ČERVENÁ BARVA PRESS NEWSLETTER
Gloria Mindock, Editor Issue No. 15 September, 2006
Welcome to the September, 2006 Newsletter.
Two new chapbooks were published in the month of August.
W Is for War by George Held and Blue Edge by Susan Tepper.
Please check out these two chapbooks in this newsletter and on the Bookstore Page.
Susan Tepper put an ad in the issue of Poesia advertising her book.
Bill Mayo did a wonderful job designing the ad.
Thank you Bill and to Susan for your work on this.
Congratulations to Judy Ray. Her chapbook, Fishing in Green Waters,
published by Cervena Barva Press was just
reviewed in the Small Press Review by Francis Alix.
Excerpts from the review can be viewed soon on the Bookstore Page.
It was a great review which is very exciting.
The Whole Enchilada, the winner of the 2005 Cervena Barva Press Poetry Prize, by Ed Miller is selling very well.
Be sure to check it out at the Bookstore Page.
As you can see, the summer months were busy.
Fishing in Green Waters, by Judy Ray is selling well in the bookstores.
Judy has a poem forthcoming in Free Lunch.
I would like to thank Ron Offen for giving me a free ad in his journal advertising Judy's chapbook.
Denis Emorine, Michael Graves, and John Minczeski are interviewed in this issue.
I want to thank them for their time.
Postcard Series: Two, will be coming out sometime before December.
The next three chapbooks to be published are by Ian Randall Wilson,
Richard Kostelanetz, and Flavia Cosma.
The Enchanted Desna by Alexander Dovzhenko
Translation by Dzvinia Orlowsky
House Between Water, 2006
To order contact Dzvinia Orlowsky at:
Dovzhenko is considered one of the Soviet Union's greatest early filmmakers; his silent film Earth (1930),
a poetic tribute to nature and Ukrainian village life, is regarded among the top ten best films of all time.
This autobiographical tale, The Enchanted Desna, translated by Dzvinia Orlowsky is a must read.
Adam and Cain (Black Buzzard, 2006) by Michael Graves
It retails for $15.95 plus tax and the ISBN is 0-938872-29-X. It's available
at the Gotham Book Mart, Left Bank and St. Mark's Books in and it should soon be at Micawber's in Princeton, New Jersey.
It is also available directly from Michael at:
P.O. BOX 84, Dyker Heights Station, 8320 13th Avenue, Bklyn, NY.
Poetica 11 (Snark Publishing, 2006) by B. Z. Niditch
637 W. Hwy 50 #119
O'Fallon, IL 62269
9 Underwor(l)d 0: Desolation Paradise (Koja Press, 2006) by William James Austin
Title: 9 Underwor(l)d 0: Desolation Paradise
Page Count: 100
Genre: Fiction, poetry, visual art, essays
9 Underwor(l)d 0, the final installment of William James Austin's
Underwor(l)d series, is a magnificent production with unforgettable characters
who embody the poetic instruments of a vacuous postmodern sophistication. WJA's is a grotesquely cynical world of sterilized emotions where language is being
destroyed by technocrats and whose culture has been taken over by charlatans.
Part 9, "Desolation Paradise," is an odyssey of humor and despair through the
underground of New York City, culminating in art's ultimate experience through
death. Part 0, "subtexts," extends WJA's philosophical/aesthetic manifesto,
visionism. It calls for the recreation of an art that celebrates meaning,
talent, sensibility, and the life of the emotions after a half century of technocratic
damnation. Underwor(l)d firmly places itself in the tradition of Baudelaire's
Les Fleurs du Mal and of the absurd brand of cynicism that informs Jean
Genet's The Balcony. Without doubt, William James Austin belongs among the
great innovative rebel's of literary history. ---Mirela Roznoveanu (winner of
Romania's 2006 Convorbiri Literare Award for Literary Criticism)
Small Press Distribution http://www.spdbooks.org
Koja Press http://www.kojapress.com
Au chevet des mots (short shorts)by Denis Emorine
to order http://www.poietes.fr.ms
La Visite/La Méprise/Passions (Plays) by Denis Emorine
to order http://www.clapassos.com
Here are the guidelines:
Submit 3-24 pages, any style
September 1st-November 10th
Manuscripts postmarked after November 10th will be returned.
Winner will receive $100 and 25 copies.
All entries receive a copy of the winning chapbook.
Please include a $10 entry fee (check, money order, outside the USA send International Money Order),
SASE, contact information, e-mail, and a title page with no information.
Judge: Gloria Mindock
Please note: The contest will be judged blindly. My webmaster will record all information and give me the
manuscripts with no information on them. I believe very strongly in contests that are judged fairly.
I'm a writer who sends her work out too!
Cervena Barva Press
Poetry Chapbook Prize
Gloria Mindock, Editor
P.O. Box 440357
W. Somerville, MA 02144-3222.
Dorthy Freudenthal has picked the winner of the 2006 Short Story Prize.
All entries will be notified by e-mail and snail mail.
I wanted them to get their notice first before putting it on the web. I will announce the winner in next months newsletter.
Cervena Barva Press has received many books to sell at The Lost Bookshelf.
This is so exciting. I will send out a special announcement when the store is open.
Thank you to everyone who has sent their books so far.
Check out information about sending chapbooks, books, and plays to sell at:
The Lost Bookshelf
Indian Bay Press announces a call to entries to the poetry competition.
Entry fee is a one year subscription to POESIA poetry magazine ($12.00)
Entries must be post marked by October 1, 2006.
Entries are limited to three poems.
The competition is open to all poets, published and unpublished.
The Grand Prize for the winning poem is $500.00
Second Place Prize will be $150.00.
Third Place will receive "Honorable Mention"
The winning poem will also be announced and featured in the January 07'
issue of Poesia magazine and posted on the web site at
Entries should be sent to:
Indian Bay Press
101 West Mountain
Fayetteville AR 72701
Poesia is a literary quarterly of poetry and poetry reviews featuring the
poets and poetry of Northwest Arkansas as well as bilingual presentations
of poetry from around the world.
Poesia is published in Fayetteville AR by Indian Bay Press and is now in
its fourth year of publication.
More information can be found at http://www.indianbaypress.com
by emailing Editor@IndianBayPress.com
or by calling 479-444-9323.
Editor Indian Bay Press
- Interview with Mark Pawlak
- Update on The Lost Bookshelf
- Chapbooks forthcoming by Richard Kostelanetz, Ian Randall Wilson, and Flavia Cosma
- Cervena Barva Press Reading Series update
Write a bio about yourself
Many thanks to Barbara Shaffer
That's such a difficult thing - talking about oneself! Let me try to be objective, if possible. I was born near Paris in 1956.
As far back as I can remember, I was fascinated by literature, so I studied it at the Sorbonne ( University of Paris). Later,
I fall in love and married a French teacher, of course! For me, writing is a way of harnassing time in its incessant flight.
My favourites themes are about the passage of time, lost or shattered identity, and mythical places such as Venice, Prague, and
St.Petersburg. I am also fascinated by Eastern Europe.
Describe the room you write in
Well, I have no room really because I live with my wife and our two daughters in a small house.
When my younger daughter was born, I gave her my room. Since 1988, my computer is in a corner of
the sitting room on an old worktable. On one shelf, there are a lot of books and reviews in English and in French and my manuscripts.
I read that some of your favorite writers are Paul Celan, Garcia Lorca and Kafka. What is it about these writers that influence you?
I have so many favorite writers! I don't think any of these writers have a real influence on my writing, except for Kafka,
because of the strange ambiance of his short stories and novels. Celan had a particular connection with death. He had lost
his mother and his father in the Holocaust and his German mother tongue constantly reminded him of his loss. Unfortunately,
I didn't read his poetry in German. However, I am deeply moved by "Todesfuge" for example, even though I read it in French.
Garcia Lorca? When I was learning Spanish in high school, I read and enjoyed his poetry and plays very much.
You collaborated with Jennifer Bock-Nelson on a project called Literature and the Pictural Arts. Please talk about this project.
In fact, the real name of the project is A Step Inside. One day, a few years ago, I was on the Internet and found
Jennifer's work on her website. http://www.bock-nelson.com/
I was impressed by her work and,as soon as I saw her paintings, a collection of words came to me both in English
and in French. It was a strange sensation. I decided to contact her about a collaboration. The challenge was to write
eight poems on eight paintings, which we had to choose together.
I wrote four poems directly in English and four in French. I don't know why it worked out that way.
She was moved by all of them. I was unable to translate the French poems to English, so my friend and translator,
Phillip John Usher,did it with his usual sensibility and cleverness!
You write poetry, fiction and plays. Most recently a play of yours. Sur le quai was performed in Paris.
