Saturday, September 27, 2008

 

The Phillies could win the pennant today. When they won it last year, I was on the road & Krishna gave me the play-by-play of the last inning of the winning game over the phone while I was in San Francisco. Thanks to travel & the mediocre way radio covers sports today, all I got to hear of their play-offs was a two-inning stint while waiting for a ferry in Seattle.

Presuming the Phillies do win, do they stand any chance of doing better than their three-and-out first round loss of last year? It’s hard to see how. The starting pitching has been so bad of late that Jamie Moyer is clearly the ace of the staff. He is also the oldest player in professional baseball. So here’s hoping that Ryan Howard can continue to carry the team on his broad shoulders the way he has this past month.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

 

  

 

Recently Received

 

Books (Poetry)

Jay Bartell, Ever After Never Under: 20 Choruses, Little Scratch Pad, Buffalo 2008

Michael Basinski, Of Venus  93, Little Scratch Pad, Buffalo 2008

Margaret Christakos, What Stirs, Coach House Press, Toronto 2008

Kevin Davies, The Golden Age of Paraphernalia, Edge Books, Washington, DC 2008

Jeremy Dodds, Crabwise to the Hounds, Coach House Press, Toronto 2008

Jennifer Firestone, Holiday, Shearsman Books, Exeter UK

Frank Giampietro, Begin Anywhere, Alice James Books, Farmington, ME 2008

David Gitin, Rites, Anchorite Press, Albany, NY 2008

Anne Gorrick, Kyotologic, Shearsman, Exeter, UK 2008

Debora Greger, Men, Women, and Ghosts, Penguin, New York & London, 2008

Brenda Iijima, Rabbit Lesson, Fewer and Further Press, Wendell, MA 2008

Pierre Joris, Meditations on the Stations of Mansour Al-Halla, 1 – 21, Anchorite Press, Albany, NY 2007

Richard Krech, Within the Curtilage, Bottle of Smoke Press, Dover, DE 2008

Jon Leon, Hit Wave, Kitchen Press Chapbooks, New York 2008

William Logan, Strange Flesh, Penguin, New York & London 2008

Aaron Lowinger, Open Night, Transmission Press, San Francisco 2008

Jill Magi, Torchwood, Shearsman, Exeter, UK 2008

John Martone, Folding Cot, Ordinary Fool, Charleston, IL 2008

Douglas Manson, At Any Point (To Becoming Normal), Expanded Edition, Little Scratch Pad, Buffalo 2008

Sheila E. Murphy, Parsings, Arrum Press, Puhos, Finland 2008

Nicolas Pesquès, Juliology, translated by Cole Swensen. Counterpath Press, Denver 2008

M. NourbeSe Philip, Zong!, as told to the author by Setaey Adamu Boateng, Wesleyan, Middletown, CT 2008

K. S. Rosenberg, Nous-Architecture: A Glimpse Into the Mysteries, Create Space, location or date given

Ed Sanders, Revs of the Morrow, Libellum 4, New York, 2008

Reginald Shepherd, Itinerary, Green Tower Press, Marysville, MO 2006

Nomi Stone, Strangers Notebook, TriQuarterly, Northwestern University Press, Evanston, IL 2008

Shannon Tharp, Determined by Aperture, Fewer and Further Press, Wendell, MA 2008

Jasmine Dreame Wagner, Charcoal, For Arbors, New York, Missoula & San Francisco 2008

Jean Vengua, Prau, Meritage Press, St. Helena & San Francisco 2007

Lesley Yalen, This Elizabeth, Minus House, Denver 2008

Mark Young, Pelican Dreaming: Poems 1959 – 2008, Meritage Press, St. Helena & San Francisco, 2008

 

Books (Other)

Eileen R. Tabios et al, The Blind Chatelaine’s Keys: Her Biography Through Your Poetics, BlazeVox, Buffalo 2008. Includes Juaniyo Arcellan, Andrea Baker, Anny Ballardini, Tom Beckett, Allen Bramhall, Clayton A. Couch, Thomas Fink, Jesse Glass, Laurel Johnson, Burt Kimmelman, Murat nemet-Nejat, Jonah Raskin, Barbara Jane Reyes, Ron Silliman, Jean Vengua, Alfred A. Yuson, more.

