Category Archives: Readings

ART Basil King News Poetry Readings

News from PennSound! “The White Tablecloth” available

Basil King’s reading of “The White Tablecloth,” recorded at SideWalk Café this past November, is now available. on PennSound.  Click here!

(Thank you, Zach Carduner at PennSound for working the magic needed to create an MP3 file from an unpromising original.)

Even better — print is also available. “The White Tablecloth” appears in The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand, from Marsh Hawk Press. 104 pages, $15.  Order from SPD, Amazon if you must, or any wonderful independent bookseller you patronize.

PennSound has more: 8 minutes of Basil’s reading of “A Pigeon in Delacroix’s Garden” at the James and Mary Laurie Booksellers of Minneapolis, April 10, 2015. Publication of this text is under discussion. Stay tuned.

From the series, "A Pigeon in Delacroix's Garden."  Mixed media on Strathmore paper, ©Basil King, 2014.
From the series, “A Pigeon in Delacroix’s Garden.” Mixed media on Strathmore paper, ©Basil King, 2014.

 

For more birds, visit King New333 (and choose ALBUMS. Five of them contain birds).

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ART Basil King Martha King Poetry Prose Readings Writing

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.

ART Basil King Critique Exhibitions Martha King Memoir (Outside Inside) News Poetry Prose Prose Pros series Readings Writing

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

 

 

 

Martha King News Prose Readings

Martha King published in new anthology

 

Wreckage of Reason: Back to the Drawing Board
Wreckage of Reason: Back to the Drawing Board

I’m one of 29 contributors to Wreckage of Reason II subtitled “Back to the Drawing Board.”  (I appear in the original 2008 volume as well.)   The editors say these stories “use different style and genres … to illustrate moments of conflict, amusement, bafflement and joy that make up a day, a year, an individual life or a collective history. Held up to the light or inspected under a microscope, set in locales real, virtual, mythic, and imaginary, characters bump into and move through events, leaving readers with the humorous, sad, sexy and playful ambiguities of what it means to be alive.”

I hope so!  You can hear for yourself if you are in New York City on April 22, when a number of us – I’ll be one of them – read at the book launch:  KGB, 85 East 4th Street 7 – 9pm.

$20. Spuyten Duyvil Press.  Order from the Spuyten Duyvil Storefront:    https://www.createspace.com/4576201

On Amazon you can check out the whole table of contents with all the contributors’ names and order a Kindle edition for $8.

Prose Prose Pros series Readings Writing

Prose Pros presents Lynne Tillman and Lynn Crawford

Literary mischief, bravado inventions from two dazzling writers:  Prose Pros presents Lynne Tillman and Lynn Crawford at SideWalk Café, March 6, at 6:30.  

Lynne Tillman
Lynne Tillman
Lynn Crawford
Lynn Crawford

Lynne Tillman’s fourth collection of stories Someday This Will Be Funny, was published in May 2011. And her second collection of essays, What Would Lynne Tillman Do?, is due this April.

Lynn Crawford of the Green Garage in Detroit wrote Simply Separate People, Two, in 2011. Two new books—a selection of sestinas, The Stubborn Aunt, and a novel, Shankus & Kitto—are due this spring.

Free, but we pass a hat for generous contributions to the readers — Martha King and Elinor Nauen

Martha King Prose Pros series Readings

NEWS: Prose Pros presents Jenny Allen and Nancy Giles, February 6

Prose Pros is me and Elinor Nauen. We’ve been presenting  monthly prose readings for seven years!

Our two readers for February are Jenny Allen (New Yorker columnist) and Nancy Giles (CBS-TV columnist). A first for us: both writers have outstanding stand-up credentials!  At Side Walk Café, 94 Avenue A at 6th Street, NYC, the back room.
Jenny Allen
Jenny Allen
Nancy Giles
Nancy Giles

 Here’s a taste from Jenny Allen’s “The Trouble with Nature” in the The New Yorker’s “Shouts & Murmurs”:

“A lot of people who live in the city like to visit the country to get close to nature. Then, once they are in the country, they find that they needn’t go outdoors to get close to nature. Nature comes right inside, as if to prove some kind of point. . . . Sometimes, there is this black thing hanging from the kitchen ceiling. It is the exact size and shape of a charcoal briquette, and you wonder what a charcoal briquette is doing up there. On closer inspection, it turns out that it is not a charcoal briquette. It’s a bat, hanging upside down. . Its little body is covered in fur, which many people find distressing. This is a creature that flies, and it is as unsettling for a flying thing to have fur as it would be for a hard-boiled egg, or a rose petal, to have it.”

And here’s a hint of what to expect from CBS commentator Nancy Giles.  She started her career portraying a singing bag of garbage and playing Santa at New York City’s Macy’s on 34th Street. She toured for three years with the Second City comedy troupe, and has appeared off-Broadway, on TV, and in more than a dozen movies.  Now she can be found on CBS TV on Sunday mornings. And she has a  plan:  “I want to make people laugh and I want to entertain them, but I also want to provoke thought and discussion.”

Prose Pros is FREE, with a one drink minimum (or purchase a munchie). We pass a hat for contributions, all of which goes to the readers.