Monday, September 03, 2018

your september annogram

Free Ferry and the Getz-Gilberto Connection

DougRamsey highlights Free Ferry in Rifftides, his award-winning jazz blog. His liner notes on the Getz-Gilberto reissue CD inspired Free Ferry’s opening. “In the post-Elvis Presley era,” he writes, “the track by Getz and the Gilbertos achieved something nearly unimaginable for a sensitive jazz performance; it became a hit.

That was “The Girl from Ipanema,” sung by Astrud Gilberto, the housewife who became an unlikely diva, and an intro- ductory voice to Free Ferry. The book, Doug says, evokes “the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice with 20th and 21st century realities of weapons-grade plutonium, Cold War anxieties, episodes from everyday life and, sometimes, humor.”

Many thanks to Doug, winner of a Lifetime  Achievement Award from the Jazz Journalist Association, for allowing me to use his CD notes in Free Ferry.

The Hero at translation event

Hélène Sanguinetti
On September 30 at 1:30pm, I will participate in a JCC on the Hudson event by sharing from my translation of Hélène Sanguinetti’s The Hero forthcoming from Chax Press. George Kraus will read his translations of Borges, Vallejo, and 16th century Spanish poets; Ann Lauinger, her translations of Italian poet Fillippo Naitana, who will also present his work; and Beth Gersh-Nešić, poems by André Salmon, close friend of Pablo Picasso during the heyday of Cubism. Please drop by for a great afternoon of translation!

Alparegho announced for September 2019

The Operating System’s 2019 catalog is now live, and I am excited to have my translation of Hélène Sanguinetti’s Alparegho, like nothing else be part of its Unsilenced Texts series. Hélène’s work is finally catching fire here in the US. When you read it, you will find it truly is “like nothing else.”

Work in Poetry Salzburg

Claude Rains (1889-1967)
Thrilled to learn my poems, “Invisible Man" and "Origins of Horror,” respective tributes to Claude Rains and Lon Chaney Jr., will appear in Poetry Salzburg Review 34. Thanks to Dr. Wolfgang Görtschacher, who encourages everyone to subscribe to the journal or explore further collections on its website. I’ll have to go to Patisserie Salzburg with my copy for a full experience!

American Sign Language Poetry at CUNY

On September 13, at 6:30pm, the CUNY Graduate Center will present Publishing American Sign Language Poetry. Poets Douglas Ridloff, Peter Cook, Kenny Lerner, and John Lee Clark will read original work in American Sign Language. An exercise in translation by Adrean Clark and discussion by Sara Nović will follow. Free. Please click here to RSVP to this event.

Kathe Gregory in Boston Voyager

Kathe Gregory
Congratulations to my cousin, artist Kathe Gregory, on her interview in Boston Voyager. Kathe reflects on her uber-creative upbringing, with her father, mid-century architect Jules Gregory, and mother Nancy, an avid horticulturist. Even I learned things about Kathe I did not know—such as a youthful art heist perpetrated by grad school friends! If you appreciate or make art, this is a must-read.

The Kindergarten Teacher

This Sara Colangelo film, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and debuting on Netflix October 12, is a suspense-filled drama around the importance of poetry. “Kaveh Akbar and Ocean Vuong wrote the movie’s poems,” says poet Linda Simone, who shared the trailer. Thanks, Linda! Looking forward to this!

New releases

Michael Flatt and Derrick Mund, Chlorosis (The Operating System)

Wally Swist, Singing for Nothing (The Operating System)

Christine Aikens Wolfe, Garlanding Green (Dos Madres Press)

Creative opportunities

Andrés Cerpa
Poetry contest on theme “Something to start with” judged by Paul Mariani – send by December 2

Poets Salon meets second Saturdays each month at the Fairfield Library

Presence call for poems by October -- send to

Symphony Anthology – send up to three poems and brief bio by October 31 to

Writingthe Poetry You Love to Read with Andrés Cerpa, September 22, 12:30-4:30pm, $124

Writers’ Guide to Investigative Research Workshop with Donna Zucker, five sessions, September 24, $450

Cauliflower Pizza Casserole

Thanks to poet Terry Dugan for this healthy recipe which she suggests for the cooler days of fall! Serves four. Enjoy!

