Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday Short

Today's short is from the wonderful TEDEd series "Mysteries of Vernacular" created by Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel. It explores the word "gorgeous".

The entire lesson is featured here.

Some other words explored in the series are "window", "venom", "dynamite", "tuxedo", "hearse", and "pants". All are engaging and many are surprising in what they tell us about word origins and use.

Friday, November 29, 2013

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ The wax and polyester resin sculptures of Rebecca Stevenson are as beautiful as they are grotesque, simultaneously repelling and drawing the viewer closer.

✦ A private foundation, The Art of Stewardship aims to bring together artists and educational organizations to improve our awareness of Earth's fragile ecosystems. Established by contemporary painter Greg Mort, The Art of Stewardship helps arts communities organize and facilitate forums and exhibitions that promote the important work of environmental stewardship. It also recognizes individual artists, environmental organizations, and educational institutions that support the foundation's mission.

The Art of Stewardship on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ Shay Aaron has a special talent for art in miniature. His Flickr stream showcases his tiny delectables, including chocolate pralines, chocolate-dipped butter cookies, and Black Forest cake. You'll want to sample his watermelon and grilled eggplant boats and ask for seconds on apple pie, if you don't fill up first on his artisanal breads.

Shay Aaron on Etsy

✦ The New York Public Library and Bodleian Library at Oxford University have collaborated on the online exhibition "Shelley's Ghost: The Afterlife of a Poet" that includes rarely shown manuscripts (including selections from Frankenstein), paintings, and relics, and also highlights stories about the literary family.

✦ The online Art Is About features interviews with contemporary artists, gallery owners, curators, collectors, and educators, in addition to offering an arts directory, articles, exhibition information, and news of cultural events in South Florida. 

Art Is About on FaceBook 

✦ Need a pick-me-up? The wonderful multimedia artist Elsa Mora, subject of a feature article in the October/November issue of American Craft, is the inspiration behind Art Is A Way, a beautifully curated site (Mora's blog is there, too). Mora's work can be seen at Couturier Gallery (see images) in Los Angeles, where she's in a group show continuing through January 4.

Elsa Mora on FaceBookTwitter, and Pinterest

✦ Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Neenah, Wisconsin, is renamed Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass.

Bergstrom-Mahler on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ British artist, illustrator, and political cartoonist Ralph Steadman is the subject of For No Good Reason, a documentary by Charlie Paul that was screened at Toronto International Film Festival (film page) in September. In this video clip, Steadman talks about his art and creative process. London's Cartoon Museum gave Steadman a retrospective exhibition earlier this year.

Here's Steadman's tribute to Hunter S.Thompson:

Ralph Steadman Profile at British Cartoon Archive

Ralph Steadman Art Collection

Ralph Steadman Art Collection on FaceBook and Twitter

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ There's not much time left left to see "Multiple Occupancy: Eleanor Antin's 'Selves'" at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University. Concluding December 7 before traveling to the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston in March, the exhibition includes videos, photographs, drawings, and installations related to the personae ("selves") Antin created between 1972 and 1991— deposed king, exiled film director, ballerinas, nurses — to explore ideas about history, identity, and feminism. A 128-page catalogue is available.

Wallach Art Gallery on FaceBook

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California, is presenting "The Shape of Things: Warren MacKenzie Ceramics". The exhibition, continuing through February 23, 2014, showcases objects from the Susanna and George Grossman Collection that have been donated to the museum. MacKenzie's traditional wheel-thrown stoneware is not to be missed. Earlier this year the Museum of Craft and Folk Art honored MacKenzie in its exhibition "Warren MacKenzie" Legacy of an American Potter".

This Minnesota Original video with Warren MacKenzie was broadcast in 2010:

Warren MacKenzie at Lacoste Gallery

CAM on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ The Abstract Expressionist works of Amy Sillman remain on view through January 5, 2014, at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. The traveling exhibition, "Amy Sillman: one lump or two", is the first museum survey of the artist's paintings, drawings, 'zines, and recent creative inspirations involving animated film. More than 90 works from the last 25 years are presented. An illustrated catalogue (see image at right) accompanies the show, which moves to Colorado's Aspen Art Museum in February and the Center for Curatorial Studies/Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, New York, in June.

On Wednesday, December 4, New York Public Library hosts "One Lump or Two - Amy Sillman, Helen Molesworth - An Artist Dialogue" from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The event is free.

"Blues for Smoke", a group show at Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, includes a painting and an animation by Sillman. That show is up through December 29. 

The video below, "Pinky's Rule" (2011), pairs Sillman's drawings with text by poet Charles Bernstein. It was made on an iPhone.

Amy Sillman Interview at BOMB Magazine (Sillman discusses her ICA show.)

ICA/Boston on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ "You and I, Horizontal (II)", the first solo museum presentation in the Midwest by Anthony McCall, a "solid light" installation artist, continues through December 29 at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. As described in exhibition notes, McCall's digital animation "presents a slowly shifting beam of 'solid light' whose physical properties become outlined within the haze-filled space of the gallery."

Anthony McCall at Sean Kelly Gallery

CAM on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ Interpretations of time — in paintings, photography, video, sculpture, performance, and objects of design — are the subject of "Time" at Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, Florida. Among the artists represented are Hernan Bas, Manny Prieres, and Lorraine O'Grady (project Website). The exhibition continues through February 23, 2014.