What was this like for you? It was staged by Evgueny Chourchikov and Olga Riabova. How did this come about?
Olga Riabova is a French teacher in Moscow, who contacted me in 2004. She belongs to an important association
of French teachers in Russia. She needed a short play for her students. The Association was planning a festival
dedicated to the French language and culture with dances, songs, plays and so on…Olga loved "Sur le quai".
I was extremely happy to give her the play. I was invited to this festival, which takes place in Moscow and
St Petersburg, in May 2005. I had never been to Russia before and I was very excited and deeply touched to go
there! My father is of Russian ancestry. After seeing the play, however, I was very disappointed. "Sur le quai"
is a romantic and a bit fantastic story. However, Chourchikov envisioned a rather avant-garde show,which I hadn't
realized. I was angry with him. For me, it was a kind of treason! Ultimately, though,I decided to let the play go
on in Bordeaux and Paris because of the students who had worked so hard and with such enthusiasm.
Talk about your publications, No Through World ( Ravenna Press) and Side by Side (Foothills Publishing )
Oh yes, gladly! "No Through World" ( Dans les impasses du monde) was published in French a few years ago and
then translated by Phillip John Usher. These are short texts a combination of short shorts, poetry and tales
with, sometimes, a dream-like quality. Every text is about a narrator whose life is disrupted by something
strange, as in a nightmare. What happens next is most important for me!
"Side by Side" includes two parts. The first one, a few poems translated by my Indian friend, the poet Pradip Choudhuri.,
is about war, death, love and the existential problems of each human being.
I am particularly proud of the second part. There are ten poems, which I wrote completely in English. They were
influenced by the French poet Baudelaire and full of what he called "spleen" Of course, I was apprehensive about
them, so I gave them to Phillip for reading. He said it was a good poetry without any grammatical mistakes with a
typical French touch! I was so delighted! It was the first time that I had written in English.
I was ready to send the manuscript to America!
A la croisée des signes which is an essay forthcoming about literature, writing, life, and death.
Pretty heavy topics that I love. Explain.
I love those topics too. "A la croisée" is not a big essay but a bunch of aphorisms about the difference
between D.E, the writer and D.E, the human being. What are these differences between them and why? It includes
questions like: what is writing? It raises several issues on literature, life and death. For example, is writing
the only way to be immortal or just rubbish? I try to take a bearing.
What is the writing scene in France? Talk about the region where you live.
That's a difficult question and I'm not sure how to answer it. Overall, I think that it's not too bad! It could
always be better, I suppose. I live in Alsace, in the East of France, not very far from the German and the Swiss borders.
Alsace has both a Germanic and a French culture. Sometimes, that's disconcerting for a Frenchy like me! You know,
France is an old country with many contrasts, the result of our long History. Many regions are completely different … The South,
La Côte d'Azur, and the East for example. Alsace, for example, is a lovely place with good white wines, nice houses that
resemble the dwarf's house in Disney's "Snow White" and Japanese factories. If you'd like to know more, Gloria, you would
be more that welcome to come to Alsace and I could be your guide.
What is the strangest thing you've done to find writing material?
I was in Romania, near the Hungarian border in 1996, for a conference dedicated to poetry. At a place
near there, I was speaking in French with one of my Romanian friends. A young woman, a Hungarian student
in French accosted me. Her story was very painful because she told me that she was forced to prostitute
herself to pay for her education. I was deeply moved and I wrote a short story about it entitled
"Ce soir vers 21 heures" ( "Twenty-One Hundred Hours." ) You can read it on my website. Please let me know your thoughts.!
What playwrights influence you? What are the name of some plays that inspire you?
I love theatre very much, especially Shakespeare, Albert Camus, Beckett, and Vaclav Havel (like you, Gloria!).
I particularly love the Russian playwrights, such as Chekhov. I prefer tragedies and plays that take place in
one room only. However, I don't think that they really influence me.
Where does your playwrighting material come from? Have you ever directed any of your own pieces?
My work is about the difficulties to understand ourselves even, or rather especially when we speak
the same language. To be understood or not is like a neurosis for me. Words are double-edged weapons
and can be quite dangerous. They can even destroy and kill you., My plays try to explore this universe
in everyday life. Sometimes, I'm terribly afraid of saying hurtful remarks to my friends without doing
it on purpose. It's terrible! I think my plays result from this experience. I have only directed one of
my pieces! It was a failure . What a shame! I'm unable to direct my own work, so I'll never do it again, never!
What did you start writing first? Poetry, Plays, Essays or Fiction?
I started writing poetry and short stories when I was 20. Later, I went on to write plays, and finally,
wrote short essays, particularly aphorisms.
Does your wife or anyone else write in your family?
I don't think so. Maybe it's a secret!
What are you reading now?
I'm reading Cocteau's "L'aigle à deux têtes" ( The eagle has two heads )
and a book from one of my favorite poets, Yves Bonnefoy.
Any last comments?
Oh yes, I was so happy to write this interview in English! I have an affective relationship to
this language! My mother was an English teacher and, when I was small, she often used to speak to
me in English She would teach me a few words through nursery rhymes, which she would recite in English.
You can imagine how I remember that time with great emotion! French is my mother tongue and English my mother's tongue.
Write a bio about yourself.
I think this is the question I am most reluctant to answer. In the formal setting of an interview, I would rather
write or talk about literary interests and experiences, but I will try to provide some information that might be
interesting and useful. I come from a troubled background. My father, whose approval I wanted desperately was a
non-commissioned officer in the army, a musician, his instrument was the clarinet, and alcoholic. My mother worked
in middle age as a para-professional for The New York City Board of Education. I attended Catholic schools until the
end of my freshman year of high school when I openly rebelled. As a grammar school student, I had vague hopes of
entering a seminary, but if I remember accurately, I gave them up without a violent struggle.
I discovered creative writing towards the end of high school. Due to the kindness of Leonard Albert, that I have never
adequately repaid, to say the least, I met and studied with James Wright. It took me seven years to finish college,
mostly, if not completely, due to wild rebellion. Since then, most of my life has been spent teaching. First as a graduate
student at Temple University where I earned my M.A. and then at several different yearly renewable full-time posts.
Since 1988, I have been an adjunct for various branches of The City University of New York on an almost continuous basis.
In 1988, I entered family therapy with a practioner of the Contextualist School of family therapy founded by
Ivan Borszomnenyi-Nagy. The experience has benefited me immeasurably and I am still in therapy with the same practitioner.
Describe the room you write in.
I am reluctant to say I have only one room I write in, for I have written much in many different places.
I don't consider it essential to approach writing in a ritualistic way in a special place devoted exclusively to it,
but perhaps the primary one is the room I have set up as an office in my apartment. It is a small room that my
landlord's son occupied as a child. I have a computer on a workstation and three bookcases. I believe I prefer
to compose with pen and small notebook (7 ¾ xs 5 inches, spiral bound), but I have long periods when I sit down
in front of the computer and revise and new poems get started at the computer also.
Do you write everyday? How do you find writing material?
I don't write every day, but I do something connected with writing everyday, and I have long periods that last for
months when I do write everyday. Most of my writing seems to have come out of my own personal internal conflicts or
my conflicts complicated by encounters in my daily life. However, I wouldn't want to neglect the importance of reading.
It is essential, a sine qua non, and it is a form of experience as T. S. Eliot said, in Tradition and the Individual Talent,
if I am not mistaken. Leonard Albert and James Wright turned out to be invaluable sources of suggestions for my reading.
From Albert, I was put on to Joyce, Hopkins, Yeats and Eliot, and I have read most every author James Wright ever mentioned
in print or in person. I am still devoted to Joyce and have published thirteen poems in the James Joyce Quarterly, five in
the last issue Robert Spoo edited, and at the generous invitation of Nick Fargnoli (A. Nicholas Fargnoli). I read a selection
of my poems to a meeting of the James Joyce Society at the Gotham Book Mart in NYC.
You studied under James Wright. What was that experience like?
What do you keep with you from that experience?
As you know, I've given a partial answer to this question in my answer to the preceding one. I studied with James Wright
in at least two of the undergraduate courses he offered at Hunter College, Introduction to Poetry and the Comic Novel, and
he directed two semesters of Independent Study in Creative Writing for me during the academic year 1975-76. This involved
meeting with him weekly in his office and completing exercises he assigned. I have spent much of my life deepening my
understanding of his achievements as a poet. I used to feel a sense of embarrassment at how little I understood of his
greatness at the time I studied with him. I think perhaps his greatest gift to me was his patience and kindness and the
example of devotion to literature he set. Amazingly enough, he gave some of my work high praise. In response to a spot in a
wild rant, he wrote "Jesus Christ! What a line. It's almost insane." But he went on to add that in the deeper sense I was a
poet and conclude, "I'll help you in any way I can." Some of the writers he admired that come easily to mind are Seamus Heaney,
Hopkins, Yeats, Louis Simpson, H. Phelps Putnam W. D. Snodgrass and Etheridge Knight. But that is only a first brief listing.
