Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 retropective

We're now in that hushed period between X-mas and New Years, a time of year when the claustrophobia of winter sets in, if it hasn't already, and I sort of drift through the days not knowing what time it is, who I am, where I am, or what I'm supposed to be doing.  I am back in the city after the usual brisk round of celebrations, toting an amazing gift haul that includes art supplies (new watercolors, abundant paper, and canvases), booze (kalua and an amazing orange tequila liqueur), a couple of much needed electronics (a mini Fire tablet and a new roku), and have already blown through gift card for Modcloth--- all gifts which touch on all my favorite vices, so I'm stoked.  And of course, I kept on budget this year for buying gifts, so I've indulged myself some more dresses and a couple new coat options as presents to myself. (and amazingly, we actually got a holiday bonus at the library this year, so things are not as tight financially as usual this time of year.)

I've spent some good time in the studio the last couple days as well. working on the loose ends & orders I didn't finish last week running out the door, and a round of assembling the newest titles, which will soon be on their way to their authors. We are actually mostly on schedule with just a handful of 2016 books debuting after the new year, and then so many 2017 coming down the pipeline.  I was copying out a full list in my new sketchbook, and revisiting the titles I've chosen over the latter half of this year and am so amazed continually by the work I get a chance to help bring into the world.  (We incidently have a 10 for $30 mixtape deal going on for the next week or so if you. too. would like to get your hands on some of the wonderful books we published this last year, check it out.)

 In retrospect, I guess, one year, and over 60 books out in the world by women authors, which seems important in these bleak times more than it ever has before--to be a feminist press, to be offering a venue for women's voices, to be chipping away at the white man literary patriarchy book by book. To be working toward publishing a good number of POC and LGBTQ authors every year and still striving to publish even more. There is still more work to do here and I hope to continue to make it happen. Also, to put out books that are rich and diverse stylistically and thematically and from a variety of places and aesthetic viewpoints. (the sort of variation that includes collections of Oulipo and found poetry, but also, for example, something like Eva Schlesinger's upcoming third dgp chap of wacky rhymed pieces.) A healthy dose of works in translation or bilingual, collaborations, books with visual elements.  And then the work toward getting books into more hands, into libraries and bookstores, into review outlets. I've put wicked alice on a mini-hiatus the last few months, but am hoping to line up some new work there in the next few weeks and maybe some other things like short reviews and reading lists--it's a valuable, but sadly neglected space that I hope to use more of in the coming year. Also the mermaid anthology, which needs some more work, but is clicking into place.

Writing wise, there has been fits and starts. The year began with fine-tuning the apocalypse manuscript (all nuclear anxieties and sci-fi and zombies) and sending it off.  Then this summer's acceptance from Noctuary for next year's release (which seems oddly appropriate somehow given the election results.). I wasn't writing much at all for much of the year and mostly focused on painting over the spring & summer ,but  then was writing a lot through the fall, most of it Plath centos, which, though initially just some text elements for an artists book of floral paintings,  suddenly spiraled into something else entirely and I found myself with almost a whole book of them- book about marriage and domesticity and maybe Plath herself a little. I finished up the manuscript right before Thanksgiving and am hoping to find a home for it perhaps if others take a liking to it.

SALVAGE was released in the summer and Black Lawrence as always making it something even more beautiful than I imagined with it's Sailor Jerry tattoo mermaid cover. These were the newer poems from the last three or four years, spanning the Shipwrecks of Lake Michigan mermaid poems and the radio ocularia body/illness poems. I also had work in a handful of journals--Handsome, Rogue Agent, Leopardskin & Limes, Paper Darts--a couple interviews and reviews of earlier projects at Entropy, Cowfeather Books, Sabotage and Red Paint Hill. One new zine issued, STRANGE MACHINE, complete with some pinup collages and a sampling of the LITTLE APOCALYPSE mss. I also managed to finish up the poems written after Dali's Inventions of the Monsters painting and will be issuing those as a little zine in the next month or so, and probably the DIRTY BLONDE pieces with accompanying collages later in the spring.

Right now, I'm sort of in this weird limbo between projects, with a couple things on the back burner (the hotel murder mystery poems of course, perhaps a longer, deeper, revisiting of the beautiful, sinister chapbook which has been something I've been thinking about, especially since it was initially intended to be a much longer book) and something else, an epistolary series, taking shape in my head and itching to get down on paper.  Also things I occasionally flirt with ideas and notes--poems about Renaissance era dog girls, writings about sexuality and polyamory and kink.  Poems about body image and food obsessiveness.  Text pieces that accompany the freaky little unusual creatures cabinet card collages. And probably another five or so things I am forgetting about now but have noted I want to do. (granted I may not get to all these things by 2025, let alone in 2017, but I like to think long-range.)

It was actually a more fruitful year for visual art than for words.  I've been painting a lot--mostly florals and some landscapes.  I also did my first attempts at ink painting and nature printmaking, which I am hoping to do much more of in the new year.  There was also quite a bit of collaging, both paper and digital, both for my own purposes and for dgp covers, which I am really happy with. I managed to round up work for not only this years WORDS|MATTER show, but also some collages for the KrampusLauf! exhibit in Elgin.  Then there is florographia, with a handful of the Plath poems that are botanical focused and a smattering of the floral visual work I've been doing this past year. (which will be a book or a box or maybe a bit of both.)

In the library, things have been busy during the semesters--with our how-to art/craft workshops, the Uncanny Specimens week, Little Indie Press, and general programming (zines, salons, game nights, oh my) and general blogging and exhibit prep. We've also taken the fun on the road--bookwrecking at Small Prestivus, zine making at a conference in Michigan, snowglobes for public schools. November was mostly wrangling together the ACRL Excellence Award application (ie. using my writing skills for good instead of evil and for something I actually get paid for), so fingers crossed, we'll see how that pans out in the next month or so.  I've also written up a couple program guides for ALA and a Library as Incubator piece on marketing arts events. There are couple more library related wriitng projects I'm hoping to make happen this year and next, and of course, planning for the Spring semester of Aesthetics offerings and exhibits  as soon as I crawl out from under January's reserve processing and annual purging craziness that awaits me during the J-Term.

