Monday, June 04, 2012

your june in bloom annogram

You know it’s spring in New York with all the amazing artistic events.  I hope you enjoy this packed annogram and that this explosive green season releases your creative output too. 

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

My husband Michael and I always remark that some of the best talent you can find is local.  That was certainly the case when we saw the Tibi Confidas Theatre Troupe’s presentation of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” at Breen Hall at Our Lady of Fatima in Scarsdale.  Directed by Debra Lee Failla, the play challenges itself to present all of the Bard’s works in 93 minutes.  Three intrepid actors, Josh Marchetti, Rob Nichols and Jim Ringel, did a masterful job that was once hilarious, zany and powerful.  I thought I was going to lose my dinner over their interpretation of Macbeth, which included kilted Scotsmen playing golf. Another memorable moment was the appearance of Hamlet’s ghost, which dropped from the proscenium as a sock puppet. Tibi Confidas is Latin for “Believe in yourself,” and it’s evident that this new troupe does. 

Stein Collection at the Met

What a pleasure to view the Stein Collection last month!  It’s incredible that an American family would help the world come to value artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Braque and Gris among many others.  While these inventive artists were shut out of contemporary museums in France, the Steins collected and shared their works in Saturday evening salons in their Paris home where the skeptical “came to mock but remained to pray.” The Met projected photographs of the apartment, showing where the Steins had placed many of the works on display.  The collection tracked Picasso’s evolution from traditional master to revolutionary Cubist and featured many paintings that artist Angela Virsinger and I had never seen, such “Tea,” by Matisse, a summery green scene featuring his daughter, his model and his dog; and rare Matisse portraits of Michael and Sarah Stein.  I also enjoyed the large group portrait of the artists and their patrons, which had a flat, almost cartoon-like quality which I suppose is a trademark of Marie Laurencin’s work.

In the Company of Animals

I was fortunate to catch the last week of this exhibit at the Morgan Library which the New York Times hailed as “enchanting.”  The Morgan collected its animal prints, drawings and writerly references into a display worthy of the Times’ verdict, including works by William Blake, Eugène Delacroix, Albrecht Dürer, T. S. Eliot, Ted Hughes, George Orwell, Jackson Pollock, Sergei Prokofiev, Rembrandt, E. B. White, and Virginia Woolf.  I was particularly moved by Audubon’s illustration of three rabbits, which he worked on to find solace after the death of his daughter-in-law, Eliza—it’s like the gold-eyed rabbits feel the grief; and Steinbeck’s long-hand notes on a yellow legal pad for Travels with Charley.

Greinke wins Ginsberg Award

Congratulations to Presa editor, poet and translator Eric Greinke, who won a 2012 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award!  Eric wrote a fantastic review of my translation, Hence this cradle, in The Pedestal.  The poem will be published in the Paterson Literary Review #41 and Eric will read it on February 2, 2013, at the Poetry Center, Hamilton Club Building, 32 Church Street in Paterson, New Jersey.

Racoco wine tasting

Racoco is a New York Times-praised dance troupe.  For its annual wine-tasting fundraiser led again by writer and wine critic Alex Marshall, Racoco will revisit a beautiful rooftop near Astor Place on Tuesday, June 5, 6-8:30 p.m..  Tickets are just $40; Racoco will send the address when you RSVP.

Bryant Park’s epic musical chairs

Thanks to poet Terry Dugan for alerting us to the epic musical chairs battle to celebrate Bryant Park’s 20th Anniversary on the lawn June 20th.  The park’s iconic green chairs will host up to 400 people in several rounds of dance and sit. Come enjoy the music and a summer's eve on the lawn, but you'll want to get your butt in a seat during the competition, as the park will be giving away prizes. Winners of preliminary rounds will win a 20th Anniversary Tote Bag and admission to the grand prize round. The last chair standing will also win a piece of our classic furniture for their very own. With the stakes this high, be sure to sign up now. Everyone who participates will also receive a limited edition 20th Anniversary Musical Chairs T-shirt.

More arts & poetry
You can catch work by sculptor Jillian Conrad in the group show, Not-Not-Not Image-Objects,
at the Meulensteen Gallery on 511 West 22nd Street—opening reception Thursday, June 7, 6-9 p.m. You can also hear poets Cindy Beer-Fouhy, Margo Taft Stever and Meredith Trede read at the Village Bookstore in Pleasantville, NY on June 15 at 7:30 p.m. Don’t forget Poets House 25th Anniversary Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge, Monday, June 11 at 6:30 p.m., featuring readings by Marie Howe, Thomas Lux, Sharon Olds, Tracy K. Smith and actor Bill Murray, followed by dinner at Bubby's Brooklyn. For tickets, call 212-431-
7920 x2830 or


Scott Nammacher’s astrophotography will be on exhibit at the Hudson Opera House Gallery in Hudson, NY June 9-July 8, with opening reception June 9, 6-8 p.m.  Please RSVP if you can make it. You can get to Hudson via the Taconic State Parkway, a scenic two-hour drive from central Westchester. Try to include a visit to artist Frederic Edwin Church’s beautiful mansion Olana, overlooking the river just south of Hudson.

‘Round the Net

Thanks to the following people who sent me these great links and updates:

·   The ALTA list-serve for this New Yorker review of a translation of The Stranger by Camus

·   Red Glass Publisher Janet Kaplan for newly released One Night: Poems for the Sleepy by Edwin Torres—see for information on how to order.

·   Artist Meg Lindsay for her exhibit of paintings at the Martucci Gallery at the Irvington Library last month.

·   The Wickedly Sisters for a contest to publish an e-novel on their new writers app
Until next time,


Ann Cefola
Author of St. Agnes, Pink-Slipped, (Kattywompus Press, 2011)
"Magically, memorably calibrated" - John Ashbery on "Express"

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