Bass Museum of Art on FaceBook and Twitter

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tradition (Poem)


Two get a chance
for one lucky
break. The wish

bone, skinned,
dried brittle. We
pull what is hard

but easily broken,
you coming up
short in a snap,

I always thankful
we've made one
more connection.

© 2013 Maureen E. Doallas

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday Wonder: Zhu Jinshi

Imagine creating a structure that is 39.370-feet long (12 meters) and made of 8,000 sheets of rice paper (specifically, Xuan paper, which has historic and cultural significance), 800 bamboo shafts, and cotton. Chinese artist Zhu Jinshi (b. 1954) did, and his Rice Paper Boat (2013), exhibited earlier this year at the inaugural Art13 London, an international art fair, is a wonder. Learn more about the conceptual art installation, which took three days to complete, hereherehere, and here.

Zhu Jinshi, who is represented by Pearl Lam Galleries (Shanghai and Hong Kong), is an abstract painter who showed in "The Stars Group" exhibition of 1979, the first show of avant-garde art in Beijing after the Cultural Revolution. Since then, he has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in China and in Germany, Turkey, Korea, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Austria, and Spain, among other countries. His first solo presentation in the United States was in 2012 at Blum and Poe in Los Angeles. His work is in the Rubell Family Collection (Miami) and the collection of the Long Island Watermill Foundation (New York); select museums in Korea; the White Rabbit Collection, in Australia; and the collections of Duetsche Bank in Germany and Zurich Bank in Switzerland.

The artist is known for his use of dramatic and sensuous color, expansive brush stroke, and densely layered, thickly applied oils, which give his large and weighty paintings a sculptural feel. When asked* to describe his painting technique, Zhu Jinshi said he calls it "thick painting." He added, "In front of the canvas, first there is the material, then the paint. . . What I pay attention to is the material. Painting is first an object, then a canvas. But the "thickness" is not absolute — "emptiness" in the painting is also a "thickness"."

Of Interest:

"Zhu Jinshi" at The Miami Rail, Summer 2013

"Lush Art: Zhu Hinshi at Peal Lam Galleries", Lushgazine, June 26, 2013

* "Interview with Zhu Jinshi", The Art Collector, August 25, 2012

Zhu Jinshi on TumblrArtInfo, and The Gorgeous Daily

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Brokered Words (Poem)

Brokered Words

The frost hasn't finished
with the kill. There's time,

still — to feel the ground
give while you silver full

into too-late middle years,
your nights, murmurous

discontents, startling
their way into your deepening

sleep. Claim what is restless
to last, even as your sight

like a snow cloud thickens,
and your breath, exhausting

its missed but heart-paced
rhythms, catches on these,

my brokered words of love.

© 2013 Maureen E. Doallas

This poem made its first appearance, in March 2013, at John D. Blase's the beautiful due. It also has been published at VerseWrights.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Muse: New Nebraska State Poet

I grew up reading and have always been a little nutty about words.
~ Twyla Hansen*

Twyla Hansen is Nebraska's new State Poet. The first woman to hold the five-year renewable post, Hansen succeeds William Kloefkorn, her mentor, who originally assumed a lifetime appointment as Sate Poet in 1982; he died in 2011. Only one other person, John Neihardt, has held the position. (When the office was established in 1921, it bore the title Poet Laureate. The title changed with Kloefkorn's appointment.)

Hansen will serve through December 1, 2018. In addition to outreach to schools and libraries, she will advocate on behalf of literacy, literature, and poetry; give public presentations and readings, attend literary festivals and similar events in rural and urban communities, and lead workshops. See the pdf link at Nebraska Arts Council for Nebraska State Poet Guidelines detailing eligibility requirements, the nomination and selection processes, and duties of the Nebraska State Poet.)

* * * * *
I like to write about ordinary things. The challenge is to 
make it interesting.
~ Twyla Hansen**

A native Nebraskan, Twyla Hansen, whose appointment was announced in mid-November,  is the author of Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet, with Linda M. Hasselstrom (The Backwaters Press, 2011), winner of the 2012 Nebraska Book Award for Poetry; Prairie Suite: A Celebration (Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center, 2006), on which she collaborated with artist and ornithologist Paul Johnsgard; Potato Soup (The Backwaters Press, 2003), and the chapbook Sanctuary Near Salt Creek (Lone Willow Press, 2001). Her earliest collections are In Our Very Bones (Slow Tempo Press, 1997), available through resellers, and How to Live in the Heartland (Flatwater Editions, 1997). Field Trip (Blue Heron Press/Borowsky Center for Publication Arts), a limited-edition artist's book with images by Karen Kunc, was published in 2002. (It is in the Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection.)

A quick look at Hansen's poems' titles, many no more than a word or two or three, affirms the subjects of her writing. Nature and wildlife, especially birds (Hansen is an ornithologist and an agroecologist; she grew up on a farm), figure prominently in the poet's primarily free verse, as do friendship, loss, the past, and the twin themes of land and place, family and work. Hansen pulls her language from her attentive observations of her rural surroundings and daily events in the two worlds — natural and human — of which she's part and to which she appears always connected. Kloeffkorn wrote of Hansen as being "[a] poet of the prairie [who] is equally a poet of the human spirit". Feeling is not betrayed by the simplicity of her words.

