Saturday, September 24, 2005

New Program Takes to the Air at WPVM

A group of area poets and writers have worked this summer to put together a weekly thirty minute program that will feature poets and other writers live in the studios of WPVM, 103.5 FM. The series will also sometimes catch its quary live in the wild, at readings or other performances. Titled WordPlay, the series kicks off on Sunday October 9th at 4:00 PM. There's an exciting roster of writers already on the schedule, and more to come.

If you can't pick up The Progressive Voice of the Mountains (I can't at home), the signal also goes out via the web. The station is in the process of relocating its transmitter, so should soon have better FM coverage of the city.

There'll be more information in October's Rapid River; it'll be hitting the racks next Saturday, Oct.1st.

And more later here.

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

A Buffalo Report

Several years ago, when my friend Cass Clarke, who still lives in Buffalo, was bringing me up to date on local events and publications of note, she mentioned Bruce Jackson's Buffalo Report. "Hmm, that's interesting, " I thought, remembering Bruce as an intelligent writer with actual social concerns, but I never got in touch with him, preoccupied with projects of my own, and the intention to check out Buffalo Report fell further and further into the file of Things To Do Someday. Time went by. Last week, as I was searching for articles on Robert Creeley, the late poet, who taught for decades at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Google turned up an interview by Jackson. And it was up on

Buffalo Report is partly a collection of links to a wide range of publications Jackson feels relevant to an understanding of the world at present; the home page today includes diverse links to stories about the devastation of New Orleans (including a link to Scientific American's article from 2001 predicting just such a disaster), but there's also a link to an article on Susan Sontag's film criticism. It's a site for great connections. It's updated frequently, and worth a visit.

Jackson was a longtime friend of Creeley (he too has been in Buffalo for decades), and has several articles about and interviews with Bob in his "Articles & Links" section. If you're a Creeley reader, they're close to essential. His articles otherwise, serious (if sometimes light-hearted) engagements with subjects ranging from Alan Lomax, the great collector of American folksong, to Wolf Blitzer's voice, are posted there as well, and well worth reading.


Monday, September 05, 2005

Another return: Lee Ann Brown & Company

One of the transforming facts in my life over the last few years has been the arrival of the poet Lee Ann Brown, her husband Tony Torn, and their young daughter Miranda, on the Asheville scene. Lee Ann grew up in Charlotte, but went to Brown for university and has been active in the New York poetry scene for more than a decade since. She has her own press, Tender Buttons, and has published experimental women poets like Bernadette Mayer, Lisa Jarnot, and Laynie Browne; she's published, with other houses, two significant collections of her own, Polyverse and The Sleep That Changed Everything. Lee Ann's always liked the mountains, so when she and Tony decided to marry, they chose Hot Springs, just down the river in Madison County, as the location for the ceremony. Now they've bought a house in the Little Pine community, and plan to live there, going forward, as much as they can manage, given commitments of career, etc., otherwise. Lee Ann has brought her enthusiasm and energy to local poetry programs, like those at the Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center (see the link on the right), and has also maintained, thankfully, relationships with friends elsewhere - who sometimes come to visit. Since March, for instance, Lisa Jarnot , Vancouver poet Peter Culley, and Laynie Browne, author of the new Drawing of a Swan Before Memory, have all made their ways across the mountains to Lee Ann's and Tony's - and into Asheville. By the simple act of becoming a local presence, with all her intelligence and energy, Lee Ann has extended the horizons of those here, myself included, who are actively engaged with the work (and play) of poetry.

Lee Ann and Tony have returned to New York for awhile to pursue livelihoods in the city's universities and theaters, so we'll miss them. I'll post more another day, no doubt, about Lee Ann's work, and the work of the poets she's published, but for now I'd just like to say thanks to her for all she's done to open up the land of sky.


Updated January 11, 2007, to insert a word inadvertently omitted from a phrase.

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Returns ...

Back now for a few weeks from Litchfield Beach, a spot on the South Carolina coast between Georgetown and Myrtle, where I've vacationed, with various family and friends, for the past sixteen years - ever since Hurricane Hugo blew the house we'd formerly rented at Garden City into the tidal inlet. Some would find it tedious to return to the same territory every year, no doubt, but I enjoy watching the place change in these annual snapshots, and getting to know the country off the beach a little better with each visit. Vive la difference. Not that I don't also enjoy travel to new places ...

Good to be back in the mountains, though, as the summer winds down and the garden goes wild. My son helped me scrape the old paint off the house while he was home during the summer, and I'm at work now replacing old wood when needed and painting it, determined to finish before winter comes on.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Posts in the Permanent Collection

Two posts archived here deal head-on with Robert Creeley's work:
Something Quite Different: A Farewell for Robert Creeley (published 2006), and
Robert Creeley: Here and Now (first published in 1979); they're the best place to start if you're interested in Creeley (or at least my engagement with his work).

In addition, a search of NatureS on "Robert Creeley" will turn up many other mentions of him, often in the context of discussions of Buffalo in the late nineteen sixties and early nineteen seventies, or considerations of other Black Mountain College poets.

Jonathan Williams was one of those Black Mountain College poets. He was born in Asheville, and lived much of his life about an hour and a half west of here, at Scaly Mountain. Posts on Jonathan include this appreciation of his work published just after his death in 2008; this post previews a showing of some of his photographic work; and another post provides production notes for the Wordplay show featuring Jonathan reading his work, live and in person, at Sylva's City Lights Books in 2005.

Articles on Thomas Meyer's 2006 translation of the daode jing can be found here, here, and here. Production notes for the Wordplay show that featured Tom reading his translation, as well as a selection of earlier work, will be found here, and the notes for the program featuring his reading of Kintsugi and other poems are here.

A Note on Jack Clarke discusses Charles Olson's Buffalo friend and fellow poet, who founded the Institute of Further Studies. There's look at some of Novalis' fragments here; the great German Romantic was among authors included in the Institute's unique Curriculum of the Soul.

I've discussed Bill Knott's poetry, as well as his aversion to music, several times - here and here and here, for instance.

Visual artist Joyce Blunk is featured in an article on her piece "Crown Conch"; there's also an interview with Joyce.

Guitarist Steve Kimock, a master of musical improvisation, is the subject of several posts, including this one and this one.

Wait, there's still more! Posts, for example, on Baby Beat Thomas Rain Crowe, and his group The Boatrockers, and poets Fred Chappell and Jim Applewhite.

Other possible attractions: a post on poetry and computers; another farewell, this one to west-coast surrealist poet Ken Wainio.

Over on Eden Hall, there are older posts about happenings at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, including one on Hazel Larsen Archer and the book about her work the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center published in 2006. There are several of her photos here.



Updated 2/19/2009 to include additional posts.

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