Saturday, June 30, 2007

tomorrow @ womanmade gallery

Collage Poetry Reading at WMG
curated by Maureen Seaton

Join us on Sunday, July 1 for a reading of poetry created through a
process of collage with readers Cin Salach, Maureen Seaton, Cecelia Pinto, Kristy Bowen, and Lauren Levato.

eight things

You probably don't know about me:

1) Unless I'm driving, I prefer to sit on the right side in cars, buses, and trains. The other side just feels weird to me. It all goes back to childhood car rides with my parents when I was always on the right, my sister on the left.

2) Also in the realm of transporatation quirkiness (neuroses) I hate flying and haven't done it in years, not since 1992. I'm not sure if the fear of flying gives me the quite regular nightmares or if the nightmares make me afraid of flying. They peaked after 9/11 but had started in college, now occur about twice a month. Somehow every plane that leaves from Chicago in those dreams winds up in the lake. I'm not taking any chances.

3)I have been dying my hair, originally a dirty blonde, for going on 14 years. My hair has been everything from strawberry blonde, to auburn, to something like eggplant. Now it's a nice deep brown. The nice thing is, I probably won't notice when I go gray...

4) I have no less han twenty black skirts of varying lengths in my closet, which is only topped by 20 odd black sweaters, including cardigans, pullovers, and turtlenecks. Also fifteen pairs of black clunky shoes. Must be that latent goth girl.

5) I'm SO bad at math, you would laugh at the things I find myself incapable of doing sometimes..making change, long division, percentages.

6) I put ketchup on my hotdogs, which is damn near a sin in Chicago. I also prefer thin crust to Chicago Style Pizza.

7) I still haven't really caught on to the whole downloading music craze and still buy all my cd's in stores or occasionally from Amazon..

8)I am a terrible gossip. I tend to be pretty quiet, but as soon as I open my mouth all sorts of stuff starts slipping out. Don't dare tell me a secret...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

what she said

I'm very much inclined to agree with Reb here about the whole question of "published". I had drafted length entry about this, but I realized I was just foaming at the mouth and she is much more eloquent here. Personally, I think I post whole poems and drafts less here now that there's a shorter lead time on them being published. But that's really just a courtesy to the journals that might be publishing it a click away in a couple months and not because they unreasonably demand it. There's this weird rift between "published " in the literal sense and "Published" in the po-biz sense. You've technically published-"made public"- something if you share it with anyone at all, even , like Dickinson, in a letter. At a reading, in a workshop/group. Passing out photocopies on the street. But "Published" implies a curated medium. Since it's only this last one that matters if you abide by the all-mighty rules of po-biz (I certainly don't) since in po-biz, since it's the only thing that "counts.", then you can't prohibit the first kind. You can't have it one way and not the other. It's illogical.

In other contentious news, Tupelo Press is apparently having another open period, in which they agree to take your money, aren't even offering the illusion of feedback, and don't even offer you the boon of competing anonymously, which means it costs more and provides less chance of actually being chosen than any contest out there (I think your chances would be better with Jorie Graham). Ouch. What freaks me out is the people who are still willing to bite.

at the hotel andromeda

A stay at the hotel andromeda might include insect parts, palmistry, birds, ballerinas and Coney Island rides. Might include botanical prints, odd trinkets, library cards, matchbooks, maps and postcards. Poems that evoke girls in boxes, girls turning into sparrows. Lost passports, shipwrecks, paper boats and surgical pins. Is tucked with train tickets, tokens, all matter of interesting ephemera. Inspired by the work of Joseph Cornell, and in the spirit of Cornell's shadow boxes and collages, (most noteably his "Portrait of Ondine" what he himself termed an "exploration" of papers, cards and photos) this collection of material will delight both Cornell fans and novices alike.

Each room of the project is one-of-kind and absolutely beautiful, both materially and aesthetically. Each "exploration" is numbered from 1 to 60 and varies in content for a unique reading/visual/tactile experience. Think of it as a room to be explored, drawer by drawer, cabinet by cabinet. Think of it as love letter to Cornell himself, a gift, a collection of oddities to be experienced and adored.

get it here

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Adam Fieled, who sent out a really wonderful Dusie Chap himself, has some nice things to say about brief history of girl as match.

