dateline: Chicago, July 2005
Summer rolls on in Chicago, and we've got updates for your creative diversion.
focus on Canada...
[murmur] to a Scream:
|in e-lit' and new media poetry...|
A panel of local authors will discuss issues of audience, the changing literary landscape and the phenomenon of weblogs becoming books. The panel will include:
Also participating will be San Francisco-based literary critic Kevin Smokler, editor of Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times. The roundtable discussion will be moderated by Andrew Huff, editor of GapersBlock.com. A question and answer session will follow. "This conversation should raise some interesting questions about authorship and readership in the digital age, and perhaps offer some insight into where popular literature may be heading," Huff said.
At The Sulzer Public Library in Lincoln Square, Chicago, on Monday, July 25. Program runs from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.The Sulzer Regional Public Library is located at 4455 N. Lincoln Ave., just north of Montrose Avenue. This event is sponsored by Gapers' Block, a Chicago-centric news and events webzine.
source: Eric Sinclair
Blithe House Quarterly invites you to browse its Summer 2005 edition (Volume 9, Number 3), featuring new short stories by Suki Bishop, Dylan Fain, Valerie Miner, Ken Neilsen, Sima Rabinowitz, and Ronaldo Wilson. This edition is guest-edited by Ruthann Robson, with executive editor and publisher Aldo Alvarez.
Gay & Lesbian On Line praised BHQ, saying, "Setting the quality bar [for gay and lesbian writing] is the phenomenal site Blithe House Quarterly. It's awash in awards and rightly so. Of all gay and lesbian sites, Blithe House is the golden child, the one to be entered in the Literature Olympics. None of the stories needs special cosseting as our fiction. Be skeptical and go see the site!"
"Ordinary is not a mundane collection of poems but a work that seeks to find the extraordinary in the everyday. With attention to diction, line break and stanza, Carol M. Anderson investigates the vortex between fear and faith, and does so insightfully." So says Michael Bugeja, author of The Art and Craft of Poetry. Anderson has won similar praise from Tom Roby, president of the Poets' Club of Chicago, and from Nancy Pickard, author of The Whole Truth, who says, "Anderson illuminates the loves and losses of an 'Ordinary' life lived at extraordinary depth."
Celebrate the publication Of Carol Anderson's Ordinary, Saturday, July 2, from 3:00 to 6:00 PM, at Corosh, 1072 N. Milwaukee, Chicago (Wicker Park/East Uki Village). Event hosted by David Gecic, with special guests: Constance Vogel, Jared Smith, and Larry Janowski. Featured authors are followed by an open mic reading. For more info call 708-656-4900 or visit puddinheadpress.com. Copies of the book are available for $12.00 plus $1.00 shipping and handling by calling 1-888-Books-98.
source: Puddinhead Press
|in Chicago's lit/arts community...|
Tune in to Wordslingers on 88.7-FM, WLUW or catch the live stream at wluw.org from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM on 17 July, as once again Michael Watson finds himself over his head and completely outclassed between two brilliant writers (or so says Mr. Watson!). All modesty considered, the host and featured artists have some strong credentials worth crowing about. See below.
Regina Harris Baiocchi is the author of her first novel Indigo Sound as well as a book of haiku and poetry titled Urban Haiku. She is also a composer who's music has been performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She is profiled in the New Grove dictionary of American Music, From Sprituals to Symphonies and the HistoryMakers.com.
Cherie Caswell Dost is a Chicago writer, poet, and photo-essayist. She's read her work at many Chicago venues, including the Chicago Cultural Center, the Printers Row Book Fair, the Guild Complex, the TallGrass Writers Guild, and the Sulzer Regional Library. In addition her poetry appeared in the Chicago Tribune as part of a celebration of National Poetry Month. She's completed her first poetry manuscript, Uncertain Windows, and her first novel, Rachmones (Compassion.) An excerpt from her novel won the 2003 First Prize in Fiction from Outrider Press. In the Summer 2002 issue of After Hours, she and her husband Hagen Dost were selected as featured artists for their collaborative photo-poetry essays.
source: Michael Watson
For the poetry fans who like a little quirk in their day... Maybe you wish you were quirkier, or wish you weren't so quirky but can't help it. Or maybe you have no clue but want to know more. What is quirk?
