extended hiatus

Due to expanded commitments to my small press, I've been forced to cut down on some other projects. I would be delighted if someone else came forward to carry on this blog. Meanwhile, I hope some of the links and contacts herein are of some use.



Kristin Palm & Ethel Rackin: Philly: 9/30/08

Tuesday, September 30, 6pm: Robin's Bookstore (108 S 13th St, Philadelphia) presents poets Kristin Palm & Ethel Rackin.

For more information, see: http://www.robinsbookstore.com/events/093008.html.

Kristin Palm's book, The Straits (two long poems about Detroit, her former hometown), was published this year by the serendipitously named Palm Press. Her writing has also appeared in various journals, including Boog City, Chain, There and Dusie, the anthology Bay Poetics (Faux Press, 2006), and numerous magazines and newspapers. She writes regularly for Metropolis magazine and its blog, POV (www.metropolismag.com/pov). Kristin lives in San Francisco.

Ethel Rackin's poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, Volt, Court Green, and elsewhere. She has taught creative writing at Penn State's Delaware County campus, Haverford College, and the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts. She is currently a doctoral candidate in English at Princeton University.

Adam Zagajewski: Bucknell: 9/23/08

Tuesday, Sept 23, 7pm: Poet Adam Zagajewski will read at Bucknell Hall.

Poet, novelist, essayist, and memoirist Adam Zagajewski is one of the most well known and highly regarded of contemporary Polish poets. A native of Lvov, a largely Polish city that became part of the Soviet Union shortly after his birth, Zagajewski was a major figure in the Polish New Wave literary movement of the 1970s and of the anti-Communist Solidarity Movement of the 1980s. His most recent books in English are Eternal Enemies and Without End: New and Selected Poems, both from FSG. Zagajewski teaches at the University of Chicago and spends part of the year in Krakow, Poland.

Earlier on Tuesday, at 4pm, Zagajewski will give a Q&A session in the Willard Smith Library in the English Department of Bucknell's campus.

David Mura [fiction]: Philly: 9/22/08

Monday, September 22, 6pm: Robin's Bookstore (108 S 13th St, Philadelphia) presents writer David Mura, reading from his novel Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire. For more information see: http://www.robinsbookstore.com/events/092208.html.

"There is no writer that dives deeper (or more bravely) into the chasm that is the human heart. [David Mura's] first novel is a tour de force: luminously written and by turns crafty, tough, wise, and joyful." - Junot Diaz

Ben Ohara is the sole surviving member of his family. A troubled and brilliant astrophysicist, Ben's younger brother has mysteriously vanished in the Mojave Desert. His father, one of a small group of WWII draft resisters (known as the No-No Boys) during the internment of Japanese Americans, committed suicide when Ben was young. And his mother, whose wish to escape the past was as strong as his father's ties to it, has died with her secrets. Now struggling to support his wife and children and under pressure to complete his historical study, "Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire," Ben realizes that the key to unlocking the future lies in reassessing the past. As Ben vividly recalls a childhood colored by the tough Chicago streets, horror movie monsters, sci-fi villains, Japanese folktales, and TV war heroes, he begins to understand the profound difference between coming of age and becoming a man. And by retracing his brother's footsteps and returning to the site of the Heart Mountain Internment Camp, Ben uncovers a truth that has the power to set him free.

An acclaimed memoirist, poet, and playwright, David Mura is one of America's most insightful cultural critics. His memoirs, Turning Japanese and Where the Body Meets Memory, along with his poems, essays, plays, and performances, have won wide critical praise and numerous awards. Visit his website at http://www.davidmura.com/.

Katarzyna Newcomer & Barbara Torode: Philly: 9/22/08

Tuesday, September 22, 6pm: Moonstone Poetry Series at Robin's Bookstore (108 S 13th St, Philadelphia) presents Katarzyna Newcomer & Barbara Torode.

For more information see: http://www.robinsbookstore.com/events/092308.html.

[DC area]: Sandra Beasley & Susan Settlemyre Williams: 9/15/08

[not a PA listing, but Word Works events deserve our support]

Monday, September 15, 7:30 PM: Poets Sandra Beasley and Susan Settlemyre Williams will read at the Friendship Heights Village Center, 4433 South Park Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD for the Cafe Muse Literary Series.

SANDRA BEASLEY won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize for her book Theories of Falling, selected by Marie Howe. Her poems have appeared in Slate, 32 Poems, Blackbird, Best New Poets, Online Writing: The Best of the First Ten Years, and the Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel (Second Story). She is an editor for The American Scholar in Washington, D.C.

SUSAN SETTLEMYRE WILLIAMS’ first full-length collection, Ashes in Midair, won the 2007 Poetry Book Contest from Many Mountains Moving, selected by Yusef Komunyakaa. She also has a chapbook, Possession, out from Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in Mississippi Review, Shenandoah, Sycamore Review and Best New Poets 2006. She is book review editor and associate literary editor of Blackbird.

Café Muse opens at 7 pm with classical guitar by Michael Davis. Our sponsor, the Village of Friendship Heights, will offer free refreshments. Adele Steiner hosts, and the evening concludes with a brief open mic reading from audience members. The Center is a 5-minute walk from the Western Avenue exit of the Friendship Heights Metro stop. Call 301-656-2797 for directions.

The Word Works is a nonprofit literary organization publishingcontemporary poetry in artistic editions and sponsoring public programs for over 30 years. More info can be found at http://wordworksdc.com/

STILLWATER Music & Poetry Festival: 9/13 & 9/14

The second annual Stillwater Music & Poetry Festival will take place on September 13 & 14; please click here for full details and schedule on their web site.

