dateline: Chicago, September 2005
Diverse lit'/arts affairs for this month's Newswire...
hurricane Katrina aftermath:
Communications to Perkins and his family has been difficult, owing to so much telephone network being wiped out by Katrina. However, we do know that Perkins, his wife, and children are all safe and well, having left before the storm hit. Perkins' home was flooded and will have to be rebuilt from the ground up. His situation is shared with all kinds of citizens along the Gulf of Mexico: scattered, away from their homes, with little or nothing left to show for their lives but their lives.
Chuck, if you're out there and can see this page, know this: An awful lot of friends are with you in spirit. We're behind you all the way, and are thankful you and your family are alright.
"Illume: An Alchemy of Text and Image" is set for Saturday, 17 September, beginning at 11:30 AM at the Gene Gene Siskel Film Center, on north State Street, in Chicago's Loop. The information on the Illume program is available by clicking here.
As reported last month, Illume promises to restore the open critical dialogue once present around poetry video in Chicago, by instigating a dialogue with the audience. Illume's contributing artists, while mostly localized to Chicago, are diverse enough to make as much of a statement about the artform as they would in their own behalf.
Illume opens in Chicago shortly after two critically sympathetic ventures, the EKG solo performance revue curated by Anida Esguerra and Robert Karimi, and the recent release of the anthology Poetic Voices Without Borders (Gival Press) edited by Robert L. Giron, featured at a reading on 31 August at Women & Children First Books. All these efforts show a tendency away from cult of personality and toward collective culture without a dependence upon a rigid community. The diversity of creative expression and collective magnanimity of the artists draw the audience into the work. So the quality of the ensemble and their generally selfless disposition sharpens the contributing artists' statements.
Whether this is a short-term coincidence or the beginning of a longer-term trend remains to be seen. But it does, in many ways, feel like a breath of fresh air, and could portend the poetry-going public's need to move on from single-personality-driven poetry readings, revues, and series.
Just to get the flavor of the times, we thought we'd inquire among the e-poets network group members about their recent readings. The selection criteria and their responses follow in a special section we call the Nightstand Short List. Why not give it a click?
|calls for collaboration...|
- artists raise "Chicago Cultural Plan" from dead to honor artist
Chicago’s own internationally known Wobbley (IWW) poet, labor movement columnist, visual artist, political activist, a founding member of MARCH, Movimiento Artístico Chicano and philosopher – Carlos Cortez - passed away this year. His art and activism cut across cultural barriers. The Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center, UM-CAC, will celebrate his life at its T-shirt Art Harvest Festival, 16 through 18 September.
The public is invited to add their Carlos related items to an ofrenda, a memorial alter, in remembrance of Carlos Cortez. Items may be dropped off before or placed during the exhibit. At the opening potluck dinner on Friday (9/16) 6-10pm, those who knew Carlos will be invited to remember him for all to share his creative spirit. Artists will be invited to sell their art for free all weekend.
The 16th annual T-shirt Art Harvest Fest theme, "Don’t Mourn – Organize," – reflects themes in the art and life of Carlos Cortez. He is one of UM-CAC’s founders and a longtime Board Member. Artists are invited to display art on t-shirts with any theme but all other art submitted must reflect the artist’s concept of "Don’t Mourn – Organize." Fitting this theme, UM-CAC will announce a "T-shirt Art Flyer Exhibit" drive to allow artists to sell their art freely along the lakefront public parks. This is proposed as an alternative to costly street and art fairs that help too few emerging artists. This Carlos Cortez inspired idea on how to improve Chicago’s cultural environment is our hundred-and-forth suggestion to be added to Mayor Washington’s "Chicago Cultural Plan".
The "Art of the T-shirt" is a grass-roots art adventure. See hand-painted T’s (not sold) donated by artists over 15 years of exhibits mixed with many artists’ prints on T’s for sale at affordable prices from 13 years of our Screen Print Workshop for Artists. Art by Carlos Cortez will be available on T-shirts. Eat a free potluck dinner at the Friday (9/16) night opening. Come and celebrate the life of Carlos Cortez. Artists organize! Let’s claim the lakefront for creativity!
