Tuesday, June 04, 2019

your june in bloom annogram

The Collagist and Lines+Stars

Thanks to Alice Maglio for her outstanding review in The Collagist of The Hero (Chax Press, 2018), my translation of Hélène Sanguinetti’s fourth book. Alice takes a deep and remarkable dive into “this collection [that] vibrates, slithers, and undulates—the language itself echoing various natural elements with which it is so obsessed.”

I am equally grateful to James Lee Lord Parker, who reviewed Free Ferry, for also rendering such an evocative take on The Hero in Lines+Stars.  “The Hero will leave you worn down and breathless,” he writes. “More importantly, it will leave you wanting more.” My gratitude to both Alice and James for engaging so intelligently with this book.

Faire Vivre La Poésie

Jean--Luc Pouliquen

French poet Jean-Luc Pouliquen kindly includes me in his new book of interviews, Faire Vivre La Poésie (2019). The chapter is taken from his book co-authored with Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Conversation Transatlantique (2018). He also mentions me in an interview on French TV. Merci, Jean-Luc! We’re working hard to make poetry live on both sides of the Atlantic!

Words in Concert

Thanks to poet Michael Baldwin for compiling Words in Concert (2019), a poetry anthology which benefits the Fort Worth Symphony. I am proud my poem “Boléro” found a home in this book as well as a poem by longtime friend Meg Lindsay. You’ll support poetry and music by purchasing this fine volume.

More Publications

Poet Janet Kaplan’s tasty literary journal,  AMP, includes my translation from Hélène Sanguinetti’s And Here’s the Song; and nice to see work by poetry pal Meredith Trede. Soon you’ll see another translation from same Sanguinetti book in Columbia Journal. I am equally honored that “Early Thunder, Atlanta” appears in the “Family Bed” issue of Tamara Sellman’s VitaminZZZ.

Johnny A at the Turning Point

Johnny A
Photo by Michael Cefola
Johnny A, who has performed with bands such as the Yardbirds and J. Geils, brought his solo act to The Turning Point in Piermont this spring. What was extraordinary is his live Fractal FX2 recording and mixing of multiple tracks which he then seamlessly incorporates with his own exquisite finger work. The transcendent set included the Hollies’ “Bus Stop,” Stones’ “Play with Fire,” Bad Finger’s “Day after Day,” Cyndi Lauper’s “Time after Time,” Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home,” and Beatle melodies. A must-see for guitar and classic rock aficionados.

National Poetry Month

A whirlwind…talking about life as a poet at Edgewood School, appearing on the JohnMac Radio Show and One-on-One with Vin Dacquino, inaugurating the Hudson Highlands Poetry Series, and sharing the podium with Kristin Prevallet, Margo Taft Stever, and George Kraus at the last spring Sundays with George Poetry Reading. Wow! Thank you everyone.

Free Ferry Ferries On

My gratitude to Dr. George Kraus for reading with me from Free Ferry (Upper Hand Press, 2017) at the Shames JCC in Tarrytown. Most people read Free Ferry more than once, as did one of my blurbistas, Sarah Lawrence Professor Emeritus Ray Peckaukus:

Rereading Free Ferry, I’d forgotten Eurydice was the daughter of the sun god Apollo. Crucial words appear on page 55 in the scientific undercurrent running along the bottom of each page: fission bombs delivered destruction rated in thousands of tons of TNT; fusion weapons in millions of tons. Yet this power is the source of the sun's energy ("sustained reaction") which sustains life on this planet. So far we’ve had the wisdom not to use this understanding to eliminate our kind. May it always be so! Keep writing.

Westport Library Grand Re-Opening

So honored to open the new writers room at the Westport Library on June 23rd!  I will help lead a poetry workshop 2-3pm, and there will be a fiction workshop 3-4pm. Many thanks to Alison McBain and Ed Ahern of the Fairfield Scribes for inviting me to this special event.

Maureen Pilkington’s This Side of Water

Maureen Pilkington
Congratulations to Maureen Pilkington on her first short story collection, This Side of Water (Regal House, 2019). Catch Maureen reading with her brother, award-winning poet Kevin Pilkington, at Bank Square Bookin Mystic on June 6, at 6:30pm. She will also sign books at Elm Street Booksin New Canaan on July 11 at 6pm. Can’t make any dates? Read this Antioch Review interview with Maureen.

