Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday Artist: Kelly Magleby

Combining love of the Southwest desert and interest in primitive and survival skills with a fascination with Anasazi Indian culture has led Kelly Magleby of Orem, Utah, to hand-make pottery that replicates the ancient process the Anasazi themselves used. The multi-step process, she writes on her Website, has been a challenge to get right, so that the pottery has both an authentic look and feel to it. In addition to "wild gathering" the clay and other materials she uses, Magleby hand-paints her work with home-made bee plant paint and fires her pieces in a wood-fueled Anasazi-style trench kiln. 

Below is Earth and Fire: Anasazi Style Pottery (Solpin Films), which documents Magleby's effort to learn about Anasazi pottery by following Anasazi techniques. The short is by freelance filmmaker Steve Olpin and was made in southern Utah's backcounty, along the Escalante River. It was funded by Primitive Found.

Magelby features her replicas, which are in the "black on white" style, at Anasazi Pottery. She accepts commissions. In addition, she teaches classes locally and at primitive living skills workshops and conferences. Her Website features a selection of Anasazi-related links.

Steve Olpin's The Talking Fly Vlog on YouTube

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ellen Bass's 'Reincarnation' (Videopoem)

Below is a lovely animation of Ellen Bass's poem "Reincarnation". The animator is filmmaker and painter Jeff Scher.

Ellen Bass's most recent poetry collection is Like a Beggar (Copper Canyon Press, 2014).  A contributor to The New Yorker, she also has published a number of best-selling nonfiction books, including, with co-author Kate Kaufman, Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth and Their Allies (Harper Perennial, 1996) and, with co-author Laura Davis, The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (2008). 

Ellen Bass Poems

Ellen Bass on FaceBook

Read "In Plain Sight: The Vanishing of Ellen Bass" at The Rumpus.

Jeff Scher on FaceBookTwitterand Vimeo

Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday Muse: Fall Book Festivals

Today, Monday Muse rounds up a selection of book festivals happening in September and early October.

AJC Decatur Book Festival ~ September 2-4, 2016, Decatur, Georgia ~ The keynote event is "The Life and Work of Pat Conroy", which will include Conroy's wife, novelist Cassandra King Conroy. More than 600 authors, including Coleman Barks, Frans de Waal,  and Monica Youn, are scheduled to attend.

Decatur Book Festival on FaceBook and Instagram

Carolina Mountains Literary Festival ~ September 8-10, 2016, Burnsville, North Carolina ~ Keynote presenters include poet and novelist Fred Chappell, science writer David Haskell, and novelist Christine Hall. Some events are free. Writing workshops (fiction, memoir, nonfiction, poetry) and keynote events are ticketed.

CM LitFest on FaceBook

Brooklyn Book Festival ~ September 12-18, 2016, Brooklyn, New York ~ Margaret Atwood, Sherman Alexie, Pete Hamill, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdi, A.O. Scott, and Ocean Vuong are just a few of the literary stars expected to be present. Children's Day is Saturday, September 17.

Brooklyn Book Festival on FaceBook and Tumblr

10th Annual Fall Into Fiction Extravaganza ~ September 22-25, 2016, Carson, California ~ Sponsored by United California African-American Bookclubs, the festival aims to bring together readers and authors. More than two dozen authors plan to be present.

UCAAB on FaceBook

South Dakota Festival of Books ~ September 22-25, 2016, Brookings and Sioux Falls, South Dakota ~ Sponsored by the South Dakota Humanities Council, the festival features Ron Capps, founder and director of the Veterans Writing Project; columnist and writer Michael Dirda; former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, South Dakota State Poet Laureate Lee Ann Roripaugh, and novelist Jane Smiley, among many others. A "Young Readers Festival" is planned, in addition to writing workshops, lectures, open mic events, book signings, and readings.

Baltimore Book Festival ~ September 23-26, Baltimore, Maryland ~ More than 100 exhibitors and booksellers, as well as local, celebrity, and national authors will be on hand for readings, book signings, workshops, panel discussions, storytelling, and more. The presenting authors are Becky Albertalli, Bronwyn Dickey, Bridget Hodder, Terry McMillan, and Glen Weldon.

