Saturday, October 31, 2009

At last, something to do for Halloween!

So many options for Halloween here in the Paris of the South -- dinners, parties, dances -- I'm in a quandary. It used to be so simple: there was the Freakers Ball, a Halloween party we counter-culture types threw for ourselves at various spots around the city, after it became too large to fit in anyone's home. Costumes, rock 'n' roll, lots of dancing ... that kind of party.

But that was then. By the late 80s, there were so many of us, and we were so various, and in various conditions of life (e.g. kids! wow!), that no one event could accommodate us all. And it's been that way since. Could there ever be something that would bring us all together again?

I think I've found it! Let's party with these folks:

Pastor Marc Grizzard claims the King James version of the Bible is the only true word of God, and that all other versions are "satanic" and "perversions" of God's word.

On Halloween night, Grizzard and the 14 members of the Amazing Grace Baptist Church will set fire to other versions of the scripture, as well as music and books by Christian authors.

“We are burning books that we believe to be Satanic,” Pastor Grizzard said.

“I believe the King James version is God’s preserved, inspired, inerrant, infallible word of God… for English-speaking people."

All other religious or Christian texts are sacreligious, the pastor insists. The list of books being burned will include works written by "a lot of different authors who we consider heretics, such as Billy Graham, Rick Warren… the list goes on and on,” Pastor Grizzard said.

Also on the pastor's list of heretical authors — Mother Teresa, according to a full list that was previously available at the Amazing Grace Baptist Church's Web site. The Church's Web site — which is no longer available — calls the event 'Burning Perversions of God's Word,' and urges parishioners to "come celebrate Halloween by burning Satan's bibles."
Yeah, that sounds like great fun! And it's just up the road in Canton!

Gary Farber over at Amygdala has all the details, and managed to capture some of the now-missing website, so do check his post out.

See you there! And, er, you might not want to wear that cool Devil costume. Really.


( A tip o' the hat to Political Animal Steve Benen)

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cool Radio

Not one but two programs airing tonight, one on AshevilleFM, the other on WCQS, will repay your attention, dear Reader - especially if you're interested in photography and/or music as those two arts are practiced in the great small city of Asheville, NC, USA, third planet from the Sun.

At 6:00PM, photographers Rob Amberg and Tim Barnwell sit down for an interview with David Hurand, long-time host of WCQS' "Conversations". Both these fine lens masters actually focus (if you will) their work beyond the city, in the rural countryside and within the small communities that have persisted there, despite all the pressures otherwise, for many decades, in some cases since the mountains were first settled. Both have new books coming out. It should be a fascinating conversation.

At 8:00, AshevilleFM's Jonathan Price welcomes the world-class musicians of Free Planet Radio to his program "Tenor to Tabla". I had the pleasure of recording the session with Free Planet, so I know that he'll be featuring the rehearsal of two songs and his own insightful interview. Who knows, though, what else Jonathan will throw into the mix? He promises "plenty of non-Western nuggets from my own collection", so it's bound to be worth a listen.

Not sure how long the Amberg/Barnwell show will be archived, and AshevilleFM's archive is not yet up (though I'll try to make sure this one gets uploaded somewhere as soon as possible), so you might just need to tune in, either on the FM dial (WCQS still has a terrestrial signal, at 88.1, but also provides an internet stream), or on your trusty computer (that's the high-bandwidth stream; if you need low-bandwidth, click here).


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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CA Conrad visits UNCA

Tomorrow. He'll be reading in the Glasshouse, in Ramsey Library, building #4 on the linked map, at 7:30, and says he's bringing advance copies of his new book, Advanced Elvis Course. He's a poet of real verve and spirit, and has a genuine ear for measure underneath it all. Definitely worth catching, even on a Wednesday night.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New old shows

Now up on the Wordplay Archive at ibiblio, shows from the fall of 2007 (all links in the show dates are to the .mp3 audio files):

September 2, 2007 featured Thomas Rain Crowe, and includes recordings of Crowe with his band, The Boatrockers.

September 9, 2007 featured poet Joanna Cooper.

September 16, 2007 featured a reading by Glenis Redmond at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center.

September 23, 2007 brought Steve Godwin into the studio, and Steve, Sebastian and I talked over poems we enjoyed, from recent work by Van Jordan (Sebastian) to an HD piece from 1921 (me). Music included tracks from Neil Young and Steve Kimock.

September 30, 2007 highlighted the work of poet Audrey Hope Rinehart.

October 21, 2007 found then-Marshall poet Rose McLarney in the studio for her annual* near-birthday reading of new work.

Enjoy, and thanks for listening.

