It seems that recently I have witnessed more events than there have been days in which to do so.
The story begins on Wednesday evening, July 23rd at the Center for Book Arts. I curated the inauguration of a new reading series misleadingly titled New Voices (the participating readers are well beyond "new," as they are all recognized and published within their communities). The title was predesignated by the Center for Book Arts, but in its defense, I suspect the desire was to employ "New" as an adjective in the service of Progress, as in New Perspectives... fresh, surprising, etc.
Taking into account my own reaction, that of the readers, and those of the audience, I am sure that the work presented did come off as Fresh & Surprising. Much of it still remands so in my memory. The reading was (audio) recorded, and hopefully will make its way on to Penn Sound, courtesy of Danny Snelson.
I had a conversation or two with each of the readers that night, and some of us went out for a drink after the event. Many of them shared my enthusiasm for continuing to develop a community of printers, booksmiths and poets: actually any artists interested in the tensions and cooperations evident in text-based mediums at every stage: words, and words as they are placed and then found on a surface.
I have already begun to keep in touch with several of them, and I believe that the correspondence between us will be vital in encouraging the presence and longevity of the community I have suggested above. That said, I'd also like to see the Center for Book Arts become a more central hub for readings and other text-inclusive performative events.
My primary interest is in the intersection of stunning writing and the possibility of the book as structure. Cuneiform does not ascribe to any particular school or canon, and remains committed to publishing enduring (and ephemeral) works that negotiate the critical imagination and poetic exploration. We aspire to maintain a zeal for experimentation and fascination with the intersection of meaning and form with each publication.
-Kyle Schlesinger, Cuneiform Press
In essence, I would like to apply these goals toward the continued formation of a community, marked by events such as readings and exhibitions of ephemera.
OMG! releases Paolo Javier's LMFAO
On the evening of Friday, July 25th, at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's projects space, DIY press, OMG!, released Paolo's idiomatic cut'n'paste, graphic no-vella LMFAO. I wish I could describe it in detail, but I am currently in Los Angeles, and the book is in New York. But I will say that his performance at the release reading was the 2nd impressive presentation of his I've witnessed. It was both conceptual and lyrical, managing and narrating text composed for other purposes by other people. When it came to the poems from his new book, he simply slowly passed over each powerpoint page without reading aloud. More on that text once I've my eyes on it again.
Meeting Geof Huth in Astoria, NY
The night before I left for Los Angeles, I sat at my computer, reading this post by Geof Huth, a well-known practitioner and collector of visual poetries. The post discusses some ruminations on what (or how) the visual poet sees, and it also lists the location whereat the thought was had, that being, Astoria, NY: my home. I immediately responded with my own thoughts on the relevance of such ruminations within Astoria, revealing my living there as well. He responded in turn, and within minutes, I was greeting he and his wife out on the corner of 27th st & 30th Ave. It is a rare thing when a blog post leads to a handshake, and it takes the outward warmth of a fellow like Goef Huth to initiate such a handshake.
I only recently finished reading his collected pwoermds, and had been having many discussions about them with my wife as well as other poets. Goef Huth's passion for & habit of photographing graffiti and other found texts has rubbed off on me since first discovering it some months ago. Also, and most importantly, his sandglyphs and fidgetglyphs have refreshed my otherwise tired understanding of experiential poetics. His practice suggests the renewed capacity for an immediate poetics, but one that is still meditative and concerned with its social and political implications. I'm speaking now in these broad strokes, but it's mostly out of excitement. I hope some insight can be gleaned from my explanation. At the very least, I hope I've incited some interest in investigating his work further.
We discussed locations and origins. We discussed his touring and reading. He seemed always excited about his work. He is committed, and has found a way to always be practicing, collecting, arranging. It was a real pleasure to meet him.
He gave me a copy of his "audience handout" (which is actually a well designed chapbook).
He gave me a copy of his hot-off-the-press book, Longfellow Memoranda.
I will discuss them soon.
He has also written a description of this encounter.
WORK #4 is online.
David Horton, diligent as ever, has posted another issue of WORK on the Internet.
I have work in Issue #4 (now online).
12 hours ago