Image may contain: indoor

Otherwise, 2016 was not a bad year on a personal level, despite the weirdness of living in a country that apparently is more hateful and intolerant than I imagined it to be in my odd little urban, academic, artsy bubble--a bubble that's apparently made me more than a little myopic, but oh it was a beautiful mirage for awhile.)  It was actually a pretty promising year til November anyway.  I actually got to take a real vacation, in January New Orleans and fell in love with it (to the point of idly scouting French Quarter apartments and public transportation and vague plans to open a little paper/art/poetry boutique--a nice fantasy until you consider I can't really afford to do it and would probably run screaming from larger, more tenacious, southern insect-life. (also, Chicago, like a bad boyfriend seduces me every spring and somehow makes me forget entirely its sub-zero temps and mountains of dirty snow--April -November I only have eyes for this big, glittering, city***.)   Throughout the year, there were other awesome everyday things. booze and tacos and books.  Taxidermy stores and boat rides and cottages in Michigan. Dresses, of course.  So. Many. Dresses. (to the detriment of my wallet sometimes) And, of course,  good people in my life--family, friends, romantically (and shedding and/or tactful evasion the not good people).

No automatic alt text available.

So here's hoping 2017 turns out as promising as it can...

***Anyway, in 2017, while I'm not moving south, I'll be going back  in the spring around my birthday for the New Orleans Poetry Festival where I'll be reading. (and where I intend to eat my weight daily in beignets and jambalaya, drink large tacky plastic cupped booze concoctions on the sidewalk, and ride around on streetcars.)   If I don't necessarily want to leave Chicago altogether, I can have an occasional no strings fling with the Big Easy..,it's only right.

Monday, December 12, 2016

"Here's a crow for Christmas" (via TuckDB Ephemera)

Winter has dug in it's heels and seems determined to stay.  I spent the weekend mostly huddled under my comforter and watching more old Gilmore Girls episodes on Netflix and trying to distract myself not to freak over random money woes and  the amount of stuff  I need accomplish before winter break .Meanwhile the snow kept falling and falling, sometimes seriously and sometimes lightly, all of which leads to the sort of seasonal blues I usually try to self-medicate with winter coats and boots   (and thus my money woes.) I am also trying to get myself in a holiday mood, but so far nothing is really working.

On Friday, we spent some time teaching kindergartners how to make snow globes, so I'm still fishing glitter out of my hair, but it was a fun day.  The semester is winding down and next will week will be one of those lull weeks when classes are out, but the library is still open, the sort of week where students are scarce and I'm usually doomed to day shifts (though this year I've squirreled away some time to take off in the mornings).I do get some extra studio time in the evenings, which will come in handy tying up loose ends. After that comes a blissful week off between X-mas and New Years, so I just need to pull through until then.

Until then, I leave you with creepy Victorian Holiday cards...
"A happy Christmas to you" (via TuckDB Ephemera)

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

a new collage / cover art for an upcoming dgp title...

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

little blue dog songs

Just  after the new year, I will be unveiling the very first in the 2017 zine series--this little book of Dali-inspired poems.  I talk a little bit more about this series, here., but below is a little sampling of what I've been up to.

little blue dog song no. 3
From this vantage point, all the animals are on fire. All the women piled with armfuls of broken statues and blood on their lips. I do not know what the horsewomen say when their nerves spit and zing. The inevitable movement of their hands to their mouths cupped with water. Only, that I’m speaking in metaphor, in metaphysics, the slick tongue of a butterfly in a jar. Only that I laugh, because I could die laughing here, with all the singed hair and the water rising way too slow. From this vantage point, I could turn my face away from him, but there is something terrible at my elbow. It pinches my wings and sings me to sleep.

Sunday, December 04, 2016


I once again apparently slipped down the rabbit hole and December has spit me out once again.  I've mostly been buried in a Library award application the past few weeks -both actually working on it the library and plotting it in my head outside the library., and barring the brief reprieve of Thanksgiving break (for which I was actually mostly suffering a cold), I finally was able to wrap it up on Friday and fingers crossed, the library (and Aesthetics of Research) might get some recognition for the things we do.

Which of course now means we return to the regular schedule of chapbook making, responding to the last few summer submissions, christmas shopping, arting and writing (hopefully) and winding down the semester. I'm feeling a little ragged around the edges--some general money stuff (the usual stretching dimes and fretting), some unfortunate things happening to friends (muggings, evictions) , and for me though less serious but just annoying,, a busted key stuck in the lock of my building that just broke off in my hand. (Never a good omen and $50 for a replacement.) And worse, December, which is finally bringing it's first snow. Or DUMPING, might be the appropriate word since it looks kinda harsh out there.  I always say these last two months of the year are just about surviving--getting through til January.  This year seems to be no different.

While I am making up a huge batch of chaps right now that released just before the holiday, there is another big batch on the way out and I may start the new year a little more on schedule than usual.I feel like I need to get back at chipping away at other projects I've been neglecting--mostly my own-the Dali series, other small things.  In good art news, I did manage to get some pieces into the Elgin's Side Street Studio Arts KRAMPUSLAUF! show and am currently working on some little accordian books for florographia. 

Yesterday, I binge-watched the entire Gilmore Girls revival, but today, I am library bound. I did get to set up a new display devoted to handmade gifts in the display case and making our little ARTISTREE on the wall nearby, which may just be about all the holiday decorating I can mange this year unless I catch a whim to haul out my own tree (not particularly feeling like this will happen.)  I did just find a random pack of Hot Chocolate in my desk, which is about as exciting and festive as it gets, I'm afraid.

Friday, November 11, 2016

It's been a weird week.  Tuesday night I spent a couple hours staring worriedly at my computer screen with my weird stress eyelid twitch and finally decided to go to bed and watch izombie under the covers.  I am less worried about the sort of policy changes the Trump administration has in store (which of course will also be bad) but moreso the normalization of hate culture (hate culture which obviously has been around all along) but now almost has a permission slip to reveal itself. Not only to reveal itself, but trot all over everyone else's daily existence. Even if the rest of the government body buffers us in the end from the stupidity of the oval office (well as much as it can from any conservative leader), Trump as a role model for bigotry and general asshole-ishness can't be denied. I spent a couple days a little shocked that I am apparently surrounded in this world by monsters and idiots, but then again, as many of my POC and and non-straight or non-cisgenedered friends say, this was not something we didn't already know.

So instead I've been trying to find beauty in a very not beautiful world and maybe it's working on my mood or maybe not, but I've been keeping my head down. In  the library,I am submerged in drafting an award application with an impending deadline and trying to think ahead to next semester. At the studio, there are layouts and orders to get out, and submissions still rattling in the bottom of the submission inbox.   There are still poems to write and things to make and other projects to immerse myself in.   Nothing really had changed Weds. morning when I woke up from a rather fitful night's sleep, but then everything had sort of changed. We still do not live in a world where a woman can be president.  Where a woman can be treated as anything but fuckable or maternal, or good for any role beyond the ones men have placed her in.  But then again, maybe we already knew this.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Photo Transfers

Some shots from our October DIY SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY workshop last week...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Little Indie Press Festival

(now updated with photos!)

