Two weeks ago on September 3rd, The Satellite version of The Green Lantern Press assembled a book release party at The Whistler for The North Georgia Gazette—a book (mostly) of newspapers written by sailors onboard the HMS Hecla and Griper in the beginning of the 19th Century, while the ships were landlocked in the Arctic Circle in search of the Northwest Passage.

Below, after a brief introduction on the work, Basia Kapolka, the Green Lantern’s resident actor reads a poetic selection from one of the newspapers by a sailor named Wakeham entitled, “Reflections on Seeing the Sun Set for a Period of Three Months or More.”

– posted by Lily

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Dancing Young Men and Octopii

September 9, 2009

posted & written by Caroline Picard

Last week we released the North Georgia Gazette. As part of that release, we had two readings–one at The Whistler, the other at 57th Street Books in Hyde Park. At The Whistler, Basia Kapolka read on behalf of the Gazette, reciting a poem about the setting of the sun for three months. John Huston followed with a lecture about his recent expedition to the Arctic and after that Lily Robert-Foley read some passages from her end notes. We were lucky enough to see Devin King read as well–he had prepared a response to the Gazette (it’s awesome: it involves ghosts and villianized octupii and Victor Hugo) and I will post part of that response below, encouraging all of you to follow it up to his blog, Dancing Young Men From High Windows. After that, Nick Butcher from Sonnenzimmer played with Jason Stein. The whole thing was fantastic (I thought) and while an awkward MC, I had a great time.

Devin also read this piece at 57th Street Books–a nice gathering, slightly more intimate, there was an old couple in the corner who chuckled periodically. Another girl eating a sandwich. Anyway. Many thanks to our hosts for letting us have the reading, both were exceedingly gracious (Paul (the bartender and mastermind drink gourmet), for instance, would shake his cocktails in the basement stairwell to avoid making noise–I couldn’t believe how considerate)….and of course to all participants, helpers, proofreaders and contributors: here’s to a job well done and thank you thank you thank you.

octopus-400

Victor Hugo’s Last Musical

The musical’s grand opener is called, “We belong to the night,” and then there’s the famous actor Hooper, done up in a pelt but looking like a bat, bounding on all fours, giggling, his back to the curtain, trying to find a dark, circular, puzzle image. There is a detachment in his gambol, a kind of stoicism of the present; the alternately accusing and mutely questioning face of a dead man is all that describes his strange twisting associative dance. All features belong to the actor, Hooper, himself: a force utterly deployed in the world at any given moment, entirely characterized by its full set of features.
§
Ever since the philosophers distinguished the living from the non-living children have seemed to display an extensive capacity for awe and wonder along with their horror, a horror that remains distinctly consistent, arising from an experience of cognitive dread which cannot be escaped or evaded. At times Hooper’s actions on the stage suggest that all humans takes things “as” what they are, the actor claims that even blindly using a hammer takes it “as” a hammer. It was such an unusual and unlikely event, this musical; like when the centaur is mated with the cheetah, and their off-spring is not some hellish monstrosity, but a thoroughbred colt able to carry us for half a century and more.
§
In the autumn of 1853 Victor Hugo’s family began talking to ghosts. The American habit of table-tapping had reached Europe a few months earlier and the Hugos, bored and in exile, began by contacting their child Leopoldine, who had drowned in a boating accident ten years earlier. At first a sarcastic patriarch, Victor became enthralled by the practice and eventually would talk to Dante, Shakespeare, Moliere, Aeschylus, Galileo, Moses, Jesus Christ, St. Augustine, Voltaire, and Death itself.