2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
2/3 cup organic pizza sauce
Himalayan salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
2/3 cup grated parmesan, divided; more for garnish
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup onions, divided
1 tablespoon oregano, divided
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, divided
Fresh parsley, for garnish

Heat oven to 350°F. Blanch cauliflower 3 minutes. In large bowl, toss cauliflower with pizza sauce until coated. Season with salt and pepper. Place half the cauliflower in baking dish; top with half of mozzarella, parmesan, olives and onions; sprinkle with oregano and red pepper. Add rest of cauliflower to dish and repeat topping process. Bake until cauliflower is tender and cheese bubbly, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly. Garnish with parsley and parmesan.

Poetry / literary events

Anne Carson
HVWC, September 14, 7pm, Erika Meitner, Blas Falconer, Nicole Cooley; September 28, 7pm, D. Nurkse, Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Alison Jarvis; October 5, 7pm, Anne Carson, Lafcadio Cass, $10

Norwalk Library, September 6, 7pm, Charles Rafferty, Jonas Zdanys; October 4, 7pm, Amy Nawrocki, Brian Clements, Poets in Conversation with Norwalk Poet Laureate Laurel Peterson

Open Door Tea, September 14, 6:30pm, SheSpeak event, writers, actors and audience collaboration

Brenda Shaughnessy
London, J. Chester Johnson on Auden, the Psalms and Me: Sept. 20: St. Philip’s Church, 6pm; Oct. 14: Grosvenor Chapel after service; Oct. 23: Southwark Cathedral, 7pm, rsvp; Oct. 25: St. Mary Magdalene Paddington, pm (check time); Oct. 28: St. Peter’s Church 11:15am; Oxford: Oct. 11, St. Giles Church, 12:30pm

Katonah Library, September 23, 4pm, Brenda Shaughnessy, $10

’Round the Net

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Translator Anne Appel for celebrating Women Translators Month

Memoirist Sarah Bracey White for a great interview on John McMullen’s radio show and on being selected for the Best of the Best 650 Reads

Poet Terry Dugan on her upcoming chapbook, I’m the Reason the Kids Are Dead (Moonstone Press)

Composer Rob Kapilow for this podcast celebrating the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein

Yorktown Heights Poet Laureate John McMullen for this great article on the state of poetry

Art Historian Laura Morelli for her TedTalk on the difference between art and craft

Poets and Writers for this great interview with poet and novelist Michael Ondaatje

Astrophotographer Olivier Prache for this amazing photo of the M31 galaxy

M31 photo by Olivier Prache
Playwright Elizabeth Primamore on winning the Bernard and Shirley Handel Playwriting Award from the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Arts Colony

Poet Natalie Safir on poems in The Same, Ginosko Review, and Westchester Review; and essay, “Unveiling the Stone,” in the anthology What Remains (Gelles-Coles Literary Enterprises)

Poet and artist Linda Simone on being featured in The Chapbook Interview; having her essay, “TripTych,” also accepted in the What Remains anthology; and for sharing this hilarious video of mean reviews

My summer with Marcel

Marcel Proust (1871-1922)
How did you spend your summer? I traveled to Combray and Balbec, fictitious places in France, thanks to Marcel Proust. Yes, I plowed through all seven volumes of In Search of Lost Time, also known as Remembrance of Things Past. Reading it, I was alternatively riveted and bored, amazed and heartbroken. The voice, so personal and authentic, made me feel I knew Marcel—is that possible, across a century? That he walked Paris avenues I once did gave me a delicious frisson. And that’s why it’s a masterpiece; its complex messages around longing, aristocracy, and art are so immediate. Do you love extra- ordinary writing? Take the plunge! The beach at Balbec calls.

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

your midsummer annogram

Free Ferry featured in blog

Thanks to reviewer Darrell Laurant for featuring Free Ferry today on his blog, Snowflakes in a Blizzard. Discover the backstory behind Free Ferry if you’ve read it. And if not, now is the perfect time: Free Ferry is at a discounted price of $7. Read it to see astonishing similarities of our current geopolitical climate with the 1960s.