And speaking of Dusie, How2 talks to Susana here..

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I keep taking out andromeda #26 on top of the pile and looking at it. Spreading it out on the table. Fondling the pages, the postcards, opening the letter. It's a beautiful thing--seriously. This feels like the culmination a big project, not only the three years I've been working on the poems, the research, the design aspects, but also the recent hours of collection and assembly. Somehow feels like it was more work than any of even the full-length manuscripts in retrospect. I think I'm also so happy because it's bringing together the writing and the visual stuff so nicely for me, and so very Cornell-like, little things to be opened and explored and discovered.

I have a few more doodads to add to random envelopes and will be making them available in the next couple of days, both on the dancing girl site and at etsy. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 25, 2007

sunday @ womanmade gallery

Collage Poetry Reading at WMG
curated by Maureen Seaton

Join us on Sunday, July 1 for a reading of poetry created through a
process of collage with readers Cin Salach, Maureen Seaton, Ceclia Pinto, Kristy Bowen, and Lauren Levato.


I'm really excited about this. Lauren and I will be officially unveiling andromeda and it looks like a great lineup. I was trying to explain my writing process to someone(non-writer)last week and realized truly, not including the projects that overtly include collaging text (parts of errata, for example, and the things I've written incorporating found text) how much collage plays in a role in my composing of a poem. This is a relatively new development in the last four or so years. Maybe it's part reading and studying alot of stuff that also does this, but moreso the development of my own visual work. These days, there are definite echos of how I compose something visually in how I compose something in writing.

I think my process, up until maybe 2004, was very much, "Okay, let's write a poem about x or y" and go from there. Alot of these poems turned out basically sound (if rather predictable sometimes). These are the poems with tidy edges, hands in their laps. Prom queen poems. Some of the stuff in the fever almanac is this sort of poem, particularly in the first section (though I winnowed out the more more predictable, boring pieces, and what's left are definitely the more interesting ones.) Somehow, there was a shift in early to mid 2004, which is when I really started working on more visual work. Those poems? You see more of them in the middle and final parts of the fever almanac, where the edges aren't quite so neat. For the most part, when I'd finished the poems for that collection by that fall, I started working on errata, which is all about collage. The poems that came during and after, the stuff in feign(and everything since I'd say) are evidence of this new process. One day, I realized that when I sat down to write a poem, I began by taking my notebooks, a few days worth of jottings and notes, snippets of ideas and text, and start moving things around on the page and seeing what happened. What stuck. Letting the poem sort of come into being that way. When I sit down I usually have no clue what's going to happen and I fucking LOVE that. Maybe I'll have something as basic as a title, or a thing I want in the poem, though maybe not even that much. Which is identical to the way I work visually.

And I have to admit, not only is it a more fun and engaging sort of way to make poems, it's also produces more interesting work. In the same way my process was more predictable with the old stuff, so was the reading experience. Now, who really knows where a poem might end up, what meanderings and dodges might be necessary. More fun for you, too. (of course I also fear you don't get lost, but then maybe that's okay too.) The edges are alot less precise and groomed, a little torn and erratic.. Maybe more like drunken prom queens or the slightly weird girl who chews on her hair.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

martha would be proud

Not only did I finish printing and assembling at the hotel andromeda, but I also added some crystals to the chandelier and dyed some boring white slips rather scrumptious sherbet-like colors. The rest of the weekend was spent lying on the bed, reading and devouring an entire bag of grapes. Of course the entire apartment is now a disaster, which I can hopefully remedy before I go to bed tonight.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

okay kids...

I have in my possession about 20 or so extra copies of my Dusie Kollectiv chap, brief history of girl as match, which are available for trade (this includes books, chapbooks, art, assorted ephemera, paper scraps for collage, baked goods, velvet elvis paintings, pink poodles, shrunken heads, etc..etc..) No offer denied. Just e-mail me at wickedpen74 (at) yahoo and one can be all yours...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

stuff this

I spent last night shoving various paper objects into envelopes--dgp orders, a good portion of the Dusie chaps, the first 25 andromedas. Then I came to work and had some bills to type up and mail out, which required, you guessed it, more envelopes. The first line of in the bird museum is "Even envelopes can be suggestive," If so, I'm getting alot of action lately.