Baltimore Book Festival on FaceBook and Twitter

Library of Congress National Book Festival ~ September 24, 2016, Washington, D.C. ~ The lengthy list of authors, illustrators, and poets scheduled to appear at the festival includes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ken Burns, Edwidge Danticat, Angela Davis, Adam Gopnik, Marilyn Hacker, Joy Harjo, Lois Lowry, Jay McInerney, Eileen Myles, Joyce Carol Oates, Diane Rehm, Marilynne Robinson, Calvin Trillin, and Bob Woodward. Among the numerous events: panel discussions, a book expo and sale, and a poetry slam. This season's poster is by the Japanese illustrator Yuko Shimizu and may be downloaded (pdf). 

LOC on FaceBook

Fall for the Book ~ September 25-30, 2016, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia ~ Now a week-long, multiple-venue event, the regional festival has lined up more than 150 authors this year. Sandra Cisneros and Diane Rehm are the headliners. The poets expected to appear include Dana Levin, Natlie Diaz, Oliver Bendorf, and Patrick Rosal. All readings are free. The 2016 poster contest winner is Ben Small.

Fall for the Book on FaceBook

✭ Northern Arizona Book Festival ~ October 10-16, 2016, Flagstaff, Arizona ~ More than 50 local and visiting writers will be participating. A featured event is the launch of Eggtooth Chapbook Contest.

Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word ~ October 14-16, Nashville, Tennessee ~ Under the sponsorship of Humanities Tennessee, the free three-day festival offers readings, panel discussions, and book signings with several hundred authors.

Humanities Tennessee on FaceBook

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Thought for the Day

Loneliness is solitude with a problem.
~ Maggie Nelson

Quoted from #72 in Maggie Nelson, Bluets (Wave Books, 2nd edition, 2009), p. 28

Maggie Nelson is the author, most recently, of The Argonauts (Graywolf, January 26, 2016) and The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial (Graywolf, April 5, 2016).

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday Short

Today's short is a trailer for Hope The Documentary (Working Pictures), a look at how we grieve for our loved ones who die and how we survive our grief by re-embracing hope and life. The film is by Bobby Sheehan and Sara Sheehan, whose earlier work includes Mortal.

The in-production film earlier launched a campaign on Indiegogo to raise funds for additional shooting and post-production expenses.

Friday, August 26, 2016

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Coming this fall from Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, is Ken Price: Drawings (October 25, 2016). The exhibition "Ken Price Drawings" continues through September 10 in Los Angeles.

Cover Art

Ken Price Website

Ken Price (1935-2012) at Matthew Marks Gallery

✦ Mexico's Teresa Margolles built in Los Angeles a monument to 100 people who died because of gun crime on city streets. She used crime-scene debris in her conceptual project, which she completed in late July. The work was part of the exhibition "Current: LA Water" that placed projects in 15 city parks; the exhibition concluded August 14. Read an Art Newspaper post about Margolles's project.

Current: LA on FaceBook and Instagram

✦ Fiber artist Abigail Doan is thinking ahead to autumn: see her Foglia ("Leaf") series of mixed media collages. View her "Lost in Fiber" portfolios.

Abigail Doan / Lost in Fiber on FaceBook

✦ Conceptual artist and poet Natasha Marin, of Seattle, Washington, has launched Reparations, a new Website. Rich Smith of The Stranger has the story.

✦ If you're a woman who'd like to know how to break into the art world, read Eileen Kinsella article "18 Female Artists Give Advice to Women Starting Out in the Art World" at ArtNet News.

✦ In the video below, six artists talk about black identity; included are Wangechi Mutu (Kenya), Kerry James Marshall (America), photographer Sammy Baloji (Congo), and the writers Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria), Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Kenya), and Taiye Selasi (Nigeria). To see full-length interviews, visit Channel Louisiana.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ The Northwest's biennial of contemporary art, "Portland 2016", continuing through September 18, surveys the work of nearly three dozen Oregon artists. This year's exhibition of 34 artists' work appears at 25 partner venues in 13 communities across Oregon. Curated by Michelle Grabner, whose selections of work reflect a particular geography or culture, and presented by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, the biennial is Oregon's largest to date. See the list of participating artists' names, which are hyperlinked to their Websites. Among participating arts organizations are the Schneider Museum of Art at Southern Oregon University, Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts, and White Box at the University of Oregon, Pendleton. 

✭ Visitors to Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, have until September 18 to see "Women's Work: Prints from the Collection of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts". Featured in the exhibition are 42 works on paper, including etchings, lithographs, screen prints, and mixed media, by such artists as Jennifer Bartlett, Lee Krasner, Pat Steir, and Leslie Dill, as well as Alabamians Anne Goldthwaite and Clara Weaver Parrish.

