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Publishing Genius Blog



being the blog for Adam Robinson and Publishing Genius Press.



Updated: 2018-03-07T09:58:13.786-05:00

 



This Blog Has Moved

2012-05-05T22:37:23.356-04:00

Redirect yourself to publishinggenius.com, thanks. If you're looking for my bio, you can find that by clicking on the "About Me" page above. (To be clear, publishinggenius.com is not my blog, but the website for PGP. However, I do write blog posts there occasionally -- hopefully fairly regularly -- and you can view them under the "blog" menu.)

Also, today was a good one. Stephanie and I got started around 9am, headed off to the BookThing (this place in Baltimore where you can get free books -- I got about 20, all bestsellers like Zadie Smith, Richard Ford, Cormac McCarthy, John Grisham, John Hodgman, John Stewart -- plus Mary Daly, Martin Buber and an outdated book on Wesleyan evangelism). Then we went to the farmer's market where we got some apples and some cheese biscuits. After that we went to some yard sales, including the Station North Flea Market, where we talked to Melissa Moore for a while about her lighting company and I found a pair of amazing blue baseball pants for $3 but didn't have the cash to buy. Stephanie bought us some ice coffee because it was hot out.

We went back to Stephanie's to read a manuscript she's been working on, but when she went to set us up in the backyard, she found a stray cat who had just birthed a litter of four kittens. Like -- just birthed, as in a few hours earlier. We scooted them into a kennel and let them nurse for a while, then took them to the Animal Rescue, where they were happily received. We are all amazing creatures.

The Animal Rescue is near Federal Hill, a popular neighborhood with lots of restaurants and bars, so we decided to read her manuscript there. First I watched the seventh inning of the baseball game. Jason Hammel pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings then gave up two runs while I watched, but O'Day got out of a jam and the O's won the game with their 8-2 lead.

We read the thing together, which was great and profound and personal and meaningful. I probably oughtn't say anything about it here, because it's still in the works. But we talked about it together as we walked around the narrow streets of Federal Hill. There was so much that is right in the manuscript; I can't wait until the project is finished. It is sure to be a beautiful thing. I felt inspired by the way Stephanie works, such diligent brilliance, and it was motivating to walk around and talk to her about it.

Unfortunately, however, by then it was 5:30pm and I was sapped of energy. Two late nights had taken their toll. I went home then and read the John Grisham novel I'd picked up at the BookThing. It was called Bleachers and it was 163 pages long. It was about a man named Neely Crenshaw who returns to his hometown of Messina, TX, where he had been a football star. Now his coach, Eddie Rake, was about to die. Rake was a man that Neely hated, a profound force in his life, but not necessarily a pleasant one. Over the four days that Neely is back in Messina, he comes to terms with his past -- with his former coach and his own behavior -- and in the end acknowledges his deep love for the man.

Then I tried to do some editing but was still too tired, so I wrote this.



A Document of Possible Book Titles That I Just Found on My HD from Feb 25, 2009

2011-11-15T11:24:19.567-05:00


All of These Things
Adam Robison
The World’s Top Latex Tycoon
Some Heft
Major Tom’s Debacle
A Rush of Bees
Thrush Poems
Biograph
Some Biographies
Some Lives
These Lives
This Could Be Your Life
Could Haves
Could Have Beens
The Beens
The Were
What Is Not Could Have Been
What Is Not Could Be
Now Poems
No Poems
Some Toems
Waiting for Poetry
I Could Not Stop For Death
More Frost
Soren Kierkegaard and other poems
Adam Robison and other poems



Me and Edward

2011-11-15T11:10:33.066-05:00


Here's me (looking goofy) and Edward Mullany (looking like a superhero) in Washington DC, during Edward's mini tour. His reading at the Three Tents series was better than cherry pie a la mode I ate just after this leafy picture was taken.




Life is beautiful even for depressed God lovers at the park

2011-10-16T13:56:01.164-04:00

For the last several days I've been doing it with leather pants on, and a dress shirt, and wrestling shoes, and a Brewers jersey, Paul Molitor #4.

I hadn't grocery shopped for round about 2 months then last night I grocery shopped.

