The Studio One Reading Series Inaugural Benefit, Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Studio One Reading Series Inaugural Benefit

The Architecture of Poetry with

Murray Silverstein and Dora Malech

SPONSORED BY LAGUNITAS BREWING COMPANY

SATURDAY | JANUARY 10 | 2015


Featured Benefit Readers, Murray Silverstein and Dora Malech

Featured Benefit Readers, Murray Silverstein and Dora Malech

Benefit Details

VIP TEA-TALK W. MURRAY SILVERSTEIN | 3 PM–4 PM |

PRICE: $100 (includes ticket to Reading & Reception & all food and drink)

READING & RECEPTION ONLY | 5 PM – 7 PM |

PRICE: $30.00 (includes entrance to Reading & Reception & all food and drink)

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

JANE GREGORY TALKS TO LYNN XU FOR STUDIO ONE'S READING ON MAY 7TH

Lynn Xu reads with Rae Armantrout on Friday May 7th at 7 pm at Studio One Art Center


JANE GREGORY:
I think your readers are curious about your likes and dislikes. Can you choose from the following categories or from other categories and give us your favorite and least favorite things? (colors, words, feelings, ruins, outfits, structures, weapons, foods, sensations, transformations, monuments, pasts, futures, etc.)

LYNN XU:
Colors: Ash. Feelings: Joy. Ruins: My own. Structures: Sebald’s. Weapons: Nighttime (nature). Foods: Rice. Words: You.


JG: Your recent poems take up questions about poetic influence and inheritance, the kinds of influence we choose, the kinds we reject, and the kinds we practice advertently or inadvertently. So that I don’t say too much here, can you say something about this?

LX: I will answer this question with a question you ask farther down—whether I, like Spicer, believe that there is a society of poems that socialize without us—and Yes, I do. I also believe, like Celan, that poetry is an Atemwende, a turning of our breath. When I put these two thoughts together, it is upon our breath-turn that one poem shakes hands with another.


It is not only the language of the dead that we speak with, and in, but the whole sensorium of the dead. We carry their smells on our tongues. So when we speak various perfumes are released.


JG: What do you think about form? As a practice, as an activity, as an effect, as a tool, as a problem, etc.?

LX: I want to say: form is a dinner party, and sometimes the host is a serial killer. But I want to take your question seriously.


I want to say: I am a formalist! (Is this an unlucky thing to say?)


I like the sonnet a lot. Each syllable has an equal deadline and it’s always a challenge to meet it. In the summer of 2007 and into fall, Josh was in Oaxaca and I was in New York—and for each day we were apart we each wrote a sonnet. A proper sonnet. It was romantic, but it was also a competition. End-rhymes were assigned ahead of time, and we’d try to make them as hard as we can, so the other person would fail to write the sonnet. Sometimes it took me a week to write one. I started to write sonnets on trains, in the Laundromat, on the street, in the shower, my thinking started to come to me pre-metered, though I still cannot scan a poem correctly, even if my life depended on it. So for me the sonnet will always be a form of love.



JG: How does your background as a visual artist affect your poetry?

LX: For example, if I were to write 10 syllables per line this, for me, is a dark line. Because the number 10, in my head, corresponds to the color black. Numbers have strong color correspondences and words have somewhat weak ones. In this way I am still working from an abstract but vivid pallet in my mind. I also tend to replace thinking with an image. Then when the image moves this thinking does too.


JG: Do you think language is a particle or a wave?

LX: From what I understand (which is very little), a particle becomes a wave when it passes through some competing material. This is light. Language is not light, but can shed it, like snakes, which are sometimes poisonous. In my poems these snakes are at once painted with somber colors and with neon. There can only be a handful of neon snakes however.


JG: I hear you play fantasy baseball. What is your fantasy baseball team name? And who’s your star?

LX: My team name is the Religious Radishes. And my star is Miguel Cabrera, who is having a banner year, with 22RBI’s (as of this writing)!


JG: As one of the editors of the incredible Canarium Books, can you say something about how editing influences your own work? For example, is choosing what to publish and send out into the world anything like what happens when you sit down to write a poem? How does being an editor affect the way you read contemporary poetry?

LX: I am relatively new to the masthead. I’ve only been doing it for 3 years, whereas Josh, who started The Canary way back when, has been doing it for 8, and Nick and Robyn for 6. This is our second season as Canarium Books, and (here I think I speak for all the editors when) I say we’ve been blessed to have on board authors who are luminaries in the craft. It’s the closest I’ve come to a poetry community. I am very thankful.


I write alone. I am often sad because whatever I am trying to befriend in the now of writing has no face. Often I will write to friends | have them in mind as writing. So the “world” I send my poems out into is on the basis of friendship. I hope my friends like my poems.


Being an editor of contemporary poetry has certainly increased my awareness of what’s out there, in bounty that is contemporary poetry.