Well, here's a reading for you. Some great poets reading their quirkier stuff in a wonderful gallery run by some great folks! The July Event at Woman Made Gallery is hosted by Nina Corwin, with articipating readers including Mary Blinn, Nina Corwin, Mary Hawley, Erika Mikkalo, Mike Puican and Tony Trigilio. If quirkiness is missing in your life, there is hope.
Those who cannot make it to the reading in person need not despair. "Ink & Ashes, a journal of the senses," will be webcasting the event live, and will be archiving the event on their website. Cheers for quirk, for posterity! And cheers especially to Ink & Ashes for embarking on such a technical and aesthetic venture.
The Got Quirk? reading, Sunday, July 17, 2005 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. Free, at Woman Made Gallery, 2418 W Bloomingdale, Chicago, 60647 (West Bucktown). Telephone 773-489-8900 for more info. Webcast and streaming archives will be at Ink & Ashes
sources: Lauren Mathews, Nina Corwin
On Friday, 15 July, 10:30 PM CDT, Kelly Tsai will be on "RUSSELL SIMMONS PRESENTS HBO DEF POETRY" for the second time. Def Poetry has become the de facto venue for new, original, urban spoken word on American television. And while Tsai is a recent emigré from Chicago in New York, where Def Poetry is produced, the show has regularly shown that Chicago-based artists have a place in the American ear for hip-hop and performance poetry. Tsai's presence underscores that.
Tsai is also present online these days, with her own website, yellowgurl.com. The site features a journal, performance calendar, biography, poetry, photos, an online store, contact info and links. Tsai has been online with The Book of Voices for a while, but this site complements her online presence with a stronger business presence. It is a site, after all, for a working poet. Both of her chapbooks, "Inside Outside Outside Inside" and "Thought Crimes," can be ordered via Paypal on the website store. "Thought Crimes" will officially drop July 30, however, so order soon.
In New York, Kelly Tsai will have performances at:
source: Kelly Tsai
This time of year, slam activity really heats up, as it has since the earliest years the National Poetry Slam was organized. But in the beginning and long after smaller states than Illinois were dispatching multiple teams of their own, that meant only one team, the Green Mill's, went out to compete. Today there are four Illinois slam teams. Chicago has two, the Green Mill and Mental Graffiti, while the other teams hail from Palatine and Bloomington-Normal.
To celebrate this expansion, and to stir up local interest in slam poetry in anticipation of the Nationals, and to sharpen their collective competitive skills, the teams will battle in a series of local matches. All four teams will meet at Durty Nellie's, in Palatine, IL on Monday, 25 July, for the first of these "grudge matches." Palatine's team is an all-ages team. Because the other slam venues in Chicago aren't all ages, this will be the only time all four teams will meet before the Nationals. Web readers can track more about the Palatine Slam at palatineslam.com. The remaining grudge slams will be held in Chicago. If you're into slam, all these events will be great opportunities to show your support for the poets before their final competitions at the Albuquerque National Slams in August.
Three-way grudge slams in Chicago are on 31 July at Green Mill, Broadway at Lawrence (Uptown), 7:00 PM, cover is $6, 21-and-over; and on 1 August at the Funky Buddha Lounge, Grand Avenue at Halsted Street, 8:00 PM, $5 cover, 21-and-over. Further slam info is at poetryslam.com and at slampapi.com.
- thanks to Billy Tuggle
The Molly Malone's Open Mic, with your hosts Nina Corwin and Al DeGenova, invites you to be part of one of the most highly respected open mics in the Chicago area, featuring Greg Gillam. Greg has been a poet and curator of spoken word events for nearly a decade. He has performed all over Chicago, eleven US states, London, England and Paris, France. He has one book of poetry, Yespants (Kapow Press) and is working on a Chicago guidebook for Manic D. press. He runs fengi.com a lit webzine and Chicago events calendar. He's produced events at The Double Door, Quimby's Bookstore, The HotHouse, Uncommon Ground and more.
Molly Malone's Irish Pub, 7652 Madison Street, Forest Park, IL. Phone 708-366-8073. $5 "pass the hat" donations recommended if you can, $3 if you can't. 7:00 PM open mic sign-up begins; 7:30 PM open mic; 8:45 PM featured reader; and 9:15 PM open mic continues if necessary.
