Saturday, January 23, 2010

 

Allen Ginsberg typing 1956.

James Franco as Allen Ginsberg in Howl

Over the years, some versions of the top photograph have alleged that Ginsberg is typing (or writing) Howl, tho the date is one year too late. With regards to the bottom photo, our first thought is that the typewriter has changed – it’s gray instead of the more common black. Our second thought is to wonder if that particular model was even available in 1955. Franco has stripped to a t-shirt because he’s hunkier here (Allen would like that!). And he’s moved from the kitchen to a dining room or study. But you gotta love that lamp. It’s the light source for the original photo, tho not for the recreation.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

 


Kate McGarrigle

1946 - 2010

Some say a heart is just like a wheel
When you bend it, you can't mend it
And my love for you is like a sinking ship
And my heart is like that ship out in mid ocean

They say that death is a tragedy
It comes once and it's over
But my only wish is for that deep dark abyss
'Cause what's the use of living with no true lover

And it's only love, and it's only love
That can wreck a human being and turn him inside out
That can wreck a human being and turn him inside out

When harm is done no love can be won
I know this happens frequently
What I can't understand
Oh please God hold my hand
Is why it should have happened to me

And it's only love and it's only love
And it's only love and it's only love
Only love, only love
Only love, only love

Lyrics by Anna McGarrigle

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

 



Robert B. Parker

1932 2010

Robert Parker is not the sort of writer I would typically think to memorialize here. In spite of his invocation of the 16th century poet for the name of his iconic character Spenser, there was not a lot that Spenser had to do with poetry. Parker’s prose has none of the ear for spoken English that one associates, say, with Elmore Leonard at his best (i.e., the Detroit period), nor for the pure pleasures of syntax that one recognizes in Stephen King. In making his surname-only primary character a tough guy with feelings, complete with a therapist girlfriend & a penchant for fine cooking, Parker demonstrates that he understands his audience as a market & understands it fairly well. Spenser's sidekick Hawk is an Enkiddu surrogate right out of Queequeg by way of Tonto & is interesting mostly as a stepping stone toward the more violent & psychotic Mouse created by Walter Mosley to accompany Easy Rawlins.¹

Still, I went through my Robert Parker period like a lot of other readers, one that may have gone on a lot longer than it otherwise might have because I read Parker’s best book, Looking for Rachel Wallace, fairly early on. It took me a dozen novels at least to realize that I wasn’t going to find another. Rachel Wallace is a lesbian feminist who needs protection but isn’t thrilled to get it from the testosterone-poisoned Spenser. She fires him only to need rescuing anyway, which he does in his usual way of wading into the dark parts of the story just to stir things up so he can begin to chase whatever squirms out into the light of day. There is a self-conscious clumsiness at the heart of Spenser’s method, the antithesis of the detective who solves crimes through subtle analysis. Wallace is constantly challenging Spenser on his brutish methods & he responds with the trademark wisecracks, but in the process Parker creates a novel that is a wonderful interrogation of the presumptions underpinning the crime story genre, and that literally asks all the questions. In the patented Spenser style that was already largely set when the novel came out in 1980, Rachel Wallace describes 18 meals in its 31 chapters, starting with lobster, ending with red beans & rice, and rescues the damsel via an act of violence. Parker clearly sides with his genre, while giving readers a vision of the much larger picture. If you haven’t read it, you owe it to yourself to do so.

 

¹ When they brought Spenser to TV in 1985, the producers tried to soften Hawk just by having the regal Avery Brooks play the role. Like the late Robert Urich, who portrayed Spenser, the opera-singing Brooks never quite fit his role.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

 

Marilyn Crispell & Ron Silliman

An evening of poetry & improvised music

Saturday, January 30, 7:30 PM

Recital Hall, Pima Center for the Arts

Pima Community College West Campus

2202 West Anklam, Tucson

$10 for tickets at Bentley's & at Antigone Books,
or $8 from Chax Press
(if purchased from Chax Press directly, before the night of the event),
$15 at the door.

