Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Artifact : 4.26.08 : Armantrout : Giscombe : Warren

Artifact presents:


Saturday, April 26, 2008

***Please note our new earlier time:
6PM, Reading begins promptly at 6:30PM

$5 suggested donation

***New Location:
Oakland Art Gallery
Frank Ogawa Plaza

199 Kahn’s Alley
Oakland CA 94612


Rae Armantrout’s most recent book of poetry, Next Life (Wesleyan, 2007), was chosen as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2007 by The New York Times. Other recent books include Collected Prose (Singing Horse, 2007), Up to Speed (Wesleyan, 2004), The Pretext (Green Integer, 2001), and Veil: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2001). Her poems have been included in anthologies such as Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (1993), American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Language Meets the Lyric Tradition, (Wesleyan, 2002), The Oxford Book of American Poetry (Oxford, 2006) and The Best American Poetry of 1988, 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2007.. In 2007 she received an award in poetry from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Armantrout is Professor of Poetry and Poetics at the University of California, San Diego.

C.S Giscombe was born in Dayton, Ohio. Later he attended the State University of New York at Albany and Cornell University. He currently teaches at Berkeley and has
taught previously at Penn State, Illinois State, Cornell, among others. Giscombe also worked as editor of Epoch magazine throughout the 80s. His books are Postcards, Here, Giscome Road, Into and Out of Dislocation (FSG/ North Point) and his newest book, Prairie Style will be out from Dalky Archive in Fall 2008. Giscombe was the recipient of the Carl Sandburg Award for Giscome Road and grants and fellowships from the NEA, the Illinois Arts Council, the Fund for Poetry, the Council for the International Exchange for Scholars, etc. He is also a long-distance cyclist.

Alli Warren was born a Reagan baby and raised in the smog and wind of the San Fernando Valley. Duration Press recently published NO CAN DO. Other chapbooks include COUSINS (Lame House Press), HOUNDS, Yoke (Faux Press), and Schema (House Press). Alli lives in San Francisco, works at Small Press Distribution, and co-curates The New Reading Series at 21 Grand.

New Yorker: Armantrout

only Rae Armantrout could get a poem not about sailboats in the New Yorker (April 7, 2008)



One what?

One grasp?

No hands.

No collection

of stars. Something dark

pervades it.


is ritual sacrifice.

It kills the look-alike.

metaphor is homeopathy.

A healthy cell
exhibits contact inhibition.


These temporary credits
will no longer be reflected
in your next billing period.


“Dark” meaning
not reflecting,

not amenable
to suggestion.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Repost: Help Tom Clark

I'm reposting this from Dale Smith's blog because Tom Clark's in some dire straits after the collapse of New College...

Tom Clark needs your help. He is stranded with no salary and no medical insurance to cover costs due to a recent stroke. He also needs funds for medications to aid in the recovery of his wife, Angelica Clark, from surgery on her hip.

After 25 years on the faculty of the New College of California’s Poetics Program, payment on his salary and his insurance was abruptly stopped when the school came under scrutiny of federal and state auditors last fall.

Tom Clark has been an important voice in postwar American poetry since the 1960s. For a decade he was the poetry editor for The Paris Review. His many books appeared with Black Sparrow for nearly thirty years, and his biographies of Jack Kerouac, Charles Olson, and Edward Dorn have provided essential perspectives on the lives of these New American authors. He is a passionate and devoted teacher who deserves far greater recognition for his services to American poetry communities.

He needs your help now.

There will be a Tom Clark benefit reading in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, April 26, at 7 pm. A painting by Austin painter Philip Trussell will be auctioned, and broadsides and chapbooks by Clark will be available for purchase. Sliding scale donations are required at the door. Beer and wine will be available. All proceeds will be directed to Clark.

I am collecting donations as well from those of you outside of Austin who are willing to contribute. Please send what you can immediately to:

Tom Clark
c/o Dale Smith
2925 Higgins Street
Austin, Texas 78722


Background to the Situation

When the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) put the New College of California on probation in July 2007, I wondered what would happen to that 37-year-old institution. By November, the federal Department of Education refused to release $3 million in financial aid. That month, the school stopped paying faculty salaries. Since then, the school has lost its accreditation and it has closed doors indefinitely, stranding many former instructors with no income and a loss of health benefits. A February 28 article in the San Francisco Chronicle provides more details.

With Hoa Nguyen, Renee Gladman, Leslie Davis, Jeff Conant, Michael Price, and others, I attended the college in the mid 1990s, studying in the Poetics Program with David Meltzer, Lyn Hejinian, Gloria Frym, Adam Cornford, and Tom Clark. It’s a drag to think of that program’s disintegration, particularly since luminaries such as Robert Duncan, Joanne Kyger, and Diane di Prima had taught there over the years too.

