Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Storytelling (Poem)


My aunts swear they can read
me like some sage psychic
who points to my chest
and tells me my first night alone
begins at three minutes to midnight.

Their gossip could be the first
lines of my best poem, until, one by one,
their autumn-like hands run wild, talking
over gusts of words as if
their too-smudged fingers already
had written my ballet's last chapter.

It takes strength to keep a stone
afloat, to leave nothing old
unsaid, to not lie
on the floor and cry.

Even my little dog knows
I am no Cinderella at the dance,
though I did once lose a solitary slipper—
how it fell from that high hill, like a leaf
long before winter's stars died.

© 2015 Maureen E. Doallas

This poem was inspired by TweetSpeak Poetry's most recent "Top 10 Poetic Tweets".

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Muse: Poet Clint Smith

I've learned more from them than I have in any class.
~ Clint Smith

Poet, essayist, and educator Clint Smith, author of Line/Breaks, teaches creative writing inside Bay State Correctional Center, Norfolk, Massachusetts. His exchange with the men in his classroom is far from one-sided, as he quickly learns, for he discovers at Bay State a community that turns upside down his outsider's opinions of the long-term incarcerated and prison life. 

Watch the video below, directed by Charles Frank and produced by Andrew Hutcheson, then read Smith's essay at Upworthy, a site whose mission is to focus on "things that matter", including democracy and human rights, diversity and equality, the environment, justice, and science and technology, among other broad topics.

My thanks to TED blog, where I learned of the film and essay.

Also read Taryn Finley's piece for HuffPost Black Voices, "This Poet Taught Creative Writing to Prisoners and Learned an Incredible Lesson: His Revelations Are Eye-Opening", August 4, 2015.

Clint Smith on FaceBook, Twitter, and Tumblr

Upworthy on FaceBook and Twitter

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Thought for the Day

. . . [Poetry] doesn't describe experience,
it gives you experience. The thing in itself.
That's what great art does. . . .
~ Christian Wiman

Quoted from J. Todd Billings, "Why Does God Turn to Poetry? A Dialogue with Christian Wiman", Religion, Huff Post, September 8, 2015

Christian Wiman, Poet, Editor, Translator; Senior Lecturer in Religion and Literature, Yale University Divinity School

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Short

Today's short is the trailer for the new film, Steve Jobs (Universal Pictures, 2015), about the late visionary. Opening October 9, the film was written by Aaron Sorkin, who drew on Walter Isaacson's 2011 biography of Apple's founder, and was directed by Danny Boyle. Michael Fassbender stars as Jobs, Seth Rogan as Steve Wozniak, and Jeff Daniels as John Sculley (others are listed in Cast & Crew.)

A second trailer is available at the film's link above and on YouTube.

Steve Jobs on FaceBook

Lev Grossman, "5 Things We Discovered About the New Steve Jobs Movie", TIME, August 2, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Birds of all kinds. . . and all made of paper. See Diana Beltran Herrera's remarkable paper bird sculptures. Additional sculptures may be seen at the Projects link.

✦ Bake-off for Art! Submissions to the Art Fund's Edible Masterpieces competition close October 11. Check out a selection of 2014 entries if you're in need of inspiration.

✦ Athens-based Fabulous Cat Papers is an Etsy purveyor of hand-made Japanese-style embroidered notebooks. They're inexpensive and apt to give you a little extra inspiration when the muse is not cooperating. Be sure to see the Japanese Crane, Bamboo Branch, and Spring Sakura and Bird notebooks and journals. (My thanks to Ann Martin of All Things Paper for the link.)

✦ Veritas Press has issued the Christian-related History of Art: Creation to Contemporary, comprising 32 flashcards and a full-color workbook, for grade school children. The set covers well-known artworks (e.g., Lascaux Cave paintings, Mona Lisa, American Gothic) and provides information about the various art movements.

✦ The biannual "Monothon 2015" is scheduled for October 9-11 at Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts, Pendleton, Oregon. The sale of one-of-a-kind monotype prints (11"x15" and 15"x22", $100 and $200, respectively) supports Crow's Shadow residencies and educational programming. The artists come to the Crow's Shadow printmaking studio from across the Northwest. The event is a wonderful and affordable opportunity to add to your print collections.

Eighteen prints from Crow's Shadow recently were purchased by the Library of Congress. (Read press release.)

Crow's Shadow on FaceBook

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery in Washingon, D.C., is joined in a citywide exhibition also involving the restaurant Busboys and Poets to feature works of our area's important artists. "Implicit Bias — Seeing the Other: Seeing Our Self" opened last Friday and continues through December 5.  Nineteen artists are on show at the gallery; 36 at Busboys and Poets (some of the artists are in both presentations). Among the featured artists are Holly Bass, Nehemiah Dixon III, Justyne Fischer, Tim Okamura, Eric Telfort, and Helen Zughaib.

Smith Center  for Healing and the Arts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ Another local gallery, McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, Virginia, is presenting through October 24 "Color Riffs: Paintings by Barbara Januszkiewicz". The vivid acrylic paintings on canvas, mounted in the Ramp Gallery, are the artist's abstract responses to listening to jazz and other music while painting. See a selection of Januszkiewicz's work at her Website.