I felt endorsed as a writer by him and still have manuscripts with his penciled comments on them. As for specific memories,
he had me over to dinner and I heard Galway Kinnell recite "The Bear" with him and Annie Wright at the 92nd Street Y. It was tremendous.
What writers inspire you? Who do you read over and over?
I attend Nick Fargnoli's Ulysses Reading Group at the Gotham Book Mart in NYC. We meet once a month and sometimes are
lucky if we finish a page. Sometimes I go long stretches without reading Joyce, but I always return to him, and I read
a lot of Joyce criticism. Most recently, Jackson I. Cope's Joyce's Cities, which I think is excellent. In 2004, I organized
a conference on James Wright, so I was very deeply immersed in Wright's work then. English is the only language I read in,
but I read Flaubert's Madame Bovary about two years ago-why it took so long to find a translation that held me, God only
knows, but it gripped me. I plan to return to it. Other favorites include Seamus Heaney, Hopkins, Yeats, Richard Hugo, but
lately it's Joyce. About six months ago, I spent a lot of time re-reading translations of Georg Trakl and felt I came to a
deeper appreciation of Trakl's achievement.
You are one of the founders of RATTAPALLAX, a literary journal of poetry and fiction.
How did this start and how long has the journal been publishing?
There are different versions of the birth of Rattapallax, so I might be entering disputed territory, though I have no wish
to stir up controversy. As I remember it, I was running the Phoenix Reading Series at the Chuck Levitan Gallery in SOHO in
the summer of 1998-it might have been 1997. The series was very sparsely attended and appeared to be dying. George Dickerson,
a fine poet and fiction writer, who went on to edit Rattapallax and Matthew Laufer, a fine poet and Marlene Vidibor, a dear
friend and poet and artist and I were the only regulars. One night Ram Devineni showed up, told me how impressed he was and
that he wanted to start a magazine. The original staff was Ram, George Dickerson, me and a friend of mine Robert Harding,
whom I consider a great artist. Some of his work is on the web and I urge your readers to check his stuff out at
and at http://artlink.org. Artlink's list is non-alphabetical and the works Harding has posted
there are works on paper.
RATTAPALLAX PRESS just re-issued your book, "Outside St. Jude's" (R.E.M. Press, 1990) as an e-book.
This book is amazing. The language so dense and to the point with images that literally make you feel the emotion of your voice.
Many psychological and mythological ways of looking at this book. Discuss "Outside St. Jude's."
Outside St. Jude's is indebted to what I understood of Joyce's sexualizing of religious themes and imagery from Dubliners
to Finnegans Wake. I think that is the main key to the collection, if one is needed. I was also much taken with my
limited understanding of polysemousnesss in literary texts when I was writing the Meditations. Eve Speaks came last because
Molly Bloom's voice came after Stephen's and Bloom's in Ulysses. I was particularly interested in finding a way to write
cathartic confessional poetry in the Meditations that would satirize self and Catholicism and in Eve Speaks I wanted to view
things from a woman's perspective and explore what I imagined were the human feelings Eve would have had, with an emphasis on
human. Somewhere obscurely behind the non-discursive order of the sequences is probably an early attempt to use the mysteries
of the rosary as an organizing principle, though I don't believe it was conscious at the time of composition. What was conscious
was the stations of the cross. And the idea of identification with Christ which has come under such attack as a cliché.
Perhaps the poems succeed, if they do, to the extent that the persona both identifies with Christ and falls so far short of him.
Your new book, "Adam and Cain" was just published by BLACK BUZZARD PRESS. Talk about your new book.
Adam and Cain (Black Buzzard, 2006) has twenty five (25) poems in Adam's voice, a short story "Cain in Exile,"
and and forty-seven poems in Cain's voice divided into seven sections, Cain's Agon with God, Cain to Abel, Cain to Adam,
Cain and Aklia, Cain Alone, Cain to Eve, Return. The book is influenced by my understanding of midrash and the Jewish concept
of the Bible as a living, growing text. As in Outside St. Jude's, I was particularly interested in imagining the human feelings
of the Biblical characters. I like to think there is a Shakespearean and Blakean complexity in their development, that, for example,
Adam is both dreadful and great. The book was written slowly over many years. The initial impulse came to me during Leonard Albert's
course Religious Ideas in Modern Fiction, and I think the style of the poems might be indebted to Auerbach's discussion of Biblical
style in Mimesis. Both Leonard Albert and James Wright saw the story which originally was simply titled Cain and commented on it
extensively. My Shakespeare Professor from Temple William Rossky served as editor of most of the poems in Adam's and Cain's voices
during his retirement. I regret that he didn't live to see the work come together and be published. He was an invaluable help and
a great friend of my poetry. In the first conference I had with him as a graduate student he revealed that he liked to help things
grow. The sequences, made up of dramatic lyrics and monologues, are non-discursive in the high modernist manner, as I understand it,
and the reader is forced to participate in the construction of the narrative. I like to think it has an indeterminancy reminiscent of
Joyce's narrative strategies and D. M. Thomas's The White Hotel. It has blurbs from Maurice Beebe, the founding editor of the Journal
of Modern Literature, though his remarks are about my early work, and A. Nicholas Fargnoli, President of the James Joyce Society,
among others. I understand from Bradley Strahan, the publisher, that a highly favorable review will be forthcoming in the Small Press Review.
It retails for $15.95 plus tax and the ISBN is 0-938872-29-X. It's available at the Gotham Book Mart, Left Bank and
St. Mark's Books in NYC (St. Mark's took it on consignment and its stay might have expired--I haven't checked) and it
should soon be at Micawber's in Princeton, New Jersey. It is also available directly from me, P.O. BOX 84,
Dyker Heights Station, 8320 13th Avenue, Bklyn, NY.
In the late 1990's, you started the "Phoenix Reading Series" in NYC. Discuss some of your most memorable times.
The readings at the Chuck Levitan Gallery were intimate. George Dickerson, Matthew Laufer, Marlene Vidibor and I shared
a special camaraderie. And Chuck Levitan was a sweet guy, who had an interesting series of paintings on Lincoln. One
of them seemed very beautiful to me. I think I enjoyed the series most at Space Untitled in Soho during the first years
of Rattapallax. There was a group of 6 or 7 of us who socialized together and supported the series on a regular basis.
Sharon Girard who hosted a reading group at her apartment, Charles Pierre, a fine poet whom I had many meetings with to
critique each other's poems and Sica Thompson, an artist whom I think is great, who is known by her first name alone in
the art world were wonderful additions to George Dickerson, Marlene Vidibor and Matthew Laufer. The possibility of getting
published in Rattapallax swelled the audience and open reading and there were many fine writers who featured in the series.
Among others, I especially liked having Maureen Holm, Robert Kramer, Suzanne Noguere, Sybil Kollar, Robert Mitchell,
Charles Pierre, Bob Viscusi, Rick Pernod and D. Nurkse, though some of them may have read when Phoenix was at different
venues. And George, Marlene, Matthew and I got to read, too. Robert Mitchell read with me and Charles Pierre at Space Untitled
and mostly because of him we drew more than forty people.
You have taught for many years. What are some of the things you try to get across to your students?
Well, I try to inspire them with my love of reading and respect for writing as an instrument of precision and truth,
but most of the courses I teach are composition and remedial writing at a technical college, and I'm afraid most of
the students aren't filled with enthusiasm for literature or good writing when the semester ends, though I have gotten
a couple of highly motivated and sweet natured groups. They were a gift and a joy. In general, the great majority of
the students are good people trying hard to get ahead.
Any last comments.
Thank you very much for interviewing me. It's great to have the opportunity to present myself to a wider public.
Born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, educated by Polish nuns (elementary school) and brothers of the
Holy Cross (high school). Two years at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. Anti-war activist,
draft resistor. I spent my 20th year in Italy after dropping out of school and lived in Spoleto with a
family. Later, I lived in Rome. Read Pound, Whitman, and Ulysses, wrote experimentally, befriended an
art-dealer named Topazia Alliata who introduced me to some of the avant-garde Italian artists of the day
as well as political figures and poets.
Degrees from the University of Minnesota and The Warren Wilson Program for Writers. Have taught
for many years as a poet in the schools in Minnesota and as an adjunct in several colleges including
Macalester, and the graduate writing program at the University of Minnesota.
