Selena McCracken reports on “The Dark Lady of the Sonnets” and Pyro Gallery opens with Double Vision on Friday

Press Release: Double Vision 

PYRO Gallery pairs artists and poets in Double Vision Exhibit

Pyro Gallery will exhibit the collaborative works of 16 of their member artists paired with 16 local poets in Double Vision, opening at the gallery, 909 E. Market, Friday January 9, 6 – 9 PM and running through February 15.

In addition to the exhibition, there will be an exhibit catalogue. A series of literary readings/ conversations between poets and artists will be held Thursday evenings January 22, 29 and February 5 at 7 PM at the gallery. And local high school and university teachers have been invited to bring their classes to visit the gallery in a hands-on experience where several of the works invite participation and ongoing dialogue about the art/poetry collaborations.

The finished works range from an installation where visitors are invited to add their own words to form new poems in a hybrid between a Shinto shrine and Native American prayer sticks, to photography, printmaking, and a large scale fabric enclosure of image and text.

“The collaboration between artists and poets is testament to the myriad ways in which people can come together through art,” said the exhibition’s curator, Jeff Skinner, PYRO member and recent winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship. “The resulting works are varied and exhilarating: witty, intense, provocative, and profound,” he added.

“Because art making is often a solitary endeavor,” said PYRO’s administrative director, Susie Harrison, “ Double Vision offered artists the opportunity to travel outside studio routines and familiar creative processes to engage in a word and image, free-form partner dance across creative art forms.”

“We hope Double Vision serves as a counter-point to our product driven culture by placing great emphasis on process and collaboration,” said Harrison. “Some pairs met and shared meals together, others took road trips. Each pair discovered and lived their own definition of collaboration.”

PYRO Double Vision Exhibit                

The poet /artist pairs are:

POETS                          ARTISTS

Bill Smith                   Keith Auerbach

John James              Carrie Burr

Erin Keane                Beverly Glascock      

Lynnell Edwards       Kay Polson Grubola  

Martha Greenwald    Susan Harrison

Sarah Gorham           Paula Keppie

Jessica Farquhar       Jeff Skinner  

Kathryn Welsh           Bob Lockhart

Ellyn Lichvar              Debra Lott  

Sean Patrick Hill         John McCarthy

Michael Estes           Mike McCarthy      

Annette Allen            Susan Moffett    

Kristen Miller              Corie Neumayer

Fred Smock            James (Chip) Norton

David Harrity             C.J. Pressma

Adam Day              Jeff Skinner

Makalani Bandele  Wendi Smith

“Pyro is so pleased to have had the opportunity to work with so much of the literary talent of Louisville and hope we can continue with these kinds of collaborations,” Harrison added.

PYRO is an artist owned and operated gallery with 19 current members. Working in many different styles and media, a diverse group of professional artist members guarantees a lively assortment of work to visitors and collectors.

For additional information contact Paula Keppie at 502-883-0722, or at paulakkeppie@gmail.com.

 

Ignite. Excite. Inspire.

PYRO Gallery

909 East Market Street, Louisville, KY 40206

For information and directions: (502) 587-0106

Visit our website at: pyrogallery.com

Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 12-6

Keep Louisville Literary will be hosting several of the collaborative pairs on the radio hour to chat about their process.

Thursday January 15, 1pm on artxfm.com
Kay Grubola/Lynell Edwards
CP Pressma
Jeff Skinner/Jessica Farquhr/Adam Day
Thursday January 22nd, 1pm on artxfm.com
Sean Patrick Hill/John McCarthy
Makalani Bandele /Wendy Smith
Martha Greenwald/Susie Harrison

-Selena McCracken reports:

“On January 6th, Kentucky Shakespeare performed the one act play “The Dark Lady of the Sonnets” by George Bernard Shaw at the Kentucky Center and Louisville Public Media was there to record it. Matt Wallace, Producing Artistic Director, told the audience what’s in store for us this year. I’m excited about the “Shakespeare on Stage” Film Series at Baxter Avenue Theater and “Shakespeare in the Library,” for which two actors will read “Tempest” at all eighteen public library locations. He mentioned original, Shakespeare-inspired plays written by Theatre 502 and The Bard’s Town Theatre. “Macbeth” is coming to the Iriquois Ampitheater in the spring and the three plays we’ll see in Central Park this summer are “The Tempest,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” and “Macbeth”. “Late Night Shakes” will feature Louisville Improvisers after the play ends.