Happy Birthday, Walt

Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819 and his birthplace in Huntington, Long Island, is celebrating with multiple events.  For starters, you can purchase Poets to Come: The Whitman 200th Birthday (Local Gems Press, 2019), which features annogram poets Ed Ahern, John McMullen, and Linda Simone. Or listen to New Yorkers do homage to the Old Gray Poet by their reciting of Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.

Cabaret Night at St. James the Less

On June 8, 7-10pm, enjoy mezzo-soprano Dakota Martin and pianist Keiji Ishiguri in "Bewitched, Bothered, & Bewildered” at St. James the Less Church. Classic jazz and Broadway standards illustrate how love often leaves us in one of these states, if not all at the once. Hors d'oeuvres, light dinner, dessert, wine, and soft drinks will be served. Seniors (65) and juniors (35 and under): $50; all others $75.

Marjorie Tesser
Hudson Highlands Poetry Series

Thanks to poet Mary Newell for drumming up a new poetry community in Putnam County. In April, I was honored to launch a new reading series with Mary and a dozen exceptional poets. This month, Kathleen Ossip, Kristin Prevallet, and Marjorie Tesser will read June 15 at 1:30pm at the Desmond Fish Library in Garrison.

Chill Bucket Stages You Can’t Take It With You

James Stewart and Jean Arthur in the
movie You Can't Take It With You (1937)
Westchester’s new theater troupe, Chill Bucket Productions, will stage a reading of Kaufman and Hart’s classic 1936 comedy, You Can’t Take It With You, on June 22nd at 8pm. The performance, which will take place in the 100-seat chapel of St. James the Less Church, features more than a dozen area actors. Parking is limited and donations are requested to support the fledgling theater company. For advance tickets, go here.

New Releases

Adrian Silbernagel, Transitional Object (The Operating System, 2019)

Edward Ahern, Irregular Images (Fairfield Scribes, 2019)

Lynn Clague, Up Close and Nuclear (2019)

Jacqueline Gojard, Pablo Picasso and André Salmon : The Painter, the Poet and the Portraits, translated and edited by Beth S. Gersh-Nesic and Jacqueline Gojard (Za Mir Press, 2019)

Cindy Hochman and Bob Heman, The Number 5 is Always Suspect (Presa Press, 2019)

Mary Newell, Tilt/ Hover/ Veer (Codhill Press, 2019)

Trace Peterson, Since I Moved In – new and revised (Chax Press, 2019) 

Jean-Luc Pouliquen, Faire vivre la poésie (2019)

Presence 2019

Creative Opportunities

Kevin Pilkington
Colosseum Books open reading, June-August, for poetry manuscripts “formally sophisticated and spiritually and intellectually serious”

One-on-One Workshop with Poet Arthur Vogelsang, ongoing

Norwalk Poetry Workshop, Norwalk Belden Avenue Library, June 3 and 17, 6:30-8:30pm

Westport Library, poetry workshop 2-3pm, fiction workshop 3-4pm, June 23

Ex Ophidia Press Poetry Book Contest, see guidelines and submit by July 1

Laura Morelli
Hudson Valley Anthology – send as attachment three poems, one-page flash fiction, or essay/story under five pages, 125w bio, and recent publication history to johnmac13@gmail.com by July 15

Hudson Valley Writers Center – Summer Workshops and One-Day Intensives

Women in Etruscan Art online class with art historian Laura Morelli; free

Writing Poetry for Publication with Kevin Pilkington, Maine Media Workshops, August 4-10

Strawberry Granola Crisp

Thanks to poet and watercolor artist Linda Simone for this spring-fresh recipe. It looks like a wholesome dish for an early summer picnic or backyard party. And strawberries! This is their season.

2 lb strawberries, hulled, halved or quartered if large
3 Tablespoons raw or turbinado sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
Kosher salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Plain yogurt, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°; place rack in lower third. Toss strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and pinch salt in large bowl; transfer to 9-inch pie dish or 1-quart casserole. Stir oil and maple syrup in  medium bowl. Add oats, almonds, coconut, flour, and 2 pinches salt; combine until loose clumps; scatter over filling. Place crisp on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until topping is golden and filling bubbles, 35–45 minutes. Cool 30 minutes. Serve with yogurt, whipped cream, or ice cream. Can be baked 1 day ahead: let cool completely; cover and chill.

