Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Photos from the Marick Press Mini-literary festival's Friday night readings

Marick Press Authors, from left to right: Peter Conners, David Matlin, Derick Burleson, Sean Thomas (poolhall junkie) Dougherty, Susan Kelly-DeWitt and Jim Schley

Peter Conners reads from his new book, Emily Ate the Wind, against a backdrop of “urban art”

The words from Sean Thomas Dougherty’s new book, The Blue City, seem to flow through his fingers into his chest and out his mouth.

Marick Press authors chat under blushing green trees outside the Grosse Pointe Artists Center

Derick Burleson reads from Never Night, his new book shiny in the foreground.

With his new book As When, In Season in hand, Jim Schley tells us where he’s coming from.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Marick Press Mini-Literary Festival and Book Launch a Tremendous Success

It began Friday, May 2, a soggy spring evening saw writers from Alaska to Vermont gathered at the Grosse Pointe Arts Center to read for a captivated crowd. Friends old and new loitered on Kercheval Street. Wine was consumed. A palpable energy coursed through and outside the building and one and all were touched with the wonder of the event.

The next morning, fortified by a table full of snacks and a couple gallons of coffee, the authors dug in to a series of workshops. Topics covered: flash fiction, the craft of emotion, the metaphor as alchemy, reading poems from around the world, poetry writing: the poet as camera, the grammar of metaphor and making poems with the inner child. There was an amazing amount of knowledge being tossed about the room and the young poets in attendance drank it all in.

The clouds broke and the sun shone on the Tompkins Community Center at Windmill Pointe Park Sunday. Tables were lined with food, books and Marick Press authors. Ribbons were cut, poems read, music played and books signed. What started as a perfect day unfolded a perfect day.

Thanks to the Marick Press authors and staff. And a special thanks to all of you that came out for readings, participated in the workshops and helped to launch our five new titles. Your support is invaluable.

Check this blog frequently. We’ll be bringing out many photos and videos captured throughout the weekend.

And please, post your comments here. Let us know how you felt about the mini-festival.

Review of Peter Conners, Emily Ate the Wind in the Brooklyn Rail

...each short prose piece seems to speak in its own language, each gives a view of its subject as seen from blindingly close range, and since many of the stories read at first as departures from the main narrative, the expanding implications revealed on a subsequent pass form a wide wholeness that books twice its length rarely achieve.

Read all of John Colasacco's review of Emily Ate the Wind in the Brooklyn Rail

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Robert Lipton: A Complex Bravery

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Chafing, raw, reddened skin
from fiction the man tells me
all chicken fried and coated with sun.
I’m surrounded by him
like the atmosphere of a dying planet.
He was here before mathematics
before the first winter collecting
so many layers of blue
or before a brother had large teeth
enough to kill his twin.
I had little on offer
simply considered splitting the Pringles
and Slurpees, too shell-shocked to talk
or to feed my child the last little dollup
of Gerber’s yams.
The man was all sepulchral
as he described a war drenched in red sunsets
a “blood red that is not blood”
or of the mountain of three goddesses
sans goddesses.
He shakes his head as my child screams
Do you charge for that baby?
he winks, the baby starting to hum
not like an opera singer
but like a washing machine
something to calm the parents.
Even after all this
there is a singing about paradise.

Buy the book

“This is the book of childhood, love and war. Lipton’s poems are a gang that takes no prisoners: his voice is direct, his tone is clear, his diction is ironic — but his irony is earned and felt-through. The manuscript is a book of elegies that refuse to go mourning without at least a little bit of protest. Whatever his loss is, Lipton’s voice’s always quirky and alive, always ready to report the world straight to us, without patronizing, for “this battle is parent by parent / and I have homework to do.”
—Ilya Kaminsky, author of Dancing in Odessa and Musica Humana

Robert Lipton is the author of Bearing Witness in the Promised Land. In: Live from Palestine (South End Press). His stories and poems have appeared in a wide range of literary journals, both on and offline, including Echo 681, Interbang, Jacaranda Review, Squaw Valley Review, King Log, Shades of Contradiction, The Texas Observer and Parthenon West. He has received grants from Berkeley Community Arts and Alameda Community Arts Programs, was for seven years poetry workshop leader at Berkeley Art Center.