Hip-hop's significance beyond pop continues to grow, particularly as writing and study develop around and within the movement. Contemporary writers and activists have been central to this. On 9 July, listen to a round table of artists, thinkers, and social organizers within hip-hop as the dialogue elevates to the next level. The presentation includes:
Moderated by Amina Norman Hawkins, Chi Hip Hop Initiative, with poetry by Kevin Coval. Saturday, 9 July, 1:00 PM at the Betty Shabazz School, 7823 South Ellis, Chicago. For Further information call 773-651-0700.
Performance poetry fans have been fond of Lisa Buscani for quite a while. And while she won't (necessarily) lay the "diva trip" on anybody, she has nevertheless earned the nickname "La Buscani" from good friends and admirers. As only the second poet to have ever won a National Slam Championship, she's entitled to a little respect and recognition.
Not content to rest on her laurels, however, Buscani is embarking on a series of shows around Chicago in late summer. She'll be a lot more visible on stage. She's going back into Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind for July and August, with shows on Friday and Saturday at 11:30 PM, and Sundays at 7:00 PM at the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland (Andersonville), Chicago.
She's also set for a gig on Thursday, 28 July at 8:00 PM at the Ice House, 526 N. Ashland, near Ashland and Grand. Finally, she's part of a big benefit show for the National Organization for Women (NOW) at the Mental Graffitti show at 8:00 PM on Monday, 15 August, at The Funky Buddha Lounge, near Halsted and Grand. That show will feature cool, smart women from all over the spoken word world, gathering to support the organization that supports them.
Slam, hip-hop, and other spoken word genres showcased at Mental Graffiti in July.
18 July: Daniel Ferri & Erick Zork
A double-bill... Daniel Ferri is one of the most legendary Chicago poets. He was on the "SlamNation" documentry and won the National Slam as part of the Green Mill team back in the day. He has also been a regular commentator on public radio, heard across the USA. His writing inspires and peels away pretense to expose human frailty and pinpoint our most charming moments with thick description and humor. Erick Zork hails from New York City. Zork is hilarious and also a great observational poet, sometimes characterized as, "a big ol' nerd with a heart of gold," according to MC Joel Chmara.
11 July: Tim Cook
Tim has been on a 3-month tour and made the Green Mill slam team, and has been writing aggressively of late. There should be some considerable new pieces to hear from him at his feature. Tim Stafford and Joel Chmara will team up to host together for the 1st time.
Show starts at 8:00 PM, at the Funky Buddha Lounge, 728 W Grand Avenue, Chicago (River West district). This is a 21-and-over venue; please bring proof of age. $5 cover charge.
Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval perform new work at The Apollo Theater Studio, 9 July, with a 10:30 PM show. The poets open the show for the dark and biting comedy group Triplette. The theater is at 2540 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago (DePaul neighborhood). Tickets are $10 for general admission, $7 for students. Reservations can be made by calling 773-935-6100.
On Friday, 8 July at 10:30 PM in Chicago, and 11:30 PM in New York, Coval is on the fifth season of the HBO Def Poetry Jam.
Not long ago, this website chronicled the release of Billy Lombardo's Logic of a Rose, a collection of stories -- fictionalized memoirs, in many ways -- of coming of age in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood in the 1970s. The warm-up for the book promised much, and happily the book delivered. It's a warm, subtle, and conscious observation of the social milieus that make up a neighborhood, and how that neighborhood invests its children with experiences and values for a lifetime.
David Schmittgens reviewed the book on Sunday, 3 July in the Chicago Tribune, saying, "Billy Lombardo's The Logic of a Rose: Chicago Stories ... shows that the Chicago literary tradition continues to grow in fruitful new directions. Few Chicago neighborhoods evoke the sort of visceral reaction Bridgeport receives. Mythic home of Chicago's political powers-that-be, historically Bridgeport represents perhaps the best and worst of Chicago. Lombardo... has an intimate knowledge of the neighborhood and an artist's concern for honesty over what can become tired Chicago clichés."
This site typically covers poetry, but good writing is good writing. The book is a pleasure to read. And the author, with his longstanding connection with performance poetry in Chicago, is a pleasure to hear. When an experienced poet turns to novel-sized material like The Logic of a Rose, you should expect good things and, most of all, listen.