Seating is limited to 120 people!
Phone 520-620-1626

Presented by Chax Press
with cosponsorship by
The University of Arizona Poetry Center and POG

Marilyn Crispell has more than two dozen albums of music and has long been one of our great innovative performer/composers on the piano; John Pareles, in the NY Times, writes, "Hearing Marilyn Crispell play solo piano is like monitoring an active volcano. She is one of a very few pianists who rise to the challenge of free jazz." Crispell is a rarity in that she's not interested in hard bop, jazz/hip-hop, or fusion. Her style, with its slashing phrases, percussive mode, clusters, and speed, pays homage to Cecil Taylor (whom she reveres) but isn't merely an imitation...and her use of space, African rhythms, and chording also recall Thelonious Monk and Paul Bley, two others she cites as influences, along with Leo Smith.

Ron Silliman, it says here, is one of America's most consistently challenging and rewarding poets, with more than 30 books to his credit, most recently The Alphabet. The Times Literary Supplement opines, "Ron Silliman's ongoing long poem The Alphabet... mingles quotidian observation, linguistic-philosophical reflection, and street-level social critique to produce as vivid, systemic, and cumulatively moving an account of contemporary life as any poet now writing." Silliman's Blog, a weblog focused on contemporary poetry and poetics, has had over 2.5 million hits since its inception in 2002.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

 

The making of E8

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Poetry written with an eraser
(My Podcast with Harriet)

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Edwidge Danticat:
Voicing Haiti

Pierre Joris on Haiti

On the death there of Georges Anglade

A note from Thomas Spear (in French)

Aimé Césaire: “Earthquake”
(translated by Paul Muldoon)

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Maurice Blanchot:
The Writing of Disaster
(reg. req.)

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41 popular “moves”
in contemporary poetry

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Female poets compete on
Millions Poet

San Diego State conference
on contemporary women’s writing

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5 poems by Rae Armantrout

The Hang

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A Veronica Forrest-Thomson retrospective

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Barrett Watten’s Plasma

Knocking the “Whig”
off John Wilkinson’s revisionist history

Rethinking Sylvia Plath

§

Rachel Loden in the Washington Post

§

Bill Deemer’s Last Poems

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Robert Duncan’s
“Often I am Permitted to Return to a Meadow”

discussed by
Charles Bernstein, Jerry Rothenberg,
Jeffrey Robinson & Al Filreis

Michael McClure & projective verse

Some essays on “organic” poetry

§

Kit Robinson
on Carla Harryman’s Adorno’s Noise

Kass Fleisher on Harryman’s Noise

The “perform-a-text” examination

An interview with Harryman
can be found on page 3
of [Inter]sections

§

Eric Mottram:
“Ta’wil and Henry Corbin”

§

The book pirates of Peru

§

An exchange on the Google books deal

The Authors Guild Q&A

§

Philip Gross
wins the T.S. Eliot Prize

§

Close reading Mohammed Dib

§

Linda Russo’s “Faiku

§

Docu-Po vs. Flarf

Dickinson vs. flarf
& the expansion of a poetic idea

Juliana Spahr:
“Some of We and the Land
That was Never Ours”

St. Juliana of Spahr

§

A call to poets:
Stay alive!

§

Coming in from the Cold:
Celebrating 20 Years of the
MLA Offsite Poetry Reading,
with

Elizabeth Willis, Tyrone Williams, Rodrigo Toscano,
Rod Smith, Evie Shockley, Jennifer Scappettone, Bob Perelman,
Aldon Nielsen, Laura Moriarty, Patrick Durgin & Charles Bernstein

Nielsen’s photos

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Complicities:
British Poetry 1945 – 2007

edited by Robin Purves & Sam Ladkin

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Fanny Howe on her father

A Hymn

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71 poems by Robert Grenier

§

Somali poetry podcast
featuring Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac 'Gaarriye'

Gaarriye’s Maansooyin
in Somali & English

The Poetry Translation Centre:
poetry in 20 languages
from Indonesian to Zapotec

The “Translation Gap

Why more foreign writers
aren’t published in America

Publishing models & translation:
a ten-part series

§

Peggy Dunstan has died

§

Baltimore Sun obit
for David Franks

§

Remembering P.K. Page

The government of Canada
on the death of
P.K.Page

§

Recalling Dennis Brutus

§

5 poems from Cole Swensen

§

Poets Theater at Small Press Traffic

Kevin Killian’s video of Life on Mars
(NSFW!)