Tonight is the eve of our second Little Indie Press Festival, an event that kicked off last year with a bang and will hopefully only grow and get better every year.  This year, we're cashing in on Wabash Arts Crawl traffic, which should be useful.  We have a smaller number of exhibitors, but it's a slightly more diverse group in flavor (from literature to book arts to visual artists & comics).  Last year, it came on the heals of another event that took a lot of prep time on my part (our very awesome horror movie trivia night I made all the questions up for), so the day of the fest, I found myself running around like I was on fire and trying to finish up all the last minute details and in general freaking out, almost to the point that it began to feel more like something I had to SURVIVE than something I could, you know, ENJOY. Sad especially since it was completely my idea and pet project--one of the things I'd dreamed we could one day do in the library.

I've realized in the last few months that this the case with most everything I do.  No matter how well prepared I am for things like these, I tend to leave small details for the day of, for the last minute, and those details end up hitting snags and obstacles and the next thing I know, I am crashing through the day trying desperately to reach the finish line.   Most notable of these things seems to be things like AWP, and open studios, and pretty much any event that involves a lot of little, fine details to make happen.  So today, I was resolute.  I would finish everything I had to do for tomorrow TODAY, all the signage needs, getting my dgp table ready to layout, organizing the zine station, corresponding with the orgs & publishers.  Tomorrow, ideally all I will have to do is move furniture, set up the zine supplies, and set out the dgp table. And then maybe, just maybe, actually enjoy the event I have been planning for months.  Maybe.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Today, I slept very late and made french toast.  Today, I wrote a blurb for a friends book.  Today, I put the finishing touches on a draft of the second half of the Plath centos project.  Today, I am not doing much but of course, trying to do everything, especially since next weekend will be busy with Halloween parades and another Sunday shift at the library.  Before that, there is a slew of layouts * cover designs to finish, the Little Indie Press to happen, some thoughts on an exciting non-poetry, library-focused writing project about to take shape. Halloween is getting closer, and I've no costumes plans, but there will be shipwreck-ghost puppets for next weeks parade if all goes well in their construction.

The daylight is noticeably shorter now, and the last couple of days overcast and dull.  The trees, all but the most dallying, are giving up the ghost.  I have pulled out sweater dresses and jackets and boots this past week. I have been trying to give in and embrace fall instead of trying to fight it.  To transform it all in my head into a warm, cozy thing and not a cold,  desolate thing.  I'll let you know how that works out.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

The last two weeks have been the same rushing train of activity and no where to step off.  First, our Uncanny Specimens week went phenomenally well, the panel interesting and informative with our artists, the printmaking fun and now one of my favorite techniques for prints and definitely one to revisit (see photos below), and  the cryptooology readings on Wednesday awesome as ever.  I was coming down with a cold and fever the final part of the week, but it's now abated, leaving only a slow raspy cough in its wake.

Last weekend included our visit to Michigan State to host a zine table at the Cultural Rhetorics conference, and then Sunday, finally a day off to right the ship, but not really at all, so I'm laying low this weekend, napping and finishing up some creative business--a conversation with one of my fellow BLP authors, Cynthia Manick, for their website,  some blurb writing for other poets, some work on the florographia centos.  Maybe some painting tomorrow with some accordian books.  I'm in the midst of really getting rolling with our Indie Press Festival plans, which is coming up in a couple weeks and for which readers need to be lined up, details ironed out, etc...It's soon followed by a workshop playing with vintage photos, which should also be fun.

In press news, I am still hacking my way through the thickest of the summer submissions and about to release another batch of chaps as soon as I get the last of the author copies due to go out out the door. Plus a whole bunch of orders I am perpetually behind on lately.  I am hoping to have responses to all subs out the door by Thanksgiving this year, so I think I am holding to the rails...Until next time,,,

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

I seem to be unusually afflicted with a lack of focus on Mondays, so this may be rambling and foggy and barely an entry at all.   Perhaps it's the weekend, coming off a couple days that were blissfully free from obligation and mostly included sleeping and movie watching and a little bit of writing.  All very nice since I will be chained to the library next Sunday and then off to a conference the following weekend. I get a little resentful when I don't have free and clear weekends, but it seems that won't be happening until we are well into October.  

As for today, studio exploits were productive, and  I did manage to do some preliminary planning for our second Little Indie Press Festival, which is happening in late October, and did some more promo work for next week's UNCANNY SPECIMENS week, but not much else has been happening at my desk today, nor will it be happening before I leave (I also left my sketchbook and to-do lists at home, so I'm sorta flying blind today.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Long time, no blog, but it seems like even my best, most productive days fizzle out before I actually get to turn to this space.  Still, in the library, there has been much afoot, including cooler fall, more moderate temperatures and that icy plunge back into the semester, which has so far bought boring things like spreadsheets, annual report compilations,  and textbook reserves processing, but also a rather successful Game Night followed by our best Zine Night thus far.  Now we're in the thick of it, planning for our Focus Week (taxidermy and nature-focused art) at the end of this month and the upcoming Indie Press Festival happening October 21st. The Focus week includes not only an artists panel and printmaking workshop, but now a Cryptozoology reading, which promises to be fun.  I am also hatching some more poetry related programming for spring.

dgp happenings are chugging along as usual, including assembling and sending out copies of the slew of books I've been working on that released at the end of August and reading new submissions, some of which I have already been sending out responses for.  I am trying to move through at least a few submissions everyday in order to stay within my ideal 3 month response window, but I find too much to love and will have to return to many of the manuscripts for a second read (I admit, a wonderful problem to have.)  I am hopping to be finished by the end of October with all decisions made, so we'll see how it goes.

Creatively, there is the usual struggle with allotting time for creative projects, but while the Dali project has stalled out, I've been spending a little time with some Plath centos for an artists book project I am working on (well, it's more like a project in parts, I'll write more on this later.  It's a strange thing to be living among another poets words, but sometimes, even as much as I like Plath, it feels a little too confining, so hopefully those urges can be channeled back into the Dali pieces. I did start a new batch of paintings that are a little more wildflowery and a little less lush than my other florals and I'm digging them greatly. More soon...

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

some notes from behind the scenes of dgp

Every once in a while, I like to do a rundown on my experiences and procedures as an editor and how things operate at dgp. (it's handy for new authors, who might be interested in timelines and schedules and stuff, but also gets me thinking about better, more effective ways of doing things. Sometimes, it's all chaos all of the time, (really most of the time, especially when you add in dayjob obligations, my own creative work, and other timesuckers (long commutes, errands) or in good times, leisure (but then what is that?)

