Writer’s Block this Weekend and Joy Priest on the radio hour [11.13.14]

It’s the weekend you’ve been anticipating here in the Literary Arts Community of Louisville, Ky. The weekend of the Writer’s Block curated by the Louisville Literary Arts  board and hosted in the NuLu area.  For one full day a full city block of Louisville is filled with readings, workshops, panel discussions, and a press fair.  Our artFM studio is located in this block of writing extravagancy so we’ll be hosting drop in interviews with some of the panelists throughout the day.

Festivities unofficially start on Wednesday, November 12, 730p, with Subterranean Phrases. A reading series, starting its third year, that combines writers with musicians to perform unrehearsed collaborations in the Cellar Lounge of Decca Restaurant.

November 12th will feature Erin Keane (Louisville) and Jay Sizemore (Nashville) with music by Cowboy Funeral.

” Erin Keane was born in New Jersey and raised in Kentucky and feels both states are misunderstood.

She is the author of three collections of poetry: Demolition of the Promised Land (Typecast Publishing, 2014), Death-Defying Acts (WordFarm, 2010), and The Gravity Soundtrack, (WordFarm, 2007).

Her articles, poems, plays, essays, and reviews have appeared in journals, magazines, newspapers and anthologies, including Salon, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Guardian, Barrelhouse, The Collagist, Redivider, PANK, The Lumberyard, Poems & Plays, and The Louisville Review.

Keane earned her MFA in creative writing at Spalding University, and she’s a proud graduate of the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts.She’s a recipient of the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council and fellowships from the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. A former newspaper and public radio arts journalist, now she’s a staff writer for Salon, focusing on entertainment and culture.

Erin lives under the flight path and near a secret cemetery with her husband Drew, their cats Harold Bloom and Rex, and one small Boston terrier named Nora Charles.”
http://www.sensilla.com/

Jay Sizemore flunked out of college and has since sold his soul to corporate America. He still sings in the shower. Sometimes, he writes things down. His work has appeared online and in print with magazines such as Prick of the Spindle, DASH, Menacing Hedge, and Still: The Journal. He’s never won any awards. Currently, he lives in Nashville, TN, home of the death of modern music. His chapbook Father Figures is currently available on Amazon. : http://jaysizemore.com/

Subterranean Phrases is hosted by Rachel Short and is not a part of the festivities of Writers Block. However, we hope you will join us.

Decca Restaurant will also host the official after party of the Block with Readings by Joy Priest, Matt Hart, and Christ Mattingly.

‘MATT HART is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012) and Debacle Debacle (H_NGM_N Books, 2013). A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band TRAVEL.

CHRIS MATTINGLY is the author of SCUFFLETOWN, a full-length collection from Typecast Publishing, and two chapbooks, AD HOC (2010) and A LIGHT FOR YOUR BEACON (2012), both from Q Avenue Press. His poems have recently appeared in River Styx; Lumberyard; Still; Louisville Review; Sawmill; and Forklift,OHIO. At Indiana University, Mattingly earned a BA in English and Folklore. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Spalding University and recently returned to Louisville from southeast Georgia, where he taught at East Georgia State College. Mattingly currently teaches at Bellarmine University.

JOY PRIEST is a poet, memoirist & screenwriter living in the In-Between, where she was born & raised. Her primary obsessions are history & psychological horror, & at 25, she is the newest & youngest member of the Affrilachian Poets. Joy is the recipient of a 2015 Kentucky Arts Council Emerging Artist Award, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference grant & was a finalist for the International Poetry Award from the Center for Women Writers at Salem College. Her work has been published or is upcoming in pluck! Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture, Toe Good Poetry Journal, Solstice Lit Mag & Best New Poets 2014.

Hosted by Sarah Maddix, Rachel Short and John James.

This event is free and open to the public.”

Joy Priest will be appearing on the radio hour this Thursday [11.13.14] at 1pm on artxfm.com to read some preview excerpts and discuss her work  with Keep Louisville Literary host, Rachel Short 

The Official Kickoff for Writers Block is Friday, November 14th, with the longest running Louisville reading series, InKY. Hosted at the Bardstown. Featuring David Baker and Jacinda Townsend.

