Friday, December 05, 2008

 

The library as a form of porn

The libraries vs. Google

§

John Ashbery fights back!

Kessler’s offending letter

Ashbery the flaneur

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Kathy Lou Schultz’ Biting Midge

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Anne Waldman / Akilah Oliver / Ambrose Bye CD
is the Sexiest Poem of the Year 2008

§

Silence in Kenny Goldsmith’s Sports

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The bailout for poets
(seriously)

§

Tackling the poetry patriarchy

Gender pay gap in the arts

§

Meshwork Videos –
some of the best in British poetry

Podcasts are goodness.”

§

There are several good videos
of readings of late
on Geof Huth’s blog,
include Geof, Anne Gorrick,
Truong Tran & Cassie Smith

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Defending Jacob Scheier

§

Are poetry backlists “dead”?

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Scantily Clad Press
is building a list of
first-rate e-books,
including
Andrew Lundwall, Tomaz Salamun,
Brian Henry, Adam Fieled,
Juliet Cook, Ken Rumble,
Chris McCreary & more

§

Two poems by
Thanh Tam Tuyen
translated by Linh Dinh

§

Tim Davis’
Original Ideas in Magic

The Innerworld of the Outerworld of the Innerworld

§

Translating Milton into English

Translating Stein into English

§

Reading The Making of Americans

§

The 21st
Indie & Small Press Bookfair
is this weekend in NYC

§

Dear Sir or Madam,
Your work sucks

§

Coldest reading of the year?

§

Poet’s Picturebook,
the e-zine of the Filipino Diaspora,
celebrates an anniversary

§

Not R.S. Gwynn, or the Absence of Genius”

§

Frank O’Hara
(and Fairfield Porter)
makes it to the NY Times
art books gift guide

§

Glad to see someone’s noticed

§

Talking to ourselves

§

Marathon,
a film on the life of William Meredith

§

Rodney Koeneke on poetry & the future

§

Books on language
in time for the holidays

§

Literature maps

§

Two deaths at Robin’s Bookstore

§

Gray Friday for bookstores

§

Talking with Tim Gaze

§

Remembering Dave Church

§

How to win
all of Robert Bolaño’s works in English

11 articles on Bolaño & his work

§

This Sunday, a slam in Mumbai

§

Houghton Mifflin publisher ousted

Randomness at Random House

§

Gina Myers on Saginaw, Michigan

§

Reading aloud makes the difficult “easy”

§

“Public poetry is almost always very bad.”

A séance for poetry?

§

How to save $$ on books

§

Lally’s library

§

The Work (capital W) of William Gaddis

§

One Yellow Rabbit’s homages to poetry

§

Talking with the Eminem of Irish poetry

§

Poetry, ethics & Kent Johnson

§

In which “I”
finally get a poem
in The Nation

§

Improvisation

§

Talking with Josh Bell

§

Remembering David Wallace

§

A new look at Samuel Johnson

§

Susan Howe’s Souls of the Labadie Tract

§

Lowell Jaeger’s Suddenly, Out of a Long Sleep

§

Sarojini Sahoo’s Dark Abode

§

Kenneth Sherwood’s
notes for a class on Jack Kerouac

Kerouac, Freddie Redd & Frank O’Hara

§

Remembering William Wharton
(or Albert du Aime)

§

David Hinton’s Classical Chinese Poetry

§

Lyn Hejinian’s Saga / Circus

Andy Gricevich on Hejinian’s “The Distance”

§

Make-a-Wish supports a teen poet

§

Charles Bukowski’s The Post Office

§

Robert Venturi’s masterpiece
just down the road
from my house

§

Leckey gets lucky,
wins Turner Prize

§

The Complete Arista Recordings of Anthony Braxton

§

Talking with The Fireman

Nothing Too Much Just Out of Sight

§

Singing Emily D

§

Globalization’s front lines:
a world tour of rap

§

Baghdad “sticky bomb” targets NPR team

§

Outliers & class advantage

§

So you wants to be a hipster

§

Which book of philosophy was most transformative?

“What would Adorno say?”

§

“& if my thought dreams could be seen
they’d probably put my head in a guillotine,
but it’s alright, Ma, it’s life & life only”

§

Tom Sutpen’s mostly hardboiled photo site:
”If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger,
There’d Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats”

§

How many post-avant poets are there?
Shampoo has published
888 poets in its first 34 issues
& only three of the ten Grand Piano authors
 (Steve Benson, Kit Robinson, myself)
are included

§

Odetta is gone

Washington Post obit

LA Times obit

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

 

Dear Ron,

Mayor Nutter and Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance invite you to a discussion and Q&A session for the arts community on the City's response to the financial crisis and subsequent changes to the City budget. The meeting will be held this Friday, December 5th, at 5:30pm in the Mayor's Reception Room in City Hall. We hope that you will be able to attend.