Everyone who knew Carlos Cortez is invited to add a Carlos related item to our alter by dropping your item off at the American Indian Center or by attending the Opening Friday, 16 September from 6:00 to 10:00 PM at 1630 W. Wilson , at the American Indian Center. For more info, contact Chris Drew, (day) 773-561-7676 or (evening) 773-973-1863, or e-mail.
[source: Chris Drew]
ARTISTSALON is once again producing an event at the downtown Palace Theatre, located on historic Broadway St. in Los Angeles, on March 9,10, and 11, 2006. This specific event deals with many concrete issues of our world today and is created from the objectives that inspire ONE.org. Through these ongoing efforts of ONE.org and ArtistSalon, discussion hope to further discussion about these issues via the arts in all creative communities.
September event details:
Friday, September 9, 2005
Spring Arts Tower, Mezzanine
453 S. Spring St.; L.A., CA 90013-2001
6pm-7pm Open mixer/discussion
7pm-8pm ONE.org Programmers Presentation and Q&A.
Capacity is 100 - rsvp recommended. ONE_rsvp@ArtistSalon.com
We'd love to tell you about the current campaign to coalesce the southern California creative communities to explore and further the 8 goals of the Millennium Project.
As you may know, these goals are definitely achievable and among the most powerful tools to evolve peaceful and fulfilled existence for people on this planet. ONE.org embraces these goals as the core of its mission. ArtistSalon commits to furthering these significant and powerful goals in the Los Angeles area by working together with Arts Administrators, Creators, and Volunteers to develop events and programming that embrace and expound upon this core mission, and to provide support for those endeavors.
We are hosting an Arts Programmer and Volunteer Evening on Friday, September 9, 2005 at Spring Arts Tower in downtown Los Angeles ( Pershing Square subway! ) to share with our peers - knowledge, awareness, and opportunity. Further, we seek to provide a communications channel between any arts person here in the Southland and the One.org Team to maximize resources, audiences, information and access.
We are deeply honored to participate in this exciting opportunity and, by attending on Sept. 9, you might determine if it is interesting to become involved in this burgeoning arts community focus to help shift the human paradigm a bit closer to caring about all humans.
additional details about the March 2006 event:
This event has something for everyone:
Source: Jason Waters, Executive Director, ArtistSalon, Spring Arts Tower, 453 South Spring Street, Lounge 441, Los Angeles, CA 90013-2001. Phone 213-926-4437.
|in e-lit' and new media poetry...|
Word For/Word #8 is online at wordforword.info. This crisp journal features poetics, prose, visuals, and poetry by: William Allegrezza, Daniel Borzutzky, Julia Cohen, Steve Dalachinsky, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, John Mercuri Dooley, Estela Eaton, Steve Finbow, Sandy Florian, Adam Golaski, Anne Gorrick, Nicholas Grider, Kenneth E. Harrison, Jr., Dustin Hellberg, Erika Howsare, David Laskowski, Jon Leon, Brian Lucas, J. Michael Martinez, Paul McCormick, Zachary Schomburg, Thomas Lowe Taylor, Tony Tost, Gautam Verma, Petra Backonja, John M. Bennett, Alan Halsey, Carol Stetser, Sam Truitt, Irving Weiss, Brian Seabolt, and Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino.
Issue #8 also features reviews of Jon Thompson's The Book of the Floating World, Sandra Miller's Oriflamme, Cole Swensen's Goest, and Francisco Aragon's Puerta Del Sol.
