Friday, June 30, 2017

your early summer annogram

Free Ferry launch at Fordham

Fordham University hosted a fantastic book launch for Free Ferry!  We had more than 40 attendees at the Westchester campus, a beautiful building tucked in the woods off Westchester Avenue.  

Dr. Larry Faltz and I read Free Ferry
For the reading, our good friend Dr. Larry Faltz agreed to read the bottom, more scientific, narrative while I covered the top more domestic poems—and our audience loved the blend of our two distinct voices. 

Afterwards, our reception featured music from Getz/Gilberto as well as a buffet from Patisserie Salzburg. Alas, I never made it to the exquisite butter cookies because I was signing books—Face Painting in the Dark and Free Ferry

Elyse Faltz, Helen Honig, yours truly,
Michael Cefola and Ruth Handel
A problem every author should have, and I am grateful to everyone who purchased my work.  Thanks to Deborah Coulter, Michael Holstein, and Sarah Bracey White for taking great photos, and please keep those comments coming on Amazon and Goodreads.

Suzanne Cleary on Risk-Taking in Poetry

Suzanne Cleary
I have long admired Suzanne’s poetry, and was thrilled when she wrote a blurb for Free Ferry.  Now I turn the tables to discover how she gets away with rule-breaking in “Elm Street,” which appeared this year in Poetry Daily

The interview, which includes the poem, features quotes such as “I feel no need to demystify poetry. A good poem is mysterious, most especially to poets. Being mystified by a poem is a great first step in reading it, but since our society values mastery, not mystery, what is a teacher to do?” Read our conversation to find out!

More good news

Deepest thanks to poet Mary McCray for the outstanding review of Free Ferry on Big Bang Poetry.  In addition, my poem, “Trackside Commissary,” had been selected for the Main Street Rag Press anthology, Of Burgers & Barrooms; and my translation of chapter 9 from Hélène Sanguinetti’s Le Héros (Flammarion, 2008) will debut shortly in St. Petersburg Review.

Sounds of Summer at Jacob Burns

Patsy Cline (1932-1963)
Jacob Burns Film Center has assembled top music documentaries for its Sounds of Summer festival through August 17. Classics like Stop Making Sense and newer releases such as Two Trains Runnin’ showcase performances by Patsy Cline, The Band, Otis Redding, Talking Heads, The Beatles, Eagles of Death Metal, and more!  Groove to the trailer here.

Stuck in driveway listening to the car radio

Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) and
Brian May
Waiting for Brian May’s guitar to erupt in Queen’s “We will rock you.” After Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) repeats the chorus three times, May rips into a lush electric solo, ably dismantling the stark if hypnotic beat. The Mirror (UK) crowned May guitarist in a fantasy super group survey with Paul McCartney (bass), Phil Collins (drums), and Adele (vocalist).  Hmm. Now how about that US super group?

Creative opportunities

Barrow Street Book Prize – submit by June 30

MassMOCA one-to-eight week residencies – apply by July 6

New releases

The Pedestal – June issue edited by John Amen

AMP – Issue 2 edited by Janet Kaplan

Herald by Roberta P. Feins (Autumn House Press)

The Sports Bucket List by Rob Fleder, Steve Hoffman (Harper Collins)

The Bottle Diggers by Andrea Fry (Turning Point)

The Third Voice: Notes on the Art of Poetic Collaboration by Eric Greinke (Presa Press)

Big Bang Poetry Summer Newsletter edited by Mary McCray

Thank You for Listening by Sean Pessin (Mindmade Books)

Poetry / literary events

Idra Novey
Canaan Meetinghouse, 7:30pm, July 6, Cynthia Huntington, Rick Moody; July 13, James Wright, Megan Abbott; July 20, April Ossmann, Victoria Redel; July 27: Major Jackson,  Alexander Chee

Bowery Poetry Club, July 3, 6pm, Taran Singh, free

Dixon Place, July 3, 7:30pm, variety show featuring Rachel Cohen, $10 donation

Bowery Poetry Club, July 9, 3:30pm, Thylia Moss

Bryant Park Reading Room, July 11, 7pm, Cheryl Boyce Taylor, Reggie Cabico, Elana Bell, Duy Doan; July 18, Dan Magers, Monica McClure, Niina Polari, Sampson Starweather; July 25, John Andrews, Kazim Ali, Kaveh Akbar, Kazumi Chin, Michelle Lin

HVWC, July 12, 7:30pm, Idra Novey, Alex Mar, $10

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Here's what's in my lunch box—fresh, simple, delicious!

8 oz organic baby spinach leaves, stems removed
8 organic strawberries, sliced
handful of walnuts, chopped
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp sunflower oil

Layer spinach, walnuts and strawberries.  Add vinegar and oil, and toss salad.  You can also switch out the strawberries for a tart apple like Pink Lady, and the walnuts for pistachios.

ʼRound the Net

Bowery Poetry Club for alerting us to Taran’s Free Jazz Hour, radio program out of France

Readers from Whitman, Alabama
Deaf Community activist Florence Camace for sharing Minnie and Mickey’s use of sign language with a child

Filmmaker Jennifer Crandall for recording Alabamians reading Whitman—a new video each week

Poet Terry Dugan for this piece featuring three translators responding to the film “Arrival”

Poet Eric Greinke on debut of The Third Voice: Notes on the Art of Poetic Collaboration (Presa Press)

Former NYS poet laureate Marie Howe for pairing poets with commuters to write their stories

Freddie King (1934-1976)
Art Historian Laura Morelli for revealing the history of maiolica from Umbria

Bassist and blues expert Larry Schwartzman for this amazing Freddie King clip

Program host Toni Quest for doing a great interview with curator and art historian Beth Gersh-Nesic

Closing June with gratitude for the annogram community and your overwhelming support for Free Ferry.  Many are gifting it to the scientists, mathematicians, and astrophysicists in their lives! I am honored and encourage you to purchase the book directly from Upper Hand Press to support its first foray into poetry.

Until next time,