Poetry collections: The Spiders (New Rivers, 1979); The Reconstruction of Light (New Rivers, 1981);
Gravity (Texas Tech, 1991); Circle Routes (U Akron Press, 2001).
Describe the room you write in:
At the moment I'm writing outside, under my 2nd story deck. It's June, almost the first day of summer.
Over the course of several years I have nailed up lattice-work and planted climbing roses and clematis,
which are all in bloom right now. I never knew that gardens would become important for my writing life,
but they have been, if not inspiration, at least a take off point for poems with larger themes. In my old
house I'd built a brick patio surrounded by raised beds filled mainly with perennials. It was there that
I wrote the poems that would become the core for Circle Routes. When my wife and I moved several years ago
to a house with a big yard, we began transforming the lawn into a garden; it's still very much a work-in-progress.
I generally work outside when I'm able-the latticed-in area is like an extra room. And because vines and canes
and leaves weave in and out of the lattice, there's a good deal of privacy. I've also taken over what would
have been a bedroom downstairs for my writing room. Books line the walls, and I've put a lounger
(which we picked up at a furniture clearance sales room) almost in the center. I do much of my drafting
there with a pen and a black bound sketch book. Because I draft pretty much all my poems by hand, I can
write anywhere, and frequently do. On the whole, however, I prefer familiar settings for my writing.
What is the strangest thing you've done for writing material?
I'm not always able to come up with a decent poem after doing something, even if it's intentional.
We currently have the "Body Worlds" exhibit at the Science Museum in St. Paul. Designed by Gunther von Hagens,
a physician/scientist who invented a way to preserve bodies and body parts through a process he calls "Plastination,"
the exhibit shows actual cadavers-their skeletal systems, musculature, organs, etc., etc., in various poses-some
athletic and some contemplative. I was pretty scornful of the whole idea at first and was going to boycott the
thing-I mean the idea struck me as a dans macabre of sorts-then I thought maybe I could get a poem out of it.
So I shelled out 25 bucks and went with a scientist friend who had dissected a cadaver many years ago in dental school.
It was fascinating, I admit, and my friend (whose main area of research is genetics) was quite impressed by the
detail both in the exhibits and in the informational blurbs beside them. He also pointed out a few details that
were anatomically incorrect. In the end, though, while I have notes, no poem has surfaced. I went from feeling
quite negative about the show before I went, to being fascinated while there, to feeling that it is ghastly and
more than a little creepy after all. What really got to me was that he actually signed some of the exhibits he
posed-"woman archer," or "soccer goal keeper"-as though they were his creations. How many poses does one need to
create with these cadavers-at what point does the "Gee whiz" factor exceed the educational value?
I could write a poem about it, but it wouldn't be a very good poem, at least not now, because I've already
decided what my reaction is. So the poem would neatly plod its way to its pre-ordained conclusion. It would
be very much like what William Matthews wrote in "Mingus at the Showplace" where the speaker, as a young man,
thought that one "had experiences and shat poetry."
Knowing the outcome of a poem in advance before the actual making is the difficulty of political poetry.
Not that good political poetry is impossible, but it's easy to make it dull. I'm speaking out of personal
experience as one who's written scores if not hundreds of failed political poems.
My wife and I once took a class in freshwater entomology. A poet-friend had introduced me to fly fishing
some years before and my wife was fascinated by the flies. So I signed us up first for a fly-tying class
and then for a bug class. I should say that she is an expert fly-tyer, though she lacks interest in standing
in a stream and using her flies to catch trout. The bug class was taught by a Ph.D. in entomology who each
week brought what he'd dug up from river bottoms in large Rubbermaid tubs. We had to find nymphs and larva
in the muck and identify them based on gills, legs, tails. And my wife, whose response on seeing a spider
is "Kill it!" handled stone fly nymphs, hellgrammites, dragonfly nymphs (that have gills inside their
anuses-they breathe by shooting water out of their rear-ends as they propel themselves like jet skis).
My poem, "Mayflies" came out of this class. Learning that mayflies emerge into adulthood (in their next-to-last instar)
without mouth parts stuck with me until it came out in a poem. That poem then set off a number of other poems that
I think of as "arguments with God."
You have taught creative writing for years. What do you try to teach your students.
When I do a poets-in-the-schools residency, I usually have a week to present some ideas and ways for students
to write poems. I try to give some idea of the surprising aspects of poetry, how metaphor and imagery work together,
and to suggest a basic structure. I have them work with lyrical models since narrative poetry leads students to use
"and then" a great deal. I give examples of anaphora and refrain with poems like "A Divine Falling of Leaves" by
Vallejo. I like to show them odes by Neruda and explain how they include turn, counterturn and stand. The students
work on poems following various patterns and strategies, though if someone has a different idea I always encourage
them to follow it and see where it goes.
What is the writing scene like in the Twin Cities?
Several years ago we lost one of our great bookstores, Ruminator Books (formerly The Hungry Mind).
It featured readings almost every night by local writers and poets and by writers on tour, and it had
a well-stocked poetry section. The staff was dedicated and excited about literature and whenever I
needed a book I would call there first. More than that, it was an informal center for writers who'd
run into each other by chance and maybe go next door for a coffee…
There's one independent bookstore left in St. Paul and several in Minneapolis, but
the loss of Ruminator is still large, at least to me.
There are many fine writers around, thank God. And we continue to have a steady stream of
writers coming through the Twin Cities thanks to Graywolf Press, Rain Taxi, The Loft Literary Center,
The University of Minnesota Writing Department and others. This past spring, Graywolf flew
Venús Khoury-Ghata in from Paris for a series of readings. I've been a fan of hers ever since reading She Says.
The Loft brings in nationally recognized writers for its mentor series. Six local writers are chosen to work over
a weekend with the mentors, who then give a public reading with several "mentees." Kim Addonizzio is reading at
the Loft next week. Rain Taxi sponsors some memorable readings-I especially remember D.A. Powell's reading
2 years ago, and Bei Dao reading with Eliot Weinberger. Frank Bidart "The Music of Dirt" at Macalester College this past spring.
While the area's rich in literary publishers, there are relatively few journals which, given the number of
MFA programs in the area and the vitality of the writing scene, strikes me as ironic.
Summer is the slow time of the season for us and I tend to run into fellow writers and artists mainly at the
St. Paul Farmers' Market in lowertown on Saturday mornings.
Talk about your books Gravity (Texas Tech) and Circle Routes (Akron Poetry Prize).
I was extremely fortunate with these two books. Gravity was a finalist, under a different title, for the
AWP Award Series in 1990. Though it didn't win, Texas Tech selected it from the pool of finalists. It's
actually my MFA thesis and I had written many of the poems while working PITS residencies in St. Paul and
around the state. Other poems reflect my former life as a pilot and flight instructor, including a brief
stint doing aerobatics in San Marcos, Texas when I was a student at St. Edward's. Instead of saving the
money I made from instructing, I spent it all on renting a Citabria, a two-seater airplane that had been
re-designed for aerobatics. Ellen Voigt was my thesis advisor and the final shape of the book reflects her
excellent ideas on structuring the book around safety and danger, flight and being earth-bound.
I wrote many poems for Circle Routes during a summer in the late 90s when I didn't have much summer work and
was able to spent large chunks each morning sitting on my patio writing. What started the collection going was
"Pencil in the Concentration Camp," a re-telling of a story Topazia told me about being in a Japanese
Concentration Camp during World War II. She and her husband, being anti-fascists, were unable to find work
in Italy where one needed party membership to get a job. A professor of her husband's said a teaching job was
available in Japan-this would have been in '37 or '38. While in Japan, Topazia said she learned the language
from her children who picked it up very quickly. She also studied with a master flower arranger. By '43 or so,
everyone in Italy was anti-fascist and Mussolini was overthrown. Refusing to declare loyalty to Mussolini,
Topazia and family were sent to a concentration camp in Nagano, site of the winter Olympics several years ago,
where they remained for the duration.
During a visit to Topazia in Rome, she said she was feeling a little rueful that her friends and husband were
finally getting attention through their art or writings, but she wasn't. I wrote the pencil poem after I got
back to St. Paul to honor her-the sheer courage in standing up for her beliefs in nonviolence, and her willingness
to accept the consequences of her act of conscience-and the poem became the center of the book.
I was nervous when I showed it to her, afraid she'd be upset I had used her story, but she was actually
quite pleased and during my last visit to Rome showed me the journal she'd kept "with the famous pencil."
One of her daughters, using that journal, wrote of the family's experiences in the camp and Topazia's later
life as an art dealer in Rome. For an epigraph, she used a quote from the pencil poem.
