The Transmodern Festival is in its sixth year, and has become one of the best arts festivals in the country. Even the Washington Post says so. The four day event focuses on experimental/radical/challenging performance, so even after attending for the last four years (and curating last year), the things that happen are still surprising. Continue reading “Baltimore Scene Report”
There’s this great scene in Basquiat in which Basquiat (portrayed with real beauty by Jeffrey Wright) and Andy Warhol (who is best portrayed by David Bowie) are painting some corporate logos on a studio wall. Warhol finishes a blue, winged horse. Then, inexplicably, Basquiat takes a paint roller and runs a swatch of white through the middle of the painting. They stand together and look. Perplexed, Warhol says, “I don’t even know what’s good anymore.”
Do you know that game called “Shame,” in which participants name a book they haven’t read and if everybody else has read it the unreader gets a point? And whoever gets the most points is the winner but in real life the loser? How’s that go again? It’s really fun to play, right? Like, on car rides? Continue reading “Play eShame and Win or Lose *UPDATED* **UPDATED**”
1. While any subject can be interesting to any bozo at any given time, history indicates that there are a limited number of topics that are always immediately and profoundly engaging to everyone, all the time.
2. These issues are what is referenced by the term “the human condition.”
3. They are: death, love, and the idea that I am alive and did not ask to be.
4. Death meaning, I am going to die and I don’t know when or how to behave in the face of that.
5. Love meaning, for instance, I am lonely and drawn to other humans, and yet I am human and drawn to inflicting pain.
6. I am alive and did not ask to be meaning I don’t know if you are, too, or if I made you up.
7. So my question is, what is all this other crap that people are writing?
8. In other words, how far from these issues can I take a story and still have a story that anyone will care about?
If you’re anywhere near DC on April 11th, like within 250 miles I guess, you’ll want to sign up for the Conversations and Connections conference. It’ll be like AWP but with panels that are worth attending. There’s one about flash fiction and one about contests and I’m sitting on one that Reb Livingston put together about new ways to publish stuff. There’s a lot more, too, like craft lectures — but what I’m most looking forward to is the speed dating thing where I get ten minutes to be helpful talking face to face with people about their poetry. In such a short amount of time I’m sure I will be accidentally offensive, so this conference will be worth attending just to witness some lady kick the shit out of me with her purse.
Seriously, I recommend Conversations and Connections highly. It’s put together by the great people at Barrelhouse and a couple other journals and schools. A bunch of HTML Giant friends will be there. Plus you make the admission fee back in swag — a free book and a subscription to a journal.
I woke up in the middle of the night, took my face off my keyboard bringing to life the monstrous beast that is my computer, named Zoroaster because it will smite you, no shit — and there in my inbox was an email from J.A. Tyler. It said, “I’ve been up all night typing this email to say you can order the next six months of MLP stories.”
So I did.
Between July and December I’m going to receive in the mail the books with the stories I could have read on the Internet. But these I can read on the john. You can too, and you oughta.
In this interview at The Scowl, Jonathan Messinger is well-spoken about Paper Egg books — the subscription imprint from those pros at Featherproof. It’s sensible stuff; by using a subscription model, they know how to set their expectations and can take bigger risks with the work they publish. And that’s better for everybody in the world.
One time I asked this musician named Joe Nolan — who is cool, who is awesome, who knows what he’s doing, here’s a song — how come he didn’t hook up with some indie label, and he said an indie label was just a kid with a book of stamps.
You can self-publish your fuckin’ CD, but not your stupid book.
To see what the people who self-publish their books are doing, check out the Authors BookShop.
Especially check out the list of publishers — how many do you recognize? For me, not a lot (though there a good few, for sure). I did a few clicks and it seems like many of these are them least-fancy self-publishing services. Oh man, they’re lousy.
But the Authors BookShop is okay. ABS is providing a necessary service at a far better deal than Amazon. It has a bad name and most of the publishers who use the service are, to put it nicely, different than what most HTML Giant readers care about — but Brad Grochowski (President, Founder and author of The Secret Weakness of Dragons) is doing something that should be done, can be done, and — he’s opened it up to everyone.
Sean Lovelace turned me on to his new Ander Monson-inspired journal, The Crystal Gavel (v1). This first issue features new work from Ander Monson, Darby Larson, Daniel Bailey, yours truly and more. Not just anyone can get published there, though: Amazon is handling the rejections.
This is an important idea, really. Fight absurdity because it is yours to defeat. I am excited to see what’ll happen in issue 2.
So what else is new?
Aaron Cohick of New Lights Press, the wizard that brought us the $400 Brian Evenson book (no shit, $400 — I offered Cohick $200 cash on the spot for a copy and he declined — what an ethos! Eat it, JA Tyler and your $2 Evensons [do we need a link?]!) is looking for writers who want to work with him on an artist book version of their work. Check out the press, consider it carefully, see what happens.
Also, I really, really like this video about Michael Kimball and his book Dear Everybody (which, though it’s a pretty high-ranking book, has only half the reviews that the crystal gavel has) (eat it, Michael Kimball). Michael Kimball once published a poem in The Quarterly that went like this: Now Do You Remember?
This concludes my first ever HTML Giant mamma-jamma (sp?).