Monday, May 31, 2010


after much waiting on for the pins to do these, there are whole new batch of vintage jewelry hair pins in the shop. I love these things. At one time my grandmother had a monster costume jewelry collection she used to let me play with for hours, so this is a lot like that. I don't even wear much jewelry myself, but there is a certain glamour to these old beaded clip-ons.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

three day weekend

I don't think there are three words that sound quite so beautiful together. This one started with an after-work trip to The IML conference Leather Market with work friends to check out the wacky sex toys and gear (actually saw so many penises and things shaped like them I sort of lost interest in them), then spent yesterday doing the work I was supposed to do Friday and organizing the metal shelves in the studio, which were getting sort of scary. I did find all sorts of art supplies I'd bought and forgotten about, so I feel some new collages coming. Otherwise, the rest of the weekend will be devoted to a huge soap custom order --120 bars of lemon lavender, ginger peach, and apricot oatmeal. Actually making it is easy, but wrapping all of it will probably take me about two days. In the gaps, there is cleaning, waiting for my grocery delivery, and maybe watching some more Buffys.

Summer seems to have finally arrived, though with it, the huge clots of tourists mucking up downtown. I am trying to ignore them, but they are making trips longer, sidewalks harder to navigate, and lines for coffee longer, all of which makes me cranky since I'm relatively spoiled the rest of the year. It might also have something to do with the day shift vs. the evenings, which are less hectic and much more laid back. Nevertheless, I am determined to enjoy summer, especially since I spend the rest of the year moaning about the lack of it...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Now, they are blooming everywhere, and in various pockets outside on the sidewalk, you can catch the scent of them across the street in the park. I'm trying to settle into my summer routine, but it's more I'm trying to draw a perfect circle but my lines are all squiggly and uncontrollable. I'm sunburned, slightly fevered, and hungry at all the wrong times of day. This happens every summer when the temperature heats up and I start working less noctural hours. It takes me a few weeks to adjust..In the meantime, I am still trying to decide what to do with girl show if neither of the places it is out to works out. Also, plotting places to send the newer book, places to send poems. Maybe I've just grown weary with poetry biz, but I don't approach it with the same gusto I used to. On the other hand, I find myself getting excited about other people's work immensely--what I publish, what I read, perhaps because I'm less excited by my own. Maybe I've just ceased surprsing myself anymore with it--have lost a certain joy, a certain spark. It all feels sort of mechanical. Some parts of "being a poet" are absolutely near unbearable these days. It's probably just a phase, and I'll crack it at some point or maybe just take it in an entirely different direction perhaps.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

bits & peices

The WomanMade Gallery reading last weekend went fabulously, and mad props to my fellow ladies (Sarah Gardner, Erika Mikkalo, and Lauren Levato) all of whom were awesomeness. My folks were in town and afterwards, we had a belated Mother's Day dinner outing. The artwork in the Beyond Audubon exhibit was amazing and beautiful and one of my favorite shows I've seen there. I tried not to read so many bird poems though, since sometimes it feels like overkill. There are alot of animals in the havoc manuscript (once known as the kissing disease) so I read some of those. Foxes, deer, rabbits--all sorts of woodland goodness.

The intervening week was filled with 9-5 doldrums and lots of work in the studio, getting the jump on three new chaps that will be making their appearance on or around June 1st, work by Jessica Bozek, Lindsay Bland, and Amy Fetzer Larakers. We will also be opening up for submissions then for the year and I can't believe it's already that time again. I am perpetually running about two weeks behind on getting orders out, though, so if I owe you something it's coming. We've been slammed in the most delightful way with the sale and lots of individual purchases, so I have a slight backlog.. Incidently, the spring sale--5 books/$20 deal ends on May 31st and probably won't return til late summer, so get them while they're hot.

Yesterday, we had our Library BBQ at the beach, and the weather, though it looked a little dicey earlier in the day with cloudiness and fog, turned out to be rather heavenly. There was one point where the sailboats looked like eerie ghost ships moving slowly out on the lake. When the sun finally made an appearance, I got a little burned, so parts of me are pink as the inside of prime rib. I was zonked by the time I walked most of the way home from Montrose Beach (I bailed and caught the bus for the last 8 blocks) so I crawled into bed and slept for a few hours. Not an incredibly productive day, but a fun one.

