related stuff, I had to make more of Simone’s Orange Girls, which flew out of here like crazy last this month and also some more Alphabets, which have vanished similarly. Meanwhile, whilst folding/stapling I am well into season 2 of Twin Peaks—it was momentarily waylaid by last season of The Office (which I loved more even than season 2 last if that’s possible) and some other horror and suspense movies, most of them disappointing.

Also, this week I need to finish getting the layout done for the next chap (it's another one of our more adventurous design projects than your standard book) and set up an official website for Atelier (right now we only have a page on the dgp site and a myspace , which actually seems to b working rather well for getting the word out.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

So, all last week I was sort of casually looking for studio space for Atelier. First off, it needed to be cheap, since we'll be starting off slowly with the workshop offerings at first. It needed to be in an easily accessible location, not only for me, who needed it to be somewhere easliy gotten to by bus or train from home and work, but also for others, especially if there was limited (or nonexistent) parking. I wanted it to be safe, or at least in a secure building (either locked with a buzzer, or with a doorman, since I'd be there alone sometimes working on press stuff.)

So I've always loved the Fine Arts Building on Michigan with it's cool architectural details and artsy tenants (musicians, architects, dsigners, galleries, theater companies). I knew they rented studios to individual artists, and it occurred to me how unbelievably awesome it would be to have space there, though highly unlikely. But I also noticed the relative lack of literary tenants (though apparently there's a small press on the third floor I've since learned). A damn shame in a building that once housed Poetry magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, and L. Frank Baum.

So last Thursday I sort of casually wrote an e-mail to their offices inquiring if there was any available space. The administrative assistant kindly forwarded my e-mail to the building manager. Monday, when I was still waiting to hear back, figuring it was a no, I wandered over to Craigs List and lo and behold, there was space open in the Fine Arts Building listed right there in front of me--larger and a little pricier than I'd hoped for, but still I wanted to check it out. I don't think my heart has stopped racing since. I called immediately and left a message, and on Tuesday, the building manager called and said that the big studio was being looked at that morning and would probably be taken. BUT, he had just heard another tenant was leaving--a smaller, cheaper space, and if I wanted to see it, he'd show me.

Of course it was perfect. Big enough for a decent workspace for the press and a giant table for workshops--just what we needed. 9th Floor, huge windows looking north, a reasonable nice view in a section of the city where you usually can't see the sky unless you're REALLY high. Ample shelving and a closet and sink. All high ceilings and giant windows. In other words--my dream space. Also quiet and at the end of the hall, something I was a little worried about given a number of music tenants, but with door closed, you couldn't hear a thing. Plus, the building itself is so gorgeous, all orginal mosaic tile and courtyards and beautiful murals. And seriously, you can't get a more central location. Plus it's two blocks from the library. So I was NOT going to let it slip away. I turned over an application and a deposit on the spot. (I've found it's best not to look down or hestitate when you're doing something crazy like this..)Luckily, I had proof of my income since I'd been carrying around my salary letter since the begiining of September, which was all they needed to keep the thing off the market and eliminate the potential competition.

For the last two days I've been trying to keep busy with other things, to not worry over whether they'd take one look at my paltry current salary and deny me. I even wrote the building manager an e-mail saying that if they have any reservations about renting to me whether it's my crappy salary or the fact this is a new, unproven endeavor, I'd be willing to front a few months rent. Anything they wanted. I don't think I've ever been quite that desperate.

Apparently, desperation pays off. I sign the lease next week. We're in there in November. Now I've just got to get all the ducks in a row...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Yesterday, me and little sis wandered over to the Renegade Craft Fair on Division which was in two words, very HUGE and very COOL. Well, my experience with craft fairs before has been pretty much of the variety where one finds carved wooden bears for one's yard and clothes for your concrete goose, so this was much more interesting. (I also appreciated the lack of pushy middle-aged women in turtlenecks and snowman sweaters.) I wound up buying one of these and one of these totes(except in black) and a little artist trading card from this artist (I wanted to buy something bigger, she had some really great stuff, but I was running low on cash.) And of course, I came away with so many awesome ideas for my own little projects my head was spinning.

Today was spent printing and assembling the next chap, Theresa Boyar's Kitchen Witch which is now available here. I also, spurred by all the paper loveliness at the fair, finally got around to designing some notecards to use up surplus cardstock from some chaps, and also made these votive candles holders for those who like to add a little ritual to their writing. Of course, now it looks like a small tornado hit my apartment.

