Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I declare this year to be the year of cleaning house, metaphorically anyway, of cleaning the junk from my head, the useless odds and ends rattling around and taking up space. Of either purging them entirely or putting them to better use, of executing projects I've been harboring forever, both poetic and crafty, including pillows from all that vintage fabric I've been collecting for months (I got a bunch more Monday, along with the absolute motherload of mint condition slips that I am anxious to get to work on dying.) I also haven't touched my jewelry supplies since last winter after having stocked up my inventory, so I am anxious to get back to them. Right now, I am still knee deep in soap, lip balm, and soy wax from wholesale orders, but I am hoping to get those all out by the end of the week.

Press-wise, there are a number of chaps on the cusp of being ready, books by Rebecca Farivar, Jules Cohen & Brandon Shimoda, Jennifer Fortin, Rachel Mallino, and Nora Almeida. I hit a printer snag and am still working on getting copies out on books released earlier in the month, but they are coming along nicely now. There's also another zine/postcard project in the works, as well as finally rounding up all those tarot cards for Arcana, which I would like to get out this summer, along with maybe another little chapbook of my own. Also, another collage project, another box collection, and probably another dozen little project ideas buzzing in my brain. Every once in a while I have to just calm myself with the thought I will get to them eventually, but time seems to get shorter and shorter with every passing year.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I am in Rockford this weekend for Zombie Jesus Day and birthday festivities. Easter is much more fun these days with little ones, even though two of them were home sick, so it was just one, and sadly still too little for Easter egg hunting. It's still my least favorite holiday since it involves ham, which I am not a fan of, but it's balanced out a little by the number of chocolate bunnies and cadbury eggs. I plan to spend today, my birthday, combing thriftstores for lovely vintage things (because outside of sitting on a beach somewhere with a margarita in my hand, that will do.) There may still be margaritas, mexican food, and lemon supreme pie in my future later on today. I have to say it's going to be a bitch turning 29 again..a real bitch..

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My head is all messy and distracted this week, mostly from writing bloodthirsty, hurtful (but well-deserved) e-mails to a current relationship and weird (but possibly fortuitous) resurfacings of former ones. I am yet again convinced there is a beacon that goes out among all the men you've ever been involved with when you're emotionally vulnerable. It's happened too many times to be mere coincidence. It also might be why I feel like I keep making the same mistakes again and again. (probably because I actually AM). Admittedly, I've always had a hard time letting go of people, erasing them from my life if I have feelings for them,, which is one of the reasons non-monagamy has always been a good fit. But also, it means the lines get blurry, the circles overlap and bleed back into each other. I have some made some very good choices, but also some very bad ones. It's hard to keep keep the healthy relationships from being drowned out by the unhealthier ones.

Related or unrelated, I had a sudden urge Sunday to either go back to my natural haircolor or go signifigantly lighter. I've had darker is hair since I was 18 and banished my dishwater blonde for auburn. I tried a few brown/auburn shades through college, but settled on a deep brown during grad school and it stuck... After some experimenting over the past few days, a color neutralizer, a box of dark blonde, and some highlights, I caved in CVS last night to a shade called "Truffle" wound up back with the darker shade. Mostly, I spent three days trying to feel like the lighter color belonged on my head and could not convince myself of it. It was like a mini hair-related identity crises.

This is all related somehow, I just have to find the thread.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ladies only

I’ve been giving some thought to Kathleen’s posts (here and here) over at the Harriet blog this past week. I tend to see any press devoted to furthering the work of a certain subset of the greater whole (women, ethnic groups, regional affiliations, or even specific schools of poetry) as a way to balance the greater conversation that is American poetry in general, in particular a conversation that has always been too heavily sided in one direction or another. I don’t think any specialized press effort, in my case with dancing girl press, devoted to writing by women, is discriminatory any more than anything else is discriminatory (ie, I can’t enter radio contests in Canada, or be president of Belize since I am not a citizen. ) Since the whole point of dgp is to publish more work by women to add to that greater conversation, the whole idea that we are dismissing work by male authors based merely on their gender is not quite the point.

Nor is the conjecture valid that I feel women’s work needs to be segregated or safely partitioned (some have used the phrase ghetto-ized) off from literature in general in order to stand on it's own. This statement alone, leveled by some people, is enough to irk me. It immediately sets up women’s writing as an “other” that is entirely separate from “literature” rather than a simple subset within it. No one subset has any more claim to “literature” than any other, and these thoughts tend to lean, though not in all cases, on the idea that the white male experience somehow represents “literature” more than any other. And maybe, historically, in a lot of people’s minds it has. THAT is why specialized presses are necessary. If the men are the only one’s doing the talking, getting their books published, making the canons, getting taught to undergrads, there is obviously a whole half of the writing community that is sitting there silently or getting talked over. Just because a press has chosen to devote itself to fostering one sort of writing over another, whether that is based on the author’s gender, ethnicity, style, or aesthetic affiliations, does not mean that it is putting itself in opposition to the general conversation but rather implanting itself firmly within it and furthring the proliferation of that work within the conversation.