Barbara Januszkiewicz on FaceBook and at Studio A

McLean Project for the Arts also is showing work by abstract painter Robin Rose (Emerson Gallery) and drawings and paintings by John M. Adams (Atrium Gallery). 

Exhibitions Information

MPAArt on FaceBook and Twitter

MPAArt Blog

Pat Musick and Jerry Carr are exhibiting at Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, Louisiana, in "Our Fragile Home". Continuing through November 21, the show comprises eight "sculptural elements" that represent the tension and balance between the strong and the fragile. 

Musick's mix-media art (stone, steel, wood, canvas, beeswax, kozo paper) and installations are especially wonderful. Her work is in the NASA Kennedy Space Center Permanent Art Collection and numerous other museum holdings.

Pat Musick Carr on FaceBook

Alexandria Museum of Art on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ New York City's Kathryn Markel Fine Arts continues through October 17 the solo exhibition "Rocio Rodriguez: Neither Here nor There".  The show of the Atlanta-based artist includes both new paintings and works on paper. View a selection of Rodriguez's work.

Rocio Rodriguez on FaceBook

Rocio Rodriguez Bio at Markel Fine Arts

Kathryn Markel Fine Arts on FaceBook

✭ Save the Date! Opening October 30 at National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.,  is "Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft, and Design, Midcentury and Today". Among the "pathmakers" whose work will be on show through February 28, 2016: Ruth Asawa (1926-2013), Edith Heath (1911-2005), Sheila Hicks, Karen Karnes, Dorothy Liebes (1897-1972), Alice Kagawa Parrott 1929-2000), Lenore Tawney (1907-2007), and Eva Zeisel (1906-2011). Contemporary counterparts include such artists as Polly Apfelbaum, Vivian Beer, Michelle Grabner, Hella Jongerius, Gabriel A. Maher, Magdalene Odundo, and Christine Nofchissey McHorse.

 NMWA on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Broadstrokes, NMWA Blog

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday's Three on Art

Today, Thursday's Three comprises a trio of art-related videos.

✭ Below is Bending Sticks: The Sculpture of Patrick Dougherty. The short, which premiered in Durham, North Carolina, in December 2012, follows Dougherty — called "The Stickman" — as he and his crew gather sticks to build an installation at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

Also watch the CBS Sunday Morning report, "A North Carolina Sculptor Turns Sticks Into Art", March 15, 2015.

Dougherty's a wonderful artist. He created earlier this year an installation, A Bird in Hand, in Reston, Virginia, at the Greater Reston Arts Center (not far from where I live); the exhibition also included images of his works around the world. Rebekah Wingert-Jabi directed the film about the installation, A Bird in the Hand, which was screened yesterday at the center.

One of my favorite Washington, D.C., museums, the Renwick Gallery, is reopening this fall, after its two-year closing for renovation, with "Wonder" (November 13, 2015 - July 10, 2016), which will include a woven structure by Dougherty. Also featured: works by Jennifer Angus, Chakaia Booker, Gabriel Dawe, Janet Echelman, Tara Donovan, John Grade, Maya Lin, and Leo Villareal. Not to be missed! 

Patrick Dougherty Website

✭ This next film, Zero Cycle, is directed and animated by South Korean artist moonassi, whose work I've mentioned before. The film is without sound. 

Be sure to look at moonassi's drawings at her Website.

moonassi on FaceBook and Tumblr

✭ Should you find yourself abroad in the United Kingdom this fall, The Art Fund gives you five reasons to spend time with art.

The Art Fund on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Documentary 'Why Doctors Write'

. . . We in medicine are particularly drawn to stories
because these are what our patients bring to us. . . .
~ Dr. Danielle Ofri*

A new documentary, Why Doctors Write: Finding Humanity in Medicine (Ken Browne Productions), currently is in production and scheduled for release next year.

Among the doctor-writers who appear in the film, which examines the use of storytelling and creativity in healthcare settings and the inclusion in medical schools of writing and humanities programs, are Louise Aronson, Barron Lerner, and Danielle Ofri.

Watch the trailer for the film:

My thanks to Bellevue Literary Review for the link to the trailer.

Ken Browne Productions Website

Ken Browne Productions on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo

Louise Aronson Website

Barron Lerner Website

Danielle Ofri Website

Of interest: Lynn Neary's feature "Story Specialists: Doctors Who Write", NPR, November 17, 2009; and *Danielle Ofri's "Storytelling in Medicine: the Passion and the Peril" at Ofri's Website.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Poet C.K. Williams

Pulitizer Prize-winning poet C.K. Williams died September 20. (Read his obituary in The New York Times.)

I still re-read frequently my copy of Williams's Love About Love (Ausable Press*, 2001), which the poet crafted from other collections and rearranged, creating what is one of the most comprehensive readings on the subject of love, especially how it makes us feel, what happens when we lose it or it becomes but a memory. The book is remarkably sustained thematically, frank, sensual, at times deeply moving, at times humorous, and altogether wide-ranging in its perspectives on the aspects and character of love, from first crush on.