Walking in the park Stephanie and I came upon a bench and in a thing in the bench a book (for writing in). Lots of the people had in it wrote about how beautiful was the park and its babbling brook and yet how depressed they were all, how people don't do them right or they can't remember what kissing feels like, but ultimately God was in control they just have to keep walking the path. One person was there to mark Mike's birthday but Mike had suicided already. It was a heavy book of nonsense that I loved all of and wanted to do.

Did you see that commercial for the truck where the plane is going to crash on account of its landing gear being snookered when now comes the truck into which lands the front of the plane? It's the most heroic commercial. When seeing it up I want to stand and pledge allegiance to something.

Welp I'm going to eat one of these pears then do some more edits.



Free stamped postcards

2011-07-18T10:48:40.633-04:00

Want some free postcards that are already stamped? We're giving away Chris Toll postcards. Email postcards@publishinggenius.com with your address and how many you want (up to 5), and I'll stick them in the mail. And they come with postage so you can just write on them and send away. While supplies last.




Stephanie Barber at the BMA

2011-07-05T14:24:57.872-04:00

Stephanie Barber has installed herself at the Baltimore Museum of Art. There is a large plaque with her name and bio on it. Here is the best photo I could get of that before a guard cut me off:"No pictures in this gallery," he said. I glanced around. Stephanie Barber had cameras all over the place.Everyday she sits in a large white room, at a massive wooden desk balanced on a pair of sawhorses, in front of two iMacs. Across from her is a huge green screen, where she films museum patrons who say, "I love you."Off to her side, behind a short wall, there is a projection of two videos she made previously, my favorites (of many favorites), "Dwarfs the Sea" and "Bust Chance." "Dwarfs the Sea" is available to see in her book/DVD, these here separated to see how they standing alone, from PGP. It's an amazing and well-loved piece.All around her are things you'd find in her regular studio: not just editing equipment, but keyboards, a vintage toy piano, scissors (safety scissors, per museum guidelines), a yoga ball, and plenty of external harddrives.Colorful pictures torn from books are affixed with tacks to the museum's walls. There is a long collage of forest scenes, and a group of interior home shots. Barber shot these pictures and uses them as source material for some of the videos she's making. She's making a video every day for 31 days.The show is called "Jhana and the Rats of James Olds, or 31 Days/31 Videos." The words "Jhana and the Rats of James Olds" are printed across a large-screen TV stand. The television shows the work she's made so far.In a fascinating article at Urbanite, Cara Ober explains the show better than I can:Lots of contemporary artists say they value the process over product, but in Stephanie Barber's case, this puts it mildly. Barber's work, in the center of the exhibit, is a makeshift studio and production house. For each of the 31 days of the exhibit, Barber will create an original video utilizing a variety of props, digital editing techniques, and random passersby. The videos will be screened on a monitor adjacent to the production area. Although her section of the exhibit will confuse and confound some of the visitors to the museum, her warm persona and willingness to interact with strangers is the strength of the piece. “I want visitors to be able to see the successes and the failures,” she says of the new body of work she will create here. Part performance, part intervention, and part studio, Barber's work is the most risky of the group, as well as the most contemporary.She's been there for seven days now, so there are seven videos showing on a loop.One thing I wonder about, though, is whether Stephanie values process over product. While she has thrown back the curtain on process, there's no indication that she's any less concerned with the outcome of her work. I found that the videos are still excellent, and more than that, they follow the same line of thought that I'm accustomed to in the Barber repertory; they are visual (and literal) poems constructed of found footage and highly intentional soundtracks.That said, I imagine that if she had more than the museum's seven hours of operation to work on each one, it would be different. And in that way, the concept of "Jhana and the Rats of James Olds" becomes about more than just the 31 individual videos.I kind of see it as an underdog story; art is competing against time.So it makes sense that so much of the work is built from images that are several decades old, as if to question the effect of time on their relevance. One video, which is very vivid, takes as its source half-century-old 16mm footage from what seems to be a vacation across Europe. Headings that identify locations interstice the imagery filmed on the vacation, so that the headings become a poem and the real, meaningful content of the video. The repurposed film, by contrast, is ancillary to the text. That's an inversion Barber is keen to make.[...]