We've had another slight change of plans on the Cornell project. Since the images were not printing to our liking, we have decided to go with postcards by professionals instead of DIY prints (pictured below). A little pricier (about a hundred bucks), but totally worth it. Now if I could just stop ordering even more stuff to add to them, we'll be in good shape. Look for a debut around the first of July, after which I will be taking a nice week-long vacation over the 4th in which I will do absolutely nothing but sleep late, drink strawberry margaritas, watch fireworks, and eat potato salad. I'm hoping to get Simone's Orange Girl laid out next week before I go, so that it can be proofed and ready to print when I come back on the 8th.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

the tiny #3

the tiny #3 features work by Andrea Baker, Ellen Baxt, Edmund Berrigan, Mark Bibbins, Daniel Borzutzky, Kristy Bowen, Joseph Bradshaw, John Coletti, Rachel Conrad, Crystal Curry, Michelle Detorie, Julia Drescher, Will Edmiston, Bonnie Emerick, Betsy Fagin, Paul Fattaruso, Peter Gizzi, Scott Glassman, Sarah Goldstein, Garth Graeper & Jason Sheridan, Eryn Green, Kristen Hanlon, Mike Hauser, Anthony Hawley, Anne Heide, Brenda Iijima, Greg Koehler, Rodney Koeneke, Michael Koshkin, Tim Lantz & Mark Yakich, Lauren Levin, Jill Magi, C.J. Martin, Joseph Massey, Kristi Maxwell, Ange Mlinko, Michael Montlack, Marci Nelligan, Nick Piombino, Billy Ramsell, F. Daniel Rzicznek, Brandon Shimoda, Logan Ryan Smith, Maggie Smith, Chad Sweeney, Derek White, Dustin Williamson, and Devon Wootten, with cover art by Andrew Mister.

Go here to buy;

Monday, June 18, 2007

book sales and the internet

I hear writers talk a lot about what to do once you get a book out, a chapbook, how to get books in the hands of readers. Somewhere there's a statistic that the highest number of books for any author are those "hand sold" through readings, signings, and other events. All well and good providing a writer has the time and money to tour outside of their geographic locale. I sell quite a few books when I read locally, which I do every chance I get, but it's about equal to the number of people who, having encountered my work somewhere online, wind up buying books.

While I might dream of the day when I can quit my day job and afford that national roadtrip/book tour, it won't be this year. Or even next. Also, I can't deny that having an online presence sells books, whether it's through people who read this very blog, or stumble upon my work in online journals, which I've found to be one of the best ways in getting people interested. I think more copies have been moved this way than through my own reading efforts , which is awesome. Writers who don't have an internet presence, whether it's a blog or a simple website, or even just a homepage maybe where/if they teach, are missing out.

I recently read/heard someone say if it's not online it might as well not exist, which is a bit of a generalization, but I'll occasionally stumble upon a poet in a print journal, who when I Google them, turns up not much of anything. If they have a book, maybe I can get it through the press, maybe through Amazon or SPD, but if they haven't yet published anything, it's a bit trickier. I'm a notorious impulse buyer, who at least once or twice a week reads a poet online and follows the links to their book or chapbook and buys it. I'm thinking I'm not alone in this. And it's true, I wind up buying most of my poetry online, whether through the press directly if they accept paypal, through Amazon, or from the author directly. Only rarely do I find something in a bookstore Occasionally, I wander into the Borders here downtown (the one on Michigan Ave. is best) and find something. They actually have a pretty good sized wall of it compared to other locations, but still, if I'm looking for something in particular, I can find it more efficiently on the internet.