One of your poems is being published in translation in the Polish American issue of Nowa Okolica Poetow.
Please talk bout this and when the poem was first published.
Actually I have three poems appearing in the issue, which is devoted, in part, to Polish-American poets.
Janusz Zalewski, the editor, sent me the manuscript of the poems in the original, and I think it's a fine
group of poets-William Doreski, Stuart Dybek, Elisabeth Murawski, Barbara Szerlip Judith Vollmer, Cecilia Woloch,
Mark Pawlak and friends like Linda Nemec Foster, Sharon Chmielarz and John Calvin Rezmerski. Some of them I
included in Concert at Chopin's House: A Collection of Polish-American Writing which I edited for New Rivers Press almost 20 years ago.
Two of the poems, "Grandfather Janósz and the Polish Graves of New Prague" and "Columbines" have,
if not a Polish theme, at least a Polish reference and originally appeared in Gravity. "Sunrise/Spoleto 1967"
was a poem I included in Concert at Chopin's House. Spoleto is a city in the mountainous Umbria region of Italy,
where I lived for several months in 1967. I had gone to Italy with a friend, also a fledgling poet, whose professor
suggested we stay with the same family he stayed with. An ancient city that goes back to the bronze age, Spoleto is
adjacent to Monteluco where there has been a monastic presence ever since St. Francis' time. There has always been
something sacred and spooky about the mountain; the Romans even enacted a special law, the Lex Spoletina relating to
the mountain and the holm oak, a kind of Mediterranean evergreen oak, that grows there. I return to Spoleto from time
to time in my poems, and I think "Sunrise/Spoleto" was one of the first: an homage of sorts and a homesickness.
In "Columbines" I was thinking about those I had planted in my garden, whose blooms seemed somehow Polish, though
I had no idea at the time if columbines even grow in Poland. I was also wondering what seeds immigrants would have
brought over from the old country for the sake of continuity and of something familiar. "Grandfather Janósz…" is
based on a story I head an old guy tell in a bar in New Prague some years ago. I had been doing a residency in a
near-by town and spent several nights staying at the Czech hotel there. The man, speaking loudly about his great
grandfather who was in the czar's army in the Crimean War, also spoke about his brother who visited Poland and brought
a tin of Polish dirt back. Some of the poem, especially about sprinkling the dust on a friend's grave, and the widow's
gratitude, is almost verbatim..
You have a strong love for Eastern European poetry…
It's influenced my poetry from the beginning. Michael Dennis Browne, a teacher when I was an undergraduate,
gave me some poems by Zbigniew Herbert and I was hooked. A little later, Victor Contoski sent some translations
he'd done of Tadeusz Rózewicz-I'd sent him some poems for Blood of Their Blood which he was editing for New Rivers,
and we struck up a correspondence.
I'm mainly familiar with the older poets, ones who'd survived the War or who, like Zagajewski, take them for
mentors: Szymborska, Milosz, Anna Swir, Halina Poswiatowska. We stayed with Sarah Luczaj and her husband, Lucasz
several years ago during a trip to Poland and over the years she's sent me some fine translations of Poswiatowska
which have gone, unfortunately, unpublished.
Two years ago, one of the artistic directors of The Theatre de la Jeune Lune asked if I'd help out with some
ideas on a project she was considering-a production based on Mikail Bugolkov's The Master and Margarita. She
wanted to include some of the poets of the time-during the purges and excesses of the Yakov terrors. She'd read
Nadezhda Mandelstam's Hope Against Hope and was deeply impressed (who wouldn't be) with her portrayal of those
utterly grim times. I went through my anthologies, and collections, re-read Osip Mandelstam, Marina Tsvetaeva and
Anna Akhmatova. Unfortunately it was in translation, but it still began to rub off somewhat, and I could hear some
distant echoes of those poets in my own work. It's inevitable for me-I've always been something of a mockingbird.
The theater company has gone through some re-organizing in the past year. Even with a Tony Award, proceeding with
four artistic directors had gotten cumbersome and the houses weren't always packed. Therefore many projects, including
The Master and Margarita, were placed on hold.
What are you working on now?
I've gotten to the point where I don't like to say what I'm working on now, especially if it's a big project.
Lacking a big project at the moment, I'm mainly writing drafts and going over older work, some of it abandoned
(rightly so in many instances) and some of it needing a little extra tightening. I'm a reviser, frequently working
on a piece until it won't budge any further. Then I'll try some radical revisions, changing the whole thing.
Earlier in the summer I worked on an older manuscript, The Last Pietà. It had been a finalist in several big
competitions and last year, out of frustration, I tore into it, substituting maybe a third of the poems, but
the tone was no longer even and I think I defeated my original idea behind the book.
I'm also working on another manuscript, The Night Dog Dialogues, a long sequence of meditations on death,
the soul and a geriatric Labrador retriever. I'm in the process of writing several poems that will go toward
the center of the book. Other than that, I've been opening my notebook, usually while sitting in that under
the deck room, and facing the terror of the empty page.
(These readings current as of September 1st, go to the Readings page to see updated listings!)
WORD ON THE STREET
September 7th 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Janet Cormier, Gary Whited and Joan Goodwin + open mic
First Baptist Church
633 Centre Street
Jamaica Plain, MA - under the tent on the lawn
The Brookline Poetry Series is pleased to announce the beginning of our sixth season.
Poet MAJOR JACKSON will be the featured reader, and
REBECCA KAISER GIBSON will open for him.
Note that this month only we meet the SECOND FRIDAY of the month: SEPTEMBER 8th.
As always, we begin at 7pm at the Brookline Booksmith. Open mike sign-up begins at 6:30.
CORMIER'S COMEDY MADNESS PRESENTS
POLITICAL RANTS SET TO,
comedy, poetry, music…
Hosted by JANET CORMIER
Theme/show title POP POLITICS
Political rants set to poetry, music, and comedy
Host: Janet Cormier
Special guest Poet: Marc Goldfinger
Music by IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST
Date: Tuesday, 9/12
Time: check in time 7PM/ 7:15 PM
Location: All Asia
Address: 334 Mass Ave, Cambridge (outside of Central Sq.)
Admission: $ 5.00
You can bring only one guest in for free.
Upcoming readings by Tom Daley:
with Doctor Brown's Traveling Poetry Show
Monday September 4 and Monday, September 11, 2006 7-9 pm
The Lily Pad
1353 Cambridge Street (Inman Square)
Brockton Library Poetry Series
with Joanna Nealon
Saturday, September 16, 2006 3:45 pm
Brockton Public Library
304 Main Street
free workshop from 12-2 pm with Tom Daley
open mike 2-3:30 pm
Poetry for the Fall Equinox at Walden Pond
with Michael Lynch, Vicki Murray, Nicole Terez, & Prabakar Thyagarajan
Saturday, September 23, 2006, 2 pm
Walden Pond State Park
915 Walden Street
Concord, MA 01742
Free of charge (Parking Fee $5 per vehicle)
Hosted by Douglas Bishop; Followed by an open reading for all interested poets.
To find the reading, go to the Tsongas Gallery next to the Walden Pond Gift Shop
Upcoming workshops led by Tom Daley:
Poetry writing workshop with Tom Daley
at the instructor's home in Cambridge
Eight Mondays starting Monday, September 18
from 5:30-7:30 pm
for information contact Tom Daley at firstname.lastname@example.org
Boston Center for Adult Education
Poetry writing workshop
Eight Tuesdays starting September 12
from 5:45-7:45 pm
5 Commonwealth Avenue (Back Bay)
to register, go to http://www.bcae.org/SearchECat?Open&Query=poetry+workshop
or call (617) 267-4430
Lexington Community Education
Poetry writing workshop
Six Wednesdays starting October 11 6-8 pm
Lexington High School
251 Waltham Street, Lexington
cost $80 ($60 seniors)
To register call (781) 862-8043
Ford Hall Forum presents John Darnton and "The Darwin Conspiracy."
Thursday, September 28, at 6:30 pm.
Followed by an open discussion and book signing.
Admission is free and open to all.
Old South Meeting House
310 Washington Street (corner of Milk St.)
Wheelchair accessible and conveniently located near the State St. and Downtown Crossing stops on the MBTA.
For more information call Ford Hall Forum 617-373-5800 or visit www.fordhallforum.org.
JAMAICA POND POETS
September 30th Readings from 1:00 - 4:00 pm to include Jamaica Pond Poets members in 15 minute installments.
Reading in connection with Jamaica Plain Open Studios @ Loring-Greenough House
12 South Street
Jamaica Plain, MA.