[source: Jonathan Minton]
|in Chicago's lit/arts community...|
Zoning issues and the City of Chicago have gotten the best of one venue that's been on our radar for a while. 3030 has hosted more than its share of articulate literary events, with an ample side serving of new music and audio art. On 17 September, 3030 closes its doors after a final program. The Elastic Arts Foundation issued the statement that follows:
"Located in a renovated Pentacostal church, 3030 has presented over 200 live music shows, multi-disciplinary performances, theater pieces, art exhibitions, and film screenings. For the past six years the space has been home to the Elastic Arts Foundation (EAF), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing performance opportunities for independent artists of all disciplines and media. Due to legal problems with the city of Chicago, 3030 is scheduled to close at the end of the month. To celebrate their creative community, 3030 will host a last night of performance by local writers and musicians [at] 8:00 PM, Saturday, September 17th. 3030 West Cortland Street in Humboldt Park [Chicago]. elasticrevolution.com.
"Local writers Amina Cain, Jennifer Karmin, John Tipton, Joel Craig and Mark Tardi will be reading as part of the Discrete Series. This monthly literary series began in March 2003 and is curated by poets Kerri Sonnenberg and Jesse Seldess. It features poetry and text-based performances hosting local, national and international writers and artists including Cole Swensen, Goat Island Performance Group, Maxine Chernoff, Sawako Nakayasu, Charles Bernstein, Brenda Iijima, and composer Gerhard Stabler.
"Guest musicians from both the Elastro and Thursday Improv Series will also be performing. Launched in November 2003 by musician and EAF co-founder Paul Giallorenzo, Elastro is an ongoing monthly electronic music series with an emphasis toward digital, electro-mechanical, and real-time acoustic-processing realms. Artists have included: Koutaro Fukui, Eric Leonardson, New Zealand’s Birchville Cat Motel and The Frankfurt School, from Toronto. Curated by saxophonist Dave Rempis, the Thursday night improvised music series at 3030 has become an important part of the thriving jazz and improvised music scene in Chicago. The series began in April of 2002 and has featured over 80 concerts by local and international artists including Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark, Rob Mazurek, Carlos Zingaro, Kent Kessler, Michael Zerang, Jim Baker, and Fred Lonberg-Holm.
"3030 has been targeted by the city for running a performance space in a neighborhood zoned RS-3. The space has not been able to apply for a Public Place of Amusement license because the church is zoned residential and not commercial. Unfortunately, members of EAF have not been able to get support from their neighbors or Alderman in dealing with the city."
The City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Mayor Richard M. Daley have been, on many occasions, great friends of the arts and artists. It could be said that the current City government has been the most artistically and culturally pro-active one ever in Chicago's history. And yet this situation has arisen because of a zoning detail, and no one in City Hall appears to be listening to 3030's plight. 3030 has done more than its share of strong, critically-astute programming in its brief life, and with scarce funding. The roster of talent cited above is admirable, standing on par with those of the Guild Complex, the Poetry Center, and other organizations who enjoy the support and cooperation of the City.
If the Elastic Arts Foundation had much fuller political connections, the organization might have been given a derelict firehouse, City funding, and a handshake from the Mayor. The venue is a brilliant example of culture happening where it does because of the common will and purpose of a community of artists. It is a stress-relief from the gentrification of nearby Wicker Park, where such art of originality once thrived, but from where it has been driven by commercial interests and gentrification. Such a transition to a new nexus as 3030, such a cultural genesis is not something that can be planned by any central authority, whether that is a government, chamber of commerce, or board of realtors. That would feel phoney if it happened anyway. But such authorities can drive culture away, which is essentially red-lining parts of the City out of the reach of the cultures that arise within them.
Original culture happens by desire given the breath of possibility. This is what makes the City attractive, livable, and (on harder days) palatable, what keeps Chicago from becoming yet another northern Illinois suburb. e-poets.net respectfully suggests that the government of Chicago take a smarter approach than obliging 3030, its backing organization and it artists to shutter their doors. The City should look at what it has in 3030 -- essentially a gift to the cultural and intellectual life of the City that it doesn't have to organize or pay for -- and weigh its assets against the technical mis-step of zoning a former church and meeting hall as a condominium.