(warning: shameless plug to follow, but I can't resist)

Get your very own copy of "the fever almanac" here. It's yummy.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

sunday afternoon lethargy

I think when I have far too much to do, there’s some short in my brain and I can do absolutely nothing but loaf around, surf the net, and take naps. It may just be over tiredness from yesterday—the Brookfield trip, five hours of walking in hot weather. Also, the GIANT and swarm-like cicadas I was dodging and trying not to freak out about (though I swear some were as big as a small child.) It maybe that I’m getting sick, a little feverish and my throat hurts on one side. Or maybe I’m just really lazy with the heat and humidity. While yesterday morning before we left I was buzzing, printing covers & chaps, making collages and folding laundry, today….nothing. I managed to get up, make iced tea, eat eggs for breakfast, check e-mail, read a little of Larissa Szporluk’s new Embryos & Idiots (am loving it.), then fell asleep for two hours with the fan on me and only got up because I’m expecting my groceries to be delivered at some point this evening. Am trying to focus long enough to look at poems in the second section of in the bird museum in the meantime, but not having much success. No progress on assembling Alluviums or andromedas. Hopefully, I’ll get a second wind tonight.

Th zoo was fun, despite the unofficial wildlife. Got to see a dolphin show and fondle a stinggray. Also spent about twenty minutes watching the new baby polar bear play with its mother. Also watched said mother bear jump half out of the water and trap a black bird, cat-like, that landed on the rocks beneath her paw. I was amazed how fast she moved, lumbering as she was. While I thought I might see a little unwanted carnage, the bird flew away when she moved her foot and disappeared into the mote. I never, however, saw it fly out.

The zoo always reminds me of fifth grade field trips and makes me happy that way, though I like the selection of animals better at the Lincoln Park one. Brookfield has a bigger, better habitat for the primates and the aforementioned dolphins (one of whom has been there as long as I’ve been alive), but LP has more big cats and a bigger, better more eco-friendly habitat for the bears as well as underwater viewing. The worst zoo, but also the best in this regard, is the Madison zoo, where you are practically on top of the animals, but you know that’s not nearly enough room for them. Last time, there were four lion cubs, and despite a big fence and a good five feet, you were right there next to them.

Friday, June 15, 2007

now available

from dancing girl press.

coming soon

at the hotel andromeda
text by Kristy Bowen
art by Lauren Levato
dancing girl press, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

guilty pleasure

I LOVE literary biographies, sometimes more than I love the actual literature itself. While I try to stay away from the more drier, more scholarly, therefore respectable ones, I have a soft spot for in particular fictionalized biography, so I was terribly pleased to find this when looking for a bio of Mary Shelly. I'm also big on literary memoirs and autobiographical writings like journals and diaries. There are a couple I've read that I really loved, one on the Bronte's (I can't remember who wrote it) and Wintering (on Plath) by Kate Moses. I also have a particular fondness for scandalous behavior and tawdriness among writers (probably because my own behavior is rarely scandalous and only slightly tawdry.)

On other fronts, I am still living amidst stacks of cardstock, and half-filled envelopes for the Cornell thing. I made the final corrections on Alluvium and plan to print them this weekend and I will be updating the website for sales likely tomorrow. I also need to start addressing Dusie chaps. My folks are coming in for another zoo visit attempt for Father's Day--this time the Brookfield one--on Saturday, so that leaves Sunday as an all work, no play day. I do have Little Miss Sunshine at home to watch, also episodes of The Office (which I've never seen but have been told I will like) and Millenium. So I should be set for all that folding and stapling.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Since I was running out of room on the dgp frontpage to post newsie stuff, and thought perhaps we might need a slightly more professional vehicle than this here blog and it's tendency toward randomness and kitty porn, I give you THE OFFICIAL DANCING GIRL PRESS BLOG.

Monday, June 11, 2007

dgp news

good things apparently come in threes:

*Just heard word today that Brandi Homan (Two Kinds of Arson, 2007)had her full-length collection, Hard Reds, picked up by Shearsman Books, due out in Summer 2008.

*Carol Davis (The Violin Teacher, 2005)was recently awarded the TS Eliot Prize for her collection Into the Arms of Pushkin.

