Tag Archives: Laurie Duggan

ART Basil King Basil King MIRAGE film Martha King News Readings Writing

Our UK Tour – Questions asked in Canterbury

 Questions asked October 10 and 11

David Herd, at Kent University
David Herd, at Kent University
Ian Brinton and Laurie Duggan at Kent
Ian Brinton and Laurie Duggan at Kent












Why did you start writing so late?    (In 1985 Baz was 50 years old.)

I had one abortive attempt after another from the time I was a student.  I had one idea about making money by writing “The Black Mountain Bean Book,” with bean recipes and tales of Black Mountain, where I first leaned to cook.  Nothing.  Nothing.  I didn’t really start until after my first visit to U.K. – my first visit since leaving at age 11.  It was a shock.

When I got back to the U.S. I had a temporary job teaching painting and drawing. I was filling in for a friend at Rutgers Newark.  There was a huge gap between her morning and late afternoon classes. I sat in my friend’s office, began using her yellow legal pads, and I couldn’t stop.

The poem mirage and the movie MIRAGE begin that way: “It was 1985 and I was writing a poem.”

What was it like being a woman at Black Mountain College?

Difficult.  Attitudes about women were very much of the times, that is Olson’s were. I was unfortunately quite inured to the idea that women were some kind of “other” and not ever to be full members of the boys club. 1956!

Your painting is sometimes abstract and sometimes figurative. Why?

I can’ t separate one from the other.

If you were going to study art today where would you go?

I don’t know what I’d do now.  If I were a teenager today I might want to do something completely different. As it was I’d begun painting when I was 14.

  • Note: At the Veg Box, we screened Basil King:MIRAGE – the film by Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte.  At Kent University, the next day,  we screened the art is not natural video of Basil by George Quasha (see YouTube), and a 30-minute excerpt of Cathryn Davis’s film Fully Awake: Black Mountain College. Most of the interviewees in this film are people who had been students there. This is an ongoing project aimed at showing how the school actually functioned.   See  http://fullyawake.org/
ART Basil King Critique Movies Poetry

September 22: Basil King at Anthology Film Archives

The Friends of Basil King will present “Basil’s Arc – The Paintings and Poetics of Basil King” at Anthology Film Archives,  32 Second Avenue at Second Street, New York City, on Saturday, September 22, 2012, from 12 noon to 6 pm.

Sponsored by Lunar Chandelier Press — this free event includes conversations about King’s visual art illustrated by slides, with critics and poets including Edna Augusta, William Benton, Laurie Duggan, Tom Fink, Mitch Highfill, Vincent Katz, Burt Kimmelman, Harry Lewis, Kimberly Lyons, Tom Patterson, George Quasha, Corinne Robbins, Barry Schwabsky, Lilly Wei, and others….

Along with these discussions there will be performances of original music inspired by King images (“The Green Man”  by Daniel Staniforth) and King text (“I Have a Little Song” from Mirage, by Nicole Peyrafitte).

"Two Kings--Green" - from the King of Diamonds series, mm/canvas, 44" x 60", 2011, ©Basil King.

Brief selections from King’s texts will be read by invited poets.

The highlight of the event will be the debut screening of a 22-minute film portrait, Basil King: MIRAGE, commissioned by The Friends of Basil King, and created by Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte.

Save the date! You are invited!


Basil King Critique Poetry

New Laurie Duggan chapbook, with cover by Baz published

See Fewer & Further Press for information about Allotments, a 30 page, hand-sewn chapbook printed on laid paper in an edition of 200 copies, 40 of which are special editions signed by the author.  The cost is $8, postpaid or by a check mailed to

Jess Mynes      121 Lockes Village Road      Wendell, MA 01379

Australia defines Laurie Duggan, as is amply clear in his great long work The Ash Range. But these days, Duggan lives in rural England, close by beautiful Romney Marsh, and he has tuned his wild Aussie heart to take the measures of its older brother.


Slowly, quietly.  How many measures?  27 Allotments.  Embodying scraps of memory, heard or vividly seen.  Duggan is insistent: hear it here.  Include disorder. Do cut corners.  The result is a daybook focused (seemingly) on drinks and food, on scraps of chatter, on life in a countryside pub wonderfully named The Sun.

But these allotments aren’t about real estate, they are the vivid bits a poet like Paul Blackburn might see – with senses heightened by the passage of a long afternoon: The upside down peppershaker reflected on a metal table top;  the note that “the small gnats/ have ceased to wail” (the first seven words of a thirteen-word poem); and underneath a muffled drum-beat of persistent protest at the corrupt carelessness ruling so much of our planet.

We called computer memory sticks thumb drives in my office, my former office. These poems have a similar function. Portable.  Almost invisible.  They reflect, replay, compress and then call a reader back to think again.

Art is a Basil King graphic, "9 4"