MMFA on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ Artworks from every period of the late Alma Thomas's career are on view in "Alma Thomas" at New York's Studio Museum of Harlem. Organized by Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, the solo exhibition, which continues through October 30, features rarely seen watercolors and early abstractions, as well as a selection of paintings from private and public collections. Five images of the more than 50 paintings and works on paper in the show are available at the exhibition link.

Alma Thomas, Cherry Blossom Symphony, 1973
Acrylic on Canvas, 69" x 54"
Collection Halley K Harrisburg an Michael Rosenfeld, NY

A comprehensive, 192-page monograph with 115 color illustrations (Prestel, September 2016) is available.

Catalogue Cover Art

Alma Thomas (1891-1978) at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

Studio Museum on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ In Roanoke, Virginia, Taubman Museum of Art is exhibiting through November 6 the  beautiful site-specific installation Daphne (2016) by Eric Standley, who is based in southwest Virginia. The piece is composed of stone, steel, multiple layers of laser-cut paper, and reclaimed Virginia wood; its size is 204" x 57" x 23". Read more about the installation and then visit Eric Standley's Website to see images of his extraordinary work, which is inspired by geometry from Gothic and Islamic architectural ornamentation.

In the video that follows, Standley talks about his work and creative method:

Standley will be exhibiting at Scherenschnittmuseum, Vreden, Germany, between October 2016 and January 2017.

Taubman Museum on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram

✭ Korean-American artist Soo Sunny Park is exhibiting a version of her installation Unwoven Light at The Dennos Museum Center, in Traverse City, Michigan. The installation is on view through September 4.

Watch the installation of Unwoven Light at Rice Gallery in 2013:

While you're visiting the museum, look for Ilhwa Kim's Seed Universe exhibition. Kim's sculptural, three-dimensional works are crafted from layers of rolled Korean Mulberry paper ("seeds"); they change their appearance, depending on angle, distance, and light.

Following is a Modus Gallery video of Seed Universe.

Ilhwa Kim at Kalman Maklary Fine Arts (Budapest) and Modus Art Gallery (Paris)

Ilhwa Kim on FaceBook

Dennos Museum Center on FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday's Three on Art

Today, Thursday's Three offers a trio of art-related videos of varying length.

Richard Tuttle talks about his career and concepts, themes, and styles that can be found throughout his 26 New York exhibitions. He was interviewed at Pace Gallery

Some notable quotes: "Art's importance comes when it's a tool for life, when it makes life more available for us." "I'm very committed to the idea of making an art that stays contemporary." "The actual artwork is a combination of the kinds of things that only happen once and the kinds of things that happen always."

(My thanks to Art21 for the link.)

✦ South Africa's William Kentridge reflects on his life and relationship with art.

Some notable quotes: "One can always write one's biography in the terms of the failures which have saved you." "Artists are always incomplete. If you are a complete person, there is no need to spend your life making objects for other people to look at. There is an uncertainty of existence, I am sure."

(My thanks to Louisiana Channel for the link.)

Matthew Shlian, a paper artist and research scholar who lectures in art and design at the University of Michigan, uses paper engineering to understand nanostructures. Earlier this month, he gave an artist talk at the University of New Mexico as part of a fall seminar series at UNM's Technology Transfer and Economic Development Office. (The artist talk below is not the UNM talk.)

See Shlian's sculptures and drawings and prints at his Website.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday Artist: Good Art-Related Reads

Today's Wednesday Artist column shares links to art-related articles for your reading list.

Shirin Neshat, Lorna Simpson, Jenny Holzer, and seven other artists talk about their lucky breaks—their first exhibitions. Read Rain Embuscado's "10 Influential Artists Recall Their First Exhibitions | Even the best artists started somewhere." at ArtNet News.

Adam Holofcener of Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts tells Fractured Atlas that "it is important that artists continue to do their part to organize around legislative issues at the federal level." He urges artists "to get hip to the system of policy, in even the most modest way, so that they can attempt to engage or act in ways that do not demand they merely acquiesce" to developments that affect their jobs, housing, cost of living, and other issues. Read "Eliminating Legal Barriers to Artistic Expression: Q&A with Adam Holofcener of Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts".