‘David Baker (Oberlin, OH) Poetry Editor of The Kenyon Review and lives in Granville, Ohio. Among Baker’s eleven books are Never-Ending Birds (poems, 2009, W. W. Norton), Radiant Lyre: Essays on Lyric Poetry(essays, edited with Ann Townsend, 2007, Graywolf Press), Midwest Eclogue (poems, 2005, W. W. Norton), and Treatise on Touch: Selected Poems (2005, Arc Publications, UK). For his work, Baker has been awarded fellowships and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Society of America, Ohio Arts Council, Society of Midland Authors, and others. Baker currently holds the Thomas B. Fordham Chair of Creative Writing at Denison University, in Granville, Ohio, where he is Professor of English.

Jacinda Townsend (Bloomington, IN) is the author of the novel Saint Monkey (Norton, 2014), which follows the lives of two girls growing up in Eastern Kentucky’s Black community shortly after the Korean War. Chapters of the novel have been published in Mythium Journal, WomenArts Quarterly, and in the award-winning journal poemmemoirstory, and an excerpt from the novel earned Jacinda a 2008 Illinois Arts Council grant. Saint Monkey will be published in 2014 by W. W. Norton and Company.’

InKY schedule:

6:30 Open mic sign-ups

7:00 – 7:30PM Open mic readings (3 minutes each)
7:30 – 7:50 PM First featured reader
7:55 – 8:15 PM Second featured reader

8:15 – 8: 35 PM  Question & Answer Session

Writers Block then continues on Saturday, Nov. 15th with registration beginning at 9 am. For more information visit the LLA website HERE

b33d48_82dee135aac34b01b701f54f15b407f4.png_srz_154_237_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzb33d48_9cf3adc657c24d8fbb7d2c4add851f95.jpg_srz_719_540_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

I’ll be chatting with panelist starting at 9am on the artxfm live streaming. There is a free mobile app you can download to listen in throughout the day. schedule:

9 am: Angela Jackson Brown
on “Inventing the Truth panel
11 am: Sarah Havens:
Participating on humor panel
more info here: barbelleblog.com
1 pm: Gaylord Brewer:
 participating on “A Writeable Feast” food writing panel; info here:
3 pm Matt Hart
on “Inventing the Truth Panel”
The Writer’s Block is free and open to the public besides a small fee and registration required to attend any workshops.  I hope you’ll make a day of attending this event and explore all of the wonderful Literary adventures this city has to offer.
write on,
Rachel Short
keeplouisvilleliterary@yahoo.com

Several great events lead up to Writers Block, Louisville + the Radio hour with Adriena Dame

This week on the radio hour [Thursday, October 23] artxfm.com, I’ll be chatting with the multifaceted, Adriena Dame, editor for the journal ‘94 creations‘. The 94 creations team will be celebrating their release party for the 6th issue on October 25th. Tune in Thursday to hear a sneak peak and some behind the scenes discussion to what went into putting this issue together.
94 creations is not Adriena’s only passion. She also serves on the Louisville Literary Arts board, has her own sock company, makes jewelry, writes, teaches, and works with at risk youth.
We’ll also be chatting about the makings of the Writers Block coming up on Nov. 15th

Adriena Dame, author of The Moo: Stories and a Novella, is a military brat, adventurer, mixed-media jewelry artist, and creative writing professor at Spalding University. She also leads writing workshops; teaches fiction, creative nonfiction, and wearable art classes; and offers homeschool English courses at 94 Creations Studios, located at Mellwood Arts Center in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to publishing 94 Creations literary journal, she contributes to the editorial efforts of Tidal Basin Review, is a poetry coach for Generation iSpeak, and serves as a board member for the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She is a graduate of Spalding’s brief-residency MFA in Writing Program.

You can attend the release party of 94 creations this Saturday at Vault 1301- Readers include Sheri L. Wright, Nathan Gower and Karen George.
1798494_744800062222873_5751521384699189360_n

Other events leading up to Writers Block:
Saturday, October 25th, 7pm, Carmichaels, Poets Eric Scott Sutherland, Tom C. Hunley, and Lynnell Edwards will be signing and reading from their new collections.