Just barely with the times

2011-06-24T10:00:52.649-04:00

I started a Tumblr for Publishing Genius.

PublishingGenius.info

Which should be fun.



I'm Teaching a Class You Can Take It

2011-06-01T16:30:25.398-04:00

  • It costs $100ish and there are four sessions.
  • I'm going to give away Publishing Genius books at it.
  • It's at the Creative Alliance, in Baltimore.
  • Joe Young, co-teacher.
  • It's about finding the story on a grocery store receipt, and telling it there, too.
  • I will be providing extensive feedback on assignments and Joe too and Joe and I will probably argue several times.
  • I think I will think of myself less as teacher and more as facilitator.
  • Though I am fairly certain I will suggest some new things.
  • "Experimental writing" is not a good term, because all writing is experimental. It should be called "fun writing."
  • The class will also focus on getting your work published. 
  • Register here, at the Creative Alliance website.
  • Email me with your questions here: adam at publishinggenius dot com.
Here's the straight dope from the Creative Alliance.

EXPERIMENTAL WRITING: The Craft and the Market - 4 Thursdays: June 9-30

Adam Robinson and Joe Young Instructors: Isn't all writing experimental? Explore recent literary breakthroughs and consider how these techniques can be adapted to your own writing. 


We start with the belief that what is of primary importance to the craft of writing is an honest voice. Then, with readings and exercises, you’ll be exposed to new dimensions and directions for your work. Short readings include: Kathy Acker, Samuel Beckett, Rachel B. Glaser, Ernest Hemingway, and Vanessa Place. By the end you’ll have completed a manuscript and learned about places to submit it. Instructors Joe Young and Adam Robinson are both published innovators as well as publishers working in the field of genre-breaking literature. 7-9:30pm. Adv reg $100, $90 mbrs. Walk-in $110, $100 mbrs.






Promotional Consideration

2011-05-19T09:06:01.686-04:00

provided by this bird




Fog Gorgeous Stag by Sean Lovelace

2011-05-17T01:17:18.654-04:00

If you must read it, I recommend real thick gloves like the furries wear, a mouthwash month, some antiviral gum with Freshening Riblet Crystals, a hundred-year moratorium, or kevlar hot pants. This is not a blurb. This is a warning label.
Quoth Ander Monson

it's nigh upon us
and getting clearer

Sean Lovelace
June 2011

sneak up on it



John Barth Reading at JHU 5/6/11

2011-05-09T21:47:46.402-04:00


I don't want to be mean but John Barth's reading at Johns Hopkins on Friday was bad. Stephanie thought it was so bad that she was forced to breathe loudly. She was incensed. I just thought it was an average badness that lasted too long. Barth read for an hour, and by the end people were leaving in a steady, slow stream. Three times he said, "One more page," but he probably read 10 more pages from the first time he said that. It wasn't that he was old. He wasn't too old. He seemed to be a very healthy octogenarian. His prose was adept. But the new novel he read from was about a 77-yr-old academician writer so, uh, who cares? The protagonist was awfully proud of himself, of course. Anyway, enough editorializing. That doesn't help anyone. Here are my notes.
  • Brad Lighthouse (?) of the Writing Seminars does the introduction, corny reference to Wikipedia being unreliable
  • Barth got his BA and MA at Hopkins in 51 and 52
  • Writes about sailing in his nearly 20 books
  • Brad is from Michigan but doesn't feel comfortable around water unless it's frozen into a parking lot
  • Experimental fiction is a term that's gone away. Are the experiments over?
  • "Every literary classic becomes something of a castaway," says Brad
  • Barth takes over the podium
  • Barth says that in his job at JHU he had to introduce plenty of people. He learned that the three main purposes of introductions are: Test the PA, Give latecomers a chance to settle, Allow others to look around and adjust their programs of necessary
  • "Three new perpetrations of mine are" [coming out soon]
  • Reads "Preamble" from one of these
  • Starts with a reference to Huck Finn, then notes the story is about a tornado on Maryland's eastern shore
  • George Irving Nuitt is the hero's name
  • GIN
  • Gee I knew it
  • He's a prof in Maryland, married to a poet
  • Barth's reading started fast, and it seemed like he had written out his introduction to the piece on the same manuscript paper. He didn't make eye contact. There was very little lead-in
  • Strange omniscient narrator, very informal
  • First section of the novel: "First Fall"
  • About traveling on a cruise line to the Balkans, then to Stratford Upon Avon
  • Had "a brace of spits" of champagne
  • "Reckon y'all don't have the minority problems we have" (laughter in the audience) says Handly (?) a Pennsylvanian who sounds more like a Southerner -- this is good bit featuring one of their fellow American travelers
  • "failing to fetch his fictive folk" re Chaucer
I have 76 seconds of audio but I didn't bother to upload it. I will if anyone cares but it's not really that good. These notes are not that good either, but after reading for so long, Barth decided not to take questions since no one seemed interested.