I tend to work on several titles at a time, which thanks to expeditious use of post-it notes, dropbox,  and e-mail folders usually keeps some of the chaos at bay. Usually I might be releasing one chap, laying out another, or doing final proofs on another--sometimes all in the same week, so these things help me to keep organized.  I usually start by corresponding with  upcoming authors to secure the most final version of the chap if they've made changes since the acceptance or have updated acknowledgements.  Usually, if we haven't already, we will begin talking about the cover--general things they'd like to see,  other covers they like, pieces of work from artists they might know who would let us use it.   Sometimes,  they have designer friend who are willing to layout a full cover and deliver a print ready file.  Sometimes I work from scratch with my own ideas or things they've suggested, or sometimes create specific pieces of work on my own that fit with the book.   For my own layouts,  I use a combination of various photo editing programs and MSWord or Publisher to create a pdf (obviously there are better ways to do this with things like the Adobe Suite, but since I like to be able to access files at various times on a host of different computers --at home, the studio, the library where I work.

Depending on the formatting, inside layout can take anywhere from a couple hours to a couple days.   and I find myself making decisions on text size fonts margins and such. I also use word for this for the same access reason above.  I usually take a pass through on the first galley to catch any noticeable missteps or formatting issues and then send it to the authors for a look, which they then make suggestions on.   If there are more complicated formatting things or questions, there might be a couple more rounds of back and forth.  Once I have a finalized version I will run a test print to make sure all looks good.

At this point, I begin getting get the webpage up and start promoting the book through social media channels and such. I try to do this at least a week before I actually start printing because I can gauge how many copies we are going to need right out of the gate.  I usually do a first batch anywhere from 30-50 depending on whether the author wants to pick up extra copies, or if there are a lot of initial orders or requests for review copies.  I will then keep printing in batches of 10 or so as I need more. I try to keep at least a small batch in the studio of the last year or so's releases for when we have open studios.

It usually takes about a week to two weeks to print, collate, bind, and trim the books (this can be longer or shorter depending on how many books I am working on at once and the volume of orders and author copy requests at any given moment (and how much studio time I am getting in)  Since I am still coveting a tabletop press, I have a big metal weight that I use to "smoosh" the books to make them nice and evenly flat, so I try to leave them under that for a day or so before I ship them out.

 I am usually about 2-3 weeks processing time on outgoing books depending on how new the title is and the volume of orders. I try to send out anywhere from 20-30 orders per week, which necessitates some time making copies if I don't have them in stock, stuffing envelopes, addressing labels and fixing stamps (or sometimes printed labels.)

I also spend a small portion of time monthly ordering supplies, ink, paper, cardstock, shipping supplies. During the summer and early fall, I am also reading submissions for the following year's schedule, which has it's own set of procedures and processes And sometimes reading submissions for wicked alice. or other special anthology projects.

Over the years,  there are things that have made my life so much easier. Booklet format  and double sided printers saved me years of laying things out with alternating A/B sides. Faster printers.  Better, heftter trimmers and staplers. We will occasionally hand bind a chap (saddle style or japanese stab binding) but 99 percent are staple bound.  (I adore beautiful hand bound books, but I am really sort of terrible at it and wind up bleeding more than binding).

Thursday, August 18, 2016


Perhaps it's a tad self-indulgent, but sometimes I like to play the 10-20-30 game with my memory.  On the bus ride downtown this morning I got to thinking about the 30 Years mark, and it's absolutely crazy to me that 30 odd years ago I was ever 12, ever in the 7th grade,  and ever starting junior high and absolutely terrified.  It's long enough ago that there are really only snippets of memory.  So much trepidation.  Getting lost.  Getting to class on time. The fear of figuring out the combination lock on my hall locker.  The fear of horrible gym outfits with scratchy polyester shorts (and their attendant distance  running and awkward gymnastic demands).  But also my first experience carrying a purse on the regular, which was a knockoff Chanel quilted bag with chain strap, but later, after said strap broke, huge pastel colored totes. My love of the vending machine for fancy pens and a steady diet of roll on lip gloss.  My typing class and learning to play the clarinet in a band room that smelled a little like brass, a little like old spit.

I loved my 1st period geography class, where every Friday, our teacher played current events trivia and I was a crack shot.  I kept stealing my mother's clothes (oversized button up shirts worn over stirrup leggings).  Ate a ridiculous number of odd peanut butter sandwiches with off-colored jelly that fell out of the sandwiches and onto your notebook.  How I fell a little in love for the first time that December with a very funny blonde boy who was lukewarm through the year and wound up blowing me off the next summer.  (a precursor to every funny boy who ever broke my heart).  How intense that feeling and that scary in and of itself. I hadn't yet found my core friend group and wouldn't until the next year, so I moved on the fringes of a couple different ones. At 12, I hadn't yet caught the ambition fever of high school and future careers and colleges, so middle school was more like a calm before the storm.  I do remember trying to write a horror novel in the 8th grade. Loving Edgar Allen Poe.  Mostly, spending all my time reading Sweet Valley High-sh type books I'd check out in thick stacks from both our school and public library.  Flinn's library actually did look like a library, with big windows and wood tables and a hulking card catalog, at least moreso than the orange carpeted nightmare of highschool (which was horrible and looked more like the Breakfast Club library)  and I'd spend my lunch hours in there sometimes, browsing the fiction collection.  Someday, I'll write a book, "Library's I Have Known" and Flinn's would be one of my favorites.

Friday, August 05, 2016

friday frivolity

 Since it's been unreasonably hot the past couple of weeks with only brief repreives, I've already turned my thought toward fall things--warm knits, boots, lots of corduroy.  I also managed to pick up a cheapie leather jacket for a steal on ebay (well, faux leather, but a an uncharacteristically feminine cut and a little bit of ruffle action.)  I'm looking forward to sporting it with, among other things, all my lovely fall florals, a very 90's reminiscent look, but one of my faves.

