#ArtLitPhx: Mesa Arts Center: The Art of Three in Conversation and Song With Billy Cobham, Kenny Barron, Ron Carter

 

ArtLitPhx

The Art of Three in Conversation and Song With Billy Cobham, Kenny Barron, Ron Carter

July 25, 2018

7:30 p.m.

Location: Piper Theater

$50

An unforgettable evening of rich conversation and music with three living legends, Billy Cobham (drums), Ron Carter (bass), and Kenny Barron (piano), delving into the Art of the Rhythm Section.

Guest Post, Hannah Lee Jones: Poet Expend Yourself

guest postPoet Expend Yourself 

Several years ago, I was a beginning poet determined to learn the craft of poetry without the rigaramole and expense of earning an MFA. Inspired by my friend Rebecca Wallwork’s model—interviewing accomplished writers to get at the gems of their craft, which she’d then share on her blog, The MFA Project—I launched my own blog, Primal School, where I would do something similar with poets.

What I knew then was that I wanted to connect with and learn from other writers. I was prepared to give myself over to everything the art and craft of poetry would demand of me. I wasn’t as prepared to run into my own resistance to everything else the poetry universe demands of its artists.

With the blog my project began easily enough, beginning with questions for the poets I interviewed: How did you come to write this poem? What did you mean by this particular line? Tell us about your revision process.  As I mined for the poets’ techniques and sources of inspiration and highlighted their work on the site, I got to know the people behind the poems. Relationships blossomed. Poets expressed their appreciation for the blog, for the attention and care being given to their work. In a few cases I even helped boost poets who were just starting their careers and whose credibility would be supported by an interview feature. As young as Primal School was, others had even begun sending their students to the site as a resource.

In the winter of 2017 I began a seasonal stint as an intern at Copper Canyon Press in what was then my backyard of the Pacific Northwest. I regarded this experience as another brick in the growing poetic education that was my self-created MFA. In a drafty building in the middle of Fort Warden State Park I made copies, filled book orders, and read the manuscript submissions that came in. In retrospect what was fascinating and almost funny about this period was how quickly my perceived status in the poetry world grew in a manner which had absolutely nothing to do with anything I’d written or actually done. I watched with fascination the god-like projections poets would lavish on Copper Canyon editors in spaces like AWP, some of which inevitably spilled over onto staff and interns including me. I noticed my ego eating it up. I also observed that something in me had developed an allergy to a disjunction I was seeing — between the artifact that is a poem and the life that is its habitat; between poet and other; between poet and the world. It was around this time that my writing dried up, and with it my personal life and the structures in my world which I had come to regard as given.

The exact source of this disruption is difficult to name. But I suspect that the seeds for it were planted during a trip to South Carolina for a writing residency in late fall of 2016. The election of our new president was around the corner; the lefties who were my peers at the residency were not the least bit concerned that this would be the outcome. I wasn’t so sure. For reasons of curiosity and cultural immersion I formed a deep relationship with a Trump supporter who had been kind to me, and as I got to know him, I understood instinctively that his stories were the life which had been missing from my experience. Life to me could no longer consist only of reclining on my chaise lounge with a volume of Tranströmer poems, so far removed from a world coming undone with its poverty, grief, abuses and addictions. I still wanted my poems, but their fuel source was out.

For the grand embrace of the All that is America, the poet we love returning to time and time again (of course) is Walt Whitman. Revisiting his “Song of Myself,” I detect an inspirational whiff of the thing that was missing and that I’d left behind when I committed my life to poetry:

I am enamoured of growing outdoors,
Of men that live among cattle or taste of the ocean or woods,
Of the builders and steerers of ships, of the wielders of axes and mauls, of the drivers of horses,
I can eat and sleep with them week in and week out.

When the calling came for the open road I knew I had to respond, which I eventually I did. My writing naturally was reignited.