This weeks projects include finishing up the abovementioned chapbooks, some new blank book / bound journals I'm working on and some gemstony, more natural looking jewelry I've been plotting. I am so in love with a number of stones lately--certain agates, aquamarine, amazonite. They're a little spendier to use than my usual glass and pearls, but oh so pretty...

Friday, May 21, 2010

weekly covet

When I'm not making slightly salcious treasuries over at Etsy to spite the moral majority, I've started doing a series of weekly covetable items. I will try to post them here when I can..

diode 3.3 is live!

Kristy Bowen
Traci Brimhall & Brynn Saito
Victoria Chang
John Chávez
Noah Falck
Paul Hostovsky
T. R. Hummer
Anna Journey
Therese Mattil
Gary L. McDowell
Nils Michals
George Moore
Nimah Nawwab
Richard Jeffrey Newman
Karen Schubert
Reynaldo Sietecase, trans. Mariela Méndez & Daniel Coudriet
Mathias Svalina
Jen Tynes
Joshua Ware

check it out:

fashion friday: lemony

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

le deluge

If my life had a tagline at the moment, it would be "More books than you could ever possibly want to see." this applies both at work, where we are dealing with our semesterly glut of returns (when everything that went out over the course of a semester comes back in about four days.), but also for the press, where I am finishing up a big book order (pretty much every title we've published) and a couple smaller batches for poets. I am also slowly sewing copies of Emuseum and putting the "stab" in "stab binding". So far, that's three mornings up early and into the studio before going to work and working til 10pm, and it looks like I'll be doing it tomorrow to get everything packed up. But it is busy, happy work, and though it's exhausting, I love it (well, "love" may not quite describe my relationship with the 6 gazillion library books, but with the dgp work, most definitely.) I usually only have maybe a handful of copies in stock of the new titles and make everything else as it's ordered, but to see six years of books laid out on table was the most amazing thing. I get that crazy hamster wheel feeling sometimes when it comes to press and never appreciate quite enough the loveliness of the books themselves (which is owed more to the artists & designers who graciously provide cover art (my own designs are usually pretty simple and you can spot them (diagrams and line drawings are usually my direction) It's so exciting to have such amazing poetry packaged in these lovely little paper editions.(and I am such a geek for paper, sometimes moreso even than for poetry)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


It's time once again to open our doors... there will be all sorts of bookish things, paper lovelies, artwork, jewelry, and heavenly bath goods, most at 20-30% off the online retail prices. See you there...

Saturday, May 08, 2010

fashion friday & library saturday

I was thinking earlier this week how I never seem to spend enough time at the beach, despite only living a block or so away from the lakefront. Things happen, I get busy, end up running around on weekends, and the next thing I know, summer is over. I have a couple of vacation weeks scouted out, but I tend to spend those out with my parents or in Wisconsin, so there isn't alot of free time when most of my hours are either spent at work or in the studio. I also want to take a few days to just do touristy things around the city like go to Navy Pier and the Field Museum, both of which I haven't been in years.

Today, it's colder than it's been, but very clear and bright. Today, there is tea and a pastry and a stack of poetry books I need to look through and decide what I want to read and return the rest since the books on my desk situation is once again getting unruly. I am in the library again on a Saturday (perpetually) and it is insanely quiet. My hair smells like coconut conditioner that belies the temperature outside. I am trying to make a to-do list for the rest of the weekend but I'm a little scattered. Yesterday, I watched two movies while I worked on flasks and other papery projects, one was good one was rather blah (and sadly could not even be saved by the hotness of RDJ or Jude Law.) I am also trying to organize & neaten my art & jewelry supplies in the dining room (ideally, I'd keep them at the studio, but I find I get most of that stuff accomplished at home and in the wee hours.)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Beyond Audubon: Five ways (at least) of looking at Birds, Bees & Bona Fide Beasts

Amy Sacksteder, WomanMade Gallery

Beyond Audubon: Five ways (at least) of looking at Birds, Bees & Bona Fide Beasts with

Kristy Bowen, Sarah Gardner, Todd Heldt, Lauren Levato and Erika Mikkalo

and curator, Nina Corwin
Sunday, May 16, 2pm – 4pm

WomanMade Gallery in partnership with WBEZ' Chicago Amplified Series
685 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
Free Admission

Monday, May 03, 2010

I spent a good part of the weekend, when I wasn’t working, organizing file folders that contain all my writing meticulously organized by each year. I sadly realized that I have absolutely no clue when some poems were written since I stopped posting them on the blog. I'd gotten sort of slack in the past three or four years about keeping track of what was written when right around the time I became more project oriented as a poet. I have them grouped in manuscripts, but most of them span a couple of years of work. girl show for instance, was mostly written in 2006, but the earliest pieces I wrote in 2005, and there were a couple off add-ins when I was assembling it as my thesis in 2007. The Cornell project was completed in 2007, but I started it in 2004. I guess I'm not sure it matters, but systems make my inner control freak very happy.