✦ Baltimore-area writer Victoria Emily Jones describes at ArtWay how we can "discipline our eyes" with holy images. The article, "Victoria Emily Jones on Disciplining Our Eyes", is illustrated generously.

✦ More than 150 paintings, sculptures, and photographs by notable Abstract Expressionists are coming to the Royal Academy of Arts. Read "London's Royal Academy of Arts to Stage UK's First Survey of Abstract Expression in Six Decades" at ArtNet News. The exhibition, "Abstract Expressionism", opens September 24 and continues through January 2, 2017. Workshops and other special events are planned.

✦ Casey Lesser at ArtSy makes the case for art appreciation instruction for children. Read "How to Teach Your Children to Care About Art".

✦ Creative expression can defeat a sense of meaninglessness or hopelessness. Read the uplifting KCET feature on "Arts-in-Corrections: California's Creative Response to a Broken Prison System".

✦ English art critic and writer John Berger says artworks have both "lost and gained" because of the camera. Watch Episode 1 of Berger's Ways of Seeing at Art and Theology.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lisa Hess Hesselgrave's 'Words & Images'

Two years ago, for an ekphrastic exercise for Tweetspeak Poetry's Image-ine Poetry feature, I wrote a series of poems that responded to artworks by painter Lisa Hess Hesselgrave. I was very much taken with Lisa's wonderful artworks, whose narrative qualities were perfect for ekphrasis, which The Oxford Classical Dictionary defines as "the rhetorical description of a work of art." My effort produced six poems for five of Lisa's paintings: Girl in Street (two poems), Plywood Archer #1, Jumprope, Pink RoomHot Sky, and Bedsheet. All are in the Image-in archives at Tweetspeak.

My poems, I'm delighted to say, are featured along with the paintings that inspired them in an exhibition, "Words & Images", in the Ives Gallery of New Haven Free Public Library in Connecticut. The exhibition continues through September 6.

Here is one of the poems in the exhibition:

Lisa Hess Hesselgrave, Girl in Street, 1991
Oil on Canvas

Pure as Sarin

     after Lisa Hess Hesselgrave's 'Girl in Street'

The milkweed pods scattered
when the moon split. The sky
smoked, rust-rubbed; clouds,
cottony cockleburs, stout with
the seed that is the last thing
the girl in the street saw fall.

It was black rain that came,
no warning from the belly
of the bomber.

You don't get time to be more
than the victim with no name.
You run in whatever you have
on, a too-hot blue-paved street
quieting behind every foot fall.

My poems in the exhibition and the paintings (listed in italics) they respond to are: "Pure as Sarin", Girl in Street; "Artemis", Plywood Archer #1; "Learning to Jump Rope", Jumprope, Pink Room; "Closing In", Hot Sky; and "Apprentice", Bedsheet.

In addition, Lisa has mounted ekphrastic poems by Alexandra Caselle (Jumprope, Pink Room), Annell Livingston (Jumprope, Pink Room), Lynnediane (Hot Sky), Elizabeth W. Marshall (Girl in Street, Plywood Archer #1, Jumprope, Pink Room, Hot Sky, and Bedsheet), Richard Maxson (Girl in Street, Jumprope, Pink Room, Hot Sky, and Bedsheet), Darlene S. (Plywood Archer #1), and Marcy Terwilliger (Girl in Street), as well as Sheryl Bedingfield (Plywood Archer #1), Tom Nicotera (Plywood Archer #1), and Megan Thomas (Plywood Archer #1). 

Tomorrow, August 24, Ives Gallery is hosting a reception with Lisa from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A poetry reading will take place.

* * * * *

A selection of Lisa's work, including prints, watercolors, and figure drawings, is being shown at Madison Art Cinemas, Madison, Connecticut. That work, too, will be on view through September 6.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday Muse: New Mississippi Poet Laureate

I'll pursue my mission of wedging poetry 
into the hands of our young people.
~ Beth Ann Fennelly*

Beth Ann Fennelly is Mississippi's new Poet Laureate, only the fifth to occupy the position. She succeeds Natasha Trethewey. Her four-year appointment was announced August 10 by the Mississippi Arts Commission

The honorary post used to be a life-time appointment; that changed on the death of  Winifred Farrar (1978-2010) whom Trethewey succeeded. (Information about the position is summarized on the Mississippi Arts Commission's Poet Laureate page.)