Tony Trehy, The Irony of Flatness, Bury Art Gallery, Bury, UK, 2009 (!). Catalog of show to run July to November 2009. Includes work by Robert Grenier, Rachel Goodyear, Hester Reeve, Stefan Gec, Ulrich Rückriem, Kristian Gudmundson, more.

 

Journals

Work, no. 7, no date listed, Oakland 2008. Includes Michael Basinski, Erika Staiti, David Buuck & Bill Luoma

Work, no. 8, no date listed, Oakland 2008. Includes Kenneth Goldsmith, Brandon Brown, Jacob Eichert, Richard Kostelanetz & Stephanie Young

 

 

Other Media & Formats

6x6, no. 16, Ugly Duckling Presse, Brooklyn, 2008. Includes Ossian Foley, Gretchen Primack, Anthony Madrid, Amanda Deutch, John High, Heather Christle. Little mag with its upper outer corner cut off. Usually bound by a rubber band, this one has a saddle staple to keep it together as well, as well as the band.

Author uncertain (John Martone? Bob Arnold?), Chú Dár , Ordinary Fool, Charleston , IL 2008. Single sheet folded quarto style with 9 color photographs on it, 5 of the envelope in which it came set into “natural” settings, 4 of tiny words typed & cut into minuscule slips that are sprinkled into the “book” – I didn’t notice the latter until I stood up and they snowed from my lap onto the floor. I’m guessing on the second word of the title.

Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, Searchlight Needles, For Arbors, New York, Missoula & San Francisco 2008, CD, Jasmine Dreame Wagner’s very good alt folk/anti-folk band

Whit Griffin, Wanhope, Longhouse, Green River, Vermont 2008. Two page book, pages being 4.25” by 11” that unfold from a purple 4.5” by 3” cover, with title text on a paper ribbon that binds almost too tightly together.

Anne Waldman, Akilah Oliver, Ambrose Bye, Matching Half, Farfalla Press / MacMillan and Parrish, Brooklyn, 2008, CD.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

 

Talking with Lisa Samuels
of Laura Riding
(Parts 1, 2 & 3)

§

The Electronic Poetry Center
now has
a Canadian portal

§

Barney Rosset:
Godfather of independent publishing

Evergreen Review online

§

Black Mountain College
75th anniversary celebration
this week

Black Mountain’s legacy continues

The women of Black Mountain College

§

Looking for
” emerging poets currently engaging specific elements
of [Charles] Olson’s poetics,
such as use, measure, breath, line, sound, and speech”

§

Geof Huth attempts to swallow
Ketjak2: Caravan of Affect
in one big gulp

12 ways of reading “Lit

Manifest
gets Huth half the way there
or maybe just 28%

§

Mark Morford on David Foster Wallace

A.O. Scott on Wallace

Every piece Wallace ever wrote
for Harper’s in PDF

§

The troubled lives of the Comma Bombers

§

Paul Lawrence Dunbar: Legacies

§

Cleveland Poetics: the blog

§

The end
not of publishing
but of BS

§

Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror
33 years later

§

Politics without the sermons

§

Joyce Carol Oates’
”Gargoyle”

§

Schedule for
The Frank Stanford Literary Festival
next month in
Fayetteville, Arkansas

§

Fayetteville laureate
struggles with medical bills

§

Lorca was everyone

§

Nietzsche on the value of reading slowly

§

Maghound,
the “Netflix of magazines

§

Judith Rechter’s Wild West

§

Why some writers should retire,
Mr Updike

§

Mary Bonina’s Living Proof

§

The Survey of English Usage

§

Illinois professors lose freedom of speech

§

Bowdlerizing fairy tales

§

bin Laden the poet

§

How to give good blurb

§

The poet Amber Tamblyn

§

The Canterbury Tales
are going digital

§

A Malayalam translation of modern Swedish poetry

§

Lee Sharkey’s A Darker, Sweeter String

§

Slammin’ in Berlin

§

Just north of Pittsburgh
social investing
saves a bookstore

§

The books of Oscar Wilde

§

Eilieen D’angeo on G. Emil Reutter

§

Minority language poetry
in the Philippines

§

Lillian Caesar
works in the tongues
of the
Caribbean

§

Talking with Jason Kirkey

§

When writer’s block is something more
than a strip of
St. Marks Place

§

Talking with Pete Brown

§

How to write poetrynot

§

An exercise in
literary self-portraits

§

Talking with Philip Pardi

§

Buffalo’s Babel is sold out

§

Philosophy at Auburn

§

Teaching Philosophy 101

§

That first non-academic job

§

Humor gets no respect

§

Gaffes with Gibson

Sarah Palindromes

§

What we smell
we dream

§

The 10 most expensive art books
sold on Abe Books
in 2008

§

Art & human rights

§

The Babar retrospective

§

a theosophist of jazz

§

Jazz & presidential politics

§

Is Metallica too loud?

