Basil King Martha King Poetry Readings

April 10 readings at AWP off-site

The James and Mary Laurie Booksellers, 250 Third Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN, couldn’t have been a more hospitable place for poets to read.

Laurie Booksellers

On April 10, Lunar Chandelier (Kimberly Lyons) and Unarmed magazine (Michael Mann) presented:

C. S. Giscombe and Basil King at 5:00 p.m.

Lee Ann Brown, Pierre Joris, Vincent Katz, Burt Kimmelman,  Martha King,         Kimberly Lyons, Nicole Peyrafitte, George Quasha, Elizabeth Robinson, Michael   Ruby, Elizabeth Savage, and Sam Truitt at 7:00 p.m.

Basil and Cecil
Basil and Cecil
A somewhat fuzzy partial view of the audience.
A somewhat fuzzy partial view of the audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Commemorative pamphlets of work by the poets, prepared by Kimberly Lyons and printed by Ann Elliot of SoHo Letterpress in Brooklyn were distributed at the reading: Folded Silhouette (everyone in the group) and A Pigeon in Delacroix’s Garden (B.King and C.S. Giscombe only).

Some of the Laurie Booksellers wares can be found on their website:  If you aren’t near Minneapolis, try  www.lauriebooks.com

Martha King reading . Photo by Sarah Kaplan.
Martha King reading . Photo by Sarah Kaplan.

 

 

 

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News! Basil King and Nicole Peyrafitte at The Walker Art Center

In partnership with Associated Writing Programs, which is having its annual meeting in Minneapolis this April, the Walker Art Center is hosting these free events Thursday April 9 from 5 pm to 11 pm:

  • 5-9:   Screenings of Basil King: Mirage, every half hour, Lecture Room, Free
  • 5:30: Basil King book signing, Bazinet Lobby, Free
  • 6:30: Minnesota Expatriates Poetry Reading, Walker Cinema, Free
  • 7:20: Minnesota Expatriates book signing, Bazinet Lobby, Free
  • 8:00: “Greatest Hits” Poetry Reading, Walker Cinema, Tickets $10 ($8 Walker members); book signing in Lobby to follow
  • 9:00: Reviewers Party—All Welcome! Drinks and revelry in the Cargill Lounge, Free
The Walker Art Center
The Walker Art Center
Opening image of film, "Basil King: MIRAGE"
Opening image of film, “Basil King: MIRAGE”

All the events are open to the public as well as the AWP attendees.  Nicole Peyrafitte will introduce the screenings, and Basil will be signing his latest book, The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand from Learning to Draw, Marsh Hawk Press, 2014.

Front cover of King's The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand
Front cover of King’s The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand

 

Basil King Martha King Memoir (Outside Inside) News Poetry Prose Writing

News! New issues: Talisman & Local Knowedge

Literary magazines live!  In print (Local Knowledge 2) and online (Talisman 43). Both new issues include work by both Basil King and Martha King.  Rarely together in print if frequently together day by day. They include more of Basil’s  “Learning to Draw” and more of Martha’s “Outside/Inside.”  Plus Talisman has Martha King poetry, to which she is returning after a long focus on memoir.

To purchase Local Knowledge, just $12, click

http://localknowledgemag.com/purchase-local-knowledge-here/

Martha King with her copy of Local Knowledge
Martha King with her copy of Local Knowledge

To visit Talisman 43 (a bonanza of poetry,essays, prose, translations and art) online, click

http://www.talismanmag.net

Please note, there are several drop-down menus at the top for the many sections of this issue. And much fine work to read and savor.

Talisman House in the dead of winter
Talisman House in the dead of winter

 

 

 

Basil King Green Man Readings Writing

NEWS: Basil King reading at Dia Chelsea on February 10

Basil KingBaz will read from his new book, The Spoken Word/ The Painted Hand –and continuing his quest, he’ll feature the section called, “Looking for the Green Man.”

Front cover of King's The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand
Front cover of King’s The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand

As Kevin Killian just wrote:

“A new installment from Learning to Draw is always a welcome treat, and this one pleases on all levels. Basil’s … mashups of art, culture, and lived experience, both minute and momentous—challenge the reader out of conventional notions of art history, by a continuous attention to detail, thus fulfilling Blake’s prophecy of the scales that fall from one’s eyes when finally one is allowed to see.”

He will be joined by Gregoire Pam Dick. Her latest book, Metaphysical Licks, is also just out this fall, riffing on music history, and more.

Dia Chelsea is at 535 W 22nd Street, NYC. Reservations are recommended. Call 212 989 5566 or visit the Dia website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Black Mountain Songs Round-UP

Contrary to normal blog rules, this one is long as there is so much to tell.