Cover Art

In honor of Williams, who rewards the reader (or student of poetry) by showing what can be done with a line, prosaic details, familiar and intimate chatter, a mix of the sacred and profane, I share below a few excerpts from the characteristic long-lined vignettes comprising the poems that grace Love About Love.


It was like listening to the record of a symphony before you knew 
         anything at all about the music, 
[. . . .] 
~ from "First Desires"

Except for the dog, that she wouldn't have him put away, wouldn't 
         let him die, I'd have liked her. [. . .]
~ from "The Dog"


Sometimes, it would seem as though, still with me, she had al-
         ready left me. 
Sometimes, later, when she really had left, left again, I would seem 
         to ache,
not with the shocks or after-shocks of passion, but with simply
         holding her, holding on. 
~ from "One of the Muses"

[. . .]
The results were "negative"; now
I'll tell you of those hours in which my life,
not touching you but holding you,
not making a sound but crying for you,
divided back into the half it is without you.
~ from "Biopsy"


The most recent collections from C.K. Williams are Selected Later Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, September 22, 2015), All at Once: Prose Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, April 2014), and Writers Writing Dying (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, October 2012). His work also includes translations, critical appraisals, including a study of Walt Whitman, and memoir.

* Ausable Press was acquired by Copper Canyon Press. (Read "Q&A: Twichell Passes Ausable Torch", Poets & Writers, September/October 2008.)

Monday Muse: New Louisiana Poet Laureate

What I like about poetry is that it's like getting on a plane.
You don't even know what a plane is until you get there,
and then you learn how to fly it. . . You don't even know
where you're going—you find out
your destination along the way. . . .*
~ Peter Cooley

Peter Cooley has been appointed to the honorary position of Poet Laureate of Louisiana. The announcement was issued from the governor's office August 14, 2015.

Cooley, who succeeds Ava Leavell Haymon (2013-2015), will serve a two-year term. For details about the laureateship, see my post about Darrell Bourque (2009-2011). Julie Kane (2011-2013) was the state poet after Bourque.

As is required of the incumbent, Cooley will give an annual reading while serving as Poet Laureate.

Cooley has read throughout the United States and abroad. According to an article in The Tulane Hullabaloo, Cooley regards poetry readings, such as his recent appearance at Woldenberg Arts Center, as "really an opportunity to bring poetry to everyone. There's a whole new world of poetry through the internet, and obviously a whole new world of spoken word."**

* * * * *
I think in lines, and I write by the line.*

Detroit-born and long-time New Orleans resident Peter Cooley, Ph.D., has published three chapbooks and 10 poetry collections. His most recent collection, Night Bus to the Afterlife (Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series, 2014), addresses mortality, loss, and the ephemeral in the context of the devastating 2005 Hurricane Katrina (New Orleans has been his home for more than five decades) and the 2010 Gulf oil spill. His still-in-print full-length books of poetry include Divine Margins (2009),  Sacred Conversations (1998), and Nightseasons (1983), all published as part of the Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series.

Others of Cooley's collections are The Van Gogh Notebook (Carnegie Mellon Classic Contemporary Series, 2004), A Place Made of Starlight (Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series, 2003), The Astonished Hours (Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series, 1991), and The Company of Strangers (University of Missouri Press, 1975). His debut collection, The Room Where Summer Ends (Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series, 1979), is still in print. [Note: Some of Cooley's collections may be purchased through UPNE/University Press of New England. See link below in Resources.]

Cooley is a lyrical poet of broad vision and striking images. He is drawn to exploring the spiritual and religious (e.g., existence and the afterlife), particularly the constant tension between human and divine. (Rattle included him among "Poets of Faith" in its Fall 2014 issue.) He can be humorous, sometimes darkly so. Among his subjects are daily life and family, profound loss (three of his family members died in the same year) and its accompanying grief, memory, fragility in the face of disaster, morality, and art and artists including Michelangelo, Rodin, and Rembrandt (some of his ekphrastic poetry is cited in Resources below). Light, perhaps because of his spiritual orientation and his deep engagement with visual art, comes up often in his work. He also addresses personal experience and contemporary issues, such as the Gulf oil spill of 2010.

A practitioner of formal and traditional forms, such as the aubade, sonnet, sestina, and villanelle, and of what he calls "received form", Cooley described in an interview with Aaron Kuper that he neither writes for a specific audience nor for himself; rather, he said, "I'm writing for this strand of sky between the two of us. I want you to come to my sky, look at my sky, read what I have written on my sky. It's not just for me, I want communication." 

Following are several excerpts from poems I particularly like:

I've seen the face of God too many times
in such gold as the morning carves in trees[. . . .]
~ from "Recursives"

Beyond the stars inside noon, light you see
by teaching yourself to adopt blindness,
another light waits to be taken on,
the light inside invisibilities. [. . .]
~ from "Michaelangelo, 'Pieta'"

[. . .]
Look, if I tell you I have seen the sun
come straight out of the heat of morning grass
as if it slept there, you must believe me. [. . .]
~ from "Twice Bright, Twice Dark"

Director of the creative writing program at Tulane University, where he is also Senior Mellon Professor in the Humanities, Cooley has published in hundreds and hundreds of well-known literary periodicals, journals, and magazines, including AGNIThe Atlantic, Bellevue Literary ReviewBlack Warrior Review, Callaloo, Harvard ReviewThe Kenyon Review, The New England Review, New LettersThe New Republic, The New YorkerThe North American Review, The Missouri ReviewThe Paris ReviewIowa Review, Pleiades, PloughsharesPoetry, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Sewanee Review, Smartish PaceThe Southern Review, SpillwayThe Texas ReviewValparaiso Poetry Review, and Virginia Quarterly. 