§

Young adult fiction & presidential politics

§

Shutting out negative criticism

§

In Western Mass. ,
a Sol Lewitt retrospective
is emerging

§

Should group sex be public art?

§

The quilts of Gee’s Bend
come to Philly

§

How Winston Churchill
save British art

§

Logos gone wild

§

The freedom “free-for-all”

§

Ligorano/Reese
at the conventions

§

Open studios at the
Brooklyn Naval Yard

§

Francis Bacon, make your bed
It’s so much harder when you’re dead

§

In Germany,
Baader Meinhof film
alienates all

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

 

The Grand Piano comes to Detroit!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

 


Joe Faris & his  collection at Fashion Week

In the double narrative that is Project Runway, Joe was eliminated last week and will not be going on to show his work as one of the final three clothing designers in the show’s competition at Fashion Week in Bryant Park. In reality, Fashion Week was two weeks ago and Joe has already shown his collection at Bryant Park, as have some other designers whom we will be asked to think of as “losers” and whose collections we won’t see on the air. The show’s producers do this, of course, so as not to give away just who has been eliminated in advance of the final broadcast. But it’s  a practice that has some risks. In the show’s first season, many of the attendees at Fashion Week liked the collection of Austin Scarlett best, tho he’d already been eliminated. Scarlett has subsequently gone on to become the most successful of former Runway participant and is currently the creative director of the Kenneth Pool bridal collection.

This season, the timing of the show was such that six – count ‘em, 6 – designers actually got to show. Whether they will pretend it was really just three on the air or give us more – they gave the audience three and a half, last year, with two contestants showing collections to get to the final three (in reality, five were at Bryant Park). At least this year, you can see the Bryant Park collections of all six on the show’s website.

Scarlett was eliminated in season one of the show so that the series’ “villain” – a stock role that has evolved in reality TV fare – Wendy Pepper, a much weaker designer, could be presented as having a shot at winning. Over its seasons, tho, Runway has shown that it doesn’t need the artificial drama of a villain to make the program fascinating. It’s the one reality show that presents genuinely creative people being creative, albeit with some curious constraints. But it hasn’t yet dropped the pretense of the Final 3.

This season, the show’s fifth, has been the hardest to anticipate – it’s the show’s last on Bravo before it relocates to Lifetime (and moves from New York to LA) next year. For one thing, this has been the weakest group of designers the show has had. None of the current contestants would have made the final three in more than one other season. For example, I was able to identify who the final three would be by week four last season, simply because there were some standout talents in that group. At one point this year, I thought that just maybe the final three would involve Kelli Martin, Terri Stevens and Korto Momolu, an all-gal finale. Kelli won the very first challenge, making a dress of items found in a supermarket, winning that challenge by staining her materials to create some tremendous textures, making a halter top of sorts out of coffee filters. Terri is a hip urban black whose designs always present attitude. Yet Kelli was an early elimination, guilty of having been uneven in her work on the wrong challenge. Terri flamed out in a “team challenge” – all the designers hate working collaboratively – when her “assistant,” a contestant who had already been eliminated, simply walked out on her.

It was only last week, when Joe’s design of a hideous suit for a woman heading out onto the job market got him tossed, that if finally dawned on me that the final three will be Korto Momolu – a Liberian-American woman who often brings in fabulous colors & textures into her work (and who has been at risk of elimination when her designs have gone over the top); Leanne Marshall, a Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandise grad from Portland whose styles tend to be sophisticated (too much so for TV, which favors the use of loud colors over the visual presentation of subtle detail) & Jerell Scott, a Houston native with an off-again / on-again Jamaican accent who, like Marshall, does things that look too subtle for TV, tho they look as if they would be fabulous in person. This means that the next two to be eliminated would be Kenley Collins, a young designer who is into everything retro, talented in her way but aesthetically a one-trick pony, and Steven “Suede” Baum, the oldest of the remaining designers, but also the sloppiest & least consistent. “Suede” has been on the brink of elimination so many times that it has to be effecting him emotionally. He talks of himself in the third person and is one of several designers who actively resists any coaching from mentor (and Liz Claiborne creative director) Tim Gunn.

