Sunday, June 21, 2015

your summer solstice annogram

Still glowing

From my book launch this spring!  Thanks to the more than 40 people who came to the Hudson River Museum to hear me read from Face Painting in the Dark (Dos Madres Press, 2014). I have such a beautiful circle of talented artists, musicians, poets, and writers in my life, and more in the wider annogram community. You know who you are!  

Auden, Johnson, and the Psalms

When the Episcopal Church set about updating the Book of Common Prayer, its committee to retranslate the Psalms faced a daunting task: Not only did it have to rework the Psalms, but the committee’s one poet, W. H. Auden, was returning to his native England.  In the current Illuminations, I interview poet and translator J. Chester Johnson on how he came to replace Auden, correspond with him, and help refine the Psalms in light of new scholarship. 

Alan Shulman in 1954
Alan Shulman and New York’s Golden Age of Music

Imagine, as part of the NBC Orchestra, rehearsing to perform for the Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann, in 1949.  Leonard Bernstein is unhappy with Kurt Weill's arrangement of the Israeli national anthem.  Cellist Alan Shulman offers to rearrange it and, doing so, earns the legendary conductor's gratitude and great respect.  To learn more, read this fascinating article by Alan’s son, Jay Shulman.

Carol Booth admires her and
Michael Holstein's photos
Cuba: Contrasting Visions

Congratulations to Michael Holstein and Carol Booth for photos exhibited this month in Cuba: Contrasting Visions at the Museum Gallery at the Palm Beach (FL) Photographic Centre.  Two years ago, Michael and Carol snapped up colorful photos of Cuba—while practicing their other passion—conversing in Spanish.

Texas, fair pay, and cars

I am thrilled to have work in Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse Press, 2015); Coming off the line:  The Car in American Culture (Main Street Rag Press, 2015) the 2016 Texas Poetry Calendar (Dos Gatos Press, 2015).  Order now to receive prepublication discounts.

New books

Alexandra Van de Kamp
A Liquid Bird Inside the Night by Alexandra Van de Kamp (Red Glass Books, 2015): “Each night I sleep wrapped in a gown / of crying stars. Whether they cry / to plea or sing is always difficult / and tenuous to decipher….” from “Nightgown.”  Send $12 check (includes shipping) payable to Alexandra van de Kamp, 206 E. Lullwood Avenue, Apt. A, San Antonio, TX 78212. 

Soft Passer by Shane Anderson (Mindmade Books, 2015) pulses with an alluring mosaic-like dissonance. Order for $7 or as part of Mindmade Books’ 2015 series for $25, which includes work by Pedro Xavier Solís Cuadra (trans. Suzanne Jill Levine), Piotr Macierzyński (trans. Aleksandra Malecka & Piotr Marecki), and Ciara Miller.

Summer Solstice Pita

Now is the time to eat light, and this pita is a no-brainer.  Serves two with side such as coleslaw:

One whole pita
Juice of ½ organic lemon
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive (EVO) oil
Handful of organic baby kale
½ cup shredded organic carrots
¼ organic English cucumber, sliced
½ organic avocado, sliced
2-4 slices of smoked salmon (optional)

Halve pita so two pockets form. Toast until crisp in toaster oven.  Combine lemon juice with olive oil.  Stuff each pita-half with vegetables in above order and salmon if desired; drizzle with lemon dressing.  To make chips: Slice whole pita in pie sections, splitting each apart.  Sprinkle with EVO and broil in oven or toaster oven until curled and starting-to-brown. Great for dips and to replace potato chips!

Round the Net

Congratulations and/or thanks to:

Guy Bennett, poet and publisher, for alert that Mindmade Books is on Facebook

Sarah Bracey White, memoirist, on giving keynote address at Morgan State's Writing Center's First Annual Open House

Lilac and Gold by Hector Bitar
Michael Cefola, guitarist, for this great Gibson interview with Les Paul

Terry Dugan, poet and filmmaker, for this too-true "workshop" critique of Jane Austen

Beth Gersh-Nesic, art historian, for introducing me to Hector Bitar’s work, and scholarly review of the Demoiselles Staring Back

Janet Kaplan, poet and publisher, on editing Hofstra’s new literary journal, AMP

Kevin Pilkington, poet, for having his poem appear in the Poetry Society of America's Poem-A-Day

Linda Simone, poet and artist, for this fascinating history on Brooklyn's Free African-American neighborhood

Jay Shulman, music archivist, for remembering jazz saxophonist Ornette Colman and Ronnie Gilbert of the Weavers

Frank Vitale, filmmaker, for Episodes 18-20 of the Metropolis Organism

Wishing you a summer of spontaneity and joy!

Until next time,