Also, sweater dresses, a perennial favorite that I simultaneously have way too many of and not nearly enough, but one of my chief favorite things about winter (of which there are really very few things--maybe sweater dresses and hazelnut hot chocolate. )  I'll be bitching about the cold in a few brief months, but with the 90's and high humidity outside, I'll indulge myself in a little daydreaming.and longing for fall.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Much has been afoot in the realms of editing and booknmaking, including all these lovelies.  I am also knee deep in manuscripts for next year, as well as making final cuts for the mermaid project and plotting out how it will manifest. (It's gonna be a box, but I think I just need a bigger box--full of poems and prints and postcards and all sorts of beautiful things.)  The manuscripts are really amazing as well, which will make final decisions super difficult to make in the next couple for month.  Things are still rolling in til the end of August.  I would like to finish up the Dali poems and the collage series I've been working on.  Also get a handle on the release of strange machine, the latest zine project that will be hatching very soon. There are other art and writing projects that are floating in the ether, some of them already underway and some that need to be embarked on. Since I have taken far too many vacations this summer, so I am doomed to work all through August, which means I can work pretty steadily through the month without interruption.  Also, September always being s a new burst of seriousness and get-down-to-businessness.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Image result for vintage klinger lake michigan

I am off tomorrow for the wilds of NW Indiana and the annual Small Prestivus festival, where we'll be taking our Aesthetics bookwrecking gig on the road. The rest of the weekend, I am hoping to hole up and decompress after a couple of weeks of just too much happening.  And, in fact, nearly a whole July of just too much happening.  I'm longing for my incommunicado retreat weekends almost like they're a drug. I start to get twitchy and resentful of the time I spend doing other things and not painting or writing, or hell even housework and cooking and hanging out with the cats.

It's hot, though--a humid,  tropical sort of hot that makes your glasses fog up when you walk out of the A/C. Yesterday, I sat about 6 inches from my new fan in the studio and folded about a 100 books.  Last night, a storm blew through with torrents of rain and cooled things off a little, but the heat is back today and plans to stick around.   I try to convince myself I'm somewhere beautiful and exotic like Mexico or the Bahamas, but there's still way too much concrete sometimes, even here in the city and even with the great expanse of the lake and it's almost ocean-likeness.

Last week, we were staying in the most delightful little Michigan cottage and spent Saturday afternoon riding around the lake on a pontoon and I found myself wishing that my life could be all this sort of leisure.  I'm not even a bit of a avid boater or fisherman, but there is something calming and idyllic and even somewhat old fashioned about summers on the lake, something that makes me think of my dad's side of the family and how tethered they have always been to various bodies of water in Wisconsin.  Granted, the economics were a bit different--RVs instead of cabins, one fishing boat instead of a wealth of watercraft at their disposal, but the impulse is the same.   It's definitely different than city life, but even different than country life as my parents live it.  It makes me think I need a bit more of it in my life.

Monday, July 18, 2016

In-Progress | the Dali series

A year or so back  back I started working on a series of poems inspired by Salavadore Dali's "Inventions of the Monsters" painting.  It was the first work I had done based on another artist's work since finishing my Cornell project about 10 years ago, and it seemed like an entirely different beast..  I had some individual poems that were art inspired--Gregory Crewdson, Henry Darger--that may one day be longer projects, but nothing quite so ambitions as at the hotel andromeda. While Cornell's boxes always seemed like poems themselves (and the thus the writing of poems ABOUT them, a little on the tricky side.), Dali's work strikes a different cord, at least from a storytelling standpoint, or maybe it's more mythical and Jungian somehow.  Regardless, I soon realized that my investigation of the that particular painting was actually spinning out the more and more research that I was doing. That I was discovering pieces of Dali's work that I had never encountered before and that were just as intricate and inspiring.

I had initially encountered the initial painting in the Art institute, I guess, in my visits to the Cornell boxes. It was in one of the galleries that led to the boxes on the southern end  (all of which have since been displaced and moved to the Modern Wing--the Cornell's to their detriment). There was a bench where I would sit for awhile making notes near it, so I looked at it a lot more than I would have otherwise.  It gave me the creeps and disturbed me in some weird subconscious way (I was having a lot of flaming horse dreams during that time, which I chalked up to a certain amount of imbalance in my life at that point. )  So of course, I made note to write about it at a later date.

So of course, now, moreso than a series of poems about a very specific painting, it has become a series of poems about / inspired by an entire body of work. And every stone that I turn over, seems to reveal another stone, another archetype, another image.  I feel like I am actually not writing as much as I should with the general chaos, but I am gathering like a fiend, things that one day may be poems.

Friday, July 15, 2016

friday frivolity

In my efforts to utilize this space a bit more, I've been plotting future blogposts (well, these effort usually fade after a couple of posts when I get subsumed in the general deluge, but I am trying.)  In among these future blogposts are some more serious writerly and editorial subjects (especially as I begin to delve into the dgp submission pile and line up titles for next year), but also some frivolous and girly posts where I squeal over dresses and boots and cardigans.  I used to do this a lot more a few years back, particualry when I had the etsy store and was working more with an eye toward trends and retail viability.  It's a bit different now that we have our own shop and the main focus is really the books and the paper goods rather than the other stuff. And of course, the vintage, which I now pretty much only hoard myself instead of selling it.  I realized, looking over the past year or so, that I sort miss the girly and the vintage.  So, in a effort to tame my need for frivolity, I think I will start indulging myself a little more in that regard, and in the spirit of alliteration, I bring you FRIDAY FRIVOLITY.

Historically I usually spend  alot of time saying that I don't do trends but they still  catch my eye in a subconscious way and occasionally start to filter into my wardrobe almost without me knowing it.  In the last couple of years I've fallen prey to a number of things (stripes, tulle skirts the return of the cropped dark-wash denim jacket--all things I've grown to love.).  This summer, I've been a little obsessed with a sort of boho-california dreamin' thing, populated by endless miles of paisley and  more rustic florals.  If it looks like the sort of dress you might throw on to wear to the beach, I probably covet it.   A lot of these dresses are sporting one of my fashion peeves--long flowy sleeves that aren't really beach appropriate.  Ditto the kimono craze, a look I love, but all that fabric seems really cumbersome and heavy if you are, you know, actually going to the beach (or worse, trodding the sun-fried sidewalks of downtown Chicago.)  So I started looking for pieces that were cali-boho in spirit, but not in quite so costumy a way.  More subtle, and much less looking like I'm on my way to Coachella.

In other news, this weekend, I am putting a hold on my usual  self-isolation plans and heading off to Michigan for an cabin overnighter with some of my library co-workers.  I've been promised there will be campfires and smores and boat docks sort of fun. (and the weather is actually not horrible this weekend.) I'm still hoping to catch summer wherever and whenever I can.

**you can find links to all of the above and more @ Pinterest.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

In 1989, I decided I wanted to live in Chicago.  I was 15, and on a bus trip to the Field Museum and The Oriental Institute.  It was spring and it was all about mummies, which we had been dutifully studying in freshman World history class.  I remember the bus driving through what I would later learn was Hyde Park--the tree lined streets, the brick rows of houses and three flats. It was very different from the rows of identical houses I was used to in Rockford (my parents abode is out in the country a bit, but we were always surrounded by endless subdivisions, mostly late 70's/early 80's construction. Squat flat ranches and bi-levels)  As close as the city was for all those preceding years, we had pretty much never visited.  There were occasional trips to Brookfield Zoo, but we'd only skirted the city for the most part and never ventured inside.  I was smitten enough by Hyde Park, but then, caught site of the lake, and it was all over.