**UPDATE: Yeah, I mistyped the link. It's fixed now.**

Scranton Poem Opera: A Benefit for Jen Diskin: 9/12/08

[passing this along]

Friday, September 12, 7 PM: Craig Czury's Scranton Poem Opera will be presented at the AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Avenue, Scranton. This event is sponsored by Mulberry Poets & Writers and the AFA Gallery.

Jennifer Diskin is scheduled to receive a bone marrow transplant in a couple of months. She'll need to stay close to the hospital for three months, and will require live-in help as the transplant will compromise her immune system. She needs help with these expenses.

Jennifer told us, "Without the transplant, the Hodgkin's will return."

Craig's Scranton Poem Opera is free, and AFA's door will be wide open to the public. We hope you will attend whether or not you want to make a donation to Jennifer's cause. We just wanted to give you a heads-up and encourage you to put some cash in your wallet to give. Jen is a remarkable poet and human being. We all want her to be well again.

The Scranton Poem Opera is a multi-voice poetry performance in four movements; it has also been staged by the City Theater Company for its 1998 10-Minute Play Festival in Wilmington, Delaware.

Czury says, "Unlike classical opera, the poem opera is a reminder that the human voice speaking poetry is its own music, a language that implodes upon the stage we carry around inside us."

Tara Holdren: Bloomsburg: 9/9/08

Tuesday, September 9, 7:30 PM: Poet Tara Holdren will be the featured reader at the River Poets monthly event in Phillips Emporium, 10 East Main Street in Bloomsburg. An open reading will follow; this month's theme is circles.

Tara will read poems from her collection Circumnavigation, available from Paper Kite Press (copies may be available after the reading). While some poems focus on the feminine experience, others are projections into other voices or characters. Poems from this collection have appeared in Watershed, won honorable mentions in annual Mulberry Poets' contests, and been featured in The Daily Item.

Ray Garman & Justin Vitiello: Philly: 9/9/08

Tuesday, September 9, 6pm: The Moonstone Poetry Series at Robin's Bookstore (108 S 13th St, Philadelphia) presents poets Ray Garman & Justin Vitiello. Open reading to follow.

For more information see: http://www.robinsbookstore.com/events/090908.html

Ray Garman is a poet and photographer, an activist and an entrepreneur. A resident of Hong Kong and Philadelphia, Ray has read and performed his works around the world including at Robin's Bookstore (Philadelphia), The Bowery Poetry Club (New York), The Nuyorican Poets Cafe (New York), Neither Nor (New York), The Knitting Factory (New York), Shakespeare & Company (Paris), City Lights Bookstore (San Francisco), The Fringe Club (Hong Kong), St. Marks Poetry Project (New York), La Mama Theater (New York), The Cafe (Nairobi), Burning Man (Black Rock City) and in such cities and villages as Beijing, Shanghai, Hanoi, Hoi Chi Minh City and along the Hoi Chi Minh Trail, among others. Ray Garman is a father and an explorer. He is a graduate of Haverford College. Visit Ray's website at: http://www.raygarman.com/.

Justin Vitiello was born in New York City in 1941. After his B.A. in English and Spanish at Brown University (1963), he spent a year in Madrid as a Fulbright Scholar. He attended the University of Michigan, staying ten years (1964-73) to do a doctorate in Comparative Literature. His work as an activist has shaped his life and writings, notably with Danilo Dolci in Sicily and the USA, the nonviolent movement in Italy and India, the anti-nuke mobilization in Rome and Philadelphia, and the Wobblies (the Industrial Workers of the World) - everywhere. Since 1974, he has taught Italian and Comparative Literature at Temple University in Philadelphia and Rome, focusing his creative, political and scholarly writings on America, Italy and Spain. His books of poetry published are: Vanzetti's Fish Cart, subway home, and Suicide of an Ethnic Poet. Visit Justin's website at: http://www.justinvitiello.net/.

Carmen Gillespie & Harold Schweizer: Bucknell: 9/2/08

Tuesday, Sept 2, 7pm: Bucknell professors Carmen Gillespie and Harold Schweizer will read their poetry at Bucknell Hall.

Carmen Gillespie is an associate professor of English at Bucknell University. She is a scholar of American, African American, and Caribbean literatures and cultures and a creative writer. Her articles and poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including, most recently, Essence magazine. She is the author of A Critical Companion to Toni Morrison (2007) and has a contract for another book on the life and works of novelist Alice Walker. In 2005, Carmen was the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship for Excellence in Poetry. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and a Fulbright scholar and has received awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.
"Undertaker August: Hamilton, Ohio, 2005":
The Jordans built the black funereal home
and brought generations to rest
on the colored side of Greenwood Cemetery,
pewed plots arched and silent witness
to the fall.

Trees tear maple leaves,
skein asphalt crates, and shawl
the bent-shouldered downtown, its
signs failing like dime store makeup
to mask cracking age:
“Free check cashing.”
“No credit check required.”

Mrs. Dukes’ and Mr. Moss’
fences gate only littered refuse
and autumn’s sodden sun
delineating absences—
neighborless plotless places,
like hollow spaces scarring a mouth
when teeth go bad.

Harold Schweizer is John P. Crozer Professor of English at Bucknell University. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, and New Orleans Review. His new book On Waiting was published by Routledge in the spring of 2008.

from "Of Movements and Signs":
. . . Movements of the body are
illegible because they are made
across almost impassable distances;
most of them remain unseen like
the swinging of branches or the bending
of lilies under the rain or ash,
acorn and oak leaves wafting
in scaled clumps deep
in the current of the river or
the rising of the cold of the earth—

If seen they are merely thought of
as the movements of matter (the bending
of flowers, the turning of
the hand); many of them are
purposeful and explicable, to which
category belong even the intimate
adjustments we make when we cry
and shift slightly in a chair,
although each movement (the
utilitarian gait being the most
singular), if decipherable, would be
utterly revealing— . . .