First: What is “Black Mountain Songs”?  A collaborative musical event, inspired by the spirit of Black Mountain College, with songs composed by Jherek Bischoff, Bryce Dessner, Tim Hecker, John King, Nico Muhly, Richard Reed Parry, Caroline Shaw, and Alexsandra Vrebalov, arranged in a seamless stream for the voices of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. The show offered projections of archival and new visuals; two dancers, old Gus Solomons, once a member of the Merce Cunningham company, and young Adam Gauzza most recently of the Caroline Dorfman company; and seated stage left, Basil King, painter, poet, and Black Mountain College alum,  as narrator, reading bits of poetry and prose by Fielding Dawson, Josef Albers, and himself.

On the BAM stage: film projections and the Photo for Brooklyn Youth Chorusby Julieta Cervantes.
On the BAM stage: film projections, the chorus, musicians, and narrator, with Dianne  Berkun-Menaker, conducting. Photo for Brooklyn Youth Chorus by Julieta Cervantes.

The four performances of “Black Mountain Songs” went flawlessly to full houses and enthusiastic audiences at the Harvey Theater—part of the annual Next Wave Festival at BAM.  In fact every performance seemed richer and more exciting than the last.  (This despite Basil battling a vicious upper respiratory infection which emerged as full-scale bronchitis once the shows were over.) Multimedia in elegant restraint:   the amazing kids of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus singing without scores and moving to choreography that balanced their singing.

Here are links and reviews.

Wall Street Journal  (click to slide #8 of 9 for a photo of Baz)

The New York Times

The Brooklyn Youth Chorus

Muscians - including composers Bryce Dressner, seated with guitar, and Richard Parry, standing with bass. Photo: Julieta Cervantes
The musicians – including composers Caroline Shaw, third from left in orange pants, Bryce Dessner, seated with guitar, and Richard Reed Parry, standing with bass. Projection shows Josef and Anni Albers, at Black Mountain College. Photo: Julieta Cervantes
Side by Side --Gus Solomons and Adam Gauzza
Side by Side –Gus Solomons (left) and Adam Gauzza

Some background       Bryce Desser (composer and lead guitar in the indie-rock band The National) found Black Mountain first via composers—John Cage and Lou Harrison particularly.  And he’d been in those mountains as a boy when his parents sent him to a summer camp not far from Black Mountain’s former campus.  Later, Bryce’s sister, who was studying poetry with Larry Fagin and at the New School, began bringing him books he’d never encountered in a straight education:  Charles Olson.  Robert Duncan.  Robert Creeley.  And there was more.   The models of democracy and cross discipline collaboration Black Mountain presented spoke to him. Bryce shared his enthusiasm with friend, collaborator, and fellow composer Richard Reed Parry (instrumentals and vocals for the indie-rock band Arcade Fire).  Both musicians move easily from art rock to composing and performing contemporary concert music. Bryce’s previous collaboration with the Kronos Quartet and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus set his ideas rolling.

Basil accepts applause from chorus and audience.
Basil accepts applause from chorus and audience.

What Baz did   In addition to reading brief excerpts that introduced songs on texts by Fielding Dawson, Charles Olson, and Joseph Albers, he concluded with this piece of his:  

Oh, Black Mountain, wonderful place, desperate place.  I was blown to where light abstracts the smallest thing, into the core of a vernacular, into the heart of the abstract. No wind but the stillness blows me, no reason; no existence blows the shapes that have lost their edges. Oh, Black Mountain, wonderful place, desperate place. Blow your feathers and your worms. Your mulch protrudes the surface. Your bravery blows forgiveness. Your anger blows freedom. Oh, Black Mountain, wonderful place, desperate place. I was blown to where light abstracts the smallest thing, into the core of a vernacular, into the heart of the abstract. No wind but the stillness blows me, no reason; no existence blows the shapes that have lost their edges.

[From Learning to Draw/A History Basil King]

The Youth Chorus responded with hope for their Black Mountain and a marvelous final song, “Their Passing in Time,”  words and music  by Richard Reed Parry.

Will there be more?  Possibly.  Visit Bryce Dessner’s website for news and updates.

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NEWS: Events, Publications, and a Show — November 2014

November 6 at 6:30.   Basil will read from his new book, The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand (Marsh Hawk Press, 20l4*) and his old friend Hettie Jones will read some of her not-yet published short fictions.  They are both being presented by Prose Pros at Side Walk Café, Avenue A @ 6th Street. (Free, donations requested.)

