Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Dear Poetry Community,

Will Alexander, one of our most original and energetic lights, is ill with cancer.


The last few months have seen Will in and out of County USC, and otherwise unable to maintain his teaching and reading schedule. Will was freelancing, so his resources to financially cope with this situation are exhausted.

We are collectively asking you to help fund Will's living expenses while he is in treatment and working on recovery. Sheila Scott-Wilkinson, Will's long-term partner, is acting as Will’s primary caregiver and financial manager. She and Will have opened a special joint checking account to receive these monies. Checks can be addressed to 'Sheila Scott-Wilkinson', and mailed to the following address:

Sheila Scott-Wilkinson

400 South Lafayette Park Place, #307

Los Angeles, CA 90057

Love and Peace,

Thérèse Bachand

Jen Hofer

Andrew Joron

Harryette Mullen

Diane Ward

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Trailer for the documentary Polis Is This: Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place.

John Malkovich?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Hi everybody,

The journal I've been working on for, oh, the last year or so is almost ready to launch. It still needs to be printed, but you can get a sneak preview of the content on our website. And if you're feeling up to it you can pre-order a copy.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tonight, join us to celebrate the release of Ara Shirinyan's first book Syria Is in the World out now on Palm Press.

At Betalevel, Chinatown, Los Angeles. 9-ish.

Monday, May 14, 2007


The entire contents of the seminal 1970s video magazine Radical Software is now available online.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The city burning is Los Angeles’s deepest image of itself: Nathanael West perceived that, in The Day of the Locust; and at the time of the 1965 Watts riots what struck the imagination most indelibly were the fires. For days one could drive the Harbor Freeway and see the city on fire, just as we had always known it would be in the end. Los Angeles weather is the weather of catastrophe, of apocalypse

- Joan Didion, “Los Angeles Notebook”

(photo credit: Johnny Kobra for the L.A. Times)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Appealing Biography

An excerpt from my review of Aurie Ramirez's show at the Jack Hanley Gallery is up at the Fillip website.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

This Weekend in Los Angeles

Whew, there's much to choose from this weekend in the poetry and art realms!

1. FEMINAISSANCE Colloquium on Women, Experimental Writing and Feminism

ƒeminaissance is a colloquium on women, experimental writing and feminism, to be held on April 27th and 28th, 2007, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). A related workshop and consciousness-raising event will take place on Sunday, April 29th at LACE, in Hollywood.

This event is organized by Christine Wertheim, Matias Viegener, and Teresa Carmody and is sponsored by the Writing Program at CalArts with a generous grant from the Annenberg Foundation. Feminaissance is presented in conjunction with MOCA’s show “WACK: Art and Feminist Revolution.” The colloquium puts writers from many genres in dialogue about issues concerning women writers today.

FRIDAY, April 27, 2007
MOCA, 250 S. Grand Avenue, LA, CA 90012

7 pm Reception

8 pm Readings by Caroline Bergvall, Teresa Carmody, Meiling Cheng, Bhanu Kapil, Chris Kraus, Tracie Morris, Christine Wertheim, Stephanie Young, and Lidia Yuknavitch

SATURDAY, April 28, 2007
MOCA, 250 S. Grand Avenue, LA, CA 90012

10:30 am-12:00 pm
Panel: “Feminine” Writings
Are there specifically “feminine” texts, topics and modes of writing? Or is the concept of “écriture féminine” more hindrance than help?
Panelists: Caroline Bergvall, Meiling Cheng, Chris Kraus, and Lidia Yuknavitch

12:20—1:50 pm
Panel: Selves
Are women writers creating new forms of selfhood? If so, how does this manifest in the subject and/or perspective of the work and in the object, i.e., the formed text?
Panelists: Tracie Morris, Vanessa Place, and Christine Wertheim


3:15—4:45 pm
Panel: The Social
Can women writers effect the social imaginary in ways that positively change our psycho-sexual organization? Are they obliged to, or is this another version of mothering that restricts women?
Panelists: Dodie Bellamy, Bhanu Kapil, Yxta Maya Murray, Maggie Nelson

5:00—6:30 pm
Panel: Categories
What is gender today? Are the terms “gender” and feminism still useful in writing? Or are we in a post- or trans-gendered era, and to what intent ­ social, representational, aesthetic, activist?
Panelists: Wanda Coleman, Susan McCabe, Eileen Myles, and Juliana Spahr & Stephanie Young


8:30 Readings by Dodie Bellamy, Wanda Coleman, Susan McCabe, Yxta Maya Murray, Eileen Myles, Maggie Nelson, Vanessa Place and Juliana Spahr

SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2007
LACE, 6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028

2-6 pm Potluck and consciousness-raising workshop on MOTHER: literary, real, symbolic and edible. Led by Bhanu Kapil, Eileen Myles and Chris Kraus.

2. Around Photography

Around Photography is a unique two-day conference organized by UCLA’s Department of Art that brings together a range of prominent artists, filmmakers, critics, and curators. A presentation by Berlin-based artist and filmmaker Tacita Dean on Tuesday, April 24, and an evening of artist films in the Billy Wilder Theater on Thursday, April 26, run in conjunction with the conference.


Photography's Expanded Field
Moderated by Professor George Baker, UCLA Department of Art History and an Editor of the journal October, artists Barbara Probst, Nancy Davenport and curator Douglas Fogle will introduce the subject of photography's discourse with other media.


The Archive Reconsidered
Moderated by Professor Eleanor Kaufman, Department of Comparative Literature, UCLA artists Professor Catherine Opie, Department of Art, UCLA, Joel Sternfeld, and critic Jan Tumlir will address issues of taxonomy and politics as a means of investigating the photographic dimensions of what theorists have termed "an archival impulse" within contemporary art.

