Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reading news

Saturday, January 9, 2010, 6:00-7:30


Mark Statman, Jane LeCroy,
and Bill Zavatsky

Bob Hershon (moderator)

This is the first reading for Tourist at a Miracle by Mark Statman, of which David Shapiro has written: "A lot of magic and a lot of music...” Bill Corbett: “Delivers the tourist’s wonder and distance in spare, deliberate music – American poetry’s grand plain style...” and Joseph Lease: “This book is a delight.”

Mark Statman's recent books include Tourist at a Miracle (Hanging Loose, 2010) and, with Pablo Medina, a translation of Garcia Lorca's Poet in New York (Grove, 2008).

Jane LeCroy is a widely published and performing NYC poet, teacher, front-woman of the avant-jazz-poetry band TRANSMITTING, home-birthing mother of three, televisionless, vegetarian, atheist, rebel soul subversive troublemaker.

Bill Zavatsky's last book of poems is Where X Marks the Spot (Hanging Loose). Just published poem/liner notes on the CD Alone by jazz pianist Marc Copland (Pirouet). He teaches English at the Trinity School in New York City.

Bob Hershon is the author of numerous books of poetry, most recently Calls from the Outside World (Hanging Loose).

Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery (between E. Houston and Bleecker Sts.)
F train to 2nd Avenue; 6 to Bleecker
$6.00 admission

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Post-Christmas meander

It was a good and sweet, simple Christmas. We woke up, and had the usual Christmas morning snacks--smoked salmon, oysters, a duck pate, cheeses of sorts, bread, crackers, a nice Italian blood orange sparkling something or other. Stocking presents, gifts. Jesse was quite happy with his chosen harmonica and new ukulele, surprised by Slipknot and Coheed and Cambria tablature books (interesting to think of those two bands on a ukulele, but he mainly was playing his own songs). With the uke, Jesse is becoming a young man of many stringed instruments, from the above, to guitars to mandolin. He gave Katherine and me each a personalized cd (this the answer to why he'd spent the day before Christmas quizzing us about our favorites of the songs he has written).

Afterwards, Jesse decided to stay at home and Katherine and I went to the movies, Sherlock Holmes, Not a great movie, but a whole lot of fun. Then we took a long walk in Prospect Park. The snow disappeared yesterday in the rain but Christmas day it was all still there, shimmering under the lights.

Yesterday as the snow disappeared in the rain, we walked around a little and then I went over to the bookstore and did some post-Christmas shopping (my gift was to be able to do this). Bought some Chekhov short stories, the correspondence of Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salome, Andamios, a novel and El amor, las mujeres y la vida, a poetry collection by Mario Benedetti, Lituma en los Andes, a novel by Vargas Llosa, short stories by John Fante, Of This World, a poetry collection by John Stroud whose work I don't know very well, and Suite Francaise, by Irene Nemirovsky, which Katherine is reading in the original French these days. Very happy to have these books. Along with Conrad's Nostromo, and a few other things here and there, these are the books I expect to be reading for the rest of the winter break (school starts again on January 25th).

Most of these are coming with me to the VCCA which I leave for tomorrow morning. Very excited by this. Should arrive in the evening, with luck in time for dinner. If I do make dinner, the plan will be to set up my studio afterwards and be ready to think and work as soon as I can Tuesday morning. My hope is to work on poems I started last summer, return to Hinojosa (a big push on Flor de California). Without setting it all in stone, I'm hoping to get started on work that will continue after I come back on the 4th, take me through the rest of the break and give me some clear vision for the writing I can do this semester. It's always hard to do that, write during the semester, but I want to make that push this spring, a nice lead in to the summer (can I really be thinking that far ahead?). In the middle of all this will be readings from Tourist at a Miracle (keep eyes peeled for those on this blog and elsewhere).

Of note: received word from Dennis Tobenski that there will be a performance of Echoes on Wednesday, January 27 at 9:30 pm in the West Village. He says that he'll be singing the poems himself, which makes it a real treat indeed.

More later.



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

The tree is trimmed, the stockings not yet stuffed (soon, soon) and presents no doubt will appear. In recycling happiness, we'll wrap all gifts in rolls of paper brought out of storage from many years' past.

The house is filled with smells of pine and freesia (a winter bouquet from a local market) and we look forward to the Harry and David pears that Anne Porter sent (they're beginning to smell and feel just right).

Word from Hanging Loose is that Tourist at a Miracle shipped yesterday and should be in New York early next week. With Katherine's blessing and a nod from Jesse, on Monday I'll head down to the VCCA for a week of country air, for poetry and rest, a chance to reflect a little bit on the past year, to recharge the batteries that seem a little run down.

peace and joy to all, saludos, abrazos, amor,


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Not quite three months

Oh where does the time go? Just a minute ago I was celebrating Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and now Chanukah is done and we've got our tree and the Christmas parties have started in earnest, the semester is over, work needs grading, so what's a poet to say to any and all but hello. I hope you missed me.

War stories abound and I won't tell any because there isn't much point except to say that there are war stories that could be told of these past months and I've survived. Walking. Breathing. Feeling good about the world.

Of note: these were good months. A little time that I was pretty sick, but that passed and now am up to pretty full speed (proof was last night's midnight romp in the snow with Cannonball, and a healthy shoveling of stoop and walk in the middle of the blizzard; today's walk with Katherine, Jesse and Cannonball in the park suggested that the romp was no fluke, nor was the blizzard, see Jesse's website for photos

Of note: Tourist at a Miracle is any day now. A slight glitch in the cover, discovered in time on bound galleys before cover and book were bound. Old were destroyed, new covers printed, a week's delay (not in time for Christmas) but the 2010 book will make its appearance in 2009. It looks terrific. You can see sneak previews in the current issues of Hanging Loose, Cincinnati Review and with an additional poem in the forthcoming new Portable Bloog (look for it New Year's Day, on-line and elsewhere, St. Mark's, the Bowery Poetry Club, etc).

Of note: for Tourist at a Miracle, first reading will be at the Bowery Poetry Club, Saturday, January 9, from 6-7:30. Other readers include Jane LeCroy and Bill Zavatsky.

Of note: I reluctantly support the Senate's pending health care bill. It is not great by any means and to say something is better than nothing sounds like a cop-out. But it isn't. Social Security took time to become Social Security. The same with Medicaid and Medicare. To have a national health care policy that has some very distressing things in it only suggests that progress isn't made in a straight line. I don't often quote Edward Albee (does anyone?) but in Zoo Story he writes Sometimes you have to go a long distance out of your way in order to come back a short distance correctly. This is a part of the long distance. With more work, we go further on that road (the one you make by walking) to come back that short distance right.

Of note: to keep the record straight, last week, I finished a moleskine, and started another, which already seems to have more poems in it than I could have expected. It gives me great happiness to think about this coming break: poetry, translation, a new book of poems, seeing friends, being with Katherine and Jesse.

Peace and love in this time of celebrations.