Tuesday, February 02, 2016

your groundhog annogram

Today, annogram peeks above ground and declares six more weeks of winter!  Fine.  Bring on the hot chocolate and fat novels.  February also heralds news of upcoming publications for me—from the anthology, First Encounters with One’s Own Femininity, to poems in digital journals Zoomorphic and Amp.

Kevin Pilkington at Writers Center

Award-winning poet Kevin Pilkington will read this Friday, February 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Hudson Valley Writers Center.  Kevin is the author of many books including his latest Where You Want to Be: New and Selected Poems (Black Lawrence, 2015).  Learn more about Kevin in this blog interview.

Low: The Power of Bass

Discover the integral role of bass at the Museum of Music Making, now through July 31. This exhibition introduces aspects of the low register—bass—experience. Open your eyes, ears and imagination to this sonic realm! We appreciate MoMM’s Mike Hendrickson for letting us know about this fabulous exhibit.

Love Poems for San Antonio

Linda Simone
San Antonio’s Poet Laureate, Laurie Ann Guerrero, will read two poems by Linda Simone as part of the opening reception for Love Poems for San Antonio on Thursday, February 4, at 6 p.m. at Culture CommonsThe text-based art installation of 30+ poems celebrating San Antonio will be on display through February 28.

Ruth Handel at Scarsdale Library

Poet Ruth Handel will read at the Scarsdale Library Thursday, February 4, at 7:30 p.m.  Ruth’s latest book is No Border is Perennial (Dos Madres Press, 2015).  Also reading will be novelists Asif Ishmael and Barbara Solomon Josselsohn, and poet Deborah Skolnik.

The Bridge at Trinity Wall Street

Thanks to poet J. Chester Johnson for alerting us to The Bridge, an art exhibition showcasing 47 contemporary artists from 15 countries. The Bridge focuses on what they hold in common through their Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures.  Now through February 28 at St. Paul’s Chapel in Trinity Wall Street.

Reginal Dwayne Betts
Reginald Dwayne Betts in conversation

Trinity Wall Street will also host Reginald Dwayne Betts, who will read and discuss his poetry on Sunday, February 21, at 2 p.m. with poet J. Chester Johnson. Shortlisted for the PEN Open Award, Betts’s Bastards of the Reagan Era (Four Way Books, 2015) has been called “fierce, lyrical and unsparing” by The New York Times. Free; arrive 1:30 p.m.

J. Chester Johnson, Civil Rights and the Book of Common Prayer

J. Chester Johnson will also read his poetry and discuss his civil rights work Thursday, February 25, at 6:30 p.m. at the Church of Heavenly Rest. Johnson wrote the Litany of Offense and Apology for Episcopal Church’s National Day of Repentance, and worked with W. H. Auden on retranslating the Psalms in the Book of Common Prayer. Free.

Poetry readings

Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Thursday, February 4, 7 p.m., Tribute to James Tate (1943-2015), New School Auditorium

Saturday, February 6, 4:30 p.m., Liz Howard, Lanny Jordan, Zinc Bar

Thursday, February 11, 7 p.m., Tribute to Ruth Stone (1915-2011), Thirteenth Street Repertory Theatre

Saturday, February 13, 4:30 p.m., Sandeep Parmar, Cody Rose Clevidence, Zinc Bar

Wednesday, February 17, 7 p.m., Patricia Spears Jones and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, BookCourt

Tina Chang
Saturday, February 20, 4:30 p.m., Myung Mi Kim, Joey Yearous-Algozin, Zinc Bar

Thursday, February 25, 7 p.m., Eileen Myles, Alice Quinn, Lillian Vernon House

Saturday, February 27, 4:30 p.m., Ian Heames, Kathleen Fraser, Zinc Bar

Friday, March 4, 7:30 p.m., Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Hudson Valley Writers Center

Saturday, March 5, 4:30 p.m., Anne Boyer, Lara Mimosa Montes, Zinc Bar

Rosmarie Waldrop,
photo by Anneli Dufva
Sunday, March 6, 4:30 p.m., Laurie Sheck, Hudson Valley Writers Center

Friday, March 11, 7:30 p.m., Tina Chang, Hudson Valley Writers Center

Saturday, March 12, 4:30 p.m., Aaron Kunin, Rae Armatrout, Zinc Bar

Saturday, March 19, 4:30 p.m., Dawn Lundy Martin, Rosmarie Waldrop, Zinc Bar 

Skillet-Sizzled Buttermilk Cornbread

The recipe from The Lost Road Project: A Walk-in Book of Arkansas (University of Arkansas Press, 1994) by the late poet C.D. Wright (1949-2016), is a tribute to her most delicious poetry.  I made this mouth-watering cornbread recently and can attest to its near sacred, buttery crumb. For southerners, this may be akin to taking the Eucharist.

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1¼ cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
¼ cup mild vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter, or mild vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 10-inch cast-iron skillet with oil and set aside. Sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. In smaller bowl, stir baking soda into buttermilk. Whisk in sugar, egg, and ¼ cup oil. Put prepared skillet over medium heat, add butter, and heat until butter just starts to sizzle. Tilt pan to coat sides and bottom. Pour wet ingredients into dry and combine quickly, using as few strokes as possible. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool a few moments, and slice into 8 wedges to serve.

Round the Net

Thanks and/or congratulations to the following:

Peter Chelnik,
photo by Roxanne Hoffman
Poet Joel Allegretti on his Huffington Post interview

Writer Christopher Brisson for link to these hilarious dog collages

Amateur Astronomer Michael Cefola on his letter to the editor in this month’s Astronomy Magazine

Poet Peter Chelnik on his upcoming poetry book, Hey Girl

Poet Terry Dugan for video of professional actors recently reading her war-protest poems

Poet Gary Glauber on publication of his poem, “The Other” in Verse-Virtual

Poet Eric Greinke on Forge Journal interview, and Adastra Press broadside, “Trout,” $20 through Gary Metras (16 Reservation Rd., Easthampton, MA 01027)

Cindy Hochman
Poet Cindy Hochman on her selection as the Grand Prize Winner in the Long Island Light Verse Contest

Editor Pamela Laskin on the publication of It’s All About Shoes: A Collection of Essays, Poems and Stories About Women and Their Unusual Relationship to Shoes (Plain View Press, 2015)

Actor Tony Lo Bianco for offering acting classes at Symphony Space (email TonyLoboActing@gmail.com)

Author Laura Morelli on her recent participation in The New York Times Travel Show

Poets and Writers for highlighting this new unusual way for literary lovers to hear book reviews

Music archivist Jay Shulman on the Baltimore Sun’s review of his father’s work

Dagmar Stansova (left)
Poet Linda Simone for this amazing recording of Stephen Hawkings reading a poem on relativity, and great take on who a contemporary Emily Dickinson might be

Actor Dagmar Stansova on starring in American premiere of Mario Diament's "Land Of Fire

Poet Arthur Vogelsang on offering one-on-one online workshops

Westchester Amateur Astronomers for passing along this NASA video on the size of the universe

Happy Groundhog’s Day!  Remember, whenever you see your shadow, it’s time to make some art.

Until next time,