Author reading & signing the new Lenny Moss crime novel
A Race Against Death
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Kate’s Mystery Books
2311 Mass Ave. Cambridge, MA
Please mark your calendars and/or schedules:
Chapter and Verse Poetry series, Autumn, 2006
(All readings begin at 7:30 pm.
St. Johns Church,
corner of Roanoke Avenue and Revere Street,
Jamaica Plain, MA. )
(For further information contact:
Wednesday, October 4 Holly Guran, Marc Widershien, Susan Eisenberg
Wednesday, November 1 Alan Smith, Lisa Beatman, Doug Holder
Wednesday, December 6 Elena Harap, Sybille Rex, Marc Goldfinger
Chapter and Verse is free and refreshments are served.
Speakeasy Poetry Series- Massachusetts
Frannie Lindsay and Perugia Poets
Wednesday, October 4; 7 p.m.
Frannie Lindsay, Faye George, Carol Edelstein, and Janet Aalfs
255 Grossman Drive
Friday, October 13, 7 p.m.
EMACK & BOLIO
Thursday, AUGUST 31st, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm.
As usual, there will be two featured poets and plenty of open mic time.
Please come and participate!! The series has been running now solidly for over three years as hosted by poet,
Marc Widershien. It includes a diverse and welcoming audience and has
featured some terrific Boston and nationally known poets. . .
This fall's schedule of readings for Emack and Bolio's follows below:
August 31st Dorian Brooks, Natasha Schneider
September 28th Peter Bates
October 26th Peter Desmond, Paula Savoy
November 30th Michael Sherlock
December 28th To be announced...
EMACK & BOLIO
2 Belgrade Avenue
Upcoming Features @ the Somerville News Poetry/Music Series Events
The event starts at 3pm. I play for about 15 minutes to welcome folks and
set the mood. This is followed by a half-hour or so set for each poet and
musician feature (caution advised --certain features may have overlapping
talents!), flexible of course... I may play again 15 minutes afterwards or
in between, whatever feels right depending on set-up etc. Then there is an
open mic for poets and singer-songwriters. Bards musical and lyrical alike
are welcome to join us and share their creative efforts.
9/10 - Jennifer Matthews (musician/poet) and Mala L Radhakrishnan (poet)
at Tír na nOg
366A Somerville, MA 02143
10/8 - Janet Cormier (poet/comedian) and Jahn Sood (musician)
at Tír na nOg
366A Somerville, MA 02143
Gypsypashn's Poetry Caravan at Bestseller's Cafe
September 21st, 6:30 PM
24 High Street
Medford, MA. 02155
Refreshments will be served.
NEW ENGLAND POETRY CLUB READINGS
September 24rd Sunday 1.30pm
Student Winners of New England Poetry prizes
Monday October 2nd 7pm
at Yenching Library
2 Divinity Ave, Cambridge
Editors of FULCRUM Magazine, KATIA KAPOVICH, PHILIP NICOLAYEV
Monday November 6th 7pm
at Yenching Library 2 Divinity Ave, Cambridge
POW WOW POETS
Monday December 4th 7pm
at Yenching Library
2 Divinity Ave, Cambridge
NEPC PRIZE WINNERS
Newton Free Library Poetry Series Fall 2006
Director: Doug Holder
All readings are held at the Newton Free Library
Second Tuesday of each month 7 PM
330 Homer St. Newton Centre
Open Mic after the features.
Sept 12 2006:
Ifeanyi Menkiti: Ifeanyi Menkiti came to this country from Nigeria to study in the 1960’s. Years after he earned a PhD.
in Philosophy from Harvard University and since has taught at Wellesley College for more than thirty years. He has penned
three books of poetry: “Affirmations,” “The Jubilation of Falling Bodies,” and most recently “Of Altair: The Bright Light."
His poetry has appeared in journals like “Ploughshares,” “New Directions,” and the “Massachusetts Review.” Menkiti is a
recipient of an award by the “National Endowment of the Arts,” and his poetry has been aired on NPR, and other radio
stations. I talked with Menkiti on my Somerville Community Access TV show ‘Poet to Poet/Writer to Writer.
He is the current owner of the "Grolier Poetry Bookshop," in Harvard Square.
Mark Pawlak: "Offical Versions," ( Hanging Loose Press) is Mark Pawlak’s fifth poetry collection, the other most recent
titles being "Special Handling: Newspaper Poems New and Selected and All the News." His poetry and prose have appeared in
The Best American Poetry 2006 (Billy Collins, ed.), New American Writing, Off the Coast, Pemmican, and The Saint Ann’s
Review, among other places. In addition, he is editor of four anthologies, most recently, Present/Tense: Poets in the World,
a collection of contemporary American political poetry, featuring work from some of the country’s best-known writers.
Pawlak is Director of Academic Support Programs at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he also teaches mathematics.
He also works as an editor at the "Hanging Loose Press." He has been the recipient of two Massachusetts Artist Fellowship awards.
He lives in Cambridge with his wife and his teenage son.
Jennifer Matthews: Jennifer Matthews is an accomplished vocalist and poet. Her poetry has appeared in: "PEN HIMALAYA"
The Wilderness House Literary Review, James River Poetry Review, Ibbetson Street, The Somerville News, and others.
Her collection "Fairytales and Misdemeanors," was released by the Ibbetson Street Press in 2003. She has been nominated for a
"Cambridge Poetry Award," and has read extensively around the area. Her work is archived at Harvard, Bufalo, and
Brown University libraries. She has recently released an acoustic CD "Sunroom Sessions" ( Thundamoon Records)
Mark Pawlak upcoming poetry readings
September 12th, 7:00 PM.
Newton Free Library Poetry Series
with Sarah Hannah and Ifeyani Menkiti
330 Homer Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459
October 4th, 7:00 PM
Café Expresso Poetry Hoot
Featured Reader: Mark Pawlak
738 Islington Street (in the 800 Islington Plaza)
October 17th 7:00 PM
Hanging Loose 40th Anniversary reading by the editors
Grolier Poetry Series
26 Plympton Street, Entry C, 26
Harvard Square, Cambridge
(three doors down from the Grolier)
December 13th 8 PM
The Poetry Project
with Bill Zavatsky
St. Mark's Church
131 E. 10th St.
New York, NY 10003
One Art Reading Series in Cambridge, MA
September 30th 7:30 PM
46 Porter Road
Featured: Readers who have contributed to Julia Henderson's anthology
Open Mic to follow
Four Stories Reading Series
Monday, Oct. 16th 7-9 p.m.
Readers: Stace Budzko, Jamie Cat Callan, Mike Heppner and Ellen Litman
The Enormous Room
567 Massachusetts Ave.
Woodberry Poetry Room, Harvard University
Address: Harvard Yard, Cambridge, Mass.
Date and time: October 17, 2006, 5:30 pm
Readers: Tess Gallagher and Linda Gregg
Free, but photo ID required for all visitors to Lamont Library
Pura López Colomé
Woodberry Poetry Room, Lamont Library, Harvard University
Monday, October 30, 2006, 5:30 pm
Free, but photo ID required for all visitors to Lamont Library
Curator of Poetry in the G.E. Woodberry Poetry Room
Lamont Library, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Telephone: (617) 495-2454
Fax: (617) 495-1376
Poetry Room information:
Blacksmith House Poetry Series
56 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Monday, October 30, 8 p.m.
Reader: Frannie Lindsay
Winner of the Perugia Press 2006 Intro Award for her book *Lamb*
Contact: Andrea Cohen, Director
Tickets may be purchased 45 minutes before reading
Michael Graves will be reading from his new book Adam and Cain, and if time allows from some
other work, at The Ear Inn with Holly Clark,
Michelle Noteboom and Sarah Sarai
on Saturday, September 9th at 3 p.m.
It's free and located at 326 Spring Street
west of Greenwich Street.
Tuesday, September 12 (7 - 9 pm) FREE
4 POETS / 4 POINTS OF VIEW:
SUSAN TEPPER reading love poems from her new chapbook "BLUE EDGE"
GEORGE HELD will read from his new chapbook "W Is for War"
ANDREY GRITSMAN presenting his new collection "LONG FALL," plus other poems
WILLIAM JAMES AUSTIN will read from his "UNDERWOR(L)D" series
85 EAST 4th STREET
Editor of Červená Barva Press
will be hosting the reading
Speakeasy Poetry Series- New York
Jean Valentine, Anne Marie Macari, Frannie Lindsay
The Bitter End
147 Bleecker Street
New York, NY
Sunday, September 10; 5 p.m.
Frannie Lindsay, Timothy Liu, Malena Morling
85 East 4th Street
New York, NY
Monday, December 4, 7:30 p.m.
Phoenix Reading Series
18 Avenue B
The Phoenix Reading Series has a new venue and is looking for readers.