Next, the audience was invited to participate in the recording! We gasped and cheered on cue while the actors read a short, funny promotion for the play. To save on air time, we did everything a second time only much faster. Finally, Matt Wallace signaled to record while playing “The Beefeater” guard. The accents were flawless. That and “The Lady” (Queen Elizabeth I’s) red royal cloak was all it took to create the imagination of Whitehall. Abigail Bailey Maupin played a beautiful and frightening Virgin Queen. Gregory Maupin played the bard William Shakespeare, son of an alderman, who was waiting to meet with his lover, “The Dark Lady”. You know the one, with the wiry black hair, reeking breath and dull voice. “The Dark Lady” was played by Megan Masse who possessed none of those traits. Her suffering is somehow hilarious as Shakespeare blatantly ignores her to flatter the queen. “The Dark Lady,” who has often inspired reflections on the concept of true love, was not at all impressed by the sonnets about her. In fact, she had come to meet Shakespeare only to break up with him before he became so distracted by the Queen. Naturally, his romantic insinuations nearly got him executed, but it was gradually revealed that Shakespeare’s real opportunity was in convincing the Queen to consider funding a national theater for his plays, which he did. George Bernard Shaw wrote this play as part of a campaign to open a “Shakespeare National Theater” in 1916. It was quite an exhilarating unraveling when suddenly this tremendous feat of Kentucky Shakespeare came to an end.

It’s essential to mention that Kyle Ware utilized an entire table full of carefully selected random objects with which to create sound effects for the radio. There was much boot stomping and bell dinging and he had to slap his own face like 10 times. It was very special for me to see that again, because I voted for Le Petomane’s radio serial play “Gladys…of Adenture!” during the “Festival of Shorts” in which it debuted, but I never could get to another episode. It’s fascinating when the actors can create an environment that is engaging and entertaining on so many levels. Place and Time get spectacularly compounded and warped, especially in this adaptation of Shaw’s Shakespeare play, especially with Matt Wallace’s Beefeater accent. Add to that the fact that “The Dark Lady of the Sonnets” was actually recorded live for Louisville public radio and you might get why I was so charmed by the experience. Now we all get to be excited to finally listen to the podcast later this year! See you in the park!”

write on,
Rachel Short
keeplouisvilleliteary@yahoo.com
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Portland Poetry Series and InKY: This Friday Dec, 12 ++ Party with ArtFM on Saturday!

FRIENDS & FANS OF ARTxFM ~

On October 10, 2014 the Federal Communications Commission awarded a Construction Permit to  ART FM, Inc. for the development of a new broadcast station. Our assigned frequency is 97.1 FM and we will soon be audible over the air in Louisville, Kentucky U.S.A.

We are beyond thrilled by this exciting opportunity for our nonprofit radio station.   While we are have been amazed by the power of online broadcasting to carry our voices around the world, we look forward to the ease and accessibility with which FM transmission will connect us with our local community.

ARTxFM will soon be the first terrestrial radio station in America committed to providing contemporary artists access to the airwaves for creative and experimental use.  There are still many steps we must take, however, before launching our FM signal.  Soon we will be selecting and installing our transmitter, hoisting our antenna, and conducting engineering tests to assure the Federal Government that we are in compliance with all broadcasting regulations.  Once we do so, the FCC will issue our FM License and we will be free to broadcast around the clock on 97.1 in Louisville.

To reach this stage quickly we need the support of our community.  We anticipate fundraising events over the next few months and we hope you will participate in the tower raising. This foundational period is an exciting time to get involved with our broadcasting project and become a member of ARTxFM.  You can learn more about these opportunities through our website:  http://www.artxfm.com/membership/

As we move toward the FM dial, expect the same great ARTxFM programming now enjoyed online to continue uninterrupted.  We are so proud of all of our DJs and have great confidence in each of their unique shows.  While we have been impatient for the grant of our FM Permit, we are thankful that the past two years of online broadcasting have provided us with the tools and experience necessary to bring our station confidently into the Big Time.

After such work and such a very long wait, it is still completely unbelievable that we have our own FM signal!!!   We are extremely grateful to the FCC and to everyone who worked hard to make this happen.

