Tuesday, November 01, 2022

your grateful grateful annogram

Dear annogrammers, Art is at its best transformative—so we salute its power to change the lives of viewers, readers, and possibly even society. Below you will read how some of that is happening. And we bring in that harvest with delicious soup—to nourish us, as Virginia Woolf insists, so we can do our best work.



Celebrating Translation


Excited for poetry pals Susana Case, Cindy Hochman, Giorgia Pavlidou, and John McMullen, whose work has found its way into another language. In this video, John discusses his translation journey with translator Mircea Dan Duta. And it is great to try your hand at it if you have a smattering of another language, as I can attest from decades of translating contemporary French poet Hélène Sanguinetti. For a taste of her work, try The Hero (Chax Press).



Proust and Art


Marcel Proust c 1895
Photo by Otto Wegener
In Proust’s A la Recherche du temps perdu - In Search of Lost Time, art collector Charles Swann often recalls first impressions of his beloved Odette in terms of a painting—one way Proust integrates art into his mammoth novel. Art historian Beth Gersh-Nesic PhD will dive into deeper levels of this masterful use of art in her slide presentation, Proust and Art, on November 15, in a Zoom event at 5pm hosted by Alliance Française de Greenwich and Byram Shubert Library (Greenwich). Register by emailing afgreenwich@gmail.com and see November Readings and Events for another Proust-related exploration.



Freedom Reads


Reginald Dwayne Betts
Freedom Reads, founded by poet Reginald Dwayne Betts, brings literature into prisons. Born from an idea to install libraries in prison units nationwide, Betts expanded Freedom Reads into a multifaceted organization that also brings theater productions, book clubs, and world-class writers inside prison walls. As a prisoner himself in his youth, he had begged someone to send him a book and received The Black Poets (Bantam) edited by Dudley Randall. For more, see the original P&W article.



Holding Up the Sky


Ed Jordan could have been one of those people with a book in his hands. After being incarcerated for 19 years for a tragic mistake, Ed educated himself inside those walls. On release, he became an apprentice ironworker and rose to journeyman welder who hires other “returning citizens” whom he successfully mentors. The documentary Holding Up the Sky, in telling his story, seeks to create change in the criminal justice system. Your contribution can help this nearly complete film cross the finish line.



Creative Opportunities


Gnashing Teeth Publishing, poetry and flash fiction chapbooks and full manuscripts


Kierkegaard Poetry Competition, by December 1


The London Reader, call for work on plant life


The Pedestal call for work, by December 4


Pure Slush + Truth Serum Press call for work on “home,” by November 30



New and Recent Releases

Obatola Grant- Cooper
Crisosto Apache, Ghostword (Gnashing Teeth Publishing)


Shirley Fields-Martin, Rise Up My Soul and Speak: Selected Poetry, Thoughts, and Images 1978-2022 (Dorrance Press)

Mary Gilliland, The Devil’s Fool (Codhill Press)


Mary Catherine Kinniburgh, Wild Intelligence: Poets' Libraries and the Politics of Knowledge in Postwar America 
(University of Massachusetts Press)

Ann Lauinger, Dime Saint, Nickel Devil (Broadstone Press)


Wilhelmina Obatola Grant-Cooper, Uplifting Cancer Survivors in the COVID Era: Expressions of Kindness between Aunties and Nieces (Independently published)


Sandra Smith, translator, Master of Souls (Kales Press) by Irène Némirovsky


Estha Weiner, This Insubstantial Pageant (Broadstone Books)



Creative Workshops


All-Genre Writers Group, 6:30pm, Thursdays


John McMullen Poetry Workshop, 6pm, fourth Wednesdays


Mahopac Poetry Workshop, 6pm, second Wednesdays


ModPo, University of Pennsylvania’s free poetry course and global community


Norwalk Poetry Workshop, first and third Mondays, 6:30pm; email poet_laureate@norwalkpl.org to register


The Peekskill Writing Table, serious critique for writers, second and third Tuesdays via Zoom; email tpwritingtable@gmail.com


The Poets Salon, led by Ed Ahern and Alison McBain of Fairfield Scribes Press, 10am, every second Saturday


Writers and Artists Lunch Conversation, second Fridays, noon



November Readings and Events – ET


November 4-6, Arizona Translates!, a series of in-person public events held in Tucson