Billy Lombardo reads from his new book The Logic of a Rose: Chicago Stories at the Forest Park Public Library, 9 July 2005, 7453 W. Madison, Forest Park. Program runs from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Click to the Library website or phone 709-366-7171 for more information.
The affable bunch of writer-performers known as the PolyRhythmic Collective are on the move around Chicago in July, conducting their "Invasion Month" at the No Exit Café on Wednesdays, plus releasing some new hip-hop with mainstay PolyRhythmic and Mental Graffiti artist Billy Tuggle, AKA "Karmaquarius." His new Syllaballistics 101 mixtape is available now.
Through 27 July at Heartland Café: PolyRhythmic invades the weekly In One Ear series, hosted by Peter Wolf and Q. It's an all ages review, beginning at 10:00 PM. $3 cover. Heartland Café is in Rogers Park, Chicago, immediately west of the Morse el stop, CTA Red Line. Artists on deck for July include:
28 July at Tower Records & Video: A live, free in-store performance as a part of HipHop Invasion. Also featuring P.A.C.I.F.I.C.S., Stephstaa, and Pugslee Atomz. At Tower's Lincoln Park store, 2301 N Clark Street.
Coming in late July/early August: The Illinois Grudge Slam Series, featureing teams from Chicago-Green Mill, Chicago-Mental Graffiti, Palatine, and Bloomington-Normal.
Click to polyrhythymic.org for more info. Weekly readings with featured artists and open mics are at Mental Graffiti, Mondays, at the Funky Buddha Lounge, 728 Grand Avenue, Chicago (River West), and with PolyRhythimic's Safe Smiles series, Tuesdays, after 10:00 PM at the Trace, 3715 Clark Street (Wrigleyville), Chicago.
July at Danny's features poetry by Jennifer Walshe, Parker Smathers and Industry of the Ordinary.
Industry of the Ordinary are Adam Brooks and Mathew Wilson. Mathew Wilson is an artist and educator currently living in Chicago. Adam Brooks is an artist, curator, and educator currently living in Chicago. Through sculpture, text, photography, video, sound and performance, Industry of the Ordinary are dedicated to an exploration and celebration of the customary, the everyday, and the usual. Their emphasis is on challenging pejorative notions of the ordinary and, in doing so, moving beyond the quotidian. Industry of the Ordinary was assisted in creating "The Beautiful Game" by the singers Mark Cepon and Amanda Welsh.
Parker Smathers is the author and illustrator Green Poems, a chapbook. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly and Iowa Review.
Composer and vocalist Jennifer Walshe was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1974. She studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music, Glasgow, and Northwestern University, Chicago, where she received her doctorate in 2002. Her works have been performed throughout Europe, the U.S. and Canada by ensembles including ensemble récherche, Ensemble Resonanz, Apartment House, ensemble Intégrales, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, CrashEnsemble, Champ d'Action, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Bozzini Quartet and Q-02. In 2003-2004 Jennifer was a fellow of Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart; during 2004-2005 she is living in Berlin as a guest of the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm. Jennifer Walshe's performance is made possible by the support of Culture Ireland.
Rich O'Russa is the author of Elastic Latitudes (Situations, 1999) and Object Lesson (with poet Joe Elliot, Situations, 2001). He was the art editor for (the invisible city), an anthology of art and poetry inspired by Italo Calvino (Erato Press, 2001). He runs a collaborative press, Time Release, whose publications include Ruffled Rhumba Pants (with poet John Larson), Eight Halvah Cows (with Larson), and others. His collaboration with poet Shannon Ketch, 49 City Sonnets, is forthcoming this summer from Situations.
Looking ahead, Danny's Series will return for the series' fourth birthday party on August 24th.
The Danny’s Tavern Reading Series (yes, with air conditioning) is on a special night this month, Tuesday 28 July 5, at 7:30 PM (The tavern is a "21 and over" venue, so please bring ID.) Danny’s Tavern is located at 1951 W. Dickens (in the Bucktown neighborhood, just south of the intersection of Armitage and Damen). Phone 773-489-6457.
Think you know what Chicago was like in the 1920's? Chances are you don't know the half of it. Ira Glass talks with writer and historian Michael Lesy about 1920’s Chicago. Gangsters weren't just murdering gangsters. Civilians were killing civilians in record numbers, too. Homicidal dramas appeared on the lurid front pages of the city's warring newspapers, only intensifying the public’s obsession.