§

Death of a bookstore
in Marysville, CA

& another in LA just for Buddhists

NPR on the loss of Dalton’s
to Laredo

§

Supporting indie bookstores
with small press books

§

Left Bank Books
will move, not close

§

This is what a feminist [poet] looks like:
Jennifer Bartlett

§

One great category in Coldfront’s
ambitious 2009 year-in-review feature is
Best New Book by a Canonical Figure

§

Rob Fitterman’s
Holocaust Museum

§

Céline’s anti-Semitism

§

Mary Ponsot & Naomi Shihab Nye
elected chancellors of
American Academy of Poets

Long tradition of Quietist domination continues

§

How © extension
has banished millions of books
to the scrap heap of history

§

Talking with Laura Sims

Laura Sims’ Stranger

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Words and/or images

§

13 years
for group to read
Finnegans Wake

§

New poems by Joseph Massey

§

Carmine Starnino, lazy bastard

§

Connie Deanovich’s “Requirements for a Saint”

§

Fractals & the self
in the work of
Graham Foust, Sarah O’Brien
& Andrew Zawacki

§

From Rusty Morrison’s Bataille

§

Inside William Burroughs’ “bunker”

§

Canada’s second-oldest magazine
is changing its name
because, well, because
it’s The Beaver

§

Poetry & the prudes

§

Hank Lazer’s Portions
& Andrea Cohen’s Long Division

§

A reading
for the Emporer of Japan

§

A poetry festival in Southern India

& another in the Northeast

§

A poet from Minsk reads in Jamaica

§

Android Karenina

Anna gets all wiry on us

§

Michael Leong’s e.s.p.

§

The first of 4
Bolaño titles
due out in 2010

§

3 poems by Andrew Joron

§

Coming out as a poet

§

Linda Rogers offers TMI

§

A benefit for Tuli Kupferberg
Friday, January 22nd in NYC
with Sonic Youth, Lou Reed, John Zorn,
the Fugs & more

§

Miguel Hernández on the moon

§

Don Thompson,
poet of the San Joaquin

§

Talking with Lewis Turco
about sci-fi poetics

§

Jack Kerouac
on the runway

Forging Kerouac’s will

Yet another Kerouac memoir
tucked into this hodge-podge of books

§

William Keckler notices
that Poltroon Press lives up to its name

§

mark(s) e-zine, a complete archive

§

$160 to hear Helen Vendler
opine on Walt Whitman

Whitman’s blog

§

Authorship & the collaborative poem

§

The fisher poets
make annual migration
to Oregon waters

§

We’re already into
the Delray Beach Poetry Fest

§

T. Coraghessan Boyle:
“A Death in Kitchawank”

§

Robinson Jeffers,
instinctive Buddhist

§

Ǝ is not for e-books

§

You can buy books
but you never really own an e-book

§

It isn’t doomsday for books

§

Take the One Book Pledge
& help save indie bookstores

The writing on the wall
for indie bookstores

§

Lewiston poet runs a bookstore

§

Using Espresso
(the machine, not the drink)
to combat Amazon

§

Drew Gardner:
“Guys Like Terrorism”

§

The biggest literary stories
of the past decade

§

Neil Gaiman’s fantasies

§

The critic’s task is to be
the taste maker

§

Galway Kinnell & Larry Leavis

“feed me to the black turkeys

§

Art that uses the book cover
as its stackable canvas

§

Is William Blake
the best UK artist ever?