"In general, preference will be given to writers who have not yet read in
the series or who have read infrequently in it."
For information, please contact Michael Graves at:
Readings featuring Thad Rutkowski:
Tetched is reviewed in the July edition of KBG Bar's online journal:
Generating Fiction will begin on Monday evening, Sept. 11, at The Writer's Voice of the West Side YMCA.
The workshop focuses on producing new writing (stories, chapters, prose pieces) and is open to everyone.
Eight meetings. Free for Y members. Call Glenn Raucher at (212) 875-4124, or email email@example.com.
Sept. 6, Wednesday, 6-8 p.m.
Reading at Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street, Manhattan. Hosted by Bob Quatrone. $6,
includes drink. (212) 989-9319.
Sept. 7. Thursday, Wednesday, 8 p.m.
Hosting reading for opening of Viagra installation. Fusion Arts Museum,
57 Stanton Street (bet. Eldridge and Forsythe) Manhattan. With
Anne Cammon, Bill Evans, Jeremy Greenfield, Vicky Oliver, Hilary North, Jerry Palubniak, Elizabeth Smith.
Oct. 5, Thursday, 8 p.m.
Poetry vs. comedy. Galapagos Arts Space, Galapagos 70 North Sixth Street,
Williamsburg, Brooklyn. L train to Bedford. Hosted by Cheryl B.
Nov. 10, Friday, 7-9 p.m. Memoir reading, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Road N.E., Atlanta, $10.
Good refreshments. Hosted by June Akers Seese:
Jan. 18, 2007, Thursday, 7 p.m.
Drunken! Careening! Writers! KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street (at Second Avenue).
Manhattan. Hosted by Kathleen Warnock. Free.
Hope to see you! --Thad Rutkowski
Saturday, September 9th, at 9:00 PM
As part of the Howl/East Village festival
At Fusion Arts, 57 Stanton Street (which is one block south of Houston St., parallel, between Eldridge and Allen St
(which is First Avenue extended below Houston). NYC
RICHARD KOSTELANEZ will initiate the presentation of his complete monumental film EPIPHANIES, nearly four hours in length,
a dozen years in preparation, of and about the exhaustive experience of stories with scores of climactic moments, both
visually and aurally (mostly in English, some in German, a bit in Chinese). The film will run to its end unless no one
remains in the space, at which point Kosti will pull out his tape and go home. Those sitting through the entire film
will receive gratis a signed copy of the first edition of Kosti’s Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes.
Come early to get a good seat; come late securely since the film lacks a necessary beginning. For more information
about my long-fomenting EPIPHANIES, which I’ve published in print, as cards, on audio & video, and in this film,
look under Inventories on my website: http://www.richardkostelanetz.com.
Remember that the Avant-Garde Never Sleeps
Suggested contribution: $5.00.
Mad Hatters' Poetry Readings
Sunday, September 10th, 5:30 – 7:30: Carol Novack, Publisher/Editor of Mad Hatters' Review,
will be reading at High Chai (18 Avenue B, East Village) in the new Phoenix Series
with Bob Heman, Ilene Starger & Vivian Eyre.
Friday, September 15th, 7 – 9 pm: The Mad Hatters' Poetry, Prose & Anything Goes Series
(KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street) will feature Ron Silliman, Samuel R. Delany, & Debra Di Blasi,
whose hypertextual innovation will be published & heard in our next issue this October.
(scroll down for reader bios)
Sunday, September 24th, 7 pm: Mad Hatters' Review will be ABC No Rio's featured literary journal.
The grant-funded reading, hosted by poet Bruce Weber, will feature Carol Novack, associate editor
Elizabeth Smith, and Issue 4 contributor Girija Tropp.
The Lower East Side venue is at 156 Rivington Street.
Thursday, October 19th, 7 – 9pm: Carol Novack will be reading in Kathleen Warnock's
Drunken, Careening Writers Series at the KGB Bar.
October something or other at some time & place or other: MHR editors will offer a reading to
celebrate the launching of Issue 6. Expect to hear some remarkable guest readers as well as editors
& maybe a contributor or two. Stay in tune for details.
Friday, November 17th, 7 – 9 pm: The Mad Hatters' Review Poetry, Prose & Anything Goes Series (KGB Bar)
will feature Diane Williams, Frederic Tuten & Canadian poet Carolyn Zonailo, published in our second issue.
DETAILS ABOUT READINGS ARE OR WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE MAD HATTERS'
REVIEW EVENTS PAGE: http://madhattersreview.com/events.shtml
Mad Hatters' Review Poetry Prose & Anything Goes Reading Series
September 15, 7-9pm
85 East 4th Street
New York, NY
Readers: Ron Silliman, Debra Di Blasi, and Samuel R Delany
Ron Silliman has written and edited 26 books to date, most recently Under Albany. In 2007, the University of California Press
will issue the complete version of The Age of Huts. Between 1979 & 2004, Silliman wrote a single poem, entitled "The Alphabet".
In addition to Woundwood, a part of VOG, volumes published thus far from that project have included ABC, Demo to Ink, Jones, Lit,
Manifest, N/O, Paradise, (R), Toner, What and Xing. He has now begun writing a new poem entitled "Universe". Silliman was a 2003
Literary fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts and was a 2002 Fellow of the Pennsylvania Arts Council as well as a
Pew Fellow in the Arts in 1998. Visitors to his weblog are quickly approaching the three-quarters of one million mark.
He lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania , with his wife and two sons, and works as a market analyst in the computer industry.
Debra Di Blasi (http://www.debradiblasi.com)
received the 2003 James C. McCormick Fellowship from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation.
Her books include The Jirí Chronicles & Other Fictions (forthcoming from FC2 Books in 2007), Prayers of an Accidental Nature
(Coffee House Press), and Drought & Say What You Like (New Directions), winner of the 1998 Thorpe Menn Award. Her fiction has
been adapted to film, radio, theatre, and audio CD in the U.S. and abroad. She is president of Jaded Ibis Productions, Inc.,
a transmedia corporation producing most notably, The Jirí Chronicles, a mélange of fictive audio interviews and music, videos,
print, web and visual art. She is former art columnist at Pitch and taught experimental writing forums at Kansas CityArt Institute.
Samuel R Delany "is one of the two or three top living sci-fi writers.
His work with porn, critical writing & comics all
puts him into edgy spaces." (says Ron Silliman). He's never tame. His fictions include Dhalgren (1975), Atlantis: Three Tales (1995),
Hogg (1995), and Phallos (2004). His most recent book, from Wesleyan University Press, is About Writing (2006). Samuel (aka Chip)
teaches English and creative writing at Temple University in Philadelphia and at the Naropa Summer Writing Program in Boulder, Colorado.
Night and Day
Leora Skolkin-Smith will be reading from her novel "Edges O Israel O Palestine"
September 10th 7 PM.
at: "Night and Day"
230 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Bard Reading Series: Fiction
Thursday, Oct. 12 6-8 pm.
Hosted by Jamie Cat Callan
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery @ Bleecker
New York, NY 10012
The 10th annual festival season is here!
We are proud to present two weeks of internationally acclaimed talent and Philadelphia's best performers!
Tickets are selling already fast, so visit our
stop by the box office to get involved and to learn more
about the shows this year:
Box Office Festival Hours
9/4 (Labor Day): 12:00-8:00pm
Box office number: 215-413-1318
Don't forget to check out our PSA for a polite peek at what's coming up.
The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe begins now!
Series A at the Hyde Park Art Center
Hyde Park Art Center
5020 S. Cornell Avenue
Contact: William Allegrezza
September 26, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Jimmy Wynn Ensemble
October 24, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
November 21, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Ricardo Cortez Cruz
Poetry Off the Page: Slam, Performance & Hip Hop Poetry
Here is a reading that Free Lunch is producing titled,
"Poetry Off the Page." It will present examples of
Slam, Performance, and Hip Hop poetry. The poets
performing will be Molly Meacham (Slam), Nina Corwin
(Performance), and Idris Goodwin (Hip Hop).