The Enchantment of the Ordinary

Mutabilis Press has accepted my poem, “Kin”, a salute to the time I first met my lovely Texas and Oklahoma relatives, for a Texas-themed anthology, The Enchantment of the Ordinary. Big hugs to my cousin Katherine in Fort Worth who knew all the relatives named! My dear friend Linda Simone, a San Antonian, has a poem included too, and we can’t wait for the book’s debut this fall.

The Hero forthcoming from Chax

So excited my translation of Hélène Sanguinetti’s The Hero will debut soon from Chax Press! The publisher, Charles Alexander, a poet and book designer, takes the utmost care in producing fine books. Poet and translator Cole Swensen has also praised the book in a generous inscription. Get ready to read a seriously audacious work from one of France’s top contemporary poets!

Lydia Davis at the Albertine

Lydia Davis
How great to meet Lydia Davis at the Albertine Prize program last month! Ms. Davis, award-winning micro-fiction writer and Swann’s Way (Penguin, 2004) translator, is now translating from Dutch. She told me she read all of Proust’s correspondence for Letters to His Neighbors (New Directions, 2017), and that this edition corrects prior timeline errors. Thanks to Beth Gersh-Nešić, art historian and André Salmon translator, for inviting me to this wonderful event!

Summer reading

Rona Carr
My friend, and an excellent coach, Rona Carr likes me to recommend summer reading. Look no further than Upper Hand Press, whose books are $7 now. Discerning readers I know were moved by 100 Years of Marriage, a sleeper classic; Saving Phoebe Murrow, winner of the 2018 Indie Novel of the Year; and Elizabeth Primamore’s Shady Women. Why not complete some holiday shopping now?

Marilyn Monroe in Stamford

Forever Marilyn by Seward Johnson
Photo Michael Cefola
Members exiting Stamford’s First Congregational Church have quite a view—the backside of a 30,000-lb, 26-foot-tall Marilyn Monroe. The Seward Johnson statue, in Lapham Park for the summer, captures Ms. Monroe’s iconic The Seven-Year-Itch pose, where her billowy dress blew upwards over a New York subway grate. Both awe-inspiring and creepy, it recalls Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, “Harry… Harry….”

Sarah Bracey White in Read 650

Sarah Bracey White
Congratulations to Sarah Bracey White on appearing in last month’s Read 650: A Writer's Art at the National Arts Club. This is Sarah’s second appearance in the hit series featuring 650-word readings. Agnes of God playwright John Pielmeier calls Read 650 “evocative, entertaining, and moving.” Watch Sarah’s delightful “Camp Cook” here, and don’t miss her photography exhibit this summer at the Greenburgh Town Hall.

J. Chester Johnson on Auden

What a joy to hear J. Chester Johnson at St. James the Less on Auden, the Psalms and Me (Church Publishing, 2017). It’s a book you feel compelled to read in one sitting, so fascinating is the “religious” Auden never discussed in contemporary literature. Auden’s letters cast a lasting influence over Chester’s life as a poet and translator, and important considerations for the rest of us.

New releases

Dante Aligheri, trans. W. S. Merwin, Purgatorio: A New Verse Translation (Copper Canyon Press)

Michael Baldwin, Beyond Passing Strange (CreateSpace)

Karen George, A Map and One Year (Dos Madres Press)

Ivy Johnson, Born Again (The Operating System)

Jim Lavilla-Havelin, West, Poems of a Place (Wings Press, 2017)

Mostafa Nissabouri, trans. Guy Bennett, Pierre Joris, Addie Leak, Teresa Villa-Ignacio, For an Ineffable Metrics of the Desert (Otis Books-Seismicity Editions)

Erick Sáenz, Susurros a mi Padre (The Operating System)

Creative opportunities

Kevin Pilkington
Diode Editions by August 15, 2018

Nourish – poetry calls for work

Last call for Kevin Pilkington’s Maine Media Poetry Workshop in Rockport

Poetry, essay, drama, or hybrid on Simone Weil (Word, RTF, or PDF) with author info to by August 1 for Orison anthology

Stupid-Easy Cole Slaw

Again, from George Motz’s The Great American Burger (Abrams, 2016): Halve ingredients if only serving two or three people, and use a bag of shredded cabbage for a stupid-fast slaw.