Please go here to continue reading.

posted by Caroline Picard

Just because we don’t have a location doesn’t mean we’re giving up! (In fact we’re releasing a record number of books this fall. Seven. That’s right. We’re putting out seven super fantastic books and if you want to see what’s coming up, you can go here.) But more to the point:

The Green Lantern Press is proud to announce the release of THE NORTH GEORGIA GAZETTE  at The Whistler on Tuesday September 1st 2009 at 8pm. And, on Thursday September 3rd at 6pm at 57th Street Books.


gazette press copy cover
The Whistler: located at: 2421 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647-2627 (773) 227-3530
Arctic Explorer John Huston will give a 30 minute presentation about his latest (unassisted) expedition through the North West Passage followed by  readings from the Gazette by poet/transcriber Lily Robert-Foley and resident performer Basia Kapolka. After that, Devin King and Michael Thibault will collaborate on a reading/musical performance responding to the Gazette. “Home-made electrical musician” Nick Butcher of Sonnenzimmer and bassist/clarinet player Jason Stein will close the evening with an original music performance. This event is Free. Books will be available for purchase at a discount. (See prices/publication description below).

At 57th Street Books is located down in Hyde Park at: 1301 E 57th St,  Chicago, IL 60637-1724 (773) 684-1300. On  Thursday September 3rd at 6pm there will be a mellower evening where the audience is encouraged to ask any and all questions. Here again, Lily Robert-Foley will read alongside Caroline Picard with a Q&A to follow. This event is free.

The North Georgia Gazette is an original newspaper from 1821 published by a fleet of sailors trapped in the Arctic for eight months of darkness. In order to ward off scurvy, their Captain Parry insisted they put on plays for one another and keep a newspaper featuring only happy news. Re-released by The Green Lantern Press, our new edition features excerpts from the Captain’s Journal, the newspaper in its entire, an essay by contemporary Arctic explorer John Huston, end notes by transcriber/poet Lily Robert-Foley and original artwork by Daniel Anhorn, Jason Dunda, Rebecca Grady, and Deb Sokolow. This book was printed in an edition of 250 with original silk screen covers, a limited edition 7″ record by Nick Butcher and is available for $30. Advance copies for sale now. Books will be available at both venues for a discounted price of $25.

BIOS & Links:

http://www.forwardexpeditions.com/ (john huston)
http://www.katharinemulherin.com/dynamic/artist.asp?ArtistID=27&Count=0 (jason dunda)
http://danielanhorn.com/home.html (daniel anhorn)
http://debsokolow.com/home.html (deb sokolow)
http://www.rubaccaquon.com/ (rebecca grady)
http://www.programmablepress.com/jan08/nickbutcher.html (nick butcher)

Lily Robert-Foley writes plays, teaches piano and makes radical linguistic translation devices known as machines. Her work has and will have appeared in bathhouse, digital artifact, viviparous blenny and Omni a Vanitas. She is also the author of 12 Graphemachines, forthcoming as part of Xeroxial Edition’s Xerolage series.

Basia Kapolka is an actor, writer and director living in Chicago. Most recently she wrote and directed Jinx, a play based on the novel by Theophile Gautier at Act One Studios. She is also the Green Lantern’s resident actor.

A philologist with a heart of gold, Devin King writes about pop music for The Boston Phoenix, teaches poetry to young adults, and probably listens to too many showtunes and too much bubblegum pop. His serial-opera Dancing Young Men From HIgh Windows can be seen bouncing monthly from gallery to gallery in Chicago and his long poem, CLOPS, will be out from the Green Lantern Press in fall 2009.

Michael Thibault is a time-based artist, painter and curator.  A solo show of his video work entitled Love’s Secret Domain will be shown in New York in the spring of 2010.  Michael will debut his new, yet-to-be-named gallery space in Chicago’s Humbolt Park in the fall of 2009.  He is also a member of the bands Silk Stalkings, Pleasure Principle, and The Paradise Spell.

THE GAZETTE IS GOING ON TOUR!
A travelling exhibition featuring a handful of artist included in the publication are scheduled to exhibit at AS220 in Providence Rhode Island, this Oct/Nov & at fluxSPACE in Philadephia this February. Additional information available.