Gary Dop gave a memorable interview on Primal School in which he advocated for poetry as one of the great healing agents in a culture which has lost its spiritual center. I think it’s worthwhile to examine the question of whether the literary community as a function of this wider culture has also strayed from its center — whether that’s in the way we write (towards a style or objective rather than our deepest selves); or in any number of paths we walk unquestioningly (first you publish poems in journals, then they win prizes, then those poems become a book, then the books win you more prizes, and you get to repeat the cycle ad nauseam till the end of your career); to our relentless concern for how others react or what others are thinking or doing, whether that’s in the reviews we write or how we go about sharing our work (we give readings, of course). I see nothing wrong with any of these things on their own; it’s the blind adherence to them as inevitable steps forward in the career every writer that I’ve begun to question.

As an experiment in confronting these time-worn paths and really challenging whether they are for me, I recently took a break from submitting to journals and have been giving my poems and other writing away on social media. I don’t know how long I’ll be doing this. The recent critiques and discussions around “Instapoets” are compelling for the questions they raise: What is “accessible”? Who gets to say what’s good, or what poetry even is? Why is it seen as a waste of a good poem for an author to post it to a social media platform right away (which constitutes publication) instead of submitting it for the formal validation of appearing first in a journal? Bob Dylan’s Nobel win, along similar lines, got me thinking about poetry as a wider arena that in a more inclusive world would encompass songwriters and spoken-word artists and others like them (I’m thinking of people like Gregory Alan Isakov, Cleo Wade and Andrea Gibson). As artists they are all masters of the creative giveaway, a concept worth revisiting in Whitman’s later lines:

What is commonest and cheapest and nearest and easiest is Me,
Me going in for my chances, spending for vast returns,
Adorning myself to bestow myself on the first that will take me,
Not asking the sky to come down to my goodwill,
Scattering it freely forever.

The older I get the more I believe that to expend oneself creatively is an act of communion that burgeons out beyond the individual into something that Gregory Orr describes as “the Beloved that is the world.” Recently I had an exchange with a poet who remarked quite cavalierly that he’d never understood poetry as needing a purpose that was rooted in anything that wasn’t the self. I disagree with him. Poetry demands that the self come to fruition and nothing less. But I think the self is just a conduit for the transmission; the real reason we write is to connect with the Other in as many ways as our tools will allow us. In a world steeped in suffering such as ours is in these times, the reason we write is because of our love and our pain, which are shared; our desire to sustain our belief in a world where goodness and mercy and mutuality have not been exterminated.

I am grateful for and continue to hold in highest respect the institutions and individuals who train our poets, who publish their books, who promote their careers. Without them I wouldn’t still be writing poems. I’ll be culling from their wisdom and ideas as I find my own path forward. But I also care about whether we are connecting to the full with the world around us; whether we are honoring our contract with life by saying yes to our deepest and most colorful possible participation in the universe through everything we create. That would be something worth giving my life over to.

#ArtLitPhx: ASU Art Museum: Family Day

ArtLitPhxASU Art Museum: Family Day

July 14 10 am-4 pm

Location: ASU Art Museum, 51 E 1oth St, Tempe, Arizona 85281

Event description: Spend a full day with us making, learning and playing. At ASU Art Museum’s Family Days, art stations are set up throughout our galleries for children and families — or anyone else interested in art-making! Activities revolve around current exhibitions and many are led by local artists.

This Family Day, we will be joined by Miguel Cardona, Rachel Goodwin and Estrella Payton. You’ll also get to see a sneak peek of our upcoming exhibition “Indwelling,” as artist Yuri Kobayashi works in the galleries on her installation.

Contributor Update, Past and Current Interns interviewed for ASU’s New Innovation Happens Podcast Series

We are proud to announce that past Superstition Review  intern Jessica Marie Fletcher and current intern Jacqueline Aguilar were interviewed for ASU’s New Innovation Happens Podcast Series. The podcast is centered on their work with Iron City Magazine, the innovation the magazine brings, and the positive impact of prison education. Congratulations to the two! Podcast: https://universitydesign.asu.edu/podcast/iron-city-magazine 

contributor update

#ArtLitPhx: The Storyline Slam: Luck

artlitphx10 STORYTELLERS. 6 MINUTES. 1 WINNER

Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it. – Hunter S. Thompson

Ten tellers will have 6 minutes each to share a story based on the theme LUCK.

Sign up on TheStoryline.org May 18th through July 7th to tell a story. Eight names will be drawn posted July 8th on the TheStoryline.org SLAM lineup page. Two more names will be drawn at the beginning of the show on July 13.