JG: There is a lot of talk about there being a crisis in Poetry, sometimes this talk laments the tiny audience for poetry, sometimes it laments poetry’s institutionalization or professionalization. Do you feel in crisis about any of these things? Do you feel in crisis about other poetry things? Are you worried about Poetry’s present or future?


LX: So. I Googled “Poetry crisis” and this is the first thing I got, a Gawker article, which referred me to this article, a transcript of Charles Bernstein’s 2008 . . . speech? http://harpers.org/archive/2008/09/hbc-90003617

I really like Bernstein and agree with him here. A default of institutionalization is over-production, quantity over quality. Lament points to a decline in the quality of the conversation. And editing Canarium Books has become important with respect to this.



JG: Can you say something about the social dimension of poetry, both as it happens inside of poems and as it happens between poets outside of poems? Do you, like Spicer, think there is a society of poems that socializes without us?


LX: See Question [2.]



JG: What is your perfect day?


LX: I wake up at 9am with my dreams still intact. Josh and I go on a long hike up in the hills and I fall asleep again on the side of the hill. By the time we climb down the sun has set. We see a movie. We eat ramen or sushi or whatever, with close friends, this goes on deep into the night.

Jane Gregory's poems have most recently appeared in "Some Books," a chapbook published by The Song Cave. She lives in Berkeley.

Lynn Xu was born in Shanghai. Her poems have appeared in 1913, 6x6, Best American Poetry 2008, Court Green, Effing, Eoagh, Tinfish, Octopus, The Walrus, Zoland Poetry, and elsewhere. A chapbook, June, was published in 2006 by Corollary Press. She co-edits Canarium Books.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Joseph Massey Interviews Rae Armantrout for Studio One's Reading on Friday May 7th

JOSEPH MASSEY: Tell us more about your forthcoming book Money Shot. There are several connotative layers there. Peel some of them back?

RAE ARMANTROUT: First, these poems were written during 2008-2009, the "Great Recession," so, of course, market manipulation, reckless greed, and the damage it does were on my mind. That's the literal "money" in money shot. In porn, the money shot is the one that shows the male orgasm. It's evidence—or it pretends to be evidence—of satisfaction. It's what they want you to see. The title prepares you, I hope, to examine the evidence critically.

There's a poem in the book called "Money Shot" which starts out by playing around with the name of one of the first banks that failed: IndyMac. Anyway, as soon as I gave the poem that title, I thought I'd like to use it for the book as well. I hesitated for awhile but I couldn't get the temptation out of my mind—so I did it.


JM: How has the landscape of southern California shaped your poetry? Do you ever long for other landscapes?

RA: It would be easy to come up with some reductive response such as that my poems are sparse because the landscape where I live is semi-arid or some such. But I don't really believe that. When Eileen Myles was here, though, she said she really "got" my poetry for the first time. She meant that there's a kind of isolation in southern California—which is such a car culture—that she also sensed in my work. You often see glimpses of things in passing. She thought my poems were composed of such glimpses. I don't know.

There are things I really like about the landscape here. One is that you can see great distances often. The sky is always a big part of the view. The terrain is rolling hills and canyons covered with brush. To the east there are mountains and on the other side a real desert. There's a lot of light.

Do I ever long for other landscapes? Well, yes. This summer we're going on a long car trip around the West, stopping at Zion and Grand Tetons. Lately I'm enamored by Seattle, the way it sits low on the water, the way it's surrounded by snow capped peaks. I'm a kind of landscape-whore actually.

JM: When I read one of your poems that ends without a period, which occurs frequently throughout your books, I imagine the poem is on a loop—a sculpted echo chamber—an Ouroboros of words. So, when you do end a poem with a period, what is its significance to you? How much does it weigh?

RA: That's interesting because I have more often been asked why I sometimes leave off the final period. Just flipping through Versed I see that such poems as "What We Mean," "Had," "Concentrate," "Hey" etc. have no final period. I'd say it's just about half and half. Sometimes I want a definite sounding statement at the end. In other cases, I want the statement to trail off rather uncertainly. Of course, even when the poem ends with what sounds like some pronouncement, that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm convinced of its truth. It's more like, "What happens if I declare such and such to be the case."

JM: Do you have an active dream life? Do you ever lucidly dream? Do you return to the same places/spaces in your dreams?

RA: I'm aware of dreaming every night. Some nights I remember a dream vividly, but more often I don't. I know that my dreams are full of chatter, full of voices. From what I read, I don't think that's necessarily true of everyone's dreams. Dreams fascinate me because in a sense they are little plays we make up for ourselves. We're the directors and the audience—and we're a good audience too because we almost always suspend disbelief.

In terms of lucid dreaming, I seem to have some control over my dreams. For instance, I don't really ever have nightmares. If a dream starts to get too disturbing, I generally wake up before anything too bad happens. Or sometimes the scary parts will be put at a distance somehow, happening to a character who doesn't appear to be me, for instance.