Jinx:: Act One Studio

July 30, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

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Last night I had the sweet chance to check out Basia Kapolka’s play, Jinx. Both written and directed by Kapolka, Jinx is a play adaptation of Theophile Gautier’s novel Jettatura, in which a young man is suspected of having the evil eye. The question comes to the fore when Paul d’Aspremont (played by Andy Junk) follows his fiancé to Italy, where she has travelled to improve her health. While there, a number of accidents ensue and the townsfolk begin to whisper, donning various talismens to ward off the evil. Sam (played by Loren Connell), d’Aspremont’s loyal servant, seems to be the only one unaffected by his master’s presence. What ensues is an argument between suspicion and rationality, but with the unfolding of unfortunate events, d’Aspremont suffers an excruciating doubt about his own goodness, and wonders if perhaps the townspeople are right. The play flits between amusing banter–linguistic sparring matches between Alicia Ward (played by Zia Okocho) and her suitors–and philosophical argument. The antiquated style of speech facilitates the transition between subjects and even affords some humor. The servants, Sam and Maria (played by Betty Lorkowski) create interludes of flirtation under the noses of their masters, showing a second face of character. That, coupled with the brightly colored (almost clown) costumes of  actors on  an otherwise austere set of white furniture enhance the playfulness of the production. And performances of Glenn Potter as Sir Joshua Ward, (who appears to be wearing a bowling ball under his jacket to serve as an old-man belly ), and the gloved and dandy macabre of Count Altavilla (played by Jim Hicks) soften and seduce the audience into laughter, despite the otherwise serious themes of the play, namely: prejudice, self-loathing, violence, superstition, and (even) sexism and class. The climax thus comes as a shock, for suddenly the world at hand, where magic has only been the joke of gossip, falls terribly apart. In the end one is reminded that real, albeit dramatic, lives are at stake. A thoroughly impressive production in its own right, it’s a phenomal accomplishment for Kapolka.

Act One Studios

640 N LaSalle Dr, suite 535 (between Ontario and Erie Sts)
Old Town/River North, ChicagoMap

312-787-9384

El: Red to Grand. Bus: 65, 156  | Directions

Tickets: $15

Tonight–Sat 8pm

I owe my rent to FDR

October 23, 2008

by Basia Kapolka

 

Water is the only healthy thing I allow myself
The rest of life is paranoid and jangled.
I tried to run a marathon and found
I could not pick my lead feet off the ground.
This isn’t viciousness, merely a glut,
of thought, anxiety, and angel dust.

 

I met a man who told me, “Dust to dust.”
“Asses to asses,” I replied.  He said, “You’re one self
short of a personality.”  Together we were a glut
of unobtrusiveness.  Our oven jangled
all night and our fridge jumped two feet off the ground.
He wore sunglasses stolen from the lost and found.

 

While I wore negligees and made found-
object masterpieces, which collected dust.
Another career I couldn’t get off the ground.
He told me he was too full of himself
to do his chores or brush his teeth.  The jangled
keys and the Subaru were his.  I kept the glut

 

of agony and relief. Until I traded them for a glut
of baseball cards, which I found
useful for throwing on the floor.  My teeth jangled,
but I still refused to brush them. Or dust
the VCR.  I wanted to be like him, and full of self,
and unafraid of tortures underground.

 

That was the year I rented a ground-
floor apartment, rent-stabilized, and with a glut
of rat poison under the sink.  A strange cat licked itself
beneath my bed.  I guess it found
my company amusing.  Or else it liked to chase bugs in the dust.
Cats make you domestic, but your thoughts get fishy and jangled.

 

“Nick’s Christmas Club,” next door, jingled and jangled
all night long.  I used to toss myself onto the ground
and roll around and moan and swallow dust.
One day I called my (Russian) dad, who said, “I ddo noght lak dto glut,
butd i hev offen sed–becuz i em sw found
uv u–that u r pritty awful dto yursyelf.”

 

That’s how it goes.  I could have given up my jangled indolence
for a job with Ivan’s Construction.  But I found the ground
was still warm when I got off the phone, and I wrapped myself up in the dust.
– Basia is related to the Williams of Providence and the Kapolkas of Pittsburgh.