Tuesday, October 28th, 7pm, Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning
251 W 2nd St, Lexington, Kentucky 40507,
The Louisville Review and The Carnegie Center present a reading in celebration of the 75th issue of The Louisville Review. The reading takes place 7:00-8:15 p.m. Tuesday, October 28, at the Carnegie Center in Lexington and features writers who work has appeared in The Louisville Review.

Featured writers include Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker, former Kentucky Poet Laureate Sena Jeter Naslund, Karen Mann, Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, Bill Goodman, and Susan Christerson Brown.

Thursday, October 30th, 4pm, Bingham Poetry Room– Heather Slomski is giving a reading and will appear on the radio hour at 1pm to chat about her work.

Wednesday, November 5th, 630pm, Hillbilly Tea, The Spalding BFA salon, hosted by Merle Bachman

Wednesday, November 12, 730pm, Decca, Subterranean Phrases with Erin Keane and Jay Sizemore

Thursday, November 13th, 1pm, artxfm.com, The radio hour with Joy Priest.

Friday, November 14th, 7pm, The Bardstown, InKY/ writers block kickoff

Tea Salon. Amelia Susan. InKY: all this week in Literary Louisville

The Derby festivities are over for the year and Louisvillians can breathe a sigh of relief and get back to the heart of the city, its arts.

Spalding University’s BFA in CREATIVE WRITING

presents

LITERARY (Tea)SALON!
Wednesday, May 7th @ HILLBILLY TEA @ 7:30 PM

Martha Greenwald!

Kate Welsh!

Martha Greenwald’s first collection of poetry, Other Prohibited Items, was the winner of the Mississippi Review Poetry Series. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Threepenny Review, Slate, Poetry, Best New Poets, The Sycamore Review and Shenandoah. She has held a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford and been awarded an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council, among other honors.

Kate Welsh is writing and illustrating her first graphic novel, Believable Places. She earned an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College in 2007. From 2008-2009 she worked as a columnist for the Louisville Eccentric Observer and continues to write freelance book reviews for them. Her column, “Yep I’m Gay,” was Louisville’s first queer-centered column in a mainstream paper

Thursday, May 8 at 1pm EST on artxfm.com, Keep Louisville Literary will host poet, Amelia Susan with readings and Q&A about her recent publication ‘The Hand that holds the Earth’

Amelia S. Robinson is an author, artist, teacher, and therapist. She has found writing to be a vital part of her life. She remembers writing even as a child. In addition to composing poems and stories, she creates visual and performance arts. She presents spoken word under the name Dawn’s Early Light and continues to work toward her dream of returning to the nature and country living that so deeply influenced her youth.
The Hand That Holds The Earth Book is the first publication of writing by Amelia S. Robinson. She presents this collection of poetry and prose with the intention of raising the vibration of love and magic in our daily lives and reminding us of the precious gifts of Earth and Spirit that surround us and are within us all.

 

On Friday, May 9, LLA’s InKY is pleased to host Sena Jeter Naslund, Erin Keane, and Ellyn Lichvar. A Q & A with the authors will follow. Open mic will begin at 7:00, and the three readers will begin at 7:20. Open mic readers, please arrive at Bard’s Town to sign-up at 6:45.

 

Get LIT, Louisville. post derby

Poet and WFPL Radio Personality Erin Keane on ARTxFM, 1pm Today!

(NOTE:   Keep Louisville Literary streams live on http://www.artxfm.com at 1pm Thursdays)

Hello readers,

Today I’ll welcome WFPL’s Erin Keane to the studio to discuss the show she recently produced: “Unbound: Ficiton on the Radio” in which authors like Brian Leung, Frank Bill, Silas House, Tessa Mellas, Claire Vaye Watkins and others read their stories in their own voices.

Erin is also a wonderful poet, and we will discuss her work past and present, including her new collection forthcoming from Typecast Publishing. As a preview, I’m linking this poet on poet interview we did last year. I say we because she literally turned the tables, hence the dual format. I hope you’ll tune in today to http://www.artxfm.com at 1pm to hear all about Erin’s new endeavors to Keep Louisville Literary!