*Forthcoming author Erin Bertram (Alluvium, 2007) recenty won Thorngate Road's Frank O'Hara Chapbook Competition with her chap Body of Water.


didn't she sleep with someone famous?

said by a male friend this morning upon seeing a volume of Anais Nin's diaries on my coffee table. Of course, I had to launch into my diatribe on how Henry Miller was a little troll that basically sucked money from her for years in the name of "art.." I may need new friends.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Kicked off the weekend with one of my favorite parts of the summer--early release Fridays every other week. So I snuck off to see a movie (Knocked Up) and picked up some CD's at the soon-to-be-closing Virgin MegaStore. Came home and did some stamping--thank you cards for dgp orders and envelopes. Also, ordered more postcards to sell on etsy of a couple images. Saturday was spent lounging and sleeping late, and this morning at Printers Row, where I actually only came home with some letterpress numbers, and amazingly no books. Not much poetry, and none of it cheap. Even the vintage books I was looking to buy and cut up for artwork were too pricey to do it to. (I was tempted by some old Nancy Drews, but I passed..) Alot of it is that bookshelf space is increasingly at a premium. Soon, the reference books will have to go to make room for poetry. The living room shelves are already at capacity. It's dire, and yet really don't want to add another set. I already parted with my collection of theater books and plays that had been in storage at my parent' house, now donated to the Cherry Valley Public Library, about three hefty boxes worth that I collected when I was in college. Thank god poetry volumes are usually slim. I still have shelves and shelves of bargain B&N novels picked up over the years as well, most of which aren't worthy of a second read, probably why they were in the remainder bins in the first place.
MiPo: The David Trinidad Issue

Saturday, June 09, 2007

right on schedule

Must be about time for someone else to tell us all how irrelevant poetry is these days and how it’s all our fault for making “pomes” too hard. Or rather, old Tom and Ezra’s fault. Time to dig up the modernists and burn them at the stake. Indeed, that bastion of middlebrow culture Time Magazine, which probably never even mentions poetry except how it’s dying as an art form, has succeeded in seriously pissing me off. As I said a few posts ago, poetry is actually thriving these days. And someone is obviously reading it. I always get a little uneasy, when someone who doesn’t know all that much about poetry writes an article about it.

Of course when they talk about American Culture abandoning poetry, they never consider it could be because a huge majority of the American public has simply better things to do. Like fret over Paris Hilton in jail, watch reality tv, and look at internet porn. American Culture tends to, by and large, continually cater to the lowest common denominator, and I’m not so sure I’m all that upset about them abandoning the art form. The bulk of the American Public does not read at all, or if they do, not much of anything beyond TV Guide and the Enquirer. Maybe Harry Potter. These sorts of articles always summon the golden age when poets were rock stars. Poets WERE rock stars, but only because reading and poetry were pretty much the bomb in those days. Besides the performing arts (which you exactly take home with you), that was pretty much the only entertainment one could get. So I suppose you could blame radio. But even radio, as it was conceived in it’s heyday, could be considered a dying form. Blame TV. Blame VCR’s, DVD Players, Tivo. Blame the internet. Even as late as the fifties and sixties poetry was still a bit more in the general culture because people lived their lives as readers, not observers.

(hmmm..Byron WAS sort of hot...)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I've started wading into finalizing in the bird museum after having not really taken a look at it for a few months since it was accepted. A few minor tweaks in punctuation, changes in ordering, some poems jumping sections. I thought I might want to cut a handful, but actually only one didn't make it..The sections seem a bit more orderly now. It helps to put the whole thing in a 3 ring binder and carry it around with me. This was actually a piece of cake compared to getting the fever almanac ready. I made myself retype every single poem to make sure it was exactly what I wanted, which took forever.

I am also beginning to do the actual production work on the Cornell thing, some gluing and stapling, odd things with keys and matchbooks. I hope to have the all the text stuff printed out and ready to go this next week or so, then the images soon after. Things are starting to get a little unruly in the study, though storage wise. I have stacks of stuff for about four simultaneous projects, plus art stuff, and I keep losing things. My keys. My bone folder. The electric bill.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

three good things

1. vintage wallpaper. Tired of seeing tiny scraps cost way too much on etsy to use in collages, I've gone hunting for it myself and found this gorgeous specimen yesterday. I loved it so much, I'm thinking maybe about somehow incorporating into the cover design for in the bird museum somehow, since I'm not sure I want an actual..well..bird on the cover.

2.The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century. This was in my mailbox on Thursday, featuring work by some of my favorite Chicago gals (Kristy Odelius, Simone Muench, Michelle Taransky, Arielle Greenberg, Lina ramona Vitkauskas) I started paging through others and realized how many of these folks I don't even know are writing in this very city. I should probably get out more.