I was a teenager obsessed. For the next two years, I tried to squeeze as much Chicago into my life as I could.  There was a field trip in to see Les Miserables at the Auditorium.  French class trips to restaurants and The Art Institute  Even more than Hyde Park, I loved the deep canyons of downtown. the sprawl of Grant Park and the cliff on buildings overlooking it.  I convinced my parent into the city for more museum outings, The Field again.   Science and Industry. I collected postcards of the ever changing skyline.  When it came time to go to college, I was momentarily distracted by the sea and chose to head to North Carolina.  But when I decide to return, I plotted ways to get here.  It worked out that I was still stuck in Rockford for a few years to finish my undergrad, but there was little doubt where I would be heading to grad school.  By then, our trips into the city had become a little more regular due to my mother's adoration of Michael Jordan and the Bulls, so we were in and out a lot, and when I was accepted into Depaul's M.A program, we were immediately combing Lincoln Park for a studio close enough to campus.

Those first few months in that tiny studio were so dreamy (well dreamy and terrifying).  Being on your own for the first time.  Having your very own tiny kitchen and implements.  Your own bathroom with, if you opened the window and looked up, a view of the very top of the Sear's tower downtown.  It was tiny, and my bathroom was sort in of IN my closet, but I loved it--the high ceilings, the wood floors, the  clanky radiators. I loved the neighborhood, which despite its proliferations of older yuppies, young Trixies, and drunken Depaulians, was also, like Hyde Park, tree lined and beautiful and most importantly OLD and historic in a way Rockford never was.  I loved walking around at night, as the neighborhood was slowly going to sleep and people were taking their dogs out for that final stroll.  And I wrote so many poems in that apartment at that rickety table salvaged from my parent's basement.  There , or on the floor, back against the futon, typing on my Brother word processor. Waited for so many rejections but also what would be my first real acceptance at the row of mailboxes in the lobby.

When I decided to move back to Rockford, it was more of a desperation thing--no jobs were biting and I'd soon run out of excess student loan money. It was a mistake probably in retrospect, and set me back a little in terms of getting on with my life, but probably necessary. It seemed like a good idea until I actually did it and then missed Chicago horribly during those 18 months or so. The day I was hired at CCC and  able to make plans to move back is probably right up there with all-time-happiest life moments.  Right up there with getting my first book accepted. Right up there with signing the lease on the studio.   The rest was just all about waiting for my real life to start. And real life meant Chicago.

Even now, I am still very much in love with The South Loop, where I spend a good segment of my days between the library and the studio.  And, of course, still in love with Edgewater, where I've lived for the past 16 years.   I even still love my apartment (even with the recent bathroom aged drum trap sludge incident)   Have written and created so much within its walls, founded a press, wrote so  so many poems sprawled across my bed. and at other rickety tables and desks.  Collected so many books and cats and interesting things. And yes, the lake, most importantly.  Every morning, right there out the bus window and all the way downtown. It's many moods and seasons.   Still the thing that, despite what I will say to you in January cold, is something I will never leave, at least for very long.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Maybe it's witches, maybe rain.

Over the weekend, I was thumbing through a copy of the fever almanac, my first book, whose tenth anniversary is right around the corner.  By far the hardest book to bring into being.  the hardest book to wrangle into something like coherence.   I go back and forth on loving/hating these poems.  Sometimes the style seems too stuffy  and direct, but there are pieces in there that still stand up littered throughout..  I realized the first poem "estuary" is sort of about mermaids.  The final poem, about the body and floods, is also about water, so it's little wonder that I find myself launching a new book that's all about mermaids and water.

These were the poems I was writing when I first moved back to Chicago.  The poems I was writing before and during the first year or so of my MFA program, years in which my classmates scrawled things like "don't use the work 'dark'-it's cliche" and "please write a new poem."  I was publishing quite a bit, however, and I've oft told the story about bringing my acceptance letters, sometimes letter effusive with praise, to keep tucked beneath my notebook during workshops lest I loose hope completely.  These were the poems that won me probably the largest monetary prize I'll likely ever receive..  The poems that were meticulously arranged and rearranged and fretted over.  The result of my serious bout with "book fever".

I was 32 when the book was released, madly in love with someone I should not have been, which takes some of the glitter off that fall in retrospect, but it was still a little glittery.  I was finishing up my MFA and working on my thesis. I also had mono and a series of random sicknesses that persisted through the spring.  If there was a ever a period of my life that I felt like I was "surviving' more than "living" it was that year. I have a hard time reading the poems without bringing back the months before and after it's release, probably moreso than the years leading up during which I was writing it.

I'd even be hard pressed to even tell you which was the oldest poems in the book, which was the last written before its publication.  I'm pretty sure the earliest written during 2001, mostly since I barely remember writing much poetry at all in 2000 (I had been going strong in grad school, but hadn't written much in the year or so after in the upheaval. )  I imagine the last of them were likely written in the fall of 2004, before a slight shift in my work that bought about the poems that would come later in in the bird museum.  It was a structural shift in my work, more thematically even than stylistically, but probably a bit of that as well.

I still wrote poems out by hand then.  Still set out to write poems with a plan at that point.  Still struggled when the plans failed to materialized. I was also still very much in the box when it came to how I thought about poetry and po-biz, but at the same time an outsider as someone who was publishing almost exclusively in online journals, someone without an MFA at that point and only then beginning to find community online. Only later would I realize that there wasn't just one box, but many. A million different ways to "be a poet".

And in fact, a mlllion different ways to approach the poems and the writing itself...

Thursday, July 07, 2016

In the realm of Library/Aesthetics of Research related news, we are gearing up for taking our Bookwrecking goodies on the road and over to the Small Prestivus Festival in Griffith, IN on July 23rd.  I've been hoarding all sorts of interesting things that are winding up on our discard carts, including some nice thick 800's Lit Books, perfect for sculptures, and some old atlases and maps. We'll be making all sorts of things--collages, origami, paper flowers, altered book scupltures, so it should be some good creative fun. (plus I have a brand new set of fancy edging scissors I am aching to play with.) The festival looks to be amazing with all sorts of cool bookish happenings.