Cooley's poetry has appeared in many anthologies as well, including The Best American Poetry (Scribner, 2012, 2002, 1993), Improbable Worlds: An Anthology of Texas and Louisiana Poets (Mutabilis Press, 2011), Poets on Place (Utah State University Press, 2005), Manthology: Poems on the Male Experience (University of Iowa Press), The Poetry of Men's Lives: An International Anthology (University of Georgia Press, 2004), New American Poets (Godine, 2005), Hurricane Blues: Poems about Katrina and Rita (Southeast Missouri State University Press, 2006), Hammer and Blaze: A Gathering of Contemporary American Poets (University of Georgia Press, 2002), Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry, edited by Billy Collins (Random House, 2003), Poetry Daily: 366 Poems from the World's Most Popular Poetry Website (Sourcebooks, 2003), and Poets of the New Century (Godine, 2001). Cooley's work also can be found at the online Poets for Living Waters.

Among Cooley's awards are a Louisiana Artists and Scholars (ATLAS) grant (2011-2012); fellowships from the University of Wisconsin, Louisiana Division of the Arts, and Yaddo; and his selection as the Robert Frost Fellow at Bread Loaf Writers' Conference  (1981). Recognition also has come to Cooley in the form of three Tulane Mortar Board commendations, the Inspirational Professor Award (2001), and Newcomb Professor of the Year Award (2003); a Pushcart poetry prize; the Faulkner Society's Marble Faun First Place Prize in Poetry (2012, for "Aftermaths"); and inclusion in International Who's Who in Poetry (Routledge, 2004; also 2005). Cooley represented the United States at the Second Wellington International Poetry Festival in New Zealand (October 2004), which produced an anthology (Headworx Publishers) featuring the poets at the festival.

Cooley edits the poetry section of the journal Christianity and Literature. He was the poetry editor of North American Review from 1970 to 2000.


Photo Credit: Tulane University

All Poetry Excerpts © Peter Cooley

* Quoted from Susan Larson's "New Orleans Writer Peter Cooley Finds Poetry in the Morning Light", The Times-Picayune, February 4, 2009

** Quoted from Nate Koch, "Katrina Poetry Reading Aims to Education, Inspire", The Tulane Hullabaloo, August 27, 2015

Juan Sanchez, "Dr. Peter Cooley Appointed Louisiana Poet Laureate", WDSU News, August 15, 2015

Peter Cooley Profiles Online: Knox Writers' House, The Literary EncyclopediaLouisiana Poetry ProjectThe Poetry Foundation, Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing Press, Shimer College Wiki, and Tulane University

Also see Peter Cooley, Interview, Notre Dame Review, October 7, 2014 (pdf) (He describes "the current state of poetry in America" as "indescribably rich. . . .")

