Thursday, February 20, 2014

where I'll be at AWP...


This year, dgp is  excited to share a table  (T5) with Arsenic Lobster/Misty Publications amidst a whole row of awesome folks with female run operations like Blood Pudding, Hyacinth Girl, Menacing Hedge & Rooster Moans Cooperative.  We'll be there with all the books from our 2013 & 2014 publication series, plus copies of the brand spanking new anthology project, [carriage return]. We will also be hosting our usual 3/10 sale both in person and online for folks who can't make the book fair through March 4. We are also hosting a couple of signings, one with Nicole Steinberg (author of the recent Undressing) on Thursday afternoon at 3pm and one with Laura Madeline Wiseman (author of Spindrift) on Friday at 2pm.


R275 Power and Page Count: Publishing the Other Gender

Room 101, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 1
Thursday, February 27, 2014
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm
Why is "difference" in publishing still a key word? What separates the genders on the page anyway? And where and how do women get the nerve? They keep hopping right back into the center of "Ye Old Testosterone Ring." More importantly: after getting kicked out of the circle so many times, what does a "Ring of Their Own look like"? Four female editors of print and/or online presses and journals discuss the literary landscape.

Ladies Night Reading
w/ Noctuary Press, Hyacinth Girl Press, Sundress Publications &;= dancing girl press.

Jai Thai
235 Broadway E

Join us for a night of women and writing at this year's AWP! Featuring Kathleen Rooney, Kristy Bowen, Kristina Marie Darling, Carol Guess, Mary Stone Dockery, Kelly Boyker, Donna Vorreyer, Lisa Marie Luna Basile, Kristin LaTour, Lauren Eggert Crowe, Melissa Eleftherion, Kimberly Ann Southwick, Meg Forajter, and more, this reading will rock your face off with its awesome. Drink specials, Thai food, book discounts, and more!


Women Write Resistance Anthology Reading
The Grotto Theater at Rendezvous
2322 2nd Ave.

Poets Resist Gender Violence Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013) AWP off-site anthology reading featuring dozens of poets and is hosted by Menacing Hedge. Friday February 28th, 2014 7 pm. The anthology views poetry as a transformative art. By deploying techniques to challenge narratives about violence against women and making alternatives to that violence visible, the over 100 women American poets in this anthology intervene in the ways gender violence is perceived in American cul...ture. The critical introduction frames the intellectual work behind the building of the anthology by describing how poets break silence, disrupt narratives, and use strategic anger to resist for change. Poetry of resistance distinguishes itself by a persuasive rhetoric that asks readers to act. The anthology collects poems by Ellen Bass, Lisa Lewis, Joy Castro, and many, many more. Please join us for poetry and more. A percentage of all book sales will be donated to a women's crisis center.


Book signing for girl show
Black Lawrence Press Table B24

I'll be signing copies of my brand new poetry collection just out from Black Lawrence.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

from terrestrial animal

Imagine your life here. The naugahyde couches, the faded styrofoam rocks. What to do with the body, once the body has started to disintegrate. The curtains would be lovely in the sun but the pattern makes you gag into the perfect pink bowl of the toilet. Your pink pills circling the drain. There are too many lovers in your house and not nearly enough martinis. In the bathtub, you loll while the lights dim and there is so much static. Your hair impeccable, the highs impractical. At night, you dream about dinner parties, in front of every guest, a steaming pile of dog shit, your good silver still nested quiet in the sideboard and bleached clean. The perfect pool where your guests swirl perfectly in the green jello mold shaped like a heart.

(available soon as part of the dusie e-kollektiv and in my 2014 zine subscription series...)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

countdown to AWP

So I am in the weeds of it, books everywhere, paper flying, layouts finalized.  This week will be key in getting shit done, and I'm praying my printer and ink supplies hold up (incidently the one I used only for covers, the sticky duplexer that isn't much good for anything else is finally dying in streaky mess that all the maintenance in the world will not fix). So I'm left only with the good Epson, and it looks like maybe I'll be using some of the proceeds from AWP to get a second afterwards since I like having the backup.)  Nevertheless, despite some freaking out over it's death throes and a swiftly draining yellow cartridge, I have a plan for the week that should get everything wrapped up before the weekend. 