- Kurt Heintz
cited material on 3030 from Jennifer Karmin
Poet-on-sabbatical Tony Trigilio is reading for the Around the Coyote Arts Festival, as curated by the Poetry Center of Chicago. The other poets reading that night are Anne Holub, Ixta and Ixtaccihuatl Julieta Menchaca, Stella Vinitchi Radulescu, Kristy Bowen, Bob Lawrence, and Nathalie Stephens.
Reading takes place from 6:00-8:00 PM at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave. Phone 773-278-6600. More information at aroundthecoyote.org. A companion program on the same stage, same time, follows on Sunday, 11 September featuring Alyson Paige Warren, Mike Kadela, Parnesha Jones, Belen Neira, Chris Bower, Mirela Ramona Ciupag, and Gene Tanta.
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. This month, Molly's welcomes J.D. Smith.
J.D. Smith's books include the collection Settling for Beauty, The Hypothetical Landscape, and the edited anthology Northern Music: Poems About and Inspired by Glenn Gould. His work has received three Pushcart nominations, and his essays and reviews have appeared in American Book Review, Grist and Pleiades. Smith has published short fiction in a variety of publications, and his play "Dig" was produced by Chicago's Squaresville Theatre in 2003. He currently appears in the anthologies In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare and Poetic Voices without Borders. A native of Aurora, and a former resident of Chicago, J.D. Smith presently lives and works in Washington, DC.
Poetry/fiction at Molly's is the second Monday of every month. This month, it's Monday, September 12, at Molly Malone's Irish Pub, 7652 Madison Street, Forest Park, IL. Phone 708-366-8073. Cover is, "$5 if you can, $3 if you can't." 7:00 -- open mic sign-up begins; 7:30 -- open mic; 8:45 -- featured reader; 9:15 -- open mic continues if necessary.
"Off Inside My Head" by Nikki Patin is an a cappella experience that blends music and poetry with theatre and politics, showcasing the powerful vocals of Chicago-born and-bred Nikki Patin. Each of the twenty pieces reflects the perspective of alternative existence inside America... what happens to you when you are a person of color in this country, when you are abused, when you are overweight, when you are an artist... when you are all of these things at once? "Off Inside My Head" is the story of the journey from victim to survivor, from young girl to warrior woman, from fate to destiny.
Nikki Patin has taught, performed and sung all over the country, most notably opening for Zapp!, of Roger and Zapp, at the Chicago Blues Museum, Patricia Smith and Alix Olson at the Congress Theatre, and for Jill Scott at the Metro. Named one of Chicago's "Six Most Fabulous 20-somethings" by Red Eye newspaper, Nikki Patin currently works with Center on Halsted as their Young Women's Program Coordinator. She was featured on the fourth season of HBO's Def Poetry Jam and designed, published and distributed a book of poems on body image, entitled "Phat Girl". Nikki is currently working on her debut album, due out later this year.
HBO Def Poet Nikki Patin debuts her a cappella one-woman show "Off Inside My Head", from 2 thru 4 September, 2005, at 8:00 PM, at Links Hall, 3435 N Sheffield, Chicago (Lakeview/Wrigleyville neighborhood). Tickets are $10-15, sliding scale, and cannot be purchased in advance.
[erratum: This event was incorrectly listed as 2 thru 4 August in last month's Newswire. ]
Always oblique and just close enough to reality to make their commentary deliciously pointed, Example: None return to their Midwestern home stage, where they got their boost into slam's mainstream: The Green Mill. The show is the 20th anniversary of Example: None's founding.
Kate Anderson and Steve Seddon are Example: None, in performance Sunday, 2 October at the Uptown Poetry Slam, Green Mill Lounge, 4802 N Broadway (at Lawrence Ave; Uptown neighborhood), Chicago. Open mic at 7:00 PM, with Example: None's feature at 8:00 PM. $6 at the door; a 21-and-over venue.
The Myopic Poetry Series is a weekly series of poetry, fiction, and occasional talks, held at Myopic Bookstore, and curated by Chuck Stebelton.