Performace date: Sept. 17, 2-4 PM
Place: The Wilmetter Public Library
Address: 1242 Wilmette Ave, Wilmette, IL
Readers: Molly Meacham, Nina Corwin, Idris Goodwin
Title of Event: Poetry Off the Page: Slam, Performance & Hip Hop Poetry
September 17, 2006, 2 p.m. :
Lucille Lang Day, Michelle Baynes, Summer Brenner, and Geri Digiorno
Petaluma Poetry Walk
Apple Box (Mill Building)
6 Petaluma Blvd. N.
Coordinator: Geri Digiorno firstname.lastname@example.org
October 12, 2006, 7:30 p.m. :
Lucille Lang Day and North Coast Poets
North Beach Library
2000 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
Coordinator: Vince Storti email@example.com
November 5, 2006, 2:00 p.m. :
Lucille Lang Day and Chad Sweeney
Wine and Words
Martinelli Conference and Event Center
3585 Greenville Rd.
Coordinator: Connie Post firstname.lastname@example.org
November 20, 2006, 7:00 p.m. :
Lucille Lang Day
Priya Indian Cuisine
2072 San Pablo Ave.
Coordinator: Mark States email@example.com
Flavia Cosma Readings
Launching of IN THE ARMS OF THE FATHER, poems and
RHODOS ORI RHODES ORI RODI a travelling memoir
both books in Romanian version
by FLAVIA COSMA
The Romanian Cultural Centre "Banatul",
Wednesday, September 6Th, 2006, 6.30 pm
2150 Bleams Rd., Kitchener, ONTARIO, Canada
Contact person : Mirela Banica firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone 1(519) 896-9545
VAUGHAN POETS' CIRCLE
GUEST READER Flavia Cosma
Bathurst Clark Resource Library/ Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, September 9Th, 2006, 10.30 am to 12.30 pm
Contact Person Dr. Dina Ripsman Eylon
Tel. (905) 764-2578
DEER PARK LIBRARY
GUEST READER Flavia Cosma
Deer Park Library, St. Clair & Yonge, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday November 1, 2006, 6pm
Contact person : Linda Steinberg
Reading Series: Reading/ LAUNCH of KALAHARI BLUES & OTHER PLAYS by Miriam Gallagher
Featured reader: Miriam Gallagher
Place 'Town of Books' Festival
Address: Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
Time/Date 3.p.m. Sat 16th September 2006
Cost: Admission Free [Wine Served]
Contact person: Miriam Gallagher (Author)
& Brian Roberts (director of 'Town of Books' which is hosting the event)
Other info: This is a second book of Plays from Miriam Gallagher, whose work has been produced in Ireland, UK, Europe, USA & Canada.
She has also published a novel and short stories and has received several awards for her work in film & theatre.
Kosmos Theatre Group is the only English language theatre group in Brugge, Belgium and welcomes scripts for its first season of
play readings. These events will be free to the public and feedback will be asked for after each reading –feedback that will
in turn be offered by to the playwright as the only compensation we can offer for her/his work.
Scripts may be submitted via email as a word doc to
All submissions will be replied to. Put Kosmos Submission and your last name in the subject line.
InterAct Theatre Company’s Writing Aloud: Going Forward
Featured Stories & Writers:
“The Bard of Frogtown” by Allison Whittenberg
“Smart” by Benjamin Matvey
“The Bridge Keepers” by Neda Scepanovic
Featured Readers To Be Announced
On the Mainstage at The Adrienne
2030 Sansom St., Philadelphia
Monday, October 30, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are $12.00 for general admission or $6.00 for InterAct subscribers
For tickets or information: BoxOffice@InterActTheatre.org or (215) 568-8079
InterAct Theatre Company’s Writing Aloud: Going to Pieces
Featured Stories & Writers:
“Bent and Blue” by CJ Spataro
“Smoke” by Robin Parks
“Pablo and the Frogs” by Steven Schutzman
Featured Readers To Be Announced
On the Mainstage at The Adrienne
2030 Sansom St., Philadelphia
Monday, December 12, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are $12.00 for general admission or $6.00 for InterAct subscribers
For tickets or information: BoxOffice@InterActTheatre.org or (215) 568-8079
INTERACT THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES
2006/2007 SEASON OF WRITING ALOUD
Philadelphia, PA - InterAct Theatre Company is excited to announce the eighth season of Writing Aloud, a series
of one-night-only evenings of short contemporary fiction written by the region’s finest writers and read on stage
by professional actors. The 2006/2007 Season will feature a selection of twenty-one short stories by area writers,
including New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner.
David Sanders, Director of the Writing Aloud program,
recently announced the season line-up while adding, "We are thrilled to have received such a high number of outstanding
submissions this season, making our eighth season one of our most exciting ever."
ABOUT THE 2006/2007 SEASON
The 2006-2007 season of Writing Aloud kicks off on October 30, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. with an evening entitled Going Forward,
featuring “The Bard of Frogtown,” by Allison Whittenberg, “Smart,” by Benjamin Matvey, and
“The Bridge Keepers,” by Neda Scepanovic.
The second installment in the series, entitled Going to Pieces, takes place on December 12, 2006 and features
“Bent and Blue,” by CJ Spataro, “Smoke,” by Robin Parks, and
“Pablo and the Frogs,” by Steven Schutzman.
Going Down, on February 5, 2007, will be Writing Aloud’s first performance in the new year. It will feature the
stories “He Did It for Morgan,” by Kathryn Watterson, “Loss Prevention,” by Marion Wyce,
“Child at Play” by Manini Nayar,
and “The Captain is Sleeping,” by Norman Lock.
The series reconvenes on March 19, 2007 with a series entitled Coming Apart, featuring “The Black Box,” by
Clare Keefe Coleman,
“Feeding the Ducks,” by Jim Ray Daniels,
“The Embrace,” by Niama Leslie Williams, and
“Between States,” by Greg Downs.
The fifth installment, Coming to Terms, on April 30, 2007, will feature an exciting story from Jennifer Weiner,
New York Times bestselling author of Good in Bed and In Her Shoes. Also featured in
Coming to Terms will be “The Haircut,”
by Linda Blaskey, “Dog Whispers,” by Randall Brown, and
“Make Me Over,” by Amina Gautier.
The 2006-2007 Season of Writing Aloud concludes on June 11, 2007 with an evening of stories entitled Coming Together,
featuring “Good Providers,” by Miriam Fried,
“The BVM” by Tree Riesener, and “Measures of Sorrow,”
by Jacob M. Appel.
Casting for the upcoming 2006/2007 Writing Aloud season has not yet been announced, however, InterAct is in the process of
finalizing a line-up of some of Philadelphia’s best actors to read the short fictional stories. The recently completed
2005/2006 season of Writing Aloud included twenty-seven actors, including Barrymore Award winners
Catharine K. Slusar, Madi Distefano, and Maureen Torsney-Weir, as well as Barrymore-nominated actors
Matt Saunders, Amanda Schoonover, Buck Schirner, David Ingram, and Karen Peakes.
Each event in the 2006/2007 Writing Aloud season will be held on InterAct Theatre Company's Mainstage at The Adrienne,
2030 Sansom Street in Philadelphia. All performances are on Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $12.00 for general
admission or $6.00 for InterAct subscribers. Season subscriptions to the Writing Aloud season are available starting
at only $10 an event, or $60 for the entire six-show season. Seating is limited, so advance reservations are strongly
recommended and can be made by calling InterAct’s Box Office at 215-568-8077. Group rates are also available.
ABOUT THE WRITING ALOUD PROGRAM
Directed by David Sanders, Writing Aloud was established in 1999 to present diverse voices in contemporary fiction
by the region’s best writers, read on stage by professional actors. Quickly establishing itself as the region’s premiere
reading series, Writing Aloud has attracted sold-out audiences, has been featured in special broadcasts on WHYY-FM public
radio, and is a recipient of Philadelphia Magazine’s 2001 “Best of Philly” award.
ABOUT INTERACT THEATRE COMPANY
Founded in 1988, InterAct Theatre Company is a theatre for today's world, producing new and contemporary plays that
explore the social, political, and cultural issues of our time. Lead by Producing Artistic Director
Seth Rozin, InterAct
is one of the nation’s leading centers for new writing in theatre, introducing important contemporary writers to audiences
through its world premiere stage productions, developmental residencies, and Showcase of New Plays. The Writing Aloud program
extends InterAct’s mission of cultivating and presenting diverse artistic voices into the realm of short fiction.
InterAct’s 2006/2007 Mainstage Season begins on October 20 with the classic play, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, written by
Manuel Puig and translated by Allan Baker.
Directed by Seth Rozin and featuring Philadelphia favorite, Frank X, and
2004 Barrymore nominee, Vaneik Echeverria, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN opens officially on Wednesday, October 25, and runs
through November 19, 2006. Continuing the season in the new year will be the world premieres of Thomas Gibbons’
A HOUSE WITH NO WALLS (January 19-February 18, 2007) and Sherry Kramer’s WHEN SOMETHING WONDERFUL ENDS (April 6-May 6, 2007).
The season will then conclude with May 25-June 24 production of SKIN IN FLAMES, the East Coast premiere of a new play written
by Catalan playwright Guillem Clua and translated by DJ Sanders.
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