Mark your calendar for Book Fort’s winter Pop Up Book Fair presented by Curbside Splendor, which will be held Sunday, November 8th, from 1:00 to 6:00 pm at Empty Bottle (1035 N Western). This is a great event and always a lot of fun. You get to support Chicago’s literary talents and enjoy a tasty beverage (I’ve heard the Bloody Marys are great). There may still be spaces available for exhibitors — contact Catherine Eves (catherine at curbsidesplendor.com)
Congrats to Jan Bottiglieri – she has been the featured poet of many reading series in the area, sharing work from her recently released book Alloy (Mayapple Press). She is the featured poet October at The Blue Heron.
I had a poem get a second life at Little Eagle’s RE/VERSE site. The poem is called “. . . better loving” and first appeared in print many years ago. Thanks to Ralph Murre it is revived (without the typos). Hey, maybe you have something you’d like to send. Think about it.
Barry Silesky has had health problems since Solace in So Many Words so I am very encouraged to see that his wife fiction writer Sharon Solwitz has posted two new poems by him (“Will” and “This Time” ) on Facebook. Who doesn’t know exactly what he means and how he feels when in “This Time” he writes: “This time, it’s going to change my life. This time, I might say yes.” Yay Barry. Write on.
There continue to be controversies and scandal in po biz. With his poem “The Body of Michael Brown” Kenneth Goldsmith continues to provoke; the latest charge being that he is exploiting the tragedies of the victims of police violence. There are also objections that the recent New Yorker feature (“Something Borrowed” by Alec Wilkinson in the October 5 issue) promotes him while marginalizing his critics. For another take on the controversial poet, read Cathy Park Hong’s “There’s a New Movement in American Poetry and It’s Not Kenneth Goldsmith, Writers of color are not bit players in this man’s drama” in the The New Republic.
The other controversy is about the white male poet from Indiana who used a Chinese name in submitting a poem, strategizing that editors seeking a diverse table of contents would be drawn to accept his work. To make the matter worse, it came out that he did not even come up with the name on his own, but stole it from one of his grammar school classmate’s father. I realize I use the word “stole” whereas others say “borrowed” so I guess my bias is showing.
One more thing, if you are in the Chicago area, you may want to attend the kick-off event of BIOS: Arts and Community Series at the Community Church of Wilmette, 1020 Forest Avenue, when Joan Corwin will read from and discuss her story “Sinners” about the 1871 fire in Peshtigo, WI. It’s Wednesday night at 7. RSVP to rrawls at ccwilmette.org to reserve your space and get a PDF copy of the story.
I can’t forget to mention another opportunity. The Guild Complex is sponsoring their annual prose contests, with Anne Calcagno judging the fiction and S. L. Wisenberg judging the creative nonfiction. Deadline is Thursday, October 22.
Meanwhile it’s been at least a week since I read “David Hume and the Buddha” by Alison Gopnik in the October issue of The Atlantic, yet I continue to wonder about this: Do we construct ourselves or do we discover ourselves?
What about you, what have you been up to?
Peace, love, and solace