September 4th: Geraldine Kim hosted by Adam Levin
September 11th: David Trinidad and Joel Felix
September 18th: Michael Smoler and Mark Tardi
September 25th: Linh Dinh and Bill Allegrezza
Some anticipated readings down the road: Sunday October 2 - Chicago Noir hosted by Adam Levin; Sunday October 9 - Melissa Buzzeo and Amina Cain; Sunday November 20 - Tyehimba Jess and Krista Franklin; Sunday December 11 - Simone Muench and Barry Silesky
At Myopic Bookstore, weekly, Sundays at 7:00 PM. Free. Come to the store at 1564 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd Floor, Chicago (Wicker Park neighborhood). Full details are available at the Series' website.
Steppenwolf Traffic series presents Will the Circle Be Unbroken? by Chicago's beloved aural historian, poet, playwright and gadabout, Studs Terkel. The book was adapted for stage by Derek Goldman, and is presented as part of Millennium Park's "Blockbuster Weekend" showcasing Chicago's world-class performing arts organizations, this stage adaptation includes Steppenwolf ensemble members Robert Breuler, K. Todd Freeman and Sally Murphy with Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Jeff Dumas, Kurt Elling, Ernest Perry Jr., Mary Ann Thebus, Dennis Zacek with vocalists Tina Brown, Carla Janzen and Direoce Junirs. Add to this cast the special guest Garrison Keillor, and you have a remarkable program.
Free performance on Monday, September 12 at 6:30 PM, in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion Millennium Park, Chicago. Info on this and other programs in the Traffic series can be found in the Steppenwolf website.
Oak Park Peace Fair will feature over 50 peace and justice groups in the greater Chicagoland area, gathering to share their vision for peace. The event will also offer both a cultural experience of performance, music, poetry and art, and a "Town Hall/Public Voice" area featuring elected public officials in dialogue with citizens about creating peace. The Town Hall will feature Pat Vogel, of Military Families Speak Out; Don Harmon, Illinois State Senator; and Deborah Graham, Illinois State Representative.
entertainment & activity schedule:
The following entertainers will be performing during the Peace Fair: Music Stage:
The fair will also feature poetry and performances by the following:
The "Town Hall/Speak Out" portion of the Peace Fair will feature:
The Oak Park Peace Fair, Saturday, 10 September, 2005. Programs run from noon to 5:00 PM, in Scoville Park, at the corner of Lake St. and Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL. For more info, check out opctj.org.
The long-lived New Town Writers group is bringing Don Bapst's "The Bar" to Bailiwick Repertory on 12 September. Bapst, well-known in Chicago's fringe theater culture, is also a novelist and poet. His new play is billed as, "a look at the chaos that comes with cocktails... both out on the frontline and behind the scenes at an anonymous gay bar in a large city. The audience spends equal time with the regulars and the staff to discover that under their biting dialogue, a secret is lurking. For one thing, there may have been a murder. Everything comes out in the open at the big Halloween bash, though after all those cocktails, who will remember anything in the morning?"
Well, hello, Clarece! Given Bapst's reputation for dark wit, this should be wicked and fascinating.
The cast includes Tim Cain, Tim Gallagher, Bill Haddad, George Melichar, Timothy Rey, Mike Rogers, Bill Van Berschot, and Glenn Zayas. Directed by Lisa Scott. "The Bar" performed at Bailiwick Repertory Theatre, 1229 W Belmont, Chicago (Lakeview neighborhood). One night only: 12 September, 7:30 PM curtain time. See also websites for Bailiwick, New Town Writers, and Don Bapst.
Check out Chicago's weekly LGBT/Q coffeehouse for the latest in queer music and spoken word. This months' schedule for Homolatté includes:
September 7th: Kay Barrett and Emily White
September 14th: monologuist and fiction writer Sven Soderberg / music by Emily Bate
September 21st: actor and playwright Brian Kirst / music by Kelly Brightwell
August 28th: Outmusic open mic w/ Lars Von Keitz
Homolatté queer words and music, weekly on 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.