Yesterday, I arrived home to find a copy of Rain Taxi in it with a short review of Jen Tyne's See Also Electric Light. Also, some shoes for me and the votive holders from a craft supply place. We are definitely getting on toward fall, I finally had to pull out one of my cool weather sweaters (I have lots of lightweight cardigans I wear all summer because of A/C, but this is the real thing-tightly knit and hooded.) The light has been different for awhile now, the shadows different. It makes me want to settle in and write.

rain taxi

Noah Eli Gordon reviews Jen Tynes' See Also Electric Light in the latest print issue.

..Tynes has created a sort of reserve pastoral, which ultimately asks whether the production and harnessing of electricity isn't itself akin to the darker side of human endeavors...

buy it here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

never fear

There will, in fact, be a wicked alice print annual this year. I've just kept pushing back actually doing it, choosing poems, notifying poets, etc. I decided to keep it shorter this year, since the online issues have been shorter and I have less time to devote to it. Usually I just go in and choose my absolute favorites and throw them all together willy nilly (well, it seems like it anyway). This year since it's smaller, I've chosen a group of poems that seem to speak to each other and possess a similar tone. It meant I had to leave a few faves out if they didn't work, but I think I've got a good group. Look for it around Halloween.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

this is only a test

Yeah, so there's this I've been thinking about for awhile now. Because I'm restless. Because I need to throw myself into something new. Because dgp is getting too big for my dining room (seriously--I can't find the table). Because I want to be out there in the community making a difference somehow. Because I want to maybe make a go at having some sort of teaching career, but an essentially non-academic bullshit one. Because maybe I have finally reached the point where I feel I know enough to actually impart some sort of info on poetry, writing, publishing, DIY, web stuff, whatever. Because I want to have some sort of space for readings and gatherings and whatnot, maybe some gallery space for literary /text/based art. Because I feel, after all this time, I need to do something with all this crap in my head and two graduate degrees. Because I want to have a day job that I feel as passionately about as my writing and editing (Granted, it will no doubt be a long while til I can quit my dayjob, if ever, but maybe... ). Because, once we find a space, I just might be able to do this . It's scary. It's exhiliarating. It's keeping me awake at night in a good way.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Ask me again how happy I am to be back to working the evening shift. This morning I managed to pack up some orders, finish a poem, order ink cartridges, screw around with printing for October's chap, and make the corrections in the Kitchen Witch galley (I'll be printing those this weekend)--all before 11 o'clock. Now I will get some coffee, go to work, do some actual library tasks for awhile, then settle into my circ desk shift with some dgp manuscripts. Not a bad way to spend the day, though last night I had to refrain from reading submissions. General busy-ness, needy freshmen, people looking for textbooks we don't have (and if we have it someone already beat you to it) and public printer woes, were all combining to make me cranky. It's always like this the first couple of weeks of the semester, then oddly dies off as people settle into mid-semester laziness.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I am back in town after a wedding in Rockford, which featured pretty dresses, very delicious mashed potatoes in the entree, and a proximity to the bar that left us getting jostled and elbowed in the head by progressively drunk people all night, but which was fun nevertheless. I did not, as expected burst into flame whilst in the church, nor did I drink a drop of anything beyond soda (I seem to have no tolerance for booziness lately, it puts me out like a light.) The bride, my younger cousin, used to run around with her slip on her head like a veil with another cousin and pretend they were brides, so this was much better.

woodland pattern blog

talks about Orange Girl

...I am another woman that, "is laughing, is lost" in this book. I loved its poetic study of a specific type of girl and the ways that the world has altered her...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I KNEW it...

I'm going back to bed...

Actually no luck there. Today I had to drop the parents off at Wrigley Field (my Father's Day gift tickets), have lunch with them, then leave them with directions and train fare, like five year olds, to get back to my neighborhood where they're parked. I was tempted to pin my address to their shirts just in case.) They've done it at least once before, but they do both have terrible senses of direction in city (my mother anywhere), so I may never see them again. I myself was nearly crushed trying to go toward the Addison station when a large cattle-like stamped in blue shirts nearly pinned me against the metal railing that keeps the crowd from spilling into the street. I don't think I've ever before ventured into the thick of the circus that is Clark & Addison on game days (I have encounted both the before and aftermath on the red line unfortunately). I don't think I'll do it again any time soon.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sawbuck 1.8


this sounds like a freshman Intro to Psych project. Whenever they start talking about suicide and poets my eyes start rolling. Yes, I think people who are prone to the sorts of depression that lead to suicide are drawn to the arts more often than not, probably writing and poetry tenfold, but there are plenty of suicidal accountants and plumbers out there too...My poet friends actually tend to be the more well-adjusted people I know..there's a certain amount of catharsis to writing, even if that's not your goal.

