22 April 2012

Episode Six: Elizabeth Savage

I had the pleasure of visiting Elizabeth Savage at her home in Fairmont, West Virginia during the waning days of April, the cruellest month if there ever were one. We spent the morning searching for a missing manuscript (mine, which was, ironically, in my bag at the house), and headed down to the campus of Fairmont State University, where she teaches literary studies, down a winding hill in the rain with Oscar Hokom, Elizabeth's narratively versatile son, in tow.

I asked if I could record some poems from her newest collections from Furniture Press Books: a chapbook by the name of Jane & Paige, or Sister Goose, Twenty-Four Women & Girls, and her first book, Grammar, and a last surprise, a reading of a serial poem called The Book of Lonely Chairs. When Oscar asked why a chair would be lonely, he answered himself of his own keen wisdom: "Well? Because a chair was built for people to sit, and when no one is sitting in the chair, it's not doing its job, and it gets sad."

Genius. He takes after his parents, two of the most hospitable and generous people I have met.

from Jane & Paige, or Sister Goose, Twenty-Four Women & Girls

from Grammar

The Book of Lonely Chairs (countdown by Oscar Hokom)

03 April 2012

Feature 6: Julie Fisher "Skittering Thing" release party, March 30, 2012 at Goucher College

Below you'll hear all the performers (in order of appearance) in tribute to a very important and special human being, organizer and poet, Julie Fisher. This is Julie's first official release, and it could't have come at a better time: the dawn of year 10 for Furniture Press Books. Below are bios, in Julie's words.

Femi the Dri Fish (and at some point with David "Native Son" Ross)
Femi the Dri Fish-I adore that Femi has no mold, he has carved his own
darkly humourous, quirky persona and takes no prisoners.
Turns things sideways and inside out just to see what it looks like.
Didn't curl up in the comfort zone of 5thL but tramped out into some
wilderness of solo work. And that grin!!

David "Native Son" Ross
This probably is no secret but David gives great
hugs. David's work embodies striving and yearning. He has the artist's
craving to be his best and a human desire to encourage others to be
better. A tough mix. But he carries it so
smoothly, it seems effortless.

Alan Reese
Aaahh Alan poet, teacher aka Mark Twain a la tai chi instructor
oh wait publisher...yeah! Geez pick something Alan :D
Thank you for publishing Octopus Dreams Anthology One.

Rupert Wondolowski
I love Rupert's paranoid bravado. He tells us all about
scary things, and perverse things and even downright disturbing things but
with a kind of sensual attention to detail delivered in a juxtaposing
stream of consciousness that makes it all seem almost comforting. And just
when we feel at ease he shows us another clown!

Olu Butterfly
I saw Olu first time at a community building event that took
place at the Walters, I think 5thL hosted. Went to see her again at Ladies
Verse...she epitomizes Spoken Word that gives me slice of life details,
invites me into her world. I love her style, her energy, her willingness
to engage people, especially younger ones. Love the concept behind

Deanna Nikaido (coming soon)
What's that line? Watch out for the quiet ones? Well yeah,
have you heard Deanna's poetry? Its precision gets you right there. Do you
keep track of all the goodness she teaches with Bookinday and Kwame Alexander?
Point made.

Barbara DeCesare part one / part two (Barbara reads in part one, and then in part two a bunch of us perform a terrific play Barbara composed the night before the party.)
First got to know Barbara in New York at a reading at the
Bowery for a few Baltimore readers. Invited her to read IN
Baltimore and we became fast friends....not fast women geez!
- fast friends. She has seen Julie Fisher naked at least twice.

Julie Fisher
Julie Fisher believes in magical human beings and sacred places. In her
bones, she knows poetry is the language of desire and transcendence. She
cultivates communal experience in public spaces like poetry readings and
quietly with words on pages.

Julie Fisher created www.PoetryInBaltimore.com because Baltimore’s poetry
scene is outstanding. She hosts 3rd Thursday Night PerVerse at Cyclops
Books, Essential Sundays @ Minas’ Gallery and the B-More Erotic
Performance Art Series. She cohosts Kids Got Poetry Writing Series with
her daughter Sophie. She also supports and curates special events within
the literary community.

“Skittering Thing” is her new chapbook from Furniture Press Books. Her
poems have appeared most recently in Smile Hon, You’re In Baltimore,
Baltimore Sun, Manorborn, Attic and World According to Goldfish Anthology.
She was one of the editors of the Octopus Dreams Anthology 1 a publication
sponsored by PoetryInBaltimore.com.

02 April 2012

Feature 5: Kathi Wolfe

Kathi Wolfe, a finalist in the 2007 Pudding House Press Chapbook competition and a contributor to the anthology "Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability," read from and discussed her various works in an intimate reading at Towson University. Thanks for Joyce Garczynski for curating the event, and Beth Haller for introducing Kathi to our community. 

Joyce/Beth intro

Kathi part one

Kathi part two

Kathi part three