May 6, 2010
posted by Caroline Picard
Jacob Knabb wrote a pretty sweet little ditty, along with photos from last Saturday night’s event. I’ve included an excerpt below:
King Beer is Wasted: Green Lantern Press hosts a release party for *CLOPS* & *The Wasteland and Other Poems*
On Saturday, May 1st, Green Lantern Press hosted a release party for their current author Devin King’s book-length poem *CLOPS* and John Beer’s ‘best-selling’ Canarium Books release *The Wasteland and Other Poems*. A crowd of around 40 souls attended and were treated to Devin’s splendid singing, a nice sampling from CLOPS, and an experimental poem involving personal favorites Lux Interior and Skeeter Davis (among others). John Beer followed with a poetic cycle from his book (that originally appeared in Another Chicago Magazine #47) entitled “The Perfumed Crypt, or Four Quarters in Eight Bits,” which was accompanied by a slide-show featuring Uma Thurman and a ruinous castle. Afterward, drinks were had, conversations were held, and we were ushered forth into the spring night with red wine and Shiner Bock in our ‘broken mouths.’.
You can read the whole article, along with photographs taken by Jacob himself by going here.
May 3, 2010
we also got this write up in chicago now about the book release last weekend. i posted some of it below….
Tomorrow night Green Lantern Press will celebrate the release of three new titles. Devin Kings long poem CLOPS, a new translation of Rimbaud’s A Season In Hell by Nick Sarno andThe Concrete of Tight Places by Justin Andrews. I’ve read both CLOPS and Andrews’ book, and there are both quality releases. Given the title of the book I knew there would be some “tight places” discussed, but Andrews finds himself surrounded by bodies, by boarders, by the struggles to survive. The moments that he chooses to describe give the book that feeling of being grounded in reality. What was most fascinating is that he is describing states with countries that I had to look up just to make sure they existed. These are places you would never dream of visiting, but now you have a guide to tell you how to visit and what to look out for. Even when he is discussing the gentler side of Guerrilla Armies you can feel the exotic realism in the work. The Concrete of Tight Places was printed in an edition of 500 with silkscreen covers by Nadine Nakanishi of Sonnenzimmer, this book is an adventure that has its own unwashed and unseen beauty.
April 27, 2010
posted by Caroline Picard
Last Thursday I saw a production of Robert Duncan’s Medea in Kolchis as part of the Poetry Project’s Robert Duncan Symposium. I loved it. We had to RSVP to get the address–an empty where house space across the street from The Hideout. The room was empty, about 20 people came. Being a spring evening it was quite cold. We sat in an assortment of folding chairs in the center of the otherwise plain space. And then, the players came out–I made some video clips of the evening and you might get a sense for things.
You might ask what the play is about. The truth is, I’m not exactly sure. I don’t know that I was supposed to understand that, even. I think instead I was there to absorb an impression, to take on the intuitions of performance and language. I know it is about a king (Arthur, played by Sandra Lim) who is interested in fiction. He names his daughter (who I think is played by 2 women–Monica Fambrough & Sara Gothard, though only ever referred to as 1) Medea and is always waiting for a “Jason” to come and take her hand. Arthur has fabricated an object he calls the golden fleece. He is a poet at the end of his life. Central to the play is the wonderfully lascivious nursemaid, Garrow, (played by John Beer, who also directed the piece), she goes between all of the characters serving them in their needs as much as she functions as the meta-glue between the play’s movements; a regular discussion of her age and the romantic exploits of her youth make into a kind of time signature for the whole piece. Jason (played by Patrick Culliton) arrives with whom I think is his tutor, The Doctor (Travis Nichols) who seems to represent a hard-fast reason, arguing against the self-indulgent Arthur. Doctor point’s to the way in which Arthur manipulates the people around him in order to make poems out of them. Jason as though to comiserate says, (what made me laugh out loud) “I don’t think [Arthur] likes my poetry.” Meantime the doctor continues to woo (and fail) and old flame, Edna (Nicole Wilson) who has terrific intuitions and believes in mystical things–I felt like her character probably listened to some combination of Joanna Newsom and Animal Collective–wanted Romance, not love (an interesting and curious distinction). The performers read from their scripts and sometimes read from cards, reflecting Duncan’s discussion of self-awareness (i.e. the emperor as one who makes fiction into real life in order to mythologize his experience). As you’ll see from the following clip, Arthur does a good job of his stretching exercises, what all emperors should do when imparting truth onto youths.