As for claims of exclusion, editing in any form is exclusionary in some way, sometimes more transparently than others. Every editorial effort in some way is championing certain types of writers or certain types of writing, and obviously from some of the awfulness that gets published on a regular basis in some respected journals, (well, respected by someone anyway). For example, I would not have a problem with a project that presented itself as an anthology of men's writing, the key being that it present itself as such. Obviously such a project will be full of male writers. My issue comes in when a project presents itself as simply representing "contemporary writing" and everyone in it is a man (or white, or from New York, or went to Iowa, or whatever). Note: I would also be wary if it were all women.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Another week gone galloping by and mostly filled with personal distractions, taxes, and trying not to freak out over the ever mounting to do list. I am glad it is over, though, as this week (surely a better one) brings a slew of more chap releases, finishing up the assembly of last week's books, and then a trip to Rockford for Easter and some birthday festivities. Focus is my goal and I am sticking to it. I think I've gotten to the age where I would prefer to forget how old I am and just keep pretending I am the same age I was 10 years ago and going about my business. This seems like a sound policy.

For the short term, I and going to watch some asian horror movies, maybe make some pretty things, and perhaps work a little on a blossoming poetry / art box project I've been kicking around my head for the last few weeks. I could talk about the weather, but even I am bored and rather depressed with it.

Friday, April 08, 2011

whining and weather

This is very much a week of just pushing on through to the end, and endless week that was like 12 days long and filled with giant candle orders (not a giant candle, but many many small ones), chapbook making, library events all over the place, a messy apartment, UPS drama, minor annoying stressors, and colder than I would like weather. Today is the final day of it, and barring UPS fucking me over again and having to go down to the studio, I am hoping to ideally spend a relaxing weekend at home tending to things there, doing laundry and finding my dining room table if I am lucky.

I AM however making good progress on books and will be churning out the stragglers all this month as I complete them. If I can manage that *knock on wood* we will be totally back on schedule (whether we can stay there or not remains to be seen).

I am also cheered by the couple lone boats in the harbors and the tiny fingerling tulips that are just now starting to grow. Yesterday was followed by fog and a damp chill that I could see my breath in, followed later by rain that drenched me coming home. By Sunday, they are expecting upper 70's. I can't wait to throw open all my windows.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

new from dancing girl press!

Light Sweet Crude
Cynthia Barounis & Claire Leeds
dancing girl press, 2011
get it here...

Cynthia Barounis is working toward her PhD in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry Salzburg Review and is forthcoming in Partner Dance Press's 21/21/Chicago anthology.

Claire Leeds lives and works on a farm in southern Wisconsin, holds a BA in Creative Writing and is currently working toward a BS in Nursing.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

notes and things (and things of note)


I have fallen in love with the newish magazine, anthology, featuring a mix of art, style, and decor, all of which in turn led me to this amazing artist/photographer who works with dioramas, Lori Nix..


A friend from the library, Abby Tebeau, is spending her semester in Paris this spring, and her photo blog offers a lovely view of the city and life in it, all of which makes me wish I wasn't quite so terrified of airplanes and flying and could see it myself.


And speaking of Paris, I stumpled upon this old magazine article, courtesy of The Snail & the Cyclops, featuring this most glorious taxidermy shop in the city. I think I read elsewhere there had since been a fire there, so I'm not sure if it still exists, but I am loving the natural history museum feel of it all..

Monday, April 04, 2011

new from dancing girl press!

The Bulk of the Mailable Universe
Jules Gibbs
dancing girl press, 2011
get it here

Jules Gibbs picks up and moves about every three years, but she currently calls Syracuse, NY, her home. She likes teaching poetry to adults in non-traditional settings, and to children in all settings. Someone recently made a mistake and chose her work for inclusion in the anthology, Best New Poets, 2009. She's grateful for such errors.

All National Poetry Month long, dancing girl press will be bringing you new titles from the most amazing emerging women poets. Check back often and/or join us on facebook for new titles..

Saturday, April 02, 2011

dear sugar

I know it’s not easy being an artist. I know the gulf between creation and commerce is so tremendously wide that it’s sometimes impossible not to feel annihilated by it. A lot of artists give up because it’s just too damn hard to go on making art in a culture that by and large does not support its artists. But the people who don’t give up are the people who find a way to believe in abundance rather than scarcity. They’ve taken into their hearts the idea that there is enough for all of us, that success will manifest itself in different ways for different sorts of artists, that keeping the faith is more important than cashing the check, that being genuinely happy for someone else who got something you hope to get makes you genuinely happier too.

--Dear Sugar, The Rumpus

Friday, April 01, 2011

hello April...

where have you been?

April may be the cruelest month, but it is also the best month (well, maybe a close second to May, which is actually usually my personal favorite month of the year.) Nevertheless, April brings warmer weather, all those tulips in the Mich Ave. beds (which are just tiny fingerlings now), blossoming trees, poetry month, the Zombie Pub Crawl, and my birthday at the end of it. What's not to love?

new from dancing girl press

The Art of Exporting
Cristina Querrer
dancing girl press, 2011
get it here

Cristina Querrer was born and raised in the Philippines, post Vietnam War, during the Marcos regime, pre-Mount Pinatubo eruption, as a (US Air Force) military child. Her works have appeared in The Adirondack Review, The Fairfield Review, Stirring, and in print anthologies such as Pinoy Poetics, Babaylan, Bombshells, The Mom Egg, and Field of Mirrors. Querrer received her BA in Creative Writing with a minor in Visual Arts and is currently working on her MFA in Creative Writing. She currently lives in a bungalow in the bustling town of Palm Harbor, FL, with her children and Australian Shepard mix, Athena.

All National Poetry Month long, dancing girl press will be bringing you new titles from the most amazing emerging women poets. Check back often and/or join us on facebook for new titles..