Small wonder.



Billy Collins at McDaniel College (Westminster, MD) 05/04/2011

2011-05-05T10:08:07.539-04:00

Prelude by Eric Burd, int'l jazz ambassador, really nice25th annual Christopher Bothe LectureChris was an English major in the 70sHost of reading, Kathy Mangan, thought the president of McDaniel delusional when he suggested Collins for the series, but he said Collins owed him a favorIntroduction by Roger Casey, references Marianne Moore's poem, "Poetry"Acknowledging the (modestly large audience), Collins tells anecdote about being at a Texas college last month when the host said he was amazed at the great turnout, "and he was the chair of the English department!" Collins though is not amazed when people show up for poetry readings. He's amazed that 25M people watch American IdolHow do you know when a poem is done? "I'm the first reader of the poem, I read it like a reader would"Someone said a writer's favorite word is "forthcoming" -- before the book release is "the calm before the calm"Makes fun of Fulbright and mainstream poetry (Fulbright poems need to have a fountain in them)Where the title "Horoscopes for the Dead" came from: reading friend's horoscope a couple months after his death (2nd person address poem with lines like "you're not actually going to increase your fortune today")"pierced the enormous circle of the zodiac" (applause)References Howard Nemerov w/r/t a poem about being 6 months behind a natural phenomenon (like fall leaves) -- Nemerov came up with the word "azaleate," which means to commiserate with someone who missed the phenomenonThen reads his version of Li Po's "Drinking Alone" (kinda, actually poem is about prepositional ambiguity of "after")Discouraging teachers who told him to stop writing did a lot for him because he has a stronger drive for revenge than approval"Put a dog in your poem, it will get you past your self absorption for a couple of lines""Monday" is a nice poemValery said a poem is never completed, only abandoned"I spend a lot of time finishing my poems"Poem indicative of things I don't like about Collins: "The Lanyard" "Many of these poems have a wandering capacity. I don't really know where I'm going when I start out."His ability is to write about poetry while referencing the quadratic equation or a famous battle, so he's making poetry about poetry about something elseFalse immodesty disguises actual arroganceDoesn't cry when writing his poems. "I get a little moist when I read them" Writes funny poems because you can't fake funny. You can fake serious, but if you fail at funny people will say well that's not funny."People who don't read poetry don't read poetry because they don't read poetry. ... I'm a non hockey watcher." It's not like if hockey stopped being violent, he would start watching it. He just doesn't like to watch it."What's your favorite thing about being a Guggenheim?" "27 thousand dollars." "Awesome.""I got into poetry because I associated with solitude.""How much of your success is due to your public persona?" "That's such an embarrassing question to answer. I dunno, 40%" Then goes on to attribute success to NPR and being on Fresh AirHere is audio of Collins's "I was like" poem, so sardonic[...]