*which means she'll soon be back.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

A view of Re-Viewing

Brian Lampkin, one of the presenters at this weekend's conference, already has a report up on Facebook that presents his view of the proceedings:

Conferences are like most poetry readings: all the good stuff happens outside the confines of the event itself, but wouldn't happen without the event itself. And like really good poetry readings, it wasn't the case this weekend. Further, a BMC conference could easily fall into the idealized nostalgia of confirmed history, but that also was, largely, avoided. In fact, the idealization (the idol-ization?) of BMC was often the the topic within the stated topic.
There's much more, so if you're on Facebook, do check it out.

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Re-Viewing the schedule

Always looking to save you a click! Here's the schedule for Re-Viewing Black Mountain College, underway at UNCA (and other locations, including the old Black Mountain College campus) for the next three days:

Re-Viewing Black Mountain College

Event Schedule - Revised 10/5/09
All presentations except the Friday night reception and the Sunday afternoon BMC tour will take place at UNC Asheville

Admission: $10 per day or $15 for the weekend
UNCA faculty, staff + students free

LOCATION: Highsmith Room 224 Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center – 16 years old and growing

A Discussion on the Activity of BMC Museum + Arts Center

Session Chair: Brian Butler

Connie Bostic (BMCM + AC)

Alice Sebrell (BMCM + AC)

Helen Wykle (UNC-Asheville)

FRIDAY SESSION 2 3:30-4:45 LOCATION: Highsmith Room 224 Educational Legacy

Session Chair: Katie Lee

The Influence of Black Mountain College on Post-Studio Fine Art Programs
Jennifer Rissler (San Francisco Art Institute)
The Influence of Black Mountain College on the China Central Academy of Art Summer Studio Program: Studio, Process and the Context of Location
Stephen Lane (Columbia University and the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing)

A Comparison of BMC and the European Graduate School in Switzerland (Artists in Community)
Sally Atkins (Appalachian State University)

LOCATION: Highsmith Room 223 Women of BMC
Session Chair: Connie Bostic

Hazel Larsen Archer: “Nothing was ever the same again”
Ann Dunn (UNC-Asheville) The Women of Black Mountain College: Searching for Lost Recognition
Melanie Heindl

The Wives of Black Mountain College
Marianne Woods (University of Texas, Permian Basin)

LOCATION: Highsmith Room 221/222 Chance Operations I

Session Chair: Brenda Coates
How to Make an Artist: The Teaching of Josef Albers and Ray Johnson’s Work
Julie Thomson (Coordinator of Public Programs, Whitney Museum of American Art)
Hermeneutic Ontology and the Black Mountain Poets
Nick Boone (Harding University)
Black Mountain College - An Oxford Education?
Siu Challons Lipton (Queens University)

FRIDAY SESSION 3 6:30-9:00
LOCATION: Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center 56 Broadway Asheville, NC 28801

Reception at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

6:30 - 8:00 Performance
Motion Sculpture Movement Installation: Attack Of The Killer Stripey Tubes!!!
Claire Elizabeth Barratt (Cilla Vee Life Arts)
8:00 - 8:20 Reading
Readings from Black Mountain Days
Michael Rumaker, BMC alumnus

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10 SATURDAY SESSION ONE 9:00-10:15 LOCATION: Highsmith Room 224 Chance Operations II
Session Chair: Sebastian Matthews

Decoding Black Mountain
Kate Dempsey

From BMC to NYC: A Novice Curator’s Notes on Ray Johnson’s Early Years (and the Influence of Place on His Creative Process)
Sebastian Matthews (BMC Museum + Arts Center)
Teaching Creative Writing and Literature After Olson
Jonas Williams (SUNY, Albany)
LOCATION: Highsmith Room 223 Avant-Garde BMC
Session Chair: Andrea Liu

Lou Harrison: Stranger in a Strange Land
Seamus McNerney (UNC-Asheville)
Black Mountain College and the Paradox of the Avant-Garde
Willoughby Parker (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) Black Mountain College: America’s Last Avant-Garde?
Kenneth Surin (Duke)

LOCATION: Highsmith Room 221/222 Chance Operations III
BMC and Designing Higher Education in the Arts
Frank Hursh (BMC Alumnus, La Universidad de las Artes Mexico, A.C., Querétaro, Qro. MEXICO)

LOCATION: Highsmith Room 221/222
Queer BMC
Session Chair: Jennifer Sorkin

(Lake) Eden and its Serpents: Martin Duberman's Black Mountain and Queer Historiography and Pedagogy
Jason Ezell (Lincoln Memorial University)