Exciting week of literary events starts tonight! 5/18

Tonight 5/17: First installment of the Homegrown Art, Music, and Spoken Word series hosted by Bobbi Buchanan
At Cedar Grove Coffee House 142 buffalo run road shepardsville, KY 40165. https://m.facebook.com/#!/events/306641226132694

Spalding university’s Festival of Contemporary Writing feat. Faculty and guests including Greg Pape, Kirby Gann, Maureen Morehead and many more starts tomorrow! 5/18
http://spalding.edu/festival-of-contemporary-writing-is-may-18-25/

The KY Women’s Bookfest runs tomorrow 5/18 from 9:30am until 3pm at UofL’s Ekstrom Library. Affrilachian poet Bianca Spriggs, WFPL’s Erin Keane, Sheri Wright, Judith C. Owens-LaLude, and Sarah Garland will speak

Monday 5/20 Sarabande hosts Mary Jo Bang and Kazim Ali at hotel 21c 7:30pm

Friday 5/24 Maurice Manning and Makalani Bandele read at Java Bardstown (1707 Bardstown rd) for Speak Social at 7:30pm
Look midweek for my interview with former Guggenheim fellow Maurice Manning (with audio!)

Interview with Tireless Artist Matt Hart: poet, teacher, Typecast Publishing and H_NGM_N author, and punk rocker

Speak Social Presents: Matt Hart & Patrick Wensink

Poet Matt Hart will be reading with novelist Patrick Wensink @Java Bardstown for the February 22nd installment of Speak Social at 7:30pm. I haven’t spoken with Patrick Wensink—who’s readings have been known to become drinking games as Erin Keane will tell you here, and who also had “four  days of (internet) fame” after receiving the world’s “nicest cease and desist letter” from Jack Daniels whiskey— but I was fortunate to catch up with Matt (busy poet, father, educator, and musician) to try and dig up some insight for those of you who may not already be aware of this prolific, regional powerhouse of written and spoken verse.

Brandon Stettenbenz: Let’s clear the air. This interview is not going to be as awesome as the one you did with BookSlut (it’s really worth a read!); of course that was a few years back… Since then, you’ve put out a book with Typecast Publishing here in Louisville, called “Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless.” Your band, Travel, also did an album inspired by the book. Can you fill us in on that experience?

Matt Hart: I’ve been a big fan of Lumberyard (the print magazine that Typecast publishes) almost since the beginning. I think it’s really exciting what they do with typography, exploding the poems, reconfiguring and re-contextualizing the various moving parts of the lines and stanzas, emphasizing the visual, material, and sculptural (not to mention, wooden and concrete) qualities of language. There’s something radical and radicalizing about their vision, and the DIY nature of the thing is something that really resonates with me and with my background, both with Forklift, Ohio (the magazine I co-founded and edit) and in punk rock.

With that in mind, I was only maybe a third of the way into the poems that became Sermons and Lectures, when I started thinking that Typecast would be the perfect publisher for that book. The poems are so full of fracture and speed, and the material quality of the language that comes through in the collage technique is a prevalent mode of the book’s poems. Of course, there are also numerous references to early punk rock and the idea that everything might fall apart at any second.  It seemed to me to that the book had a lot in common with the Typecast aesthetic and vision, so I approached Jen Woods about it, and she liked the manuscript and took it on. I don’t remember exactly when in the process I got the idea to do a new Travel record using cut-up versions of the Sermons and Lectures poems as lyrics, but it all sort of came together right around the same time. The resulting record, Blank Sermons…Relentless Lectures, is one of Travel’s best, I think; full of noise and skronkiness that actually ends up sounding like music. Go figure.

Working with Typecast, and with Jen in particular, was truly a wonderful experience. She really helped me with ordering the manuscript, but more than that she’s a really careful editor, and I think she understands my aesthetic sometimes better than I do. I hope I get to work with her and Typecast again at some point. But regardless, I know that we’re friends for the long haul. She really is my Weird Sister.

Note: (Typecast Publishing is an immeasurable asset to our literary scene here in Louisville, and a growing force among American small presses. You can check out their impressive catalogue here, including Lumberyard magazine #10 featuring Mary Ruefle, Maurice Manning and more)

BS: I’ve read and heard mostly the poems from Sermons, but in older and more recent journals I’ve observed that your voice has remained loud; there’s really no other way to describe it whether in print or in person. Do your see this as a product of your punk/rock n’ roll roots and/or an intrinsic personal trait?