From idea to reality ARTxFM Board Members Tim Barnes, John Begley, Kyle Anne Citrynell, Margue Esrock, Mathias Kolehmainen, Leslie Millar, John Papanek, and Anna Tatman have steered our nonprofit organization from its inception to this very exciting historical moment.  Our FM application could not have been completed without assistance of our Engineers and FCC Advisers Michi Bradley of RecNet, Will Floyd of the Prometheus Radio Project, and Todd Urich, Jeff Shaw and Clay Leander of Common Frequency.  We are deeply grateful to Sound Technicians Sean Selby, Brian McMahan, and Norman Stockwell who got our station online and keep it sounding so good.  Their talent and humility is startling.  Heartfelt appreciation also goes the many talented DJs that bring the station to life each day with their music, their ideas, and their diversity.  We are so thankful also for our dedicated listeners and supporters, especially those of you who have believed in us since the beginning, and those of you who stream us in everyday.  You are AMAZING and ARTxFM would be nothing without you.

Thank you all and congratulations.  97.1 FM Louisville.  This great accomplishment is yours.

Sincerely,
Sharon

 

Two Events this Friday, Dec. 12 :

InKY 10750012_10152668614558393_3865647108588711785_o10857331_10152668614178393_5427282932523017403_o

On Friday, December 12th join Louisville Literary Arts for InKY at the Bard’s Town, at 1801 Bardstown Road, for an evening of literary entertainment. One note, Richard Taylor has unexpectedly had to cancel.
– OPEN MIC
– FEATURED InKY readers, poet, Makalani Bandele, fiction by Martha Greenwald and poetry by special guest, Marie Coma.
– Open Mic sign-ups begin at 6:45, and the Open Mic reading will begin at exactly 7 PM.
Makalani Bandele is a member of the Affrilachian Poets and a Cave Canem fellow, his work is forthcoming or can be found in print or online in literary magazines and journals such as Sou’wester, Barely South Review, The New Sound, Louisville Review, The Platte Valley Review, and Prime Number Magazine. He is a 2012 and 2013 Pushcart prize nominee, Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize and Literary LEO 1st Prize in Poetry winner. Hellfightin’, published by Willow Books in 2011, is his first full-length book of poems.
Martha Greenwald’s collection of poems, Other Prohibited Items, was the winner of the 2010 Mississippi Review Poetry Series. Her work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Slate, Poetry, Best New Poets, The Sycamore Review, Shenandoah, and many other journals. She has held a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford and been awarded scholarships from both the Breadloaf and Sewanee Writers Conferences. Greenwald has also held an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council. Works in progress include Shivah Bullies, a memoir, and Well, Bless His Heart, a collection of short fiction. She has taught in the English Department at the University of Louisville since 1999.
Marie Coma is a writer, painter, and yoga teacherss. She is interested in expanding consciousness through meditation and creative practices. She lives with her husband, Kyle, who is also a writer, and their 3 giant, Buddha-like black and white cats.

 

Portland Poetry Series https://www.facebook.com/events/345193358996257/

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Join us for a night of poetry. The cast in this troupe come from all reaches and walks of life. They promise to climb treehouses, build model airplanes, hole up in tenements in cold cities, and drink cheap brandy on street corners with you through the course of the night.

Aside from our featured poets there will be a “Reading from the Canon” to acknowledge we are always standing on the shoulders of giants. There will also be three 5 minute open mic slots. These three poets will be competing for a spot as a featured poet in a future Portland Poetry Series event.

Light snack options will be provided by Gumby’s Specialty Catering.

Sheri Wright, Dr. Yoshev Omed, Tyler Curth, Chelsea Tadeyeske, & Edwin R. Perry are our featured guests.

Two-time Pushcart Prize and Kentucky Poet Laureate nominee, Sheri L. Wright is the author of six books of poetry, including the most recent, The Feast of Erasure.
Wright’s visual work has appeared in numerous journals, including Blood Orange Review, Prick of the Spindle, Blood Lotus Journal and Subliminal Interiors. In 2012, Ms. Wright was a contributer to the Sister Cities Project Lvlds: Creatively Linking Leeds and Louisville. Her photography has been shown across the Ohio Valley region and abroad. Currently, she is working on her first documentary film, Tracking Fire.

Dr. Yoshev Omed is an albino dwarf of Greenland Inuit and Norwergian descent who was adopted by Hasidic Jews as a child and raised in Montreal, Quebec. Multilingual, he is fluent in English, French, Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, and Esperanto. A Talmudic scholar and an acknowledged expert in Medieval Scholastic Philosophy, Dr. Omed is the author of The Atheist Qaballah.