Irreverence Dance + Theatre presents "A White Light in God's Choir," written by Chicago playwright and columnist Sukie De La Croix. The play explores the mystery behind the popularity of Florence Foster Jenkins. Jenkins, a real life Opera Diva with an unusual talent for believing in herself, has remained an underground obsession since her death in 1944. The Dance + Theatre piece is choreographed and directed by Artistic Director Michael Sherman.
Thursday and Friday, September 1 & 2: "A White Light in God's Choir," performed as part of the Vaudeville Underground series at Glade Memorial Hall, 2640 W. Altgeld just west of Talman, blocks away from the California Stop on the Blue Line. Suggested donation is $12.00.
(Editor's note: If you don't recognize the names in the bill below, you may well recognize the talent. J.T. Newman (a.k.a. "Miss Bea Haven") enlists some of the best in Chicago's underground cabaret. She is an expert MC and organizer of much interdisciplinary art around Chicago, with a particular emphasis on spoken word and narrative. Girlie-Q is her campy and spirited vehicle for storytelling and acting out that rocks the house. Guest artists inhabit stage personae and cut loose in the mode of saucy nightclub acts. And yes, it's all done in genuinely saucy nightclubs. This edition of Girlie-Q runs at two venues in the same evening... double your chances to catch this show!
Featuring the new Girlie-Q Ensemble:
Bevvy O'Bosom, Girlie Pink, Holly Wouldn't, Jackpot Roxxanne, Jenn Tyburczy, Lil' Ms. Bedgood, Magic Marilu, Maxie Nuance, Minxy McVixen, Miss Bea Haven, Miss Honey Maker, Miss von Livid, Naughty Natanya, Rick Shaw, Saucy Cockteau, Strawberry Fields & Titi Touche. With musical guests: Stewed Tomatoes and DJ Spinikki. Emceed by Miss Bea Haven.
Friday, September 23: Back to School Episode. At the HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (south Loop). Doors open at 7:00 PM, show at 8:00 PM. Cover is $10; this is a 21-and-up venue. See the the Girlie-Q site for the full bill.
And later that same night...
a special midnight show at Estrojam!
Girlie-Q Variety Hour at Estrojam, at the Circuit Nightclub, 3641 N. Halsted (Northalsted strip). Doors open at 9:00 PM, show at Midnight. $5 cover before 10:00 PM, $8 thereafter, 21 and up. For full info on Estrojam, click to the festival's website.
The Estrojam show features the new Girlie-Q Ensemble (see above) and Special Guest Stars The Hellcat Hussies & Our OWN Judy Garland. Emceed by Minxy McVixen.
Some links for something fresh...
Entrepreneurship in spoken word is alive and well at PoetCD.com...
Individual sites? Check out US-NPS 2002 champion Blair and his South Africa blog... Or how about Berkeley slam MC Charlie Ellik's blog? ... or Leslie Ann McIlroy's site? ... or the embodiment of energy in hip hop fiction, Black Artemis?
Web art? We found a cool bit at Complexification Gallery this past month. At once scientific and still quite organic, the elegant images don't need the remediation of words...
Searching for the ultimate egalitarian video venue? Click to YouTube.com, where you can upload what you wish for all to see... A similar site, OurMedia.org has been featuring contributors' video of the hurricane's aftermath in New Orleans -- quite up close and personal -- among other more day-to-day clips.
How about this fresh addition to the Book of Voices: Billy Tuggle, a.k.a. Karma Threesixty...?
We were pleasantly distracted by this handsome publication, Stonestone, an online lit' mag from BC... by Three Candles who've published David Trinidad and Tony Trigilio in their latest issue... and by ChicaLuna.com, web home to women of color collaborating on books, drama, and new media with high social conscience.
And finally, don't complain about feeling all caged up.
As always, we thank you for reading our monthly update, and also thank those who keep it supplied with news, announcements, leads, commentary, and positive buzz.
- Kurt Heintz, founder
e-poets network, Chicago
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