I do have next Saturday in the studio all day to finish loose ends, but Sunday my folks are coming in to kidnap the cats for a week and then Monday afternoon, I am off on my train journey.  I had initially planned to ship everything out there early, but it's looking more like a couple boxes of older books from 2013 will be shipped and the rest will be traveling with me in my enormous red suitcase.  I made the executive decision to only bring stuff from 2013/2012 since we only have half a table and way, way too many titles.  Even with only the past two years, we actually have over 50 to choose from and I wanted at least a handful of each.   Today, I've been finalizing [carriage return] which will also be debuting and making books for the readings & signings that will be occurring during the conference featuring our latest books (signings to celebrate second books from Nicole Steinberg  and Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis, as well as Laura Madeline Wiseman's third book with us)  Plus, a Thursday night reading featuring two new authors (Kimberly Ann Southwick and M. Forajter) along with 2013 poets Melissa Eleftherion and Kristin LaTour.

Otherwise, I am still battling the ceaseless winter blahs but trying to keep busy writing,  rounding out terrestrial animal (which I need to lay out and actually print this week).  Last week was similarly busy with a couple of interviews--one in person, another via e-mail, but both coming out around the corner--and other random writerly business.  I am, in a word, exhausted, and am actually looking forward to getting on that train and zoning out across several rather vast and open states for two days straight.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

the aesthetics of research

Tonight, in conjunction with the CAA Conference, the library is hosting a number of exhibits, including one I helped put together on the place of research in art practice.  We tapped a few mediums--comics, book arts, fashion, but my contribution was some of the poems from girl show, probably my most research intensive book, and a handful of the spectacle series collages (one of which graces the cover of the book itself.) I liked putting together the bibliography, the process of going back through my notes and reading lists at from that period, especially in light of the book release happily corresponding with the exhibit.

While I don't think any of my projects have involved quite as many library sources as that one, I do still even now rely on internet research, source texts, and such.  The latest little chap, terrestrial animal, involves some re-appropriated text from marketing materials selling cold-war era underground houses. I've been researching route 66 roadside attractions for another project.  Using another volume as inspiration for another series of poems. Older stuff, like archer avenue,  errata, and the Cornell project, all involved research and other texts in various ways. 

I suppose it's inevitable given the amount of time I've spent in libraries during my entire day job work history. (which has pretty much only been libraries, first at the elementary school and then at the college level). All that time spent among the shelves and in front of the computer, it's no wonder it's rubbed off on me.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

radio ocularia

The first in the 2014 zine series, radio ocularia, is ready to ship.  A limited edition of only 50, most will be going to subscribers, but you can still get one individually in the shop until the they are gone.  If you need some enticing, here's a taste at Yew Journal of what's happening inside.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Today, there was actually blue out on the horizon of the lake, which may mean there is more water than ice & snow out there in all the sunlight, and that the old sun will prevail no matter how much winter keeps kicking our asses.  I was thinking on my way downtown about how 15 years ago, sometime this week (I would have to consult my paper journals to find the exact date) I got my very first real acceptance for a poem.  Actually for two poems from a tiny, saddle stapled local feminist zine (Moon Journal, who would later publish the first chap I put together.)  They were, of course, persona poems, what I was mostly writing then, one on Salem witches the other on the character Sin in Paradise Lost.  I had published before in college lit journals, in a couple of the less expensive vanity anthologies (oh Quill Books, do they even still exist?), but this was the first acceptance of a journal that vetted submissions in any way and I didn't know the editor personally.  In the following years, I placed a good number of poems in the journal, as well as the chapbook, which was also pretty much entirely persona poems (some found their way into the fever almanac, but most exist only in the shorter book.)