On being appointed, Fennelly stated that she plans to "do a lot of readings and performances" and present workshops and classes to help make poetry accessible to all Mississippians, especially youth. She added that the job "gives me a platform that will help me spread the mission and the gospel of poetry, which is something I'm deeply invested in and have been for a long time."

* * * * *
You can't approach poetry with the heart or the ear;
you have to approach it purely with intellect and knowledge.
I think you start with the heart; I think you start with the ear.**

New Jersey-born and Chicago-raised, Beth Ann Fennelly is the author of three poetry collections: Unmentionables (W.W. Norton, 2008), Tender Hooks (W.W. Norton, 2004; reprint, 2005), and Open House (W.W. Norton, reprint, 2009). The latter, her debut collection, received a Kenyon Review Prize, Zoo Press Poetry Prize, and Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award (2003). Fennelly's chapbook, A Different Kind of Hunger, was published by the Texas Review Press Poetry Chapbook Series and awarded the 1997 Texas Review Press Breakthrough Award.

Fennelly's Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs is slated to be published by W.W. Norton in fall 2017.

A nonfiction writer, Fennelly published Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother (W.W. Norton) in 2006. More recently, she co-wrote with her husband Tom Franklin the novel The Tilted World (HarperCollins, 2013), a title that has been issued in a half-dozen foreign editions and was a finalist for a SIBA Book Award (2014). In addition, Fennelly is co-editor, with Lee Gutkind, of Southern Sin: True Stories of the Sultry South and Women Behaving Badly (In Fact Books, 2014); and co-editor of The Alumni Grill II: Anthology of Southern Writers (MacAdam/Cage, 2005).

Among the subjects Fennelly addresses in her poetry are motherhood and parenting, love and marriage, death and loss, faith and religion, the natural world, and the Mississippi landscape. She uses a range of forms (blank verse, narrative, persona, sestina, and sonnet), writes in lyric sequences, often in a "direct address" style. Critics note her startling imagery, creativity, unexpected juxtapositions, humor and wordplay, clarity and accessibility, and what poet Albert Goldbarth described as "dead-on kick-ass language".

Following are excerpts from several of Fennelly's poems.

Distance was the house from which I welcomed you.
Time, time was the house, and to welcome you
I strung garlands of eggshells and rubies.

Thirty I welcomed you, you the salt
sucked from the tips of braids
after running from the ocean of sometime else's childhood.

I turned the skeleton key. [. . .]
~ from "The Welcoming" in Unmentionables

I've documented everything—each tooth,
your first haircut, your first bath in the sink.
Later when you claim neglect, I've proof
of my side for your husband or your shrink.
~ "Say Cheese" in Tender Hooks

[. . .] Don't 
make me warn you of stars, how they see us
from that distance as miniature and breakable
from the bride who tops the wedding cake
to the Mary on Pinto dashboards
holding her ripe, red heart in her hands.
~ from "Poem Not to Be Read at Your Wedding" in Open House

Poems by Fennelly have appeared in such periodicals as The American Poetry ReviewThe American Scholar, BlackbirdThe Black Warrior Review, The Georgia Review, Harvard ReviewThe Kenyon ReviewThe Michigan Quarterly Review, PloughsharesPoetry Ireland Review, Shenandoah, The Southern ReviewTriQuarterly, and Verse Daily.

Fennelly's poems have been reprinted in a number of anthologies, including The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing (Bloomsbury USA, reprint, 2013), The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present (Scribner, 2008), Not for Mothers Only: Contemporary Poems on Child-Getting & Child Rearing (Fence Books, 2007), The Best American Poetry 2006 (Scribner, 2006), Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes (Michigan State University Press, 2006), 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2005), and Poets on Place: Interviews & Tales from the Road (Utah State University Press, 2005). Her work also can be found in The Best American Poetry 2005 (Scribner, 2005) and The Best American Poetry 1996 (Scribner, 1996). She is included as well in The Penguin Book of the Sonnet (Penguin Books, 2001), Poets of the New Century (David R. Godine, 2001), The New Great American Writers Cookbook (University Press of Mississippi, 2003) and The Possibility of Language: Seven New Poets (iUniverse, 2001).

Magazines including Country Living, Garden & GunLos Angeles Review of BooksSouthern Living, Woman's Day, and The Oxford American have published Fennelly's articles on books, culture, design, and travel. The Kenyon Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Ecotone magazine, among others, have published Fennelly's essays and criticism.