If it’s been difficult to find contestants to root for on the basis of sheer talent, it’s been equally hard to do so in terms of who the contestants are also. Christian Soriano, last season’s wunderkind champion, may have been the most egotistical & obnoxious of that bunch, but he had the chops to back it up. Week after week he offered up breath-taking designs. Conversely, nobody’s been a true villain this year either. Joe Faris may have made a few homophobic jokes, but he’s also clueless in so many other ways. Blayne Walsh may have been obnoxious enough for several seasons, always adding the suffix –licious to every third noun – but any 23-year-old who’s never heard of Sgt. Pepper has been living in a cocoon. And the women all trash talk one another to a degree that I’ve not seen so widespread on previous seasons. There’s no solidarity here.

So who ought to win? Who do I want to win? I’ve been successful at identifying the winner twice in the previous four seasons, usually much earlier than this. This time I think it’s a crapshoot. No, that’s not really true. But if I say that I think this time it will be Leanne, it’s because I’ve already seen the final collections. That in itself undercuts the narrative of what’s on the air, tho frankly I appreciate Bravo putting the photos up on its website. But this rather lackluster group makes me hope that the move to LA can breathe some fresh air into the show, and that it will finally drop the pretense of the double narrative. If not, I fear it won’t be that long before the one decent reality show on TV itself gets auf’ed.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

 

50 days of poetry & politics
up to & including
Muriel Rukeyser’s FBI file (PDF)

§

Joan Retallack & Juliana Spahr’s
 Poetry and Pedagogy:
The Challenge of the Contemporary

§

U.C. Press has made
Ketjak
available in PDF format

§

Talking with Barry McKinnon

§

Thomas Wiloch has died

§

Can Harry Potter save the Labor Party?

§

Bob Perelman:
Poetry & Discipline

§

Reginald Shepherd
& the art of the poetry blog

A long remembrance
of Reginald Shepherd

Joan Houlihan:
Genius Doesn’t Die

§

Christina Davis
moves from Poets House
to the Poetry Room
at Harvard’s Lamont Library

§

Talking with Naomi Shihab Nye

§

Next Thursday,
flarf comes to Minneapolis

§

The Letters of Allen Ginsberg

§

The mystery of Kay Ryan

§

David Foster Wallace’s
Kenyon College address

LA Times appreciation of
David Foster Wallace

The Chicago Tribune

The Chronicle of Higher Ed

The Guardian

Newsweek

New Yorker

The Telegraph

Village Voice

Washington Post

Jon Carroll

Ed Champion

Joshua Ferris

Mary Karr

Scott McLemee

Christopher Taylor

David Foster Wallace’s
Good People

Asset

 

§

Remembering Ahmad Faraz

§

Whose dreams emerge
in Darwish’s poems?

Cinemas hold events
to memorialize
Mahmoud Darwish

Darwish waited 3 months
to come to the
U.S.
for surgery

§

Geof Huth continues
his reading of
The Alphabet
with “
Garfield

Geof Huth’s reading of “Hidden”
mimics its form

ReadingInk

Looking for the soul of “Jones

§

Unburying Lorca

§

Jen Currin & Meredith Quartermain

§

The poetry of Osama bin Laden

§

New York Art Book Fair
Oct. 25 – 26

NY Artists’ Book Conference
Oct. 23 – 26

§

The copy of
Meditations in an Emergency
used in Mad Men
sure doesn’t look like the one
I used to own

§

Carmine Starnino:
not an “enfant” & not “terrible”

§

A Norton anthology
for the rest of the world

§

11 years dead,
Tran Dan
receives a life achievement award

§

Remebering Kenji Miyazawa
75 years after his death

§

New American Writing, no. 26

§

Reading report:
Anselm Berrigan & D.S. Marriott

§

A reading in Wuhan

§

George Bernard Shaw’s typewriter
is for sale

§

Houston bookstores & hurricane Ike

College bookstores get hit as well

§

Jerry Rothenberg’s
”12 essential books”
for Peter Davis’
The Poets Bookshelf, vol. II

§

Donald Hall at 80

§

Writing vs. Teaching

Does teaching writing
do more harm than good?