Making non-writer friends as a writer -- Guest post by Caleb Ross

2011-05-02T00:02:00.656-04:00

This is a guest post by Caleb J Ross as part of his Stranger Will Tour for Strange blog tour. He will be guest-posting beginning with the release of his novel Stranger Will in March 2011 to the release of his second novel, I Didn't Mean to Be Kevin, in November 2011. If you have connections to a lit blog of any type, professional journal or personal site, please contact him. To be a groupie and follow this tour, subscribe to the Caleb J Ross blog RSS feed. Follow him on Twitter: @calebjross.com. Friend him on Facebook: Facebook.com/rosscalebDon't talk about your writing unless you are asked about your writing. Even then, don't talk about your writing. The general public will always think Stephen King, Dan Brown, and Stephenie Meyer are better writers than you. Just agree with them (or at least, just stay quiet). To continue point 2 above, read Stephen King, Dan Brown, and Stephenie Meyer. You may not like it, but sometimes you have to close your eyes and give in if you want to fit in. If it helps, tell yourself that doing it is good for your complexion, and that if you don't all the other girls will make fun of you. If you have to cancel plans with friends because of writing-related engagements, lie. It is true that you may have a dirty bathrobe and a brand new Moleskine notebook to attend to, but no self-respecting civilian is going to appreciate being stood up because of an inanimate object. Say that your grandmother died. If your friends get suspicious because you've had fourteen grandmothers die in a six month period, then your friends are probably just your “friends.” (Quotation humor, you like that?) No matter how rock-solid you think your argument may be, writing will never be analogous to sports. And no matter how boring you think the “big game” may be, commercial breaks are not windows of opportunity to enlighten living-room spectators.For anyone reading this blog who thinks negatively of me for these tips, let me say, writing is a dumb hobby, James Patterson rules (he cleared up my acne), I don't even own any paper, and GO CHIEFS! See, we're friends now, aren't we?[...]



Birthday, Transmodern, Sweatpants tonight, New song

2011-05-01T11:01:42.082-04:00

My birthday on Wednesday was cool. So many people sent Facebook wishes and who would have thought that feels nice? I spent the day with Xav, a filmmaker from Milwaukee, driving around to get supplies for his video performance piece. Then Chris Toll and I went to Frasiers and watched the O's beat the Red Sox 5-4 and I ate meatloaf. Chris gave me Palo Alto by James Franco. Then back at home Joe made me a chocolate cake, which was an unexpected surprise. I ate it standing up because I had a bad headache by that point. Then I went to bed and read the first story by James Franco and was amazed by how many mistakes there were in the book. Not mistakes really, but bad sentences. For instance, "We were all sitting in the backyard on a little picnic table that you might find at the park." Actually, to be honest, that sentence doesn't seem too bad to me and when I just reread the story trying to find some good bad ones they all seemed okay. So, sorry Franco, all is forgiven.The 8th annual Transmodern Festival started on Thursday and ends today. Thursday night is always my favorite; it's the night that is focused on art more than hanging out and being youthful and creative and drunk. This year's Thursday show was called "Mediations." Stephanie Barber curated it. There were five performance installations. Kirsten Stoltmann's video "Post-Nothing" was first, and it was a room delineated by crappy folding chairs and a coffee machine with cookies, so that it looked like an AA meeting in a church basement. The video was three minutes long. It was Kirsten out for a jog, and then she gets shot four times and hit by two arrows. The special effects were funny. Then in the video Kirsten's neighbor says, "Hey Kirsten, what are you doing?" and Kirsten looks up and says, "Um, making an art video?" She looks dejected. Then the neighbor walks away. The neighbor was in the gallery, too (though it was a different actor) telling everyone how proud she was of Kirsten for being in the art show. That was funny. Next was Smelling Salts Amusements, who are Peter Redgrave and Heather Romney. They built a train cabin, complete with a video monitor installed in the wall which showed footage recorded from a moving train. That was a neat effect. Their performance, which lasted over two hours, just featured them riding in their cabin, interacting and being bored by the journey. They didn't speak, just sat across from each other on their benches and looked at each other lovingly, or staring into the middle distance, or doodling, or playing that game where you draw lines and close off boxes, or stretching, or taking something down from the overhead compartment. They wore European-looking clothes and wigs and looked really good in them. The piece was simple but compelling, and I think they had the most people watching them. Then there was a tent constructed by Jesse Stiles and Olivia Robinson. It was a really amazing thing, probably 10' in diameter, built from several quilts which had words sewn into it and cut out of it. The words weren't readable until a light would shine from the inside of the tent and light it up. Then you could walk around it and try to pick up a story as the lights went on and off in random patterns set by a chord organ. I'm not sure how it worked, but it was an impressive thing. Michael Kimball pointed out that the words were written in part by Jesse Ball. The artists were sitting with fabric masks on their heads right outside the door to the tent. Michael asked them questions but I felt queasy talking to people in masks. KimSu Theiler's installation was next, and featured an actor playing KimSu in a very small room with a fireplace. The girl was wai[...]