There are so also many pieces that were abandoned along the way, written and orphaned before they really became anything. Again, I look at some of them and do not know the girl who wrote alot of them anymore. The stuff from about 1999 onward is less horrible than I remember, but still boring as hell--alot of persona poems, alot of mythological/historical figures, poems about paintings and figures in paintings. (some of these later showed up in The Archaeologist's Daughter). I suppose it's easy for young writers to write about these sort of things when you are convinced that ordinary life is just not interesting enough to write about and you haven't yet learned to either find the art-worthy in real life or to just make shit up. I saw a panel a few years back at AWP, something about, Novelists Reading Poets and Poets Reading Novels, and one of the novelists said that he always assumed that poets were telling the truth, and that every poem was autobiographical. I always tell audiences that if everything I wrote was true, I would be in serious trouble.

Cate Marvin wrote a good essay on this, which by grace of google, I found again:

However, I find it obvious that the "I" of my poems, when I employ first-person, could never be me. The speaker of my poems couldn’t live in my world: she wouldn’t wake for work, she’d tell the neighbors to shut up, she’d be arrested for public indecency, she’d no doubt be locked up eventually.

Of course, there are things that are true within the untruths, and perhaps the newest poems in book #4 (former KD which now has a sexy new title I am still rolling around in my head) are closest to the real me, but even then not so much. She is like me, but probably drinks more and does far more reckless things (though sometimes I think I'm giving her a run for her money). She is also much less lucky than me, perhaps the me I would be if I had had a harder sort of life.

In other news, this will be another one of those endless 6 day weeks of which I am already, thankfully halfway into. There is always, much to do in terms of getting author copies out to poets of the new chaps, filling orders, and a few cute pendants I am waiting for my bulk chain on. I find myself making odd lengthy analogies in conversation lately..boys as breakfast foods, aspects of my life as compartments in a purse, all of which make the sort of sense that is frighteningly apt. I am sleeping entirely too much again. I have also been eating a lot of eggs lately—scrambled, fried, omletted. I may go hunt down a hardboiled one for my dinner, or perhaps an egg salad sandwich from the 7-11. When I was falling asleep last night, I was convinced I successfully levitated my arm from the pillow by shear force of mind, mind over matter, and it worked for about an inch. Things are weird and just getting weirder...

Saturday, May 01, 2010

may day

This afternoon, I have an unusual and intent craving for both quiche and fresh strawberries. It is undoubtedly gorgeous outside, but I am doomed to the dull windowless library both today and tomorrow. My day off, of course, was sort of muggy and rainy. I watched Buffy and the Sci-Fi Alice series and took a long nap in the afternoon, but was happy I could finally leave the windows open all night. It’s odd not having a computer at home, both a little freeing and slightly unnerving. I have all this extra time to do things like organize my jewelry supplies and clean out my linen closet, but I can’t find the number for the Chinese delivery place or get directions to where I'm going. I could technically take my studio laptop home, but I’m trying to not be such an addict. Today, I have managed to get the webpage up for the three newest books (see below) and will spend tonight in the studio assembling them and getting out some orders. I am still working on a couple straggling projects (the full length photo/poetry book, and Jessica Bozek’s chap) but otherwise we are mostly on schedule, for once, with a couple of other sets of galleys set to go to their authors this week. Saturdays in the library are always slightly odd, slightly off. I wish I could administer a litmus test when people come in the door as to whether they are feeling angry or psychotic, or even slightly passive aggressive. It would make me better able to guage how to respond. And some people spend way too much time here. You know who you are.

new from dancing girl press

from Doll Studies: Forensics
Carol Guess
dancing girl press. 2010
available here

Caleb Adler & Sophia Kartsonis
dancing girl press, 2010
available here

Joanna Penn Cooper
dancing girl press, 2010
available here