Peter Cooley Poems Online: "An Exorcism", "Conclusion of a Letter to the Angel", "Fathers and Sons", "From the Gulf", "Holy Family: Audubon Zoo, New Orleans", "Messengers", "Observances", "Poem on the First Day of School", "Psalm Before Sleep", "Seascape with Attendant Premonitions", "The Boy Child", "The One Certain Thing", "The Soul", "The Way Back", and "Transcendentals", All at Poetry Foundation; "Third Heaven" at Poetry Society of America; "Phoning My Sister at the Nursing Home" at How a Poem Happens; "For the Reader Seeing Amusement in Poetry", "A Cafe in Amsterdam", "Always the Last Color Print in the Rembrandt Books", "Rembrandt, 'The Last Self-Portrait'", and "Rembrandt, 'The Adoration of the Shepherds'", All at Superstition Review; "Rodin, 'Eternal Spring'", "Rodin, 'The Hands'", "Rodin", "Rodin, 'Monument to Balzac'", and "Rodin, 'Victor Hugo'", All at Connotation Press; "How I Once Saw the Pelican as Eternal Symbol, Not Victim of the Oil Spill", "This Is How I Romanticize Death", and "Note Bene", All at Poets for Living Waters; "Michelango, 'Pieta'" at Conte; "Sunday Afternoons With My Sister" at Poetserv; "The Climbers" at Valparaiso Poetry Review; "Lament", "Hunger", "Rhapsode", "Van Gogh, 'Fishing Boats on the Beach at Saint-Marie'", "Van Gogh, 'Stairway at Auvers'", "Moving Away", "Landscape", "Driving Through Small Wisconsin Towns", "Starwork", and "Not Stevens' Florida", All at VQR Online; "Rodin, 'The Cathedral'", "Rodin, 'The Age of Bronze'", and "Rodin, 'The Hands'", All at Pool Poetry; "My Crow, Your Crow" at The Nation; "Twenty Line Sonnet" at Blackbird; "The One Certain Thing" at American Life in Poetry Column 268 (Published Also at Barbara Abercrombie's What Poems Can Do); "Pursuit of Happiness" at Boston Review; "Letters from the Dead" at AGNI Online; "Recursives" at Rattle (Audio Available); "The Third Heaven" at Poetry Daily; "Correspondences", "The Secret", "Your Own Hour", and "To the Morning Tree", All at Louisiana Poetry Project; "End times", "Michelangelo, 'Pieta'", "Rembrandt, 'The Woman Taken in Adultery', National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London", and "Rembrandt, 'Titus'", All at The Christian Century; "Washing My Face" at Verse Daily; "Company of the Motel Room" at The New Yorker; "Gate 134" at Guernica; "Rodin, 'Hand with Small Torso, Bronze'" and "Rodin's 'The Cathedral'", Both at Plume Poetry; "Holy Saturday", "An Ordinary Morning in New Orleans", "In Camera", "Twice Bright, Twice Dark", "Poem in Which the Devil is Always Present But Only Appears at the End", and "For My Mother and Father", All at Weber: The Contemporary West (Weber Studies Archive); "I See a City in Tears", "Television", and "Summertime", All at Notre Dame Review (pdf); "Anti-poetics" at Image Journal; "And Then" at The American Literary Review; "Sunday Morning" and "I Say", Both at Commonweal Magazine; "NIGHTMORNINGSKY" at Academy of American Poets; "For My Sister on Guy Fawkes Day" and "My Sister Closes the Closet Door", Both at Scholarworks; "Rodin, 'The Burghers of Calais'", "Rodin, 'The Hands'", and "Rodin, 'The Kiss'", All at Hunger Mountain, The VCFA Journal for the Arts; "For Jay Gatsby" at Eating Poetry on Tumblr; "The Holy Fool Meets Himself on One of His Highways", Image Journal; "The Annunciation", "Television", and "The Rapture", All in Enskyment: An Anthology of Print and Online Poetry; "Portrait of Adam in Landscape with Swine" at The Missouri Review Archives; "A Few Years After a Death" at Plume Poetry

Listen to Peter Cooley read a selection of his poems, recorded in New Orleans, for The Knox Writers' House. (The poems' titles are listed in the right margin.)

Peter Cooley, "My Conversion Experience: How Hurricane Katrina Made Me Into a New Orleanian and a New Man" (pdf), Notre Dame Review

Cooley has poems in The Maple Leaf Rag: An Anthology of New Orleans Poetry (New Orleans Poetry Journal Press, 1980), which is on GoogleBooks. The poems are "Last Conversation", "The Descent Into Heaven", "Song of the Madman", "Song of the Hooker", and "Conclusion of a Letter to the Angel".

Cooley's The Company of Strangers (1975) may be read online (pdf) via University of Missouri System's digital repository called MOspace.

Kaite Hillenbrand, "Peter Cooley Interview", Connotation Press, September 2015

Mark Guarino, "Poet Learns Valuable Writing Lesson During Katrina", The New Orleans Advocate, August 28, 2015

Aaron Kuper, "An Interview with Peter Cooley", Faulkner House, Tumblr, November 11, 2013 (Cooley speaks here of a four-part work based on his engagement with painters Cassatt, Rembrandt, Rodin, and Michelangelo and of how that engagement has changed the way he writes poetry. He also discusses what he calls "trying to name feeling" and "free writing", and what happened when one of his poems appeared in The New Yorker.)

New Orleans Public Radio, "The Reading Life with Peter Cooley, Thomas Brothers, and Fleur De Lit", February 4, 2009 (Audio)

Liam Pierce, "Interview with Peer Cooley for Stories from the Gulf: Living with the BP Oil Disaster", Natural Resources Defense Council, October 9, 2010 (Audio)

Susan Larson, "New Orleans Writer Peter Cooley Finds Poetry in the Morning Light", The Times-Picayune, February 4, 2009

Anne Babson, "Adam After the Hurricanes: Foraging for Hope in the Aftermath of Storms in Peter Cooley's Night Bus to the Afterlife", Review, Cider Press Review, August 13, 2014

Margaret Howard Trammell, Divine Margins, Review, Apalachee Review (pdf)

Peter Cooley on FaceBook

UPNE/University Press of New England (The link goes to a page listing Cooley's books.)

Peter Cooley on Video: Tulane (Poetry Reading, 2008, YouTube), Peter Cooley's Tulane Poetry Workshop Discussing C.D. Wright (Vimeo)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Thought for the Day

This is forgetfulness: that you remember the past
and not remember tomorrow in the story
~ Mahmoud Darwish

Quoted from "This Is Forgetfulness" in Mahmoud Darwish's The Butterfly's Burden (trans. Fady Joudah) (Copper Canyon Press, 2007)

Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Short

LP Cover Art for Sleep

Today's short is a trailer including an interview with composer Max Richter, who talks about his eight-hour-long composition Sleep, which premiered in Berlin on September 3.

More about Sleep at Deutsche Grammophon (The composition's formats from DG, from which Sleep may be purchased, are CD, vinyl (2 LPs), download, and streaming. It is offered in one- and eight-hour versions.)

