posted by Caroline Picard

The Printer’s Ball

Once a year, Chicago literary fans gather to peruse and collect tables and tables of free, independent literary material. Back issues of Stop Smiling, Make Magazine, Bateau, to name a few–(there are so many different publications, it’s impossible to name it all) Poetry Magazine, Platypus–these are of course the titles that I recognized, so they stuck in my memory, yet in addition of course there are so many other peculiar, attractive, sexy publications on view, and (this is the amazing part) available to take. That’s right. Somehow, everything is free. In addition to which there are drinks, there is a buffet, there is (drum roll) entertainment–bands, readings, performances–what always amazes me is the amount of work that this event demands. But also, people get so excited about it. This I started wondering about–I started wondering what it was that made people buzz around so much–I mean of course there are obvious reasons, like the odd leftist 70s political magazines that were sprinkled around at different tables–or the buttons, I mean it’s tons and tons of cool schwag–presses (like featherproof, for instance) make curious multiples (see above) that are also readily available–unique text objects that you’re not likely to find elsewhere. And it’s kind of like an industry party–Chicago’s, albeit less formal, version of AWP. But here I suspect is the real source of enthusiasm: artists have regular art openings–functions whereby they congregate under the auspices of a similar artistic interest, they recognize one another as aritsts and while sharing casual conversations, nevertheless validate their artist-ness. I don’t think writer’s get the same cathartic opportunites–at least not to the same extent. While writers participate in readings, readings require some composure, one attends a reading to listen–(I was talking to a co-worker who’s primary experience stems from the art world and she asked how many people tend to go to readings. I said, “maybe between 5 and 30.” she said, “30?” I said, “yes. Sometimes. I think it’s fairly common.” and she was amazed, I think about the idea that as many as 30 people would go somewhere to listen to other people talk. Which is pretty neat–but you see it’s different from an art opening, because people go to openings to socialize, to support their peers, to talk and drink and talk. There’s that addage–if you want to see the show, you go when there’s no one else there)–meanwhile at the Printer’s Ball, it really is a giant party, where writers recognize one another as writers, where publishers recognize other publishers. The overall welcoming atmosphere then, too, becomes an interesting place for those who aren’t familiar with these independent literary practices, and I think the sense of abundance, the free-ness of all the publications, makes everyone feel the generous, energetic innovation of the community. Which of course is inspiring in and of itself. Thanks to the Poetry Project, The Underground Library and Columbia College for making this possible and available to the rest of us!

THE
PRINTERS’
BALL

FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2010 /// 6 PM TO 11 PM

THE LUDINGTON BUILDING
1104 S WABASH AVE
CHICAGO

Lots of magazines. Books. Posters. Galore.
Broadsides & busy beavers. Newspapers & weeklies.
Zines. Poetry, fiction & all that. Buttons, stickers
& more. Reading & performing, or something like it.
Red carpet. Screenings, Web things & digital
writing — electrified in general; because PRINT DIGITAL .
Making, inking, stamping. Getting hands dirty.
Dancing, music, DJs. Playing. All free.

+ Beer, food & revelry.

Printers’ Ball 2010 Schedule
Friday, July 30, 6:00 – 11:00 PM

Scheduled Events:

6:00 PM: Christian Wiman introduces Printers’ Ball 2010
6:00 – 9:00 PM
: PRINTERESTING.ORG’s “COPY JAM!,” an interactive art print occurrence.
6:00 – 10:00 PM
: Dave Tompkins, the author of How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop, The Machine Speaks, dee-jays his vocoder playlist, with live vocoder and special guest
7:00 – 7:30 PM
: “The Precession,” a digital poem and live performance of original writing and real-time data collection by Mark Jeffrey and Judd Morrissey
8:00 – 10:00 PM
: The Show ‘n Tell Show, hosted by Zach Dodson and Michael Renaud, with Studio Blue’s Cheryl Towler Weese, Edie Fake, Isaac Tobin, and Kathleen Judge
10:00 – 11:00 PM
: Live music by Icy Demons

Ongoing Events:

  • Printers’ Ball limited-edition Busy Beaver Buttons to the first 500 guests
  • Red-carpet interviews with Amy Guth, digital news editor for books at the Chicago Tribune and co-host of ChicagoNow Radio on WGN
  • Gapers Block traffic jam of Chicago lit sites
  • Gallery presentation of and reading from the Printers’ Ball 2010 Art Book, with broadsides featuring the work of the Chicago Printers’ Guild and local poets and writers
  • Book binding by Chicago Books to Women in Prison
  • DEUSEXPAGINA, a live experiment in literary quantum mechanics and wholly fabricated reviews of wholly fabricated books
  • Elevated Diction: poems performed live during your elevator ride between floors
  • The Gnoetry poetry-making machine
  • “Pandora’s Star Box,” a poem-film by Carrie Olivia Adams
  • Public Media Institute’s Mobile Screen-printing Cart
  • Text Object,” a featured digital reading provided by Vanessa Place
  • Video gallery featuring Bound Off, contratiempo, Rattapalax, Switchback Books, and Wholphin DVD, plus metal type animation by students from the London College of Communication
  • Fresh Squeezed Poetry, poetry written to order by Illinois Arts Council award winners
  • Plus more with Anchor Graphics, Captain Carpenter, the students and alumni of Columbia College Chicago, and others
  • The Next Objectivists typing the poetry of the multitude. Poetypists will compose in public and turn “raw or/e” into poetry chapbooks to be distributed on-site.

and the afterparty…


The Printers’ Ball After-Party and MAKE Five-Year Anniversary Fiesta

FRIDAY, JULY 30 / 9PM TO 1:30AM

REGGIE’S MUSIC JOINT 2105 SOUTH STATE ST CHICAGO

FREE / 21+

After you gorge yourself on print and digital lit, The Show ‘n Tell Show and Icy Demons, head over to Reggie’s Music Joint for a night of music and piñatas celebrating the celebration of print and digital literature, as well as MAKE’s fifth year of publishing.

The Reggie’s bus will pick up party goers at the Ball at 9PM, 10PM, and 11PM. Look for it (it’s hard to miss) at the front entrance of the Ludington Building.

Enjoy drink specials such as “The Publishers’ Pair,” a cheap beer and a cheap whiskey shot for $5 or keep it clean and classy with $5 shots of Templeton Rye. Order from the grill too.

Beginning at 9PM, Shame That Tune, Chicago’s newest musical comedy game show kicks off the night with a special Printers’ Ball episode featuring Coupleskate’s Andrea Bauer, RUI’s Rob Duffer, and a volunteer from the audience.

Followed by the peerless Magical Beautiful, refined garage rockers Paul Cary and the Small Scaries, and the always delightful Coupleskate.

Preview the bands and download free tunes at candydinner.com.

Arts and culture live talk show and podcast You, Me, Them, Everybody hosts an interview room in Record Breakers Record Store throughout thenight.    

Visit the FACEBOOK event page

Let There Be Geo

March 2, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

Favorite Words

October 4, 2008

Last night I attended a poetry reading at Columbia College.  The reading occurred in concurrence with the Jack Kerouac exhibition on display at the Book and Paper Center at 1104 S. Wabash, 2nd Floor.  The reading was intended to address the intersection between experimental literature and artists’ books.  The poets were:  Ed Robertson, Nathalie Stephens, Kerri Sonnenerg and Garin Cycholl. 

 

There will be another reading on Friday October 17th at 6:30pm in the same space featuring:  Judith Goldman, Roberto Harrison, Simone Muench and Tim Yu. 

 

Kerri Sonnenberg read a poem called “Favorite Words”, the idea for which she said was “patented” by a Brazilian poet named Maria Esther Marciel.  She had heard Marciel read in the library recently and the poem had “enraptured” her.  I was equally enraptured and so have attempted my own below.  It is a list of the poet’s favorite words. 

 

(p.s. I highly recommend this exercise.  It is remarkably diverting.)

 

autumn

butter

balk

Ukraine

parade

harbor

culpable

residue

neck

ostensible

lugubrious

quick

laud

pray

negligible

inclement

meaning

detail

hurt

quiet

chronic

negate

dance

loquacious

periphery

handshake

mustache

narrator

oak

dream

bougainvillea

literature

crinoline

rescue

temporal

fascinate

charade

julienne

clit

wham

mushroom

didactic

tract

cold

catapult

harbinger

pain

piano

luck

cacophony

join

sick

ne’er

relationship

hopeless

tertiary

nursery

planet

grog

fortissimo

slush

fabricate

flail

handsome

estuary

hot

gaseous

gesture

connection

indigestion

Nepalese

frank

engender

pit

equivocate

slander

wail

ambiguous

biological

law

answer

drug

earnest

dietary

inane

doily

psychotic

ebb

probably

pander

defecate

period

defenestrate

permeate

fuck

formula

handkerchief

pedagogical

chemistry

 

– Lily