An accomplished and highly commended poet and writer, Fennelly is the recipient of The Chattahoochee Review's Lamar York Prize in Creative Nonfiction (2016), the Orlando Award in Creative Nonfiction (A Room of Her Own Foundation, 2015), for her essay "Goner"; and a Subiaco Award for Literary Merit (2012). A United States Artists Fellow (2006), Fennelly also received a Pushcart Prize (2001) and a National Endowment for the Arts poetry grant (2003). She also has been awarded a poetry grant (2010) and two nonfiction grants from the state arts commission (2015 and 2005), and a poetry grant from the Illinois Arts Council (2001). Her other honors include a Fulbright grant to study poetry in Brazil (2009), residencies at the MacDowell Colony and University of Arizona, and a Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin (1998-1999). She was among the "Top 20 Arts and Humanities Professors in Mississippi" in 2013. In addition, in 2011, she was named "Humanities Teacher of the Year" by the Mississippi Humanities Council.

Fennelly directs the master of fine arts program of the English department at the University of Mississippi, a job she is relinquishing to handle responsibilities as Poet Laureate.


Photo Courtesy University of Mississippi (English Department) and Poetry Foundation

All Poetry Excerpts © Beth Ann Fennelly

* Quoted from Fennelly's Statement on Appointment (Presented Live on State Arts Commission FaceBook Page)

** Quoted from Gabriel Austin, "Poet Laureate Selection Tickles Honoree", Mississippi Today, August 10, 2016

Howard Ballou, "Celebrated Writer and Educator Named New Poet Laureate", WDAM, August 11, 2016

Alyssa Schnugg, "Oxford's Beth Ann Fennelly Named Mississippi Poet Laureate", The Oxford Eagle, August 10, 2016

Jacob Threadgill, "Beth Ann Fennelly Named Mississippi's Poet Laureate", The Clarion-Ledger, August 10, 2016

Beth Ann Fennelly Poems Online: "Poem Not to Be Read at Your Wedding" at Writers' Corner, National Endowment for the Arts; "The Kudzu Chronicles" (Excerpt) at The Clarion-Ledger; "Souvenir" at Academy of American Poets; "Asked For a Happy Memory of Her Father, She Recalls Wrigley Field", "The Kudzu Chronicles - Oxford, Mississippi" (Excerpt), "Poem Not to Be Read at Your Wedding", "Because People Ask What My Daughter Will Think of My Poems When She's 16", "Souvenir", "Say You Waved: A Dream Song Cycle", and "Favors", All at PoemHunter; "Because People Ask..." at Poems Out Loud (Audio Available); "The Kudzu Chronicles - Oxford, Mississippi" at Blackbird; "Three Months After Giving Birth, The Body Loses Certain Hormones" at All We Can Hold (Poems of Motherhood); "A Study of Writing Habits", "Because People Ask...", "Cow Tipping", "I Need to Be More French. Or Japanese", "Poem Not to Be Read at Your Reading", "The Impossibility of Language", and "The Welcoming" (Audio), All at Knox Writers House; "I Would Like to Go Back as I Am, Now, to You as You Were, Then" and "The Cup Which My Father Hath Given Me", Both at Louisiana Literature; "Heating and Cooling" (Audio) at SoundCloud; "Some Childhood Dreams Really Do Come True" at Brevity; "The Welcoming" at Verse Daily; "Favors", "We Are the Renters", and "Say You Waved: A Dream Song Cycle", All at Blackbird; "I Provide for You, Boy Child, Like God" at The American Poetry Review; "Poem Not to Be Read at Your Wedding" at Best American Poetry Blog

Beth Ann Fennelly Reading Her Book-length Poem "The Kudzu Chronicles" (Crown Ring Press) on YouTube (Video):

Beth Ann Fennelly, "A Reckoning of Kisses", Guernica, May 26, 2016

Beth Ann Fennelly, "On Collaboration", Glimmer Train Press

Beth Ann Fennelly's Tender Hooks on GoogleBooks

Beth Ann Fennelly's Unmentionables on GoogleBooks

Beth Ann Fennelly on FaceBook and Tumblr

Madison Redd, "Dueling Writers & Honing the Creative Impulse: A Conversation with Beth Ann Fennelly", Crooked Letter Interview Series, Prairie Schooner, May 3, 2013

Luan Gaines, "An Interview with Beth Ann Fennelly", curledup, 2005

Charlotte J. Robertson, "The Moments in Our Lives: An Interview with Beth Ann Fennelly", Southern Scribe

Mike Smith, "Mentioning 'Unmentionables'", Review, Notre Dame Review (pdf)

Isaac Cates, "'Unmentionables'", Review, Smartish Pace

Ginny Kaczmarek, "Unflinching Honesty: Beth Ann Fennelly's 'Tender  Hooks'", Review, Literary Mama, October 2007

Adrianne Kalfopoulou, "Beth Ann Fennelly: 'Open House'", Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, 2002

Mississippi Arts Commission on FaceBook (The announcement of Fennelly's selection was made live on FaceBook.)

