Sunday, June 30, 2013

Yesterday in the studio did wind up being reasonably productive, since not only did I put the apocalypse theory poems to bed and submitted them to a chapbook press, but also scanned and started layout on the radio ocularia art pieces, which means as soon as I add the text and figure out the overall design, it will be debuting very soon.. Earlier this week, I also sent the moon poems off to another possible home.  I've been waffling over which writing project to turn my attention to next on my list (and despite what I've been crossing off, there is still a sizeable list of things both underway and to be started.)

I also photographed the backlog of original pieces I've been meaning to get into the shop. There will probably be some more prints of the anatomy pieces when I have time (right now, you can also get them in notecard form)...I'll be adding things throughout the week. I've also added some other paper related lovelies, including these little wallpaper notepads and desk tins.  My extra studio time has also produced some finishing up of mindless crafty things as well, some of which have been on hold for a year.

Press-wise, we are in the finishing stages of a couple chaps from  Megan Burbank, Laurie Blauner, and Tess Patalano, which will hopefully be launching before I head off for the holiday.I'm leaving out for some picnic and firework action Wednesday night, but will be back Sunday (my lengthier summer jaunt has been reserved for early August.)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I've been a tiny knot of worry lately, thinking this afternoon that it would be nice to have one day without some tiny cloud or another hanging over my general sense of contentment.  But all in all, mostly, despite the worry (or maybe because of it) I've been subject to this sort of wild precarious happiness. And that is perhaps where the worrying part comes in. That something will happen to upset it.

I've got a couple of books and chapbooks projects coming out in the next few months, including girl show (see below) and I was thinking this afternoon about  how perhaps fortuitous is was the Ghost Road wound up tanking and it found a home at Black Lawrence. (a publishing outfit that's a bit larger and really amazing at promotion).  It took some extra time to get it out in the world, but it turned out to be an even better book because of it.  It seems to happen a lot lately in this economic environment..presses going under and books winding up back in people's laps, but I guess I still have faith they'll find their way to readers no matter what. (plus the lovely cover art action didn't exist until last year, so it wound up being a prettier book in design than it might have before.)  I also got a peak at the cover design on the shared properties of water and stars, whose release is nigh, and news that beautiful , sinister will likely be coming out in July. So all good news on the book front...

Otherwise, I did not have to go in for jury duty after all. and have been using my Yahoo Mail calendar for organization and task approach purposes, which is working on well, making me a little bit more smoothly productive of late and not so much with the general reactive chaos in terms of to-dos and deadlines.  I'm also determined to do another round of productive Saturday work on some art things in the studio this weekend and perhaps wrangle the apocalypse poems into something like a manuscript. 

now available for pre-order

My next book of poems, girl show, will be out from Black Lawrence come September, but in the meantime, you can pre-order a copy of your very own directly from the press here.  It's full of bird girls, mermaids, Siamese twins and other creepy carnival women. 

Kristy Bowen’s poems unfold like a fairy tale pop-up book; open like a cabinet of wonders in which girl is both cabinet and wonder; flame and spark into the night air where we read by that light. In a collection so rich in image— milk and angels and vinegar, the trap door and the hemline, bees and a line of low clouds—I’m struck even more by those seemingly small words of relationship—the prepositions—behind, against, inside, beneath beneath beneath. These poems arise from the “rubied dark” where the Louises and Livvies and Coras live, frightened and yet defiant, and return there, with us in tow.

—Mary Ann Samyn

The poems in Kristy Bowen’s brilliantly musical Girl Show capture the details of domestic life gone delicately, mysteriously wrong: “My salt shakers shaped like ducks. My ducks shaped like / killers.” In this map of bruised doors and broken windows, house after house reveals burnt staircases and ghostly inhabitants. The girls displayed in these illuminated rooms “speak softly while night … knocks us out, / knocks us up.” These gorgeous lyrics document dangerous histories, the marginalia that matters most. Bowen’s dreamy, eerie poems create a subversively gothic landscape: “mile after mile of busted / lunchboxes glinting in the sun.”

—Carol Guess


Sunday, June 23, 2013


I think I really needed that--as in almost two whole days to just devote to finishing up some art, writing and crafty stuff that's basically been on hold for months.  Most weekends lately are either busy or completely vegging out, rarely actually productive, but not only did I lock myself in the studio and finish all the art pieces for radio ocularia, but I spent this afternoon, with breaks only for hummus and a nap, finishing off the text portions of the project. I also tidied up the studio yesterday and finished off some new shop offerings I will be adding all this week. (flasks, hand stamped library cards, wallpaper notepads, & more.)