Monday, September 03, 2007

As usual, the first day of September and meteorological fall and I felt that tickling at the back of my nose that signals a cold. Sure enough the past couple of days have included a lot of sniffling and sneeziness. I should have known since I came down last year at this time with what ultimately turned out to be mono (I didn’t know it until almost after the fact, because I’m stubborn and hate going to the doctor unless I’m on death’s door.) Since then my sinuses have been very nitpicky (I’m unusually sensitive to things that never really bothered me like everyday allergens, cigarette smoke, dry air—this from the girl who’s really allergic to nothing.) So combine that with not getting enough sleep and the weird weather shiftiness, plus a couple sick people at work already, and I’m down for the count. At least no fever this time, thank god. Of course, I’ve given myself a pass on the thorough annual labor day housecleaning I planned this weekend, since I don’t feel up to all that labor and inhaling noxious cleaning materials that will only make things worse. So instead I’m being lazy and working on poems and reading. Maybe I’ll tackle my bedroom closet and the laundry, but I’m making no promises. What really sucks is I can’t taste a thing and was planning on having some yummy baked artichoke & spinach dip with french bread I’d been wanting all week, but now what’s the point if I can’t taste it. I might as well eat PB & J and save the good stuff for when I can enjoy it.

As always, I’m a little excited by back to school, probably even more so because I don’t have to be part of it and can watch idly from the sidelines again. It’s amazing how the campus goes from ghost town (which is nice for awhile til it gets boring) to absolutely buzzing. As always it’s the feeling of starting fresh, new clothes, new notebooks, new books, new shoes, new art supplies, new instructors, new people, that’s a little seductive. At least until November when everyone’s tired of it all.

My plans for fall are not too terribly complicated. There are four more dgp chaps and the wicked alice print annual I’ve just started thinking about. Maybe broadsides if I figure out the details. Plus I plan on mastering Adobe InDesign for helping lay out in the bird museum. Other than that, just writing new stuff and maybe getting a start on another collaborative project w/Lauren. I’m not sure what to do with all this blissful freedom. Otherwise I will be loading up on trashy horror movies (tis the season, but then again it's always the season), plotting out my Halloween costume, (very important and for the first time in years I haven’t a clue.) and no doubt craving caramel apples the size of my head.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Tonight, fireworks over the Loyola campus for some reason. No hardcore partying on the 3rd floor just yet, though it is only the first week. The neighbors on the other side of my bedroom are pretty quiet these days--either because they've matured a bit in the last three years, or are just now of age and can go drink loudly in bars. (I also think the DUDE! guy moved out, who was the noisiest and now it's only girls, who tend to giggle less when no males are present.) The rest of the floor, judging from the number of move-outs in May, will be newbies, probably freshmen. No doubt very soon the yelling drunk girl yelling and sidewalk fights will soon commence. I did notice when I signed my lease that there's now a pretty hefty fine imposed if you get busted for noisiness. Maybe that will deter some of it. I do miss the day when more grown-ups lived here, though...

Meanwhile I try to counter it by making as much noise as I can at whatever hour myself, which is therapeutic in a way. This includes singing along at the top of my lungs, slamming my door, noisy AM sex, reading poetry loudly in bed before I go to sleep, banging pots and dishes, blasting oh so unhip nineties grunge out the windows, and watching Buffy at top volume, along with various horror films with lots of screaming, ominous music, etc...

Friday, August 31, 2007

whine enough and ye shall recieve...

I had an awful morning,…was blasted out of bed after only five hours of sleep with a nasty headache. Spent nearly two hours in a hellish holiday weekend commute on the bus, most of it on Lake Shore Drive, which sort of looked something like a parking lot. I was almost an hour late to work so was starving and had no time to grab some breakfast thus was blood sugar cranky and listless.

BUT, lo and behold, I opened up my e-mail a while ago and Ghost Road wants to publish girl show. I had sent it to a couple of contests I didn't win in the spring, and recently the Four Way open reading period (which I had to withdraw it from this afternoon), but I was really sort of hoping Ghost Road would like it since they completely rock and did such an awesome job with my first book. So I'm totally blown out of the water at my good fortune, despite my crappy morning. It will be out sometime in 2009, which is a good timeline since I'll be hawking my Dusie Book most of next year (it's due out December abouts..).