Friday, December 5th

5:30-6:30pm

Mayor's Reception Room

City Hall, Room 202

At the meeting, Mayor Nutter, Finance Director Rob Dubow, and Chief Cultural Officer Gary Steuer will be on hand to explain the context of the economic crisis, the difficult decisions that need to be made, how they will affect cultural organizations and programs, and to share the principles that guided the process. They will answer questions and solicit input on priorities going forward.

Please feel free to share this with friends and colleagues who may be interested in attending. If you have any questions, please contact Katherine Gajewski in the Mayor's Office at Katherine.Gajewski@phila.gov or 215-686-2120.

Please note: It is a good idea to arrive early to get through City Hall security. Enter through the Visitor's Entrance at the NE corner of City Hall.

Gary

Gary P. Steuer
Chief Cultural Officer
Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy
City Hall, 708
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-686-3989 (O)
267-438-7153 (C)
gary.steuer@phila.gov

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

 

 

Literally next door to the towering, majestic & world famous quilts from Gee’s Bend¹, the drawings of James Castle (1899 or 1900 – 1977) seem tiny & muted. Most of them are monochromatic on the simplest of canvases – the unfolded backs of commercial packaging, such as cigarette packs. His favored tools were sharpened sticks. His primary pigments were stove soot and saliva. Apparently deaf from birth and unable to read or even speak, James Castle turned out to be one of the great American artists of the 20th century. His galleries and those of the Gee’s Bend quilt makers are what’s currently at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in the same spaces that will be gorged with viewers of Cezanne come late February. Frankly, they should be there now.

Castle was not entirely an untrained artist, having spent five years in the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind, although his tenure there was not successful – he did not learn language and stories vary as to his recalcitrance & defiance. Many of his drawings depict the two-building school or focus on the various Idaho farms his family owned, most often in straightforward realist manner, with the notable exception of heads, which tends to be square or boxy or even objects, such as chairs. There is a quiet ease & precision, even in these simple, sometime minuscule landscapes, that is on a par with any of the 20th century realists – he’d look just fine alongside any of the Wyeths, for example.

But there are works here that also absolutely foretell pop art, or that look like Ed Ruscha, or even Jasper Johns. And there’s no evidence that word of any of these art trends ever seeped through the TV or photo magazines into the Boise Valley farm where he lived the last 40 some years of his life. When we see him copying art, it’s the salt girl from Morton’s (with a boxy head) or images from the Sunday funnies or editorial cartoons. Indeed, nobody paid Castle much attention at all – there were enough kin to work the farms and let him just draw away all day, or to construct tiny sculptures out of cardboard & string – until a nephew, Bob Beach, first brought him to the attention of a Portland art professor. The rest, as they say, is history.

And although James Castle seems never to have acquired language², he certainly had ideas about language. And books. James Castle was one of the most prolific manufacturer of handmade books ever, constructed out of scraps of packaging or magazine ads, very competently sewn with whatever string he could scrounge up. There are books whose only content is the line, page after page of wavy lines clearly indicating his sense of how these go on. It is, in fact, a major treatise on the function of the line as a constituent of language itself, precisely because it is conducted by someone who can look at it from the outside. Castle often puts words or titles on these books’ covers, ranging from Taxes to Kotex. There are even collage displays of packaging, in which star formations themselves are transformed into kaleidoscopes of five identical images.  I think every visual poet in the world would want to consider the vision of this man for whom language seems to have been essentially visual, as distinct from semantic.

There is another James Castle who is likewise a sculptor, so use the links here not to be drawn astray. This show will be in Philadelphia through January 4, when it moves to the Art Institute of Chicago & finally to the Berkeley Museum of Art. When you go, be sure to see the video documentary that comes with the show, a combination of Castle’s work and interview snippets with his many nieces & nephews & various art critics (John Yau prominently among them) and historians.

 

 

¹ If you go jus to see the quilts – a day in itself – be sure to visit the Perelman annex kitty corner from the main museum where they have mounted a small show of recent acquisitions from museum’s permanent collection of quilts including thirteen pieces from the Ella King Torrey collection. Torrey, the first director of the Pew Arts program and later head of the San Francisco Art Institute, gathered a series of quilts from Gee’s  Bend while studying at the University of Mississippi. There are also some other recent acquisitions to the quilt collection that will cause your jaw to drop.