From the Poetry Project Files, Scrilla, Chris Toll, Blake Butler, Submissions,, Lyn Hejinian

2011-04-14T10:41:35.376-04:00

NEW RELEASE AUDIOHere is audio of me reading "From What I Understand About Liberation Theology." This poem was published not too long ago in The Shattered Wig Review #28. I sound like a white preacher. I mean to, always, no doubt. I'm very happy with this audio, except for when I messed up. How could I have messed up, I read so slow.FINANCIAL NEWSIn other news, I rolled my 401k into an IRA today, so you know, I'm not exactly sweatin' it (is what Bill Murray says in Caddy Shack).IN BOOKSChris Toll's book, The Disinformation Phase (original video trailer here), went to the printer today. Next week I get the proof. You know what that means? Pre-orders will open next week. We'll have a special deal this time, no doubt. Heather Christle (recently New Yorkered) said this:   Chris Toll has looked within words and entities to discover almost everything is weeping. Emily Dickinson’s breaking code in the Pentagon, Toll’s heart is aching and full, and meanwhile these poems are tenderly repossessing the ineffable and the commonplace. It is a grand and lovely thing to read this book.SLEEPING NEWSI've been doing that thing where I wake up at 4am to watch DVDs of The Wire. Most recently I did that early rising so I could cruise through Veronica Mars. Anyway, it's Omar who makes me say "no doubt," doubtless.WHAT AM I READING?Justin Sirois's novel, Falcons on the Floor. I bet you wish you were reading this book instead of me. I've also been dabbling in my lit crit book from when I took a great class in theory in 1997. The book is Critical Theory Since Plato, Hazard Adams, editor. I read Valéry two nights ago. Matthew Arnold then Northrop Frye last night. I'm also reading Kitchen Confidential.ITEM! BLAKE BUTLER'S NOVELAnd There Is No Year by Blake Butler. It is really good. It is better even than I expected. Note 1) it's often said "I can't wait to touch that book" or "hold that book" -- in this case, it really is something to look forward to. The cover stock is akin to the papery soft Black Sparrow covers, but the book's dimensions are bigger, so not only is there a softness but also a floppiness. When Blake said about ARAOP, "This is one to drink milk in bed with," I think he should have been talking more about his own book; it's a cuddly bear. Note 2) When I bought the book at the Johns Hopkins B&N, the clerk said, "Oh, this book." It was on display at the register. The other clerk said, "I was looking at that. It reminded me of House of Leaves, I guess with the ." I said "I think Danielewski said something about it somewhere," but she seemed to think I was wrong. I could have been -- I just know I saw official press material about the book mentioning Danielewski and I was surprised by that. Anyway, so, I bought the book and they seemed surprised by that. I showed it to Stephanie and she seemed surprised too. Note 3) It is even better than I expected. I read a bit of it at the NYC release week thing and what I read didn't make sense to me at the time (which of course is okay by me), and I thought it was perhaps more abstract than it actually is (which of course isn't what makes it better). I read it like it was abstract, but that was because I started at the third section without having looked at the beginning. When I started reading the book on p1, duh, I found that the characters -- the family and their copies -- were introduced in a more straightforward way than I thought at first, and that the story that surrounds them ties together and rolls around like a knot. I freaking love untying knots. The things that happen are sensible. Note 4) The prose, I have found, is closer to Vi[...]