Fence Books


HarperCollins Page for The Titled World

In Fact Books


Michigan State University Press

W.W. Norton (See Beth Ann Fennelly page.)

W.W. Norton Pages for Great with ChildOpen House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables


Texas Review Press

Utah State University Press

University Press of Mississippi

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Thought for the Day

Hope is a gift you don't have to surrender. . . .
~ Rebecca Solnit


Rebecca Solnit, Writer, Historian, and Activist

Solnit's Hope in the Dark (Haymarket Books; 3rd Ed., 2016) was republished in a new edition earlier this year.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Saturday Short

Today's short is the trailer for Hidden Figures (Fox Movies), a film about African-American women's little-known achievements at NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, during America's earliest efforts to win the space race with the former Soviet Union.

Watch the trailer.

Based on Margot Lee Shetterly's forthcoming book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and  the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (William Morrow, September 6, 2016), the film relates the previously unknown stories of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, the "human computers"* who worked out the calculations necessary to launch NASA rockets and astronauts, including John Glenn, into orbit. Despite both race and gender discrimination, the women achieved outstanding successes, making possible essential scientific advances.

The film releases January 13, 2017.

Book Cover Art


* Other women in the space program were Christine Darden, Kathryn Peddrew, Sue Wilder, Eunice Smith, and Barbara Holley.

Margot Lee Shetterly Page for Hidden Figures

Publisher Page for Shetterly's Hidden Figures

The Human Computer Project

"The Untold History of Women in Science and Technology"

NPR, "Meet the 'Rocket Girls', The Women Who Charted the Course to Space", All Things Considered, April 5, 2016 (The 'Rocket Girls" worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. Their work, too, went uncredited for years.)


Watch a short about Katherine Johnson at Pop Sugar.

Friday, August 19, 2016

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

Crow's Shadow Artist-in-Residence Brenda Mallory has created editions of four new prints that are available for purchase: Raveling, a two-color lithograph, 40" x 18"; Raveling (First Parcel), a two-color lithograph. 13" x 13"; Crossings, a one-color lithograph, 40" x 29-3/4"; and The Plural of Nexus, a one-color lithograph, 30" x 22-3/8". All are on Rives BFK White and have been printed by Frank Janzen. 

✦ More than five decades of work by abstract painter Louise Fishman is presented in the new catalogue Louise Fishman (DelMonico Books/Prestel, 2016). Edited by curator Helaine Posner, the book includes essays as well as an interview by Ingrid Schaffner. Fishman was the subject of "Louise Fishman: A Retrospective" at Neuberger Museum of Art (Purchase College, State University of New York), which concluded July 31; and of "Paper Louise Tiny Fishman Rock" at Institute of Contemporary Art (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia), which concluded August 14. View inside

Catalogue Cover Art

✦ Washington, D.C.'s Hirshhorn Museum has commissioned painter Mark Bradford to create a 400-foot "cyclorama" comprising a suite of site-specific paintings that focus on women of the Civil Rights movement; the paintings will be installed in November 2017, along the circumference of the museum's third-floor Inner Circle galleries. Details about the commission are available in a July news release. The Los Angeles-based Bradford will represent the United States at this year's 57th Venice Biennale.

✦ A trailer has been created for the poetry film After (formerly known as BE•HOLD), currently in production. An exploration of poetry about the Holocaust, the Lumen Productions film is produced by Janet Kirchheimer, whom I interviewed in 2015. Janet also co-wrote the film with its director, Richard Kroehling.

After on FaceBook

✦ This year, London's popular Sculpture in the City program features work by Anthony Caro, Jaume Plensa, Mat Collishaw, William Kentridge, and more than a dozen other artists. The City of London Website provides details for each artist's work, as well as a downloadable map. (The sculptures are in 20 locations.)