² Temple Grandin, a scholar of autism & herself autistic, and others have suggested that Castle may have been profoundly autistic rather than deaf, or at least in addition to being deaf.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

 


Mary & George Oppen at Swarthmore, 1979
photo by Robert S. DuPlessis,
courtesy of Jacket

The Jacket feature on George Oppen
is now complete, having added
Pat Clifford
Stephen Cope
Zach Finch
Kathleen Fraser
Bob Perelman
&
Patrick Pritchett
to the works of
DuPlessis, Evans, Filreis,
Hawkins, Heller & O’Brien

§

The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest

§

First newspaper review of The Alphabet

& a review from CA Conrad

§

Gender bias in anthologies

§

Canada Council denies
an obvious conflict of interest

§

Anne Gorrick’s Kyotologic

§

Dave Church has died

§

Ange Mlinko on Emily Dickinson

§

Will Harvard ditch Brit lit?

§

Paul Muldoon finds it “difficult” to make sense
(Scroll down in the Times article under “Comedy”)

The Times’ Poetry Holiday” recommendations

§

In Philadelphia,
the closing of Robin’s Bookstore
is page one news

§

New York indie bookstores

§

How to sell poetry
(Barnes & Noble edition)

How to sell poetry:
the view from Wales

§

Borders is struggling

§

A bookstore’s blog in Paris

§

Publishing without perishing

§

Journalism’s one-way ticket
to
Bangalore

§

French cops terrorize journalist

§

CFP:
Advancing Feminist Poetics
& Activism

§

A profile of Imam Bakry

§

Hannah Weiner is worth it!

§

Lyn Hejinian in Portuguese

§

The 2008 PEN Oakland Jo Miles
National Literary Awards

§

50 sci-fi & fantasy works
socialists should read

§

Orhan Pamuk: “My Turkish Library”

§

Libraries – now more than ever

§

Talking with Kaisa Ullsvik Miller

§

The Airpoets of Indianapolis

§

Forrest Gander:
What is eco-poetry?

§

The triumph of Roberto Bolaño

Bolaño’s poetry, Bolaño’s poets

§

Zadie Smith: two paths for the novel

§

Ed Baker & Sarojini Sahoo, talking

§

Jordan Davis on the poetics of Slovenia

§

Rabbit Light Movies’
latest gathering of poetry reading YouTubes
includes Eleni Sikelianos, Ed Roberson
Dan Beachy-Quick, Tim Yu,
Nathalie Stephens & many more

§

Erik Davis on the new Spicer collected

Steve Fama’s review of the new
Spicer collected poetry
focuses on a single mini-detail

§

Charles Laughton reads Jack Kerouac

§

David Smith-Ferri’s Battlefield Without Borders

§

Banjo Paterson: poetry for blokes

§

The first biography of a Palestinian writer

§

V.S. Naipaul’s “authorized” biography

James Wood on V.S. Naipaul

James Wood & criticism today

§

Cavafy + Schuyler = Mark Doty?

§

2 anthologies of new European poetry

§

Juan Marsé wins the Cervantes

§

The 35,000 questions of
Josh Malehabadi

§

Wendell Berry: “idea poet, sight poet”

§

Poetry & Uruguay

§

The Armenian Poetry Project

§

Jaki Shelton Green ,
the poet laureate of
North Carolina’s Piedmont

§

A biography of Márquez

§

Milosz and the priest

§

A Minnesota anthology

§

More bad poetry, please

§

Rafael Campo & Franz Wright

§

Mary Karr on Marie Howe

§

Journals co-edited by Kyle Schlesinger:
Mimeo Mimeo
On
Journal of Artists Books

§

How to save (maybe) The Washington Post

§

Google as censor

§

Europeana is proving too popular

§

Mailmen who horde mail

§

Language, Truth & Logos

§

Word of the Year: Obama!

§

Spankle

§

The Trouble with Textbooks

§

The Eroticism of Pedagogy

§

David Berman, poet & Silver Jew

§

Jorn Utzon has died

§

Helvetica underground

Peignot noir

§

Ripped & Torn:
collage, assemblage
& a healthy dose of poets
at 532 Gallery

§

Selected Thievery
& the Practice of Looking

§

The Turner prize is “dead in the water”

§

A profile of Carol Damian,
director of the new
Frost Art Museum
at
Florida International University

§

Stan Brakhage’s Scenes From Under Childhood

§

Four reviews of Milk:
Roger Ebert
New York Times
New Yorker
San Francisco Chronicle

§

Why no art for the nose?

§

Claude Lévi-Strauss at 100

§

Adam Kirsch on Slavoj Žižek

§

The war in anthropology

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