We are also working on fall planning and already there is much goodness on the horizon, including things like our monthly zine nights, the salon reading series, nature printnmaking & hand stamped jewelry workshops, and of course the return of the Little Indie Press Festival. This fall's 1st Floor Exhibit is devoted to Tabletop, Board, and Card Game Art, and already we have the most awesome submissions rolling in.  I can't wait til we get it up on the walls...

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

I am back from a week off that included much merrymaking, including a little painting and writing, many naps, swimming in a tiny backyard pool, a little thrifting, perfecting a cranberry/peach scnappes/rum concoction, and a healthy dose of fireworks and sparklers. As usual when I find myself plunged back into reality and back at my desk, there is much chaos to comb through, both in the library and in the studio (and we won't even talk about the pre-vacation packing chaos in my apartment). I am making my way though it all slowly, or moreso, updating the blog in an effort to avoid it completely.

In the realm of writerly news, I have been slowly dispersing copies of SALVAGE to those I have promised them to.  I am also already working on proofs of LITTLE APOCALYPSE, which knowing how time flies, 2018 will be here sooner than we know.   There is also an upcoming review of MAJOR CHARACTERS IN MINOR FILMS in Red Paint Hill on the horizon, as well as poems forthcoming in Paper Darts and Midway Journal to look out for.

I always think some solid time off makes a good self-guided/imposed writing retreat, but it never really works out that way.  Outside of my recent isolation weekends where I've accomplished a lot of painting, writing is still best done in snippets, in late nights and sudden scrawls in the in-betweens. Goal setting helps, even if I don't always exactly stick to them.  I'm stuck in the midst of the Dali inspired poems I'd like to finish this summer, so we'll see how much progress I actually make. Also, some work on the erasure project I've been plotting.

Friday, June 17, 2016

weekend hi-jinks

a peak at the upcoming cover art for LITTLE APOCALYPSE...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

the mermaids have arrived!

This morning, got my hot little hands on these copies of SALVAGE (which you can pick up your very own at the BLP site.).  Whenever a new book comes out, I try to think about all the work it took to get there. The writing of the poems, the assembling of the pieces.  These poems were mostly written from 2012-2014, when I first vowed that I would write a book about mermaids (and it's not all mermaids, but the "Shipwrecks of Lake Michigan" makes up a huge chunk and sort of centerpiece of the manuscript  There are also poems about illness and creepy midwestern landscapes. Unlike the last book (major characters in minor films), which did feel a little like the blood jet kind of poetry, a sort of purging, there is less purging here and more contemplativeness.  More stillness.

I also felt a little bit more like I know what I'm doing when it comes to putting together a book that is less of a focused project sort of thing (like girl show or the shared properties of water and stars)  I definitely feel like these sort of books (which includes in the bird museum and major characters) are more like collection of short stories than a novel.  The newest book just picked up by Noctuary is similar--four distinct parts that stand alone but work together thematically.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

notes & things

1 )My copies of SALVAGE are now on their way into my hot little hands as of this morning.  I am super excited for the release and will hopefully try to plan some sort of release reading in the coming months.   The icing on the cake is that I received word yesterday that Noctuary Press wants to publish my latest manuscript, LITTLE APOCALYPSE, in  early 2018--my little romp with post-atomic life, underground living, and zombie girls. I realize how crazy fortunate and lucky I am-- not only to have one super supportive press buoying my work, but like three of them (Noctuary, Black Lawrence, and Sundress.).

2.) In the realm of new creative things, I've been working on some collages to go along with the DIRTY BLONDE poems (see above), which likely manifest as some sort of zine project down the line.   I've been playing with vintage shampoo ads and working digitally, which I am really digging lately.  Also more, flower painting (mostly acrylics now), which has become a sickness almost, but I am enjoying my weekends working on them.  In poetry, I'm sort of treading water and still working (mentally anyway) on the Dali-inspired pieces.  My discipline for writing has been shit lately, but I am willing to let it go for awhile, especially since I am accomplishing  a lot visually.

3.)As we close in on the middle of the submission period for dgp, I am set to start reading manuscripts in the next week or so.  I am excited to see what this summer has bring, and will no doubt be wrestling with some tough decisions.  Already, the pile is closing in on 200, so it's time to get to work. We'll have new books releasing from Mary Lou Buschi, Wendy Vardamen & Sarah Busse, and Sarah Adams soon, so watch the shop for those...also, Colleen Barry's THE GLIDDEN POEMS, which is a little deck of poems in an envelope.

4.) There is another interview up at Cowfeather Books, as well, in which I talk about design process and book arts. Enjoy!

Friday, June 10, 2016

over the hill and under it

So it's Friday and I am looking forward to settling in for the weekend, complete with giant pitchers of iced tea to quell the impending heat, a sizeable amount of cherries and blackberries, and a whole stash of new canvases to play with.  This morning, the library was unusually quiet, so I spent some time organizing dropbox and email files to attempt something like order.  I also spent some time giving the old blog a makeover, the first in probably like 8 or so years, making things a little bigger and brighter and less cluttered.

As I sit on on the very eve of the release of SALVAGE,  my sixth full-length book of poems, with copies due in my hands in a matter of days, I find myself wondering if one can say, at this point, that I've reached that strange, sometimes elusive, category of "mid-career" which is sort of weird when writing hardly seems like a career at all mostly and largely, that we, as poets, always seem to be waiting for that break that will make us--the right publication, the fellowship, the award (though admittedly,   I don't really pursue any of these things with so much on my plate.)  How can one be mid-career, when sometimes I feel like I am waiting for my "career" to even start?  And what is that even--a large adoring audience? critical success? money?

Every once in a while I like to re-read my blog posts from 2005--the year that I was working on finalizing what would become that first book, the fever almanac, which would be accepted that fall and would be released a year later. I had a weird, but very common hunger to have that first book out in the world, not so much because of the book itself, but because I felt like that would mean I had finally "made it" whatever "it" is. I was cresting 30 and desperately needed some sort of validation that the writing I had been doing for the previous 10 years (on an off at first, but solidly for about 7 of them.)  I was also in the midst of an MFA program, which may have fueled the urge. I compared it to baby fever, but in this case, not a baby, but a book.  My own shiny, glossy, bouncing creation. With an isbn and a sleek spine bearing my name. I'd published chaps of course, had issued a lot of little handbound bound and saddle stapled volumes (and still do). But the book was the thing.  I still sort of cringe at that seemingly arbitrary marker of success (usually marked off in a line with things like top-tier journal publication, major award or fellowship, tenure track position.)  But while I never wanted any of those other things, I wanted that book.  Badly.   Desperately in a "I can hardly think about anything else " sort of way.  I was close, about a dozen "nos" but a couple finalist and semi finalist nods.