I think of poetry as a big tent, big enough to hold it all,
from the kinds who can't wait to write about bugs
to the professional poet who has been writing for years.**

Hansen has a way of catching your attention in her opening lines, as in these examples from Prairie Suite:

You can keep your theories: we have stalked it
nearly to extinction. Yet out here in spring [. . . .]
~ from "Prairie-Chicken"

It could happen: this moment beneath  the sickle moon
with those delicate formations dotting the blue-black,
the strange breath that quickens when you weave [. . . .]
~ from "Sickle Moon"

Chew, chew this dense forest of grass, it's what I do,
in open prairie, in pillars of forbs, in morning dew,
this fragile house tangling in green webs known as food, 
my affectionate song echoing in wind, the deep wand
of my oboe legs merging with the sky at night. [. . .]
~ from "Grasshopper"

Hansen has an ear for language, the flow-through of a line, and the preciseness of an image that lets you hear and see and wonder at what she herself has taken time to experience.

Poems by Hansen have appeared in Ascent, The Briar Cliff Review, The Cape  RockCrab Orchard Review, KalliopeThe Laurel Review, MacGuffin, Midwest QuarterlyNatural Bridge, Nebraska Bird Review, Nebraska LifeNebraska Review, North Dakota QuarterlyPalo Alto Review, Plains Song Review, Platte Valley ReviewPrairie Schooner, Slant: A Journal of Poetry, South Dakota Review, Talking River Review, Verse DailyWhetstone, and The Writer's Almanac, among other literary magazines and periodicals.

Among anthologies with Hansen's work are Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry (The Backwaters Press, 2007), Encyclopedia of the Great Plains (University of Nebraska Press, 2004), Poets Against the War (Nation Books/Thunder's Mouth Press, 2003), Times of Sorrow/Times of Grace (The Backwaters Press, 2002), Woven on the Wind (Houghton Mifflin/Mariner Books, 2002), The Logan House Anthology of 21st Century American Poetry (Logan House Press, 2001), and A Contemporary Reader for Creative Writing (Harcourt Brace, 1994). (For a comprehensive bibliography, see Selected Publications of Twyla Hansen.)

A Pushcart Prize nominee in 2001 and 2003, Hansen is the recipient of a number of awards, including two Nebraska Book Awards for Poetry, for Potato Soup (2004) and Dirt Songs (2012); and a High Plains Book Award (2012), for Dirt Songs. She was a finalist for a 2012 Willa (Women Writing the West) Literary Award, also for Dirt Songs.

Hansen is a member of Humanities Nebraska's Speakers Bureau, for which she presents "All Across the Plains: Creative Writing" and "Playing Around with Words: Reading, Writing, and the Creative Process" (program descriptions). 


Photo Credit: Humanities Nebraska

Poetry Excerpts © Twyla Hansen

* Quoted from Interview at Les Femmes Folles

** Quoted from "Award-Winning Poet Shares Insights" at The Grand Island Independent

"Gov. Heineman Names Twyla Hansen Nebraska State Poet", Office of the Governor, News Release, November 14, 2013

"Lincoln's Twyla Hansen Named Nebraska State Poet", Omaha World-Herald, November 14, 2013 (Many papers in the Midwest published essentially the same news release.)

Twyla Hansen Profiles at The Backwaters Press, Nebraska Arts CouncilNebraska Center for Writers, Poets & Writers

Twyla Hansen Poems Online: "New Years on Nine-Mile", Video Reading; "Scars" and "Midwestern Autumn", Both at University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska Writing Project; "Hailstorm, 1965" at The Writer's Almanac (Audio Available); "Potato Soup" and "This Early Evening", Both at The Backwaters Press; "Blue Herons", "Warbler", and "Turkey Vultures" at The Nebraska Bird Review; "Evolution", "Coyote", "Earth", "Frog Pond", "Prairie Chicken", "Lark Sparrow", "Sickle Moon", "Meadowlark", "Snake", "Dragonfly", "Song of Silence", "Lightning Bugs", "Eastern Screech Owl", "Walk on the Prairie", "Grasshopper", "Upland Sandpiper", "Monarch", "Summer: Night. Day. Night", "Cicada", "Great Blue Heron", "Prairie: Giants in the Earth", "Red-tailed Hawk", "Late Fall", "Bobcat", "Northern Harrier", "This Fragile, Healing Land", All from Prairie Suite at DigitalCommons (Also see the E-book Editions Below); "Moon Song" at The New Magazine; "At the Prairie, the Day Before" from Woven on the Wind at GoogleBooks; "For All the Women", Video Reading; "At the Greasy Spoon" from the Anthology Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American West at GoogleBooks; "Great Blue Heron" at Frequency, Video Reading; Bone Creek Poetry Reading (Session 1, Twyla Hansen, October 2010)

NET Humanities Desk: Extended Conversation with Twyla Hansen and Pam Herbert Barger, April 22, 2011

NET Radio News and Features: Poetry of the Season (Twyla Hansen Reads), April 23, 2011

How to Live in the Heartland E-book Edition (Downloadable) (This is also at GoogleBooks.)

