Friday, April 30, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Whatever You Love of Weapons You Love for Weapons from Bave Men Press
My new chapbook, Whatever You Love of Weapons You Love for Weapons, is now available from Brave Men Press. If you don't mind me saying so, it looks pretty damn good.
Cover is letterpressed with copper and black ink on blue paper.
Printed in a limited edition of 150.
Brave Men Site
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Good Review, Bad Dog Toy
Charles Jensen has a review of Destruction Myth at The Collagist.
I bought my dog this chew toy today: Hartz Tuff Stuff. The packaging was all "Strong chew toys for dogs." Within 15 minutes D'Count had it ripped open, spilling the stuffing all over the floor. I'm not sure whether to be impressed by my dog or angry at Hartz. I choose impressed by my dog.
RIP Guru; RIP Columbine Attack Victims Eleven Years On
It's eleven years after the Columbine High School attack. While it's a good thing that this is not a big media event, Daniel Mauser, the father of one of the shooting victims, is still pushing for a bill to expand criminal background checks at gun shows nationwide. Remember that despite the false spin of the gun-rights folks, there were no federal changes to gun control in the wake of the Columbine shootings.
Editorial from the Denver Post
Monday, April 19, 2010
Two Books I Read Recently & Did Not Write About Until Now
By Dave Cullen
This came out last year, & I was interested, having been gothically entranced by the events back in '99. But I picked this up at a used bookstore after I realized that I was teaching part-time in the same department that the mother of Dylan Klebold had taught in. Cullen is clearly plugging away at his theory, which happens to be the FBI's theory, of what motivated the two kids. There's been plenty of poo-pooing his choices & his theory & you can read the lively Amazon comment field debate if you're at all interested in that. Whatever. I really felt deeply about the book, but reading it around the Denver area, especially on the train to Littleton, I covered up the spine as if I was reading porn. That was kind of weird.
What impressed me was his use of the best elements of New Journalism to flesh out characters & dramatize events. It's a total barnburner. He was able to both engross me in the memory of the emotional batshit experience of high school while also keeping me analytically outside the experience as a self-aware viewer. Like any good disaster story, it had me on the edge of my seat not only as the shootings were going down, but as the individuals picked up their lives or didn't. But the book is more than a disaster story, it's a story about how people profit, emotionally & financially, & change in the wake of events. It's about how people's ideas of the truth become so dear that they becomes a priori. Beyond it's topic it is a book that examines the ways that the new media creates culture out of half-truths, legends & lies, which I guess is to say how culture has always been created.
Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever
by Justin Taylor
This book cycles around a handful of longer stories in which characters find themselves without decisions to make, having not noticed when the decision-making point was upon them & they failed to act. Though that sounds like some kind of shitty 90s slacker movie when I put it that way, this is not shitty 90s slacker book material. For one, Taylor doesn't play any kinds of tonal or formal tricks with his story construction that was & is indicative of the shitty slacker writing. The characters, for the most part, develop out of their environments, rather than as self-conscious constructions. The elements of it don't seem out of place in relation to Cheever or even D'j Pancake & Taylor is at his best when he settles into a story.
I think it's funny that the book description from Harper calls it "oddly moving" since the book is genuinely moving. Perhaps they have to phrase it that way since some of the characters are doing weird sex stuff. Perhaps it's because there's a Tetris-obsessed story about the apocalypse & the devil shows up as a character.
Probably the intellectual standout piece in this collection is "Jewels Flashing in the Night of Time"in its conflation of personal sexual exploration with the neutralized backdrop of violence that the current wars have given us over the last seven years. But the story that affected me the most was "What Was Once All Yours," which is probably the only story in the book that if it were described to me I would have rolled my eyes at: it's a talky, storytelling kind of story of young love & the shockingly quick infusion of adulthood. But shit, when the speaker turns toward the denouement & says "The world is not brimming over with grace, but it does have some" it had me crying in the damn airplane in midflight to Cleveland, which is, I guess, one of the things I want fiction to do to me whilst I'm reading it.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Pando or the Trembling Giant in Utah is actually a colony of a single Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) tree. All of the trees (technically, "stems") in this colony are genetically identical (meaning, they’re exact clones of one another). In fact, they are all a part of a single living organism with an enormous underground root system.