Tyler Curth is a senior in Spalding University’s BFA in creative writing program. He won second prize in Sarabande Books’ Flo Gault Poetry Competition and was an ESU scholar to study at Oxford University’s 2013 Creative Writing Summer School. His work has appeared in 94 Creations and Word Hotel.

Chelsea Tadeyeske is the author of the chapbooks HEELDRAGGER (plumberries press, 2012) and TOTEM (plumberries press, 2013), co-author with Cynthia Spencer of THERE EXISTS…(plumberries press, 2012), proprietress of pitymilk press (pitymilkpress.wordpresss.com), and co-organizer of the Midwest Small Press Festival. Her work has been published in places such as Everyday Genius, Burdock Magazine, OxMag, Drupe Fruits, Humble Humdrum Cotton Frock, and others. She is currently pursuing her MA in poetry at Miami University in Oxford, OH.

Edwin R. Perry is a multidisciplinary artist, curator and community organizer from the midwest. he is the founding editor of plumberries press and his work has appeared in such places as Sawbuck, Cannot Exist, Burdock and others.

 

Contact me for bookings on the radio hour at keeplouisvilleliterary@yahoo.com

write on,

Rachel Short

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

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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

Graham Shelby and Erin Fitzgerald (A Girl Named Earl) today 1pm!

Children’s books, live music, Writers Block festival, essays, Bourbon poems and more! Tune in ten minutes from now http://www.artxfm.com

Lynnell Edwards on Keep Louisville Literary Radio 9-5-13!

Greetings readers!

I’m back on-air this week with poet/organizer/prof Lynnell Major Edwards. You may remember our textual interview from last year (if not you can read it here). Lynnell has new info on Louisville Literary Arts (local non-profit of which she is currently the president) and their 2013-2014 InKY reading series as well as the upcoming Writer’s Block literary festival which will usher in its third year this October. She’ll also read new and published work. Join us Thursday at 1pm on-air at www.artxfm.com

Lynnell Major Edwards is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Covet (October, 2011), and also The Farmer’s Daughter (2003) and The Highwayman’s Wife (2007), all from Red Hen Press.  Her short fiction and book reviews have appeared most recently in Connecticut Review, American Book Review, Pleiades, New Madrid, and others. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky where, since 2010 she has been president of  Louisville Literary Arts, a non-profit literary arts organization that sponsors the monthly InKY reading series and The Writer’s Block Festival. She is also Associate Professor of English at Spalding University.  She also teaches creative writing at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and is available for readings and workshops in a variety of settings.You can check out Lynnell’s wordpress page here!

Keep Louisville Literary Radio show UPDATES!

Dear Readers,This Thursday my guest will be poet / professor Matt Hart, who’ll be discussing with us education models for creative writing, his latest book Debacle, Debacle (H_ngm_n, 2013) and his new work-in-progress Radiant Action forthcoming from Typecast Publishing here in Louisville, KY!

You can check out Matt reading “Amplifier to Defender” from Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast, 2011) HERE

And over HERE are five poems from Radiant Action over at Hobart.

NEXT Thursday, 7-25, my guest (who was originally slated for this week) will be Adam Day, University of Kentucky educator, poet, and Louisville Literary Arts (LLA) board-member. Adam holds an MFA in creative writing from NYU, where he studied with former U.S. poet laureate Philip Levine, and coordinates the Baltic Writing Residency which now includes residencies in Scotland, and at Bernheim Forest in KY. Adam Day is the recipient of a 2010 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship for Badger, Apocrypha, and is also the recipient of a 2011 PEN Emerging Writers Award. He has a ton of experience and insight about the poetry world, is working on several projects, and will be chatting about all that and hopefully reading poems for us!

Literary Event and KLL radio!

Next weeks guest on Keep Louisville Literary (7-18 at 1p on ARTxFM) will be award winning poet and UK instructor Adam Day who’ll talk with us about his time in NYU’s MFA program in Creative Writing, and working toward a better literary community with Louisville Literary Arts!

July 19th from 6-8p Homegrown Art, Music and Spoken word will feature poet W. “Bill” Loren Smith. Event hosted by Bobbi Buchanan of the New Southerner journal. Cedar Grove Coffee House 142 Buffalo Run Rd. Shepardsville, KY

July 28th at 5:30p Stone Soup returns to The Bards Town (1801 Bardstown Rd. 40205) with poets Mark Webb, Devin Payne, and Robin Bensinger.

BOTH EVENTS BEGIN WITH AN OPEN MIC, sign ups 30min before show time.