3. Fur. I'm suspicious of biopics in general, but I loved this one about Diane Arbus.. Poignant, weirdly erotic, slightly quirky. Also well-played by Kidman and directed by the director who did Secretary, so what's not to like?


I'm thinking the onset of warm weather might account for these nearly overwhelming fits of nostalgia I seem prone to lately. Enough to make me a little sad. Enough to make my chest hurt. I’m, of course, nostalgic for our old house on Pennsylvania Avenue and the kiddie pool in the back yard. The garage sales. The clotheslines. Popsicles. Double dutch, Swingsets. In the newer house, rollerskating in the cool, damp basement (no concrete outside, only gravel, even still.) Brown wooly caterpillars we’d catch that would make our hands itch. Lightning bugs. Don’t even get me started on drive-in movies.

Summers in Wisconsin. The old canvas pup tent me and my sister slept in. My paternal grandmother’s Winnebago. Ham sandwhiches and ice tea in tall plastic orange tumblers. Sand everywhere and blue flipflops, my older cousins washing their hair with beer and eggs and sometimes in the river. Shiny intertubes and pink swimsuits. Tire swings and pig roasts. Boat rides, where my mother, arming us against boredom, bought us magic slates and cap guns, plastic sunglasses and coloring books to entertain us while she and my dad fished. How I loved it when it rained and they put the canvas top up. Paper dolls. Fireworks and my fear of docks. Long rides to the ferry and ice cream. Fleetwood Mac or Charlie Daniels on the radio. Cat tails and the green weave of metal lawn chairs.

Or, on my mother’s side, picking strawberries and green uneatable apples. My grandmother making popcorn on the stove while I played with her costume jewelry. Mice under the bathtub and how her towels smelled. Her love of PBR and honky tonks. (this was the fun grandmother, the widowed one, who’d gotten married and raised a family when she was fifteen, that used to take me into bars with her and occasionally let me drink sips of beer.) Or my aunts farmhouse, its windmill, and the flattest land around I’d ever seen. It’s thick blue velvet curtains, haze of cigarette smoke , always some bird loose in the house. My odd fascination with my older cousin’s Miss Boone County tiara, which I would wear for hours.

In the summer I aways seemed to be wearing those weird sun-suits with pinchy elastic at the thigh that tied over my shoulders. I was always pretty much always sporting a sunburn and those spherical pony tail holders. (which when they weren’t in my hair sometimes always found there way into my mouth.) We’d go to the Wisconsin State Fair, and I’d ride the tilt-a whirl three times, buy glittery batons or those little faux leather jordache purses, stuff myself on saltwater taffy. We’d go to zoos and get those wax animals that always got crushed or broken somehow in the car on the way home. The pool we had for a few years, the rubbery goggles, doing endless somersaults, my blonde hair turning green from the chlorine.

Later, in high school, during the summer I would sleep til the afternoon. Watch soap operas, read trashy novels, then spend the day in the pool. (to my mother’s consternation). My college schedule was the same, sleep til one, though I did give up the soaps and was reading less trash. I’d also haul all my poetry stuff in a big envelope box out to the deck and spend hours there (thankfully in the shade at this point), eating peanut butter sandwiches, drinking iced tea, and waiting on submissions I was just starting to send out.

Friday, June 01, 2007

dgp pics & news

In April, Jessica Smith was kind enough to allow me to edit a very special dgp issue of foursquare, featuring work by Robyn Art, Jen Tynes, Christine Hamm, and Erin Bertram.

I managed just under the deadline, to get our books in in time for the annual Poets House showcase, which is featured in this little article here. If you look in the middle of this photo, you can see our very lovely books.

dgp rocked AWP this year in Atlanta (well maybe not exactly) but we did have fun sharing a table with the gals from Switchback Books and peddling our wares.

Ernesto Priega reviews Christine Hamm's The Animal Husband at Galatea Ressurects.

Marie LeCrivain reviews Robyn Art's Vestigial Portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Poetic

And lastly, an interview with your fearless editor:

Girlistic Magazine, Winter 2006