In Our Very Bones E-book Edition (Downloadable)

Prairie Suite E-book Edition (Downloadable)

Francis Baumli, Review of Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet, Viaticum Press International (pdf)

Alexa Mergen, Review of Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet, Rattle, April 5, 2012

Amy Schweitzer, "Award-Winning Poet Shares Insights", The Grand Island Independent, April 11, 2013

"Twyla Hansen, Poet", Interview, Les Femmes Folles, March 5, 2013

High Plains Book Awards

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Out of the Picture (Poem)

John Singer Sargent, Autumn on the River, 1889
Oil on Canvas

Out of the Picture

John was always painting
Violet: at her breakfast
table, on a morning walk,

while resting en bateau.
No Madame X yet hardly
too impressionable, she

could safely be let to drift
en plein air, on a tide gentle
as his hand on the canvas,

her body draped in the brown
blanket he'd doubly folded
as ward against another chill

greeting for the unconcealed.
She was secure in her cocoon
of furs black as a mourning

coat, her gaze forever fixed
on her anchor, her big brother
close if just out of the picture.

© 2013 Maureen E. Doallas

This poem responds to today's prompt at Tess Kincaid's Magpie Tales. Go here to read other contributions to the prompt or to drop the link to your own poem or flash fiction.

Thought for the Day

. . . it is the aliveness of the unguarded intuition
and the persistence of our own feelings
that guide us to our discoveries.
~ Photographer Emmet Gowin

Quoted from Emmet Gowin Interview with John Paul Caponigro (The conversation first appeared in Camera Arts, December 1998/January 1999).

Emmet Gowin (b. 1941) 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday Short

Today Saturday Short brings you Genesi by Abstract Birds (the visual music and sound artists Pedro Mari and Natan Sinigaglia). The visuals and music are in realtime, generated from the input of a wind instrument and a piano.

Abstract Birds on FaceBook, Twitter, Flickr, and Vimeo

Friday, November 22, 2013

Last Wave (Poem)

Last Wave

The flame burns, even
as our sea stars are dying.

November bears too much
change, summer having slipped

into an autumn freeze. Some
of us can't forget how it plays,

that day, the sequence of shots
as the limo rounds the corner

and his hands go up but not
like in that last wave he gave us.

© 2013 Maureen E. Doallas

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Thread, photo transfer, and graphite on canvas are the tools of Ana Teresa Barboza. Her embroidered stories and drawings are both impelling and unsettling. See "The Provocative Embroidery of Ana Teresa Barboza". (My thanks to Paper Darts for the link.)

✦ New to me is SuperMassiveBlackHole, an online contemporary photography magazine that my friend Hannah Stephenson ("The Storialist") spotlighted a while back. It's in your interest to take a look.

SMBH on FaceBook and Tumblr

✦ If your interests run to street art, or what is otherwise known as "independent public art", you'll want to take notice of Rafael Schacter's The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti (Yale University Press, 2013). The book, organized by country and city, highlights more than 100 street artists, among them Shepard Fairey (Los Angeles), Os Gemeos (Brazil), Espo (New York City), and Anthony Lister (Australia). Profiles and key examples of work are included. Street and multimedia artist John Fekner provides the Foreword. Preview the contents.

ArtAsiaPacific offers an excellent interview with New York City-based Shahzia Sikander. Read "Intertwined Identities" in which the artist talks at length with Asian art scholar Vishankha Desai about perceptions and reception of her work in the West and in Pakistan, where she was born; her sense of herself as an artist; and the position she occupies globally.

ArtAsiaPacific on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ Today art and poetry come together in  Dobby Gibson's "The Painter", a videopoem by filmmaker Mark Rubbo for the wonderful MotionPoems.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ The first woman to produce a book on the art of wood engraving (Wood-Engraving and Woodcuts, 1932), Clare Leighton (1898-1989) is the subject of "From Pencil to Proof to Press" at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, in Richmond, and the Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center at the University of Richmond, site of a related exhibition. The VMFA and Harnett exhibitions, continuing through April 6, 2014, together showcase more than 100 works, including drawings and watercolors, prints, posters, porcelains, bookplates, and books by the English-American artist, who made wood engravings for novels by Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights)  and Thomas Hardy (The Return of the Native). Objects included in the show are from the Evelyn Lloyd Phaup Collection (lent by the Hudson Family).

VMFA on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ In Washington, D.C., the National Museum of Women in the Arts is showing through January 5, 2014, "Wanderer: Travel Prints by Ellen Day Hale". Hale (1855-1940) was a portrait painter and printmaker whose great-aunt was Harriet Beecher Stowe. The exhibition features some 25 etchings, in addition to transfer drawings, painted studies, and original printing plates from the museum's collection.

"Inked Impressions: Ellen Day Hale and the Painter-Etcher Movement"(pdf of 2007 Exhibition Catalogue at The Trout Gallery, Dickinson College) 

NMWA on FaceBook and Twitter

Broad Strokes, NMWA Blog

✭ New York University's Grey Art Gallery is exhibiting 25 selections from the Abby Weed Grey Collection in "Modern Iranian Art" (works from the collection also are featured in Asia Society's "Iran Modern", a survey highlighted in an earlier All Art Friday). On view through December 7, the show includes paintings, sculpture, drawings, and jewelry made in the 1960s and 1970s. An e-book is available as a free pdf download and in a print-on-demand version.

Grey Art Gallery on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ "The Itinerant Languages of Photography" is on view through January 19, 2014, at Princeton University Art Museum. Drawn from museum and private collections in Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States, the exhibit of approximately 85 works aims to "examine the movement of photographs, as disembodied images and as physical artifacts, across time and space as well as across the boundaries of media and genres, including visual art, literature, and cinema." Among the artists represented are Lola Alvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Joan Colom, Marc Ferrez, Graciela Iturbide, Susan Meiselas, Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, Joan Fontcuberta, and Rosangela Renno. An illustrated catalogue is available. 