Today, I was looking at the ever-so lovely and new book and thinking about how far I've come as a writer, but also how the roots are still very much in a similar ground...much of girl show is persona work, probably more than any of my previous books, particularly in the second "Menagerie" section.  I was admiring the spines of the books and thinking about how that year of the first acceptance, 1999, was also the year I decided to really do this thing.  To really focus on the writing, to move away from my teaching plans or any of the other things I contemplated doing with my life in those early years.  15 years and 4 books later (not to mention the 5th book due next year and another nearing completion.), the whole scary intrepid decision to devote my life to it doesn't seem like such a crazy thing after all...Admittedly I still have moments where "being a poet"  seems akin to being a unicorn or a mermaid or perhaps the lochness monster, and something completely unreal and whispy and not at all an actual "career".  Something one does like birdwatching or macrame or collecting bottle tops, But with something to show for all of it as lovely as these books, it seems a little more real and a solid thing to do with one's time....

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Snowy and windy and blizzardly as it was, today was a very good day, a day when I finally got my hands on something that has been quite a while in coming.  Something so shiny and lovely and beautifully designed, I could barely contain myself.  The book that was started in 2005, finished two years later as my MFA thesis, and then just waiting to show itself to you over the past seven years.  The poems seem a little foreign to me and probably nothing like what I'm writing now (mostly prose poems), and I've mostly avoided reading them at readings or looking them over too much, lest I get tired of them before I actually have to promote the book.  So it's almost like reading someone else's book.  Maybe the someone I was circa 2006, that last surrealistic year of grad school, when I was very productive but also sick and very much stupidly in love with someone I should not have been. (there is a little bit of that relationship in here, though more of it in major characters in minor films.) The person who pored over books on sideshow/circus history, 1930's midwesterness, was furiously writing poems about siamese twins and mermaid women and bareback riders.

That person always feels a little bit like a stranger, but I still love these poems..


Monday, February 03, 2014

sneak peek

a quick look at my little chap design for the Dusie Kollectiv, which will be making its debut at AWP later this month...

Sunday, February 02, 2014

It's been a weird and rough week, one of those weeks where you try to distract yourself with just about everything you can (friends, work, food, alcohol, weird obsessions with nail polish and hair dye) and feel a little at the end of it like you've been put through a shredder.  I know I keep saying winter is hard, and winter is always hard, but this week, in addition to the usual malaise, I lost my other older kitty to illness.  At first I didn't want to talk about it.  Perhaps I still don't want to talk about it.  In fact, hesitate to post this because I will keep seeing it here every time I look at the blog. Like something sad I will occasionally crash into when I am not looking to.   I have avoided mentioning it on FB precisely for that reason.   But in not talking about it at all, it somehow makes it sadder.

Mr Giles (as per his Buffy namesake) was sort of the big baby, a rather giantish and gentle grey striped mainecoon, the sort of cat who followed you around and expected to be held constantly, so his absence leaves a hole (any pet loss leaves a hole, but this one I notice at every turn--how he's not nuzzling my face in the middle of the night, trying to lie in the space between my body and the laptop, not rolling around on the floor when I get home, coming even when I'm calling one of the other cats.)

I know things only get worse as you go along--the longer you are alive, the more you will lose.  So many pets, thankfully all after pretty long and happy lives, have passed through my childhood and adolescence and adulthood.  In addition to a slew of childhood pets that died after I'd moved away, I myself have lost three to age in the last 10 years.   It doesn't get easier..and every single time you have these crazy thoughts, like how you should give ALL of them away so you don't ever have to deal with their loss, or that maybe this is why people have children, so that something, at least, outlives them when everything else is all about losing (not that this fact alone would induce me to childbearing, mind you, but something to consider).  The more pets you bring into your life, the more you will lose, and this seems unfair somehow.  All the rest are much younger, the gingers only 6, Max barely 2, and Zelda not even a year, so hopefully *knock on wood* I'll get a break from it, but it doesn't make it easier.

So I put one foot in front of the other, try to get through one day with distractions and then one more.  I go to work on my off days to keep myself talking to others and not doing that thing in my head where I constantly chase my tail.  I plan my trip west and dye my hair umpteen times and try not to hit the bad spots I feel lurking under everyday, the dark little pools that threaten to swallow me if I step too close.  I am trying to say fuck you to January and good riddance...There are only 40-something days til spring and I'll be counting every one.