The notebook of William Blake

Rare Blake etchings found
in railway table

§

Notes toward a history of
book selling

§

A Digital Book World
Pecha Kucha
(look it up)
at the Bowery Poetry Club

Consumer attitudes toward
e-book reading

§

Amy King’s
Slaves to do These Things

§

Carl Sandburg:
Stop making sense

§

Walter Bargen
on his term as Missouri laureate

§

How maître d’ Stanley Pellicer
became poet Marcel Toussaint

§

Stephen Edgar & Joel Brouwer

§

Talking with Evie Shockley

§

Best short review
of the new O’Hara Selected

§

The shakeout in e-readers

A buyer’s guide to e-readers

Free Blio e-reader software
due out in February

§

Marjorie Perloff on Susan Howe

§

Joyce
reading from Finnegans Wake

§

Diet Ashbery

2 new poems by John Ashbery

§

Between Robert Lowell & John Ashbery

§

Longfellow’s Dante just for gamers

§

Dan Beachy-Quick
introduces Broc Rossell

§

Can e-books defeat piracy?

§

C.D. Wright:
Poetry vs. Wal-Mart

§

William Saroyan lives & breathes

§

Styron’s choice

§

That feminist, Philip Roth

§

The poet’s home

§

Remembering William Stafford

A Stafford celebration

§

Sappho:
poet of the personal

§

About.com’s
“Best poetry books of 2009”

§

The hysteric moment
in contemporary fiction

§

Against rhyme
& against rhyme 2

§

Promoting literacy in a red state

§

The 200th anniversary of the death of
Robert Tannahill

§

Edmund White on Kermode’s Forster

Edmund White & the literary lottery

§

The education of
Gabriel García Márquez

§

Heroic moments in poetry
(onomatopoeia) (simile) (ellipsis)
(page-based vs. spoken word)

§

James Reiss on
Wallace Stevens’ Selected Poems

§

Hull turns Philip Larkin
into one big tourist attraction

§

Bad books
are as instructive as good ones

§

Sprechen sie Na’vi?

§

Translating bpNichol’s
Translating Apollinaire
into Klingon

§

Tokyo libraries
reach out to readers
of other languages

§

Daniel Simko’s The Arrival

§

Ian Hamilton’s Collected Poems

§

Talking with Owen Hill

§

Camus’ diaries

§

A Pakistan anthology of American Quietism

§

Webcasting cowboy poetry
from St. Augustine, Texas

§

Penguin promotes its backlist

Pricing the backlist

§

The Image Theory:
Retail Price Maintenance
& the Allure of High Prices

§

Beer cans
in literature & film

§

Laura Hruska has died

§

Why Murdoch’s goal is doomed

§

The student of Robert Lowell

§

The Home Video Review of Books

§

Ben Lerner:
Doppler Elegies

§

Thomas McCarthy, 30 years on

§

Christopher Hitchens on Gore Vidal

Vidal & Mailer feuding on TV

§

Poetry of the tube

§

Matthew Fleming’s The Kingdom of Ohio

§

On Gerhard Richter & John Ashbery

§

Post-Avant at the Winter Olympics

§

Google apologizes
to Chinese authors

Google to stop censorship
but may bail on
world’s largest market

§

Zadie Smith
& “the abstractions
of a posh postmodernism”

§

The Collected Poems of
Dahlia Ravikovitch

§

French retailers urge
national e-book hub

France proposes
digital book swap
with Google

§

3 more colleges
strike deal
not to promote Kindle

§

Remembering Rachel Wetzsteon

§

Mary Wilkins Freeman’s “Luella Miller

§

A better poem than “Invictus”
by W.E. Henley

§

The open mic poetry scene in Utah

§

The contemporary Arabic novel

§

How not to read
David Foster Wallace

§

Darwin & poetry

§

Baker’s The Anthologist:
“a number of gems strewn
in among the quotidian hum-drum”

§

Rentable textbooks
taking off

§

Letterheady

§

Critical Challenges
of the Very Contemporary:
Kaplan Harris reports

§

City Lights’ best-sellers

§

Reading English-language books
in Paris

§

Jonathan Lethem’s Chronic City
has everything but plot

§

The birth of
the Oregon psychedelic novel

§

French novelists battle
over “theft of dead baby”

The joy of plagiarism

§

Punctuation saves lives!