Front cover of King's The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand
Front cover of King’s The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand

 

November 16 at 3:00Martha King and Basil King will read from new work published in Local Knowledge, Fall 2014, a biannual literary magazine featuring art, photographs, poetry, and prose of many kinds and variations. Basil is represented by “Basil’s Lifeboat” from his “Learning to Draw” series. Martha appears twice: in a note on dead cats and in “It Starts to Drizzle,” a history of her zine Giants Play Well in the Drizzle. Gala magazine launch & reading at Swift Hibernian, 34 East 4th Street, between Bowery and Lafayette.(Free, purchase of magazine requested.)

Martha King with her copy of Local Knowledge, fall 2014
Martha King with her copy of Local Knowledge, fall 2014

 

November 20, 21, 22, and 23.  Three evening performances at 7:30 and one final matinee at 3:00.   Basil will be the Narrator in “Black Mountain Songs” – a program of music by seven young composers, inspired by artists associated with Black Mountain College.  The Brooklyn Youth Chorus sings. Part of Brooklyn Academy of Music’s annual NEXT WAVE festival. Tickets sell out quickly. If you want to attend, please connect with BAM.

http://www.bam.org/BlackMountainSongs

A painting by Basil King (from his “Looking for the Green Man” series) will be in the BAM lobby exhibition until January 2015.

*There will be a reading and book launch for Marsh Hawk Press’s full fall list in December. http://www.marshhawkpress.org/BKing3.html

 

 

 

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Fall Now–and Summer Was

 

Sag Harbor
Sag Harbor

Three trips this summer:

1) To Sag Harbor, where the factory in which  a large cohort of young working women licked the brushes they used to paint glow-in-the-dark watch faces. They later died horribly of radium poisoning, their teeth more devastated than a meth addict’s.  The building  is now being “repurposed” for high end condo buyers: spa bathrooms, “light drenched”  living rooms, chefs’ kitchens and hefty monthly charges. But we didn’t stay there.  We visited one of our oldest friends still on earth — and lazed in his backyard, and talked all night.   Also had a long liquid lunch at a restaurant on a spit overlooking bay waters, somewhere off Bridgehampton, with an umbrella to tame the dazzle. Thank you LYNN.

 

The Peace Stupa
The Peace Stupa

IMG_69682)  To Wynncot in Northfield, Mass, where the faint scent of  “The Great Awakening,” of Christian work camps and fresh air idealism still drifts like the smell of hemlock needles. It’s amplified today with Eastern hopes: The Peace Stupa, e.g.  But better,  it harbors birds, trees, and friends in a wonderful huge house: once an Arts & Crafts summer “cottage” and later in turn a school, a youth hostel, a nursing home, a bed and breakfast.  The house sits on a hilltop that was once an island in Lake Hitchcock 15,000 years ago; the retreating ice sheet and a huge dump of glacial trash at the bottom blocked what would become the Connecticut River. The lake was 200 miles long before it burst through and roared out into Long Island Sound.  The biggest noise at Wynncot this summer was a dinner party, where we feasted on lobster and corn.  Thank you ED, and LISA too.

Door in the dining room, Florence Griswald home.
Door in the dining room, Florence Griswold home.

 

3) And finally we missed the Climate Change march because we were having a delightful weekend with Mark and Rachel in New Haven…with visits to Yale Art Gallery,the Center for British Art and that haven for polite early 20th century landscape painters, the boarding house of Florence Griswold in Old Lyme. Sure made us know how badly we all needed (still need?) the modern. But we did see a great folk art exhibit on loan.    THANKS Mark, Rachel, and Lissa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall today and crisp cool & sunny.  If you are acculturated to school  –and who isn’t– fall always begins a new year, a new start, something new to read, to smell, to wear or at least something unworn since way last May. New Year, even if one isn’t Jewish!

Basil King Martha King Poetry

Perils of Archiving, Part 3: Two dreams

In a folder marked Basil’s dream

Baz and Robert Creeley were together, he visiting Creeley’s house, and Creeley had taken him out onto a large veranda or open porch where they stood together looking down into the yard as a bear, a male bear (I questioned Baz about that), wearing a white apron, but not cute, not Paddington or Winnie-the-Pooh but a large wild bear, walking upright, and wearing a white apron, walked from the woods through the yard, climbed up a large tree, and halfway up, stopped, yanked from the trunk a knot, carefully lowered himself a way down, then jumped rather gracefully to the ground;  whereupon, carrying the knot in his forepaws, he returned, retracing his steps, to the woods.  Baz and Creeley, both delighted, laughed.

courtesy of Getty commons
courtesy of Getty common

And in the same undated file folder

 

Wildbear sat down

Black bird flew up

–Hetty King,

(who wrote quite a bit of poetry before she was 12 when dancing became her main focus.)