One of my favorite moments was when all the performers read their different lines out loud, at once, different characters overlapping cacuaphony and intermittent silence. At any rate, Medea (only ever dressed in white night dresses–one of them victorian, the other a kind of sweatshirt/cotton–the ruffles on the victorian one created a kind of focal point for me, which I found interesting to think about, i.e. what does it mean if a woman’s nightdress is a focal point in a play, especially if the surrounding action is so much larger and maybe that’s what those victorian ruffles were always supposed to do), falls for Jason and wants to seduce/marry him, Garrow tells them that in order to do so Jason must kill the serpant, Jason wants the golden fleece and in order to get the golden fleece must kill the emperor (Arthur), except he can’t at the last minute and so Medea kills him (Arthur/her father) instead. In the end, the Doctor tries to get back with Edna who refuses because he does not believe and cannot relate to her terrific imagination. It wouldn’t be fair to say that the Victorian nightdress was the only focal point. Garrow was another, perhaps more obvious, counterpoint–and perfectly suited, I think, as the cross-dressing old wo/man, kind of like a sexy Tieresias, who’s experience and exploits and dark dress contrast with Medea’s own Virgin Suicide innocence.
Can you believe that this all happened in a tiny, unknown, cold little room in the city? It’s amazing! I love these sorts of situations because they seem to bring work I would not otherwise see to life–this kind of project seems very like the apartment gallery project, where much work goes into it, and the payoff comes in the sense of community and creative expression that results in an instant, i.e. the instant that the public sees the performance, (or art). There is no measurable affect that endures beyond that moment…it’s brilliant, I think. And always makes me very happy.
posted by caroline picard
On Saturday, May 1st 2010 The Green Lantern will host a book release, celebrating three new titles from The Green Lantern Press: Devin Kings long poem CLOPS, a new translation of Rimbaud’s A Season In Hell* by Nick Sarno and The Concrete of Tight Places, an unusual guidebook by Justin Andrews that provides a“halucinatory tour of the world.” To commemorate this release, you are cordially invited to readings by Devin King and John Beer (Canarium Books, The Wasteland and Other Poems) at 7pm at the former Green Lantern Gallery space, 1511 N Milwaukee Ave., second floor, Chicago IL 60622.
During this event, all Green Lantern Press books will be available at a $5 discount.
*Proceeds from A Season In Hell will go to St. Jude’s Childrens Research Hospital
As per CLOPS. : Using lyrical language, repetition and abstraction, King retells the Odyssey representing the original characters as surface icons who move in and out of the first person. Implicating the reader in the action of war, King reforms the epic. Printed in an edition of 250 with color plates by artist Brian McNearney. Devin King lives and works in Chicago.
Other Forthcoming Events at 1511 N Milwaukee (whilst we keep looking for The New Space which will one day (fingers crossed) happen):
Friday April 23rd8pm
Tuesday May 4th 7pm
May 18th 7:30 pm
Jenny Boully will read as part of The Chicago Poetry Project’s on-going series.
June 15th 7:30pm
Brenda Cardenas will read as part of The Chicago Poetry Project’s on-going series.
for more information regarding any of these events please contact Caroline Picard at email@example.com.
April 14, 2010
posted by Caroline Picard
Last weekend, at AWP Make Magazine held an afterparty where a variety of fantastic writers/publishers did short performances. I happened to video a clip of a performance/reading from John Beer’s book “The Wasteland and Other Poems” put out by Canarium Books.
April 28, 2009
posted by Caroline Picard
I found this article on the Huffington Post and thought I’d post a little section of it here. Of course you can check out the whole thing by going here.
“The Obama administration will pass the 100 day mark this week, and you Obamaphiles out there that don’t want to let go of the early, heady times might be interested in Starting Today: Poems for the First 100 Days, a poetic embodiment of the beginning of Obama’s presidency. The site is chock-full of great poets, even attracting some big names like Mark Doty, David Lehman and Fanny Howe (who we featured here just last week).”