Where I’ll Be at #AWP18

AWP18ThumbnailWITS Alliance @ #AWP18  | Booth #812Tampa, Florida |March 7 – 10, 2018


Wednesday, March 7th:

  • AWP Board of Trustees
  • AWP Awards Ceremony feature Joy Harjo 6:30pm, Il Terrazzo at the Marriott Waterside Hotel, Tampa

    Thursday, March 8th:

  • 12 Noon | Book Signing: Dear Red Airplane (Seven Kitchens, 2018) at University of Houston CWP/Gulf Coast Magazine, Booth 1523/1527 in the Bookfair
  • 1:30pm | Poetry in Public Places: Room 5 & 6, Tampa Convention Center, 1st floor with Meggie Monahan (WITS Houston), Laurin Macios (Mass Poetry), Scott Cunningham (O, Miami), Martin Farawell (Dodge Poetry Festival), Aisha Sloan (University of Arizona Poetry Center)
  • 2:00pm | Book Signing: Teeth & Teeth, Headmistress Press, T1932 in the Bookfair
  • 4:30pm | The Literary Twitterati: Room 16, Tampa Convention Center, 1st floor

with Analicia Sotelo, Dorothea Lasky, Ruben Quesada, Kaveh Akbar, Eve Ewing


Friday, March 9th:

  • 9:00am | WITS Alliance Meeting: Room 13, Tampa Convention Center, 1st floor

Writers in the Schools (WITS) Alliance invites current and prospective members to attend a general meeting led by Robin Reagler, Executive Director of WITS Houston. We will discuss how to start and/or expand a WITS program in your community, fundraising, strategies for growth, technology in classrooms, and more.

  • 10:30am | A WITS Alumni Reading: The Unfiltered Imagination: Room 14, Tampa Convention Center, 1st floor

with Jack McBride, Niki Herd, Nicky Beer, Karyna McGlynn, Ramon Isao 

  • 1:30pm | Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! The Unconventional Writing Career: Room 14, Tampa Convention Center, 1st floor

with Michele Kotler (Community-Word Project), Martin Rock (Exploratorium), Abby Travis (Milkweed Editions), Thomas Calder (Mountain Xpress), Giuseppe Taurino (University of Houston Creative Writing Program)


Saturday, March 10th:

  • 10:30am | Small Experiments with Radical Intent: Room 14, Tampa Convention Center, 1st floor

with Alicia Craven, Kima Jones, Ramiza Koya, Janine Joseph, Desiree Dallagiacomo

  • 1:30pm  | Loud Because We Have to Be: Literary Advocacy in Today’s World: Room 7, 8, & 9, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor

with Tina Cane (WITS Rhode Island), Diane Lane (Get Lit), Erin Belieu (Writers Resist), Britt Udesen (LitNet), Nina Ozlu Tunceli (Americans for the Arts)

  • 8:30pm  | Reading by Mark Doty, Khaled Mattawa, and Layli Long Soldier, Sponsored by the Academy of American Poets

Book Signing at #AWP18 in Tampa

I’ll do two book signing stints for two new chapbooks at #AWP18 in Tampa. Both will be  on Thursday, March 8th, the first day of the conference.

I’ll be signing Dear Red Airplane at the University of Houston booth #1225 at 12 noon. If you’re at the Bookfair, please come thru! It would be great to see/meet you.

Get your copy of Teeth & Teeth and say hi at the Headmistress Press booth #T1932 at the #AWP18 conference in Tampa on Thursday, March 8th, at 2 pm.

 

A Box Full of Teeth

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A big box of my new chapbook arrived this week. I’m still feeling completely stunned by it. Teeth & Teeth is the winner of the Charlotte Mew Prize, selected by poet Natalie Diaz and published by Headmistress Press. Here’s how Ching-In Chen describes it:

Robin Reagler’s Teeth & Teeth is a wild-mouthed dispatch from the cities of mourning we all inhabit, a desperate love letter to the waiting selves which grow out of exile from normalcy. In the face of the wearing down of the body, despite loss, these poems demand gratitude for the fierce habits of the living. —Ching-In Chen

You can purchase Teeth & Teeth at Headmistress Press or amazon.com.

Street Art for a Cause

Gaia-street-art-audubon-mural-project Endangered Harlem by Gaia, photo by Tara Murray[/caption]

This weekend in NYC my friend AQ and I took a slow bus through Harlem. We got to see some of the endangered bird murals sponsored by the Audubon Society. I’d read about the Audubon Mural Project, but it was fun to search for them out the window of the M4.