"Sweet Potatoes" and some stuff

2011-04-08T10:31:55.929-04:00

(Cross-posted from HTMLGiant)My desk is really messy but on Wednesday Joe and I did a lot of work around HQ. We took down the old artish and put up some new pictures and my favorite thing was finally figuring out a way to display my chapbooks. I kept putting in chapbooks that I had in boxes and getting excited and showing them to Joe. Like, JOE! LOOK AT THIS TITLE "FALLING STARS TO SMASH MOTHERFUCKERS IN THEIR FACE"! AH HAHA AND LOOK AT THIS ONE! "CONGRATULATIONS! THERE'S NO LAST PLACE IF EVERYONE IS DEAD" - okay so maybe those titles are kind of pessimistic but there are a lot of other ones that I liked. I kept also being like JOE! THERE'S A LOT OF CHAPBOOKS IN HERE A PERSON WOULD ACTUALLY WANT TO READ! Life is moving too fast. I can't keep up with things like the Internet. HTMLGiant is moving beyond me. I don't know what's going on anywhere. I don't like the feeling. I feel like I'm withdrawing into my own small world of rush. I can't talk crap about people anymore because I don't know what anyone is doing.How's everybody doing? I thought about taking a picture of my new chapbook library but I decided that is like trying to take a picture of a hill -- you can never really show how steep it is and you will always be sad then poof.This morning I reread "Sweet Potatoes" in Timothy Willis Sanders's book ORANGE JUICE which EVERYONE LOVES. I mean for real. If you were wondering if TW is well loved, then go to Houston and they will be like yeah he is awesome. I reread "Sweet Potatoes" maybe for the fourth time and something clicked in me a lot extra. Not just about that story -- though a couple things I wondered about w/r/t the story specifically is why does the narrator choose white wine at the grandparent's house and then insist on it. He says "White" after being insecure about the grandparents being racists, and I also wondered about the relationship btw the speaker's mother and her bf (?) Bill -- so are they the same ppl as in the first story, "Orange Juice," but perhaps in a different stage of their relationship, as in not so turmoiled out?And how is that story "Orange Juice" so effed up. I've read that story probably a dozen times and just reread it and I only think I really know what's happening. Dang, when I was in Houston with him I should have talked about this with Tim he would have explained it to me. In the order of great writers who excel at ambiguity Sanders and Hemingway are abut.The other night Joe and I went to a bar and at one point I think I thought okay instead of a round of beer this time I'll buy a game for my phone so I got one called Wave Runner -- it's boat racing -- it's gyroscopic or whatever -- you turn your hands and the boat turns. The thing is I am still terrible at video games. When I was a kid I walloped my whole body to make Sonic try to do a loop and I kept pulling the Genesis off the TV till I didn't even want to play anymore. I admit I use to sneak into my neighbor's basement to play Mario on their NES cuz we were Christians and didn't have one yet. (Later when we got the Genesis these Christian rappers came to stay at my house and they played football with my brothers and said things like "that's madd _____." I think at the time the word mad had two "D"s to signify "extra." The Christian rappers explained that to my mom.) Anyway I was just playing Wave Runner and crashing into things and jamming my whole body and I guess video games are just not my thing, I should have had the beer.So how about them Orioles am I right? John Dermot Woods invented this thing called Fantasy Baseball 2011 and I am pretty into that. I probably check my stats pretty often. I'm goin[...]



To Adam Robinson Regarding Adam Robison

2011-04-05T15:36:44.366-04:00

For National Poetry Month, Meagan Nyland wrote a poem imitating me. It's about teaching my poems to college students. It can be read here, and here is an excerpt:

He said you got it
you got it cause you got the world
got it
ugly and beautiful
got it?
I liked that



April 21 Reading in Pittsburgh Flyer

2011-04-05T15:19:37.330-04:00







Buffalo Small Press Fest weekend

2011-03-21T13:19:40.347-04:00

I have been in bed now for 24 hours straight. If you watch The A-Team all the way to the end of the credits there is some bonus footage featuring the original Face and Murdock actors. I actually thought The A-Team was a pretty fun movie to watch. Never Let Me Go never held me in the first place. I kept waiting for it to start. By the time I got to watching Veronica Guerin I was too distracted by trying to get my Google Reader feed down below 1000+ unread posts. Sorry Matt, I didn't view all 412 of your new shared items. I just marked them all as read.

