It's summer and I've replenished my book bag. Here are some of the titles I'm reading now or will be reading soon.
Scott King, the press's founding editor, selected the poems and contributes a delightful introduction to "the world of poetry [he entered] by trespass." Anyone unfamiliar with the poets associated with the press will find the work in this volume engaging and memorable. Order directly from Red Dragonfly Press.
Joan Mitchell: Lady Painter, A Life, Patricia Albers (Knopf, 2011) ~ I just completed reading, and very much enjoyed, this first (perhaps definitive) biography of abstract expressionist painter Joan Mitchell, and I found a cache of information unknown to me before, such as Mitchell's privileged background, her eidetic memory and synesthesia, her intimate relationship with Samuel Beckett, her period as a competitive — and champion — figure skater, and her mother's background as a published poet with ties to Poetry magazine. Albers, who also wrote a biography of Italian photographer Tina Modotti, Shadows. Fire. Snow, spent a decade researching and writing this book. The descriptions of Mitchell's paintings are often lush and the details often have a "you are there" feeling about them. Mitchell lived hard and was most alive when painting.
✭ A Place to Live and Other Selected Essays of Natalia Ginzburg (Seven Stories Press, 2002) ~ While in college and studying Italian, I did an independent study of the novels of Natalia Ginzburg (1916-1991), a stunning writer. Only recently did I find this selection of her essays translated into English by Lynne Sharon Schwartz.
✭ Origin of Inspiration: Seven Short Essays for Creative People, Samuel Adoquei (Sam Adoquei Editions Ltd., 2011) ~ Based on a series of lectures presented at the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York City, this collection by Ghanian Samuel Adoquei, author of How Successful Artists Study: Effective Learning Ideas and Knowledge for Artists, seeks to answer the question posed by one of his students: "Where do creative people get the inspiration to work?" His essays range over the pursuit of passion, finding your vision, having a meaningful purpose, uncovering inspirations "in disguise", and exploring how art becomes timeless. Adoquei intends the book to benefit any creative person, whether a musician, visual artist, actor, writer, or entrepreneur.