MH: Well, okay, I get that. But I think of my more recent work, especially the post Sermons and Lectures stuff that’s been appearing here and there, as really domestic, romantic, nearly pastoral in some of its tonalities and urgency toward melody/rhapsody/narrative. In fact, if I could have my way, with my new book Debacle Debacle, I would whisper the poems to one listener at a time. Sadly, that doesn’t usually fly so well against the backdrop of espresso machines and clinking beer bottles.  It’s hard at most readings to be desperately, energetically, and personally low volume—almost no one would be able to hear the poems!—even though that’s often how I hear them in my head, and certainly the way I read them out loud to myself as I’m writing them. It’s the way I imagine someone else reading them too.

I should say also that just reading poems in a monotone is so incredibly awful to my ear that I just can’t allow myself to do it. Poems are alive. They have their own peculiar voices. At a reading I’m not trying to read them the way a reader would/should read them. That’s a thing done in the privacy of one’s mind, one’s mouth, one’s soul—if we’re lucky. Poets need to realize when they’re reading in public that they’re performing. There’s an audience in front of you, and they deserve a thing delivered, a call for their response. But also the poems deserve to be inhabited and brought to life.

That said, I always try pretty hard to create something of a dynamic range in the work—all one volume all the time gets kind of boring. With Sermons and Lectures, which takes a lot of its inspiration from punk rock and hellfire and brimstone preaching there’s certainly a lot of “loud,” but that’s contrasted with very modulated quiet passages. The final sequence “Blood Brothers and Weird Sisters” has a much different tonality than a lot of the rest of the book. It’s a denouement and a finality—a last gasp—and is the result of a kind of necessary exhaustion, a gradual fade out. It is true that often at readings I like to try and build momentum (which itself often comes with increasing the volume, either incrementally or radically)—to make poems ramp up with a fever, to press their bewildered faces against the infinite—whatever that is. I definitely think that this desire for a dynamic range in the work comes from my background in music. The “louds” I want to be really loud, but the “quiets” should be barely audible, so that people have to lean in and stop breathing.

BS: The other unique thing your poems have impressed upon me is a feeling of constant work, struggle, striving, experimentation, and change that seems to extend through absurd, metaphysical, political, and historic landscapes that are ultimately examining your own past and present. What I see more than anything in your work is a tenacious drive to examine and expose the self, to unearth and divulge your own thoughts (in this instance I’m assuming the narrator of your work is most often yourself as opposed to a generalized “the self”). Do you see poetry in general or at least your own as a mode of growth, self examination, perhaps therapy or necessary release from the pressures we all face;  an exorcism/meditation if you will?

MH: I think I believe that artists always get to the universal via the personal (which is a paraphrase of something the painter Robert Motherwell said). But I don’t think of the poems as therapy. I’m not solving mental problems; I’m blasting off with joy or being awe struck or playing (which is a very serious thing). My poems are mostly exploratory, [meaning that] they point back to the process of their making and/or are demonstrations of a particular way of paying attention (my way of paying attention)— which I hope is something recognizable to other people, something they can connect with/to [via similarities] they find between my way and their way. I want my poems to open a window in the reader/listener’s life—from me to you, from you to me, and back again, forever. In other words (with other worlds), to create and court experiences of empathy is ultimately what I’m after.  Empathy is (and this is a paraphrase of something Dean Young has said) the imaginative act of putting yourself (figuratively, metaphorically) so entirely and intensely in someone else’s shoes that you feel what they feel. For me, empathy is a kind of visceral entanglement of the self with the other—one that’s entirely based in the notion that we are a lot more similar than we are different.  But it’s also those similarities which are the basis for appreciating and celebrating difference.

Of course, first and foremost, and whatever the aims, the poems have to be the best poems—as poems—that I can make, and I try to do that any way I can. I don’t want to limit possibility. I want to delimit it. My books are all really different from each other by design, because I am always trying to find new opportunities in the language—both in its form and its content—to reach out, to shock and be shocked and get a charge from our common humanity. I’m not worried about establishing a voice. I have faith that a voice will emerge from the activity of ranging far and wide wherever my interests and attention take me.