Friday, September 18, 2015

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Marking the 20th anniversary of its Johannes Vermeer exhibition, our National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C., will display, beginning tomorrow, Vermeer's Woman in Blue Reading a Letter (c. 1663). The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has loaned the marvelous oil painting to the NGA, which will also be showing other Vermeer paintings, such as Girl with the Red Hat (c. 1665-66) from the NGA's own collection. You'll have until December 1 to view the work (go to the Dutch and Flemish Cabinet Galleries in the West Building, Main Floor, Gallery 50C).

Cai Guo-Qiang, whose work I've seen here in the United States, is known for his dramatic artwork that goes up in flames. Most recently, Cai built in Quanzhou, Fujian, his extraordinary Sky Ladder, a gift to his 100-year-old grandmother and his other family members in China. See images and read an ArtNet news feature about the installation, which was destroyed June 15, 2015, in less than three minutes: "Cai Guo-Qiang's 1650-Foot Flaming 'Sky Ladder' Finally Succeeds" (August 13, 2015).

✦ An artist new to me, thanks to The Paris Review: Aidan Koch of New York City. Browse her mixed-media drawings and special projects, including comics and a series inspired by Degas, After the Bath.

Aidan Koch on Tumblr

✦ Did you miss my new Artist Watch column featuring Maggie Matthews? It posted yesterday at Escape Into Life.

✦ The 60-foot-high sculpture Proverb by Mark di Suvero comes down in Dallas:

Exhibitions Here and There

Salma Arastu, whose gorgeous work I had the privilege of featuring last year in my Artist Watch column at Escape Into Life, opened in a new exhibition, "Painting Prayers: The Calligraphic Art of Salma Arastu" September 13 at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA), St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. The solo show continues through December 6. An informational brochure and a video are available at the exhibition link above.

Salma Arastu, So that you know each other III, 2014
Acrylic on Wood, 15" in diameter
© Courtesy of Artist

Salma Arastu on FaceBook

✭ If you missed my June Artist Watch feature on Maysey Craddock, head to New York City and see her work in person at Sears-Peyton Gallery. Maysey's solo exhibition there, "Langsam Sea", continues through October 10. New and wonderful work!

Maysey Craddock, Lost Bay, 2015
Gouache and Thread on Found Paper
48" x 38"
© Maysey Craddock

Sears-Peyton Gallery on FaceBook and Tumblr

✭ If you are in New York City, you won't want to miss "Linn Meyers: Here Is What I Know Is True". One of our local favorites, Linn Meyers (I first saw her work at The Phillips Collection) is at Sandra Gering through October. Images of some of her eye-catching, labor-intensive ink on mylar drawings are on the gallery site.

Linn Meyers on FaceBook

Sandra Gering Inc. on FaceBook

✭ Francesco Clemente's Encampment (2012-2014), an installation of multiple parts comprising 30,000 square feet, continues through January 2016 at MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts. The exhibition marks the first time Clemente's six painted canvas tents, sculptures, and paintings are shown together as a complete ensemble. Clemente's large sculptures Earth, Moon, Sun, and Hunger and ink and watercolor paintings described as "erotically charged" also are on view. See installation views and read the details at the link above. An exhibition brochure is available. 

MASS MoCA on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ Continuing through December 23 at Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: "Tamarind Institute and the Rebirth of Lithography". The exhibition features prints by Garo Antreasian, Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989), Roy DeForest (1930-2007), Robert DeNiro Sr. (1922-1993), Rafael Ferrer, Francoise Gilot, Matsumi Kanemitsu (1922-1992), Nicholas Krushenick (1929-1999), George McNeil (1908-1995), Kenneth Price (1935-2012), Deborah Remington (1930-2010), Ed Ruscha, and June Wayne (1918-2011). Wayne was instrumental in establishing Tamarind Lithography Workshop (now, Tamarind Institute), in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1960. Tamarind continues to train master printers and publish and sell their work. 

Krannert Art Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

Notable Exhibition Abroad

✭ Photography, film, sculpture, and installation works by British artist Mat Collishaw go on view September 25 at The New Art Gallery Walsall, United Kingdom. To celebrate this major survey, the first in more than a decade in a UK public gallery, the gallery and The Library of Birmingham jointly commissioned a limited-edition print, Third Degree, available through the gallery shop. The exhibition, on two floors of the gallery, continues through January 10, 2016. View selections of Collishaw's work at his Website.

The New Gallery Walsall on FaceBook and Twitter

Thursday, September 17, 2015

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

There is beauty in the order of complex patterns but also 
a melancholic appeal in the impermanence of things.
~ Maggie Matthews

Maggie Matthews, Spellbound
Mixed Media on Canvas, 100 cm x 100 cm
Copyright © Maggie Matthews


Today you'll find me at Escape Into Life, where I have the pleasure of posting a new Artist Watch feature that highlights the work of landscape artist Maggie Matthews of the United Kingdom.

Born in South Wales and currently a resident of West Cornwall, Maggie expresses through all her art her deep love of nature and the outdoors. Like the vast sea and sky that surrounds her home and studio space, her landscapes are generously sized, imbued not only with Maggie's sensitivity to colors, textures, and patterns but also her awareness of changing seasons and life cycles. 

