#ArtLitPhx: Blooming Chicanx Identities: A Bilingual Poetry Reading

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Date: Friday, February 15, 2019

Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Location: Coor 184, 976 S. Forest Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281

Event Details:

A bilingual poetry reading by Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs from Seattle University (modern languages, and women and gender studies).

 

#ArtLitPhx: Storyline Slam: “Crushing It!”

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Date: February 15, 2019
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 West Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013
Cost: TICKET (admits one) is $6 in advance, $8 on event day/at the door of Changing Hands Phoenix.

Get tickets here.

Event Description:
10 STORYTELLERS. 6 MINUTES. 1 WINNER

Ten tellers will have 6 minutes each to share a story based on the theme “Crushing It!”

Sign up on TheStoryline.org January 19th through Saturday, February 9th to tell a story. Eight names will be drawn on Sunday, February 10th and posted on the TheStoryline.org SLAM lineup page. Two more names will be drawn live at the beginning of the show.

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.

Learn more about the event here.

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

#ArtLitPhx: POETRY WORKSHOP – Merle Nudelman: “Ekphrasis Poetry”

artlitphx

Date: February 12, 2019
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Location: Changing Hands Tempe, 6428 South McClintock Drive, Tempe, AZ 85283
Cost: $25+

Register for the event here.

Event Description:
Poet Merle Nudelman hosts a creative writing workshop on ekphrasis poetry.

Ekphrastic poems are written in response to works of art and engage with the subject piece. Ekphrasis dates back to Homer’s description of Achilles’ shield in the Iliad. For the past eleven years Merle Nudelman has been part of a collaboration between the Long Dash Poetry Group and studio artists of the Women’s Art Association of Canada. Many of the poems in Merle’s most recent collection, The Seeker Ascends, were born of this artistic exploration. The Seeker Ascends follows the poet’s emotional and spiritual journey during and after her son’s arduous battle with cancer. The Seeker Ascends is a meditation on strength, survival, healing, and love.

Merle Nudelman will discuss the process of crafting ekphrastic poems. She will illustrate this literary form with some of her own ekphrastic poetry from The Seeker Ascends accompanied by the paintings that inspired these poems. Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to experience this creative process directly by writing their own ekphrastic poems in dialogue with original paintings that will be displayed. Participants will also have the option of sharing their poems with the group.

WORKSHOP DETAILS
Cost: $25 + fees.
Refunds will not be issued within one day of the event.
Bring pen/pencil and a notebook.

ABOUT THE HOST
Merle Nudelman is a poet, essayist, memoirist, educator, and lawyer. She has written five books of poetry ̶ most recently The Seeker Ascends. Merle’s first collection, Borrowed Light, won the 2004 Canadian Jewish Book Award for Poetry and a prize in the Arizona Authors Association 2004 Literary Contest. Merle’s prize-winning poems appear in literary journals, zines, and anthologies in Canada and in the United States and her essays have been included in academic texts. Merle teaches memoir and poetry writing and gives workshops on healing through writing. For the past eleven years Merle has been part of a collaboration between the Long Dash Poetry Group and studio artists of the Women’s Art Association of Canada. Many of the poems in Merle’s most recent collection, The Seeker Ascends, were born of this artistic exploration.

#ArtLitPhx: MFA Student Reading Series: Kalani Pickhart, Elliot Winter, Tucker Leighty-Philips

artlitphx

Date: February 7, 2019
Time: 8:00 p.m., come early to grab a drink or snack and mingle!
Location: The Social Hall (715 S McClintock Dr) Tempe, AZ

Event Description:
Calling all lovers of poetry and prose! Join English’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program for the first semester of a special 8-part reading series featuring brand new work from ASU graduate students. Each reading will highlight two to three students at The Social Hall, a new destination bar and restaurant in Tempe. Do yourself a favor and support the arts by taking a night off to enjoy some of the best work our community is producing.

Featured Readers for this Date:
Kalani Pickhart, fiction
Elliot Winter, poetry
Tucker Leighty-Philips, fiction

#ArtLitPhx: Art for Justice with Nikky Finney

artlitphx

Date: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Time: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Location: Singer Hall, Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Cost: Free, please RSVP here.

Event Description:
The University of Arizona Poetry Center is proud to present Nikky Finney, who will read from her work commissioned for the Poetry Center’s Art for Justice grant.  After the reading, there will be a short Q&A and a book signing.

Please note: while this event is open to the public and free, you must RSVP in order to attend. Seats may be available the day of the event. However, as seating is limited, we recommend reserving your seats in advance. Any unclaimed seats will be released to the public five minutes before the start of the reading.

The University of Arizona Poetry Center’s Art for Justice grant funds a three-year project that will commission new work from leading writers in conversation with the crisis of mass incarceration in the United States, with the goal of creating new awareness and empathy through presentation and publication.  In particular, through the work of leading poets, the project will seek to confront racial inequities within the criminal justice system to promote social justice and change.  Learn more about the project.

Readings in Phoenix are presented in collaboration with the Phoenix Art Museum and with support from lead sponsor the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, with additional support from the ASU Creative Writing Program, the Literary & Prologue Society, and Superstition Review.

About the Author:
Nikky Finney was born by the sea in South Carolina and raised during the Civil Rights, Black Power, and Black Arts Movements. She began reading and writing poetry as a teenager growing up in the spectacle and human theatre of the deep South. At Talladega College, she began to autodidactically explore the great intersections between art, history, politics, and culture. These same arenas of exploration are ongoing today in her writing, teaching and spirited belief in one-on-one activism. She is the author of four books of poetry, On Wings Made of Gauze, RICE, The World Is Round, and Head Off & Split, which won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2011. She has written extensively for journals, magazines, and other publications. For twenty-one years she taught creative writing at the University of Kentucky and now holds the John Bennett, Jr., Chair in Creative Writing and Southern Letters at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. She travels extensively, never lecturing, always inviting and hoping for conversations that just might improve the human condition.