Pando, which is Latin for "I Spread," is composed of about 47,000 stems spread throughout 107 acres of land. It estimated to weigh 6,600 tons, making it the heaviest known organism. Although the average age of the individual stems are 130 years, the entire organism is estimated to be about 80,000 years old!
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Friday, April 02, 2010
These Can Be Your Plans At The AWP, As They Are Mine
Wave Books, Canarium Books, Octopus Books & Ugly Duckling Presse Presents:
A Poetry Reading & Party Featuring
314 E 14th Ave
Thurs April 8, 7:30-10
Featuring Readings by:
& Matvei Yankelevich
Free & Open to the Public!
Directions: Walking (1 mile): east on 14th St, right on bannock & left on 13th Ave, up four streets. Or a $6-8 cab ride.
Octopus will also be part of the Table X Commune, which will be in the AWP Bookfair & also hosting an afterparty on Thursday night at Mercury Cafe.
Table X Publishing Commune Presents: AWP Thursday Night After Party
Thursday April 8th: 10pm on
After you have attended the evening’s many readings, meet up at our after party to talk, drink & reunite with friends.
The Table X Commune consists of Belladonna, Canarium Books, The Cupboard, H_NGM_N, Futurepoem, Leon Works, Les Figues Press, Litmus Press / Aufgabe, Lumberyard, Forklift Ohio, Poor Claudia, Sidebrow, Ugly Duckling Presse.
In Mathias Svalina-related news, for some reason I'm doing lots of things at this conference. Or rather at & around the conference.
Wednesday night I'll be reading as part of the Diode & Make out Creek Reading
Diode Poetry Journal / Makeout Creek AWP Off-Site Reading
Jones Theatre at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts: 1101 13th Street.
Sabrina Orah Mark
Joshua Marie Wilkinson
G C Waldrep
Thursday morning I'll be part of a panel that I'm very excited about:
Thursday, April 8, 2010
9:00am - 10:15am
Mineral Hall, Hyatt Regency Denver, 3rd Floor
Description: Panelists Eric Baus, Chris Hosea, Dorothea Lasky, Mathias Svalina, and Michelle Taransky will examine key issues at the intersection of 21st century technologies and age-old poetic concerns. We will consider how Wikis, blogs, social networking, Moodle, Google Docs, and podcasts are changing the way high school and college students are studying and writing poetry. What happens to assumptions about originality and authority when students collaborate? Can Web 2.0 technologies help students hack unfamiliar texts and forms?
Visit http://networkedpoetry.wordpress.com for info and updates!
Thursday Night, well, see above.
Friday night I'll be reading for a Cleveland State University (the label that pays me) & Akron University Press Event on Friday
Hosted by Mary Biddinger & Michael Dumanis
Paris on the Platte Cafe & Bar
1553 Platte Street
Free admission & appetizers, cash bar
Allison Benis White, John Bradley, Ashley Capps, Oliver de la Paz, Heather Derr-Smith, David Dodd Lee, Elyse Fenton, John Gallaher, Beckian Fritz Goldberg, Helena Mesa, Mathias Svalina, & Allison Titus
Cleveland State University Poetry Center
The University of Akron Press
Full details available at bookfair tables A22 & H21.
Ways to get to Paris on the Platte
Paris on the Platte is about 1.3 miles from the Hyatt.
1) About a $6 cab ride from the hotel
2) 16th Street Mall Ride - the Mall Ride is free. Walk to the 16th street stop from the hotel and take it to Union Station (end of line). Cross the Highlands Bridge and make a left on Platte. Walking from Union Station should take about 10 minutes.
3) If driving, take 15th Street NW to Platte Street. Make a right on Platte Street. Destination on the left.
Saturday night I'll be part of the Colorado Writers Reading:
Saturda, April 10th 5:30-7:30
Denver Press Club
1330 Glenarm Place
Stephen Graham Jones
Jake Adam York