✦ Take time to browse self-taught needle-felting painter Stacy Polson's amazing portfolio. Her teapots are especially wonderful.

✦ Sleepless nights were an exercise in creativity for Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel). Images of the Midnight Paintings he kept secret during his lifetime can be seen in the Guardian post "The Secret 'Midnight Paintings' of Dr. Seuss — in Pictures".

✦ Listen as Kojiro (Ko) Umezaki performs Empty Bell, which was inspired by the art and replica caves on view through September 4 in "Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road" at The Getty in Los Angeles. Also see the "More to Explore" section of a post about Umezaki's "pop-up" musical performances. At the exhibition link above, watch the videos about the creation of the replica caves and the production of an immersive 3D experience.

The Getty on FaceBook

Exhibitions Here and There

In Eastport, Maine, the Tides Institute & Museum of Art is presenting "Steven Trefonides: Secrets" through September 18. Now in his 80s, Trefonides, a representational painter and a photographer, maintains a studio in Boston. He was the subject of a feature, "The Man Who Wouldn't Stop Painting", in Boston in 2009.

Steven Trefonides on FaceBook

Tides Institute & Museum on FaceBook

In Loveland, Colorado, the Loveland Museum has mounted "Robert Mangold: Erratic Energies", on view through September 18. The exhibition includes sculptural wall pieces from Mangold's PTTSAAES series (the acronym means "Points Traveling Through Space At An Erratic Speed"), as well as a selection of work from Anemotives, Mangold's wind-driven stainless steel sculptures.

Robert Mangold at Art21, Lisson Gallery, and Pace Gallery

Loveland Museum & Gallery on FaceBook and Twitter

Earlier this week, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Ft. Worth, Texas, celebrated the opening of its commissioned, site-specific installation by Gabriel Dawe, Plexus no. 34. Comprising more than 60 miles of multi-colored thread, Plexus no. 34 is the latest in a series of "indoor rainbows" that Dawes has been creating for the last five years. It will be on view in the museum's atrium for two years, through September 2, 2018. Dawes needed approximately two weeks to install the artwork, constructing the piece in layers of color threads placed in a specific order. The museum encourages viewers to take photos and post the images with the tag #amoncartermuseum. View images.

A limited-edition artist's book, expected to be available in September, accompanies the Plexus exhibition.

Gabriel Dawe on FaceBook

Also on view, through February 7, 2017, is "Sam Francis: Prints", comprising more than 12 prints created during Francis's time at the Tamarind Institute when it was in Los Angeles (it's now in Albuquerque, New Mexico).

Amon Carter Museum on FaceBook, TwitterInstagram, and Vimeo

The Minneapolis Institute of Art continues its exhibition "Living Rooms | The American Period Rooms: Inside/Out" through October 30. The exhibition presents a series of new photographs by Anthony Marchetti that are part of MIA's Living Rooms project to reinvigorate displays of its decorative arts collections. Marchetti spent more than a year researching MIA's curatorial archives to learn how the American-period rooms were transformed from once-functional living spaces to historic interiors reassembled in the museum. Additional information about Marchetti's MIA-commissioned project is available on the photographer's Website. View images.

Etchings by Santa Clara Pueblo artist Helen Hardin (1943-1984) are on display at the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona. The exhibition, "Spirit Lines", continuing through September 5, presents for the first time all 23 first editions of Hardin's collection of copper plate etchings that she completed between 1980 and 1984. 

Helen Hardin, Messenger From the Sun, #1/50, 1980
Copper Plate Etching
Loaned by Helen Hardin #1's LLC-A Nevada Corp.

Heard Museum on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo

View a YouTube video with Hardin in which the artist discusses her abstract art. Also see a preview of Helen Hardin, Santa Clara Painter (Films Media Group), available as a DVD.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Elke Vogelsang, All Good Dogs—Silhouettes
© Elke Vogelsang
Used With Permission


It's the "Dog Days" of August, and I could not be more delighted to showcase for August's Artist Watch at Escape Into Life the marvelous photography of Elke Vogelsang.

Born in Germany to a photography- and dog-loving family, Elke, who is self-taught, is a master at capturing the antics, as well as the more serious side, of pets.

For today's Artist Watch, Elke shares with us eight images from her collection of pet portraits, her Artist Statement, and brief biographical information. Also included are links to Elke's Website and social media sites.