§

Woe is I:
6 books on the new rules of English

§

Talking with cover designer
Doogie Horner

§

Marc Sheehan’s
Vengeful Hymns

§

David Lodge of Nabokov’s The Original of Laura

Joyce Carol Oates flirts with Lolita

§

Patti Smith’s Just Kids

§

A Hay(na)ku bibliography

§

Daniel Pritchard on Snow’s Rilke

§

Poet Lore reaches 120th anniversary

§

Dom Moraes
on poetry & identity in India

§

A photomosaic of Misuzu Kaneko sets a new record

§

Two books with Bikol poetry

§

At Eureka’s Booklegger Bookstore
after the 6.5 earthquake

§

Orwell’s Diaries

§

3 books by Jill Alexander Essbaum

§

2 reviews of Matthew Dickman’s
All-American Poem

§

In praise of Philip Marlowe

§

Christopher Reid:
my media

§

Gil Scott-Heron
& poetry set to music

§

Authors jealous of their characters

Coetzee’s new character is himself

§

One last “best of ‘09” list

§

Milosz &/or Herbert

§

Which writers repeat themselves
& which recycle?

§

A talk series on the art of the book

§

Louise Glück’s A Village Life

§

Michael Field’s “La Gioconda”

§

Charles Chesnutt:
“The Bouquet”

§

A “gravely ill” Harold Bloom
cancels his classes

§

What is “good writing”?

§

William H. Gass:
Emerson & the Essay

The Skewed Path:
Essaying as Unmethodical Method

Collage, Montage, Mosaic,
Vignette, Episode, Segment

(reg. req. for each of these)

§

Arizona State settles suit
over Kindle’s lack of access
for the vision-impaired

§

Why go to grad school?

§

When tenure means nothing

§

An arts foundation goes MIA

§

An ABC of the brain

§

Reviving Ophelia:
GirlDrive & Feminists for Obama

Nona Willis Aronowitz on Progressive Radio

One of the subjects responds

Emma Bee Bernstein
at the DOVA Temporary in Chicago
in February

§

Allan Kaprow:
The Artist as a Man of the World
(reg. req.)

§

When the NY scene was downtown

§

Pain, fame & the arts

§

Barry Schwabsky on Gerhard Richter

§

Don Bachardy’s self-portraits
at the Craig Krull Gallery in LA

§

Tony Trehy on Damien Hirst

§

Chris Ofili now

§

Maira Kalman at the ICA

§

Garry Wills remembers David Levine

§

Unraveling the myth
of Van Gogh’s “tortured soul”

§

Tino Sehgal embraces reference

§

The parking garage
as a form of art

§

Remembering Susan Klahr

§

Dennis Stock has died

Remembering Stock

§

Strictly Death

§

Propoganda / Art

§

Works on paper rejects

§

Museums opting for business
over curatorial skills
for top posts

§

Talking with Tony Kushner

§

Life with Harold Pinter

§

NYC’s progessive theater (or not)

§

Advanced aesthetics:
creators & how to stage them

§

Richard Schechner:
Performance Theory
(reg. req.)

§

Bingo Gazingo has died

§

Matt Lau on Brody’s Godard

§

Eric Rohmer est mort

Remembering Rohmer

§

Avatar
from a black perspective

§

David Lau
on Jia Zhang-Ke

§

An oral history of
Over the Edge

§

The prosthetic imagination
of David Lynch

§

A wee excerpt from a bio of
Thelonious Monk

The women who made Monk

§

Lester Bangs in Rolling Stone

§

“Write in a serious way
about a mindless pop-rock song” –
Daniel Nester on The Outfield’s Your Love

§

Opera:
getting a handle on Handel

§

Beckett working

§

The fate of Pee-Wee Herman

§

Frank Lloyd Wright
in Abu Dabhi

§

Design fantasies
for an obsolete
Bay Bridge span

§

Henri Lefebvre:
Everyday Life in the Modern World
(reg. req.)

§

Is the internet changing how you think?

§

What are universities for?

§

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak essay collection
(part 1) (part 2)
(reg. req.)

§

Foucault & Chomsky, talking

Part 2

§

Permatemp nation

§

It’s ba-ack!

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