Beyond the New York Intellectual: Jewish Refugees and Homosexuals at Black Mountain College, N.C.
Wendy Fergusson (Director, Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery)
"Like a Girl:" Gendered Sexual Difference at Black Mountain College and the Development of Postmodernism
Jonathan Katz (SUNY Buffalo)

LOCATION: Highsmith Room 224 Query and Pursuit in Artistic Practice and Erudition

Session Chair: Valerie George

Artist’s Panel

Jeremiah Barber (Artist, Chicago)

Terry Berlier (Artist, Stanford)

Erica Gangsei (Artist, San Francisco)

Christy Gast (Artist, Miami)

Valerie George (Artist, University of West Florida)
LOCATION: Highsmith Grotto Performance

Poet’s Panel/Lucipo Poetics Group

Session Chair: Sebastian Matthews

Jeff Davis (Poet, Scholar)

Joseph Donahue (Duke)

Thomas Meyer (The Jargon Society)

David Need (Duke)

Ted Pope (Poet)

LUNCH BREAK 11:45-1:15
LOCATION: Highsmith Room 221/222 Josef Albers

Session Chair: Kate Dempsey
Connecting the Dots: Color Theory and the Black Mountain College Legacy
Marcia R. Cohen (SCAD)
What Josef Albers Taught at Black Mountain College, and What Black Mountain College Taught Albers
Frederick A. Horowitz (Washtenaw College)
Aesthetic Pragmatism: Josef Albers’ Pedagogical Innovations at Black Mountain College
Mindy Tan (Purdue)
LOCATION: Highsmith Room 224 Black Mountain Poets

Session Chair: Nicholas Boone

Robert Creeley’s Buffalo
David Landrey (Buffalo State College)
Brian Lampkin (East Carolina University)
Charles Olson and the Ethics of Parataxis
Douglas Duhaime (University of Wisconsin)
LOCATION: Highsmith Grotto Performance/Demonstration
Awakening the Creative Imagination: How Art, Science, and Action Converge on Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion Map
Mark Hanf & Marnie Muller

LOCATION: Highsmith Room 224 M.C. Richards

Session Chair: Mary Emma Harris

The Ruse of Medusa: Black Mountain College and the French Obsession
Louly Konz (Warren Wilson College)
A Woman Alone: Examining M.C. Richards’ Legacy
Jenni Sorkin (Yale)
Reflections on the Influence of M.C. Richards’ Pottery, Poetry and Philosophy on Contemporary Art and Craft Education
Courtney Lee Weida (Adelphi University)
LOCATION: Highsmith Room 221/222 BMC's Legacy
Session Chair: Grace Campbell

Aftereffects: Buckminster Fuller and the Legacy of Black Mountain College
Eva Diaz (Pratt Institute)
I’m…Nix That….WE'RE Starting a College
Richard Liston (Sphere College)
“Alone Together”: On Merce Cunningham and the Question of Black Mountain College’s Artistic Legacy
Kate Markoski (Johns Hopkins)
LOCATION: Highsmith Grotto John Cage
Session Chair: Natalie Farr

Embodying the Collective: Theatre Piece No. 1 and the Estheticization of Experience
Anastasia Rygle
Theatre Piece Number 2: The Unimpededness of Cage’s Theater Piece Number 1 and the Interpenetration of Black Mountain College
Philip Schuessler (Stony Brook) Composing by Chance: The Asian Factor in John Cage’s Aesthetics
Holly E. Martin (Appalachian State University)
LOCATION: Highsmith Room 224 BMC and Interdisciplinarity

Session Chair: Stephen Lane
Rauschenberg, Kline and Wolpe: Letters to Jack Tworkov, Black Mountain College and Beyond
Jason Andrew (Archivist and Curator, Estate of Jack Tworkov)

Restraining Subjectivity at Black Mountain College: Charles Olson and Cy Twombly’s Ecology of writing and Painting
Joshua S. Hoeynck (Washington University, St. Louis)
Interdisciplinarity: Black Mountain College’s Anomaly
Andrea Liu (Critic, NY)

LOCATION: Highsmith Room 221/222 Form and Content

Session Chair: Cynthia Canejo

Max Dehn: An Artist among Mathematicians and a Mathematician among Artists
David Peifer (UNC-Asheville)
Black Mountain, Modernism and Progressive Form
Patrick McHenry (University of Florida)
Black Mountain College: Form as the Creator of Content
Mary Emma Harris (Scholar, NY)
LOCATION: Highsmith Grotto Performance
The Polygons: a Performance
Vincent Wrenn (Artist, Asheville)
5:30-6:45 LOCATION: Highsmith Pinnacle
Reception Pieces of Random Light, an Interactive Collage
Caprice Hamlin-Krout (Artist, Asheville)