1 head organic white cabbage, shredded
6 organic medium-large carrots, grated
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine cabbage and carrots in bowl and set aside. In large bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Add carrots and cabbage, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate for an hour before serving, or up to 24 hours.

And, as promised from the last annogram, toppings for the beet burger recipe:

Sautéed Mushrooms

1 tablespoon butter
2 cups sliced organic cremini mushrooms
½ cup dry white wine

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add mushrooms. Cover and cook until mushrooms release their liquid. Pour in the wine and raise the heat to high. When liquid in pan is reduced, remove from heat. Salt to taste and set aside until ready to use on your beet burgers.

Caramelized Onions

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium organic Vidalia or Walla Walla onions
3 pinches salt
¼ cup white wine
1 tablespoon salted butter

Preheat skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Slice onions into thin rings or strings and add to skillet, stirring to coat with oil and continuing to poke, pat and move around until onions become limp, about 6 minutes. Add salt and stir. Add wine and raise heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly until liquid evaporates, then return to medium heat and add butter, stirring until melted. Cook, turning onions in pan frequently for another 10 minutes or until nicely golden brown and caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside.

Beet Burger assemblage

See prior annogram for beet burger recipe: While burgers still brown in the pan, add spoonful of sautéed mushrooms to top of each followed by a cheddar cheese slice. Cover, cook until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Transfer beet burgers to toasted buns and top with caramelized onions.

Poetry / literary events

Joan Silber on winning the 2017
National Books Critics Circle Award
for Fiction
Bryant Park Reading Room, July 17, 7pm, Whiting Foundation Poetry Awards, Sharon Dolin, Terrance Hayes, Rickey Laurentiis, Jenny Johnson

The Meetinghouse, Canaan, NH, 7:30pm: July 19, Christopher Wren, Lauren Groff; July 26,Howard Mansfield, Robin MacArthur; August 2, Lloyd Schwartz, Joan Silber

The Merchantile Library, July 17,7pm, Richard Hague and Paulette Hansel on memoir

HVWC, July 20, 27; August 17; 7:30pm, Open Mic Night; August 19, 10am, $5

John C. Hart Library, July 21, 1pm, Book Fair and Reception with Local Authors

HVWC,, August 1, 8pm, Chen Chen and Nathan McClain, $10

̓Round the Net

Clouds Rte 84 by Meg Lindsay
Poet Llyn Clague on his poem “Kayakers in the Boston Small Press and Poetry Scene blog

Poet Terry Dugan for this interview with new Times Poetry Editor Rita Dove

Novelist Herta Feely on having Saving Phoebe Murrow profiled in Snowflakes in a Blizzard

Poet Gary Glauber for work on page 14 in Event Horizon and in Synchronized Chaos

The Katonah Poetry Series for interviews with Peter Balakian and Monica de la Torre

Duc Le for sharing the Poetry Journal in Print, a journal of Vietnamese and English poetry

Artist Meg Lindsay for participating in Upstream Gallery's PaperWorks 2018 exhibit through July 29

Blogger Rolf Maurer for this profile of Yorktown Heights Poet Laureate John McMullen
A Throw of Dice (1929)
British Silent Film shown at
The San Francisco Silent Film Festival

Poet John McMullen for sharing this video from a Holocaust Remembrance Day this spring

Art historian Laura Morelli on how to choose quality leather in Florence

Poet Ralph Nazareth for sharing the Times obit of poet Donald Hall

The NEA for this federal survey indicating that poetry readership is up

The New York Public Library for its July Staff Picks

Sir Paul McCartney
Bass player Larry Schwartzman for “Five Bass Lines Not Written by Paul McCartney

Poet Linda Simone on reading next month at San Antonio 300, her poem “Whisk in the San Antonio-Express News, and essay in Far Villages: Essays for New Beginner Poets forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press

Songwriter and singer Fran Sisco on her new film, Happy Trans Girl Like Me

Pianist Donald Sosin on participating in the San Francisco Silent Film Festival

Wishing everyone a summer full of rest and recreation so necessary for creativity!  See you back here in September….

Until next time,