Sunday, January 05, 2014

your new year's annogram

Happy new year!  I’d like to express my gratitude to the annogram readership, a collective of extraordinary artists, avid readers, dancers, editors, filmmakers, musicians, poets, translators, and writers that form a generous and supportive online community.  I wish you a year of outstanding creativity and multiple, unanticipated moments of joy.

Hudson Valley Writers Center reading
First we look back to a fabulous reading at the Hudson Valley Writers Center in December.  Memoirist Sarah Bracey White invited me to open her reading, and I was happy to share new work with a full house.  Jo Ann Clark, HVWC executive director, gave us both a warm welcome and poet Dan O’Brien gave a well-researched introduction to my reading.

Cherished friends made the event more like a party:  filmmaker Jeannette Briggs and artist-husband Randy, abstract expressionist Deborah Coulter, poet and filmmaker Terry Dugan, Toadlily Press publisher Myrna Goodman and her husband Larry, award-winning essayist Herb Hadad, photographer Jim Miller, HVWC founder and poet Margo Stever, Toadlily Press co-founder Meredith Trede and husband Brad, Sarah’s husband Bob Gironda, and my biggest fan, Michael Cefola.
More updates

My translation of Chapter 11 of Hélène Sanguinetti’s The Hero goes live this month at eleven eleven.  In addition, Asymptote highlighted my latest publications on its new blog.  I also recorded three poems for the upcoming digital anthology, The Burden of Light, edited by Tanya Chernov.  And more than 140 people have viewed my poem “Velocity” on YouTube.

My grandmother the comic-strip pioneer

You loved hearing about my grandmother, Mary Lovrien Price Gregory (1888-1972), so here’s more:  Lovrien, a Philadelphia Quaker, won a 1906-1907 scholarship to the School of Industrial Arts at the Pennsylvania Museum (today the University of the Arts and Philadelphia Museum of Art).  She also attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1893, the first school to institute drawing from live nudes under the earlier if controversial direction of Thomas Eakins.  In addition to her stint as a comic-strip artist, she illustrated for The Pictorial Review, a New York woman’s fashion magazine launched in 1899.
In 1918, she married Julius Gregory, an architect soon noted for Tudor revival homes in communities such as Riverdale and Scarsdale (NY), and later columnist for House Beautiful and House and Garden.   She gave birth to Jules (left), and then my father, Alfred (right).  A decade later, she won a scholarship, offered by France in gratitude for US assistance during WWI, to attend L’Ecole de Beaux-Arts in Fontainebleau.  Leaving her sons in a care of a nanny, she shipped off in the summer of 1931.  Stay tuned for her amazing later years in the next annogram.

Art full
Let’s keep the talk about great artists going!  Deborah Coulter will be exhibiting drawings and collages at the JCC of Mid-Westchester from January 6-February 6, with opening reception on January 12, 1-4pm.  New York Arts Exchange Director Beth Gersh-Nesic offers truly insightful art tours—to learn more, go to  In the meantime, she recommends:

The Jewish Museum: "Chagall: Love, War, Exile" through February 2; Art Spiegelman through March 23

Frick Museum: Vermeer's Girl with the Pearl Earring and other paintings from Mauritshuis through January 19 (pwyw Sundays 11am-1pm)

Neue Galerie: Kandinsky through February 10

National Academy of Art: "See It Loud: 7 Post-War American Painters" through January 26 

Museum of Modern Art Magritte through January 12

Scandinavia House (12-5pm): "Danish Painting from the Golden Age through the Modern Breakthrough" through January 25; ICP (pwyw 5-8pm); Morgan Library (free 7-9pm)

The Brooklyn Museum (Target First Saturdays 5–10pm): "Art in the Spanish American Home" through January 12;  Jean Paul Gaultier through February 23; Wangechi Mutu through March 9

PS 1: Mike Kelly, through February 6 (12 noon -6pm)

New year, new studies
A highlight last year was taking ModPo at the University of Pennsylvania.  In 2014 there are plenty of opportunities to learn.  First, poet Robert McDowell (right) will be offering Emily Dickinson: Divine Feminine Prophet, a six-week online writing course starting January 6 (email  If you attended the Sarah Lawrence MFA in Writing, you can take a refresher workshop with superb instructor and poet Kevin Pilkington next month.  Live in the Sarasota (FL)? Painter Lucy Barber offers a variety of workshops and free demos.