For today's Artist Watch column, Maggie has provided eight images of her lovely abstract landscapes, an Artist Statement, and a brief biography.

Maggie Matthews on FaceBook, TwitterPinterest, and Google+

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Documentary '50 Children'

The film 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus (HBO Documentaries, 2013) tells the story of Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, a Jewish couple who in 1939 left their home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for Vienna, Austria. Although Vienna was already under Nazi Germany's control and their plan held enormous risks, the couple was determined to travel abroad, making their express purpose the rescue of Jewish children from certain death. The 50 children the couple saved and brought to the United States in June, 1939, were ages 5 to 14 and included several pairs of siblings (see some photographs, both then and now). For other details about the couple's danger-filled mission, read the synposis.

Below is the trailer for the film, which includes archival footage, excerpts from Eleanor Kraus's journal, and contemporary interviews with, among others, Holocaust historians, the couple's granddaughter, and a number of those rescued as children:

Completed with the assistance of The National Center for Jewish Film, the documentary's director, producer, and writer is Steven Pressman, who subsequently wrote and published 50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple's Extraordinary Rescue Mission Into the Heart of Nazi Germany (HarperCollins, 2014; reprint paperback, May 2015). 

Book Cover

The film will screen October 18 at Mizel Arts and Culture Center, Denver, Colorado; November 8 at San Francisco's Congregation Emanu-el; November 9 at Shaw JCC, Akron, Ohio; November 18 at Merage Jewish Community Center, Irvine, California; and December 13 at Temple Isaiah, Lexington, Massachusetts. It is available for purchase as a DVD and for community, school, church, and other screenings. It also may be watched online at HBO Documentaries.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Reinforcements (Poem)


At Roszke, the border dividing
Hungary from Serbia closes,

razor wire three meters high
coiling like the snake in Eden

around the single door, unopened.

All along the tracks that lead in,
toward any place with no war,

they squat, pitch their tents,
ask for water, pray for a night

sky clear of all but the glister
of a thousand ancient stars.

They walk on because not to
is to accept the barbed rail

wagon at Horgos—unmistakable
sign that no gap in the crossing's

allowed. Two kilometers on
they try again, again see how

the snake coils as they press
up against its solid metal skin.

They have no time for tears.
They don't know another door's shut,

the bus for Germany already gone.

2015 © Maureen E. Doallas

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday Muse: Interview with Poet Fred Foote, Part 3

Art- and music-making and contact with nature are two
very powerful modalities for healing. . . .
~ Fred Foote

The concluding segment of my three-part interview with Fred Foote, "Healing with Poetry", posted at TweetSpeak Poetry last week. The poet and physician, who directs the Warrior Poetry Project for veterans of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, discusses the Green Road Project, a healing garden at Walter Reed, and how communities of non-military poets or the public more generally might help our veterans recover from their devastating war experiences.

Also included is Foote's poem "Wife on the ICU" from his collection Medic Against Bomb.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Thought for the Day

What can we do but love
ourselves out of darkness. . . .
~ Patty Paine

Quoted from "Homing" in Patty Paine's wonderful new collection of poetry, Grief & Other Animals (Accents Publishing, 2015)

Read my interview with Patty at TweetSpeak Poetry: Part 1 ("Write Fearlessly") and Part 2 ("Poetry Can Save You")

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Saturday Short

Today's short shows something of the tunnel complex built by slave laborers in Poland. Some believe the so-called "Nazi gold train" may lie within. (Read "Poland's 'Nazi gold train' could be first of many hidden in Hitler's vast tunnel complex" in The Telegraph (September 1, 2015). And the latest twist in the continuing story: "Polish soldiers seal off 'Nazi gold train' location as finders reveal their 'clear evidence'", The Telegraph, September 4, 2015)

Friday, September 11, 2015

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ The highly welcome Alper Initiative for Washington Art, a space dedicated to the art and artists of Washington, D.C., is slated to open on the first floor of the American University Museum at Katzen Arts Center in January 2016. Currently under construction, the space will comprise 2,000 square feet and provide for five exhibitions yearly, as well as art-related programming and resources for art study and encouragement of the metropolitan region's art and creative community; it also will feature a digital archive of Washington art. The project is the result of a major gift from art advocate and AU alumna Carolyn Alper.

Alper Initiative on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ Last month Utah painter Leslie O. Peterson and her wonderful portraits of Mormon leader Joseph Smith's 34 wives were featured in the The New York Times. Peterson calls her watercolor portrait series The Forgotten Wives. According to the article, Peterson will be showing her portraits next month at Utah's Dixie State University at St. George. 

In the video below, Peterson explains why she undertook her project and talks about the women:

Leslie O. Peterson Art Blog

Leslie Olpin Peterson on FaceBook

✦ Work of 55 printmakers is featured in the new book Fine Print: East Anglia's Artists Celebrate 20 Years of the Norwich Print Fair (Mascot Media, 2015). The book is available directly from the publisher and through Amazon.

The Norwich Print Fair Website (This year's fair continues through September 19.)