I was whining ridiculously to everybody just yesterday that it seemed nearly all the poems (all but 6) had appeared somewhere, and now I only had to worry about the book as a whole. It is nice that it was my thesis mss, sort of puts closure on the whole process of working on it for the last year, grinding my teeth, spending a good part of the fall and spring endlessly re-ordering and tweaking. It's assured it's place out there in the world at some point now and I'm, except for maybe some minor fine tuning, finished with messing with it endlessly....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Finally got my hands on the article and am pleased to no end to be among such awesome company as Big Game, Noemi, Tarpaulin Sky, and others. Of course I always, with interviews, have that "Did I actually say sounds really lame.." reflex, but it's not so bad. So far, I was wondering whether the appearance would have an impact on submissions (side note: reading period ends tomorrow, so all you gals who are holding out better get cracking!) or on sales somehow. But sales have been pretty good lately anyway, and we're still averaging about 1-2 subs per day. What I have noticed is a handful of fiction and novel queries by people, men and women, who apparently don't read guidelines at all. WTF? I responded politely to the first couple, but now I'm just hitting the delete button. Maybe I'm being a hardass, but if they can't pay attention enough to know we only publish poetry, I can't pay attention enough to read their query. So there.

In other, nicer news, the weather here is gorgeous, and cool and clear after being so yukky earlier this week. I've blissfully had acceptances from La Petite Zine and Past Simple in my inbox the past few days and am waiting on word from a few other places on the last of the girl show poems (now if someone would only take the whole book..). My weekend plans include moving my cool weather clothes to the front of the bedroom closet and clearing out all the crap in the entryway closet to make room for some press supplies and stuff that's in the way out here. Tonight, I need to assemble some chaps I'm running low on, and fill some orders (if I owe you something, it hould be on it's way tomorrow, or at the latest Monday.)

I am also in the midst of a Dark Shadows marathon (the early 90's version), which I remember obsessing over as a teenager. Not exactly high quality television, but fun nevertheless. It reminds me of laying on the living room floor at 16 in front of the tv, struggling through my AP bio homework while trying to watch it. (At some point, it kept being pre-empted by news coverage after some Republican dumbass decided to get us into a war nobody really wanted....ahem...) and was nixed. I was trying to figure out where I'd seen one of the actresses (the first women to get killed/ turned into a vampire) on DS and realized she also played a character on one of my more recent trashy television habits, Port Charles, which I was hooked on in 2002-2003 right before it was canceled. Also very bad, but also about vampires, so there you go...

Monday, August 27, 2007

press odds & ends and cats out of bags

1)This week, Kristina Marie Darling's The Traffic in Women is featured at Sharkforum. Last week so was Erin Bertram's Alluvium. (Thanks Simone!)

2) There are now boatloads of new things in the etsy shop, including new postcards, gift boxes and buttons. go see here. All proceeds go toward supporting next year's ever growing list of titles, so they're not only fun, but for a good cause.

3) Also, I'm finally ecstatic to report dgp is featured in the latest Poets & Writers in their section on small presses, seriously the sort of attention I never even imagined our tiny little handmade operation getting. While I suddenly feel the need to straighten our skirts and hide the beer bottles now that everyone is looking this way, this is such great exposure for our titles, our authors, the press in general, that I'm beside myself. I answered Kevin Larimer's questions a couple months ago, but wanted to keep a lid on it til I was sure we'd make the issue. I haven't yet got my hands on it --my copy usually arrives about a week later than everyone else's, but I might sneak off to a bookstore and grab a few tomorrow. Of course, I realize greater exposure will most likely compound my situation below, but I can take it. Bring it on.


I have been poring through the latest dgp submissions since I got back and it's tough. So much good stuff. So many hard decisions. I have about 4-5 slots left and about 15 manuscripts at the top of my list, any of which I would love to publish. Probably another 20 that, completely engaging, competent and publishable, that I would take in a heartbeat if given unlimited resources. Add in another 70 or so that didn't make the first cut here, and it's chaos.

Today, I'm amazed by the bulk of work flowing my way from people who's writing I've never encountered before. I usually don't solicit much in the form of manuscripts, except maybe locally, but I've had the luck this year of three poets I don't even know who I WOULD solicit out of the blue sending stuff.
We don't tend to get a lot of junk, which is good since I don't have to wade through it to find the good stuff, but bad because it's easy to say no to something awful than to waver endlessly over manuscripts I can't fit in, yet want to publish nevertheless.