I'm feeling good and almost functional and ready to move on to the next project to do list..and then the next...

Friday, June 21, 2013

the longest day, 2013 edition

The end of another week and crazy, crazy storms moving in. I've decided that tomorrow I am spending the entire day in the studio working on my own projects.  Inevitably, I end up putting out some press related fire or another, so we'll see if it works out.  I want to get the radio ocular text under wraps and some other things scanned.   My week otherwise has been the usual crazy with cover designs, chapbook layouts, library drudgery, but also banana crème blizzards from DQ, nightly walks downtown and new very pink sweaters.  At this point I am just looking forward to some time off over the 4th for some firework and potato salad festivities, but there is still another week in their somewhere with much, much work to do and possible jury duty yuckiness. I'm hoping to maybe get to an outdoor Bond film showing Monday, and maybe actually get into the theatre to see Before Midnight  to quell my sense of 90's nostalgia.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

things this week

reading : The Little Book of Stars
eating :  pina colada smoothies
wearing : red polkdot dresses
obsessing : picnics
writing : more apocalypse poems
looking :   miniature artists books by Elsa Mora
buying :    Marilyn inspired halter dresses
making :   anatomy-esque collages
editing : books from  Tess Patalano and Meryl DesPasquale
watching : Lost Girl (via Netflix)
polishing:  Milani Pretty in Porcelain
listening:  Lana del Rey

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


This week feels like one of those weeks that's all take and no give. I'm catching up with press work, and my daily plan schedule that I started last week (Marketing Mondays, Editorial Tuesday's, Design Wednesday, Distribution Thursday) seems to be yielding fruit, but I've been plagued by missing packages, pocket money woes (my own fault entirely) a sore throat, phantom shoulder pain, looming jury duty and no time for poems or art or anything related to my own work.  It's just my own crankiness and the fact that everything (everyone) seems so incredibly high maintenance lately. It all just makes me want to throw my hands  up in the air and hide in a cave for a few years and talk to no one..

But alas, I just need to stop being so moody...

We do have some awesome books about to emerge, titles from Eileen G'Sell, Kiely Sweatt, Karen Dietrich, Jillian Mukavetz, and Alexis Pope.  I've also made a good month's headway into our open reading period submissions and have made a few decisions, put aside a bunch to re-read later, and released some back into the wild.  We still have a couple month's left, so I'm trying not to snatch up the first lovely things I see to make us way too full to accept anything that comes at the end.  Since I tend to take on what I want, it's not usually an issue, but this year's schedule is pretty tight all the way through November, which leaves less leeway for books published in 2014.  We also have our big 10 year anniversary coming up next year, which means a bit more craziness I'm planning.  It's had to imagine that I've been doing this for 10 years and how much our little press has grown in that time.

Otherwise, this weekend, I am actually hoping to get to some of my own poems, some trashy novel reading, some Netflix viewing and maybe a trip to the beach one afternoon (I need to shoot some sand photos for an upcoming cover) and it's just been too chilly to do it most days.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

  The weather was actually pretty nice for today's book fair/lit fest  expedition, and while I didn't actually pick up any actual books (like I need more of them) I did snag these little block letters for my stamping amusement.  Though the day started late and lazily this morning with some very fun company, it  was also filled with sun, my new favorite sundress,  a couple beers, and running into some writerly/editor folks I don't see nearly enough.  Tomorrow, though,  I plan to stay in though and do some writing and wait for my grocery/cat stuff delivery and barely set foot outside the apartment. I need at least one hermit day this week after all the readings and working and general chaos of the last couple of weeks.. 

Friday, June 07, 2013

I've slowly been working on re-tweeking the dgp webpages to change things up in terms of fonts & style, including our about page.  It's much more manageble and less stressful in small bits than a major overhall. 

Otherwise, it's Friday again and  I'm planning to spend some time this weekend in the studio making some books and then heading over at some point to peruse offerings at Printers Row.  Sadly, we're sitting this year's fest out for the first time in a few years.  Since the awesome cultural office that used to furnish free tent space was axed by the city,  it just wasn't fiscally a possibility this year. We kind of really would need a tent space, which is pricey (the tables are less so and  all fine and good until it rains--as it inevitably does at some point and you spend the entire day under dripping trees, which never bodes well for paper goods.) Plus, I'm sort of saving up for AWP-Seattle in terms of book fair funds. We always were pretty successful, though, so I might see what I can do about next year (even if it involves fashioning some sort of table umbrella contraption.) This year, I intend to just look around and buy some stuff if the weather holds on Saturday. Printers Row always feels like the official start of the summer season.  Lets hope it feels a little more like June and a little less like March out there.