Poetry / literary / art events

Dagmar Stansova
Poetry Luncheon, Bernard’s Inn, June 6, 12-2pm benefiting Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund; reserve at 203-438-8282

The New American Theatre, June 8, 15, 22, 29, 3:30pm, Loose Underwear, solo play by Dagmar Stansova

Byram Shubert Library, June 11, 5pm, art historian Beth S. Gersh-Nesic discusses MoMA’s current 17th century Dutch art exhibit; free

Bill Hayden
Desmond Fish Library, June 15, 1:30pm, Kathleen Ossip, Kristin Prevallet, Marjorie Tesser

Phoenix Reading Series, 27 Bethune Street, NYC, June 9, 6pm, Mary Newell, Ruth Danon, Andrew Levy

The Parkside Lounge, 317 East Houston Street, NYC, June 16, 4pm, Mary Newell 

Norwalk Arts Festival, Poets, Writers and Storytellers Stage, June 29 and June 30, 11am-1pm and 3-5pm each day, Norwalk Poet Laureate Bill Hayden, poet Jerry T. Johnson, and multiple local authors

J. Chester Johnson (left) at the
Troubadour in London last year
Washington National Cathedral, June 30, 12:30pm, J. Chester Johnson on his book, Auden, the Psalms and Me (Church Publishing, 2017) 

HVWC, June 19, 7pm, Kelsey Miller, Sarah Bracey White; July 17, 7pm, David Baker, TR Hummer, Page Starzinger; July 27, 7pm, Herbert Hadad; August 7, 7pm, HVWC published student reading, $10 all

Canaan Meetinghouse Reading Series, 7:30pm, July 11: Wyn Cooper, Hernan Diaz; July 18: Christopher Benfey, Walter Wetherell; July 25: Gregory Pardlo, Alice Mattison; August 1: Christopher Castellani, Peter Orner

ʼRound the Net

Joy Harjo
Photo by Karen Kreun
The American Literary Translators Association on its $10K National Endowment for the Arts grant

Watercolor artist Randy Briggs on winning third place for his painting, “Old Farm,” in the Art Society of Greenwich Spring Exhibition

Poet Christopher Brisson for this article on authors’ one-word book titles

The Brooklyn Public Library for this video of people reading “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

Poet and translator Chen Du on poems published in Levitate, an essay in Dead Mule, and translations in The Bare Life Review and Lunch Ticket

Poet and filmmaker Terry Dugan on acceptance of Fordham SDS into the Oaxaca
Mary McCray
, and for sharing this article on best prose poetry

History teacher Neil Ginsberg for this article on ways to cultivate joy

Author Herb Hadad on reading at the Sleepy Hollow Lit Fest; and for his anticipated second book, Tender and Tough

Poet Bill Hayden on being named Poet Laureate of Norwalk (CT)

Poets Cindy Hochman and Bob Heman on the release of The Number 5 is Always Suspect (Presa Press, 2019)

Artist Kathe Gregory on participating in another Somerville Open Studio last month

Poet Joy Harjo on winning the $65K Jackson Poetry Prize

Writer Lisa Krohn for this article on virtue in the workplace and her latest Thrive Global column

Poet Rolf Maurer for this profile of poet Ed Ahern

Lucia LaVilla-Havelin
Poet Mary McCray on winning a Nautilus Award for The Cowboy Meditation Primer (Trementina Books, 2017)

Yorktown Poet Laureate John McMullen for this on an NYC bookshop that can print titles in minutes

Novelist and art historian Laura Morelli for discount code, “INSIDER,” at her store; click “Buy directly from the author”

Retailer Orvis for promoting the idea of bringing dogs to work

Poet and watercolor artist Linda Simone on her fantastic interview with award-winning fiber artist Lucia La Villa-Havelin, and for AI-created poem portraits

Sony Pictures Classics for All is True, a biopic about the last three years of Shakespeare’s life
Neal Whitman

Poet Neal Whitman on having work published in the May issue of Chronogram

World Literature Today for this article on the role of intuition in translation

Wishing you a summer of good friends, good food, and good literature! Annogram will be back in September, so send me your news by early August. A warm welcome to new subscribers, and may this green season inspire our best creativity.

Until next time,