The Buffalo Small Press Fest was fun. Here is a write up from the newspaper. I met a lot of great people there, like my host Aaron Lowinger who introduced me to all his bros from way back. I never felt so easygoing around an old gang that was not my old gang. And they were all savvy about poetry in unexpected ways, and all doing things like running presses and playing music. After the bookfair and after this utterly amazing dinner party held in the back of Rust Belt Books there was a music show and lots of people came out and it was warm and friendly and good. Buffalo stays open late and I'm grateful to Aaron for showing it to me.

Thanks too to Mike Kelleher for bringing me out. Check out Mike's blog, Pearlblossom Highway, where he is annotatively listing all the books on his shelf. Thanks to Chris Fritton for putting on such an amazing program. It was also really great to see all those people and spend a little time with Matvei from UDP and Rebecca from Fence and Geoffrey from Blazevox and Ted from Starcherone and David from Sunnyoutside.

Tomorrow: Providence. I'm excited to see my friend and Buffalonian Ric Royer. And Irisher Mairead Byrne.



Adam Robinson reading at the Poetry Project 2011

2011-03-15T19:12:13.649-04:00

Thanks to Andrew James Weatherhead for posting the video.

src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/20682006" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0">

1/2 Adam Robinson @ The Poetry Project 2/28/11 from Andrew Weatherhead on Vimeo.




A Couple Places I'm Going to Be Reading etc

2011-03-14T11:52:14.646-04:00

This Friday and Saturday:
Buffalo Small Press Book Fair

Friday March 18, 2011
I'm reading with Rebecca Wolff and Matvei Yankelevich
8pm-11pm at WNYBAC –
468 Washington St.
Buffalo, NY

Saturday March 19, 2011
1:00pm – Roundtable Discussion on Editorial Models and the Future of the Small Press
with Fence and Ugly Duckling

Tuesday March 22
Providence, RI

Two Saturdays from now



So what's this Chatroulette thing all about?

2011-03-08T23:09:05.167-05:00

Oh. Uh, geez.



Events through April

2011-02-27T15:20:45.818-05:00


On Monday I'm driving up with Stephanie Barber to read at the Poetry Project, 8pm. I'm a good reader but a little too canned. My friend Russ said I was really good in Chicago until my pausing schtick wore off about two minutes in (I pause a lot). Stephanie though is the best. She seems so comfortable in front of an audience that the poems kind of blossom as she reads them. These poems find their entelechy in their utterance.

Then the next week from March 2-5 I will be in NYC again for the Chapbook Festival. With Mary Gannon from Poets & Writers, Cara Benson from Dusie Kollektiv and Nate Pritts from H_NGM_N, I'll be presenting on pushing the boundaries of chapbooks. And I'm thrilled to have a new chapbook from Emily Kendall Frey and Sarah Bartlett to present, called Baby on the Safe Side. A sample poem from that:
You know what -- actually this book doesn't bear excerpting. It lives in its context. Like babies. (To be clear, this is NOT an excerpt from the book.)
Moving along, I'm heading back to NYC to participate in Blake Butler's release extravaganza, which goes for several days-within-days in March. Like, I believe that HarperCollins set up a week of Thursdays to take place all in one Thursday. Like Russian dolls or a Mairéad Byrne poem. Basically the readings only use one minute IRL but they seem like a crossing the Mt. Moria. Anyway, I'll be there on March 10 at the Center for Fiction at weird o'clock (7pm).

On March 18, if you're still taking notes, I'm reading and presenting at the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair. More info on that is here.

I'm driving to Providence, RI on March 22 to read at Couscous at Tazza. With films by Stephanie Barber and readings by Murphy Chang, Samantha Gorman and Ric Royer.

Then I'm going to Phoenix for Spring Training and to hang out with my folks.

Then on April 2 I will be at the Houston Indie Book Festival.

Then on April 16 I will be presenting "The M Squad" (Mike Young, Mel Nichols, Maureen Thorson and M. Magnus) in a panel on "The Sentence of Poetry." That's in DC at The Conversation and Connections thing.

Then on April 21 I am going to read at The New Yinzer series in Pittsburgh.