I had a great time reading with Ginger Murchison and Patricia Percival at the SHORE Reading Series!
The themes in Audrey Kawasaki's work are contradictions within themselves. Her work is both innocent and erotic. Each subject is attractive yet disturbing. Kawasaki's precise technical style is at once influenced by both manga comics and Art Nouveau. Her sharp graphic imagery is combined with the natural grain of the wood panels she paints on, bringing an unexpected warmth to enigmatic subject matter.
The figures she paints are seductive and contain an air of melancholy. They exist in their own sensually esoteric realm, yet at the same time present a sense of accessibility that draws the observer to them. These mysterious young women captivate with the direct stare of their bedroom eyes.
"Sometimes it’s OK to fall in love with pretty things and the alluring paintings of LA artist Audrey Kawasaki may well merit adoration through their aesthetic appeal alone, but there is a bit more to the gorgeous fantasy characters she creates on wood panel after wood panel. Death via skull imagery abounds in her works and sex is always brought up. Precious, pouty, sad-eyed and sexy, Audrey’s girls most often appear before us as if in the midst of their greatest indulgence, but right alongside the slightest of hints at the ephemeral nature of it all. In the end, all Audrey leaves for us to do after is wish we had been there for that (hopefully not so very) otherworldly moment too." —Whitney May, NY Arts Magazine
"Not this Boston" and "Expect Any Answer" appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of the Colorado Review.
These are the first poems published from my new manuscript, and the first poems published post-Latest Volcano. Another poem, "The Real Nightmare," is set to appear in the Winter 2016 issue of Prairie Schooner.
I'm very grateful to the editors of these two journals for their interest in my new work!
I'm very excited to announce that my lover and life partner is the winner of the 2016 Iowa Poetry Prize.
2016 Iowa Poetry Prize Announcement
The 2016 Iowa Poetry Prize is awarded to Adam Giannelli's Tremulous Hinge and Timothy Daniel Welch's Odd Bloom Seen from Space. This year's judge was Craig Morgan Teicher.
Teicher writes of Giannelli's Tremulous Hinge, "This extraordinary and sobering debut begins with a literal stutter--'Since I couldn't say tomorrow / I said Wednesday.' In trade for this impediment, Adam Giannelli finds that, in poetry, what can't be said gives way to what must be said. Giannelli has found a new stopping place in his poems, tensed between mourning and tribute: he sees a beautiful waning world made beautiful by its fleetingness."
Adam Giannelli's poems have appeared in the Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, Field, Yale Review, and elsewhere. He is the translator of a selection of prose poems by Marosa di Giorgio, Diadem, and the editor of High Lonesome, a collection of essays on Charles Wright. A PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Utah, he lives in Salt Lake City.
Of Odd Bloom Seen from Space, Teicher says, "In these poems, Welch is an attentive watcher who has 'lived most of my life alone.' From the little distance he cultivates, he manages a detailed view of the big picture. This is classical poetry set in our time, with room for 'Owls and their Michael Jackson / hooting in the trees' and 'reading Anna Karenina / on a Kindle.' For all its subtle sarcasms, this is a deeply earnest book, one sensitive soul's reckoning with a troubled age."
Timothy Daniel Welch received his MFA in poetry from San Diego State University and his PhD in English from Florida State University, and was the 2013-2014 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow for the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Institute for Creative Writing. His poetry may be found in journals such as Rattle, Arts & Letters, Best New Poets, Green Mountains Review Online, and elsewhere. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
Aleks Bartosik presently works from her studio in Toronto. She obtained her MFA degree from Concordia University in Montréal, Québec in 2005. Bartosik is a two-time recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant (2004 and 2007) for her figurative painting and drawing, and is generously supported for her work by the Ontario Arts Council. As part of Bartosik’s research and artistic development, she is an active participant in artist residencies and project collaborations all over the world. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently in Canada, USA, Germany, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. Bartosik’s work is represented by La Petite Mort Gallery (Ottawa, Ontario) and is collected by Headbones Gallery (Vernon, British Columbia). Bartosik is currently employed at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Living Arts Centre (Mississauga) as a painting and drawing instructor.