November 5-6, RiverArts Studio Tour, Upstream Gallery (Hastings), 11am-6pm


November 9, 6pm, Kelly Writers House (Philadelphia), Laynie Browne via Zoom and Live


November 12, 1pm, Alliance Française de Greenwich, Marcel Proust: Du côté de la mère (en français), register here


The Emily Dickinson House
November 12, 7pm; November 13, 3pm; Studio Theater in Exile, a reading of Not God by Marc J. Straus, $25-30; buy tickets here


November 13, 7pm, W-E Poets of the Pandemic, Susana Case, Andre Bagoo, Philip Memmer, Kim Ports Parsons; via Zoom; register here


November 14, 7pm, KGB Bar, Lonely Christopher and Estha Weiner


November 15, 5pm, Byram Shubert Library (Greenwich), Beth Gersh-Nesic on “Proust and Art,” register by emailing afgreenwich@gmail.com

November 15, 5pm, Kelly Writers House, Jennifer Egan via Zoom and Live


Kevin Pilkington
November 16, 7:30pm, Elting Memorial Library (New Paltz), Margo Taft Stever, Susana Case


November 17, Emily Dickinson Museum, 6pm, Margo Taft Stever, Indran Amithayanagam, Susana Case; via Zoom; register here


November 20, 4pm, Katonah Village Library, Peter Filkins, Kevin Pilkington, Sophie Cabot Black, $15



Monthly Readings – ET


First Sunday, 4pm, Poetic License (Austin)


Every Tuesday, 2pm, Spoken Word World (Paris)


Every Tuesday, 7pm, Curley’s Diner


Third Fridays, 7pm, Hudson Valley Writers Center Open Mic – click third Friday for details


Frequent Saturdays (check Facebook), 5pm, LitBalm


Curried Squash Soup


I found this in my mother’s recipes—among notes for dinners she hosted, where she listed the date, attendees, and what she wore (“red wool dress”). May this soup contribute to lasting memories of your own (index cards not required).

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion

1 cup peeled tart apple

1 teaspoon curry powder

3-4 cups peeled diced butternut squash

3 cups water or vegetarian chicken broth

1 cup milk

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons plain yogurt


Heat oil in heavy saucepan; add onion and apple, and cook until tender. Stir in curry powder. Add squash and water or broth. Cover and simmer until squash is tender, about 30 minutes. Puree with a hand-held blender. Return puree to saucepan and add milk. Season with salt and pepper. Float dollop of yogurt on each serving, said to be six.



ʼRound the Net


Poet, essayist, and fiction writer Terry Dugan for alerting us to Wild Intelligence: Poets' Libraries and the Politics of Knowledge in Postwar America, on the libraries of Charles Olson (1910–1970), Diane di Prima (1934–2020), Gerrit Lansing (1928–2018), and Audre Lorde (1934–1992)


Art historian and translator Beth Gersh-Nesic for her interview of translator Sandra Smith on Irène Némirovsky’s Master of Souls (Kales Press)


Collage by Bob Heman
Poet and collage artist Bob Heman on his recent collage in Clockwise Cat


Poet Cindy Hochman on having prose poems selected for two Australian anthologies, and  Ali F. Bilir’s translation of her poem, "A Sincere Letter From a Reader," which appears in Mersin Sanat Edebiyat (Turkey)


Yorktown Poet Laureate John McMullen on being the featured reader last month at Spoken Word World

Giorgia Pavlidou
Poet and painter Giorgia Pavlidou on her poem "The Alchemy of Misperception" in The Ocotillo Review, and a translation of one of her poems and artwork in the new Honidi Magazine Revista Surrealista (Chile)


Poets and Writers for literary magazines that pay


Poet and watercolorist Linda Simone for Bruce Springsteen’s interview of John Mellencamp on his art and paintings



Practicing Gratitude

Photo by Margie Herrick
This month of gratitude, I honor Wish Mavens Barbara Dickinson and Margie Herrick. Their blog reinforces what a brain researcher said about having a good life—the more we acknowledge the good, the wider our neural pathways open, and somehow life can improve exponentially. Barbara and Margie break it down in a fun, non-“woo-woo” approach and tackle questions about wishing for things that may seem trivial (spoiler alert: they’re fine). Today, I give thanks for you, dear annogram readers!


Until next time,