✦ Fiber artist Sandi Garris, who apprenticed under an Amish master quilter early in her career, currently paints on silk. Her intense sense of color is a distinguishing characteristic of all her pieces. Visit her online galleries to see for yourself. A Pennsylvania resident, Garris will be showing at Virginia's annual Alexandria Arts Festival September 19-20 and at the Historic Shaw Art Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, October 3-4.

✦ Below is a video look at some of the fine art of printmaker Sarah Ross-Thompson of the United Kingdom. Ross-Thompson specializes in collagraphy.

Sarah Ross-Thompson on FaceBook

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Tonight, in Rockville, Maryland, Artists & Makers Studios opens "Quilting for Change", an international quilt exhibit involving Solar Sister, which seeks to end energy poverty by empowering women economically; The Advocacy Project, which helps members of marginalized communities tell their stories to achieve social change; and Quilt for Change, which aims to raise awareness on global issues affecting women and advocates on behalf of quilters as social-change agents. This important show will continue through September 28.

Below are images from the show of three stunning works by, respectively, Diana Ferguson of Sweetwater, Tennessee; Lorraine Landroche of West Warwick, Rhode Island; and Laura Cooke of Barrington, Rhode Island.

Diana Ferguson, Light for Enlightenment, 24" x 24"
Raw Edge Applique, Piecing, Color Discharge, Free-Motion Quilting
Thread Painting, Embellishment, Fabric Ink Pencils
Courtesy Artists & Makers Studios

Lorraine Landroche, The Giving Circle, 8" x 8"
Machine-Pieced Fabrics, Paint, Embellishments
Courtesy Artists & Makers Studios

Laura Cooke, Good Day Sunshine (Detail)*, 6" x 9"
Fabrics, Raw Edge Applique, Free-Motion Quilting with Rayon
 Cotton Thread
Courtesy Artists & Makers Studios

* See the image of the entire quilt at Quilt for Change.

Artists & Makers Studios on FaceBook and Twitter

Solar Sister on FaceBook and Twitter

The Advocacy Project on FaceBookTwitter, and YouTube

Quilt for Change on FaceBook

✭ Contemporary work from the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is on show through October 25 in "Into Dust: Traces of the Fragile in Contemporary Art". Included are paintings, sculpture, photography, and video by artists including Gabriel Orozco, Alina Szapocznikow, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Peter Fischli, David Weiss, Alan Saret, Mona Haoum, and Lorna Simpson, who are inspired to explore the fragility of the human condition in both ephemeral and resilient media and forms. A slideshow of selections from the exhibit is available at the exhibition link above.

Philadelphia Museum of Art on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky at Lexington is presenting "Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey" through December 18. The show features carved, cast, and assembled works of varying scales and materials, on the floor, on pedestals, suspended from the ceiling, and on the walls. Among artists whose work is on view are John Ahearn, El Anatsui, Alexander Calder, Willie Cole, Tony Matelli, Pablo Picasso, George Rickey, and Rachel Whiteread. Included is a Native American totem pole and a functioning race car created by Federico Pizzurro.

The Art Museum at UK  on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Continuing through December 5 at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, Georgia, is "Howardena Pindell", a solo exhibition of the internationally renowned and influential abstract artist's oblong and unstretched canvases, as well as works revealing Pindell's experimentation with hole-punched dots, hand-drawn arrows, printed text, and personal postcards. In addition to early works on paper, the show presents examples of Pindell's monumental paintings, important works from her Autobiography series, and her color video Free, White and 21 (1980), which speaks directly to the racism Pindell encountered and carries a strong political statement against discrimination and on the effect of gender.

Distinguishing characteristics of Pindell's work include intricate layering of mixed media, rich textures, creative risk-taking, attunement to color, and painstaking attention to detail and composition. She is the author of The Heart of the Question: The Writings and Paintings of Howardena Pindell (Midmarch Arts Press, 1997), an essay collection. (The book can be ordered through the publisher.)

Pindell will be appearing at a museum-sponsored event with Spelman's president, Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, on September 24 at 6:30 p.m. 

Below is a front-cover image of a new publication by Barry Schwabsky, Howardena Pindell: Paintings, 1974-1980 (September 29, 2015), forthcoming from Garth Greenan Gallery and available for pre-order.

Cover Art for Forthcoming Publication on Howardena Pindell

Read Raphael Rubinstein's "The Hole Truth", Art in America, October 30, 2014; John Yau's "The Beauty of Howardena Pindell's Rage", Hyperallergic, May 11, 2014; and Jessica Holmes "Howardena Pindell, Paintings, 1974-1980", The Brooklyn Rail, June 5, 2014.

Spelman College Museum of Fine Art on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Work by the late poet-turned-sculptor Sy Gresser (1926-2014) is on view in "Stone, Silence and Speech: Sculptures by Sy Gresser" in the Sculpture Garden at American University Museum, Katzen Arts Center, through September 21. Images of three works are may be seen at the exhibition link.

Sy Gresser published more than 700 poems during his life; a selection of the poems and essays on and other information about his work as an artist are available at his Website. Watch a video interview with the artist.

Notable Exhibition Abroad

✭ Painter Noel Paine, whose work I featured in my August Artist Watch column at Escape Into Life, will be exhibiting a selection from his Viennese woodland series at Sechsschimmel Galerie in Vienna through October 2.