BS: Your new book from H_NGM_N Books (“Hangman” when you say it out loud) is called Debacle, Debacle. Folks can pre-order it here, an option that’s been up for only about a week. H_NGM_N also put out your last collection, so I assume you’ve forged a good working relationship with them. Could you tell us about the new book, your experiences working with H_NGM_N and a bit about them as a publisher?

MH: Well, just to be clear, H_NGM_N did my 2010 book WOLF FACE, but Typecast put out my last collection Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless in 2012. And in between those was a collection (mainly of several chapbooks) called Light-Headed that came out from BlazeVOX in 2011. My first book, Who’s Who Vivid, came out from Slope Editions in 2006—don’t wanna step on any editorial toes here.

As for Debacle Debacle, Nate Pritts, who founded, runs, and edits H_NGM_N, is a friend of mine from grad school. We’ve kept in close touch over the years, and all that time he’s been such an incredible champion of my work. I’m really grateful to Nate for his faith and trust in my process and poems. He’s truly my brother in more ways than one. As it turns out, many of the poems in Debacle Debacle respond directly to poems of Nate’s, or to ideas that we were both thinking about and discussing at the time the poems were written—ideas about friendship and the creative process, our respective domestic situations, my dumb (and very dumbly—I won’t go into it) broken foot. It’s funny, though, those poems seem to have all been written such a long time ago—2009-10 (a few in early 11). I’m two manuscripts beyond them now, but I’m excited that the book is finally coming out. I deliberately haven’t really read them anywhere, so that I can figure out how to do that when the book is in the world as a book. I just did one of those NEXT BIG THING interviews where I talk all about Debacle Debacle—its origin story. Anyone who’s interested can see it here. I’ve really loved working with all of the editors I’ve been fortunate enough to work with. Every one of them has been terrific and insightful. There aren’t many instances, I don’t think, where you get to work with your best friends, so I feel really lucky to get to do that.

BS: Another new accomplishment/change came in the form of a visiting Assistant

Professorship this past fall at the University of Texas, Austin. I’ve never been to Austin (unfortunately!), but I’ve spent plenty of time in Cincinnati. They must be very different places. I must admit, I’m completely in the dark about both schools, though I’ve heard and read a few things about UT’s Creative Writing MFA. How did you like Austin; was it a big adjustment? Did you find more enthusiastic students at UT than the Art Academy of Cincinnati, or perhaps a larger pool of creative writing students?

MH: I loved being at UT. The city of Austin’s great, but I was so busy that I didn’t really spend much time wandering around—though I did get to see Dinosaur Jr., Pianos Become the Teeth, La Dispute, and Willie Nelson w/ Asleep at the Wheel (not all on the same night, of course). The music scene’s intense. Anyway, the big difference between what I was doing in Texas and my usual gig at the Art Academy was that at UT I was teaching grad students, which I loved, in addition to undergrads. All the students at UT were awesome, but I found the grad students in particular to be wild and bewildering with brightness and all manner of full-throttle inspiration and anxiety (which can be an artist’s best friend). I adore them all—really. They made me such a better teacher and writer. I actually wrote about 75 poems while I was there and quite a lot of prose on poetry, too. It was poetry twenty-four seven, which is really different from my normal life. I’m married (14 years!) and I have a six year old daughter. My family couldn’t come with me to Texas, so in terms of that, I didn’t have the usual (very good—and very necessary for me) distractions of family life to contend with. Thus, I got even more work done than usual, but I was also missing my home life terribly. I loved being in Austin (where I have some amazing friends, in addition to the amazing students), but it’s also really good to be back home in Cinci.

As for the Art Academy, that’s a great gig too. It’s art-college—undergraduates—so all of my students are artists, my colleagues are artists, and there’s an incredibly high degree of interplay between visual and written expression.  The whole building smells like oil paint and words.  And I have some awesome poets that never cease to up the ante and challenge me as a teacher and a poet. I’ve been teaching there now for thirteen years, and I really do love it.  