"I am a visual artist working figuratively and most often large-scale, where I combine drawing elements with painting, performance, installation, sculpture, and film/video. I explore the boundaries between the real and the imaginary and investigate one’s ability and willingness to imagine, pretend, dream and suspend disbelief. I am interested in our repressed fears and the sense of wonder engendered through curiosity and dream. Experimentation with different disciplines, surfaces, and spaces, enables me to invite the viewer to wander the realms and playgrounds I create as my drawings transform (drawing performances). " —Aleks Bartosik
Ekaterina Vanovskaya was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and grew up on the other side of the ocean. Ekaterina received a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
"Painter Ekaterina Vanovskaya is inspired by sharp, clear memories of places and spaces of her childhood in Russia. At first glance, landscapes and interior scenes populated with figures appear to be about a longing for a place, but extended looking begins to reveal more. Vanovskaya's figures are often depicted in the midst of ordinary movement or gesture set within visually lush environments that recapture a different sense of time altogether - one that evokes a time of childhood and the rhythms of our dreams."
—Jennifer Riley, Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts MFA Catalog 2015
Kate Domina is a Toronto based figurative painter. Using children and adolescents as her subjects, she incorporates classical representational oil painting techniques with whimsical and often ambiguous narratives. Her critical theory fixation (Lacan, Freud and Jung specifically) weaves it’s way into her work, evolving her portraits into studies of human frailty, and often, neurosis. Domina has training from the University of Toronto, Sheridan College and Ontario College of Art and Design.
THIS is why I love Juliana Spahr:
"It might be that there is nothing to epiphany if it does not hint at the moment of sweaty relation larger than the intimate. For what is epiphanic song if it doesn’t spill out and over the many that are pulled from intimacies by oil’s circulations? The truckers, the sailors and deckhands, the assembly line workers, those who maintain the pipelines, those who drive support in the caravans that escort the tankers, the fertilizers, the thousands of interlocking plastic parts, the workers who move two hundred miles and live in a dorm near a factory, alone, those on the ships who spend fifty weeks circulating with the oil unable to talk to each other because of no shared language and so are left only with two weeks in each year where they can experience tongue in meaningful conversation. A life that is only circulations." (from “Transitory, Momentary”)
Spahr’s poetry exposes those moments of “sweaty relation” we may not be aware of, or even those we are aware of, but may never think to think about. As in Spahr’s previous collections, the poems in That Winter the Wolf Came chart the entangled relationships and interconnections among and between all: including birds, oil, corporate greed, food, bays, oceans, our bodies, and other nonhuman living and nonliving entities.
Later I pass the breast cup to not really me,
a breast cup filled with sound insulation panels and imitation wood
with a little nectar and sweetness.
And not really me drinks it and then complains a little,
rebuking me, for my cakes of nuts and raisins
are cakes of extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas,
for my apples are filled with televisions and windshield wiper blades.
© Juliana Spahr, That Winter the Wolf Came, Commune Editions, 2015
With lyrical intensity, Brandi George invites the reader into a Midwestern countryside filled with violence and possession, weakness and strength, a world reminiscent of Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina. And just like Allison’s protagonist, the first-person speaker of Gog is boiling inside as she becomes a fury that refuses self-pity:
from “The Shadow of My Black Dress”:
I’ll travel back in time, Mother,
hold your hand when
the giant lobster hovers
over your bed, clicking its pincers.
But I’m not sorry. I wore your wedding dress
to a séance, which was not really
speaking with the dead, but dancing
on your antique table. I haven’t slept since you
called an exorcist for me. Just
so you know: if that man you brought
home from the bar takes
off his hat, I’ll load my rifle. And Angel
of Death: blow me.
from “Why the Working Class Won’t Save Us”:
… Bitch, ice queen, feminazi. Every woman
in my family has been raped. My belated protection:
petrifaction, the tree’s innermost ring drained
of sap, black lipstick and necklace-dagger…
© Brandi George, Gog, Black Lawrence Press, 2015
My author copies arrived this week! The book officially goes on sale on February 1st, 2016.