A New Luminism
Moderated by Professor James Welling, Department of Art, UCLA, art historian Professor Jonathan Crary, Department of Art History, Columbia University and artists Uta Barth and Anthony McCall will focus on issues of light, space and perception as a way of broadening conventional notions of the photographic.

HAMMER Museum| Gallery 6
10899 Wilshire Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90024

3. The Smell Last Sunday of the Month Reading Series

Sunday, April 29

Reading to Celebrate a new mother anthology by Fence Books, with readers Wanda Coleman, Martha Ronk and Rae Armantrout

The Smell
247 S. Main, Los Angeles, CA 90012 [enter in back]
Between 2nd and 3rd Street
6:30 pm

Friday, April 20, 2007

Congratulations to LA Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold for becoming the first food writer ever to win a Pulitzer prize for criticism. Gold really is, as he might say himself, "godhead." Los Angeles would not be the same without him.

Doug Cummings at Filmjourney has some nice words for J-Gold as well.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Steve Kurtz Waiting

My friend Jim Fetterley made a video about Steve Kurtz of the Critical Art Ensemble.

Steve Kurtz Waiting (2006) By Jim Fetterley and Angie Waller | Running Time 15:32

On May 11, Steve Kurtz phoned 911 to report his wife of 20 years was unresponsive. When paramedics came to his house, one of them noticed that Kurtz had laboratory equipment, which he used in his art exhibits. The paramedics reported this to police and the FBI sealed off his house.

Authorities later said that Kurtz's wife had died of "heart failure," but he wasn't allowed to return to his home for two days while the FBI confiscated his equipment, and biological samples. They also carted off his books, personal papers and computer.

The contradiction between the charges for possessing harmful substances and the county health commissioner assessing that no hazardous substances were found in the house leaves only the conclusion - that ideas, when misunderstood or disagreeable, are toxic.

Kurtz is one of the founders of the Critical Art Ensemble, a group whose beginnings in filmmaking over a decade ago have evolved into public performances and videos that educate the public about the politics of biotechnology. All of CAE's museum and public performances
are meant to not only inform the public about the ways their lives are affected by biotechnology, but also to dispel public paranoia that is generated by the media and a lack of understanding.

Steve became the victim of this paranoia, and through the extended powers of the US Patriot Act, he still awaits trial for mail fraud. If found guilty, could face up to twenty years.

"Steve Kurtz Waiting" by Jim Fetterley and Angie Waller is a video portrait of Steve Kurtz during a moment of indefinite anticipation as routine court litigations continue. Through a series casual interviews, Kurtz reveals an admirable calmness, spirited humor and a strong will to continue his role as a cultural producer after months of close surveillance, black vans, continued government scrutiny, and notably in addition to, the mourning of his close partner.

This video premiered in the 2007 Sundance Film Festival in a program called "Charged in the Name of Terror: Portraits by Contemporary Artists."

For more info on Steve Kurtz: www.caedefensefund.org
For more info on Critical Art Ensemble: www.critical-art.net
For more info on Angie Waller: www.couchprojects.com

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Obama, Poet

Some sleuths dug up poetry written by Barack Obama when he was 19 and an undergraduate at Occidental College in Los Angeles.


Under water grottos, caverns

Filled with apes

That eat figs.

Stepping on the figs

That the apes

Eat, they crunch.

The apes howl, bare

Their fangs, dance,

Tumble in the

Rushing water,

Musty, wet pelts

Glistening in the blue.


Sitting in his seat, a seat broad and broken

In, sprinkled with ashes,

Pop switches channels, takes another

Shot of Seagrams, neat, and asks

What to do with me, a green young man

Who fails to consider the

Flim and flam of the world, since

Things have been easy for me;

I stare hard at his face, a stare

That deflects off his brow;

I'm sure he's unaware of his

Dark, watery eyes, that

Glance in different directions,

And his slow, unwelcome twitches,

Fail to pass.

I listen, nod,

Listen, open, till I cling to his pale,

Beige T-shirt, yelling,

Yelling in his ears, that hang

With heavy lobes, but he's still telling

His joke, so I ask why

He's so unhappy, to which he replies...

But I don't care anymore, cause

He took too damn long, and from

Under my seat, I pull out the

Mirror I've been saving; I'm laughing,

Laughing loud, the blood rushing from his face

To mine, as he grows small,

A spot in my brain, something

That may be squeezed out, like a

Watermelon seed between

Two fingers.

Pop takes another shot, neat,

Points out the same amber

Stain on his shorts that I've got on mine, and

Makes me smell his smell, coming

From me; he switches channels, recites an old poem

He wrote before his mother died,

Stands, shouts, and asks

For a hug, as I shink,* my

Arms barely reaching around

His thick, oily neck, and his broad back; 'cause

I see my face, framed within

Pop's black-framed glasses

And know he's laughing too.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I'm going to start blogging again. It will be different this time.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Awakening from my slumber to let everyone in Los Angeles know about the upcoming Alli Warren, Brandon Brown and Anna Joy Springer reading at the Smell this Sunday.

A Jerry Saltz article in the Voice about the current state of the art market reminded me of the debate Steve Evans initiated several years ago around the journals Fence and the Germ. "To say you won't participate in the market is like saying you refuse to breathe the air because it's polluted."

There's also this: "In the 1970s, conceptualist Joseph Kosuth said, 'The only people who care about art are artists.' That's changed." But today, are the only people who care about poetry poets?

Also, I suppose I should let you know about WAMPA.