BS: Cincinnati is just a stone’s throw away, so I assume you’ve read here before (apart from the sneak peak of Sermons you laid on us at the Writer’s Block open mic in 2011). Louisville is also a music-centric town, bar town, etc… has your (I’ll venture to say) distinct brand of exuberant reading been well received here, historically?

MH: Louisville’s a really fun city—a lot like Cincinnati actually—with its river life and little neighborhoods. People in Louisville have always been really warm and welcoming to me. I’m excited to be coming back. Of course, I’m always glad to get to see Jen Woods and her husband Bill, both of whom have become great friends and collaborators (not just with Sermons, but) in various kinds of mischief over the years. For me, a reading is always a time to reconnect with old friends one already knows and also to meet new people and potentially make new friends, not only in terms of the art, but on a personal level as well. These days I like readings more for who I get to see and meet than for anything having to do with people seeing me read—though reading is an incredibly invigorating and gratifying experience. It’s fun to share the work.

BS: Poetry in general, especially performed live can be a thing of energy, and you seem to plug right into it before cranking the gain up to eleven. Are you hoping to get the Speak Social crowd riled up on the 22nd?

MH: I’ll definitely bring a good energy supply—I do hereby promise. I have lots of new poems, and I’m excited for the opportunity to see how some of them fly in the air. Can’t wait. See you on the 22nd!

 

Bio (from the author’s own page):

Matt Hart is the author of four books of poems, Who’s Who Vivid (Slope Editions, 2006), Wolf Face (H_NGM_N BKS, 2010), Light-Headed (BlazeVOX, 2011), and Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012), as well as several chapbooks. A fifth collection, Debacle Debacle, is forthcoming from H_NGM_N BKS in 2013. Additionally, his poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in numerous print and online journals, including Big Bell, Cincinnati Review, Coldfront, Columbia Poetry Review, H_NGM_N, Harvard Review, jubilat, Lungfull!, and Post Road, among others. His awards include a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from both the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band TRAVEL.

A New Year, New Authors, Lists and a look back at KLL: the first 5 months

Well, I don’t know if I’m spearheading a literary revolution, but I’ve had damn good time doing this blog. I started in late August 2012 and set out to change the dynamics of our local Lit. scene by co-mingling crowds and attempting to generate public/community interest in new and resurfacing authors via interview. Since no “year-in/year-end” blog posting is complete without them, I’m going to all the awesome people I’ve interviewed this year (which you can still check out!), some of the inspiring books I’ve read, and the people I have slated and in-mind for interviews this spring.

Past interviews: John James, Hannah Gamble, Joe Brashear, Makalani Bandele, Ada Limón, Jessica Farquhar, Erin Keane (and her questions answered by me, Brandon Stettenbenz), Sean Patrick Hill, Jennifer Woods (Typecast Publishing), Nettie Farris, Jimmy Besseck, Kiki Petrosino, Sheri Wright, and Rachel Short. I’m sure this wasn’t the highlight of the year for any reader or interviewee, but I hope everyone had fun!

Recommended reads for the year: Ada Limón’s Sharks in the Rivers, Sean Patrick Hill’s Interstitual, Hannah Gamble’s Your Invitation to a Moderate Breakfast, Kiki Petrosino’s Fort Red Border, Jimmy Besseck’s Bus Boy Moments, Sheri Wright’s The Feast of Erasure, Erin Keane’s Death Defying Acts, Dean Young’s Fall Higher, Charles Simic’s That Little Something, Richard Taylor’s Fading Into BoliviaW. Loran Smith’s Night Train, M. Bartley Seigel’s This is What They Say, and many more than I can list or remember.

Reading list 2012 (So far): Dorthea Lasky’s Thunderbird, Dean Young’s Bender: New and Selected poems, Sean Patrick Hill’s Hibernaculum, William Carlos William’s Paterson, Mary Ruefle’s Selected Poems, and so forth and SF books no one cares about.

Slated & possible authors/publishers to interview: Adam Day, Jeriod Avant, Meg Bowden (Sarabande Books), The White Squirrel (UofL) staff, Thomas Olges (later this mo.), Eric Sutherland (Holler Poets, Lexington, KY), Chris Mattingly, Matt Hart, Lynnell Edwards (LLA, InKY, Poet), Brian Leung (LLA, Inky, Novelist) and hopefully many more interesting persons.