I remember hearing Clark Coolidge, Lorenzo Thomas, Alice Notley, Barbara Guest, and others read there over the years, and I recall the cultural, material, and historic grounding of study in poetics at that time.

The attraction to the program centered on the fact that faculty in the Poetics Program were all poets, and yet instead of teaching in the traditional workshop format, instructors taught courses in poetics and in the material production of poetry.

My first semester included classes in Shelley, Backgrounds to Romantic Culture, and Lyn Hejinian’s class in poetic theory called, “The Language of Paradise.” Other semesters focused on Early Modern, Modernist, and American Renaissance periods, providing students with a thorough grounding in the theoretical, historical, and material backgrounds to the periods studied.

One semester I took Hejinian’s class on Stein, Clark’s on Olson, and Meltzer’s class on backgrounds to modernism, in which we read about John Reed, the IWW, and other revolutionary social movements that joined art and politics to influence change. I also was fortunate enough to study the art of letterpress printing with Jeff Conant.

Students were engaged with the creative possibility provided through poetry, and we worked to discover ways to increase our awareness of the art through study, conversation, and learning the skills necessary to publish magazines and chapbooks on our own. We learned how to extend conversations in poetry to existing audiences. And we learned how to listen to the ongoing dialogues that compose much of the contemporary verse we discovered in California and beyond at that time.

My years at New College grounded me in a serious education from which I could move forward on my own once the formal course work had been completed. I wrote a thesis on Philip Whalen, took my degree, and moved to Austin, where, with Hoa Nguyen, we began to produce magazines, books, essays, poetry, and host readings. New College’s emphasis on the material production of the poem as a social tool of engagement stuck with me. And as testament to the concreteness of this plan of study provided by New College, I was later accepted to a PhD program at the University of Texas based on this prior period of study and the resulting years of production.

By academic standards, the school was funky. But in terms of what was provided intellectually and creatively, it was essential and instructive.

Help those who have seen their livelihood damaged by the mismanagement of New College administration.

Send what you can today.

Please help Tom Clark.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The (New) Reading Series @ 21 Grand: Sunday, 4.20 : Myles & Nicoloff

The (New) Reading Series @ 21 Grand
Sunday, April 20, 2008
6:30 pm // $3

Eileen Myles & Michael Nicoloff

LIVE @ 21 Grand
416 25th St at Broadway

EILEEN MYLES was born in Cambridge, MA in 1949. In 1974, she moved to New York where she studied poetry with Paul Violi, Alice Notley and Ted Berrigan. Her latest book is Sorry, Tree in which she describes "some nature" as well as the transmigration of souls from the east coast to the west. Bust Magazine calls Myles "the rock star of modern poetry" and Holland Cotter in The New York Times describes her as "a cult figure to a generation of post-punk females forming their own literary avant garde." She has been a professor of writing at UCSD since 2002.

All Things Myles

CA Conrad talks with Eileen Myles

MICHAEL NICOLOFF is the author of the chapbook "'Punks'" which was put out in print form by Taxt Press in 2007 and can now be found on the website Deep Oakland. His poetry and reviews have appeared in such fine publications as The Recluse, Mirage #4/Period(ical), The Orgasm Zine, and Traffic. Born and raised in Olympia, WA, he has hopped between coasts for the last several years. Right now, though, he lives on Alcatraz--the street--in Oakland, CA.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

SPD: OPEN HOUSE : 4.12.08

Small Press Distribution
Spring Open House & Book Sale
Saturday, April 12th
12 Noon - 4PM

20-5-% off all books!
Readings at 2PM

Poetry Trading Post
Trade a poem or story for a fee book!

Joanne Kyger, Bay Area master poet, has two recent books. About Now:
Collected Poems and Not Veracruz. She lives in Bolinas.

Marjorie Welish is a poet, painter, teacher and art critic. Her most
recent book Isle of the Signatories is just out from Coffee House.
She lives in New York.

Taylor Brady and Rob Halpern are the co-authors of Snow Sensitive
Skin, from which they'll read together at this event. Brady is an
education activist and the author of several books, most recently
Occupational Treatment. Halpern is a teacher and the author of
Rumored Place. Both are active in the Nonsite Collective and live in
San Francisco.

Free & Open to All!

1341 7th St. (@ Gilman)
Berkeley, CA

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Pegasus : 4.4.08 : Vitiello & Burger



Friday, April 4th, 7:30 pm

Chris is visiting from North Carolina. His 2nd book, Irresponsibility, was recently released from Ahsahta Press.

Mary lives in Oakland and is the author of Sonny (Leon Works) & co-edited Biting the Error: Writers Explore Narrative. She also edits Second Story Books.

Pegasus Books Downtown
2349 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley
(510) 649-1320.