Lesy will tell some of the stories that were the 1920's equivalent of the O. J. or Scott Peterson trials—local stories of folly and cruelty that fascinated our city for months. He'll also show some of the photos that illustrated these stories in newspapers.
Saturday, July 23, 2005 at 7:30 PM, at the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 East Randolph Drive, in Millennium Park, Chicago. Tickets can be ordered online through the Chicago Public Radio website. Tickets are $30 ($25 for Chicago Public Radio members). Tickets are also available at the Harris Theater box office at 312-334-7777 or at the door the night of the event.
source: Chicago Public Radio
On 14 June, Dave Awl appeared on the Eight Forty-Eight program on behalf of the Neo-Futurists and their new book, 200 More Neofuturist Plays. If you're interested in hearing Dave or want to know more about the book, click to the Eight Forty-Eight archive.
Track Chicago's weekly LGBT/Q coffeehouse for the latest in queer music and spoken word. This months' beat for Homolatté includes:
July 6th: Kevin Newhall (spoken word) / Brian W Spencer
July 13th: Selly Thiam / music by Edie Carey
July 20th: Jenny Mutation & Liberté Unlocked / Sue Jeffers
July 27th: Outmusic Outloud open-mic hosted by Lars Von Keitz
Homolatté queer words and music, Wednesday evenings at 7:30 PM at Marrakech Expresso, 4747 N Damen Avenue (just south of Lawrence Avenue, Ravenswood neighborhood), Chicago. Phone 773-271-4541. Admission is free, though the host, Scott Free, invites guests to donate $5; all collections go the featured artists and only the artists. Full program listing is available at homolatte.com.
Tony Trigilio rounded off June for the Café. In July, there are Dina Stengel (July 5), Emily Rose (July 19), and Wayne Allen Jones (July 26) among others. Situated auspiciously on the early Tuesday evening slot once occupied by the old Café Aloha Circus, this venue continues the social and literary mix well-known on Chicago's North Side.
in the audio arts...
As part of the City of Chicago's Lurie Garden Celebration, ESS is sponsoring two one-morning media installations by two Chicago artists:
Saturday July 9, 2005
6:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Sunday July 10, 2005
6:30 AM - 10:30 AM
These installations will be in place at the southeast corner of the Garden, at Monroe and Columbus, and will occupy the stairway to the parking garage at that corner and the pedestrian walkway connected to it. Responding to the theme "Beneath The Lurie Garden", Booth and Ischar take two distinctly different approaches to tracing the subterranean associations of the garden, its site, and its use by the public.
Mark Booth is a language artist who works in sound, writing, and visual art in his investigations into the malleability and machinations of text. Doug Ishar is an installation artist who uses sound and video to reconfigure familiar places and common experiences into heightened media environments.
Another few links that should give you something fresh to ponder...
The WordLounge, run by Marnie Woodrow and Eliza Clark in Toronto, links writers with people who can give them considered response and criticism. The site's also good for writing techniques and book recommendations... The blog for the Ottawa Poetry Prize is always open, too... Or, while we're still up north, a new web lit' collaboration by Ted Warnell and Ross Priddle. Click it carefully: It looks apocryphal, but it's not... And there's Bent Tail, the new spoken word and music duo of Heather Haley and Julie Vik. MP3s are there... And what kind of dog does Bob Holman walk, really?
Rossbin Records is offering a new CD, called Grammar by the Punctual Trio (Carlos Zingaro, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Lou Mallozzi). You should recognize those names as big in audio arts... Ubu Web, the mother of all audio sites for the intelligentsia, is down for summer and migrating to a new server, but will be back in fall. Why not bookmark it now? ... Click to Laura E. J. Moran's audio poetry disc on CD Baby for previews and a possible purchase from a top spoken word artist.
And for those seeking what's up in Chicago, New York and elsewhere, two recommendations: In the Windy City, see Greg Gillam's Fengi.com. In New York and about a dozen other places, check out Jackie Sheeler's Poetz.com. Both cover more than the usual share of live arts and literary goings-on. Recommended!
Thanks for taking a moment to read our update, and thanks also to those who keep it well-fed with news, announcements, leads, comments, and so forth.
- Kurt Heintz, founder
e-poets network, Chicago
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