I was obsessed, and it happened.  one morning my sister, who was living with me for a while handed me the phone and it was Ghost Road Press, offering me a contract.  I spent the whole day in the sort of high that you can never really reproduce. I had spent the summer of 2005 rehauling and re-ordering, and GRP was the first place I sent the final version to.  So there was that book, and a couple years later, another.  Then 5 years later, a quick succession of  3 more after a gap.   I still continued to issue small run chaps and zine of my own work.  Continued to send smaller mss. to  a couple to other presses and projects.  But it still seems sort of surreal that I have any books at all. That I've actually written 6 books (well actually 7, but the latest one is still out in submission).  Perhaps it's just poetry--I imagine working on a novel is very different.  Poems happen one by one and then you have something solid. And then you have a book.  And then you have the next.

But life goes on pretty much as it usually does.  I still have a day job where very few of the people I work with on a daily basis even know I'm a writer, much less that I have 6 books and something of a "career" .  Most of whom do not read poetry at all. .  I hide my poet-ness like my superhero cape.  When someone randomly on the street asks me what I do, I usually say I'm a  librarian, since when I say I am going to "work" that is what I am going to do (though technically I do not possess and MLS degree, so that is up to interpretation.)  On facebook and most online media, I list my job as running dancing girl press (which I also do, and where most of my  efforts and passion lie.)  Nevertheless, there is like this third leg of the tripod of efforts that is my writing "career"  that is almost invisible to the naked eye. I imagine most poets with day jobs feel this way, particularly outside of academia (which I am both in and out of since I don't teach, but I do work for a college.)  Being a "poet" sometimes feels very disjointed from the real work of living, even the work of someone immersed in poetry every single day and publishing other people's work.

As such, I am a little startled when I think about being a "mid-career poet"..mostly since it's almost like saying I am a "mid-career" mermaid. Where is the beginning?  Is it that first book 10 years ago?  Was it those first horrible poems at 15?  Was it the real work, the solid work, that started when I was in my mid-twenties?   Somehow I feel like I fumbled through those years as a novice poet and landed here.  Middle aged --I deny this to the death, but here I am 42, probably halfway to death (and that's if I'm lucky enough to live into my eighties.)  Mid-career, I guess, and chugging along...

Thursday, June 09, 2016

So the other day I woke up to the news that HRC had clinched the democratic nomination and, while I don't follow politics all that closely and think all of Washington needs a good overhall (or at least a thorough disinfecting), I did feel a little rush of excitement that took me back to age 19 when the Clinton's took the White House for the first time and everything seemed all hope and possibility.  I was under the impression that the world was changeable for the good then.  That things were becoming kinder, more progressive, that ass backwardness were this thing way in the past and the world would only get better.   And also, there, a first Lady who was involved in a real way in policy making and governance.

The lot of the 90's were that way, that we had emerged from the dark ages of the eighties and Reagan and things would only get better.  But then Bush happened, and I got older, and wiser, and less positive about the general level of intelligence of my fellow human.  The generatiion that was emerging under me seemed even more conservative sometimes than the one above me.  The internet, while overall a good thing, seemed to allow the pockets of hate and bigotry and grossness to fester and spread, to become part of the culture  in a way they never had been before (the media throughout my lifetime having been sort of left-leaning and progressive in and of itself, at least as much as 80's America would allow it to be. )

HATE became this tangible, palpable thing, that only burned more with every story on the news, even as politically things got better with Obama years. So even so, Wednesday morning, after Hillary clinched it, I still got this rush that made the 19 year old in me happy. That here was a strong, female candidate, and that we were closer than ever to having a woman in the White House.  That it was possible to have this thing happen in my lifetime.

Of course, a few seconds later, I scrolled down on FB to read the Victim's letter in the Stanford rape case and felt the wind knocked out of my sails.  There is this weird disconnect when I think about about feminism and living a world where in one minute we are celebrating the possibility of a woman achieveing the highest ranking position in the US, while at the same time a rapist is not only getting off scott free, but  the victim suffers sometimes worse after the assault than during it. That rape culture is so fucking ingrained in our attitudes that this sort of thing can happen and happens all the time. I can't help but think as soon as we think we win one, we lose so many more.

Friday, June 03, 2016

It finally, for the past week or so, seems like summer. I am already settled into my summer routines and hours, and blissfully have my free weekends back, in which I mostly plan to loaf about and do some painting and writing. Maybe some napping.  Last week's glorious 3-day indulgence was much needed. I also managed to walk away with a sizeable stack of new watercolors to boot. Since I am still keyboardless at home for the time being, my writing has mostly been limited to notes and snippets in my notebook, but I intend to work them into something like finished during week, There is also an erasure project I've been contemplating that I'd love to make some headway on that does not require typing.

Summer has slowed down at the library to a trickle, but we had a decent turnout for the A of R Salon Series last week, despite a stormy deluge, and we have another planned for later in the summer.  We are also taking our Bookwrecking workshop on the road to the Small Prestivus Festival in Griffith, Indiana in July. Plans are already underway for Fall workshops and events, including the return of the Little Indie Press Fest and some more printmaking fun.

While I haven't dipped into the inbox just yet, submissions are in full swing for dgp's reading periods this summer, I will likely start reading submissions in the next couple of weeks and choosing manuscripts for 2017.  We had a surge in releases and are nearly back on schedule for this year's books as well, with so much goodness still set to come.   So stay tuned...

Friday, May 27, 2016

Saturday, May 07, 2016

things and notes

*You still have a couple more weeks to get the pre-order deal on ordering yourself a copy of SALVAGE--I promise all sorts of mermaidy and surreal goodness in these pages.  If you need persuading, you can see some sample poems here, and here, and here.   I will likely be hosting some sort of release party later in the summer, so stay tuned...

*Entropy magazine recently interviewed me about the press, both the logistics of publication and what we are looking for in potential work.  All useful information, as we have just opened up our summer submission period and are looking for goodies to publish in 2017.

*I am currently working on getting up our BALLYHOO: BEASTS,  BROADS, AND THE BIZARRE exhibit for Aesthetics, which features some of my GIRL SHOW poems (with pitch cards that will be in the vending machine!!), as well as a book art creation from Sina Evans, a "Peep Show" created by our student workers, and some of the Bookwrecking creations. Plus a hefty dose of our collection of carnival/sideshow books.

* I will be reading with two of my fellow BLP authors and very favorite poetry-people, Simone Muench and Daniela Olszewska, for the May incarnation of the Salon Series in the library on May 25th.  I don't know for sure if I will have copies of the new book in tow just yet, but you can pick up a copy of GIRL SHOW if you don't have one (and I may even sign it for you.)