Sunday, February 04, 2018

your antikythera annogram

Antikythera mechanism

The Antikythera mechanism, the world’s first computer built around 80 BCE, could track planetary and star movements, as well as predict astronomical events and dates for Olympic Games. Recovered in 1900 off Greek Isle Antikythera, its full potential remained unclear for centuries. Recent tomographic imaging allowed scientists to decode the device’s sophisticated design. Thanks to David Mestre, director of the Discovery Museum Planetarium, for presenting this intriguing tale at the January Westchester Amateur Astronomers meeting.

 More good news

The Andromeda Galaxy
My poem “Dogspel” will appear in Zoomorphic and “Andromeda at Midlife” in Celestial Musings: Poems Inspired by the Night Sky this spring. Proceeds from Celestial will benefit the Charles W. Brown Planetarium. As a Westchester Amateur Astronomer, that makes me happy!

American Writers Museum

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960)
In case you didn’t know, the American Writers Museum opened last May in Chicago. As the only museum devoted to American writers and their works, AWM connects visitors with favorite authors and writings from more than five centuries, while inspiring discovery of new works – poetry, lyrics, speeches, drama, fiction, nonfiction, journalism, and more. Sounds good! Let me know if you visit….

Kids Short Story Connection

Wren Awry
Know kids who want to write? Sign ‘em up for the Kids Short Story Connection! For 25 years, Greenburgh Director of Arts and Culture Sarah Bracey White, a writer herself, has run the program for writers ages 9 – 18. Graduates include filmmaker Zach Wigon, whose “The Heart Machine” premiered at Tribeca Film Festival; off-Broadway playwright Jan Rosenberg, and University of Arizona Poetry Center’s Wren Awry KSSC workshops recommence March 10; for info, email

Remembering Thomas Lux

Thomas Lux (1947-2017)
To honor poet Thomas Lux’s passing a year ago, CUNY Elebash Recital Hall will hold a tribute February 13, at 7pm, with Billy Collins, Terrance Hayes, Edward Hirsch, Marie Howe, Mary Karr, Jeffrey McDaniel, Patrick Rosal, Amber Tamblyn, and Vijay Seshadri. It still seems impossible that Tom – passionate poet, poetry advocate, kind teacher – is no longer on the planet. We miss you, Tom!

Kathe Gregory at Bromfield Gallery

Kathe Gregory
Kathe Gregory will have an exhibit of her PhotoDrawings at Bromfield Gallery in SoWa (South of Washington Street), Boston’s Arts and Design District, February 28 – April 1; reception, March 2, 6:30pm. Congratulations also to Kathe, my incredibly talented cousin, on winning Third Prize in photography at the Duxbury Art Association’s 2018 Winter Juried Show.

Between I and Thou Exhibit and Reading

On February 18, the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art will also pay homage to Thomas Lux in the exhibition, Between I and Thou; at 1:15pm, curator Livia Straus will lead a walk through; 2pm, Cal Lane, Leslie Pelino, Asya Reznikov and Antonio Santin will discuss their work; 4-5pm, poets for Writing the Walls: Between I and Thou will read their poems and a reception will follow 5-6pm. 

New releases

Jonathan Bracken, Concerning Poetry (Upper Hand Press, 2018)

Jerry T. Johnson, Morning to Morning (Kindle, 2018)

CM Mayo, trans. Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution (Dancing Chiva, 2017)

Susan Miller, The Communion of Saints (Paraclete Press, 2017)

Jennifer Wallace, Almost Entirely (Paraclete Press, 2017)

Carrot Ginger Soup

An easy and flavorful soup to brighten a chilly winter day. It’s from Allison Fishman’s You Can Trust a Skinny Cook (Wiley, 2011), healthy yet indulgent recipes.  Great with grilled cheese sandwiches….

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 large onion, peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
½ tsp fresh thyme leaves or ¼ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp kosher salt
3 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives or parsley, for garnish

Melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, ginger, thyme, salt, and cook, stirring, until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add broth to vegetables, raise heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and puree the soup with a stick blender.

Poetry / literary readings

Sarah Bracey White
JCC of Mid-Westchester, February 6, 10:30am, Sarah Bracey White on memoir

Kelly Writers House, February 8, 5pm, Rob Sheffield, author of Dreaming the Beatles

Kelly Writers House, February 13, 6pm, Emily Wilson, translator of The Odyssey

CUNY Elebash Recital Hall, February 13, 7pm, Tribute to Thomas Lux; Billy Collins, Terrance Hayes, Edward Hirsch, Marie Howe, Mary Karr, Jeffrey McDaniel, Patrick Rosal, Amber Tamblyn, Vijay Seshadri

Paul Auster
Kelly Writers House, February 14, 6:30pm, Paul Auster, rsvp

Harrison Public Library, February 17, 2pm, Sarah Bracey White on memoir

HVCCA, February 18, 4pm, Writing the Walls: Between I and Thou, poets read exhibit-inspired work

Freight House Cafe, February 21, 7pm, John McMullen and open mic

Creative opportunities

How to Write a Family History Book Workshop with Donna Zucker, February 10, 10-3,
Christina Rau

Yoga and writing workshop with Christina Rau, February 11, 2-4pm, $25

Spring courses at the Hudson Valley Writers Center

Weekly Poetry Workshops in Upper Westchester County

Round the Net

Regi Claire
Essayist Jim Barry for pointing out the first OED edition appeared this month in 1884

Short story writer Regi Claire for “We All Know About Desire” in For Books’ Sake Weekend Read

Art historian Beth Gersh-Nesic for her superb article on Modigliani in Bonjour Paris

Poet Gary Glauber for work in Verse Virtual and Verse Daily

Artist Melanie Janisse-Barlow for her portraits of poets

Art historian Laura Morelli for a few of her favorite things in her Amazon Store

Donald Sosin
Pianist Donald Sosin for accompanying silents like the 1929 Russian film “Fragment of an Empire” 

Publisher Ann Starr for nominating Free Ferry for the 21st Century’s Best Books

This seems a good way to close out your annogram. Read this poem, memorize it, live it.

Until next time,

An Horatian Notion
Thomas Lux

The thing gets made, gets built, and you’re the slave
who rolls the log beneath the block, then another,
then pushes the block, then pulls a log
from the rear back to the front
again and then again it goes beneath the block,
and so on. It’s how a thing gets made – not
because you’re sensitive, or you get genetic-lucky,
or God says: Here’s a nice family,
seven children, let’s see: this one in charge
of the village dunghill, these two die of buboes, this one
Kierkegaard, this one a drooling
nincompoop, this one clerk, this one cooper.
You need to love the thing you do – birdhouse building,
painting tulips exclusively, whatever – and then
you do it
so consciously driven
by your unconscious
that the thing becomes a wedge
that splits a stone and between the halves
the wedge then grows, i.e., the thing
is solid but with a soul,
a life of its own. Inspiration, the donnée,
the gift, the bolt of fire
down the arm that makes the art?
Grow up! Give me, please, a break!
You make the thing because you love the thing
and you love the thing because someone else loved it
enough to make you love it.
And with that your heart like a tent peg pounded
toward the earth’s core.
And with that your heart on a beam burns
through the ionosphere.
And with that you go to work.