Before I was diagnosed with cancer, I had a number of sad or ominous dreams. I recorded some of them in Versed. Examples would be the 4th section of "Later" and the last part of "Worth While." If you read those sections now, I think you can see that I was giving myself a warning.

JM: Are you superstitious?

RA: Well, I'm not afraid of black cats or anything—but I do take note of coincidences. That is at the root of superstition, I think, and also at the root of poetry. I've had experiences that felt uncanny. For instance, as I told you, I had dreams shortly before my cancer diagnosis that seemed to foretell death. That's probably why you asked me this question. I think our senses pick up all kinds of things that, for whatever reason, don't enter our conscious minds. I'm interested in the things we know without knowing it. That kind of shadow knowledge is uncanny.



Joseph Massey was born in Chester, Pennsylvania and has spent the past nine years in Arcata, California. His latest books are Areas of Fog (Shearsman, 2009), The Lack Of (Nasturtium Press, 2009), Mock Orange (Longhouse, 2010) and Exit North (Book Thug, 2010). Work is forthcoming in the journal A Public Space and the anthology Visiting Dr. Williams: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of William Carlos Williams (University of Iowa Press).

Wesleyan will publish Rae Armantrout’s next collection, Money Shot, in June of 2011. Armantrout’s most recent book, Versed (Wesleyan, 2009), was a finalist for the National Book Award, and was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Next Life (Wesleyan, 2007), was chosen as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2007 by The New York Times. Other recent books include Collected Prose (Singing Horse, 2007), Up to Speed (Wesleyan, 2004), The Pretext (Green Integer, 2001), and Veil: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2001). Her poems have been included in anthologies such as American Hybrid (Norton, 2009), Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (1993), American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Language Meets the Lyric Tradition, (Wesleyan, 2002), The Oxford Book of American Poetry (Oxford, 2006) and The Best American Poetry of 1988, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008. Armantrout received an award in poetry from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2007 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008. She is Professor of Poetry and Poetics at the University of California, San Diego. Writing in Poetry magazine, Ange Mlinko has said, “I would trade the bulk of contemporary anecdotal free verse for more incisive, chilling poetry like Armantrout’s.

First Friday at Studio One with Lynn Xu, Rae Armantrout and music from Wee Giant.

Friday May 7th at 7pm


Lynn Xu was born in Shanghai. Her poems have appeared in 1913, 6x6, Best American Poetry 2008, Court Green, Effing, Eoagh, Tinfish, Octopus, The Walrus, Zoland Poetry, and elsewhere. A chapbook, June, was published in 2006 by Corollary Press. She co-edits Canarium Books.


Music from Wee Giant. Wee Giant (born August 1, 2006) are former American astronauts, test pilots, university professors, and naval aviators. They were the first human beings to set foot on an extraterrestrial world (The Earth Moon). Their first spaceflight was Gemini 8 in 2006, for which they were the command pilots. On this mission, Wee Giant performed the first manned docking of two spacecraft together with pilot David Scott. Their second and last spaceflight was as mission commander of the Apollo 111 moon landing mission on July 20, 2007. On this famous journey, Advisor and Big Time descended to the lunar surface ("The Giants have landed") and spent 2.5 hours exploring while their minds orbited above. Before becoming astronauts, Wee Giant were aviators for the United States Navy and saw action in the Secret Space War, then as test pilots at the NACA High-Speed Flight Station, now known as the Wee Giant Research Center, where they flew over 900 flights in a variety of aircraft.

Wesleyan will publish Rae Armantrout’s next collection, Money Shot, in June of 2011. Armantrout’s most recent book, Versed (Wesleyan, 2009), was a finalist for the National Book Award, and was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Next Life (Wesleyan, 2007), was chosen as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2007 by The New York Times. Other recent books include Collected Prose (Singing Horse, 2007), Up to Speed (Wesleyan, 2004), The Pretext (Green Integer, 2001), and Veil: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2001). Her poems have been included in anthologies such as American Hybrid (Norton, 2009), Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (1993), American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Language Meets the Lyric Tradition, (Wesleyan, 2002), The Oxford Book of American Poetry (Oxford, 2006) and The Best American Poetry of 1988, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008. Armantrout received an award in poetry from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2007 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008. She is Professor of Poetry and Poetics at the University of California, San Diego. Writing in Poetry magazine, Ange Mlinko has said, “I would trade the bulk of contemporary anecdotal free verse for more incisive, chilling poetry like Armantrout’s.

Entry by donation

Monday, April 12, 2010

Summer Poets Workshop and Rae Armantrout


Click to apply


In other news, Rae Armantrout has won the Pulitzer. Cool. Rae will read at Studio One on May 7th with Lynn Xu and music from Wee Giant.