I’ve had a decent year personally, and an excellent five months with this blog. I’m hoping that 2013 will bring the Louisville Lit. scene closer together than ever before (we are the only support we have folks!), and I look forward to seeing great readings and interviewing/meeting interesting writers.

Keep Louisville Literary in 2013!

Best wishes to all,

Brandon Stettenbenz

p.s. If you curate, edit or are otherwise part of literary events, magazines/journals, workshops or festivals anywhere in the region, I’d love to collaborate with you for this blog! My goal is not an insular one; enriching any literary community also means connecting with other literary communities and traveling writers! Its a two way, mutually beneficial endeavor.

Local Literary Picks for “Cyber Monday”! (no short-term deals, only great, local books available all year!)

While these may not exactly be rock-bottom prices on consumer goods, I wanted to show everyone who may be in the midst of the early holiday-shopping frenzy where they might find some local books & journals for themselves and other bibliophiles in their lives!

Sheri Wright, poet and fine-art photographer, self-released her sixth collection The Feast of Erasure this year. You can purchase poetry books and photo prints directly.

Local poet and journalist, not to mention the progenitor of InKY (say thanks next time you see her!), Erin Keane has  two books Death-Defying Acts, a collection of gritty prose poems about complex carnival folk, and The Gravity Soundtrack, filled with poems inspired by (mostly American Rock) music.

Affrilachian poet Makalani Bandele‘s book Hell-Fightin’ is rife with jazz and history.

Sean Patrick Hill is the author of two poetry collections and a few hiking books. He has a new collection forthcoming in 2013, and you can find links to buy his book on his blog.

Lynelle Major Edwards is the president of Louisville Literary Arts (the local, non-profit organization behind InKY and The Writer’s Block festival) as well as the author of three full-length collections of poetry which you can read about and purchase here. Her blog also has a section outlining the wonderful organizations responsible for Keeping Louisville Literary!

Brian Leung is the author of the novels Take Me Home and World Famous Love Acts. Look for his work at Carmichael’s Books and other local bookstores.

Adam Day is the author of the poetry chapbook Badger Apocrypha,  which can be found at Carmichael’s as well. He is searching for a publisher for a newer, full-length collection of poems and writing a novel.

Kirby Gann is the author of three novels: The Barbarian Parade, Our Napoleon in Rags, and mostly recently Ghosting (click to read reviews including kudos from Publisher’s Weekly).

Typecast publishing is an up-and-coming small press that likes to make unique books by hand. Originating out of The Lumberyard magazine project with Fire Cracker Press (#10 available soon!), this Louisville, KY based publisher has had a huge impact on the local lit. scene and continues to volunteer time, etc. to The Writer’s Block festival, and other projects. They’ve so far published fiction and poetry which you can find for purchase on their website (I recommend M. Bartley Seigel’s collection of poems about the rust-belt, This is What They Say; he also heads a rag called PANK which isn’t local but I do HIGHLY recommend reading it).

Larkspur Press is a publisher of hand-made books whose letterpress shop is in Monterey, KY. They have published Fred Smock who currently teaches at Bellarmine, Richard Taylor formerely at Kentucky University, and UofL graduate and current KY poet-laureate Maureen Morehead among others. These hand-cut and bound books feature wood-block and linoleum block prints by artists such as Steve Armstrong and many others.

Sarabande Books is a non-profit literary press founded in 1994 in Louisville, KY. They focus on poetry, short fiction, and essay. You can search their catalog here.

Catch-up is headed up locally by Adam Day and Jeff Hipsher. They have recently released their third issue guest edited by Catherine Wagner, Sean Bishop, Hannah Gamble, and DA Powell.

You can read interviews with most of these authors and publishers here. Take a look; inform your holiday and other purchases. Remember, these folks work for a living. They don’t mark up their goods, and thus you won’t find any high-pressure sales, only fine literary art! This means two things: you’re putting money in the hands of the makers, and you can shop local books all year long! Also, whether you dig any of the books listed above or not, please BUY LOCAL and KEEP LOUISVILLE LITERARY!

(Full Disclosure: I am privileged to know some of these fine artists personally)