Pinyon Jay by Mary Lacy (Audubon street murals)
Pinyon Jay by Mary Lacy (Audubon street murals)

Here’s a story about the project from the New York Times. For a great set of photos by Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky, check out the Street Art NYC blog. The art is done by well-known grafitti artists such as ATM, Gaia, Hitness, and Iena Cruz. The Audubon Mural Project now depicts over 300 species of birds that are identified as either endangered or climate-threatened by the Audubon Society. On their site you can find a map of some of the murals in Upper Manhattan.

Next Stop: National Poetry Month

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Maira Kalman designed the 2017 National Poetry Month poster. Get yours on the POETS.ORG site.

April 1st marks the beginning of National Poetry Month. If you’re crazy enough to try writing a poem a day during April, home base for this dizzying enterprise is NaPoWriMo.Net. They will offer writing prompts and encouragement all month long. Write About Now is leading a 30/30 group on facebook with prompts and feedback loops. Other sources of inspiration include:

As you discover other NaPoWriMo 2017 sites, please share them in the comment section, and I will add them to this list.

Begin to See: Photographers of Black Mountain College

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Photo by Harry Callahan

Although Black Mountain College no longer exists, the Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center continues to celebrate that unique community of artists in Asheville, NC. A current exhibit, Begin to See, features photography by artists who are best known in other media. The list includes: Josef Albers, Hazel Larsen Archer, Josef Breitenbach, Harry Callahan, Trude Guermonprez, Robert Haas, Clemens Kalischer, Barbara Morgan, Beaumont Newhall, Nancy Newhall, Andy Oates, Robert Rauschenberg, Aaron Siskind, Cy Twombly, Stan VanDerBeek, Susan Weil, and Jonathan Williams. If you’re in Asheville this spring, perhaps check out these related events, as well as the exhibition.

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Look Up, Seattle

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Chromatic Crystalization, Westlake Park, Seattle

The bold colors of artist ELIZABETH GAHAN may take spectators by surprise. Chromatic Crystalization is an installation done in 2013 in Westlake Park, Seattle.

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Starting in August 2017, a new exhibit of Gahan’s work will be completed in Auburn, Washington. It will be part of a new public art series called Art on Main.

Gahan has a flare for building with vivid color. Perhaps one could describe her work as the meeting of origami, sculpture, and gigantic hibiscus. For more about the art of Elizabeth Gahan, click here.

Maureen Drennan

Photographer Maureen Drennan was featured in a recent Huffington Post piece on artists repositioning themselves for the upcoming Trump presidency. I was moved by her strength and faith in the power of the artist.

“I believe the role of an artist is more important than ever and ideally should compel and challenge us to think in different ways. Artists can be powerful dissenters and transgressive to political and societal conventions.

Good art often comes from an uncomfortable place. While it can be painful to explore, the creation and consumption of such art can be very therapeutic. In such a divisive time that we live in, the hardest thing we can do is to show compassion to those in opposition to our beliefs.”

Although Drennan’s art does not read as perhaps obviously political, there is an immediacy and an unapologetic honesty that graces her portraits. She explains,

”I feel enormously privileged to be an artist and to have met and photographed such inspiring people. My goal is to deepen my understanding of other people’s experiences and share those stories with a wide audience. Stories and narrative foster empathy and compassion, something that is sorely needed during this contentious time of anti-immigrant rhetoric. My advice to fellow artists is to not be afraid to explore things that are uncomfortable.”

This year Conveyor Arts published a book of Drennan’s work, the sea that surrounds us, and it is currently in its second printing. Find out more about Maureen Drennan on her website. 

Nina Chanel Abney

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A recent article in the Huffington Post asks 21 contemporary artists what it will be like to be practicing during the Trump presidency. Nina Chanel Abney, whose work already boldly addresses issues concerning human rights, police brutality, and Black Lives Matter, sees the upcoming era as demanding more. Much more. In the interview, Abney asserts:

“Artists should not be safe. We are in the unique positions, through our respective mediums, to elicit a response without using violence or direct action. Why not push the boundaries?”

Abney is know for her courageous confrontations of social injustice. She was refered to as one of the “Next Irascibles” by Paper Magazine. Abney’s first solo show, Royal Flush, opens on Feb. 16, 2017, at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

NYC Recast as a City of Women

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From The New Yorker magazine: What if the New York City subway map paid homage to some of the city’s great women? 

 

I love this map from Rebecca Solnit’s new book, Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas (University of California Press, 2016) which was co-edited by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro. Like so many of life’s most wonderful things, I was made aware of this map by Maria Popova in her blog, Brainpickings. Having read several of Solnit’s books in the past, I’m really looking forward to reading this one, especially since I’ve lived in New York and love it. And of course there’s my love of trains!

If I were still a college professor, I can imagine creating a whole course around this one map. I think it would be the best class ever.