LOCATION: Highsmith Alumni Hall Welcome

Connie Bostic (Board Chair, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center)

Jane Fernandes (Provost, UNC-Asheville)
Keynote Address

Dorothea Rockburne:"All of Nature is Written in Numbers" -Max Dehn

LOCATION: Highsmith Room 224 John Dewey

Session Chair: Brian Butler

'Education by Association': Dewey on Black Mountain College
Michael Kelly (UNC-Charlotte)
The Prospect of an Ideal Liberal Arts College Curriculum: Reconstructing the Dewey-Hutchins Debate
Shane Ralston (Penn State University, Hazleton)
How was ‘creativity’ defined at Black Mountain College?
Seymour Simmons (Winthrop University)

LOCATION: Highsmith Room 221/222 Political BMC

Session Chair: Jason Andrew
Between Realism and Abstraction: Rethinking the Shahn/Motherwell Debate
Ken Betsalel (UNC-Asheville)
“Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement,” John Chamberlain’s “American Tableau, 1984”and the Reagan War Machine”
Thomas M. Murphy (Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)
Charles Olson’s Administrative Poetics: From the Office of War Information to Black Mountain College
Lisa Siraganian (Southern Methodist)
LOCATION: Owen TBA Workshop (From 9:00 to 12:00) Centering the Erotic Play of Paradox: Embodying the Legacy of M.C. Richards Through “Clay Color and Word”
Katherine McIver (Artist, Asheville)

LOCATION: Highsmith Room 221/222 Community

Session Chair: Louly Konz
The Role of the Black Mountain Review in Creating a Poetic Community
Rachel Stella (Critic, Paris)
Trains and Thinking: Evidence of a Collective Moment
Natalie M. Farr (College of Santa Fe)
Creating a Creative Community
Elizabeth Ross (Central Piedmont Community College)
LOCATION: Highsmith Room 224 Architecture and BMC
Session Chair: Douglas Duhaime

The Weaver and the Architect: Reconstructing the Modern Shelter
Kirsten Dahlquist (University of South Florida)
From Bauhaus to Black Mountain: constructus interruptus
John McClain (UNC-Asheville)

Tour of Black Mountain College’s Lake Eden Campus
Connie Bostic (BMCM + AC)
Alice Sebrell (BMCM + AC)

With help from BMC Alumnus
Michael Rumaker

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Today: Re-Viewing Black Mountain College

So much on offer here; check the schedule.

I'll be reading Saturday morning at 10:30 at The Grotto, which is somewhere in the Highsmith Center; joining me to read and talk about the Black Mountain College poets will be David Need, Ted Pope, and Thomas Meyer ... and perhaps a surprise guest. We'll see.

Do catch some of the festivities if you're in the neighborhood.

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Cathy Smith Bowers: now up on the Wordplay Archive ...

One of the pleasures of putting Wordplay together these last four years has been that I've gotten to know lots of poets whose work I wasn't familiar with. There are, what, ten thousand active poets in the US these days? And more publications, both paper and digital, than ever. It's not difficult to miss someone, even a poet who's doing really remarkable work. And it's always a treat to come across a poet whose work makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up in delight and surprise.

One of the poets I'm now happy to have discovered in this sense is Cathy Smith Bowers. She lives not too far from Asheville, in the town of Tryon, but she's taught for many years at Queens College in Charlotte, and so has been more active as a poet in that city than up here in the hills. Happily, for the last several years she's also taught in the Great Smokies Writing Program, and it was there, I believe, that Stephanie Biziewski, one of the original Wordplay team, came across her, and had her vision of the world deepened. Stephanie invited her to do a show in the very first season of Wordplay, on November 13, 2005; Gillian Coats and Lori Horvitz engineered and produced. A little over a year later, when Sebastian Matthews, Laura Hope-Gill and I were co-hosting the show, we invited her on again, and she visited the studio on January 28, 2007. Both shows are now up on the Wordplay archive.

A couple of weeks ago, in honor of the publication of her new book The Candle I Hold Up to See You and her reading the same day at Malaprops, I took those two shows, added some music Cathy likes, and made a third show out of the mix. It needs a little editing (the station stream was doing some strange things that Sunday), but will be going up soon, as well.

In the meantime, enjoy these classics from the early years of Wordplay, and the work of Cathy Smith Bowers.

Photo: One of my shots of Cathy Smith Bowers reading at Malaprops, September 20, 2009.

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