I am working through some author copies this weekend, as well as perhaps the little booklet for the moon poems, involving some blue velvety paper loveliness.  Also, perhaps some crafty projects I've been putting off for months...

Thursday, June 06, 2013

on beginnings

I was thinking yesterday morning getting ready for work of how it's been 20 years since I first started writing (or at least trying to BE a writer in terms of submitting and drafting and sending things out into the world--horrible things, but attempts nevertheless.)      The summer I was 19, I was pretty much unencumbered by much else but my electric typewriter, my stack of Writer's Chronicle (I'd yet to discover Poets & Writers, which at the time was barely a skinny stapled black and white mag itself.) and messily composed drafts of poems on yellow legal pads or  flimsy translucent typing paper.(some of which I still have examples of I occasionally pull out for shits & giggles.).  I spent a lot of time running barefoot across my parent's lawn to the mailbox hoping for responses, sample mags, guidelines (there was no e-mail, no internet, so everything came via post and required SASE's).  A lot of time parked out on the deck with lemonade and peanut butter sandwiches.  I worked on a couple summer theatre projects occasionally, but most of my summers as an undergrad were similarly unencumbered (I was lucky that my education was pretty much funded through scholarships and grants, and I earned pocket money by doing household stuff for my mom.) There were some summers I barely wrote a thing, preferring instead to do mostly reading and loafing, but others where I was obsessed and worked constantly.  Sometimes, I'd kill for that amount of concentration and time now amidst 40 hour/wk day jobs,  press responsibilities, longish commutes, running to and fro.

But it's amazing it's actually been 20 years, and even though I sometimes feel like productivity is still a struggle sometimes, I have to say I've done a pretty good job of it all these years. Twenty years later and I've managed to generate and get a lot of work out there. Poems in journals and online.  A lot of books and chapbooks and book like things. Writing degrees and readings.    My work with the press and the journal.  All in all, it's been a pretty awesome 20 years despite the rather ragged and misguidedly clueless start.

And of course, so much work still to do,--projects midstride, ideas for manuscripts and series of poems/art.  While I've accomplished my most general goals in terms of whatever you consider this "career," which turned out even better than I ever imagined, there are always new things to move toward...

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

I've been playing a bit with Mosaic Maker again and thought I'd make one up with some recent cover's I've designed over at dgp this spring and summer.  Lots of science-ey inspired things and there will actually be more fun with diagrams soon. (Kara Bollinger's Attachment Theory).  This week, I've been wading a bit into the pool of submissions for next season and already I've found a few things that I definitely want to take on, as well as a handful I am still on the fence about (it's usually like this..I fall absolutely in love with some things immediately, and others I like to read through a couple times before I'm sure. )  We are only mid-stride in our reading period, so keep it coming.
Otherwise, there are good things on the horizon (plans to submit the apocalypse series, coconut smoothies, new sundresses, awesome sandals, sy-fy show binge watching) but also annoying things (possible jury duty, chilly weather, laundry).
but so it goes...

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Through June 15th, we'll be offering you a chance to get 2 prints for the price of 1 in our shop. All pieces are printed on heavy linen cardstock and perfect for framing...just list which additional print you would like in the Notes to Seller...

Monday, June 03, 2013


So Monday, and another week blooming with moderate weather. This afternoon, I've been trying decide what to read for my W4tB series feature.  I'm thinking a bit of sideshow action, some of the little moon poems, and, of course, my favorites, the apocalypse series. (I'm about as crazy for these as the JF pieces, which means people probably get sick of me reading them if they happen to wind up at more than one reading).  Nevertheless, I'll probably be focusing on the new book releases in upcoming readings, so I suppose I can indulge myself a bit now before I have to do the "Buy My Book Dance" later this year.  Of course it's always probably that dance, just less overtly, since I will be toting along some copies of havoc just in case.

Saturday's reading at Uncharted Books was great, with other awesome women poets.  Not to mention, while I rarely make it out to blue line environs or Logan Square, the bookstore is a gem (and they have a dog!) so I hope to get back there soon.

Otherwise, this week will just be pulling together some new releases for the press, working on some other lay outs, and maybe settling in with some more radio ocularia collages and text.  Luckily, they are working on the exterior of the Fine Arts and had to remove the a/c temporarily, so if the weather stays temperate, I can actually get some work done there on a big bookstore order and a library subscription that's under way.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

radio ocularia

There is a peek at the radio ocularia project currently up at Yew Journal, check it out...