Princeton University Art Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ The chronologically and thematically organized "Mexico Inside Out: Themes in Art Since 1990", at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, in Texas, showcases five dozen works by 23 contemporary artists, including Francis Alys, Gabriel Orozco, and Melanie Smith. On view through January 5, 2014, the exhibition of paintings, sculpture, video, photography, collages, and drawings examines the connections among geographic locales, social politics, and community as represented in the art of central Mexico and Mexico City. 

The Modern on FaceBook and Twitter

The Modern Blog (The blog includes a number of posts about artists featured in the exhibition.)

✭ For James Turrell, 2013 has been quite a year and, for the rest of us, what The New York Times called "the summer of light". That light has yet to be extinguished. If you missed the artist's major shows at the Guggenheim, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, you might look to the Midwest, for "James Turrell: Gard Blue" at Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas at Lawrence. In a room constructed especially for the exhibition, Turrell's early (1968) light projection, which will be surrounded by his holograms, will be on view through May 18, 2014.

Still Image of Gard Blue

Spencer Museum of Art on FaceBook

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Digital Artists' Books Exhibition

The wonderful Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University has created "The Artists' Books Showcase", a digital exhibition spotlighting some of the limited-edition and one-of-a-kind artists' books in MARBL's collection.

The site is easy to navigate, offering access to:

All Books ~ The treasury of books selected for the showcase is available in three sections; each section comprises a display of images of books (images have been provided by the artists and may not be downloaded). For each artist book represented by an image, MARBL provides a title, description, creator's name, source, date, format, identifier(s), original format, physical dimensions, and citation(s).  In some cases additional images of the book are provided. An easy-reference list of books to browse is here. An easy-reference list by collection is here.

Altered Books ~ This section comprises an essay about several specific artists' use of books and how they alter them. The well-known Brian Dettmer is one of the artists mentioned here.

Glossary ~ Included here are common terms that identify specific kinds of artists' books. Images of examples from MARBL's collection are provided to show the construction of each type. 

Miniature Books ~ This section offers a brief introduction to miniature artists' books in MARBL's collection; singled out are four presses (Peter  and Donna Thomas, De Walden Press, Mystical Places Press, and Patrice Baldwin's Pequeno Press) specializing in the production of these tiny books. As in other sections, the sources consulted are listed and hyperlinked.

Student Work: Writing About Literature ~ Essays by Emory instructor Amy E. Elkins and three students address the use of artists' books in the classroom and for assignments.

Women and the Artist's Book ~ A brief essay looks at why and how artists who are women have come to dominate the field of artists' books. It highlights the materials, techniques, and processes of four artists in particular: Ellen Knudson, Julie Shaw Lutts, Robbin Ami Silverberg, and Maria G. Pisano.

MARBL's collection includes artists' books from the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library (see my August 26, 2013, post), books from Nexus Press, Granary Books, and Coracle Press, and books by such artists as Ed Ruscha and the duo Gilbert and George.

Kudos to MARBL for this excellent resource for educators, researchers, and collectors of artists' books and for its other initiatives to digitize and make widely accessible rare or special collections that most of us otherwise would be unable to see! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday Wonder: Audible as Visual

I don't profess to understand the software that was developed and used to "create an instrument for performance that would allow visualisation of sound in realtime", the description of a project by the creative team Quayola & Sinigagli that lets us "see sound" live. (Details about the artists' collaborative project are featured at Creative Applications Network.) I do think that, after you've watched the video below, you'll agree that what results is strange and beautiful and a wonder.

Still photos of the visualizations are available at the CAN link above.

Creative Applications Network on FaceBookTwitter, and Vimeo

My thanks to Visual Music for the link to CAN.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Burned Out (Poem)

Burned Out

   after reading The Noonday Demon

The mind needs a trigger
to let go; the body never fails

to let you know how one is
bound entirely to the other.

Identity gets lost in the house
left abandoned, windows cracked

and the light inside burned out.

© 2013 Maureen E. Doallas

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Muse: 2014 Texas Poet Laureate

Let us suppose that everyone in the world wakes up today
and tries to write a poem.
~ Dean Young, The Art of Recklessness

In 2014, Dean Young will succeed Rosemary Catacalos as Poet Laureate of Texas. 

The one-year position is honorary and carries no formal obligations or requirements. The process of selecting and appointing an incumbent is explained in my 2010 Monday Muse post.

* * * * *
. . . [P]oets . . . stare at their own death and through it
they still see the world — the world of 10,000 things.
Poetry is about time running out, to some extent.
You can think of that purely formally — the line ends,
the stanza ends and the poem itself ends.
~ Dean Young in NPR Interview

Described as an "extravagant" imagist*, Dean Young is the author of more than a dozen collections of poetry and chapbooks, most recently, Bender: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2012), Fall Higher (Copper Canyon Press, 2011), and The Foggist (Hollyridge Press Chapbook Series, 2009). Young's Primitive Mentor (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008) was shortlisted for the 2009 International Griffin Poetry Prize. He also is the author of Embryoyo: New Poems (McSweeney's, 2007), Ready-Made Bouquet (Stride Books/United Kingdom, 2005), and Elegy on Toy Piano (Pitt Poetry Series, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005), a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Young's other collections are Skid (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002), a finalist for the 2004 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; First Course in Turbulence (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999), Strike Anywhere (Center for Literary Publishing, Colorado State University, 1995), awarded the Colorado Prize for Poetry; and Beloved Infidel (Wesleyan University Press, 1992; Hollyridge Press, 2004). Young's Design with X (Wesleyan, 1988) is out of print. His 31 Poems 1988-2008 (Forklift Ink, 2009), Original Monkey (Empyrean Press/Center for the Book, Iowa City, 2004), and True False (Inflorescence Press, 2002) were published in limited editions.

