tomorrow 8/17 at 1pm I’m happy to welcome local author Nadeem Zeman to read some of his short fiction and talk about working at Carmichael’s books and attending UofL for graduate work in writing. Nadeem has a story forthcoming in a national journal and lots of stories to tell about local and visiting literary luminaries, so tune in tomorrow on http://www.artxfm.com !
My guest for Thursday’s radio show at 1pm will be Meg Bowden of Sarabande books. We will discuss the Sarabande reading series which happens monthly at hotel 21c on main, and the ins and outs of small press publishing. Tune in!
P.s. I’ve also got clips from local poet/writer Jimmy Besseck, and some spoken word audio from Sylvia Plath and others as well. As always, eclectic rock and EDM will play briefly between segments.
Subterranean Phrases May will feature Ian “Whiskey Poet” Girdley with Mark Hamilton (Billy Goat Strut Revue) and Lee Puckett (Funk Bucket) providing musical grounding @Decca (812 e. market) 8pm Tomorrow (5/8).
Ian’s first physical book, “Collecting the Girl” was just finished in April.
Keep Louisville Literary, ever diligent to spread the word, connected electronically with Joe Brashear before his set at Subterranean Phrases, on Wed. November 14th at 9pm.
From the event invite: “Joe Len Brashear has devoted much of his life to language, having studied Anglo-Saxon, French, Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. He received a bachelor’s in English from the University of Louisville and has completed the coursework for a bachelor’s in Classics from the University of Kentucky. He intends to become a Psychiatrist. Poetically he has sought to labor in as great a variety of forms as he could: from verse novella to verse drama to ordinary poems. He remains especially thankful for his friends who have supported his insanity, his high school French teacher Mrs. Bradley, and his first college Hebrew professor, Dr. “Ned” Rosenbaum, who died last December.
Russell Schartzer, on Tuba, will be playing atmospheric improv while Joe reads. He has a couple solo tuba pieces for us also and there will be limited open mic slots before and after the featured set. The cocktails are delicious, but there we will also have PBR [on special].”
Keep Louisville Literary: Your course of study has taken many turns during your college career. Please tell us a bit about your background and how your formal education influences your poetic.
Joe Brashear: My formal education, thus far, has actually followed my poetic interests. Robert Graves spoke of the Irish Ollaves who had to study (master, actually) all realms of knowledge, and I have purposely diversified [my own studies] to some extent.
KLL: In your manuscript “A Message to You, Rudy” you use many classical allusions, quotes from ancient philosophers, and also what appears (to my layman’s eyes) to be ancient Greek. Could you describe your intention with regards to this academic density?
JB: The first poem contained in the manuscript was the first written in the series, and at that time I was working on an essay about Aristophanes. The issue of Classical allusion is a fraught one. At one time, poets felt a necessity of quoting from the Classics or the Bible. It is not something I have done purposely, and I think it will be seen that there is some decrease in the course of the manuscript; after I had finished my course work. However, I do not shy from making these allusions when I feel like making them. Some poets today avoid allusions, and even things like metaphor and simile, preferring a very skeletal style. That obviously isn’t me.
KLL: How do you reconcile such difficultly in language with the problem of intended or at least expected audience?
JB: Firstly, I am not that good at these languages. I have a very good working knowledge of them, but I have to work very hard to use them; I am not one of those who can command them right out of their head. My muse, so to speak, talked about this, and there is a poem in the series with the obvious title “Audience” about the subject. [With] anything I read, I do not expect anyone to understand all I say, or know all my references. But with wikipedia, etc., I think [anyone] might easily get a lot of these references. Finally, there is a dichotomy between what is good on paper, and what is good read aloud, and I know that many of my poems simply wouldn’t work well read aloud, although I have had some surprises in that regard. Some of my most academic pieces provoke laughter.
KLL: You will graduate with a B.A. in classics from UK next years. Tell us about your experiences with the program there.
JB: The University of Kentucky actually has one of the most rigorous and excellent Classics programs in the country, including the only Latin-speaking program. Unfortunately we have no PhD. UK also is the only university in Kentucky that even has a BA in Classics. There are many excellent professors. I regard Dr. Milena Minkova virtually as a God. On the other hand, I have noticed a distressing amount of religious sectarianism among those professors who are not, as I would presume, humanists. Over the years, I decided that Classics was not an environment in which I would like to continue.
KLL: What can we expect to hear at Subterranean Phrases?
JB: I have come to consider formality as another way of being free. I would not describe myself as a formalist as opposed to a free verse poet, because while I have written in most metres and genres (such as tragedy and verse novella) in which poetry comes, I have also written much “free” verse (although I don’t think anything I’ve written qualifies as non-linear). Here, I am trying to use the forms that will come across the best, and so on the one hand I am using rhymed poetry, and on the other hand I have a few pieces that are more like short stories; which I hope the audience will get. They are generally long enough that there will only be about ten poems.