Now that @KeepLouLit has international listeners

Seriously, Germans and other international people are tuning into ARTxFM! We have so many talented writers here in Louisville, and we all know language and literature are universal. So how can this blog better expose authors to the world at large? I’m researching interconnectivity in the blogosphere and more…but multiple brains are better than one. And this blog is a community, so SPEAK UP ya’ll! Comment below with thoughts, ideas, encouragement or anything else you’d care to share.

P .s. Thanks for being an active, important part of the amazing literary community sprawled throughout KY and elsewhere!

Keep Louisville Literary Goes Live!

Tomorrow at 1pm on ARTxFM.com! I’ll be airing performances by Maurice manning and Makalani Bandele, as well as an interview with Chris Mattingly, author of Scuffletown (Typecast, 2013). I’ll also read a few pieces from local authors, and announce upcoming events. Tune in for great local literary culture and some chill tunes! The show will air weekly!

Poet/Professor/Organizer Lynnell Edwards Discusses Coveting, Community, and Literary Louisville

Lynnell Edwards will read with fellow poets Jennifer Militello, Rebecca Morgan Frank April 29th for Sarabande Books. We get three poets, probably because it’s NATIONAL POETRY MONTH, and I’m not complaining. Lynnell will read from her latest collection, Covet (Red Hen Press, 2011) and new work. You can find all three of her collections for sale at Red Hen Press here. Apart from her role as Associate Professor at Spalding University, Lynnell also fosters writing and literature in our community as president of Louisville Literary Arts (LLA) progenitors of the annual Writer’s Block festival and the InKY reading series which happens on the second Friday of each month at The Bard’s Town.

Brandon Stettenbenz: The poems in Covet embody the speaker in nature and in family, and in return those things are also embodied in them. Alternatively, the speaker is often likened closely to objects of sentimental value, and thus the speaker becomes knotted, woven, gilded, loved, worn, and ultimately coveted: “I am wrested in these vessels, / weaving, woven—/ small, nested baskets…” Did you set out to write poems that worked this way with the title as theme or did a body of poems from a certain period of writing later fit together under the mantle of “Covet”?

Lynnell Edwards:  For a long time with this manuscript, I really thought I just had a bunch of poems in a pile with no real reason for them to be together in a book.  And the original “pile” was much bigger.   The two sequences which you specifically reference here – “From the Catalog, Locust Grove Antique Show” (fall and spring) at one point constituted a chapbook, along with some persona poems related to Locust Grove.  There are also a handful of poems in dialogue with literary history, and the remnants of an “alphabet” series. At some point I realized that I really liked the one word title Covet and that, in fact, it was a kind of through-line for many of the poem. That made it easy to begin pulling poems from the pile and organizing them into the loose calendar order in which they now appear.

BS: These poems are written in a measured, relaxed way akin to calm wind or waves lapping the shore. The rhythm of these poems borders on meditation, or at least to me it seems as if the speaker is meditating upon the significance of objects, places, and people in her life. I get the impression from this book that close observation and reflection are important to you. As a poet what would you say about the importance of meditating (dedicating time to contemplation) to our understanding of ourselves, others, and the world around us?

LE:  Meditation. Wow. I wish I had both time and temperament for it.  I’ve been practicing yoga for, like, almost three years and while I’ve pretty much nailed handstand and crow pose I’m nowhere close to stilling my mind!  Those particular poems and the impetus for them — the small, descriptive tags that appear on items at an antique show and which convey some specific, historical information – struck me as little narrative bombs.  The jangling music and the energy of some of the line breaks (I hope) create enormous tension in them.  The poems that seemed to me the most qualitatively different to me in both their argument and in my own process of writing them are the three poems grouped as “Triptych for Early Spring.”  I was most conscious on those pieces of presenting images, maybe not entirely unlike the work of the historically defined “Imagist” movement in the early part of the 20th century, though they align themselves along the axis of desire that, I think, makes Covet cohere.

BS: Some of the pieces in Covet contain analogies or implied transformations of animal/weather to human and vice versa, and even furniture takes on human qualities as the speaker describes someone’s care and love in making, maintaining and cherishing the object. There is perhaps much said and more implied in these pieces about our interconnectedness with the greater world and our personal spheres. Could you talk a bit about what differences you see in the way we covet objects and heirlooms versus the ways in which we covet those close to us?

