Wed, 23 April 2014, 7 PM, 244 Greene St, First Floor.
Featuring poets Robin Clarke and Brenda Iijima—and the release of the OPR/Double Cross Press Broadside of Clarke’s “a poem for may day 2013,” letterpress printed for the occasion.
Robin Clarke is a poet, activist and teacher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she has lived most of her life. She is a non-tenure-track faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh and a member of the Volunteer Organizing Committee of the Adjunct Faculty Association of the United Steelworkers. She is the author of Lines The Quarry (Omnidawn, 2013), winner of the Omnidawn 1st/2nd book prize for poetry. With the poet Sten Carlson, she co-authored a chapbook of poems entitled Lives of the Czars (nonpolygon, 2011).
Brenda Iijima’s involvements occur at the often unnamable conjunctions and mutations of poetry, choreography, research movement, animal studies, speculative non-fiction, care-giving and forlorn histories. Her forthcoming book, Untimely Death is Driven Beyond the Horizon will be published by 1913 Press in 2014. She is also the publisher of Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs and will publish the 50th book from the press this year.
The government uses language to sell & lie to us & one of poetry’s jobs is to bring a counterforce.
True readers always read creatively. Put a penny in the vase. Put a tablet of
aspirin, distilled water preserving the lily until it opens
In the atmosphere ice
crystals act as prisms, light rays refracting mock suns–sundogs–through the
Conoley’s poems are receptive to history’s significance, not polemical about its politics; this receptivity is striking and intent. Conoley is as good as any writer I can think of at conveying stunned and present perception. “Just let me go out swilling whiskey in the hill country,” she writes in “late democracy,” a gesture that resembles many moments in her poetry: one feels stopped in one’s path by the completeness of a desire or observation, and so the path multiples, expands, races through the instance. “That’s my girl’s lost blue sweater hung on the fencepost,” Conoley writes, and I feel both the irreducible integrity of that image as an emblem — of parenting, fragility, our affection for the things of the world — and as an expansive instance that is removed from everything except perception itself.
Such remarkable clarity doesn’t merely illustrate the book’s historical consciousness but is inseparable from it, and I adore the luminous solidity of Conoley’s vision. It both preserves a live present and records its passing. Take this nuanced evocation of an instance, its subtle alternations in scale: “a bosomy female figure appears // behind the screen door // the smell of parrots // a ribbon falls // from my daughter’s hair // onto her plastic town.”
Angela Hume joins Small Press Traffic!
Since 1974, Small Press Traffic (SPT) has been at the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area innovative writing scene, bringing together independent readers, writers, and presses through publications, conferences, talks, and an influential reading series. Small Press Traffic Literary Arts Center promotes and supports writers from all over the globe—particularly those who push the limits of how we speak and think about the world.
Angela is the author of Second Story of Your Body (Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs, 2011) and The Middle (Omnidawn, 2013). Her first full-length book of poetry is forthcoming from Omnidawn in spring 2016.
death I cause I result in
breaking heads along the highway. burial
as it ﬁts between transit. buttons make time stop
and shirt buttons make time not work for me
faulting clothes to shame physics. time as a round thing
I fumble to break our paradox meant to save
to leave machines. each dream ends on a hill.
each leaving the stadium night indoors a day and things growing
past the margins
near the realities where I conclude.
I’d better say sorry among grass. an easy shape pushing upward.
re-recording the sound of my own hands.
Gillian Olivia Blythe Hamel is Omnidawn’s Managing Poetry Editor & OmniVerse Managing Editor
Diesel, A Bookstore in Oakland welcomes Spooky Actions Books to the store to celebrate the publication of a new chapbook, Null Set bySteven Seidenberg,on Sunday, April 13th at 3pm.
Steven Seidenberg is a San Francisco-based writer and artist. His book of lyric, philosophical prose, Itch, was released from RAW ArT Press in January 2014. He is the author of three chapbooks of poetry, including Songs of Surrender (Gummi-Geliebter Verlab, 2013) and co-editor of the poetry journal pallaksch.pallaksch. Null Set is a three-signature chapbook, handstitched by Spooky Actions, printed by Oakland-based 1984 Printing, and with cover art by local artist and architect Sarah Hobstetter.
Joining Steven to celebrate will be poet and visual artist Cassandra Smith. She is also an editor and book designer for Omnidawn Publishing.
Spooky Actions Books, an East Bay chapbook publisher, entangles emerging California poets and artists. Find out more at spookyactionsbooks.com.
Steven Seidenberg photo credit: Kevin Killian