Winter poetry readings
Toadlily Press poets Janlori Goldman, Heidi Hart, Pamela Hart and Rachel Simon will read at the Chappaqua Library on January 18 at 1pm; and poet Ruth Handel will read new work at the JCC in Tarrytown, on January 26, at 1:30pm.

Call for submissions
Ginosko, The Journal of Creative Geography, Poetry Storehouse, and Zeteo have issued calls for work.

Round the net
Thanks to the following people for these great links:

Translator Anne Milano Appel for NPR’s best three translations of 2013

Found Poetry Review Editor Jenni Baker’s appeal for contributions to her Millennial Trains Project

Painter Lucy Barber (left) on the launch of her first blog

Filmmaker Jeanette Briggs for this NPR story questioning all the bad lyrics these days in music

Essayist Herb Hadad for his heart-warming holiday story

Red Glass Books Publisher Janet Kaplan for announcing Child World by Thaddeus Rutkowski (send $12 check per copy within US payable to Thaddeus Rutkowski, 249 Eldridge Street #7, New York, NY 10002)

Poet Pamela Laskin for news of nine poems published in Black Renaissance Noire

Poet Mary McCray for this hilarious “history test” with her husband John, the historical consultant on Hulu comedy Quick Draw

Cellist and music archivist Jay Shulman for this great review of the Stuyvesant Quartet

Poet Maxine Silverman for news of her new chapbook, Transport for the Aim (Parallel Press, 2013)

Author Lou Spirito for Ten Things We Love About Italy

Multimedia creator Frank Vitale for letting us know Kirkus Pro Connect considers The Metropolis Organism (Longtail Distribution, 2012), a “work to discover” and for sharing Episode Two

Memoirist Sarah Bracey White for Vicki Hudson’s interview with her

Emily Dickinson’s Lemon Gingerbread Cakes
"I am going to learn to make bread to-morrow. So you may imagine me with my sleeves rolled up, mixing flour, milk, salaratus, etc., with a great deal of grace. I advise you if you don’t know how to make the staff of life to learn with dispatch.”
- Emily Dickinson to Abiah Root, September 25, 1845 (L8)

It’s wicked cold in the Northeast, so I am sharing this recipe which Robert McDowell attributes to Ms. Dickinson—although I seriously doubt they had gluten-free gingerbread mix in her day.  All the same, it might spice up a winter afternoon:

natural olive oil baking spray with flour
(14.5 oz.) package gluten-free gingerbread mix
1 cup and 2 tablespoons water, divided
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 large free-range egg
2 teaspoons ginger root, grated fine
3/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup whipped cream
1 (10 oz.) jar Lemon Curd divided

HEAT oven to 350°F. Coat 48 mini muffin cups with baking spray with flour.

COMBINE gingerbread mix, water (one cup), butter, egg and ginger in large bowl. Stir by hand until relatively smooth, or beat with electric mixer on medium speed 1 minute. Divide batter into mini muffin cups. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until toothpick to center emerges clean. Cool in pan 3 minutes.
WHISK powdered sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water in medium bowl until smooth and blended. Place wax paper under wire rack. Remove mini cakes from pan. Dip bottoms into lemon glaze. Place on wire rack, bottom side up. Cool.

WHISK or BLEND whipped cream and 1/2 cup lemon curd in medium bowl until blended. Spoon into 1-quart heavy-duty resealable plastic bag. Cut 1/2-inch corner off bottom of bag. Place remaining lemon curd in separate 1-quart heavy-duty resealable plastic bag. Cut 1/4-inch corner off bottom of bag. Squeeze whipped cream mixture onto each mini cake, then top with small dollop of lemon curd. Chill until ready to serve. Yield: 4 dozen.  Bon appétit!
Wishing you delicious poetry and gingerbread,