Five members of the audience will be the judges and the story with the most points at the end of the show receives a $30 cash prize.

EVENT DETAILS

  • TICKET (admits one) is $6 in advance, $8 at the door from Changing Hands Phoenix.
  • Order at 602.274.0067, by clicking “add to cart” below, in-store prior to the event, or at the door.
  • More info at thestoryline.org »

ABOUT THE COLLECTIVE
THE STORYLINE SLAM is a monthly slam competition hosted by Dan Hoen Hull aimed to further storytelling in The Valley and foster a spirit of fun in the community.

#ArtLitPhx: Mesa Arts Center: WordPlay Café

artlitphx WordPlay Café

FREE

June 12 and July 14, 2018

6:00-7:00 p.m. Writing/Performance Workshop

7:00-9:00 p.m. Open mic

Volstead Public House in downtown Mesa (105 West Main Street, Mesa, AZ 85201)

WordPlay Café open mic creates a platform for community members to become storytellers, poets, and musicians. Attendees have the opportunity to craft, mold, and present their work by showing up and putting their name on the list. In addition to the open mic, each month features a workshop led by professional poets and storytellers, highlighting the nuanced aesthetics of each respective medium.

#ArtLitPhx: “Touch of Pop” Opening Exhibition at Royse Contemporary

ArtLitPhxRoyse Contemporary is excited to announce Touch of Pop, the joint exhibition of artists Nigel Clouse and Benjamin Goens. This exhibition will showcase the latest work of these talented artists, highlighting a dynamic selection of pop surrealistic digital composites and multi layered mixed media stencil paintings infused with Pop Art. “Popular Art was dominant movement in early 1960s American art, widely recognized and is easily accessible with diverse audiences around the world,” states Curator, Nicole Royse. Elaborating further stating “its use of common household objects, consumer products, and forms of media, creates mass appeal not to mention greatly inspired both artists and the overall direction of their work.”

Nigel Clouse is a Phoenix based artist known for his pop surrealistic digital composites incorporating femme fatales, pop culture references, and dystopian themes. He combines graphic elements to form alternate realities where the fabled American Dream exists only in myth. His work is based upon a childhood spent in a section of the American Midwest commonly referred to as the Rust Belt. The rural landscape of his youth is juxtaposed with the urban environments he currently inhabits working for corporate America. “My work is influenced by classic film, literature, television, science, technology, and social commentary, who goes on to elaborate further stating “I create art to share my misanthropic perspective with the world and to provide social commentary on personal experiences.” Clouse received his Bachelors of Art in Digital Design from the Art Academy of Cincinnati and he has worked as a creative for over a decade in the American Southwest.

Benjamin Goens, known as Benjam is a stencil artist based in Gilbert Arizona. He creates mixed media original artwork utilizing hand cut stencils, oil, and aerosol paints on canvas. His process includes up to 20 hand-cut stencil layers in a single image, used to apply vast colors of aerosol paints as well as various other mediums to create photorealistic tonal gradations in his imagery. He received his Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Art History and traveled extensively across Europe to study the art of classical antiquity and European masters. “I have always held a fascination for hip-hop culture, graffiti, and the evolution of street art which inspired him to begin cutting his first stencils in 2008.” Goens goes on to say “it wasn’t until 2014 that he began further experimenting with stencils and ultimately production of his own multilayered artwork, learning to cut intricate stencils to create detailed depictions of his subjects.” In 2018, he was a recipient of the inaugural Carmody Foundation Grant Project and recently participated in the inaugural Phoenix Mural Festival. Benjam has shown his work extensively in both solo and group exhibitions in the Phoenix metropolitan area and his work can be found in galleries and private collections around the world.

The opening reception for Touch of Pop will take place this Thursday, June 7, 2018 from 6:00-9:00pm coinciding with the weekly Thursday Scottsdale ArtWalk with an opportunity to meet the artist. Touch of Pop will be on view from Thursday, June 7 through Thursday, June 28, 2018. Royse Contemporary is located in the Marshall Square complex at 7077 E. Main Street, Suite 6, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (located on the south side of Main Street just west of Marshall Way).

ArtLitPhx