A prolific writer, Young also has published a volume of prose on the aesthetics of poetry, The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction (Graywolf Press, 2010). In that book, he describes poetry as "a hunger, a revolt, a drive" but also stipulates that it is "not a discipline."

These quotes provide an excellent introduction to Young's perspective on poetry and its creation:

I make a poem out of what interests me: subjects, phrases, rhymes, 
blurts, philosophies, recipes, dreams, animals, everything I've stolen
from other poems. To some extent my process is most often
a combination of automatic writing and collage and as I make 
the poem I search for thematic trajectories and structural affinities
that provide a connectedness. I want a poem to be a whole thing, 
and I believe in beginnings and endings but that doesn't mean
one is necessarily predicated on or obligated to the other
 in logical ways. . . .

. . . I look to art for . . . corroboration that life is happening.
. . . I want poems to give me a sense of the whorl and chatter
of this world, its terrors and glees, its sheer unlikeliness. 
I don't need a poet crossing guard. . . .
~ Dean Young in BomBlog Interview with Anthony Tognazzini

Like the work of his contemporary John Ashbery, one of three poets (the other two are Kenneth Koch and Frank O'Hara) called "hugely important" to him, Young's is the kind of poetry that most rewards comprehension when read repeatedly. His jumbles of wildly associative, surrealistic images, his plays on words, his wit that can morph suddenly into deep rumination, the sonic qualities of his verse, his rhymes and rhythms and deft use of enjambment, his subtle but deep observations all bid for careful and attentive reading; yet even when taken slowly (difficult, because his lines seem to impel a rapid read), the work can leave one wondering what's been missed or how to respond to the absurdities when simultaneously confronted with the serious. The chaotic-as-life poems, sometimes resorting to direct address ("you", "I", and "we" are common pronouns), sometimes hinting at meaning through titles, comprise line after line of improbable but undeniably imaginative and inventive connections and juxtapositions. ("My poems could start in New Jersey and end up as a meditation on carpentry," Young told one interviewer.) The whole of many reads like a racing stream of consciousness that suddenly, and inexplicably, stops and becomes clear. . . or not.

Themes and subjects in Young's poems encompass relationships, love, illness and physical frailty (Young had a heart transplant in April 2011), mortality and rebirth or afterlife, fate, randomness, gratitude, transience, sadness and loneliness, and also joy.

Young's poems can be extraordinarily beautiful and moving, as these excerpts, especially (for me) the last, show:

When I saw you ahead I ran two blocks
shouting your name then realizing it wasn't
you but some alarmed pretender, I went on
running, [. . .]
~ from "Ash Ode" in Primitive Mentor

The mountain thinks it's the same
without you but it's wrong. [. . .]
~ from "Dear Bob" in Poetry Magazine (November 2011)

Be assured.
April snow vanishes
like footprints of the immaculate
crushing the daffodils. [. . .]
[. . .]
It is the strategy of life to provide
waking until death which generally
it hides until the last [. . . .]

[. . .}
Be assured,
the crows are never out of focus,
the ice breaks into pills the river swallows.
~ from "Bivouacked and Garrisoned Capitol" in Bender
and Elegy on Toy Piano

[. . .]
To be purified by the memory
of touching the arch of your foot.
Fragile are the bones of a bat.
Fragile even the suspension bridge. [. . .]
~ from "Infinitive Ode" in Fall Higher

[. . .]
I wonder what your thoughts were, Father,
after they took your glasses and teeth,
all of us bunched around you like clouds
knocked loose of their moorings,
the white bird lying over you,
its beak down your throat.
Rain, heartbeats of rain.
~ from "White Crane" in Strike Anywhere

Young's poems have appeared in numerous and prestigious literary periodicals and magazines, including The American Poetry Review, The American Reader, Antioch ReviewBlackbird, Boston Review, Crazy Horse, Denver Quarterly, Devil's LakeFence, Gettysburg ReviewGulf Coast Magazine, Indiana ReviewIronwoodJacket Magazine, JubilatNarrative Magazine, New American WritingThe New Yorker, Ohio ReviewPloughsharesPoetry, Poetry Daily, Slate, Sycamore ReviewThreepenny ReviewVerse Daily, and The Writer's Almanac. His poetry has been anthologized often in Best American Poetry (1993, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2006). His "White Crane" is published in Kevin Young's The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing (Bloomsbury, 2010). Other anthologies containing his work are New American Poets of the Nineties (1991),  Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry (Random House, 2003), The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (Autumn House Press, 2005), Mona Poetica (Mayapple Press, 2005), Squaw Valley Review (2008), Seven Poets, Four Days, One Book (Trinity University Press, 2009), and The Plume Anthology of Poetry (Pequod, 2012).

A professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the William Livingston Chair of Poetry, Young has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2002-2003), National Endowment for the Arts fellowships (1988, 1996), a Wallace E. Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University (1986-1987), the Levinson Prize (2012), an American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award (2007), and a Pushcart Prize (1997). He held the Virginia Butts  Sturm Writer-in-Residence post at the University of West Virginia in 2002, and was the Visiting Poet at Vermont Studio Center in 2000, 2002, and 2004. In addition, in 1998 and then from 2001 to 2008, he taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Young's collection Bender was named among the "Best of 2012" by the Los Angeles Times and was on NPR's list of "Best Books of 2012".


Photo Credit: Texas Commission on the Arts Announcement (See below.)

All Poetry Excerpts © Dean Young

* Texas House Resolution No. 1536 Announcing 2014 Arts Appointments

"Current State Artists", 2013 and 2014, Texas Commission on the Arts

"Dean Young Named 2014 Texas State Poet Laureate", Know, The University of Texas at Austin

Jessica Sinn, "English Professor Dean Young Named 2014 Texas State Poet Laureate", Life & Letters, April 22, 2013

Dean Young Profiles at Academy of American Poets, Graywolf PressPoetry Foundation, Poetry International RotterdamUniversity of Texas

Dean Young Poems Online: "Ash Ode", "Scarecrow on Fire", "This Living Hand" (Excerpt), "Thrown as if Fierce & Wild", All at Academy of American Poets; "Acceptance Speech", "Age of Discovery", "Bronzed", "Colophon", "Crash Test Dummies of an Imperfect God", "Dear Bob,", "Dear Friend", "Dear Reader,", "Easy as Falling Down Stairs", "Elegy on Toy Piano", "Emerald Spider Between Rose Thorns", "Everyday Escapees", "Glider", "Hammer", "Handy Guide", "He Said Turn Here", "Human Lot", "I Am But a Traveler in This Land & Know Little of Its Ways", "I Said Yes But I Meant No", "Interference & Delivery", "Look at Quintillions Ripen'd & Look at Quintillions Green", "Lucifer", "Luciferin", "Peach Farm", "Poem on a Theme by Tony Hoagland", "Scarecrow on Fire", "Sean Penn Anti-Ode", "Selected Recent and New Errors", "Shamanism 101", "Sleep Cycle", "Sneeze Ode", "So  the Grasses Grow", "Son of Fog", Speech Therapy", "Spring Reign", "The Infirmament", "The New Optimism", "To Those of You Alive in the Future", "Undertow", "Winged Purposes", All at Poetry Foundation (Audio Available for Some Poems); "Poem Without Forgiveness" (Excerpt) at The Paris Review; "Second Fall in the Afterlife", The New York Times/T Magazine; "Bay Arena", "Centrifuge", "This Living Hand" (Excerpt), "My Work Among the Insects", "Sky Dive", "White Crane", All at PoemHunter; "Age of Discovery" at Know (Also at Tower Talk); "How Grasp Green", "Changing Genres", "The Rhythms Pronounce Themselves Then Vanish", "Vintage", All at NPR (Audio Available); "Exit Exam" at Griffin Poetry Prize; "I Said Yes I Meant No" at Poetry Daily; "How to Glow" at Slate (Audio Available); "Lives of the Deep Sea Divers", "Lives of the Surge Protectors", "Lives of the Veterans" at Jacket Magazine; "Is This Why Love Almost Rhymes with Dumb?", "Angel of Erosion", "The Fox", "The Euphoria of Peoria", "Today They Will Show Me the Homunculus", "My People", All at Verse Daily; "Commencement Address" at The American Poetry Review; "Elegy on Toy Piano" at Poetry Out Loud; "Red Glove Thrown in Rose Bush" at HealthCetera Blog; "Poem Without Forgiveness" at Slow Muse; "Frottage" at GRothenberger; "13 Piercings & Still Not Punctured" at merveille; "Original Monkey" at Best American Poetry Blog; "Changing Genres" at The Writer's Almanac; "Dear Friend" at Boxing the Octopus; "I Don't Think We Can Still Be Friends", "We Set Out for the Lost Stream", "Bells", All at The American Reader; "Clam Ode" at Crow's Wing Blog; "Upon Hearing of Another Marriage Breaking Up" at Slate (Audio Available); "Ode to Hangover" at Slate (Audio Available); "Sources of the Delaware" at The Nervous Breakdown; "Sean Penn Anti-Ode" at Poetry Daily; "Exit Ovidian" at Boston Review; "Discharged into Clouds" at Threepenny Review; "Sometimes a White Veil" and "Big Paw", Both at Blackbox Manifold 5; "The New Optimism" at Poetry International; "Flood Plan" at Pool Poetry; "Bivouacked and Garrisoned Capitol" and "Bathed in Dust and Ash", Both at Audiopoetry (Text and Audio Available); "Delphiniums in a Window Box" at The New Yorker; "The Illusion" at Readings in Contemporary Poetry; "Not in Any Ha Ha Way" from Skid, at University of Pittsburgh Press (pdf); "White Crane" at Poetry 365; "Infinitive Ode" at exit strata; "Other Obit" at read a little poetry blog; "Exit Exam" at Poetry in Voice; "The Decoration Committee" at Poetryeater; "Sleep Cycle" at Peels of Poetry; "Rushing through the Night" at Line Breaks & Other Violent Crimes on Tumblr; "Co-Sign" and "After Molting, Eat Your Own Skin for Strength", Both at interrupture; "Chest Pains of the Romantic Poets" at Electronic Poetry Review; "Peach Farm" at except in dreams on Tumblr; "Thrown as if Fierce & Wild", "Ode to Hangover", "Selected Recent and New Errors", All at Scrutiny Hooligans; "Scarecrow on Fire" and "Off the Hook Ode", Both at Little Epic Against Oblivion Blog; "Unstable Particles" at Devil's Lake (University of Wisconsin-Madison Journal; Nominated in 2012 for Pushcart Prize); "The Invention of Heaven" in Poetry 180 at GoogleBooks