LE:  That’s interesting.  I think that yes, there’s coveting of both objects and relationships in this collection.  Broadly speaking, I think the admonitions historically against coveting (“Thou shalt not covet”) come from that dangerous tendency to covet a person with the same intentions as we might covet a thing, particularly when they are gone from us or prohibited.  The title comes from the last line in the opening poem and reads, “the now dead thing that I did covet.”  Which suggests that to covet something is to perhaps destroy it.

BS: Through the techniques mentioned previously, these poems carry in them not just one or another poignant emotion, but rather the complex and conflicting emotions common to the human experience. Thus the emotion of “want” is conveyed through hunting dogs, love becomes worry, calm solitude is also loneliness, and the (to quote an adage) “ravages of time” reflect internal struggle. Some poets have cited the marriage of the universal to the specific as a determiner for what makes poetry, and I see in your work (like that of William Carlos Williams, for example) closely observed environments, objects and individuals rendered to minute detail and specificity which convey universal themes. Assuming you agree with the specific + universal formula, do you also consider the admission of and struggle with internal conflict, and the complex nature of human emotion to be a major component of poetry?

LE:  Yes. I’d say that last sentence pretty much gets at a central project for poetry, along with perhaps a documentary project (particularly for poems of witness or history) or other, classical modes that memorialize in various ways.  I think that I’ve always been drawn to the narrative potential in poetry; my undergraduate and graduate school creative writing was always fiction (which I’ve returned to lately) and drama.  And so, for me, the specific tends to be the specific story, whether it’s found in an object or a person.

BS: You are currently the president of Louisville Literary Arts, the non-profit organization behind InKY and the annual Writer’s Block festival. Could you fill in our readers on your role as president, and what LLA does for literature in our city?

LE:  What LLA hopes to do for the city is to bring readers and writers together, to enrich and celebrate the literary landscape here. My role as president of an all-volunteer non-profit organization has been various.  I hosted InKY for its first two years at the Bard’s Town and I’ve been involved significantly in organizing the Writer’s Block Festival.  Like all our Board members I do a lot of big picture planning and development, as well as little stuff – like picking up postcards from Kinko’s or putting up posters for the Writer’s Block or stepping in as a guest host at InKY.  I’m a little hesitant to speculate about the specific impact LLA has had on the city in terms of the literary landscape, though I have noticed in the last three years particularly that perhaps we’ve reached some kind of critical mass that suddenly makes it seems like we’re a literary center. For instance, there are at least three two more independent reading series; there is your blog – which I don’t think would have been possible or as necessary three years ago; there is an additional significant publishing interest (Typecast); there are at least two more independent literary journals (that come to mind). Louisville, as a literary community “feels” a little different to me than Lexington, where I’ve spent a fair amount of time giving readings, workshops, and participating on the board of the Kentucky Women Writers Conference. But I think the fact that we even have a “vibe” as a literary community is saying something we couldn’t say three years ago!

BS: Louisville Literary Arts is a non-profit providing literary culture and entertainment free of charge to the public, and in the future they hope to branch out with programs for younger writers, etc. They need our help to continue their amazing efforts. Lynnell, how can we help LLA continue its mission enrich our literary community?

LE: The organization is in an exciting, but critical period. We need significant resources (yup, I mean money) that would allow us to actually hire someone to take on a staff leadership role.  And we need some specialized volunteer expertise, too, that I won’t go into here. But more broadly supporting the literary arts in Louisville means not just attending a literary event, but inviting a friend who’s never been to a literary event such as a reading or to the Writer’s Block to come along. When I’ve brought friends to readings who enjoy other arts events but have never been to a literary event, they’re always so surprised at how much they enjoy it!  I think supporting the literary arts generally in Louisville does help individual organizations specifically.  Someone once mistakenly, though with good intentions, I’m sure, asked me whether or not I thought InKY was somehow in competition with another reading series! Ha! Of course not.   I think all boats rise with the tide, and for now, the more literary activity there is of all types, the more it adds to and nurtures the community.

Author’s bio from her website:   Lynnell Major Edwards is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Covet (October, 2011), and also The Farmer’s Daughter (2003) and The Highwayman’s Wife (2007), all from Red Hen Press.  Her short fiction and book reviews have appeared most recently in Connecticut Review, American Book Review, Pleiades, New Madrid, and others. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky where she is on the Board of Directors for Louisville Literary Arts, a non-profit literary arts organization that sponsors the monthly InKY reading series and The Writer’s Block Festival. She is also Associate Professor of English at Spalding University.