Contributor Update, Rae Gouirand: Glass is Glass Water is Water

Glass is Glass Water is Water coverToday we are happy to share news of past contributor Rae Gouirand. Rae’s new collection of poems, Glass is Glass Water is Water, is upcoming from Spork Press. The collection is a queer book of love and skepticism–of figuration, and of the tensions queer women inherit in their relationships to one another and to the culture in which they make their way. In it Rae hopes to suggest something about what we might learn from moments of breakage and failures of resolution about our relationships to meaning itself.

Glass is Glass Water is Water is available for preorder through Spork Press here.

Congratulations, Rae!

Two poems by Rae can be read in Issue 16 of Superstition Review.

Guest Blog Post, Susan Browne: Thanks to a Cockroach and a Cat

 

The cover to "archy and mehitabel."

Picture courtesy of the author.

My love for poetry began when I was eleven. A neighbor, an artist, gave me a book of poems. She must have seen my hunger and fed me. The book was archy and mehitabel by Don Marquis. Archy is a cockroach and Mehitabel is a cat in her ninth life. These two live in a journalist’s house, and when the journalist goes to work, Archy hops up on the typewriter and writes poetry. In a previous life, Archy was a free verse poet. He records his thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and Mehitabel offers him many stories from her treasure trove of nine incarnations. Mehitabel has an exuberance for living, (toujours gai), and so does Archy in his grouchy way, but he has a darker, more philosophical vision. He has to throw himself headfirst onto each key to operate the typewriter, and he can’t make capital letters because he doesn’t weigh enough to hold down the shift key. I was inspired. I read and re-read this book. It was surprising, funny, and took on every subject from the mundane to the celestial. The language was ordinary but also possessed its own original elegance. I loved the flow and construction of the lines down the page and was amazed at the lack of punctuation, how it wasn’t always necessary as I had been taught in school. Poetry was liberty. It was wild. I learned from Archy what I would learn again later from Leonard Cohen who wrote: Poetry comes from a place that no one commands and no one conquers.

I immediately wanted to write it. I remember the day I wrote my first poem, sitting in the living room listening to my parents and their friends talk. It was one of those social occasions where the kid sits there all dressed up and remains quiet. It was raining outside.

Bored, I went over to my mother and asked if I could get a pencil and a piece of paper. I came back into the living room and sat in my chair by the window. The poem I wrote was about the rain. I titled it, “The Rain.” It was fascinating to me, to take what was inside, feelings and thoughts, and connect them with the outside—the rain on the inside and the rain on the outside. I wrote the poem in quatrains—without knowing what a quatrain was—and at the end of every other stanza I repeated: “What’s a poor child to do?”

What can a child do in a world of adults that often seems false, trapped in convention? This was the 1960’s. I didn’t know how to articulate my growing concern about the world that was so troubling. I loved my parents, they loved me, but something was wrong. Many things were not being said, and I felt them. I wanted to be able to name how I was feeling and what I was witnessing, and to do it in an interesting way. I wanted a rhythm to it and some rhymes; I wanted to make pictures in words, with a connection from the inner to the outer landscape. I wouldn’t read Emily Dickinson’s poems until I was in college, but I had the desperate desire to tell my truth and tell it slant. This process would become my way of being in the world.

For years I wrote poetry without any instruction. My father told me he used to find little scraps of paper with writing on them on the floor of my bedroom. When I published my first book, he said he wished he had saved those scraps. That was a sweet idea, Dad, but I don’t think it would have made our fortune. Poetry is a continuous experiment beyond the realm of the marketplace. Alive and ever-changing, shape-shifting. Poetry is beyond anyone’s grasp or control. As a young woman, I adored that about it. So much of life looked like a trap for a woman. Poetry was a place where I couldn’t be hunted down. I wouldn’t let what was wild in me be domesticated out of existence, and every poem I wrote, from a scrap on the floor to a poem published in a literary journal, was an escape hatch.

And yet, poems show us to ourselves; they tell all the truths, the secrets we can barely tell ourselves, so poems are also the opposite of escape.  

At first, poetry had nothing to do with schools or teachers, but then I spent many years studying it. One of my greatest experiences in a poetry workshop was a three day seminar led by Jack Gilbert. I filled two notebooks, writing down what he said. Here are a few lines:

Poetry is a living object.

Get stark, primal energy into the poem.

Good poetry is truly caused by something.

Real surrealism has to have truth in it.

Get away from writing cleverly and write from a deeper place.

One of the functions of poetry is to teach people feeling, to reawaken feeling.

I can never get to the end of learning my craft. It’s infinity on fire. And as a fellow poet said to me recently after I complained about my frustrations with my work and about the art in general, “Susan, it’s just a poem.”

What? I spent hours, days, weeks, months trying to get this poem to fly, and it’s just a poem? I thought he’d lost his mind.

But he’s right. And I could relax and start again, ever the novitiate.

When I write, I don’t throw myself headfirst onto my keypad like Archy. But I admire him for it, finding his own writing process and doing what he has to do:

they

are always interested in technical

details when the main question is

whether the stuff is

literature or not

expression is the need of my soul

i was once a vers libre bard

but i died and my soul went into the body of a cockroach

it has given me a new outlook upon life

i see things from the under side now

Poetry is the beauty and the burning. It’s silence to sound and seed to sunlight. A way of being intimate with all things, of praising them, a way to think and feel far into things. Poetry pinches us awake, sings to us in strange and familiar melodies. It belongs to everyone.