§

Morgan dropped from Scots exam

§

Lifting Belly’s Anglo focus

§

Guerrilla Poetics

§

How to find a good pen name

§

The best poets read widely

§

Louis McKee’s Still Life

§

“How I can be more like Robert Creeley

§

Sharon Mesmer’s The Virgin Formica

§

Why write in the “colonial language”?

§

The Rushdie effect

Salman Rushdie &
the culture of the hijra

§

5 ways to create
a more productive workspace

§

75 books every MAN should read
(a testosterone-poisoned view
of great books)

§

Ten books NOT to read
before you die

§

How The Times has viewed Ulysses
o’er the years

§

The fiscal perils of
Mark Twain’s house

§

Poetry & politics mix in Angola

§

Talking with Sayed Hegab

§

Frieda Hughes on John Betjeman

§

Peter Klappert’s Circular Stairs, Distress in the Mirrors

§

Talking with Trevor Reeves

§

Young writers compete
for the Dylan Thomas Prize,
worth $120K

§

The value of editors

§

Paul Auster in the dark

§

David Wagoner loses his way

§

Ugandan poet Kiguli to read in Berlin

§

4 unpublished poems by Shahriar
given to library in
Tabriz

§

The most successful writer alive
ain’t J.K. Rowling

§

I didn’t know about
The Boog City Festival
till it was too late

§

the madrigals…were more experimental

§

The role of the islands
in Irish lit

§

Poems of, but not by,
Georg Trakl

§

Katrina haunts
Katie Ford’s new book

§

Poetry roundup from Publishers Weekly

§

Steven Schroeder’s
calendar
of when presses are open
to read your work
has the potential
to turn into
another
Selby’s List

§

Online poetry zines

§

some obvious booby

§

A biography of Leonard Cohen

§

Simon Armitage’s latest book

§

Four books from Finishing Line Press

§

Gloomy Samuel Johnson

§

In San Francisco,
Poets 11

§

Poetry Northwest’s
Week of the Odes

§

No thanks for the recycled fish

§

Typography for lawyers

§

Computers are beginning
to understand

§

The Poetry Library of London

§

It’s the end of the (book) world as we know it

§

Living off reprints

§

The eros of the book itself

§

Can intelligent literature survive
the digital age?

§

But online literacy is a lesser kind

§

The man they call Slow Motion

§

Talking with Fred Andrle

§

Talking with Richard Wilbur

§

Japanese epic retold in English

§

Iran’s National Day of Poetry

§

Selling Quebec’s history

§

an ambitious poet

§

Mike Kelleher talks with Joe Milford
on the Jane Crown Radio Show

§

The spineless world of hardback publishers

§

One consequence of the market crash
may be fewer teaching jobs
as older faculty
delay their retirements

§

The worst academic careers

§

Antimetabole,
this campaign’s top rhetorical device (MP3)

§

U.K.’s Poetry Archive
starts to get traction

§

Vaclev Havel’s return to theater

§

Philly’s Fringe
in a wordle

§

DVDs are not dead (yet)

§

Jonathan Lethem reviews The Dark Knight

§

The death spiral of the sitcom

§

Hirst breaks art auction record

Hirst’s auction
does not demean arts world

But his unsold works
are quite a few

William Holman Hunt,
Hirst’s 19th century predecessor

§

Wither public art in DC?
(not a typo)

§

Painting over Sol Lewitt

§

Morandi’s still-lifes

§

The art detective retires (sort of)

§

Who owns antiquity?

§

Julian Schnabel & Placido Domingo

§

Over 100 concerts & art exhibitions
over just five days
to mark the grand opening of
Kings Place
in
London

§

Mauricio Kagel is dead

§

Bankrupt composer
loses rights to his music

§

How Sonny Rollins beat heroin

§

Is music still a product?

§

The Rest is Noise

§

Two silences

§

An alphabet of housing

§

From the town with trolleys, cable cars &
(once upon a time) Ken Kesey’s Further
now comes the CultureBus

§

Christopher Hitchens on Bernard-Henri Lévy

§

Culture wars, anthropology & the “Palin effect

§

The new Russian history

§

Benoit Mandlebrot:
How fractals explain
what’s wrong with Wall Street

§

The limits of statistics

§

Make it new

§

Is Sarah Palin qualified
to be VP?

§

McCain picked
the wrong Palin!

§

Close reading

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