David Gonier, "Poet Laureate Brings His Humor to Austin College", HeraldDemocrat, October 10, 2013

Adam Plunkett, "An American Poet Outgrows Surrealism: The Unhinged Psalms of Dean Young", New Republic, July 27, 2013

"Nicholas Papaxanthos on Dean Young", Lemon Hound, June 7, 2013

"Poet Dean Young", Podcast, New Letters on the Air,  April 26, 2013 (Young reads from Bender and discusses his participation in Writers at Work, a series of the Kansas City Public Library.)

Judy Holmes, "Nationally Acclaimed Poet Next Guest in the Spring 2013 Raymond Carver Reading Series", Syracuse University News, March 21, 2013

Bobby Elliott, "Ulterior Hands: The Poetry of Dean Young", Huff Post Books, February 15, 2013

Mary Ann Roser, "Poet's New Heart Opens Life's Next Stanza", Statesman, June 18, 2011

Dean Young - A Contemporary American Poet", Writers of the Rio Grande, April 21, 2011

Peter Harris, "Poetry Chronicle: Difficult and Otherwise: New Work by Ruefle, Young, and Aleshire", VQR, Autumn 1997

Anthony Tognazzini, "2+2 CAN = CAKE", Interview, BomBlog, October 31, 2012

"Dean Young", Interview, The Daily Texan, February 8, 2012

Joe Fassler, "Episode 0401:Benefit for Dean Young", the lit show, August 21, 2011 (Live Stream Available)

"The Heart of Dean Young's Pre-Transplant Poetry", NPR, May 23, 2011

"The Rumpus Poetry Book Club Chat with Dean Young", The Rumpus, May 3, 2011

"Dean Young on Intention in Writing Poetry", An Author's Assemblage Blog, Edward Byrne, October 18, 2009

"Six Questions with Dean Young", Sycamore Review, September 2009 (In answer to one question, Young states, "I write, and what I write I try to turn into poems; I don't have any golden journal marked ideas. . . .")

"Joe Milford Hosts Dean Young", Joe Milford Show, BlogTalkRadio, November 18, 2008

Lee Rossi, "Interview with Dean Young", The Pedestal Magazine, Issue 53 (". . . there are some things in my poems that I know are just flat-out goofy. That's a particular kind of delight that I go for, which has to do with the absurd and the element of surprise. . . .")

Eric Weinstein, "Hark, Dumbass: Humor in Contemporary American Poetry", Review of Fall Higher, AGNI Online, August 2013

Drew Calvert, "Bender: New and Selected Poems by Dean Young", Review, The Common, March 25, 2013

"Carrie A. Purcell Reviews Dean Young's Bender",  Poetry Northwest, March 20, 2013

Joey Connelly, "'Bender: New and Selected Poems' by Dean Young", Review, The Rumpus, December 12, 2012

Wesley Rothman, "Very Like a Hummingbird", Review of Fall Higher, The Critical Flame, March 2012

Linda Melby, "Book Review (Poetry): 'Fall Higher' by Dean Young", Flyway, September 16, 2011

Elizabeth Hoover, "Book Review: 'Fall Higher' by Dean Young", Los Angeles Times, June 12, 2011

Amy Smith, "The Heartsick Poet", The Austin Chronicle, April 8, 2011

David Sewell, "Embryoyo", Review, Coldfront, March 20, 2007

Michael C. Leong, "Dean Young, Elegy on Toy Piano", Review, The New Hampshire Review, Summer 2005

Martin Stannad, "To Kill of Not to Kill", Review of Ready-Made BouquetExultations and Difficulties Blog, March 2005

Ian Seed, "Dean Young: Ready-Made Bouquet", Review, New Hope International Review

"Reading by Dean Young" at Blackboard, July 1, 2005

"Dean Young Reads from 'Bender'", Video at YouTube

31 Poems 1988-2008 at Forklift

Bender at GoogleBooks

Embryoyo at GoogleBooks

First Course in Turbulence at GoogleBooks

Fall Higher at GoogleBooks

The Art of Losing on GoogleBooks (The anthology includes Young's poem "White Crane".)

Dean Young on FaceBook

Dean Young Poetry Trading Cards, Fact-Simile Editions

A Brief Guide to the New York School, Academy of American Poets

The New Writers Project, University of Texas at Austin

Poetry Society of Texas

Texas Almanac, State Poets Laureate

Texas Commission on the Arts

Texas Cultural Trust

Texas Poets Laureate Now

Texas Poet Laureate Series, TCU Press

Texas Poets Laureate, Texas State Library and Archive

Texas State Historical Association