In a moment I will outline the full schedule for the (second annual) Writer’s Block Festival this coming Saturday Oct. 13th with many exciting FREE events and very affordable workshop opportunities.
But first! The little literary things that make Louisville awesome!
Two events will be going on Wednesday Oct. 10th, back to back. First up, at 7:00 at Carmichael’s Bookstore (2720 Frankfort Ave) Sue Driskell will be reading from her new book Knocking On The Door Of Spring (Larkspur press, 2012) with current Kentucky poet laureate Maureen Morehead, whose books are also on Larkspur (they make some seriously beautiful, hand-crafted books, right here in KY!)
Second, head down to E. Market (or NULU if you prefer) and check out Subterranean Phrases downstairs at Decca (812 E.market). That will kick off at 9pm in one of the coolest (seriously, bring a jacket) spaces I’ve ever seen: an all stone cellar decked out in swankness! Poet Jay Sizemore is driving up from Nashville to read and will be accopanied by guitarist Jonny Sands and violinist Aaron West. This event is the newest brainchild of long-time literary arts promoter Rachel Short who also happens to be a composer, poet and musician. Subterranean Phrases is fresh, unique, and begins with an open-mic session.
Fast forward to Friday: another InKY series reading kicks off the Writer’s Block Festival with the distinguished poet Maurice Manning (who will be giving a worskshop Sat.), and award-winning fiction author Crystal Wilkinson (who co-owns Wild Fig Bookstore in Lexington), music by Mike Karman and A Girl Named Earl. Open-mic sign-ups at 6:30pm, 7pm showtime at The Bards Town (1801 Bardstown Rd).
Saturday is the big day. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this fantastic, ONCE-A-YEAR celebration of the LITERARY ARTS! Everything I’m going to describe is FREE to attend accept for the workshops. Even the Keynote is FREE! Let’s start with the list of events:
Panels @ the Green Building (732 East Market Street; registration opens at 9am!):
10am-11:15 Making Matter: An Editor’s Discussion, w/ Tony Fasciano (Digital Americana Magazine), Jen Woods (Typecast Publishing), M. Bartley Seigel ([PANK]), and Matt Dobson (The Paper); moderated by Wesley Fairman (Fiction Editor, Sawmill)
11:30-12:45 Writer’s Block Conversation with Cornbread Mafia author Jim Higdon.
1-2:15 Younger Games: The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Writing Young Adult Fiction.
Literary Louisville Arts (LLA) presents readings at Swanson Reed Gallery (638 E. Market, one block from the Green Building):
1-2pm Jeriod Avant (poetry), Sena Naslund (Fiction), John Gamel (non-fiction).
2-3pm Martha Greenwald (Poetry), Frank Bill (Fiction), Sonja DeVries (poetry).
3-4pm Adriena Dame (Fiction), Chris Mattingly (poetry), Angel Elson (Non-fiction).
note: I will be hosting one or more of the readings; come say “hello”!
The Print Fair (Green Building, 732 East Market Street) runs from 9am-4pm. Tables by Typecast Publishing, Sarabande Books, Accents Publishing, The Louisville Review, The White Squirrel, Hound Dog Press (letterpress shop that does the Writer’s Block posters) and more!
PLEASE stop by and check out these vendors between events. I know for a fact that all the publishers have new titles, several of which I’ve read and can assure you are awesome.
The KEYNOTE READING with two-time NATIONAL POETRY SLAM winner ANIS MOJGANI will happen at 6 pm, @ Cressman Center, 100 East Main Street. Make sure to reserve your ticket at registration. FREE courtesy of U of L’s creative writing program.
Head back to the Greeen Building right after the key note, for the OPEN MIC after party hosted be Jeriod Avant. Spaces limited, so head straight over after getting your mind blown by Anis Mojgani (from TWB page “Anis has performed for audiences as varied as the House of Blues, the United Nations, and TEDx and his work has appeared on HBO, NPR, and in the pages of such journals as Rattle, Used Furniture, and The Lumberyard. A founding member of the touring Poetry Revival, Anis is also the author of two poetry collections, both published by Write Bloody Publishing: Over the Anvil We Stretch (2008) and The Feather Room (2011)”).
The after after party party 8:30pm (hosted by Typecast Publishing) is at Garage Bar (700 E Market, basically next door to the Green Building) with readings by M. Bartley Seigel from his new book THIS IS WHAT THEY SAY. Anis Mojgani and Chris Mattingly are also hanging out.
(Full Disclosure: I do not work for nor am I currently published by or affiliated with LLA or any other organization or business associated with the Writer’s Block, but I am a volunteer for this day’s events.)